For their August wedding, Kristin and Stephen wanted something simple and fresh. Inspired by Kristin's love for clean lines and crisp colors, the pair chose a palette of white, tan, and green, with a few navy blue touches. With these hues in mind, an outdoor affair made perfect sense! A short, sweet ceremony took place in the garden of Phipps Conservatory, where the guests were surrounded by blooming, fragrant florals with a view of the Cathedral of Learning in the background. Following this, the party moved to The Terrace at Hyatt House for riverside al fresco dinning and dancing. The space was full of chic details, like lots of fresh, white flowers and greens, antique table numbers handmade by the bride and groom, and a naked wedding cake topped with a laser cut Mr. & Mrs. sign that looked simply divine.
Throughout everything, Kristin and Stephen wanted their wedding to reflect their personalities and what they hold near and dear. That meant skipping a lot of the traditional elements of a wedding. And you know what…I didn't miss them one bit. In fact, I absolutely loved the modern twists that this bride and groom put on the status quo. Here are just a few of them!
- In addition to exchanging gifts the morning of the wedding, Stephen had another surprise for Kristin. He had a heartfelt message printed on the tag of her wedding dress! I don't know how he pulled this off but this is the first time I've seen something like this and I may have shed a few tears. The sweetest!
- Who says you can't see each other before the ceremony? This bride and groom bunked tradition and opted for a beautiful first look session. But what I love more than that is that Kristin also did a first look with her father. Family is super important to this couple and it's so special that Kristin set aside this moment with her dad.
- Kristin and Stephen made a point to attend their own cocktail hour! Most couples are busy taking photos during this time and miss an hour of their own party. But the pair wanted that extra time to spend with their guests. I always encourage doing this if the schedule allows! Your wedding day literally flies by! Why don't enjoy every single second of it?!
- No maid of honor at this wedding! Kristin said all of her bridesmaids were equally important to her. So in a way they were all MOHs! The five ladies gave a group speech at the reception to toast the newlyweds. #squadgoals
- A Pittsburgh wedding without a cookie table? Blasphemous! Not really. A s'mores bar is just as delicious in my book. And that's exactly what Kristin and Stephen did instead. I couldn't love this any s'more! (See what I did there?)
AdLiv Collective was on hand to capture every gorgeous detail. Chic, simple, but totally stunning, this wedding was a breath of fresh air. See if you don't agree!
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met in our 6th grade homeroom! A crazy long time ago, I know! Even though we went to the same middle school and high school, we didn't start dating until our senior year of college. Apparently, Steve had his eye on me since that moment in 6th grade, but it took me quite a bit of time to realize he was what I was looking for. After nearly eight years of dating, we finally tied the knot!
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
I think our officiant, Mark from A Simple Vow, described it best in our ceremony. He explained the million plans Steve had created in order to cover up another set of plans, all to propose to me and throw a surprise engagement party. For Steve to pull this all off, he had our friends and family create fake plans for us to go a covered bridge festival in September 2013. This was to get me to the covered bridge where he had wanted to propose. Then, Steve created fake dinner plans in order for me to get dressed up and not be suspicious of his ultimate plan – to throw a very special engagement party with all of our friends and family at La Tavola on Mt. Washington. When it all came to fruition, I was completely surprised and blown away by the planning and secrecy of everyone involved.
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
I would describe our big day as a chic outdoor wedding. We wanted everything to feel fresh and not overdone, so we went with a simple color palate that included whites, tans, and greens, with navy touches in the groomsmen suits and in the flower for the flower girl.
What inspired your vision?
I think just my love for simplicity inspired our vision. I love to be surrounded by crisp and clean color palettes and I wasn't interested in having a very traditional wedding. I wanted the wedding to represent us. We are a couple who likes to do things our way. We wanted to make it more personal and we didn't always follow what the book says “should” be done.
What made your wedding unique?
The fact that we didn't do things by the book is what made our wedding unique. We decided that we wanted a short ceremony outside that focused on love and laughter. We hired an officiant that had a similar sense of humor as we do and that would bring laughter to our ceremony. And he definitely succeeded at this. We also wanted our wedding to be a representation of all love, especially in a time like today where same sex marriages have been recognized. In order to do this, the officiant wrote an opening line that really encompassed the meaning of love and marriage. We also made our wedding unique by attending the cocktail hour in order to spend the most amount of time with our loved ones. We also didn't go through the traditional steps of the night. We didn't have a bridal party entrance, didn't toss the bouquet or garter, didn't do a cookie table, nor did we do a bridal dance. I also didn't have a maid of honor. I felt that all of my bridesmaids were just as important to me as the next and I wanted to make them all maids of honor. So they did a group speech. Our dessert choices were unique in that we did a naked cake and a s'mores bar. We also had an 11 person band from Cleveland, Ohio play from the beginning of the cocktail hour all the way until the end of the night. We chose simple decor items that reflected the theme of the wedding and we also made many of the items, included the moss letters, moss cork boards, and frames. I believe what made our wedding so special to us was that we didn't do anything that we didn't find meaning in, and we added the rituals that we did find meaning in. An example of this is that we had our readers at the ceremony stand between us at the microphone and read poems that meant something to us, instead of excerpts from the bible. Then, we made sure to step out of our place at the “altar” and give those readers hugs and kisses. We also did a wedding box that we filled with love letters we wrote to each other. We took our rings out of that same box, to represent the fact that in a marriage, you must fill the box with love.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day was the ceremony. I was actually dreading the ceremony the most because I don't like having all of the attention on myself. However, I felt that it was the most special part of the day. Everyone was there to watch us join in marriage. I absolutely loved the stories that were told by our officiant and the personal readings that were told by my aunt and Steve's sister. It was a very personal and meaningful ceremony.
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
The best advice I received was from my friend, Eva. She said to make sure you take a moment during dinner and look around at everyone who is there to celebrate your marriage to your best friend. She also said that when it is time to walk around and talk to everyone, do it together. This is the start of your life together and it should begin that way.
Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
I would accept the help of others when it was offered. I didn't want to burden anyone with tasks or errands, but when it was the day of the rehearsal and I running around, I wished that I would have accepted help earlier. I also feel that it is important for brides to enjoy the day. Walk slowly from place to place, look around, and take it all in. 🙂
Band: The Chozen Few | Bride's Dress: Katie May | Bride's Makeup: Emma Orlich | Bride's Rings: Brooks Diamonds | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell from Bella Bridesmaids | Caterer & Cake: Savor Fresh Catering | Ceremony Location: Phipps Conservatory | Ceremony Musician: Leah Freidhoff | Favors: Antique bottle openers from Nice Price Favors | Flowers & Decor: Garnish Event Design | Hair: Simply Captivating On-Site Beauty Services | Officiant: A Simple Vow | Other Makeup: Pittsburgh Makeup by Julie Marckisotto | Menswear: Macy's | Photographer: AdLiv Collective | Popcorn: Pittsburgh Popcorn Company | Reception Venue: The Terrace at Hyatt House | Rentals: Whiskey barrels from Wigle Whiskey | Stationery: The American Wedding | Transportation: Molly's Trolleys
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Caterer & Cake: Savor Fresh Catering |Flowers & Decor: Garnish Event Design | Reception Venue: The Terrace at Hyatt House |