Pittsburgh Wedding Photographers » One of the "50 Top US Wedding Photographers" - weddzilla.com

A bride smiles as her husband kisses her shoulders
If you look at most of the weddings featured on this website you’ll mostly see all-day events that go from getting ready through the reception. As a documentary wedding photographer I love being able to tell a couple’s story from the beginning of the day to the end. From the nervous anticipation at the beginning of the day to the crazy dancing at the end of the evening there’s a whole lot of storytelling to be done.

Many couples decide that a shorter, more intimate event is more in keeping with their personalities and taste. I get a lot of calls asking if I photograph these types of weddings. The answer is yes. I’ve done several already this year on a Tuesday, a Thursday, and a couple on Friday afternoons, like Sarah and Kenton’s small outdoor wedding at Point State Park:

Sarah walks towards Kenton for their first look:

an out of focus groom smiles as his bride approaches him from behind

They were happy to see each other:)

a bride and groom embrace after seeing each other in their wedding clothes for the first time

We did a few portraits before the wedding ceremony. A storm cloud blew over the Point which gave us an opportunity to try some dramatic lighting:

dramatic light illuminates a young couple as they stand underneath threatening clouds

It passed as quickly as it came. Sarah’s a natural when it comes to posing:

a beautiful bride smells her bouquet of flowers during a portrait

Sarah’s grandfather Lonnie officiated the wedding. He opened his briefcase which had the marriage certificate and bible inside of it:

a wedding officiant opens his briefcase as the bride and groom look on

Just their immediate families were on hand for the ceremony:

an outdoor wedding ceremony with the skyline of the city of pittsburgh in the backgrounda couple holds hands as they exchange wedding vows outside in clearing amongst the trees

The happy couple embraces after their ceremony:

a bride caresses the cheek of her groom at the end of their wedding

Kenton gets a hug from his grandmother while Sarah hugs her brother:

a grandmother hugs her grandson after his wedding

Kenton swept Sarah off of her feet as we headed towards the fountain for some more photos after the ceremony:

a groom carries his bride down a path along the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh

The fountain was turned off for cleaning, but the view of the Fort Pitt bridge against blue skies was pretty nice, too:

a bride and groom recline on the fountain at Point State Park with the Fort Pitt bridge in the background

One last photo in the tunnel under the parkway:

silhouette of a couple in the tunnel beneath the parkway

Please feel free to get in touch if you’re planning a smaller wedding, especially if it’s on a weekday or the off-season. As you can see from these photos, shorter doesn’t equal less feeling.

Photos from Ed and Dave’s Andy Warhol Museum Wedding:

two men sit on Andy Warhol

After Pennsylvania’s statutory ban on same-sex marriage was overturned by a federal district court judge I hoped that I would get a chance to photograph such a wedding. Not too long after that Ed and Dave booked me for their wedding at the Andy Warhol Museum. I was thrilled to be a part of their day!

The event was different from any other wedding I’ve ever photographed, and not in the way that you’d think. The heart of the matter was the same as any other wedding: Two people in love declaring their commitment to each other in front of their family and friends.

What was different about this wedding was just how much Ed and Dave decided to break with the traditional way of doing things. They upended the timeline completely. They decided to do portraits first, followed by the cocktail hour. Then after some refreshments everyone went into the theater for the wedding ceremony. Afterwards, the guests were able to participate in art projects, games, or tour the museum. Next was a themed buffet which included Asian dishes, sliders, a carving station, and some traditional Pittsburgh fare.

I’m grateful to have had the help of my dear friends Annie O’Neill and Lisa Garrison. There was so much to photograph and it was wonderful to have such a great team to work with.

Wow, that’s a whole lot of writing! Let’s look at some pictures:

detail photos of a pair of mena groom pulls the string on a bag holding the wedding bands

a man ties his tie as his partner looks on reflected in a mirror

a man inserts a pocket square into his suit jacket

Ed and Dave each got new suits for the event. Sharp!

two grooms check out each othertwo men walk along Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh

It was a rainy day, but the were prepared. Honestly, it was better than a bright, sunny day because we had Riverfront Park all to ourselves for the portrait session:

two men pose beneath an umbrella prior to their weddingtwo grooms stand on a pier in the Allegheny River near downtown Pittsburghbrown dress shoes, black dress shoes, and yellow leaves all on a manhole cover

On to the Warhol. Ed had his X Box set up to work on the movie screen in the museum theater. The younger guests had a great time playing with it later in the evening:

a man plays grand theft auto as his x box is projected on to a giant screenA window at the Andy Warhol Museum with a portrait of the artist along with a photo of a wedding program with a quote by Warhol.

Since the wedding was close to Halloween it just made sense to have a candy table:

A couple eats candy taken from a candy buffetsamples of different candies on a table

Downstairs in the studio guests made silk screen prints on t-shirts:

teenagers silk screen designs on t-shirts

Upstairs was an art project where the guests decorated small squares which were combined in one big frame:

a collaborative art project for wedding guests at the Warhol Museuma set of cards against humanity next to several bottles of craft beer.three young girls hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil

Warhol’s 13 Most Wanted exhibit was going on at the time. A wanted poster was a must-have photo:

Two grooms stand in for a most wanted mug shot

The officiant sat alone for a while before the ceremony gathering his thoughts:

a large, bald man sits on a bench and is reflected in the wood wall behind him.

Dave and Ed wait at the back of the theater before walking to the stage for the ceremony:

two grooms stand close together before saying their wedding vowsa woman reads while two grooms look on during their wedding ceremony

Vows were exchanged in front of a very interesting artistic rendition of the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh:

two men exchange wedding vows in front of a stylized artistic background of the city of pittsburgh

…and they were pretty hilarious:

a man looks out at the audience while saying his wedding vowsa man smiles and rolls his eyes during his wedding ceremonydramatic lighting on the wedding reception area in the main foyer of the Warhol Museum along with a stylized artistic rendering of downtown pittsburgh

While the guests went to the reception, we were able to go to the Silver Clouds exhibit for some photos:

two men play with a silver mylar pillow after their wedding at the Warhol museum

A chef prepares Bananas Foster:

flames shoot up in front of a chef as he makes bananas foster

The food was amazing!

detail photos of the dinner including pierogi kielbasa, egg rolls, edamame

Toasts at dinner:

wedding toasts go on as a groom crosses his fingers and squints his eyestwo grooms thank their wedding guests as they stand at a microphone during their wedding reception

They had a caricature artist, which was a lot of fun for the guests:

A woman laughs as a caricature artist makes a drawing of she and her boyfriend

The theater was turned into a game room. The younger guests had a great time:

two children play connect four during a wedding reception

Guests have dessert and work on squares for the collaborative art project:

people enjoy dessert while seated at a bar in front of a picture window at the Warhol museum

two girls kiss their sister on the cheeks as they pick her up off of the groundtwo grooms laugh as they have their caricature drawndetail photo of photos from a photo booth

This was a such a wonderful day – I am very grateful for the opportunity to photograph it for Ed and Dave. It’s really just a matter of the way things happened to work out, but this post seems especially timely with the recent Supreme Court making same-sex marriage a right nationwide. It seems like we’re able to get some things right as a society, even if it involves a long, hard struggle to get there.

bride and groom smile as they stand together outside on a sunny fall dayKara and Patrick’s wedding at J Verno Studios took place on one of those perfect Western Pennsylvania early fall days. It’s my favorite time of the year when it’s still warm enough to spend the days outside but the humidity of late summer is gone. Enough about the weather – this was a wonderful day all around.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day:

Kara and her sister Kaitlyn take a look at the wedding gown:
bride and her sister look at the bride

The bridesmaids gathered in their dressing gowns after their hair and makeup was done:

bridesmaids stand together while wearing monogrammed dressing robes

Meanwhile, despite a house filled with women laughing, yelling, and running around Kara’s dad Jeffrey found a quiet place for a quick nap:

father of the bride naps while the girls get ready for the wedding

Kara dabs away a tear as she reads a letter from Patrick:

bride wipes a tear as she reads a letter from her groom

I asked Kara’s mom about the drawings hanging in the upstairs hallway. She pointed at the one on the right and said that was Kara. I knew that as soon as she was finished dressing Kara would walk out of the door behind her and past these drawings. The juxtaposition between the grown woman on her wedding day and the drawing of her as a young girl was a storytelling moment that I wasn’t about to miss:

bride walks past a line of paintings of her and her siblings hanging in her parent

A couple of details:

detail photos of a chalkboard and a pair of pink high heels

Kara sheds a tear as she and her dad walk down the aisle at Saints John and Paul Parish:

bride sheds a tear as she and her father walk down the aisle bride and groom smile as they listen to the priest during their wedding

This is something nice that Father McCaffrey does: He positions himself in the aisle so that the couple faces their guests while they take their vows (Lisa’s photo):

bridal party stands on the altar of a church as the priest stands in the aisle when the bride and groom recite their wedding vowsbride and groom smile as they talk during communion

After the ceremony Kara thanks the flower girl, Reese:

bride tickles a little girl who laughs

Kara’s sister Krista gets the bubbles started as the guests exit the church:

maid of honor blows soap bubbles outside of the church

More bubbles:

the air is filled with bubbles as the bride and groom exit the church.

Still more bubbles (Lisa’s photo):

bride and groom pause outside of the church for a kiss

On the limo bus with some bubbly:

bride swigs champagne from the bottle as groom gives her a look


bridesmaids cover their faces as a groomsman opens a bottle of champagne while he too looks away

Kara looked so beautiful with her flowing veil. Patrick was holding on to the bouquet while I was taking some other photos of Kara when I looked over at him and saw the light on his profile. I don’t think he was too crazy about me taking his photo while he held the flowers, but it turned out to be a pretty nice portrait:

portraits of a bride and a groom outside in a park

Some more details:

closeup detail photos of a groomsmanwedding and engagement rings on the top of the wedding cake and the wedding cake reflected in the cake serversignature cocktail and a place setting at the wedding receptionwestern Pennsylvania cookie table

The couple arrives at J Verno Studios for the reception:

bride and groom enter the reception beneath the outstretched arms of their bridal partybride and groom share a piece of cake after cutting their wedding cake

Parent’s dances:

groom dances with his mother and bride dances with her father

(Lisa’s photo):

bride spins around at the end of the arm of a friend as they dancecouple laugh as they kick their legs and dance during a wedding reception

bride and groom dance while their guests watch. Their names are projected on the wall behind them.

Thanks again to Kara and Patrick for having us there to tell the story of their day.

Washington DC Wedding Photography:

a beautiful bride puts her arms around the shoulders of her groom as they sit together on a bench

Last summer I got a really detailed narrative through the inquiry form on my website. It was from Elizabeth who you see in these photos, and it was basically the whole beautiful story of who they are, how they met, started dating, fell in love, and decided to get married. I can’t resist a great love story, so I was instantly hooked. I remember it was a Sunday evening when the inquiry came in. The wedding date was September 20th and it was going to be in Washington, D.C.

Well, that’s my birthday and I love D.C. so I included that little bit of information when I replied to tell them that I had the date open. I invited Elizabeth and Joe to get in touch to discuss the details of their wedding. Within minutes Elizabeth replied saying that September 20th was also her birthday, and as it turns out her mother’s birthday, too!

It’s safe to say that we both had the feeling that the universe was kind of pushing us in the direction of working together. And so it came to be. In case you’re wondering, I did make the obvious joke about Joe being in big trouble if he forgets their anniversary:)Here are some of my favorite photos from Elizabeth and Joe’s wedding day:

Elizabeth had her makeup done in her suite at the Washington Hilton in DuPont Circle:

a bride is reflected in the screen of a television as she has her makeup applied

Joe was 2 floors up in his own suite getting ready.

A groom looks into a mirror as he puts his tie onsilhouette of a bride having lipstick applied by a makeup artistgroom brushes his hair as he looks in a bathroom mirrordetail of the lace and stitching on the back of a bride

Joe and his buddies all served together in the United States Marine Corps. Their attention to detail in their tuxedos and planning was pretty fantastic. Most grooms aren’t as involved with things like wedding day logistics, but Joe had the plan down cold.

groom shares a laugh with his groomsmen as they get ready to leave for the churcha bride puts her shoes on in a hotel room before leaving for the churchportrait from above of a beautiful bride

Elizabeth and her dad arrived at the church in a 1952 Bentley.

a bride and her father stand by an antique Bentley as they wait to enter the churchBride and her father walk down the aisle togethera groom smiles as he sees his bride walk towards him

St. Matthew’s Cathedral is an incredibly beautiful church. This was a morning wedding, so the light coming through the windows filled interior with color as it reflected off of the marble and mosaics.

spectacular interior of St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, D.C.bride and groom kiss during their wedding ceremony

Elizabeth and Joe paused for a quick hug and kiss at the back of the church immediately after the ceremony:

bride and groom embrace at the back of the church after their wedding ceremony

Their guests cheered them as they returned to the front of the church for pictures:

bride and groom hold their hands up in celebration as they walk through the church

After the ceremony I got in the front seat of the Bentley with the chauffeur while Elizabeth and Joe rode in the back. There was a limo bus in front of us carrying the bridal party and parents while Joe’s buddies from his veteran’s motorcycle club followed behind in a big, black Chevy Tahoe. Let me tell you, those guys were such a great escort. They blocked aggressive D.C. drivers from getting in between the vehicles as the motorcade made its way from the church to the Lincoln Memorial, the Marine Corps War Memorial, and to the reception at Cafe Milano in Georgetown.

bride and groom hold hands and look at each other as they sit in the back seat of an antique Bentley

Elizabeth and Joe embraced while we were on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It’s weird to think that with all of the tourists you’d need a permit to take wedding photos at these national parks, but you do. Thanks to Joe for making the proper arrangements. As it was, no Park Rangers ever approached us.

bride and groom embrace on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background

Elizabeth has a quiet moment before heading into the reception:

bride smells her flowers as she sits in the back of an antique Bentley

Not only were these guys great escorts, they provided the military pageantry as the couple entered Cafe Milano:

bride and groom arrive at their reception beneath an arc of swords held by veterans

Cutting the cake. Yes, those are Steelers and Eagles helmets on the topper:

Bride and groom cut their wedding cake with a sabrebride laughs as her groom dances towards herrag time band plays during a wedding

First dance:

bride and groom dance under the painted ceiling at Cafe Milano in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to Elizabeth and Joe for having me photograph their wedding. It was a great way to spend my birthday!

Amy and Manuel’s outdoor wedding in Pittsburgh:

Late summer in Western Pennsylvania is a pretty special time. The weather starts to get a little bit cooler in the evenings and the afternoon sunlight is magical. Amy and Manuel took a hands-on approach to their wedding. In the very best sense of the phrase “Do It Yourself” they invested their aesthetic and taste into every aspect of their wedding day. Their goal was to have a day that was relaxed, fun, and personal – which was exactly how things turned out.

We started out a couple of evenings before the wedding in a field of flowers on the hillside above where their wedding ceremony was to be held at Simmons Farm.

a couple walks hand in hand through a field of flowers

Once the flowers were picked, family and friends pitched in to make the arrangements.

women and girls put together arrangements from fresh cut flowers

The guys turned the greenhouse into a reception hall. They tied cornstalks to the posts and strung fairy lights across the ceiling:

a man hangs corn stalks in a greenhouse to prepare it for a wedding reception

Fast forward to a couple of days later, Manuel laughs with a friend while getting ready for the wedding (photo by Lisa):

A groom smiles as he talks to a friend in a hotel room

The weather turned kind of unseasonably cold on the wedding day so Amy rocked her jean jacket over top of her wedding dress:

A bride puts on a blue jean jacket over top of her wedding gowna bride points to her choice of lipstick shade that a makeup artist painted on her hand

It was a little tense, but the rain held off:

a bride smiles and rolls her eyes as she talks with her future in-laws

Some details from the farm. It’s a lovely place on the edge of a heavily populated area that gives you an idea of what much of what Western PA used to be like.

detail photos from simmons farm in peters township, washington county, pennsylvania includes a sign and an enormous pig

Manuel helps Amy down from the hay wagon that delivered them to the ceremony site on the hillside above the pond:

a bride and groom arrive at their wedding ceremony site in a covered hay wagon

Amy’s dad walks around the fire pit with his grandkids:

a grandfather and his grandchildren walk around a fire pit on top of apple crates

The portrait session before the ceremony was a lot of fun!

a groom swings on a tire swing as his bride laughs

There’s a playground nearby where they’ve got an old fire truck:

a young boy leaps on top of a fire truck that has been turned into a playground implement

…and some big tractor tires. The kids had a great time:

a little girl crawls on top of giant tractor tires

Both sets of parents walked Amy and Manuel to the ceremony site:

a bride and groom link arms with their parents as they all walk together to the wedding ceremony

Amy’s brother and Manuel’s sister acted as officiants. As a result, both the English and Spanish speakers were able to follow along with the proceedings.

the bridedetails of the books that a couple uses to hold their wedding vows

An embrace after the ceremony:

a photo of a bride and groom embracing after their weddinga photo from behind the groom as his bride hugs him while holding a bouquet of sunflowers

Manuel’s dad had a few words for Amy after she boarded the tractor to head over to the reception:

the groom

One of my favorite photos from 2014:

a groom kisses his bride

Some more details. It’s incredible how Amy and Manuel, along with their friends and families, were able to turn a cement-floored greenhouse into a beautiful reception venue:

detail photos include table decorations, fireworks, seating tags

Amy’s dad gave a beautiful toast that was translated into Spanish by the gentleman standing behind him:

father of the bride gives a speech as a translator looks on

bride laughs while listening to her fatheroutside view of the greenhouse where a wedding reception is taking place at Simmons Farmdetail photos include beer, popcorn, cupcakes and s

Amy’s niece and her step-father performed a couple of songs before the dancing started. They’re very talented:

red lights shine on a man and a young woman playing guitar and singing at a wedding receptiona bride dances with her niece during her wedding reception

That was an awfully big fire for making s’mores 😀 (photo by Lisa):

a woman toasts a marshmallow in a huge bonfire

a woman dances with a little girl who makes a funny face

There were sparklers and fireworks. Guys love that kind of stuff! (photo by Lisa):

two men light sparklers in the dark during a wedding receptiona couple embraces as they make smen help little kids light sparklers during a wedding reception

Amy and Manuel met while taking Tango dance classes, so it was no surprise that there was a lot of dancing:

a husband and wife dance during their wedding reception

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