From the bride... We chose to get married outside on a hillside overlooking the breathtaking Laurel Highlands in Southwest Pennsylvania. I’m an environmentalist by trade, Executive Director of Tree Pittsburgh, and my husband and I share an affinity for the outdoors – particularly that landscape where we have made so many great memories. Kentuck Knob, our venue, is an architecturally significant home created by the famed Frank Lloyd Wright, surrounded by sculpture gardens and a magnificent native forest. While our guests could not fully appreciate the grounds, the view, in the midst of a rainstorm, was a seldom seen wonder. Everyone was in awe of the fog rising from the surrounding valleys - the scene was truly magical.
Keeping with the natural beauty of the native environment, our party tent was decked out with local flowers, all procured from within 100 miles of Pittsburgh – thanks to my friend Jimmy Lohr at Green Sinner. Our caterer, Rania, prepared a seasonal comfort dish that greeted our guests like a big warm hug – just what they needed. The Mon River Ramblers, a local bluegrass band, got the party started during the cocktail hour, and my maid of honor’s dad and brother-in-law provided a polka jam for the ages – both helping to raise the temperature in the tent by ten degrees. DJ Jay Malls carried the remainder of the party with everyone’s dance favorites. Joey Kennedy, our oh! so talented photographer, made the best of the situation – working with the chaos, he somehow captured the magic and rockin’ party that it was.
The saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Indeed! Reflecting on our wedding, I think of all of the fine details that were so meticulously planned – all of which played second fiddle to the unseasonably cold and rainy conditions (39 degrees & pouring rain). Guest comfort becomes the priority and all things “pretty” lose their importance. Once we admitted to ourselves that the aesthetically beautiful wedding that we had worked towards (for months) had become soggy and mushy, and we opened our eyes to the pure, un-staged beauty that stood before us in the form of loving friends and family, we could relax, breathe and let the energy of the moment carry us. Many of our guests commented that it was the best wedding in the worst conditions that they ever attended – that our calm and convivial spirit set the mood, signaling to our guests that it was “okay.” Just let your hair frizz and have a ball! My advice to other brides is to keep everything in perspective – a wedding is a ritual to celebrate the love and life-long commitment of two people – a muddied dress is not cause for tears.
Photography: Joey Kennedy Photography / Event Styling: Kyle Ethan Fischer / Wedding Gown: Custom for Carlisle's of Pittsburgh / Stationery + Signage: Jonathan Fobear / Catering + Cake: Rania Catering / Flowers: Jimmy Lohr of greenSinner / Rings: Keith Belles of Wax Studio / Venue: Kentuck Knob / Band: Mon River Ramblers / Hair + Makeup: Autumn Anderson of Salon Nuvo (412-391-4755) / DJ: Jay Malls / Tree: Tree Pittsburgh