By Rachel Jones
Vanessa Piqueira + Daniel DeLuca

Although they’d been dating for seven years, Vanessa Piqueira was completely surprised when Daniel DeLuca proposed! Her college sweetheart said he won a gift card at work for a restaurant in Market Square — when he actually had surprise reservations set at the The Carlton! — and suggested they take the trolley down to their dinner date. “I kept saying, ‘It’s so cold; let’s not go,’” Vanessa recalls. But, when Daniel dropped to one knee, the weather didn’t matter at all. That same attitude reappeared on their wedding day, which came with a chilly, rainy forecast. “You almost just have to laugh at it,” Vanessa says. “You spend so long planning this wedding and making it perfect, but you can’t get consumed with the minor details. Focus on the big picture and just have fun with your husband!” The overall picture the couple envisioned for the day featured a classic, Old Hollywood theme, complete with a red, gold, ivory, and cream color scheme. The vibe even continued during their outdoor photo shoot. “Our photographers had these vintage umbrellas that were great,” Vanessa says. “We were really lucky they had those because they went with our theme. I was so happy with how everything turned out.”

Photographs from Tiffany Cooper/Hot Metal Studio.

Vanessa Piqueira and Daniel DeLuca, pittsburgh whirl weddings march 2015

While shopping for a friend’s wedding dress, the bride asked newly engaged Vanessa to try on a gown, too. “I found this Vera Wang dress that had flowers and ruffles, and I had just wanted an all-silk dress,” Vanessa says. “I tried it on, and I loved it!”

Vanessa Piqueira and Daniel DeLuca, pittsburgh whirl weddings march 2015

Lydia’s Flower Shoppe in Aliquippa prepared red rose bouquets, wrapped in gold ribbon, for the bridesmaids, while Vanessa carried an ivory rose bouquet, wrapped in ivory ribbon with pearl accents.

Vanessa Piqueira and Daniel DeLuca, pittsburgh whirl weddings march 2015

Daniel coordinated the perfect playlist for the Center Stage Weddings & Banquets reception with the band Walk of Shame. He even suggested Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” as the couple’s first dance song.

Vanessa Piqueira and Daniel DeLuca, pittsburgh whirl weddings march 2015

Vanessa and Daniel cut in to an almond cake from Signature Desserts, topped with a custom-made bride and groom. Guests chose from death by chocolate cake, pumpkin cheesecake, or raspberry torte for their desserts.

Vanessa Piqueira and Daniel DeLuca, pittsburgh whirl weddings march 2015

Melissa Pencosky + Shane Russell

On the first day of freshman orientation at La Roche College, students were told to sit next to someone they did not know. Melissa Pencosky and Shane Russell took seats next to each other, and got to know each other very well over the next four years. The couple spent an evening over the holidays aboard the Gateway Clipper, the site of many La Roche dances they had shared together. Reflecting on those memories, Shane reached into his pocket and retrieved his ticket from their first dance together on the ship. Then, he took out a ring! The sweethearts made it official with a ceremony at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish and a reception at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel. The beachy, summer-themed bash came together with teal and light gray décor, salt water taffy favors, and a photo shoot in front of the fountain at Point State Park. In fact, they became the first newlywed couple to take pictures at the beloved location after the fountain reopened! “I like that we got to do a scene of Pittsburgh that captured my summer theme, but wasn’t just the city skyline behind us,” Melissa says. “It was awesome.”

Photograph from Pittsburgh Imagery.

Melissa Pencosky and Shane Russell, pittsburgh whirl weddings march 2015

The couple shared their first dance as man and wife to Coldplay’s “Yellow,” which is their favorite song and the bride’s favorite color!

Jessica Coon + Andrew Lambe

A chance encounter while Jessica Coon finished law school at Duquesne University and Andrew Lambe worked on his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University turned into a five-year courtship. After a surprise proposal from Andrew, the couple began planning a classic, sophisticated wedding. They decorated the reception at LeMont Restaurant in black and white with metallic accents. To coordinate, Mt. Lebanon Floral arranged centerpieces of romantic, white bouquets in mercury glass vases. Even the bride matched the theme perfectly, pairing a jeweled hairpiece with a lace Lazaro gown with a custom-designed, sheer neckline from Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. Jessica shares that the most exciting part of the big day was not one, but two fireworks displays! A home Pirates baseball game and Zambelli firework event made for stunning entertainment as the evening winded down. “We had no idea those were planned for that night,” Jessica says. “It was so beautiful to be looking over Mt. Washington and see the fireworks. The out-of-town guests loved it!”

Photograph from Araujo Photography.

Jessica Coon and Andrew Lambe, pittsburgh whirl weddings march 2015

Despite the unseasonable chill in the air, the couple captured beautiful shots in front of pink, blooming trees in Oakland. Read more about Jessica and Andrew’s wedding in the Spring/Summer ’15 WHIRL Wedding Guide!

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