Today, we are featuring Annie and Billy's elegant outdoor wedding in Pittsburgh. This couple, who grew up together, is the definition what soulmates are!
How did you and your husband meet?
We met when we were teenagers, we were high school sweet hearts. He actually taught me how to drive! We went our separate ways after high school, stayed in touch initially but life took us in different directions and we lost touch. We reconnected a few years ago and have been building a life together since then.
How did he pop the question? Were you surprised?
He proposed the day we closed on our house, as if there wasn't enough excitement as new home owners! I was traveling for work the week before, came home on a Thursday night and we had the closing meeting the next day. We got the keys and walked into our new to us, 90-year-old house. After walking through together, he dropped to his knee in the empty living room and proposed. I couldn't believe he had the ring in his pocket all day at the realtor's office and everything! While my stomach was in a knot all morning about finalizing the sale and closing on our house, he was nervous for a completely different reason! He said he timed it this way because I was so preoccupied with work travel and all of the details leading up to the closing, that it was his best chance to surprise me. And he absolutely did! Well played.
Did you have a specific theme in mind for your wedding?
We didn't have an intended theme for our wedding, we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony and a classy but not stuffy environment. So if I had to label a theme, I'd say whimsical elegance. We didn't want any particular theme or excessive color palette to take away from the focus and genuine experience of sharing our story and commitment with family and friends. So we wanted very natural and neutral, timeless without noticing kind of colors to supplement the feel of our love story. We used whites, ivories and unintentionally used greens from the swags and succulent centerpieces that doubled as our favors.
Where did you tie the knot?
We got married at The Grand Estate Hidden Acres near where we live, about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh, PA. We booked the entire weekend there, so we had our rehearsal there Friday and our bridal party and family stayed there all weekend as well. It was extremely accommodating and exactly what we were looking for! Beautiful acreage, stunning gazebo and elegant reception space under a tent.
What made you choose AMY O for your special day?
I had been searching Pinterest and Etsy for ideas of wedding jewelry, after struggling to find something in stores. I bought jewelry and returned in literally weeks before the wedding. It just didn't feel right when I tried it on with the dress. I knew I wanted simple pieces that were timeless, statement pieces that were not over the top. And that's a tough balance to strike! But Amy O Bridal absolutely mastered it. I chose the pendent necklace with the back piece to accentuate the low back to my gown and loved the simple pendent in front that really complimented the beading of my belt on the gown. The headpiece was exquisite and I swear I'm looking for excuses to wear it now after the wedding because it felt so stunning to wear. It also turned out amazing in photos because of the sparkle and detail. In addition to the beautiful Amy O Bridal, I wore my grandmother's engagement ring from the 1940s as my something old and my husband's great aunt's broach, which was used in the handle of my bouquet.
What was one of the most memorable moments from your wedding day?
It's so hard to choose just one moment because our day was defined by so many special moments. Just seeing his face when he saw me coming down the aisle truly sparked an indescribable feeling that I will always cherish. So that is a special moment I won't ever forget. He whispered to me as I made it up the aisle to him that I looked like a goddess (probably because of the head piece!).
Did you go on a honeymoon? If so, where to?
We honeymooned in San Francisco and Sonoma all around Northern California for 10 days after the wedding, literally flew out the next day after the wedding. I strongly recommend that! Planning the honeymoon immediately after the wedding allowed us to continue the celebration!
Any advice for future brides?
Advice for future brides would be.... Don't get caught up in the worries and planning and details to the point that you're not enjoying every minute of it. This day is about you and your partner. Your love will shine through above all else. Keep perspective through the planning and ask yourself at the end of it, what do you want your guests to remember? For us, that was a feeling of genuinely sharing in our story and connecting with our loved ones who were there to support us, so we spent a lot of time personalizing our ceremony. Also, no one cares where they sit. The seating chart process was really stressful for me, and I wish I would have kept a better perspective during the many hours of trying to map out conversational harmony across 30 tables. I wish I would have known that guests will literally sit anywhere as long as there's food, a dance floor and a bar close by.
Photography by: Amanda Wilson