Photography by Annie O’Neill
Melanie Mehalic & John Huber
Long before they began dating, John Huber and Melanie Mehalic played a meaningful role in each other’s lives. But it was that pesky thing called timing that got in the way for so many years.
They became acquaintances through Melanie’s brother-in-law, who is John’s best friend. When he asked his crush on a date though, the answer was no. John knew Melanie was already in a relationship, but he hoped one day she would “come to her senses.”
In the meantime, the future couple’s relationship continued to grow, unbeknownst to either of them. In 2005, John was employed by UPMC’s Patient Relations department, and one of his patients, whom he visited nearly every morning, was Melanie’s late father, in the hospital for cancer-related treatments. Melanie’s visits were always in the evening, and for almost an entire year, “we were like passing ships,” she says.
When John worked up the nerve to ask her out again in April 2006, the answer was finally yes. His proposal took place on May 8, 2007 — her father’s birthday — and during a walk on the Montour Trail, John knelt down, saying, “I always want you to have something special to remember on this day.”
“It’s always nice to know that he knew my dad and that he had spent some really nice days with him,” says Melanie.
Though it rained for two straight weeks leading up to their big day, the skies cleared and the temperature went up to 93 degrees for the outdoor ceremony at Hyeholde. Melanie and John gathered 125 close friends and family for the celebration. The bride wore a silk Essence of Australia gown from The Exquisite Bride in Murrysville. When pulled into a French bustle, a cluster of Austrian crystals appeared, one of Melanie’s favorite parts of the dress. The bridesmaids wore espresso and pink silk shantung Lynn Lugo gowns from Carlisle’s.
To achieve an aura of “old Hollywood glamour,” the chocolate brown and Champagne pink decorations were dressed up with diamonds, pheasant feathers, and pearls. Combined with Hyeholde’s woodsy setting and rustic décor, glowing with twinkle lights and chandeliers, the atmosphere was very romantic. Blooms Florist arranged pink and white roses with Hypercurium berries and feather accents. Creative Cakes baked a three-tiered, sugar pearl-iced dessert adorned with a sparkling brooch, which belonged to Melanie’s late grandmother, Irene. Later, at the afterparty, “John and I finally ate — a gigantic cheese steak hoagie. It was so hot earlier in the day that neither of us had much of an appetite,” says Melanie. Luckily, the rain had good timing through it all, picking up again later that night.