Aly & J.R. - Downtown Elegance

It’s been quite some time since I’ve shared a wedding post.  I worry about the blog becoming too confusing if I do too many different types of posts, but I also want to share with you what takes up my time outside of the blogging world.  I’ve worked as a wedding and events coordinator for over seven years now for two different planning companies in Pittsburgh.  Most of the time, I absolutely love the job – but I’ve said it before – wedding planning is not for the faint of heart.  You have to have a thick skin and if you don’t (which I didn’t when I started), you will quickly develop one or you won’t survive in the industry.  Despite what Jennifer Lopez fed us in the Wedding Planner, it’s not all flowers, glitter, hearts and sunshine.  It’s certainly not gorgeous designer suits, Bluetooth headsets and a dashingly handsome pediatrician groom who falls in love with you.  It’s a lot of work, long hours and being the scapegoat for absolutely everything that goes wrong (and despite months of planning – something will most certainly go wrong).  It’s budgets, and negotiations and making sure Aunt Mary’s famous chocolate chip cookies are given the most prominent spot on the cookie table.  Despite the drawbacks of the job, there are also the high points that come when you work with a really wonderful and appreciative couple.  That was my experience with Aly and J.R., a couple I had the pleasure of working with on their July wedding at the Fairmont Pittsburgh downtown.  Thanks to Sasha Danielle Photography, there are a million stunning photos I could post, but I wanted to share just a few to give you a peak into some of the elements we incorporated into Aly and J.R.’s big day.

bride, groom, wedding, pittsburgh, wedding cake

I adore black and white photos, especially for a wedding.  Aly and J.R.'s cake was absolutely stunning.

wedding, invitations, save the date

Engagement photos by the uber talented Sasha Danielle Photography.  I loved this Save the Date.

bride, bridesmaid, wedding, wedding photography, dog, robes

I typically pop in on my brides when they are getting ready.  It's so fun being a part of that excitement while everyone is getting primped and ready.  You guys know my heart absolutely melted when I saw Aly brought her dog along for the fun...full puppy tux and all.  And can you believe this gown?  (Insert heart eye emoji).

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The couple got married at St. Mary of the Mount on Mt. Washington.  It's such a stunning old church and of course the views outside are some of the best the city has to offer.

Aly and J.R. had a gorgeous day for photos up on Mt. Washington.  For some reason, this last photo is one of my faves.  I love the private, candid moments that Sasha was able to capture amongst all the chaos of the day.

There are two "moments" that I recommend to all my brides.  One, if you have the opportunity, do a first look between the bride and the father-of-the-bride (and make sure the photographer is present).  It's such a beautiful moment watching a father's face when he sees his daughter in her dress for the first time.  The second "moment" I recommend is that the bride and groom take five to ten minutes and check out their reception space before it's filled with guests.  For Aly and J.R., we were able to arrange a few minutes for them to have a private dance in the ballroom before it opened to guests.  It's another quiet, intimate moment and a chance to check out the results of your months of planning and preparing.

I wish I could take credit for this gorgeous escort card table idea, but this was all Aly with a little help from the Pinterest gods.  Each escort card was hung on ribbon and then suspended from tree branches that were painted silver.  If you are looking to do something similar for a wedding or party, just be sure to group cards in alphabetical order, so “tree” one would be last names A through D, etc.

Want to transform a hotel ballroom into something from a fairy tale?  Add crystal chandeliers, intricate lace and beaded table overlays, unique chiavari chairs and stunning high floral arrangements.

Hepatica did an exceptional job with the flowers.  From the bouquets, to the centerpieces, to the gorgeous arch over the sweetheart table, everything was above and beyond gorgeous.

Who doesn't love wedding cake?  Especially when it's as beautiful on the outside as it is tasty inside.

Aly and J.R. used a large glass bowl for cards and opted to use a globe as their guest book.  This is a really fun idea, especially if you have a lot of out of town guests.  It’s also great for a wedding or party with a “travel” theme.  I love when couples incorporate their engagement photos into the wedding day.  You spend the time and money on photos, so you might as well show them off on your big day.  Aren’t they the cutest?

Hepatica did an incredible job with this arch.  Definitely one of the most gorgeous sweet hear tables I have seen.

If the reception wasn't enough of a party, Aly and J.R. surprised all their guests with an after-party complete with late night food (yes to pizza), DJ, video and lighting, lounge furniture and yes - even these awesome glow sticks.  Of course no great wedding is complete without a unique hashtag.  I think theirs was my favorite of the year.  This also being a fashion blog, I love that Aly did a dress change for the after-party!

Congrats you two!  Wishing you nothing but love and happiness in the years to come.

All photos from Sasha Danielle Photography.  If you are looking for a photographer, trust me you will not regret reaching out to Sasha.  Follow her on Instagram and Facebook


Ceremony – St. Mary of the Mount / Venue – The Fairmont Pittsburgh / Wedding Coordinator - myself with Hello Productions / Dress – Bridal Beginning / Bridesmaid Dresses – David’s Bridal / Tuxes – Men’s Wearhouse / Cake – The Fairmont Pittsburgh / Flowers – Hepatica / Band – Jason Kendall Productions / Photographer – Sasha Danielle Photography / Videographer – ShoFilms / Invites & Programs – More than Words / Lighting & Projection – Gray Phoenix / After-party Furniture - Eventioneers