Photography by Bob Abramson

Photography by Bob Abramson

Joel Yakovac met his future wife, Maggie Caruthers, when they were still in diapers. She admits to having had “the biggest crush” on him in high school, but he never imagined Maggie would end up being his wife.

That all changed when they began dating in college, and even more so on July 20, 2006, during a trip to Deep Creek, Md. Joel prepared to ask the question that would change both of their lives forever. A long speech planned, when he dropped to one knee, all that came out was “Will you marry me?” Those four words proved sufficient — Maggie was rendered speechless, but finally voiced her agreement.

In a traditional Russian Orthodox service, they wed at Holy Dormition Church in McKeesport on May 20, 2007. At the altar, the bride and groom were lighthearted. With beaming smiles set permanently on their faces, they set the tone for the ceremony and reception: “Fun!” Maggie explains. “Our personalities showed throughout the entire wedding.”

They joined with their 200 guests in Heinz Field’s West Club Lounge. The magnificent view of the city, courtesy of the room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, was set off by centerpieces of pink snapdragons by Jim’s Flower Shop and ivory linens with green overlays from All Occasions Party Rental.

The newlyweds danced to Michael Bublé’s “Home.” It was the same song Joel played when he proposed to Maggie. It was a scrumptious sit-down supper of pistachio-encrusted salmon, filet mignon, and Parmesan risotto, followed by a nice slice of cake from Graham’s Bakery. The buttercream-iced, three-tiered creation held a mouthwatering mix of marble batter layered with chocolate frosting. Then, PJ the DJ put the party into high gear.

Godiva Milk Chocolate Couture favors sat at each place setting, sinful little treats, shaped just like the Yakovac’s wedding cake and filled with dark chocolate ganache.

Their contentment continued in St. Kitts-Nevis during a weeklong retreat to the Golden Lemon Inn.

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