To mix things up a little I’m going to show you photo coverage that will give you an idea of the whole package: From Amanda and Jared’s engagement portraits to their wedding at the Pittsburgh Renaissance.

Engagement Portraits with Pups!

A man and a woman embrace and smile at each other while standing in front of a tree in Pittsburgh.

I encourage my couples to do an engagement portrait session if they can. In fact, a session is included in my regular wedding photography coverage. Amanda and Jared planned their wedding from out of town — which is always a challenge. But when they came into town to finalize wedding plans we were able to meet up for an early morning portrait session. And they brought their pups, Bandit and Teddy!

Three photos of a young couple with their two dogs during an engagement portrait session. The man has a large brown and white dog and the woman a small black and brown dog.

Context brings another layer of meaning to photographs. Amanda and Jared met at the University of Pittsburgh so that’s where we met for the the photo session. Don’t you just love Bandit and Teddy’s bow ties? They’re stylish dogs, to be sure.

Wedding at the Pittsburgh Renaissance

A bride smiles as she stands in her suite at the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel. Bridesmaids wearing blue dresses surround her.

The Pittsburgh Renaissance is one of my favorite wedding venues. If you scroll through past weddings you’ll see for yourself. I met Amanda and the ladies in her suite. I saw this scene as I was walking through the door. It was the first photo I made that day. Off to a good start!

A bouquet of pink, red, white and blue flowers.

The flowers were beautiful and perfectly matched Amanda and Jared’s color palette.

A bride puts her hand on the head of a junior bridesmaid wearing a blue dress before a wedding at the Renaissance hotel in Pittsburgh.

A lovely moment with the junior bridesmaids and flower girls. This is the sort of thing I’m looking for during the “getting ready” part of the day.

A sequence of photos of an emotional mother hugging and kissing her daughter who is wearing a wedding dress as she prepares for her wedding at the Pittsburgh Renaissance.

Speaking of moments, this sequence of photos when Amanda’s mom Dawn saw her all dressed for the wedding was really special.

The mother of a groom wearing a chartreuse dress and a wrist corsage kisses her son on the cheek then wipes the lipstick she left on it. This is in a room at the Renaissance Hotel in Pittsburgh.

The guys got ready down the hall. Jared’s mom Cheryl has a photo of her kissing each of his brothers on the cheek. She wanted one to complete the set and I was happy to oblige. Watch out for the lipstick though!

Two photos of a blond bride in a white lace wedding dress. She's sitting on a couch with pillows in a brightly lit room before her wedding at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Hotel.

Before the day started moving fast with the first look, etc. I took a few minutes to do some portraits of Amanda. So beautiful!

First Look

A bride and groom stand back-to-back as they read letters to each other on the balcony of the Renaissance Hotel. The skyline of the city of Pittsburgh is behind them.

Amanda and Jared stood back-to-back as they read letters that they wrote to each other.

The parents and flower girls from a wedding watch as the couple has a first look.

While that was going on I saw their families watching in the doorway to the balcony. If you remember to keep an eye on what’s going on around you you’ll find pictures that help to tell the story.

Two photos from a first look before a wedding at the Pittsburgh Renaissance. A bride and groom hold hands as they see each other in their wedding clothes for the first time. Then they embrace while touching foreheads.

I love their expressions when they finished the letters and turned around to see each other.

Two photos. In one a bride and groom smile as they stand nose-to-nose. She's holding a bouquet. The second photo is of the bride alone in her hotel suite at the Pittsburgh Renaissance before their wedding.

We had time for a couple of portraits before the ceremony. This is the sort of thing that engagement portraits help with. When you’ve got just a little time to work with the trust and experience with posing has already been built. So all you have to do is shoot away.

Wedding Ceremony on the Grand Staircase at the Pittsburgh Renaissance


A groom watches his bride approach. The groom shakes hands with the father of the bride while their guests all watch.

I love the expressions on everyone’s faces as Jared greets Amanda and her parents at the bottom of the staircase.

A bride and groom prepare to embrace during their wedding ceremony on the grand staircase of the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel.

A bride and groom kiss at the end of their wedding ceremony on the stairs of the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel. Their bridal party applauds.

That landing is such a great place for a ceremony. The elegant marble adds an element of classical beauty to the scene.

A bride smiles as she embraces her groom. He kisses the side of her head as he holds her in the lobby of the Pittsburgh Renaissance Hotel after their wedding.

Amanda was absolutely glowing with joy after the ceremony. This is the moment before the rest of the wedding party joined them at the back of the hotel lobby after the recessional.


A bride and groom hold hands and embrace outside of the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel after their wedding.

Directly after the wedding ceremony at the Renaissance we went outside for some portraits. There’s been an unending construction project outside around the Clemente Bridge for what seems like most of the 2020’s. But if you’re careful with framing and focus it’s still a great spot for photos.

A groom kisses his bride on the forehead as they stand beneath her veil in the park outside of the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel. In another photo a bride and groom walk together through the park after their wedding. The groom kisses his bride's hand as she looks at him and smiles.

I’ve got to hand it to Jared, he really applied what he learned during the engagement session a couple of months earlier. I hardly had to offer any suggestions!

A bride holds her hand on the cheek of her husband as they kiss while seated on a couch in the lobby of the Renaissance Pittsburgh hotel after their wedding.

A bride smiles at a woman in a pink dress after the woman signed her marriage certificate as a witness. The groom looks down on the document and smiles as does a man who also witnessed the marriage.

The couple and their witnesses signed the self-uniting marriage certificate to make it official! Pennsylvania has a great option for couples who prefer to self unite that’s commonly referred to as a Quaker Wedding. All you really need is the license and two witnesses. This way Jared’s uncle was able to act as sort of an emcee during the wedding without having to be ordained. He did a great job — even stepping out of the way when they kissed, just like an old pro!

Wedding Reception in the Symphony Ballroom at the Renaissance Pittsburgh

The room was set with dark table cloths and floral centerpieces. Check out the custom cake topper — Bandit and Teddy make an appearance!

A bride and groom share their first dance as husband and wife at the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel. One of the photos is seen through their wedding cake topper. Three photos. The first is a groom dancing with his mom. The second is a bride being twirled by her dad. The third is the bride embracing her mother as guests look on during a wedding at the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel.

The couple’s first dance was followed by parent’s dances. Amanda surprised her mom with a dance. What a beautiful moment!

Three photos from the dance floor at a wedding at the Pittsburgh Renaissance hotel.

Once dinner was over it was a night filled with dancing. Fun!

A bride looks at her groom as the sun sets over the Allegheny River during their wedding at the Renaissance Hotel in Pittsburgh.

We went back up to the balcony of the bridal suite at sunset. The Pirates were playing to a packed crowd and the sky was glowing. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.