When I'm not photographing or with my family, I get lost in pop- impressionism oil paintings. Check out some of my work here.
I LOVE a good New Years Eve wedding, it’s the perfect occasion to celebrate new beginnings. Everyone is in a festive mood and ready to dance the night away! Gretchen and Michael threw the BEST party for their family and friends! Their Westin Convention Center Wedding is one for the books. Below is more background on Gretchen and Michael’s plans and their beginnings together.
What was your inspiration behind your wedding day?
Us! We wanted something that was timeless, but also had a modern, romantic, and elegant look/feel for our wedding. We used shades of ivory, greenery, and accents of gold, along with a ton of candlelight! We love food, fun, and quality time with the people who mean the most to us.
I think the most unique thing about our wedding is that we followed our own rules. When planning our big day we knew right from the start that we wanted the opportunity to celebrate all night, not just for 6 hours. We choose NYE, which was a Monday evening wedding, so our guests could travel to exploring Pittsburgh and then end their long weekend with our celebration. From there we danced the night away, and since we booked the venue all night, kept the celebration going well past midnight!
Advice to share with brides planning now?
Plan early, don’t stress over things you cannot control, try not to second-guess yourselves after making a decision, communicate with everyone (fiance, bridal party, parents, vendors, etc), trust your vendors (they are the professionals!), and embrace the elements.
Additionally, we would recommend doing a first look. Not only does it work wonders for a day of timeline, but it allows for a quiet, intimate moment shared just as a couple on what is otherwise a hectic day. And even though we had already seen each other, it was still emotional for us both when I was walking down the aisle.
How did you and your spouse meet?
We met at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and despite being a smaller school we almost never met! Luckily, on the night before graduation we met at a local bar (The Loomis), and the rest was history!
Proposal Details! How did it happen? 🙂
I was competing as Miss Pennsylvania at the USA National Miss pageant in Boca Raton, Florida. My mother and I flew out to Boca a week before the official pageant took place; Michael was to fly out to join us a few days before the pageant and watch me compete throughout the weekend. Because this was believed to be my last time competing, Michael thought it would be a unique opportunity to surprise me by proposing on a national stage, if given the opportunity. As I am told, Michael had the idea on Monday night, picked out the ring on Tuesday, had it set and picked it up Wednesday afternoon, and flew to Boca Raton late Wednesday night. After surprising my mother with his intentions, the two worked together with the pageant’s Executive Director to give Michael the opportunity to surprise me on-stage and propose to me at the end of the day’s ceremonies. It came as a surprise to me, obviously, but also to all those in attendance and those that were streaming the pageant and watching from home.
What was your favorite memory from your Westin Convention Center Wedding?
Our favorite part of the wedding was seeing everything come together exactly the way we had envisioned it and spending the entire night with our closest friends and family celebrating!! 🙂
All- Star Vendor Team:
Venue: The Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh
Florist: Stems by Syd
Wedding Dress Designer: Berta Bridal
Wedding Dress Boutique: Berta NYC
Hair and Make-Up: Wanderlust: Hannah Janecek
Accessory Information: Veil and Overskirt from Bridal Beginnings/Earrings from Celestial Bride
Bride’s Shoe Designer: Michael Kors
Bride’s Ring Designer: Orr’s Jewelers
Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: Christina Wu and Dessy
Groom Attire Designer: Custom Tux from Men’s Wearhouse
Groom Ring Designer: Manly Bands
Videographer: Loyalty Entertainment: Aaron Richardson
Paper Goods Company: Nota Bene Fine Paper Boutique
DJ: Loyalty Entertainment: DJ Loyal
Bakery: Bethel Bakery
Linen Rental Company: Mosaic Inc and Linen Hero
Furniture Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental