By Rachel Jones / Photographs from Jack Wolf

On Mary Lee Gannon and Arnie von Waldow’s special day, the main theme was simply appreciating the love they share. “When you marry for the second time, you’ve had time to reflect on what really matters. For us, it is continual consideration of each other,” Mary Lee says. “It seems like a little thing, but we purposefully pay attention to our relationship because of how much we value it. For us, a small, intimate setting was the perfect place to celebrate that.” The couple achieved this romantic vision with a ceremony and reception at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Mary Lee’s father and son escorted her down the aisle to give her hand to Arnie, which she says was “the most beautiful moment of the evening.” The bride and groom’s six children were attendants and together read a special prayer, which made the night extra meaningful. The bridal party also joined their parents to dance to “The Way You Look Tonight.” The number was actually the newlyweds’ second dance of the evening, the first being a traditional Viennese Waltz. “My husband was born in Germany, so I wanted to honor him with German traditions,” Mary Lee says. Their friends from Germany taught them the steps, and after much practice at home — and even at their neighborhood park! — they flawlessly executed the waltz. With an executive career in nonprofit management and help from her friends, Mary Lee was able to make every element of the day significant. “I tried very hard not to get lost in the details or lose the magic of the big picture,” she says. “Picking colors and seating arrangements are important but not what bonds people together for life. What’s really important is that you’ve discovered a love that makes your heart pound harder and heightens your appreciation of everything around you.”

Mary Lee Gannon and Arnie von Waldow, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Pastries by Candace in Fox Chapel layered the couple’s white almond chiffon cake with chantilly cream and fresh raspberries for a deliciously light dessert.

Mary Lee Gannon and Arnie von Waldow, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

For soft, elegant centerpieces, Bettis Floral arranged white hydrangeas, peonies, ranunculus, and roses with pops of pale green. Gold accents and floating candles added extra warmth to tables.

Mary Lee Gannon and Arnie von Waldow, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Following another German tradition, Arnie’s best friend from Germany brought a plate to break on the floor at the reception. “The husband and wife pick up the pieces together to symbolize working together and to say that nothing else in their house shall be broken again,” Mary Lee explains. “We still have some of the pieces!”

Mary Lee Gannon and Arnie von Waldow, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015
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