By Liz Petoniak
Photographs from Stephen Saldana / Studio Saldana

An adventurous duo from the start, Heather and Nathan Martin’s friendship began when they joined the same training group for the 2009 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. On their first run together, Nathan attempted to recruit Heather to work for his company, Deeplocal, a Pittsburgh-based innovation studio, and eventually succeeded once race day passed. The work partnership spurred a romance between the two, and though Heather says it wasn’t always easy, she feels “amazingly lucky to have found not only [her] perfect partner in life, but the job that [she’s] passionate about at the same time.” Nathan proposed to her as they stood atop a scenic cliff overlooking the ocean in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, after five years together. Since they travel to Woodstock, N.Y., where Nathan’s aunt also resides, every year for the town’s film festival, they knew right away it was the place they wanted to tie the knot. Friends and family ventured to the famous location for a weekend of wedding festivities that began with the rehearsal dinner — a bonfire held at a log cabin, complete with a performance by folk band Mike & Ruthy. Following the ceremony at Byrdcliffe Theater, the reception kicked off at Byrdcliffe Barn with the evening’s signature libations — French 75s and Boulevardiers — and the newlyweds’ first dance to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” Heather names a salsa lesson led by the couple’s friend, a dance instructor, that got all 75 guests to hit the dance floor, as one of the most memorable outtakes of the weekend. “It was great to see every single person out on the dance floor having a great time,” she says.

Heather and Nathan Martin, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Heather donned a lightweight, one-shouldered ivory gown from BHLDN and carried a bouquet of blush garden roses, pale pink astilbe, eucalyptus, and other greenery for a “fresh-cut” feeling. Elderberry Design & Flowers’ Jim Williams, the former creative director of Better Homes & Gardens arranged the bride’s blooms.

Heather and Nathan Martin, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Nathan designed and hand-drew the couple’s wedding invitations to artfully outline the weekend’s ample activities.

Heather and Nathan Martin, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Pinecones that Heather and Nathan picked while visiting Woodstock the year prior served as quirky, rustic place cards.

Heather and Nathan Martin, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

For dessert, attendees noshed on sweets from the cookie table, the pie table, and a Pittsburgh Popcorn Company bar. “Don’t be afraid to ignore traditional wedding conventions, and just do what makes you and your fiancé happy and reflects you as a couple,” Heather says.

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