By Maggie McCauley | Photographs from Eva Lin Photography

Julie Sfanos and Jack Surma met on the first day of their MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University. After two years of dating, Jack popped the question during a morning run on the beach while vacationing with his family in Sea Island, Ga. “He called ahead to me,” Julie explains, and “when I turned around, he was on one knee!” The couple faced the challenge of planning a wedding in Pittsburgh while Jack resided in New Jersey and they both were working on completing their master’s degrees. Everything came together beautifully, with shades of blush, pale pink, and ivory to highlight the desired romantic feel. Guests got to know Julie and Jack a little better during the cocktail hour, as their napkins listed fun facts about the couple and puzzles with their photos were also on display. And since the bride and groom have the same initials, guests were encouraged to share photos with the couple’s official wedding hashtag: (JMS)^2=1. One of the most thoughtful elements of the day was the dinner. “We were very involved in designing our menu and our food was absolutely amazing,” Julie says. The beautiful, three-tiered cake included gluten-free carrot cake with cream cheese filling, white cake with a raspberry filling, and white cake with coconut cream filling. After dessert, the couple joined their 220 guests outside for a surprise fireworks display!


Bride’s Gown: Anne Gregory for the Bride
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell; Joanna August
Ceremony: Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox Church
Cake, Catering, & Reception: Private club in Ligonier
Decorations & Rentals: Mosaic, Inc.; Lendable Linens
DJ: Entertainment Unlimited of Pittsburgh
Florals: Allison McGeary Florist
Hair: Bridal Art by Marissa Julin
Honeymoon: Italy
Jewelry: Louis Anthony Jewelers; Orr’s Jewelers
Makeup: Hannah Conard Beauty
Planner:The Event Group
Stationery: Nota Bene Fine Papers Boutique
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Julie says, “It really was a dream wedding for us.”

Pale pink, blush, and ivory roses and hydrangeas filled the tables with love and romance, while candles added extra warmth. The couple also used the arrangements as brunch centerpieces the next day!

“I only went dress shopping once,” says Julie. The fifth one was the charm — a gorgeous gown with an appliqué overlay, delicate sleeves, hand-sewn pearls, and nine layers of thin tulle that swirled with every magic moment of the day.

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