By Rachel Jones + Caitlin Cesa

Lindsay Friedl + Brent Bissell

For Lindsay Friedl and Brent Bissell, the best part of the wedding actually took place right before the wedding. “We weren’t sure if we were going to have a first look or not, even up until the week before the wedding we still weren’t sure,” Lindsay explains. “But it was the best 10-15 minutes of my life.” Sneaking away to the picturesque courtyard right outside of the Omni William Penn Hotel, the couple found comfort in some quiet time together. “It was just the two of us,” Lindsay reflects. “We just got all those jitters out and were able to have a private conversation.” After the memorable experience, Lindsay walked down the aisle of St. Boniface Church, just as her grandparents did on their wedding day, for a sweet ceremony performed by a childhood friend of the groom. Loved ones celebrated at the Omni William Penn Hotel reception, which started with the couple’s first dance to “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra. “That was probably our easiest decision out of everything,” Lindsay says of the song choice, as Brent is a pilot. For the rest of the planning, the couple tried to savor each step and make the most of every moment. “It happens so quickly,” Lindsay says. “Take your time and enjoy the process.”

Photographs from Leeann Marie Photography

Lindsay incorporated her sparkling personality into her gorgeous lace gown by adding hand-sewn, Swarovski crystals.

“I wanted it to be romantic and classic,” Lindsay says of the day’s pink, white, and gold color scheme.

Oakmont Bakery whipped up the couple’s almond cake with raspberry filling.

“We definitely hit it off right away,” says Lindsay, who met Brent on a blind date. Exactly two years later, they were engaged!

Brittany Matevish + Christopher Poole

After just under a year of dating, Chris Poole proposed to Brittany Matevish while enjoying a glass of champagne and a stunning sunset on the Isle of Capri. “Needless to say, the backdrop could not have been more romantic or perfect,” Brittany says. “I was over the moon!” When she and Chris began planning their dream wedding at Omni Bedford Springs Resort, they were told not to sweat the small stuff. “People told me again and again that very few guests would notice specific details,” Brittany explains. However, the bride chose to ignore this advice. “Attention to detail makes a world of difference! The details are what make your wedding yours.” From the vintage gold keys she used as escort cards, to the string of her mother’s pearls wrapped around the stems of her bouquet, Brittany kept every aspect in mind during the planning process. When the wedding day finally arrived, she and Chris carved out time to enjoy their hard work. “Chris and I made a pact that we would remind each other to stop at certain points throughout the day and just take it all in,” says Brittany. “I got chills during our first dance as we looked around the room and saw our closest friends and family surrounding us. We have never felt more loved!”

Photographs from Annie O’Neill

The bride dazzled in a sleek strapless gown of ivory lace from Sorelle Bridal Salon.

The romantic mix of blush-toned roses and green seeded eucalyptus that made up the king’s table garland complemented the floral selections in Brittany’s bouquet.

“My bridesmaids all wore different blush or gold gowns, a decision that I was slightly hesitant about at the time,” Brittany says. “But my vision came together perfectly!”

“A major highlight of the reception was, of course, The Pittsburgh Cookie Table,” Brittany says. “My mom and aunt baked for weeks to produce over 140 dozen homemade cookies.”

Julie Mosesso + Jeffrey Horn

Surrounded by friends, family, and the beauty of nature, Julie Mosesso and Jeffrey Horn celebrated their love at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Simple elegance radiated from every detail, from the watercolor touches on their invitations to the wildflowers that topped the tables at their reception. “I was trying for a boho look,” Julie says. “I thought it would look perfect at our outdoor summer wedding.” Julie’s bouquet — a soft bundle of peonies, Juliet garden roses, ranunculus, field flowers, sweat peas, and roses in shades of peach, ivory, and blush with greenery — fit her vision beautifully and complemented her Allure gown from Sorelle Bridal Salon. “I knew I didn’t want white,” Julie says of the lacy number. “I loved the pink tone, it was just perfect with the venue!” As much as the day centered on Julie and Jeffrey’s love for each other, it also encapsulated the immense love that surrounds them. “It was so nice to have our families together,” Julie says. “We both come from large families, and everyone is all over the country. To have everyone come to Pittsburgh for our wedding meant the most.”

Photographs from Dawn Derbyshire

Julie and Jeffrey met at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa, where they both worked as chefs.

“I wanted to use watercolors because I couldn’t decide on just two colors,” Julie says.

Playing up the summer vibes, the bridal party dressed in pastel shades of purple and green.

Instead of serving a traditional tiered cake, Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique created a unique spread of 20 different mini desserts.

Leah Rethage + Michael DelGreco

Sunny Florida served as the romantic backdrop for Leah Rethage and Michael DelGreco’s picturesque wedding day. With two matrons of honor, two best men, and an adorable flower dog by their sides — and sand beneath their feet! — the bride and groom exchanged vows before nearly 50 loved ones. Leah reflected the beach theme with a breezy, lace Willow by Watters gown and a bouquet of blue orchids, white cala lilies, palm tree leaves, baby’s breath, white roses, and blue hydrangeas. Turquoise blue and silver accents decorated the outdoor reception space, tying in the nearby scenery. For couples interested in planning their own destination weddings, Leah recommends visiting the venue beforehand, if possible, and choosing vendors who provide multiple services. “Family Affair Key West Wedding Services supplied my DJ, videographer, photographer, and day-of planner,” Leah explains. “It made my planning a lot easier!” Leah and Michael loved sharing their day with family and friends who traveled many miles to be there. And the celebration made quite an impact on the guests, too! “That was my cousin’s first trip there,” Leah says. “She had so much fun and fell so in love with Key West that she moved there shortly after our wedding!”

Photographs from John McCall

“My Girl” by The Temptations played during their first dance as husband and wife.

A few days before the couple planned on visiting Leah’s family camp in Clearfield County for her birthday, Michael took a solo trip to the site to leave a message — “Leah, will you marry me?” — to greet her when they arrived at camp. “I was completely surprised!”

Ocean, sand, starfish, and seashell details covered the couple’s cake, which they topped with two beach chairs and a dog bowl.

“We chose Cinco de May as our wedding day because it was our dog, Pistol’s, birthday!” Leah says.

 

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