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Heather and Dana – Two Brides’ Summer Wedding in Butler County.

two women smile and embrace during their wedding

Heather and Dana started planning their wedding before their home state of Texas allowed same-sex weddings. Heather grew up in the Pittsburgh area so they decided to tie the knot here, where it would be recognized. This was one of those events that was a vivid reflection of the personalities of the people involved and they’ve become such dear friends that it makes me happy every time I look at these photos. It was a good old-fashioned country 4th of July picnic with family, friends, and lots of kids. Enjoy!

Heather has her ‘do set with hairspray:

a woman covers her face as she has hairspray applied in a bright room

Dana laughs as Heather helps her get her tartan sash on:

two brides laugh before their wedding as one pins a sash on the other

The wedding party gets their flowers on:

a man smiles and laughs as he has his boutonniere pinned on

The kids from the wedding party get high fives from Heather before heading outside to the ceremony:

a bride wearing a flower crown high fives a group of children who have come to see her

First look:

a bride walks down the stairs of a house for a first look with her bride

The plans were posted on the bulletin board:

a diagram showing where everyone in the bridal party is to stand is pinned on a bulletin board next to a wedding invitation

The wedding party starts the procession from the house. No shoes, no problem 🙂

a line of children walk along a path on their way to a wedding ceremony

Pastor Keith, a family friend, greeted the guests:

two brides laugh as the officiant greets their guests during their weddinga bride has a big smile on her face as she places a wedding band on her bridebrides hold hands as they say their vows

I love this photo. What I like best is the reaction from Dana’s brother John:

two brides share a kiss during their wedding ceremony as onlookers smilechildren hold up signs calling for cheers and applause at the end of the wedding ceremony for two brides

Heather was so happy!

bride lifts her arms in triumph at the end of the wedding ceremony

They had a toast with TX Blended Whiskey from Firestone & Robertson Distilling in Texas. The ceramic mugs were custom made with glazes from minerals derived from the mine drainage remediation systems designed and installed by the company that their host Tim owns. So a little bit of Texas and a little bit of Pennsylvania:

a table full of bourbon and handmade ceramic shot glasses

Tim toasts the happy couple:

a man gives a toast to two brides during their wedding receptiontwo brides share big tears and hugs after a toasttwo brides laugh as they stand in field of wildflowers after their wedding

Their custom, hand-forged rings:

detail shot of handmade wedding bands and a cute dog

The cookie table was terrific! The family photos – old and recent – provided a nice bit of context:

western pennsylvania cookie table at a wedding

Woman overboard 😀

a sign with misspelled words and a little person falling out of a canoefriends share a hug and a kiss during an outdoor wedding reception

Dinner included a pig roast. Which kind of shocked one of the young members of the bridal party:

a little girl looks aghast at the head of a roasted pig

There was a massive water battle that included buckets, hoses, and balloons. It was great!

a bride runs away from a dousing from a bucket of water during her wedding reception.a little girl laughs as she is held upside down by a bride during a wedding reception

Dana was quicker than Tim on the draw:

water balloons explode during a wedding receptiona little boy is dowsed by the bride with a balloon full of water during a wedding receptionwater balloon fight between a tall boy with a fuzzy head of hair and a woman wearing a Scottish kilt.

After everyone was good and wet, the next activity was to wrap a watermelon with rubber bands until it exploded.

kids place rubber bands around a watermelon in an effort to make it explode

Which it did – all over Tim:

the watermelon exploded all over a man as he lays on the ground. Kids dig into the melon.

Cutting the wedding apple pie:

two brides cut a pie and then feed each other a piece during their wedding reception.

Something you don’t see at many weddings – a bride on a zip line!

a bride laughs as she swings on a zipline through a forest during her wedding receptiontwo brides embrace as they stand in a field of horses

Post script: I was one of the teachers at the Foundation First workshop in Fort Worth, TX this past January. I stayed an extra day so that I could visit with Heather and Dana, who live there. It was great to see them again, and I had a wonderful time seeing a bit of the area with Heather as my tour guide. Thanks y’all!

Two women and their dogs sit on the porch of a brick house in Texas

Photos from Hilary and Robbie’s Seven Springs Wedding:

Seven Springs is a scenic getaway in the Laurel Highlands – just a short drive east from Pittsburgh. It’s a wonderful place to have a wedding and I’m fortunate to have had the chance to photograph a number of them over the years.

Hilary and Robbie are such a natural pair. They’re both so sweet to each other and their families and friends. They’ve got a deep friendship and are obviously very much in love.

It was a beautiful, sunny day in the mountains and we had a great time with these folks.

Hilary checks her makeup in a mirror. Her wedding dress hangs on a door behind her:

Hilary looks at herself in the mirror after her hair and makeup were finished at her Seven Springs Wedding.

Robbie’s best man pins on his boutonniere (Lisa’s photo):

Robbie and his best man fool around before his Seven Springs Wedding.

Hilary and her bridesmaids walked to the first look which was held outside of Helen’s restaurant:

Beneath bright blue skies, a bride walks across the bridge to Helen

It was an emotional and beautiful first look:

A bride and groom see each other for the first time on the day of their Seven Springs wedding.

Everyone cried:

A bride and groom wipe away tears after their first look outside of Helen

You’ve got to get close if you want to really feel the emotions in the photos:

A bride holds the face of her smiling groom before their seven springs wedding.

The girls had some fun during bridal party portraits:

Bride holding a bouquet and her bridesmaid

Robbie and his mom share a moment before they walked up to the ceremony at Meadowoods (Lisa’s photo):

A groom wipes away tears as he holds his mom

Hilary and her dad wait for the signal to head down the aisle:

Bride and her father peek around a corner to see their guests just before walking down the aisle at Meadowoods for her seven springs wedding.

The ceremony took place under dappled sunlight filtered through the trees:

A couple is married at the Meadowoods venue at Seven Springs.

A bride and groom look into each other

Hilary and Robbie dance their way out through bubbles:

A couple dances through bubbles as they exit their seven springs wedding at Meadowoods.

The reception was in the Timberstone Room (Lisa’s photo):

A bridesmaid cries as she makes a speech during a wedding reception at the Timberstone Room at Seven Springs.

First dance:

Bride and groom dance together during their seven springs wedding at the Timberstone Room.

Everyone had a great time out on the dance floor:

Bride and groom dance between their guests as they line up on the dancefloor at the Timberstone Room during their wedding reception.

Bride and groom smile and lift their hands into the air during their wedding reception at the Timberstone Room at Seven Springs.

Guys dance together during a wedding reception at the Timberstone Room at Seven Springs.

Hilary and her dad had an audience as they shared a dance:

A little girl watches as a bride and her father dance during a seven springs wedding.

The bouquet toss was hotly contested:

A woman holds a bouquet of flowers into the air after catching them during a seven springs wedding.

The kids had fun:

Little girls dance during a wedding reception at the Timberstone Room at Seven Springs.

So did the older kids:

People dance during a wedding at Seven Springs.

Western PA loves a good fireworks display. As soon as it was dark enough, the entire party moved out on to the deck to watch:

Fireworks fill the night sky outside of the Timberstone Room during a seven springs wedding.

I’m so grateful to enjoy relationships with my clients long after their wedding day. One of the best things is to see them start families and to get to meet their kids. Earlier this week I was able to get together with Kate and Drew for some family photos with their newborn daughter Claire. I even got to hold her!

Family Photos in Pittsburgh like this young couple and their newborn daughter. They stand in the nursery illuminated by the soft light from a nearby window.

Claire was sleepy. Even though Grandma Marsha tried her best to get the baby to open her eyes, the most Claire would do was stretch and yawn 🙂

A sequence of photos shows a stretching and yawning baby as she naps in her grandmother

Mother and daughter – so beautiful!

A young mother kisses her newborn daughter on the forehead as she is reflected in a picture on the wall.

Margaret and Andrew’s Hotel Monaco Wedding:
Bride and groom seated at a table in front of two green cabinets

If you believe the narrative about the Post-Gazette and the Tribune-Review being mortal enemies you would be forgiven for thinking that Margaret and Andrew might have ended up as star-crossed lovers.

Not so. The fact of the matter is that the folks on the ground – reporters and photographers – actually respect each other and there are many friendships to go along with the rivalry. These two have moved on from all of that, though. Both are now enjoying successful careers in the media in Washington, DC. But Pittsburgh is where it all began, so this is where they returned to be married.

I worked with Margaret at the Trib and was so happy when she called me to ask if I was available to photograph their wedding at the Hotel Monaco. It’s a hip, unique, and beautiful new venue in downtown Pittsburgh. When they booked me it hadn’t yet opened, so I was thrilled to photograph one of the first weddings at the hotel.

Hotel Monaco sign, vintage watch, and flowers at a wedding

Above: Margaret’s bouquet and a vintage wristwatch passed down through the generations and engraved with the date in which the men in his family were married.

Below: Margaret’s dress complemented her tall and elegant figure perfectly:

A bride turns to see the back of her dress as she looks in the mirror.closeup photo of a groom looking at a Starbuck

Margeret’s bridesmaid Sadie takes a photo with her iPhone:

A woman uses her iPhone to take a photo of her friend who is dressing for her wedding

Margaret and her mom share a moment:

a bride and her mother hold hands as they look at each other prior to the daughter

Andrew and his mom embrace:

a mother hugs her son before his wedding

Andrew and his side of the bridal party play a board game while they wait for the call to head downstairs:

a groom and his bridal party play a board game before the wedding.a groom adjusts his jacket and boutonierre

Tim, the officiant for the day, showed up with a few glasses of whiskey to propose a toast:

groom and groomsmen raise their whiskey glasses in a toast

Margaret waits for the ceremony to begin:

a bride is reflected in a mirror as she stands before a windowpeople turn to watch a bride and her father walk down the aisle

The ceremony took place in the hallway between the two ballrooms at the Hotel Monaco. The wedding ceremony took place in the morning and was followed by a brunch reception. That meant that there was plenty of beautiful light for the ceremony:

wedding in the grand hallway at the Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh

Tim is another Trib alumni. He got his internet ordination so that he could officiate Margaret and Andrew’s wedding. When you ask a reporter to officiate your wedding, you’re going to get a story. He told the guests how Margaret and Andrew’s romance came to be.

The officiant cracks a joke during a wedding ceremonya little boy looks away from the action during a wedding ceremonybride and groom walk down the aisle after their wedding ceremony

A moment alone just after the ceremony:

bride and groom hug just after their wedding ceremony

It was a little windy on the roof of the hotel. I caught the veil before it got too far 🙂

bride

Some portraits. First Mellon Square Park. It’s been rehabilitated after falling into disrepair over the years:

bride and groom look at each other in Mellon Square Park

Back to the Hotel Monaco:

Bride and groom stand on a checkerboard floor in the Hotel Monaco

Cutting the cake.

Bride and groom feed each other cake during their wedding reception

I’m looking forward to my next Hotel Monaco Wedding coming up later this year.

Amanda and Greg’s St. Mary of the Mount and Duquesne University Power Center Wedding:

bride and groom beneath an umbrella walk down the steps in front of the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh

As you can see in the photo above, Amanda and Greg’s wedding day was a “blessed” with rain. But hey, it’s good luck, right?

Good luck or not, nothing was going to spoil the joy for the day that these two waited so long to share with one another. Really, they’re the best of friends. I’ve known Amanda for quite some time and she always has a smile on her face. But I’ve never seen her as happy as she is when Greg is around.

What did I say about smiling? Her talking mirror agrees: She looks great 🙂

bride laughs as she looks at herself in a child

The girls gathered upstairs at the rectory at St. Mary of the Mount when it came time to get the dress on. It was an elegant and lovely dress that suited Amanda perfectly:

Bride and her bridesmaids look at the wedding dress hung up in a doorwaybride makes a funny face as she gets into her dress with the help of her bridesmaids

The light shines on Amanda’s face as she puts on her earrings:

bride looks beautiful as she puts on earrings

Amanda takes a deep breath while waiting outside of St. Mary of the Mount with her sister Emily. Amanda is the Director of Music Ministry at St. Mary of the Mount. That’s how we met. She’s a wonderful organist and singer. I can only imagine, but after providing music for hundreds of weddings she had to be thinking at this moment about how it was her turn to walk down the aisle.

bride waits alone outside of the church prior to her wedding

Amanda shares a hug and some tears with her dad Joe:

bride cries as she is embraced by her father before her wedding

…and some laughs on the altar with Greg:

bride smiles with excitement as she exchanges rings with her groom

The groomsmen join hands in prayer:

groomsmen hold hands as they pray during a wedding mass

The bridesmaids raise their hands in a blessing of the couple (Lisa’s photo):

bridesmaids hold their hands up in a blessing during a wedding mass

Husband and wife!

bride and groom face each other and smile after they shared their first kiss as husband and wife

We stopped for photos at the Mellon Institute. The guys had a good time while holding the bouquets for the ladies:

groomsmen goof around with bridesmaids bouquets as they wait to have photos taken

There wasn’t a single dull moment with this group:

bride and bridesmaids strike funny poses as they have their photos taken

Bride and groom hold hands and smile while walking through the columns at the Mellon Institute

The soft light and warm tones of the stone columns made for the perfect conditions for an elegant portrait of Amanda:

profile portrait of a bride standing in front of a stone pillar

Over to the Duquesne University Power Center where the couple shoved cake into each other’s faces. She started it!

bride and groom shove wedding cake into each other

After they got cleaned up, Amanda and Greg shared a first dance in front of the huge windows at The Power Center:

bride and groom share their first dance during their wedding reception at the Power Center

Amanda and her dad Joe danced together:

Bride and her father embrace as they share a dance

Followed by Greg and his mom Deborah (Lisa’s photo):

Groom

Everybody – young and old – hit the dancefloor (Lisa’s photo):

old lady throws her hands up into the air while dancingFather and daughter dance with their hands outstretched

(Next three photos by Lisa):

bride holds her hands on the groomwomen laugh as they dance together

The Karaoke video was a big hit 😀

a crowd of crazy-faced revelers gather around a microphone as they sing karaokebride laughs as she dances with her bridesmaids during a wedding reception

Greg’s buddies delivered him into Amanda’s arms:

groom is carried on the shoulders of his friends as they carry him towards his bride during their wedding reception

At the end of the evening, a quiet moment on the dance floor:

bride and groom share a romantic embrace as they dance together at the end of their wedding reception

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