HOW WE MET
Mike and I met in the summer of 2012, in a very non-traditional way! We had several mutual friends, but never crossed paths. I remember I had just completed my Master’s program at Duquesne University and felt inspired and on top of the world. I had always thought Mike was a good-looking guy; I decided I was going to ask him out! YES, I was going to ask HIM out! I figured what is the worst that could happen; he ignores me, oh well. Shortly after the Fourth of July, I sent Mike a Facebook message asking him to grab a drink.
Our first date we tried going to a place called Nola, I remember it was so crowded we could barely move so we decided to take a walk and ended up at Sharp Edge Bistro Downtown. We talked for what seemed like hours, ate bar food, and drank beer, not exactly the meal we had intended to eat, but it was perfect! The rest was history!
Our love story continued when we moved out to San Francisco, California where we lived for a little over four years. Mike’s career took us there and brought us back to Pittsburgh. Without a doubt our relationship was tested a handful of times. We will be the first to say, it was the absolute best experience of our lives, and neither Mike nor I would have it any other way! After all, our relationship only grew stronger with what God had given us the opportunity to experience and we were able to enjoy so many first-time trips together! When you move across the country not knowing one another that long, not knowing a single person, and truly relying and putting your faith in on one another, it will either make or break you. We decided it would make us. It does not end there, we did not move just across the country, but we moved another three times while living in California and fell in love with our final stop in Walnut Creek! One of our favorite places was wine country; we would go there quit often. I guess you could say wine tasting became a hobby of ours!
After moving across the country, then moving another three times, and four and a half years later, he finally popped the question Christmas Morning 2017! Our sweet California born puppy, Finnegan, was a big part of the proposal! Every detail was perfect. It was our first Christmas together in our very first home. It was snowing, and we were opening gifts, Mike said he had a gift he could not wrap due to its size. He went upstairs to get it. He comes back down and blind folds me “because he doesn’t want me to see it”. At this point, I was nervous and thought something was off, he tells me to open my eyes and there sitting in front of me was Finnegan in a Tuxedo, with a sign around his neck asking, “Will You Marry Me”, as Mike got down on one knee! I swear I must have blacked out after because I don’t know what he said or what I said, no really, I was shocked and filled with so much happiness I forgot the rest!
When living in California Mike and I had always talked about getting married at a winery in Napa or Sonoma. Wine country is our favorite place, so peaceful and breathtaking, and the restaurants are superb! When we moved to Pittsburgh and got engaged plans changed and we wanted to find a place that reminded us of wine country. Bedford Springs was this place, it is relaxing and surrounded by mountains and of course a golf course which always makes it better for Mike! We planned to get married in the Fall and to our surprise there were two dates left, it was meant to be, October 13th was our date!
After months of planning every detail, the day was finally here! I did most all the planning myself and must say I think I found a new passionJ I loved EVERY minute of it!
Our wedding photographer Kristi Telnov took our engagement photos in Pittsburgh area.
My Nana passed away while we lived in California and she was truly my best friend, such an inspiration to my family. I never imagined my wedding without her. I wanted to honor and make her apart of our wedding. Hummingbirds were her favorite bird. After she passed away and to this day I have encountered so many. I know she is always with me. Hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebrating. Hummingbirds delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation. I had the opportunity to work with Momental Design to have custom invitations made. It was important to make them simple, monochromatic, and elegant. This is where I wanted my Nana to be remembered. Hand-painted hummingbirds were blended in beautifully on the wedding invitation.
THE WEDDING DAY
The ONE thing Mike and I prayed would not happen, happened. We had originally planned to say our vows outside on the spa lawn, but mother nature this fall had different plans! The spa lawn and the beauty outside was one of the main reasons we chose this venue! I made the decision the morning of the wedding to move the ceremony inside. It had rained early that morning and we were not sure if the sun was going to come out to dry up the lawn.
The ceremony took place inside, my florist did an amazing job making it reflect what we had envisioned on the Spa Lawn. I remember getting ready to walk down the aisle, my Dad holding me tight, the String Quartet began playing A thousand Years, and when the doors opened, the light was beaming through the skylights above and the windows. It was perfect, the wine barrels we had imagined being outside were inside, rose pedals were scattered in the aisle, the beautiful flower hoop was at the end, along with my soon to be husband! Our Pastor traveled from Cranberry Township to marry us. He truly made our ceremony so special, not only to Mike and I but so any guest complimented on the service. Fun fact before moving I used to attend his church and my Mom and Step Dad still do, it was a blessing he could marry us!
We wanted as much of a monochromatic wedding as possible. Elegant, simple, yet glamorous, and most importantly it to reflect Mike and I. That was very important to us. We opted for black tie optional, which made it so fun! For our wedding to be more personal and reflect more of us, our table numbers were names of wineries that Mike and I love with a few sentences of a memory we had. We our OBSESSED with our dog Finnegan who is a Boston Terrier, so we had a signature cocktail, the Finn and Tonic, with a lovely picture of the little guy! He was also a part of our wedding cake. There was a sugar replica made of him, sitting at the bottom of the cake licking it! Our card box was a handmade mini wine barrel with our names and wedding date engraved into it!
The Kings table and fireplace was a key focal point for our reception and it turned out exactly how I had imagined! My favorite flower is a white orchid, simple, yet elegant and stunning, these were throughout the hanging flowers and on the centerpiece. We had a variety of centerpieces, to correspond with the mix of square and round tables.
Our wedding was a dream come true and it was everything we could ever have imagined! Even the rain stayed away!!
Mike and I will forever remember this day, we made it a point to embrace and be in every moment. We stepped off the dance floor together and looked around took it all in, and I will cherish that moment together forever. There will never be another day where we will be surrounded by family and friends that are most important to us and celebrating Mike and I becoming one!
We stayed focused on the true meaning of our wedding day; where two people become one, and our promise to God. The celebration is always fun but the true meaning is what matters!
Our Wedding Day
Photographer: Kristi Telnov
Bridal Gown Designer: Martina Liana from Bridal Beginnings
Brides Shoes: Tamara Mellon https://www.tamaramellon.com/
Bride Earrings: Haute Bride https://www.hautebride.com/
Dress Alterations: Iron Horse Atelier
Bridemaid Gowns: Dessy from Bridal Beginnings https://dessy.com/stores/1309/the-bridal-beginning/
Hair: Beauty Justified by Justine
Makeup: Beauty Justified by Justine
Bride Ring: Tacori
Invitations: Momental Designs www.momentaldesigns.com/
Floral Design: Rosebud Floral and Giftware https://rosebudfloral.com/
Place Cards, Thank You, Seating Chart, etc: Ohjoyfulday
String Quartet: Jennifer Pappal
DJ: Jeremy Ganss Productions; Andy Booth www.ajbooth.com/
Venue: Bedford Springs Resort https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bedford-springs
Dog Sugar Replica & Grooms Cake: by Tasty Bakery
Groom Tuxedo: Custom made
Grooms Shoes: Magnanni
Groom Wedding Band: Simon G
Groom Tuxedos: The Black Tux