August 11, 2021

Carly and Anthony's Wedding, Graystone Fields, Pittsburgh, PA

Before The "I Do's"...

Elegant. Chic. Classy. These are the three words that come to mind when I think of Carly and Anthony's wedding. Fun goes without saying because their wedding was full of laughs and great moments during the entire day!

I love the hustle and bustle of a wedding day. I love the friends and family who gather around to help with last minute details. I love watching the brides and grooms get ready to meet their soulmates at the ceremony looking their very best. I love the laughs that surround them before they walk down the aisle together as a married couple.

As my friend Ari and I arrived at Carly's parents house that morning, the music was playing and the bridesmaids were sipping morning cocktails as the hair and makeup artists worked to make sure the ladies looked amazing. And they truly looked amazing!! The hair stylists from Spa 28 and the makeup artist from Skinned and Lashed fine tuned all of the details to make sure the ladies looked perfect.

Capturing the "feel" of those moments is so important because the wedding day goes by so fast. I don't want Debby and Joe (Carly's parents) to forget the joy they had when taking a few moments to sit with flower girl, Ellie outside on the deck. I want Carly to remember feeling like a princess as her pearl hair pins were placed ever so gently into her braid. I want them to remember the beautiful breakfast and lunch that was set out for the ladies as they laughed the morning away. My wish for the bride and groom is to remember all of the little moments right there along with the big ones.

One Quick Surprise...

When a bride and groom chooses me as their photographer, we go over many details before the wedding. One detail Carly and Anthony decided not to do was a "first look." A "first look" is when the couple sees each other for the first time before the ceremony and they have a few moments to themselves before the ceremony begins. When we arrived at Graystone Fields, the best man Tyler, with help from the bridesmaids and groomsmen, decided to play a little trick on Anthony. We told Anthony that Carly changed her mind at the last minute and really wanted to do a first look. Anthony and the groomsmen quickly got into their tuxedos. The bridesmaids called Tyler away for something "really quick" and got him dressed in a wedding dress complete with a veil and white converse shoes!

The bridal suites are in the loft area of the venue and we placed Anthony facing toward his room. His "bride to be" was instructed to come out of "her" room and walk up to him and tap him on the shoulder. Anthony turned around and was surprised to say the least and definitely had a burst of laughter before the ceremony!!

Heading Towards "I Do"...

Carly and her bridesmaids enjoyed a few moments to celebrate before the ceremony and the groomsmen did the same with Anthony. There were some hugs and kisses from the moms to their children. I will always have a special spot in my heart for everything my mom has done for me. Watching Debby and Carly brought back a lot of special moments from my own wedding day. Now that I have boys, watching some of the sweet moments with Anthony and his mom, Gina, made me realize how fleeting time is. I'm sure she realizes just how very fast time has flown.

The ladies made sure Carly was picture perfect before they headed outside on that beautiful day to watch their friends marry. The guys checked themselves in the mirror one last time and went outside. As Ari covered photos of the guests being seated and the procession of the wedding party, I stayed with Carly and snapped a few bridal portraits. I always love to see the look on the dad's face when he sees his daughter for the first time all dressed up and ready to get married to the love of her life. The look on Joe's face was pure happiness. They linked arms and walked into the sunshine with her beautiful bouquet adding the perfect pop of color to her white dress.

The Ceremony...

The ceremony was beautiful. Carly looked amazing in her dress and shoes. Anthony looked so handsome in his tuxedo. Together, they looked TRULY HAPPY. If they were nervous, they didn't show it. They joined hands, looked into each others eyes and promised to love each other forever. Surrounded by family and friends in a gorgeous outdoor location, the day couldn't have been better. The clear blue skies, the sun peeking out from the clouds and the colorful butterflies provided a gorgeous surrounding to feel nothing but happiness! The focus is always on the bride and groom during the ceremony but I love sneaking a few photos of the happy parents. John and Gina, Debby and Joe smiled from ear to ear during the marriage of their children.

They Tied the Knot...

As photographers, we want to capture EVERY important detail of a wedding day. But we also know that the bride and groom along with their families want to enjoy the party that they have spent almost a year planning! I have to say, Carly and Anthony's family made family formals a breeze! And Graystone Fields is a dream venue because the land is so beautiful that I could have taken bride and groom portraits all night....but these two had a party to get to!

The Reception...

Carly is a planner. She is an organizer. She makes things look easy! When we talked about her timeline, she and Anthony decided to do all of the "reception" events at the beginning. This was a fantastic idea!! After the introduction of the bridal party and parents, Carly and Anthony were introduced as husband and wife. They made their grand entrance down the center staircase, paused for a few quick hugs with family and went right into their first dance. The light coming through the giant windows of the room, illuminated Carly's dress as they swayed across the floor. The sun caught Anthony's eyes in just the right light to reveal his true happiness.

The cake from Oakmont Bakery was beautiful and looked delicious. Adorned with flowers that matched the tables, Weischedel Florist did a fabulous job making the cake look so special.

Watching the "Mother and Son" dance and the "Father Daughter" was sweet beyond measure. There was not a dry eye in the reception. I saw Ari pause just as I did because I suspect that looking through her lens was as blurred as mine. We took a moment to wipe away a tear and looked around the room to everyone else doing the same.

The tears were soon replaced with laughter as Alex, Carly's sister and Matron of Honor left nothing out about them growing up together and sharing their lives as sisters. Anthony's "first" bride of the day and Best Man, Tyler, kept us rolling with laughter when he took us back over 15 years ago when first meeting Anthony and the friendship they have had along the way.

The guests enjoyed dinner and dancing and of course the traditional Pittsburgh Cookie table!! Adam, the venue coordinator and DJ kept things hopping and the crowd danced away into the night!

Cheers to you both...

Carly and Anthony, a big THANK YOU for letting Ari and I be a part of your wedding day. You and your families are so sweet!! Your wedding was beautiful from start to finish and we were honored to capture the love that you have for each other and the love that your families and friends have for the both of you. The love that I see in the both of you will only grow stronger in the passing years. Keep making each other smile. Congratulations on your wedding and we wish you the best!