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Grand Concourse Wedding

Susan and Jason got ready at the beautiful Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel before their Grand Concourse Wedding on a lovely late spring day. They’d planned their wedding from out of town, so it was very helpful to have professionals like the folks at the Fairmont and especially Brian at the Grand Concourse to lean on. As it turned out, the day went so smoothly that it seemed to fly past.

bride and groom pose for a portrait at the top of the stairs of the Fairmont Pittsburgh

Susan’s maid of honor helps her put on a pearl necklace:

A bridesmaid helps the bride put on a pearl necklace while getting ready for her wedding at the Fairmont Pittsburgh

A bride and her maid of honor hug at the Fairmont Pittsburgh

Susan got very emotional when she saw Jason standing in the little park outside of the Fairmont where they had their first look:

A bride wipes tears away as she prepares to see her groom for the first time in the small park outside of the Fairmont Pittsburgh

Bride and groom embrace during their first look in the small park next to the Fairmont Pittsburgh

Bride and groom in the small park next to the Fairmont Pittsburgh

The light was shining through the windows at the Fairmont making a cool color that I thought was a perfect compliment to the big art piece behind the front desk. Add a beautiful bride, and viola!

Bride poses for a striking portrait in front of the artwork behind the front desk of the Fairmont Pittsburgh

Bride and groom sit in the window of the Fairmont Pittsburgh before their wedding on a warm, sunny spring afternoon.

We arrived at the Grand Concourse in plenty of time for the ceremony, so we went up to the third floor for some portraits:

Bride poses for a portrait in the Grand Concourse

Susan and Jason’s sister share a moment before the ceremony:

Bride and bridesmaid hold hands prior to her wedding at the Grand concourse

The bridesmaids provided cover for Susan so that the guests wouldn’t see her before the ceremony:

bride hides from her guests behind a wall of bridesmaids at the Grand Concourse

Bridesmaids look out of the second floor window as the wedding guests assemble below them at the Grand Concourse

Susan’s grandmother paused for a moment to touch the photo of Susan’s late mother as she lit a candle in tribute:

Grandmother lights a candle in memory of her daughter, the bride

Susan and her dad get ready to walk down the stairs to the landing where the ceremony was held:

Bride and her father wait to walk down the staircase at the Grand Concourse

Father of the bride pulls the veil from his daughter

The couple took a moment to honor their parents:

Bride and groom look at their parents who stand at the bottom of the stairs at the Grand Concourse

Groom looks at his bride during their wedding ceremony at the Grand Concourse

As usual, I felt it was important to be as close to the action as I could be without being a distraction. It’s times like this that it’s so important to have a second photographer that I can count on.

Bride says her vows during a wedding ceremony at the top of the stairs at the Grand Concourse

Which you can see in this wonderful photo by Lisa of two little girls standing at the bottom of the stairs as they took a cue from the couple:

little girls mimic the bride and groom by holding hands during the wedding ceremony

bride and groom have their first kiss at the top of the stairs at the Grand Concourse

First dance with color provided by the big stained glass window at the Grand Concourse and the DJ’s lights:

Bride and groom during the first dance

We went up to the Smithfield Street Bridge for some photos around sunset. The ladies had some fun:

Bride and maid of honor dance on the sidewalk along the Smithfield Street Bridge

Bride and groom laugh while cutting the cake at the Grand Concourse

Grandma owned the dance floor (Lisa’s photo):

Grandma dances during the wedding reception at the Grand Concourse

Dancing guests during a wedding at the Grand Concourse

Bride throws the bouquet from the stairs of the grand concourse

Ouch! (Lisa’s photo):

Women fighting for the bouquet during a wedding at the grand concourse

Bride and groom stand on the Smithfield Street with the sun setting over the Monongahela River.

William Penn Hotel Wedding Photography

William Penn Hotel Wedding Photography:

Tera and John were married during a beautiful ceremony at the chapel at Duquesne University followed by a reception in the Grand Ballroom at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Their wedding took place in January in an unseasonably (by last winter’s terms, anyway) warm spell. So, we were able to do a few photos outside, like the one below:

Newlyweds embrace in front of the mural on Duquesne University campus

My friend Justine Lynn of Beauty Justified made sure that Tera and her girls looked their best:

Make up artist Justine Lynn of Beauty Justified holds up a mirror for a bride to see the results of her work

Meanwhile, John was getting ready with the help of his groomsmen. I was lucky to have my good friend, the fabulous Rebecca Kiger shooting with me that day:

a groom gets dressed in his hotel room with the help of his groomsmena bride is reflected in the mirror as she smiles at her hair stylist

Tera’s mom is legally blind which meant that in order to get an idea of what her daughter looked like she had use her sense of touch. It was a really beautiful thing to see:

a bride

Tera (by me) and John (Rebecca’s photo) looking their best before heading for the ceremony:

portraits of a bride and groom on their wedding day

John waits nervously for the wedding to begin (Rebecca’s photo):

a groom nervously awaits the arrival of his bride at the church

Tera and her flower girls cross William Penn Place on their way to the waiting limousine:

a bride leaves the William Penn hotel with her flower girls

Tera’s sister kept the mood light before the ceremony began:

a bride

The ring bearers get some last minute instructions from their dad:

ring bearers walk down the aisle at the Duquesne University chapel

Tera’s dad joins her and John’s hands together:

father of the bride hands her over to the groom during the wedding ceremony

Tera makes sure that she gets the ring on all the way:)

bride puts a ring on the finger of her groom at Duquesne University chapel

It’s tough work carrying those rings all the way to the front of the church:

a little boy sleeps in his father

a bride and groom embrace after being declared husband and wife

Tera and John share a kiss at the back of the church right after the recessional:

newlyweds kiss in the back of the Duquesne University Chapel

The winter sunlight was pretty spectacular as we made our way through Duquesne University campus to do some portraits after the wedding:

dramatic winter sunlight shines on a bride and groom as they walk through Duquesne university campus

The lobby of the William Penn is one of the most lovely public spaces in Pittsburgh. So we set up a couple of portraits. Mine is on the left and Rebecca’s on the right:

hero portraits of a bride and groom in the lobby of the Omni William Penn hotel

The best man’s toast was more like a roast, but it was all in good fun:

bride laughs as her husband

John picks Tera up at the end of their first dance:

groom picks up his bride at the end of their first dance

I love winter weddings. It always seems like people are ready to cut loose after the holidays and this night was no exception. The dance floor was filled all night long (Lisa’s photo below):

bride dances with her bridesmaids during the wedding receptionbest man and his wife dance in the main ballroom at the William Penn hotel

Rebecca’s photo below:

a father dances with his daughter during a wedding reception

Lisa’s photo below:

bridesmaids dancing during a wedding reception

Rebecca’s photo below:

bride and groom dance their wedding reception

Tera’s fur wrap was a big hit with the wedding guests. It looked better on her, but this guy really makes it work for him:

wedding guest dances with the bridebride and her friend dance during the wedding receptionbride and groom kiss as they dance during their wedding reception

It was a fantastic evening and I’m always glad to see these two warm, positive, and thoughtful people. Congratulations are in order as they’re expecting their first child in the near future!

Phipps Conservatory Wedding

Phipps Conservatory Wedding Photography:

Kylie and Rachid were married at Sacred Heart Church in Shadyside in a lovely ceremony that combined elements of both of their faiths. The ceremony was followed by an evening of dancing and fun at Phipps Conservatory. We met up a few weeks prior to the wedding for an engagement portrait session by the big duck that was a huge attraction in town last fall.

Here are some of my favorite photos from their day:

Young married couple smiles for a portrait at Carnegie Mellon University

Rachid and the guys looked great in their black suits as they headed to the limousine parked in front of The Westin by the convention center (Lisa’s photo):

A groom and his guys walk reservoir dog-style to a waiting limousine

Kylie and the girls got ready at a friend’s apartment in Shadyside:

A bride raises her hands into the air in celebration after getting her dress on

She looked fantastic!:

a bridesmaid holds a mirror for a bride who looks into it

Rachid and his best man Bryan walk to the front of the church (Lisa’s photo):

the best man puts his arm around the shoulder of a groom as they walk down a hallwaysacred heart roman catholic church in the shadyside neighborhood of pittsburgh

Kylie and her maid of honor Laura wait outside for the ceremony to begin:

a bride and her maid of honor sit inside of a limousine

Kylie gives her dad Kyle a nervous smile before they walk down the aisle:

a bride nervously smiles at her dad before walking down the aisle at Sacred Heart Church in Pittsburgh

Tears well up in Rachid’s eyes as he sees Kylie walking towards him (Lisa’s photo):

tears well up in the groom

A beautiful place for a wedding:

bride and groom stand at the front of sacred heart church during their wedding in pittsburgh

Kylie and Rachid were all smiles:

bride and groom hold hands and smile at each other during their wedding ceremonybridesmaids hold hands during a wedding ceremonygroom smiles big as he puts the ring on the bridebride and groom smile as they exit sacred heart church

We stopped off at the Mellon Institute for photos with the bridal party. Ever the gentleman, Rachid holds an umbrella for Kylie:

groom holds an umbrella over his bride as they walk down the steps of the Mellon Institute during a rainy fall afternoon

First Dance (next 2 by Lisa):

bride and groom stretch out their arms as they dancebride and groom share a kiss as the groom dips the bride at the end of their first dance

Kylie and her little sister dance:

bride dances with her younger sistera couple jumps into the air as they dance during a wedding reception at Phipps Conservatory wedding

Kylie and her grandfather share a dance. I love the reactions of her sisters in the background:

a bride dances with her grandfather as her sisters hug in the background

Last 2 by Lisa:

very close shot of a little boy and his mother dancingbride and groom dance at the end of their wedding receptiond

Mansions on Fifth Wedding

Mansions on Fifth Wedding:

Erin and Barrett brought a dose of New York style and a whole lot of fun to their wedding at the Mansions on Fifth in Shadyside. They’re a fabulously energetic and enthusiastic couple. I knew that going in to the wedding day, but I found out that their friends and family share the same joy of living that they do. It was an evening of wine, song, and dancing.

I could go on, but lets get to the photos.

Erin’s dad restored this magnificent Packard 120 coupe, completing it just in time for Erin and Barrett’s wedding. Erin didn’t want to do formal photos in a church, so she rented the Frick Car and Carriage Museum in Point Breeze. This turned out to be a great plan because her wedding day was one of the rainiest days that I can remember working on:

bride and groom stand before a classic car outside of the frick car museum

Erin checks her makeup in a mirror while getting ready at the Mansions on Fifth:

bride looks at her makeup in a mirror while being reflected in another mirror

Having tall bridesmaids is a good thing when your dress is hung in a high place to keep it off of the ground:

bridesmaids take a wedding dress off of a hanger while the bride looks on

Erin and her mom hug after getting the dress on:

a bride hugs her mother after putting her wedding gown ona beautiful young bride spins around after putting on her wedding gown

Barrett gets some help with his bow tie (Lisa’s photo):

a groom gets help putting on his bow tie

Sure, rainy days aren’t ideal for a wedding. But the soft light really brought out the beautiful color of the paint on the Packard. This looks like it could have been taken in the early 1940’s!

a 1941 Packard 120 is parked in front of the Mansions on Fifth in Pittsburgh before a weddinga bride carries her wedding gown so that it doesn

The bridal party traveled to St. Maria Goretti Parish in a trolley bus while Erin and her dad rode over in the Packard:

a bridesmaid looks back at the bride from a trolley and sends her a signal that she loves hera bride

Erin stayed out of sight by waiting in the stairway to the choir loft. I saw that the light coming in the window was perfect for a portrait:

a bride stands for a portrait in front of a window in a church

a bride applies lipstick

Once the guests were seated it was time for the processional. Erin and her friends have a lot of experience in theatre and dance, so this was choreographed and timed to the music. You’ll see another example of choreography later in the post (foreshadowing!):

a bride embraces one of her bridesmaids before walking down the aislea bride and her father walk down the aisle during her weddingbride and groom exchange smiles and rings

Erin and Barrett share a moment together before heading off to the Frick. I got to ride in the back seat! It was a little bit of an adventure riding in a vehicle with early 20th century technology – no turn signals and dodgy brakes – but Barrett used to drive race cars, so we were in good hands:

a bride caresses her husband as they ride in a Packard 120 after their wedding

 

 

OK, remember when I said that Erin and her friends were dancers? Well, they came up with a burlesque-style dance before the garter. It was a complete surprise for the groom:D

Lisa’s photo:

a bride and her bridesmaids do a choreographed burlesque dance

One from me:

a bride approaches her groom while doing a burlesque dance

The John Parker Band provided the evening’s entertainment. The dance floor was packed all night long! (next 2 photos by Lisa):

a woman in a tight fitting pink dress dances during a wedding receptiona couple embraces as they dance during a wedding reception

Barrett is a wine expert who represents distributors in the New York area. When I scouted out locations for portraits in the Mansion, I came across the wine cellar. So it made total sense to take the couple down there for a portrait session at the end of the evening:

a bride and groom pose for a portrait in a wine cellar during a wedding reception

Rachel Wagner of Pittsburgh Wedding Cinema captured the day on video. It’s always a pleasure to work with Rachel, who is a documentarian, recording what goes on without interrupting or otherwise being obtrusive. Here’s a link to their video.

Omni William Penn Wedding

Omni William Penn Wedding Photography:

Arielle and Jeremy are two Pittsburgh kids who both moved to New York City. It was there that they met and fell in love. I had a great time getting to know them and their favorite places in NYC when I photographed their engagement portraits there last summer. You can read a little more about that story by clicking here.

I’d never seen the Omni William Penn decorated quite like it was for their wedding. They held the ceremony in the fantastic art deco Urban Room and their reception in the grand ballroom. It was a day filled with laughter from the joy of family and friends being together and tears for those who have departed. It was all beautiful.

young married couple stands in mellon park along grant street in downtown pittsburgh

Arielle has her makeup done:

a bride looks at herself in the mirror after having her hair done

Jeremy gets some help putting on his bow tie (Lisa’s photo):

a groom has help putting his bow tie ona bride smiles while getting her wedding gown ona bride dances after getting her wedding gown on as bridesmaids look on

Lisa’s photo:

profile portrait of a groom

It was top-secret operation to keep Arielle unseen as she made her way to the first look:

a bride pretends to be a secret agent while sneaking past her guestsa bride arrives at the first look with her groombride and groom embrace after seeing each other in their wedding clothes

A toast before the formal photos:

a bride smiles as she has a toast with her bridesmaids

Ring bearers and flower girls Anya, Sydney, Naomi, and Michael looked fantastic. Some were happier than others to be all dressed up:)

flower girls and ring bearers looking cute in their outfits

Jeremy’s parents Debra and Charles escorted him to the ceremony. His mom gave him a big hug before joining the rest of the guests. (Lisa’s photo):

a groom hugs his mother after walking to the chuppah at the start of a wedding ceremony

Arielle was escorted by her uncle James. He did the honors in memory of Arielle’s dad Steven who sadly passed away a few months before the wedding:

a bride walks down the aisle with her uncle

The Urban Room was a dramatic location for the ceremony, with guests seated all around the chuppah in the center:

the urban room at the william penn hotel is a dramatic location for a wedding ceremonya bride smiles and laughs while saying her vowsbride and groom hold hands as they say their wedding vowsa bride laughs during her wedding ceremonya bride cries during her wedding ceremonya bride blows a kiss to her groom during their wedding ceremonya groom whispers to his bride during their wedding ceremony

Arielle’s mother Florence has a few words for Jeremy as she hands him a candle:

a groom is illuminated by a candle held by the mother of the bridebride and groom light their unity candle

Jeremy faked everybody out before breaking the glass!

a groom smiles before breaking the glass during a jewish wedding ceremony

The wedding party danced their way out of the room:

bride and groom and the rest of their wedding party dance and wear sunglasses as they exit the ceremony

Arielle and Jeremy made a grand entrance into their reception:

bride and groom make a grand entrance to the main ballroom at the william penn hotel

The reception featured a moving video message from Arielle’s father Steven. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house:

a groom kisses his bride on the shoulder as she cries as a video from her late father plays

Ujala, the maid of honor, followed up with a great toast:

matron of honor speaks and couple listensbride and groom get a big hug from matron of honor

Cake cutting:

bride laughs as she and the groom cut their cake

First dance:

bride and groom share their first dance together

The hora:

bride and groom are lifted on chairs as the hora is danced

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