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Pittsburgh Athletic Association Wedding

I love this bride.  And not just because she happens to be the “Secret Agent L” who spent her days bestowing goodwill to all in Pittsburgh (although, that’s totally enough to adore her).  No, I also love her, because she has a smile that is contagious and a joyous energy that is so amazing, it almost bursts from your computer screen.  She’s one of those ladies you  just wish you knew… and her wedding to her handsome beau captured by Veronica Varos?  A drop-dead gorgeous day filled with sooo much love, it’s palpable.  Click here for more.

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From Veronica Varos I was just browsing my Twitter feed the first time I stumbled upon Secret Agent L. It was years ago. All of a sudden, it seemed like everyone was tweeting about a new movement that had started in Pittsburgh, but was spreading all over. An anonymous woman with the twitter handle @SecretAgentL was behind it all. Buy a small gift – a bit of candy, a gift card, a motivational book – and leave it somewhere for someone to find accompanied by a card explaining that the gift was for YOU! (You being anyone who stumbled upon it.) People were finding her gifts and paying it forward by doing the same.

Soon after, things skyrocketed for Laura, aka, Secret Agent L. From CNN to Huffington Post to Glamour Magazine – she was all over the place and the city of Pittsburgh couldn’t have been more proud.

Eventually, I met Laura and her then-boyfriend Ross for a portrait session. Their chemistry was so obvious and they were clearly bursting with love for each another. They spent much of their session holding one another and giggling. It wasn’t long before I heard about the engagement. I was over-the-moon excited for them.

On the big day, the weather was flawless. From their bridal suite at the Renaissance Hotel, Laura and her bridesmaids watched as Pittsburgh set up the bridge party to welcome the touring giant rubber duck. It was an incredibly relaxed and joyous atmosphere. Her makeup application was repeatedly (and adorably) interrupted by friends and family members she hadn’t seen in ages streaming through. There were many hugs, lots of laughs, and a few shrieks of pure and utter joy. It was clear the day would be an emotional one for all involved.

I left the ladies to spend time with Ross and his best man while they finished preparing. In true super-excited groom fashion, between the tying of the tie and the final bits of nervous dressing, plenty of silly faces were made and lots of laughs were had. In those moments, he never stopped smiling and you could feel the big moment drawing nearer as his excitement grew.

Ross headed for the altar while Laura made her way up the stairs to meet her father. She held her his arm and as she watched her mother walk down the aisle, she began to cry. “Get it together, Miller, we have a job to do,” she said while laughing.

The ceremony began and the breathtakingly beautiful music echoed in the giant cathedral. Teary eyed guests stood with their hands to their mouths as Laura’s father lifted her veil and handed her off to Ross.

Photography: Veronica Varos | Flowers: Blooms Forist | Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Oakmont Bakery | Ceremony Location: St. Paul Cathedral | Reception Location: Mike McChesney Of Pittsburgh Athletic Association | Catering: Pittsburgh Athletic Association | Band: Jason Kendall Productions | Tux: Vera Wang | Hotel: Renaissance Pittsburgh | St. Paul Cathedral: Nathan Sudie | Transportation : Elite Transportation

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Pittsburgh Backyard Wedding from Craig Photography

It’s impossible to look at this gorgeous backyard wedding from Craig Photography and not see a certain Gatsby quality. The 1920′s home, complete with a stunning clear tent, was made for a party Mr. Gatsby himself would have been more than a little jealous of. I’m even told there was a jazz band for the dancing. With the couple’s own fun spirit (complete with food trucks and donuts made on the spot) layered in, however, it’s totally their own.

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From the stunning bride… Brandon proposed to me last summer in pretty much the most gorgeous spot I could have imagined — on a hilltop overlooking the Ligurian Sea coast in Cinque Terre, Italy. Despite the exotic location of our engagement, we decided that a backyard wedding in Pittsburgh, my hometown and the city where we currently live, was the best fit for us. We had the wedding at my dad’s 1920s Beaux-Arts-style house, which served as a great backdrop to the throw-back music that our fabulous swing and jazz wedding band played.

The ceremony itself was held in front of the gazebo in the backyard where I loved to play as a kid. Our ceremony was intimate and personalized, with lots of poetry and music. We wrote our own vows and hadn’t read them to each other beforehand, so that part was definitely emotional. Because we were dealing with limited space, we had to be creative with where to put things — for example, we turned the garage into a space for the dessert table and fresh donuts and the driveway became the dance floor. To thank our guests for coming, we offered them an array of homemade jams made by a lady we met at a local farmer’s market.

Some of our favorite aspects of the wedding include the clear-top tents, the magical lighting that appeared once twilight set in, the taco and burger food trucks, the array of yummy cocktails, all of the wonderful music we got to hear, and, of course, the getting-married part. And the all-out 90s dance party we had afterward! All of our friends and family were so wonderful and supportive through the planning process, and we could not have asked for a better team of vendors, designers, and photographers. Last but not least, our wedding planner, Sean Gray, was a visionary and also a great friend throughout the process. 

Photography: Craig Photography | Wedding Planner: Sean Gray Intl | Florist: Green Sinner | Catering: BRGR Food Truck + Pittsburgh Taco Truck | Cake: Dozen Bake Shop | Cookies and Doughnuts: Bella Christie | Band: Boilermaker Jazz Band | Tents, flooring and event rentals: Party Savvy | Lighting design: Luxe Lighting & Atmospheres | Cocktail hour entertainment: Big Snow Big Thaw | Linens: Lendable Linens | Programs + Menus: Sapling Press | Gown: Jenny Packham

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Pittsburgh Wedding from Jordan Brittley

It’s not every day you say “I do” to your very best friend. But when that day comes around, it’s full of all the love and joy imaginable. It’s the kind of emotion that can only be captured by super talented photographers like Jordan Brittley who snapped every sweet glance, every nervous giggle, and every loving moment between this adorable Pittsburgh pair. We simply couldn’t pack all the pretty into one single post, so be sure to stop by the full gallery right here.

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Fall

From Jordan BrittleyShe sat on the couch surrounded by her dearest friends. They poured out encouragement on her life and truly wanted her to enjoy each and every moment of the day. The day that she would marry Kevin. Renee slipped into her gorgeous gown and there wasn’t a hair out of place, but what truly shined through was her love. The love that seems to overflow out of her life into everyone around her. Her inner beauty overpowers her outer beauty. It’s the kind of gorgeous that leaves you beside your own tears, completely breathless. Kevin and Renée committed to live the rest of their lives together and held hands and giggled. This was right before they shared their very first kiss. And the resounding cheers from their friends and family were enough to send shivers to anyone who witnessed their love.

From the Bride… The vision of the wedding definitely took into account who we are. Kevin and I are laid back, fun-loving people. Family and friends mean so much to us and that’s the kind of environment we wanted to create for everyone, so everyone would be comfortable and enjoy themselves. We both come from small communities in our home towns so we wanted that kind of atmosphere. We incorporated the muted soft pinks and blues, burlap sacks and lace, old books (which I love! And also brings an older, country-esq feeling which is what I grew up surrounded by) along with many small things that hold great meaning between Kevin and I.

There were so many meaningful items! My veil and the flower girl dresses were made by my grandmother. The blue heart on my veil was from a piece of my late-grandfather’s clothing. I really wanted to bring my grandfather down the aisle with me somehow because he has been such a major part of my life in so many ways, so my grandmother put the blue heart on my veil for me to do so. The ring bearer’s book: this is the same book Kevin used to propose to me. He illustrated a short story of the two of us in the beginning of the book and created a slit to hold the engagement ring. The bread and peanut butter on the tables were made by Kevin’s mother and grandmother which comes from their family tradition (and which are the best homemade peanut butter and bread I’ve ever tasted!) On the hot cocoa bar was a framed illustration of a scripture Kevin created for me on my birthday last year.

I’ve been told this numerous times and have read it numerous times, but please remember, IT’S YOUR DAY! If a guest or a family member gets upset about any of the numerous things that are bound to go wrong, it’s ok! Because at the end of the day you will be married to your best friend and that’s all that matters. Also, be sure to take some time for yourself in the morning, get centered and meditate on the meaning of what’s about to happen between you and your best friend, the journey the two of you went on to make it to this point, the meaning of the vows you two are going to say to one another, and the life the two of you are going to build together. There were two meaningful songs, the one that played during our private vows, Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank You’, one I grew up with, and the one we danced to, Coldplay’s ‘Til Kingdom Come.’

Wedding Photography: Jordan Brittley | Wedding Venue: The Union Project | Floral Design: Squirrel Hill Flower Shop, Inc.  Arranged by Bridesmaid, Desiree Hannigan | Wedding Planning: Devon Talieffero (dtaliaferro@gmail.com | Invitations: Designed by Groom + printed at Copy Stop | Band: Friends Hannah Miles and Caleb |Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Shoes: H&M | Hair + Makeup: Rochelle Koch  | Bride’s Veil + Flower Girls’ Dresses: Made by Bride’s Grandmother | Ring: Annaboo’s House