A ballroom wedding will always be beautiful. There is something just so quintessentially…well, “wedding”…about them. And today's feature is a prime example of just why they will never go out of style.
Diana and Marc consider themselves to be traditional, yet progressive. When they got engaged, the couple knew they wanted to incorporate both of these attributes into their big day. They ended up with a classic wedding day with unique, modern spins on tradition. For starters, the art deco-inspired Urban Room of the Omni William Penn Hotel played the incredible backdrop for the ceremony, while the Grand Ballroom held the stylish reception. A color palette of gold and ivory kept things chic while textured linens, an abundance of amber uplighting, and a mix of tall and low centerpieces added a trendy element. The twists on the status quo don't stop there though. Be on the look out for the following:
- Ivory bridesmaids gowns. Yep, the bride wasn't the only one in white! Diana bucked tradition by dressing her ladies in a color that complimented the scheme for the day and her gold ombre wedding dress. I love a bold bride!
- A heartfelt ceremony entrance. Since Diana's dad passed away, she chose her mom and twin sister to walk her down the aisle. I'm sure those steps were really meaningful and sentimental for all three of them.
- An in-the-round set up. While Diana and Marc exchanged vows, guests surrounded them on all sides. This style of set up allows for an intimate ambiance and it ensures everyone has the best seat in the house!
- Diana's speech in honor of her dad. When the traditional father/daughter dance would have taken place, Diana took the opportunity to say some words about her late father. I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house as the bride paid tribute to him.
Elegant, refined, and effortlessly beautiful, Diana and Marc's wedding was captured by Nicole Cassano Photography. This feature is proof that you can break all of the wedding “rules” and still end up with a day that is perfectly pretty and, most importantly, perfectly YOU.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met more than seven years ago through my twin sister, Donna, who worked with Marc's best friend and co-best man, Chris, in high school. Donna and Chris had tried for a while to set Marc and me up.
While Donna and I were seniors at Notre Dame, Marc and Chris decided to come visit and go to the ND football game against Pitt. Marc and I kept in touch casually for a while after that weekend, but we remained friends for a long time until we finally made things “official” by starting a long distance relationship when I went to law school in Virginia. I spent my law school summers working in Pittsburgh with Marc until finally deciding to move to Pittsburgh after graduation!
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Marc surprised me during my last semester of law school in Virginia! I had been texting him all morning, complaining about a hangover and telling him that I wished I had a Gatorade there to help me feel better. A few minutes later, I heard a knock on my front door, and when I opened it, I was shocked to see Marc there! I couldn't believe he was at my apartment (which was over five hours away from Pittsburgh) during the middle of the day when I thought he was at work! So when I asked what he was doing there, he handed me a bakery box and a Gatorade and said “I brought you sweets and a Gatorade for your hangover.” I was still in shock that he showed up unannounced like that, because with the long distance relationship, we always had our visits planned out weeks in advance. When he came inside, he handed me the bakery box and told me to open it. As I opened it, I saw a cake shaped like a Tiffany blue ring box. I looked over at Marc, and he was already down on one knee. I took the lid off of the ring box cake and saw the ring! He asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes! We immediately ate the cake after he proposed, and it was absolutely delicious!
What inspired your vision?
The venue really was the starting point for our vision for the wedding. The Grand Ballroom of the Omni is such a classically beautiful venue that commands a certain level of elegance for the events held there. We always knew that we wanted our wedding to be more formal and elegant. It seems as though the trend lately has been more of the rustic-themed weddings. While those weddings are great for the people who have them, those kinds of themes don't fit with our personalities. We are both professionals who live and work in downtown Pittsburgh, and we really enjoy the city lifestyle. We are not “country” or “outdoorsy” people at all and we wanted our wedding to reflect that.
What made your wedding unique?
Our wedding was unique because we combined the traditional classic elements of a wedding with a very modern and progressive interpretation. We consider ourselves to be very progressive, so we wanted to have a traditional wedding but with very non-traditional elements. One very unique element was having the bridesmaids wear ivory. I never believed in the “rule” against other people wearing white to the wedding, so I wanted to make a bold statement by having the bridesmaids wear it. It was also the perfect color to complement the gold ombre color of my wedding dress, and I thought the overall look of the wedding party was extremely classy and elegant.
For the ceremony, my mom and twin sister, Donna, walked me down the aisle because my dad passed away several years ago. This was a really special moment for me during the wedding. I also gave a speech in honor of my father in place of the father/daughter dance.
We did not want the ceremony to be religious, and I was determined to prove that we could have a beautiful ceremony without needing religion to be a part of it. For the ceremony, I wrote my own wedding “reading” that was comprised of excerpts from the US Supreme Court and Massachusetts Supreme Court opinions on same-sex marriage. It turned out to be a really beautiful reading that many people loved and appreciated, and it really made our ceremony unique. Keeping in line with the non-traditional ceremony, Marc and I both wrote our own wedding vows. I didn't realize beforehand how much this would change the emotional element of the ceremony, but it made it much more special and personal than it would have been than if we had simply repeated words and said “I do.” We both got emotional during our vows, but it was so incredibly touching. I would really recommend that other couples do this!
Finally, one of the other important aspects of the wedding was the fact that I am not changing my last name, and I was not afraid to be proud of that decision during the wedding. Throughout the wedding, we were announced as “Diana and Marc” instead of “Mr. and Mrs.,” and I am not ashamed to explain my reasons for keeping my last name when people ask. I think that Marc and I were really able to showcase our unique, non-traditional views with traditional elements of weddings that still made it very special.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Our favorite moment was walking down the aisle AFTER the ceremony ended. It was so exciting to know that we were finally married and that we had the entire rest of the evening to celebrate to the fullest with our closest friends and family. As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, we walked directly into the Grand Ballroom and saw our gorgeous reception all set up! It really was a magical moment.
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Don't feel as though you are bound to tradition when planning your wedding. I know that there are so many “rules” when it comes to weddings, but they're only rules because people feel obligated to follow them! We broke so many so-called “rules” when we were wedding planning, but it made our wedding really fit our personalities. I would not be afraid to do exactly what you want when planning your wedding, because it really is the only day when everything is all about YOU.
Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
Specialty linens and a cookie table are must haves! The linens added so much beauty and elegance to the reception that could not have been achieved by anything else. Even with fancy place settings, menus, favors, centerpieces, etc., the linens add an extra pop to the decor that makes it so much more fun! I am so glad that I chose to use them.
Also, the Pittsburgh cookie table is a MUST! This is one tradition that we knew we wanted to follow, because it's the best one! Your out-of-town friends and relatives will love it, even if they aren't familiar with the tradition!
Band: No Bad Juju | Bride's Dress: Maggie Sottero | Bride's Accessories: Zola Keller & MB Bride | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBG | Cake & Desserts: Bella Christie | Calligraphy: Brittany Zack | Caterer: Omni William Penn Hotel | Ceremony Location: Urban Room, Omni William Penn Hotel | Flowers: Budget Blossoms by Jilliann | Hair: Brooke Rockwell Hair Design | Lighting: Gray Phoenix | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Carly Tuscano from Fluhme Beauty | Menswear: Calvin Klein | Photographer: Nicole Cassano Photography | Reception: Grand Ballroom, Omni William Penn Hotel | Stationery: Just Invite Me | Transportation: Molly's Trolleys | Videography: Just Hitched Wedding Films | Wedding Planner: Amanda Mason