Growing up, you imagine what your wedding day will look like. The fun details, your dress, your hair, and the prince charming who sweeps you off your feet. Your vision of your wedding day changes as the years go by. And then, you meet prince charming and you know exactly what you want your wedding day to look like.
**All photos in this post are by Samantha Taylor Photography (if you’re looking for a Pittsburgh-based photographer, hire her! Her work is beautiful and she’s wonderful to work with)**
About a year before Brian proposed, I was beginning to really visualize our wedding day. I wanted to exchange our vows while standing in nature and I wanted a fun, laid-back celebration. When it finally came time to start planning, that was what he had also imagined.
We chose September 29, 2018 as our wedding date because we wanted our wedding to be in the fall, but still comfortable weather-wise. This gave us just under two years to plan.
Since the weather in Pittsburgh can very hit or miss, I began visualizing the beautiful 70-ish degree day, with blue skies and big puffy white clouds. The evening – once the festivities were over – would sprinkle a light rain on us, just for good luck. And that is exactly how it went.
We held our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner at my in-law’s house the Thursday before the wedding. We didn’t feel that we needed to go to the venue to know what to do for our ceremony. Honestly, we barely practiced the actual ceremony at our rehearsal lol. We had pizza for dinner and Brian and I gave gifts to our parents, Maid of Honor, and Best Man. It was a special evening and I’m so glad we chose to do it two days before the wedding.
All day Friday, I spent time making the final touches on everything. I finished wrapping twine around the mason jars for the centerpieces and got everything organized for my parents to take to the venue the next day. My mom, aunt, uncle, and cousins were kind enough to help arrange the flowers in the mason jars for me and then transport them to the venue since they live nearby.
That night, it was so surreal that we would be getting married the next day. Honestly, I was so stressed out and tired that I decided that I wanted Brian there with me overnight. I know, it’s not traditional, but we own a house for goodness sake lol.
Saturday morning, I was awake extremely early (I don’t even remember how early) and of course I was too excited to sleep well. My dad drove me to my hair appointment where my best friend/soul sister and Maid of Honor, Courtney, met me. I felt so badly for Courtney because she had just worked an event the night before until 1am, but once she had a cup of coffee, she was her crazy energetic self haha. We picked up the flower order on the way to our next stop after our hair appointment. We also stopped at the grocery store because she wanted to make us breakfast.
We arrived at my step aunt’s house for my step cousin to do our makeup. Courtney pulled out the champagne (Dom Perignon, nonetheless) and cooked up some eggs to go with the fruit she had bought. It was such a nice morning. She truly made the day so special and I’m forever grateful that she was my Maid of Honor.
Once our makeup was finished, we drove up to the venue, The Barn at Soergel Hollow. We were a little behind on time because it took a little longer than expected to get our flowers that morning, so everything began to feel a little rushed at this point. When we got to the venue, I got out of the car and there stood Brian. I was trying to avoid seeing him before the ceremony! But he was already there. I quickly stepped to the side to hide inside the barn. It’s a small moment that still makes me laugh.
I remember walking into the reception area of the barn and being in complete awe. Our families worked so hard all morning to bring our vision to life. I had written very detailed instructions and they followed them to a T. Having a moment to take it all in before guests would arrive, find their seats, and join us for our first meal as husband and wife was one of my favorite moments of the day.
Our venue had a bridal cabin and a cabin for the guys near the ceremony area. Courtney and I eventually made our way to the bridal cabin to get ready. Her and my mom helped me with my dress and jewelry. During this time, Samantha (our photographer) got so many beautiful detail shots and photos with my mom, Courtney, and lastly my dad.
We had the most beautiful ceremony. Our pastor was loved by everyone. Being in the woods, surrounded by our loved ones was truly so special. My brother flew in from Santa Fe with my nephew to not only attend our wedding, but also design and setup the decorations for the arch. He’s a scenic designer and it was so special to have his art be part of our wedding.
The rest of the day went by so quickly. We took family photos, our photos, and then did our grand entrance followed by our first dance, dinner, speeches, and the works. It’s all a blur, honestly, but the best kind of blur.
After the celebration was over, we drove to a cabin nearby that I had found on Airbnb. It was full of character with memorabilia and antiques throughout the cabin, which were fun to check out during our stay. After we made some food, we sat on the back porch and that’s when the light rain I had visualized began to come down. It was truly so perfect.
It’s taken me nearly a year to write this post, but I think about our wedding almost every day. There’s a million things I wish I would have done differently (because the perfectionist in me never rests, but that’s another post for a different time), but it was honestly the most perfect day and I would relive it a million times if I could.
Venue: The Barn at Soergel Hollow
Photographer: Samantha Taylor Photography
Videographer: Wedding Bug
Caterer: The Flame BBQ
DJ: DJ’s Tom and Sue
Bartenders & Servers: RG Event Staffing
Bouquets, Boutonnieres, and Cake flowers: McCandless Floral
Dress: This Magic Moment
Seamstress: Skye – House of Couture Designs
Hair: Pretty Hair Salon
By listing these vendors, I am recommending them. They were great to work with! I do wish I would have hired a local, independent videographer, but for the budget-conscious bride I would recommend considering hiring Wedding Bug.