December 22, 2020

Caitlin and Billy's Wedding 12.19.20

The start of something good...


It was a cold, winter day. A typical day in Pittsburgh in December. The kind where the air was crisp but the sun peeked out just enough to let us know that the day would be perfection. My friend and second photographer, Ari and I walked in the door at Caitlin's parents' home. The home that she has walked into a million times, but this time was different. Today, she walked through the door as a bride. As we entered, the sight of the two story family room greeted us warmly and the tall, beautifully decorated Christmas tree invited us in from the cold with it's dazzling lights.


Like many 2020 couples, Caitlin and Billy had to change their wedding plans several times. The festive wedding they had originally planned at Treesdale Country Club with 200 guests quickly had to be downsized to immediate family in her parents' living room. Sure, they could've waited until next year for their celebration but these two are so deeply in love, they wanted to join together in marriage as soon as possible in front of their parents, Godparents and grandparents. They met the challenges of this year with grace and ease and definitely some laughs along the way. Their ability to transform her family home made the day even more memorable and magical.


Even with the changes, the details put into their wedding day did not disappoint. Ari and I started capturing the details displayed on the dining room table. The beautiful cake from Moios bakery sat in the center of the table, adorned with a Mickey and Minnie cake topper. Surrounding the cake were wine tumblers with their name and date, Christmas jingle bells with their buffalo plaid theme and their gorgeous toasting flutes.

Through the Years...

I couldn't wait to meet Caitlin's Grandma and Grandpa. She fondly calls them "Grammy and Pappy" and as I came upon them, Pappy came over to me and said "Turn your head". He gave me the sweetest kiss on the cheek and I instantly felt like part of the family. My first impression of them tells me they are a sweet, fun-loving, spunky couple. The have been married for an amazing 63 years. Yes...you read that right. SIXTY THREE YEARS!! Pappy definitely wasn't shy to give his own bride of 63 years a nice big smooch!


Soon, it was time to for Grammy to put her own mother's delicate pearls on Caitlin. This "something old" belonged to Caitlin's great grandmother and Grammy and Aunt Cele placed this gorgeous string of pearls gently around her neck so a piece of their loved one was close to their hearts on this very special day. The emotion between these ladies is a sweetness only a mother, Godmother and grandmother could possibly understand. Watching her grow from a child to a woman and then a bride must be an amazing feeling.




Final Touches...


We couldn't wait to take some photos of Caitlin outside, before the ceremony. But that meant "hiding the groom". We found Billy in the kitchen, having his bouteniere pinned to his tuxedo. The flowers were such a beautiful compliment to the buffalo plaid bow tie. As the finishing touches were being done, I couldn't help but notice the smile on his face. It could not be mistaken for anything other than pure joy and happiness on his wedding day. The first time I met Caitlin and Billy was in the summer for their engagement photos. It's no surprise that guys usually aren't thrilled for photo sessions but they go along with them because it's so important to their bride. He seemed quiet that day but was such a good sport for the photos! I encourage engagement photos to my couples because it's a good chance for us to get to know each other and makes photos on the wedding day SO MUCH EASIER!! They get to learn my posing system and become comfortable in front of the camera.

Today, Billy looked relaxed and ready for the day! His beaming smile every time I saw him was one of excitement and happiness knowing that today, he would finally marry the love of his life. But for the time being, in order for us to get some great bridal portraits, we had to hide that smile in the basement until Caitlin made her way through!


The Snow Bride...


Despite the cold winter day, Caitlin beamed a glowing smile so bright, the 30 degree weather was not even going to cool her spirit. I never knew how beautiful snow photos could be until I saw her standing there, smiling, in her gorgeous white dress, the beads glistening in the sunlight. The dark trees behind her held pure, white snow on their branches, making Caitlin pop right out of the backdrop. I could have stayed out there all day photographing her but we had a wedding to get to!


It's Time...


With Caitlin back inside with her dad, we were able to bring Billy out of hiding! He took his place with the officiant and his brother and patiently waited for his bride. I went to check on Caitlin and walked in on the sweetest moment with her and her dad taking a selfie together. Now, it was finally time! The moment they have been waiting for over the last year. Caitlin made her way down the hallway and met Billy in front of the fireplace. The officiant told them to "kiss one more time". Then he said, "because it's the last time you two will kiss as single people". His words during the ceremony were moving and poignant, reminding all of us to reflect on the value of the importance of a good marriage. Luckily, Caitlin and Billy already have an amazing foundation on which to build their life with their parents and grandparents but a good reminder never hurts!


They had a unique handwashing experience, starting their marriage clean and pure. Next, as they said their handwritten vows, there wasn't a dry eye. As Ari and I caught the still moments of their vows, their videographer Josh and his assistant Joe captured their movement and the love in their voices. Caitlin and Billy's words had so much emotion, passion and lifetime of promises written on a small piece of paper. While the focus of the ceremony is always on the bride and groom, we love to make sure that we capture the emotion of those who love them the most. And with such an intimate, small wedding, it's easy to see the love that surrounds them. I can't wait to share the rest of the photo gallery with them, celebrating their new life together. Thank you for choosing me to transform your special moments into memories of your wedding day! Caitlin and Billy....you are the sweetest couple and I wish you a lifetime of happiness!!