Edited by Rachel Jones + Andrea Bosco Stehle
Deanna Ferrari + David Tomaselli

As the restaurant erupted in cheers, David Tomaselli looked up to see Deanna Ferrari beaming down at him. “David took me to Piccolo Forno to celebrate my belated birthday, and he ended up getting down on one knee in the middle of dinner,” Deanna reminisces about her proposal. “We spent the rest of the evening celebrating in Lawrenceville, just the two of us, after calling our families.” Several months of planning went into their Pittsburgh Athletic Association reception, but Deanna’s father still managed to pull off a huge surprise. At the end of the reception, he took the mic and told everyone to go downstairs to the bowling alley. “It was a total surprise for our guests,” Deanna says, “and we got to party with our friends and family, some who came from out of town, for two more hours.” Though the night ended with a fun afterparty, some of Deanna’s favorite memories came from earlier in the day. Held at Mount Saint Peter Parish in New Kensington, Pa., the sentimental ceremony meant so much to the bride. “Just to stand in the church — which is where my husband went to grade school and served as an altar server,” she says. “It’s a special place for us. It was amazing to be surrounded by friends and family who love us so much.” — Mary Schrott

Photographs from Hot Metal Studio.

Pittsburgh WHIRL Weddings September 2015, Deanna Ferrari and David Tomaselli

For the ceremony, Deanna added a sheer, lace jacket to her MB Bride gown.

Pittsburgh WHIRL Weddings September 2015, Deanna Ferrari and David Tomaselli

The couple’s cake table, starring an ombré number from Jennuine Cakes, reflected the day’s use of burgundy with gold highlights.

Pittsburgh WHIRL Weddings September 2015, Deanna Ferrari and David Tomaselli

The Pop Tarts, a ‘60s-themed band, played at the couple’s surprise afterparty in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association’s bowling alley. The throwback theme carried on with retro record decorations and a fun popcorn bar.

Pittsburgh WHIRL Weddings September 2015, Deanna Ferrari and David Tomaselli

“I didn’t mind putting on the bowling shoes and taking off the five-inch heels I’d been wearing all day!” Deanna says.

Elias Nikolakopoulos + Jessica VanDeWalle

Pittsburgh WHIRL Weddings September 2015, Elias Nikolakopoulos and Jessica VanDeWalle

Green orchids and Fuji mums from Primrose Flowers added a fun pop of color to the couple’s black and white color scheme.

After six years of dating Jessica VanDeWalle, Elias Nikolakopoulos executed a surprise proposal upon her return from a business trip. When Jessica walked into their house and found the lights wouldn’t turn on, she proceeded to carry her suitcase upstairs in the dark. “Once I reached the top of the steps, I saw candles on the floor that read ‘will you marry me?’ and he was down on one knee,” Jessica says. “After I said yes, he took me to the restaurant where we had our first date.” Both her father and stepfather gave her away at the traditional ceremony at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland. “They have both played such a tremendous role in my life,” Jessica says. “I couldn’t pick just one!” The bride walked down the aisle in a Mediterranean-inspired gown with a rhinestone neckline and a slit up the side. At the Sheraton Pittsburgh at Station Square Hotel reception, everyone enjoyed the all-white, iridescent cake from Bethel Bakery and the stained glass candle holder favors, handmade by Elias’ aunt. The Hit Men brought energy and excitement to the dance floor and the lovebirds, along with their 130 guests, “rocked the night away.” — Katherine McGrath

Photograph from Breanne Kent / BNK Photography.

Shelby Silberman + Christian Kinkela

Pittsburgh WHIRL Weddings September 2015, Shelby Silberman and Christian Kinkela

After a year of dating, Christian proposed on his birthday. “I was trying to get him to open a few presents I got him, but he refused,” Shelby says. “He said for his birthday, he just wanted me to be his wife.”

Pittsburgh natives Shelby Silberman and Christian Kinkela didn’t meet until they both happened to be in New York City during the same weekend — she to visit her cousin, and he to purchase items for his store. “We didn’t cross paths again until I moved home about a year later,” Shelby says. “I stopped in his store for a gift for my brother. Our first date was that weekend, and the rest is history.” To celebrate their love, Shelby and Christian joined 375 guests for a fall-themed day at Carnegie Music Hall. The orange and cream color scheme came to life in the grand space with romantic orchids, calla lilies, hydrangeas, and roses from Hepatica throughout the venue. The white blooms complemented the lace detailing of her Anne Gregory for the Bride gown, which was customized to fit her perfectly. Following the couple’s sweet first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the Best Thing,” the John Parker Band kept the party going all night. Shelby credits their happy, hitch-free day to enlisting wedding planner Barbara Rosenberger, which she highly recommends to future brides. “She made the whole process and day of stress-free.” — Rachel Jones

Photograph from Bea Nylias.

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