By Andrea Bosco Stehle and Rebecca Torchia / Photographs from Krystal Healy Photography

Chelsey Capra and Christopher O’Connell met as Mountaineers at West Virginia University on the last day of their freshman year. Five years into their relationship, Christopher picked up sushi for dinner in preparation of Chelsey’s arrival home from a business trip in Virginia. Upon realizing sushi did not come with fortune cookies, he ran to the store just in time! “He bought them, used tweezers to fish out the existing fortune, and put his inside,” Chelsey says. “He melted the edge of the plastic and resealed it.” She only learned these details after she cracked open the cookie and pulled out the fortune that read “Will You Marry Me?” The next day, Christopher planned a spa day for Chelsey. When she arrived home, she was surprised again — this time with a spontaneous engagement party with friends and family. The couple celebrated their love before 160 guests with a ceremony at Epiphany Catholic Church and a reception at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, which was decorated in glamorous shades of ivory and gold with splashes of berry. Allison McGeary Florist arranged centerpieces of white hydrangeas, orchids, ostrich feathers, raspberry roses, and eggplant carnations. Chelsey carried a bouquet of gardenias — in memory of her late grandmother — blush roses, eggplant scabiosa, greenery, and pheasant feathers. Her choice of varied elements reflects her advice for future brides: “Do what makes you and your groom happy, not everyone else. And, don’t be afraid to step outside of the box. The most memorable weddings are the ones where something unusual or unexpected is done.”

Top photo: Chelsey and Christopher shared the vanilla and chocolate mousse cake by Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique with their matron of honor and best man, as guests noshed on crêpes with berries and chocolate, and Italian cookies by Michelle Maseth.

Chelsey Capra and Christopher O’Connell, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Chelsey says of her favorite memory, “I loved walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing my groom at the other end!” Christopher adds, “The entire weekend was surreal. Having all of our friends and families in the same place celebrating us made it so memorable.“

Chelsey Capra and Christopher O’Connell, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

At 11 p.m., late-night bites of mini Primanti Bros. sandwiches and Philly cheesesteaks were served as odes to the bride’s and groom’s hometowns, respectively.

Chelsey Capra and Christopher O’Connell, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Pittsburgh DJ Company and Robert Matchett Jazz Band kept the party roaring all night long!

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