By Caitlin Cesa | Edited by Rachel Jones
Kelsey Guth and Austin Eckenroth grew up in the same town, but didn’t meet until their senior year of high school when a mutual friend introduced them in chemistry class — how appropriate! After nine years of dating, Austin surprised Kelsey by using rose petals to write out “Will you marry me?” in their hotel room during a trip to Punta Cana. “It’s really difficult to surprise me,” Kelsey says. “The fact that he waited two days into the trip really threw me off!” Kelsey walked down the aisle of Epiphany Catholic Church in a long-sleeved, lace gown. The romantic look of Kelsey’s gown set the tone for the wedding, accented by the blush and champagne color palette. “I wanted soft neutrals with a little pop and a little sparkle.” Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” played during their first dance as husband and wife. “We’re kind of old souls, so we’re into a little bit older music,” Kelsey says. She and Austin even took dance lessons to prepare for the special moment, which became one of their favorite memories from the day. “It was just really fun to have that moment with him after anticipating it for months.”
Photographs from Leeann Marie Photography
Though she’s typically the loser on game nights, Ali Giglio won big when Tom Simcho got down on one knee and asked her to be his bride over a game of UNO. “When I opened the deck of cards, there was a piece of paper inside. I was really mad because I thought it was the score sheet from when we played last, and that he had saved it. He usually beats me in everything that we play,” she explains. “When I opened it, it actually said, ‘Will you marry me?’ on it.” When Ali and Tom began planning their wedding, they knew they wanted to incorporate another one of their favorite games: baseball. (Ali works at PNC Park, and Tom spends his summers coaching several baseball teams!) Of course, they chose The Roberto Clemente Museum for their ceremony site. Ali dazzled in a satin, mermaid-style gown with jeweled details on the neckline and back, while Tom looked sharp in a black tuxedo. After saying “I do,” the couple celebrated with 150 loved ones at a Heinz History Center reception.
Photographs from Edward of Sky’s the Limit
Introduced by a mutual friend, Olivia Cimba and Matthew Recker grew closer during their time studying at the University of Pittsburgh. “Matthew always seemed to be popping up at the right place and the right time,” Olivia says. “He offered a warm heart and a friendly face when I was overwhelmed with nursing school or any of the other trials and tribulations of college life.” As their friendship took a more romantic turn, Matthew invited Olivia on an official first date to game seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. “Although the Pens lost, and that year’s Stanley Cup journey had ended, our love was just getting started.” Olivia and Matthew wanted their wedding to pay homage to the city that brought them together, celebrating with a Heinz Memorial Chapel ceremony and a LeMont Restaurant reception overlooking the city skyline. The Pittsburgh vibe radiated from the save the dates, which were printed on vintage postcards portraying the Steel City, to the black-and-gold cake for dessert. “Our wedding was a weekend of great Pittsburgh pride and tradition,” says Olivia. “Pittsburgh has been, and always will be, our home.”
Photographs from Michael Williams of Michael Will Photography
After their first date, Sherrie Dunlap knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Sean Gallagher. “I remember having a thought go through my mind after we finally stopped talking and said goodbye. When I got home, I remember thinking, ‘I think that was my last first date,’” she recalls. “It was.” Sherrie and Sean dated for a little over a year before they were engaged. The bride carried an all-white bouquet of peonies, garden roses, spray roses, wax flowers, and hypericum berries as she walked down the aisle at Saint Vincent Basilica. The stems were wrapped in white satin and accented by Sherrie’s baptismal bonnet. Onto the satin wrap, Sherrie pinned antique broaches — “something old” — that belonged to influential members of her family and Sean’s family who have passed away. She also included her mother’s silver brooch — “something borrowed” — and topped of the arrangement with her maternal grandmother’s blue crystal rosary — “something blue.” Following their nuptials, Sherrie and Sean danced for the first time as a married couple to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. “We still tell each other daily, ‘You are the best thing that ever happened to me.’”
Photographs from TeaRose Photography
The stars aligned for Kristi Rosiak and Joshua Billiel as they fell in love on the night of a blue moon back in 2012. Four years later — almost to the exact date! — they got engaged on the night of another. Given the celestial origins of their love story, the couple wanted to incorporate the blue moon into their wedding day. Kristi and Joshua said “I do” in the Urban Room of the Omni William Penn Hotel under the romantic glow of deep blue lighting. “We knew that a dark theme, that dark blue, was really everything about us.” With the bridal party dressed in shades of navy and black, Kristi stood out like a shining star in a dark night sky. She wore a strapless gown, covered top-to-bottom in intricate beading, and carried a cascading bouquet of white orchids. Loved ones moved to the Omni William Penn Hotel’s Grand Ballroom for the gorgeous reception. As a subtle nod to the cosmic theme, Bethel Bakery added sugar and glitter to the first and third tiers of the couple’s white cake for a simple yet stunning effect.
Photographs from Araujo Photography