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Megan and Ryan’s Carnegie Museum Wedding:

A young married couple faces each other as they stand next to Christmas trees in the Carnegie Museum hall of architecture

Coming up to the holidays it seems especially appropriate to be featuring Megan and Ryan’s beautiful wedding from last December. Megan planned a whole lot of surprises for Ryan and their guests including a visit from Santa Claus:)She’s such a thoughtful and kind person.

Pittsburgh weather being what it is in December, the day started out with rain and wind. Megan took it all in stride as she made her way to Heinz Chapel:

a woman laughs as her umbrella is turned inside out during a windy rain storm

Meanwhile, the guys were warm and dry (Lisa’s photo):

Carnegie Museum Wedding 03

The junior bridesmaids wait as Megan puts her dress on:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 04Carnegie Museum Wedding 05

Among the many special touches were the holiday-themed box that the ring bearer carried:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 06

Megan paused for a portrait on the stairs as she came up from the getting-ready room in the basement:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 08

Megan and her dad walk down the aisle. Heinz is such a beautiful church:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 09

As part of their ceremony Megan and Ryan sealed a bottle of wine in a box that was made from barnwood from Ryan’s grandfather’s farm in Montana. They’ll enjoy the wine on their first anniversary:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 10Carnegie Museum Wedding 12

In another surprise for their guests, Megan arranged for carolers in costume to lead their guests from Heinz Chapel over to the nearby Carnegie Museum:

carolers lead wedding guests from Heinz Chapel to the Carnegie Museum

The Carnegie Music Hall Foyer is an elegant space. It looked especially lovely with the green marble and their red and white flowers:

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A portrait on the grand staircase in the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 16

Megan surprised Ryan by having the announcer for the Minnesota Vikings (Ryan’s favorite team) record their introduction (Lisa’s photo):

Carnegie Museum Wedding 17

He was floored:

smiling groom hugs his bride

They had their first dance as their guests watched from the balcony above:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 18

The kids had a great time (Lisa’s photo):

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Next up was a dance-off between Ryan and the ring bearer. That kid can dance!

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ROC, the Pittsburgh Panther, showed up to lead a conga line. Then Santa made an appearance and handed gifts out to the kids:

Carnegie Museum Wedding 22a

The couple has a quiet moment on the balcony as their guests party below:

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  • Citlalli Rico - November 25, 2015 - 4:48 am

    Wonderful images Joe!

  • Joe - November 25, 2015 - 10:33 pm

    Thank you Citla!

  • Megan Sofilka - November 30, 2015 - 3:09 am

    Aw thank you for such a beautiful post! I can’t believe that in one week, a year will have already passed!

  • Joe - December 8, 2015 - 2:09 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

Mandy and Matt’s Pittsburgh Golf Club Wedding:

A young married couple face each other as the sun sets behind them on a late fall afternoon.

Mandy and Matt were married the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It was a lovely, intimate ceremony and reception that was chock full of emotion. Their story is so beautiful: They had only met a few months prior to their wedding, but they knew immediately that they were meant to be together. When you know, you know. You know?

Mandy got ready at a hotel at the Waterfront:

A bride holds her dress as takes it off of the hanger.

While Matt and Mandy’s son J.D. got ready at Matt’s parent’s house in Squirrel Hill (next two photos by Lisa):

Groom wearing a hockey jersey hugs his wife-to-begroom and his wife-to-beA bride puts her earrings on as she looks out the hotel window.a bride puts on her makeup as two women stand in the shadows outside of the bathroomDetail photos of a bride

It was a beautiful late fall day so we were able to go outside and do a couple of portraits beneath the giant Gantry Crane that is left over from US Steel’s Homestead Works:

Portrait of a bride underneath a giant gantry crane at a former steel mill.

For such an intimate ceremony, they picked a huge church! East Liberty Presbyterian Church is a Pittsburgh landmark:

Exterior and interior detail shot of East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.

Matt looked handsome in the sunlight coming through the window in the room where he waited for the ceremony:

A groom stands in the sunlight shining through a window in the rectory of East Liberty Presbyterian Church.the ring bearer looks down the aisle before the beginning of a wedding ceremony.

Mandy and her dad walk down the aisle:

Bride and her father walk down the aisle of East Liberty Presbyterian Church during the wedding ceremony.

The altar is pretty huge at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, big enough for everyone to be seated there instead of in the pews. It was nice to have everyone up close:

The altar of East Liberty Presbyterian Church is big enough to hold the wedding party and all of their guests.

J.D. looks on as his mom and Matt exchange rings:

Bride puts a wedding ring on her husband during their wedding ceremony.Bride and groom walk down the aisle together at the end of their wedding ceremony.Bride and groom share a passionate kiss at the back of the church.

We went up to The Meadow area off of Overlook Drive in Schenley Park to catch the last few rays of sunshine:

Portrait of a bride and groom in Schenley Park.A groom stands behind his bride with the skyline of the city of Pittsburgh behind them.

Then it was a short trip over to the Pittsburgh Golf Club:

Bride and groom stand in front of the Pittsburgh Golf Club in Squirrel Hill.

The cocktail hour had a bunch of games and activities for the kids:

Kids play a game during a wedding reception.A boy puts a heart-shaped piece of wood in a frame that serves as a guest book.

Dinner was in the Grill Room. It was a simple and elegant family-style dinner:

Detail and overall photos of the downstairs dining room at the Pittsburgh Golf Club decorated for a fall wedding.Details of the dining table with favors and activities for kids and plates and silverware for adults.

The couple’s dads gave toasts:

Speeches by the father of the groom and the father of the bride.

As did other family members:

Bride and groom sit close as a guest offers a toast.

It was very heartfelt:

A guest is embraced as he sheds a tear during the toasts at a wedding reception.

And funny:

More toasts and laughter during a wedding reception at the Pittsburgh Golf Club.Bride and groom share a kiss during their wedding reception.

One of my favorite things about having a career in photography is the opportunity to have a wide variety of experiences. Industrial photography offers a glimpse into an array of businesses where men and women actually make things out of raw materials. There’s something about a mill with its furnaces, heavy machinery, and enormous scale that is so dramatic:

mill workers mind a furnace as steel is melted in giant ladle.

A mill worker pokes at a ladle filled with molten metal:

a mill worker in a heat suit glows orange as he pokes at a furnace filled with scrap metal that is being melted

The molecular structure of polished samples of cross sections of metal rods are observed under a microscope in a lab at the mill:

polished disks of metal are observed under a microscope in a laboratory.An electric furnace glows orange as it melts a ladle full of metal at the mill:

electrodes glow as they create an arc and melt steel in a furnace

These photos were shot on assignment for a metals industry publication.

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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.

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