Edited by Rachel Jones


Lauren Shuty + Jason Smathers

After learning that 8 is a lucky number for love — since it’s essentially a rotated infinity symbol — Jason Smathers chose to propose to Lauren Shuty on August 8. The pair spent the day completing a scavenger hunt throughout the city before arriving at the West End Overlook, where Jason popped the question at exactly 8:18 p.m. A wedding celebration of their eternal love took place at Lauren’s parents’ historic house on Neville Island. “The old farmhouse has been in my family for almost 100 years, so it is a very special place,” Lauren says. Playing off the riverfront space, the couple used soft pinks and neutrals to create a romantic, rustic feel. Lauren dressed the part in an Essense of Australia gown, draped in a Chantilly lace overlay and tied with a beige, satin sash. Her long train and lace-edged veil followed as she made her way down the aisle to The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun.” “The ceremony itself was my favorite part,” Lauren says. “I felt it was very intimate and beautiful, and it was such a simple moment of joy for me and my husband, having all our friends and family there.” The day was filled with personal touches, including using the family’s old wine barrels as cocktail hour tables, shutters to display seating cards, and a vintage typewriter as a guest book. After a night of dancing to the Shelf Life String Band and DJ Steve Simak, a relaxed after-party down by the river, complete with a bonfire, fire spinners, and floating bar, capped off the beautiful day. “I remember feeling pure happiness the whole day,” Lauren says. “From the second I put my dress on, until the last guests left at 4 a.m., I couldn’t stop smiling.” — Rachel Jones 

Photographs from Dave & Mary Photography

Cuttings Flower & Garden Market created her bouquet of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangea, astilbe, seeded eucalyptus, and hypericum berry.

Cuttings Flower & Garden Market created her bouquet of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangea, astilbe, seeded eucalyptus, and hypericum berry.

Lauren’s pup, Anna, served as the “flower dog” for the ceremony. “I brought her back from Nepal during a study abroad trip when I was in college,” Lauren says. “There, they use garlands of marigolds to bless dogs, so she wore white marigolds for the wedding.”

Lauren’s pup, Anna, served as the “flower dog” for the ceremony. “I brought her back from Nepal during a study abroad trip when I was in college,” Lauren says. “There, they use garlands of marigolds to bless dogs, so she wore white marigolds for the wedding.”

A string trio played during the ceremony, with one of the members using a violin from the bride’s late grandmother, who was a life-long violin player. “It had been her violin since she was a child,” Lauren says. “It was so very special to have a piece of her in the ceremony.”

A string trio played during the ceremony, with one of the members using a violin from the bride’s late grandmother, who was a life-long violin player. “It had been her violin since she was a child,” Lauren says. “It was so very special to have a piece of her in the ceremony.”

Lauren and Jason made their own wine for the occasion, just as her late great-grandfather and late grandfather used to do.

Lauren and Jason made their own wine for the occasion, just as her late great-grandfather and late grandfather used to do.

Mallory Sell + Andrew Faherty

A long line at Starbucks and the desire to avoid a parking ticket led to the meeting between Mallory Sell and Andrew Faherty. As she stood at the head of the line at Starbucks, Andrew, who had just parked in a no parking zone, ran inside. He walked straight to Mallory and offered to buy her drink. “Come to find out later, he only offered to buy my drink because he didn’t want to get a ticket!” Mallory says. “Once we got our coffee, he was sweet enough to ask me on a date that very same night.” They instantly clicked and have been together ever since. (More good news: Andrew never did get that ticket!) Two years later, Andrew proposed while they celebrated his birthday at Casbah. He had arranged to have a sweet note arrive at the end of the meal instead of the check, which Mallory read as he dropped to one knee. Plans began right away for a wedding at Fairmont Pittsburgh, with Mallory completing a few “Pinterest projects” a month to keep things organized and ultimately relying on her great vendors to bring her vision to life. “If I had not done that, I can only imagine how much I would have missed the day of my wedding!” One moment she will never forget is the first look they shared on the hotel’s grand staircase. Mallory stood back-to-back with her groom before the big reveal, as their families watched from the lobby. “Besides me bursting into hysterics, it was just an amazing moment.” — Julie Pawlikowski

Photographs from Libby Hilf Photography

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Mallory and Andrew chose to marry at the pet-friendly Fairmont Pittsburgh, so their dog, Remy, could stop by for a few photos.

Mallory and Andrew chose to marry at the pet-friendly Fairmont Pittsburgh, so their dog, Remy, could stop by for a few photos.

Fairmont Pittsburgh’s pastry chef, James Wroblewski, added an imperfect border of edible gold paint to each tier of Mallory and Andrew’s wedding cake. As a surprise for Andrew, a little sculpture of their dog, Remy, sat at the base!

Fairmont Pittsburgh’s pastry chef, James Wroblewski, added an imperfect border of edible gold paint to each tier of Mallory and Andrew’s wedding cake. As a surprise for Andrew, a little sculpture of their dog, Remy, sat at the base!

Laura Brown + Ryan McDonough

College sweethearts Laura Brown and Ryan McDonough dated for six years before he proposed. “Since we had been dating for so long, we talked about getting engaged a lot,” Laura says. “We had looked at rings, but I still wanted everything to be a surprise.” Ryan did just that, popping the question in their apartment after they returned from a game of mini golf. Opting to keep their special day traditional and elegant, Laura chose a Vera Wang gown, featuring a cowl back and double train, while Ryan completed his gray ensemble with a bowtie and suspenders. Laura and Ryan paid homage to their alma mater by choosing the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Duquesne University for their ceremony and the Power Center of Performing Arts for their reception. The sunny June weather and relaxed atmosphere made the entire day absolutely perfect. “It wasn’t stressful,” Laura says. “It was happy and relaxing.” The bride was particularly happy about their burnt almond torte from Prantl’s Bakery, topped with figurines hand-painted by the mother of the groom to look just like the couple. The blissful celebration continued with an after-party at the Red Ring Bar and Grille, complete with drinks and Pizza Milano. “They opened it to us to have a super, low-key moment to relax with our family,” remembers Laura. “At the reception, you’re trying to get around and see everyone. So, it was nice to keep the celebration going and spend as much time with everyone as possible.” — Julie Pawlikowski

Photographs from Palermo Photo

The couple honeymooned in Italy for two weeks after the wedding. “It was so nice,” Laura says. “And if you like pizza and wine, you can’t go wrong.”

The couple honeymooned in Italy for two weeks after the wedding. “It was so nice,” Laura says. “And if you like pizza and wine, you can’t go wrong.”

Picasso calla lilies from Parkway Florist were the showstoppers in Laura’s bouquet. “The owner, Cheryl Bakin, did an awesome job,” says Laura. “I just sent her a picture that I found online, and she matched it perfectly.”

Picasso calla lilies from Parkway Florist were the showstoppers in Laura’s bouquet. “The owner, Cheryl Bakin, did an awesome job,” says Laura. “I just sent her a picture that I found online, and she matched it perfectly.”


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