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Old St. Luke’s Church Wedding

Bride and groom embrace near the Roberto Clemente Bridge in downtown Pittsburgh
Sarah and Rich’s Old St. Luke’s Church wedding in Scott Township.  The site of one of the oldest churches in Western Pennsylvania, the parish was founded in 1765 when this part of the country was a British colony.  The church building itself dates back to 1852.  Rich is an architect, so the history of the structure and the spare, elegant interior was just what he and Sarah were looking for.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day:

Of all the things that a bride can do to keep the stress level as low as possible on the wedding day, having a hair and makeup professional come to you is at the top of the list.  Sarah had her makeup done by the wonderful and talented Justine Lynn from Beauty Justified:

bride has her makeup done at the Renaissance Hotel in Pittsburgh

Sarah and her mom Wendy – two great ladies:

bride and her mother embrace before her wedding.

Rich reads a card from Sarah (photo by Lisa):

A groom reads a card from his bride at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.

Looking great!:

A bride looks at herself in a hand mirror after having her makeup done.

Sarah and Melissa, her sister/matron of honor, took a couple of belts straight from the bottle:D

Bride and her sister drink champagne straight from the bottle at the Renaissance hotel in Pittsburgh

Bride and her sister embrace.

Rich and the guys keep it loose at Old St. Luke’s (photo by Lisa):

bridal party clowns around in front of Old St. Luke

Bride has her dress buttoned in the back as bridesmaids watch.

I have no idea of what was going on here:D(photo by Lisa):

groom and groomsman hug.

Melissa looks back at Sarah before entering the church:

maid of honor peeks around the corner while waiting to enter the church before a wedding.

Sarah’s dad Barry gives her a kiss before they head into the church:

father of the bride kisses her on the head before walking down the aisle.

It’s really tight in the church, so Lisa was up front and ready to get this photo of Sarah and Barry walking down the aisle.  I love that she included Sarah’s mom Wendy in the frame:

bride and her father walk down the aisle at Old St. Luke

Rich totally teared up when he saw Sarah walking down the aisle towards him (photo by Lisa):

Groom has tears in his eyes as he watches his bride walk down the aisle to him.

Photo by Lisa:

Bride and groom smile while looking at each other at the front of the church before their wedding.

Exchanging rings.  The officiant, Rev. Karen Stevenson, cracked everybody up with a dead-on impression of The Impressive Clergyman from The Princess Bride. “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dream.” I could hardly keep my concentration I was laughing so hard!  Here’s a link to the scene in case you’ve been living under a rock.

groom puts a ring on his bride

Photo by Lisa:

Bride and groom embrace during their wedding ceremony.

bride and groom celebrate after they

A private moment before everybody else came outside:

bride and groom kiss outside of Old St. Luke

Photo by Lisa:

Bride looks out the window of Old St. Luke

Bride and groom pose for a portrait outside of Old St. Luke

Ever the gentleman, Rich kisses his bride’s hand as they begin their first dance at their reception at Olive or Twist in downtown Pittsburgh:

groom kisses his bride

Sarah and Rich are huge fans of “This American Life” and were shocked when their friends presented them with an autographed photo of Ira Glass, the show’s host and executive producer.

Bride and groom hold an autographed photo of Ira Glass that they received as a wedding gift.

A couple of detail photos from the day:

Lock with couple

Cake cutting:

Couple cuts their cake during their wedding reception at Olive or Twist in Pittsburgh.

Then some dancing:

Bride and groom dance during their wedding reception at Olive or Twist in Pittsburgh.

What a great time!

St. Bernard Church in Mt. Lebanon Wedding

bride and groom in the back seat of a Mercedes Benz limousine after their wedding.

Lynne and David had their wedding at the beautiful St. Bernard Church (locals pronounce it like ber-nerd) in Mt. Lebanon.  It’s such a big, beautiful church and I’m used to lots of guests at weddings there.  Lynne and David had just their families and a few close friends with them, but the place was filled with love and happiness.

Afterwards, they took their guests to dinner at their favorite restaurant, The Capital Grille in downtown Pittsburgh.  They treated Lisa and I to a fantastic meal, too!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day:

Lynne says a prayer with Father David before the wedding ceremony. I was respectful of their prayers while taking this photo.  Lynne is very pious, and since her faith is such a significant part of her life I felt it was important element of their story.

a bride says a prayer with a priest before her wedding

David and his dad were next:

a groom and his father pray before his wedding.

Lynne shares a laugh with David’s mom’s husband while she waits for the ceremony to begin:

A bride laughs with her father-in-law before her wedding.

Lynne’s dad hands her off to David at the front of the church:

Father of the bride hands his daughter off to her husband to be.

Spectacular sanctuary of St. Bernard

Father David says a blessing during the mass:

Priest blesses a bride and groom during their wedding mass.

The happy couple make their exit down the aisle:

Happy bride and groom exiting St. Bernard

Lynne and David share a moment while we waited for the family to gather for formal photos at the front of the church:

Bride and groom near the altar of St. Bernard

Details from the St. Bernard Church in Mt. Lebanon wedding:

Details in and around St. Bernard

David and his mom and step-father share a moment after the wedding:

Groom and his parents embrace after his wedding.

A portrait outside of the church:

portrait of a bride and groom beneath the arched walkway outside of St. Bernard

The Capital Grille offers some interesting opportunities for detail photos of the wedding rings:

Wedding rings in the beak of an owl.

Lynne and David cut their cake:

Bride and groom cut their cake at The Capital Grille in downtown Pittsburgh.

Bride and groom kiss after cutting their cake at their wedding reception at The Capital Grille in downtown Pittsburgh.

While their guests finished their dinners, Lynne and David got changed and hit the road for their honeymoon.  Lynne took a little bit of cake with her:)

Bride and groom leave for their honeymoon.

Duquesne University Chapel and Grand Concourse Wedding

Looking back on April and Jamie’s wedding always brings a smile to my face.  You’d be hard pressed to find two people who are as funny, kind and sincere as they are.  We had a great time photographing the wedding and reception – the day flew past.

Weddings in February are a crapshoot in terms of weather, but we got lucky.  I wasn’t too worried, though.  Even if the weather had been horrible the Grand Concourse is a beautiful place for photos.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day:

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April and her girls got ready at the Sheraton Station Square, so we started out there:

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The big windows on the river side of the hotel provide some beautiful light for portraits.  April looked fantastic:

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April’s dad helps tie a half windsor knot.  It’s a handy thing to know how to do:

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When we got to the chapel we found out that the florist hadn’t yet arrived with the bouquets.  No bueno, florist:(

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Yay!  She arrived!

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You’ve got some explaining to do, Miss Florist!

This situation provides a really great lesson. Weddings are complicated, emotional events involving human beings – who are by nature fallible.  Kudos to April for being able to keep things in perspective and focus on what was important – two people deeply in love standing in front of their friends and loved ones while they made a promise to each other.  Really, once it was over it was left in the past.  I don’t think another thought was wasted on the flowers arriving late, and everybody went on to enjoy the day.

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Waiting to walk down the aisle:

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Father McCool has a great sense of humor – April and Jamie thought so, too:)

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Wedding rings, or as Father McCool referred to them “The most expensive set of handcuffs you’ll ever see!”  Father James Murphy (right) co-celebrated the ceremony

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I love this shot by my second photographer Lisa Eggleston of April and Jamie lighting the unity candle.

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A little wink from April:

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Jamie gets a hug from his aunt after the ceremony:

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It was pleasant outside, so we walked around the Duquesne University campus as we took some portraits:

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I told you these two are funny:

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Cristal for everyone!  Or Crystal. Whatever:P

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Annie O’Neill was with us and she shot this image of April and Jamie practicing their first dance on the Smithfield Street Bridge before the reception:

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The happy couple is announced into their reception:

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Cake cutting:

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Jamie’s niece hit the dance floor with his parents:

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Jamie and his mom share a dance:

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Last dance:

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I loved everything about this wedding and feel so grateful to have been a part of the day.

Rachel from Pittsburgh Wedding Cinema was on hand to document the day.  We work together in the same unobtrusive, story-telling manner to provide documentary coverage.  Let me know if you’re interested in adding video to your wedding coverage.  Here’s a short piece that she put together from this Duquesne University Chapel and Grand Concourse Wedding:

April & Jaime from Rachel Wagner on Vimeo.

 

Grand Concourse - Pittsburgh - November 30, 2013 - 11:52 pm

Great couple to work with. Awesome photos. Great job.

[…] It’s a photo made at a stressful moment during a long day filled with joy, beauty and love. Check out the rest of their images from Duquesne University Chapel and The Grand Concourse here. […]

Award Winning Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Fearless Photographers Award

Any time contest results are announced I get a funny feeling.  It’s kind of a mixture of excitement and anxiety.  Relief is the best way to describe how it feels when I win a contest.

This is a tough contest.  Out of 13,500 entries only 350 images were given a Fearless Award!

The results for collection 18 of the Fearless Photographers contest were announced this morning and after diving in I found this image from Kate and Drew’s wedding at St. Paul Cathedral had won an award!

Fearless Award

This photo is from when the wedding party lined up to begin their procession down the aisle.  Kate was standing next to the outside door to the church so she’s got light on her while the wedding party was in shadow.  I saw the look of concentration on her face and focused on her using her bridesmaids and groomsmen to frame her.

I’m really glad that the judges chose this quiet moment because I think it tells an important part of the story of Kate and Drew’s wedding day.  More important than being named an award winning Pittsburgh wedding photographer is that Kate and Drew love the image, too.

[…] Kate waits in the narthex of the cathedral as the wedding party begins their walk down the aisle.  I won an award for this one […]

Omni William Penn Wedding | Andrea and Michael

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I absolutely love Jewish weddings.  There is such a marvelous energy – you can feel it in the atmosphere.  Following suit, Andrea and Michael’s Omni William Penn wedding was a wonderful whirlwind of a day.  From the bedeken and signing of the ketubah on through the ceremony and reception it was non-stop action.  The landmark art deco Urban Room at the Omni William Penn provided an elegant and timeless atmosphere.

My friend Annie O’Neill joined me again and made some amazing pictures.  I’m so grateful to be able to work with such a talented friend – it pushes me even harder to be as good of a photographer as I can be.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day:

Andrea’s mom and Michael’s mom escort Andrea to the bedeken:

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Michael shares a laugh with the rabbi while signing the ketubah:

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Andrea’s sister wishes her well:

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Michael arrives escorted by his dad (left) and Andrea’s dad:

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Andrea’s dad gives her a kiss.  What a lovely, emotion-filled moment:

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Michael puts the veil over Andrea’s head:

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Michael is a really smart guy.  He works with artificial intelligence, so the greeter outside of the ceremony was computer generated.  Nice bow tie:

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Andrea joins Michael beneath the chupah:

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The glass is broken – Mazel Tov!

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Being a winter wedding, it was cold and snowy outside.  So we went down to the beautiful hotel lobby for some portraits:

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Andrea and Michael join the reception:

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The Horah is my favorite part of the reception.  I love the expressions on the folks being lifted in the chairs:

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The couple sits as their friends dance around them:

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Andrea’s niece made a jump rope out of napkins and showed off her skills!

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First dance:

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Towards the end, their parents joined in:

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Andrea dances with her dad while Michael and his parents look on:

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Michael dances with his mom:

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So there you have it.  Another great winter wedding in Pittsburgh!

 

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