Guyyyys – nothing is better than Pittsburgh in the summer. The winter is a whole different story, but the SUMMER! The summer is so great. It’s even greater when a client asks you to shoot a wedding up there at the same time as your Pittsburgh Dad’s birthday, retirement, AND Father’s Day… all in the same weekend. My dad was so happy we were up there, and so were we. AND THEN! It’s even GREATER when that same client asks to have their wedding portraits taken in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood where your first apartment was, and you get all misty-eyed shooting there next to your former home with the badass fireplace in the bathroom. AND THEN YOU’D THINK IT COULDN’T GET ANY GREATER BUT THEN OUT COMES THE COCKTAIL HOUR PENGUIN AND THE TINY OWL. I cannnnn’t, you guys, with the tiny owl. The cocktail hour penguin, Disco, is my first love, and I’ve met him at previous weddings. This time he pooped on me (the love is clearly mutual!). But I HADN’T YET MET THE TINY OWL. I don’t know what his name was, but he was so tiny and so cute that I almost exploded. It took everything in my power to not pet him and this is an actual photo of me as he approached.

So anyway, for all these reasons and more, we are forever in Jessie+Dan’s debt. Not only are they sweet and kind and totally awesome but also for having us home to the ‘Burgh and exposing us to tiny owls. They’re also animal people and there was much discussion between Jessie’s parents and myself about cats. There’s just no better way to start your work day than that. And a phenomenal wedding day we had indeed – perfect weather and a perfect couple. Jessie and Dan fit together like a puzzle, and we love that when Dan first met Jessie, he immediately thought of his beloved childhood dog whose name was also Jessie… which is both adorable and hilarious at the same time. There were a lot of sweet, happy tears shed, followed by crazy, animated dance moves. ALSO PINK FLAMINGOS. This wedding was definitely not FOR THE BIRDS – ha haaaa! ::badum CHING::

Date: June 16, 2018
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The National Aviary // Pittsburgh, PA
First Dance Song: “This Magic Moment” – Lake Street Drive
Jessie’s Occupation: Application Analyst
Dan’s Occupation: Structural Engineer
How You Met: Through mutual friends at a bar.
Interesting Fact: One of first dates was to meet a penguin at the aviary! We will have a penguin at our cocktail hour.
Honeymoon: Aruba
Officiant: Rev. Susan Talbott
DJ: Pittsburgh DJ Company
Florist: Green Sinner
Cake: Prant’s
Caterer: Atria’s
Hair/Makeup: Be Salon
Coordinator: Your Big Day

Repeat clients are a dream, and it’s even more awesome when you shoot multiple weddings for the same family. Three years ago we photographed the wedding of Allison+Blue in West Virginia and fell in love with their super fun family and were so excited to be asked to photograph the wedding of Allison’s younger sister Christine and her awesome husband Andy in Pittsburgh, PA! It was super great to see Christine’s family again and now to meet Andy’s family, all of whom were also fun (and there were a lot of them, so it was kind of all the fun. in the whole world. ever).

So we were excited to see the bride’s family, excited to meet Andy’s family, excited to be back in Pittsburgh, and then that’s when we found out about the 17 year cicadas and we were like HOLD. THE. PHONE. THIS IS TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT. Now I polled my family and other Pittsburgh friends and it seems like I may be literally the only person who was super excited about the 17 year cicadas, but every single year people are like, “This is the year! The cicadas are coming this year!” and I am always like, “What do you mean? The cicadas are here every year.” And people respond with, “But this year there are going to be so many!” And every year I’m like, “SWEET, MAYBE THIS IS THE YEAR! THE YEAR OF ALL THE CICADAS!” and then I look around, disappointed in my lack of cicada swarms and sigh a little bit to myself, wondering why everyone keeps promising something that never happens.

But it just so happens that they DO exist. And they DO swarm! And it’s like being in a giant cloud of super huge bugs and they kind of look like humming birds flying all around! Or bees maybe! And there were tons of them! And they’re SO FREAKING LOUD that you can hear them through your car window going 60mph with the air conditioner on full-blast while driving down the street and you may or may not have to plug your ears when walking past any trees in person because the noiiiise. And they landed on my camera! And my pants! And my head! And I was so thrilled!! BECAUSE FINALLY IT WAS TRUE! In south Pittsburgh this weekend, the cicadas fulfilled the promise everyone’s been talking to me about for 30 years. Apparently they moved the wedding from West Virginia up into Pittsburgh to avoid said cicadas, but the cicadas came further north than originally expected. Because someone somewhere was smiling down on me because YES, CICADAS!

  • Date: June 18, 2016
  • Ceremony Venue: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church // Washington, PA
  • Reception Venue: Shady Elms Farm // Hickory, PA
  • First Dance Song: “Living of Love” – The Avett Brothers
  • Christine’s Occupation: Quality Engineer at Boeing
  • Andy’s Occupation: Design Engineer at Boeing
  • How You Met: Engineering classes/Mountainair at West Virginia University
  • Interesting Fact: The last time the Pittsburgh Penguins were in the Stanley Cup was the year we met, now the year we are getting married the Penguins have returned to the Stanley Cup Finals.
  • Honeymoon: Grenada
  • Vendor Credits: Officiant – Father Mike Conway. DJ – MobileMIX Entertainment (David Kieba). Florist – Shady Elms Farm. Cake – Bethel Bakery. Caterer – PW Catering. Hair/Makeup – Hannah Conrad. Videographer – So Fresh! Films. Coordinator – Devoted to You (Kristen).

Our last Pittsburgh wedding until next year went out with a bang and a giant duck. A giant, 40-foot inflatable rubber duck, to be exact. Where did we get this rubber duck?

The giant duck is an art installation (read more about him here) whose first stop in the US was to Pittsburgh at Point State Park – a triangular shaped park where the three rivers meet in the ‘Burgh. Sara and Ed conveniently got married on the last weekend the duck was in town, so we were able to snap a few pictures with him after their ceremony in Sara’s childhood church. It was raining, and we were also surrounded by quite possibly hundreds if not thousands of people, so thankfully the umbrella-weilding bridal party was able to form a temporary body barricade while we took a few pictures with the duck. Also (thankfully) is the fact that Pittsburgh citizens love weddings and are also very nice, so they were cool with being kicked out of the way for a minute or so. It was worth it, and thus the pictures with the giant duck. :)

The reception of the wedding took place at PPG Aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo where the very large sting rays that you can pet quickly became the most popular wedding guests (if you held your hand above the water by a couple inches, they should slide up the glass and touch your hand with their… nose? face? what does a stingray have?). Both locations – Sara’s childhood church and the PPG Aquarium – were quite fitting as Sara was born and raised in the ‘Burgh (although Ed hails from Ohio). They both live in New York City now, but Sara wanted to capture the ‘Burgh atmosphere in all locations. We had an amazing time at their wedding and wish them both the very best at their super awesome tv/film jobs in New York!

Date: October 19, 2013

Ceremony Venue: St. Anne Catholic Church // Pittsburgh, PA

Reception Venue: PPG Aquarium at Pittsburgh Zoo // Pittsburgh, PA

First Dance Song: “Time After Time” – Eva Cassidy

Sara’s Occupation: TV/Film Producer

Ed’s Occupation: TV/Film Assistant Camera

How You Met: College

Interesting Groom Fact: Ed loves Legos.

Honeymoon Destination: Paris

Vendor Credits: Officiant – Father Cedolia | DJ – Mark Zini | Florist – Kim Wagner of Dragonfly Florist | Cake – Bethel Bakery | Caterer – PPG Aquarium | Hair/Makeup – Pretty Hair Salon | Coordinator – Roseanna Stewart of St. Anne’s and Gabby Boldizar at PPG Aquarium