By Caitlin Cesa

Ashley Brudy + Maxwell Khuri

When Maxwell Khuri decided he was ready to begin a lifetime of happiness with Ashley Brudy, he planned the perfect engagement. During Ashley’s 30th birthday celebration, surrounded by their friends and family, Max surprised the birthday girl — and nearly everyone else in attendance! —  when his toast turned into a proposal. “He started out the toast by thanking everyone that came, continued to give a little speech about me, and before you know it, he stopped the toast abruptly and then he got on one knee,” Ashley explains. “I was completely surprised, to say the least.” On the day of their long-awaited nuptials, a violinist played “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King” as Ashley walked down the aisle. The groom chose the song as another sweet surprise for his bride. The cinematic theme continued as the couple exchanged traditional vows on the patio of Longue Vue Club. “The readings we chose for our readers included an excerpt from one of our favorite books, ‘The Alchemist’ by Albert Camus, and a line from one of our favorite films, ‘Good Will Hunting’,” Ashley says. Personal elements like these made their day extra special. “It’s the little touches throughout the day that meant the most!”

Photographs from Eva Lin Photography

Ashley and Max met during their time as students at Mercyhurst University.

Ashley and Max served a vanilla cake with mixed berry compote — yum! To keep the extras from going to waste, Ashley made stickers that read “Eat Cake For Breakfast” and used them to seal the leftover slices in napkins, a tradition that she and her mom carry out for themselves at every wedding they attend.

“Max and I love movies and musicals. One of our favorite movies is ‘Good Will Hunting,’ and this is one of the sweetest lines in any movie!

The couple chose cool tones for their day, selecting shades of sand, lavender, and rose for the bridesmaids’ dresses and gray suits for the groomsmen.

Kara Kisty + Gerry Raymond

Two years after Kara Kisty and Gerry Raymond had their first date at the Capital Grille, the couple returned to the restaurant — and the same booth, actually! After an evening of drinks and laughter, Gerry surprised Kara with a drive to Mt. Washington, where rose petals and candlelight set a romantic scene. A photographer captured the moment as Gerry got down on one knee to ask Kara to be his bride. The surprises didn’t end there, however. Gerry then took Kara to the rooftop of Sienna Mercato, where the couple celebrated their engagement with friends and family! “It was amazing, thoughtful, and so romantic,” says Kara. The romance of Gerry’s proposal carried over into the couple’s wedding day, highlighted in the delicate lace and intricate cutouts of Kara’s gorgeous,maid-style Galia Lahavmer gown. Following their Heinz Chapel ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the rooftop of Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, where Kara and Gerry made their grand entrance before mingling with loved ones. “I loved this idea because it allowed us to spend more time with our guests,” Kara explains. “I really recommend this nontraditional idea to future couples!”

Photographs from Kristi Telnov

Kara’s striking gown was custom-made to fit her vision and took over a year to perfect.

Kara and Gerry danced for the first time as husband and wife to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” the song that played during Gerry’s proposal.

Keeping with their theme of classic elegance, the couple chose a black and white color scheme, accenting their reception space with gold touches and arrangements of white florals.

The bridal party dressed in simple, yet stunning, black and white ensembles.

Adorable floral crowns are the perfect way to top off a flower girl’s ensemble!

Marissa Morrissette + Jon Wolff

The love story of Marissa Morrissette and Jon Wolff began at Penn State Behrend, where they were in the same classes and clubs on campus. After three years of dating, the couple returned to their alma mater for a sentimental engagement. “Jon thought there was no better way to propose than to bring me back to where it all started,” Marissa explains. “He planned an elaborate scavenger hunt that led me to each building on campus that held some significant meaning to us. I ended up at the Lion Shrine, where a montage of romantic scenes from Disney movies played. When the video ended, I turned around and there he was, down on one knee.” For their own happily ever after, the couple created a vintage, romantic feel with a blush color palette and gold filigree décor. Marissa’s champagne-colored gown swirled across the dance floor during her first dance with Jon to “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. “Our first dance is one of our favorite memories,” Marissa says. “It was a special moment when everyone else around us just seemed to fade away, and we were focused on each other and the love we have together.”

Photographs from Leann Marie Photography

“When I put it on, it was the only dress that I could imagine myself walking down the aisle in,” Marissa says of the fit-and-flare gown with beaded and embroidered tulle overlay.

After taking photos outside, the bride and groom stayed back to savor some time alone. “The day seemed to fly by, so getting a chance to take in that moment for just the two of us made the wedding even more special.”

Marissa custom-designed the labels on the miniature wine bottles they gave out as favors. “The wine was a Pink Catawba blend from the winery I used to work at that perfectly fit our color scheme.”

Instead of a cookie table, the couple had an entire room at Fox Chapel Golf Club to display over 250 dozen cookies homemade by loved ones.

Cheers to a lifetime of love and happiness!

Jessie Novick + Terry Wensel

For Jessie Novick and Terry Wensel, happily ever after began when Terry swept Jessie off her feet during an enchanted evening of dancing at Station Square. Over six years later, the couple made their love official with a fairytale wedding. Jessie walked down the aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral in full princess glamour, wearing an intricately beaded mermaid-style gown with a layered chiffon skirt. A custom-made cathedral-length veil, adorned with Swarovski crystals and white pearls, topped off her bridal look. Gold and crystal décor pieces — as well as a monogrammed ice sculpture! — made their Omni William Penn Hotel reception magical. Since they met on the dance floor, Jessie and Terry knew their first dance as husband and wife had to be extra special. They took dance lessons for six months at Arthur Murray Dance Studio to prepare for their performance to Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do.” Their performance was flawless, but Jessie and Terry’s favorite memory from the occasion is simply sentimental. “When we walked to the balcony in the ballroom at the Omni William Penn Hotel and saw all of our friends and family looking up at us, it was breathtaking,” Jessie says. “That’s a moment we will never forget.”

Photographs from Angie Candell of La Candella Weddings

“Try to enjoy yourselves and don’t stress so much,” Jessie says. “Your wedding day is the best day of your life.”

Jessie was a real-life Cinderella in these Christian Louboutin glass slippers with Swarovski crystals.

Elegant arrangements of roses and hydrangeas topped the tables in the ballroom of the Omni William Penn Hotel.

Jessie and her bridesmaids joined Terry and his groomsmen for a combined bachelor/bachelorette party in Las Vegas just before the wedding!

Previous post

WHIRL Weddings: January/February 2018

Next post

Meet WHIRL Magazine’s 20 in their 20s Class for 2018