I met Brian and Lauren Many, Many years ago, through their families as we all went to school together. They graduated 5 years before me, but I was friends with Laurens’ sister Sarah and Brians’ brother Doug. I didn’t know them very well but we had mutual connections through freinds as well. I came across Brian many years later on FB as a mutual friend who also is a photographer and saw he worked along side of him, doing sports photos for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I thought that was really cool and I love connecting with other photographers from my high school. Some time later, I was looking for an assistant photographer for a wedding of mine and Brian was one of the people to reach out. I was more than happy to have him by my side photographing a wedding with me. I learned a lot from him that day and had him join me in another wedding later that year.
Fast forward to the end of last year, when Brian was looking for his and Laurens’ wedding photographer for this year. Of course I was all over that and crossed my fingers for them to choose me… I’ll give you one hint as to who they chose (WHOOP!) OK, OK, IT WAS ME! – insert happy dance!
Spring rolled around and I know I dont have to go through the same story of how covid ruins life, right? of course not, but to sum it up… life came and went and we had planned engagement ideas for several months, until we finally got together in October, exactly one month before their I DO’s. We road tripped together 2.5 hours to Squires Castle and had an absolute blast taking their photos. You can see those here: https://ashwoodimagery.com/2020/10/22/brian-lauren-squires-castle-pittsburgh-engagement-photographer/
They loved those photos but the real magic came about when I woke up on November 7th, 2020 to 70 degree weather and clear, blue skies. It was like heaven opened up and said “Let these two FINALLY marry…” No seriously, it was an absolute perfect day.
I arrived at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh around 11:30am and took the elevator to the 7th floor. I knew it was going to be an amazing room when I got the text to go to rm 722, little did they know, that was my lucky number/birthdate. I was pumped (hahaha) It was just meant to be and I was NOT disappointed. I whole heartedly recommend the Renaissance Hotel to all of my brides and definitely that room! OH MY GEE! LOVE! They really know how to decorate a room to perfection and the views outside of the long gorgeous windows… just staap!
I was greeted by the Beautiful Lauren and her sisters, mom and cousin. They were already finishing up with makeup and their hair was finished. I came in and began getting the jewelry, flowers and ring photos. Everything was so pretty. I hung her dress up on the window and it was amazing the way it hung against the light coming through behind it. Once I was done with that, it was time to slip Lauren into her dress.
She wasnt planning on it, but I have been loving having the girls step out and doing first looks with everyone who isnt helping with the buttoning and placement of the dress. This may have been the best reveal I have done to date. Her mom stepped out with the rest of them and her older sister helped her get into her dress. Once she was in, I hid her in the bathroom and had her party come in and face the window. Once ready, I had them spin around and see the beautiful bride. The reaction was EVERYTHING. I couldnt get enough of it and even started to tear up myself. I knew I had captured gold.
We wiped away the tears and had to get Lauren off to the Lobby, where her and Brian were having their first look. This lobby is so AMAZING! I had only ever been in this hotel once before, when Loyal of Loyalty Entertainment held his Salsagiving here. It has a large grand staircase, something out of a fairytale, but also reminds me of the clock scene in the Titanic. We placed Brian at the bottom of the stairs and had Lauren made her grand entrance from the top of the stairs. Once she made it to the main landing, I had Brian turn around to see her in all of her glory, viewing this amazing dress and its long train from top to bottom as she made her way into his arms. I couldnt have made this any more perfect!
Once we let them have their moment, we did a few photos on the staircase and under the chandelier, then I had to take advantage of the weather and take them to the Roberto Clemente bridge. We played a little in traffic and on 6th street in front of the hotel. That was fun but then we had to go back to their house, so we could incorporate their pup, Cooper. He was so excited to see his humans and did so well for his photos! THEY ARE SO CUTE!!
Once we wrapped up, it was time to head over the the reception and get these two married. Their ceremony and reception was at Teutonia Mannerchor, a german inspired venue in the northside of Pittsburgh. I loved how spacious this venue is and all of its decor. They set up enough seats for 25, in a u shape to surround the dance floor and cake cutting so they can watch and surround while seated; I loved it. In the front, they had a few rows of chairs spaced out in front of stage, where Lauren and Brian would say their vows.
Everyone made their way down the aisle, finishing with Lauren walking to Brian and Brians dad, who reverend the ceremony. It was really a beautiful ceremony and they sealed it with a kiss, a cheer and walked down back down the aisle as husband and wife. Swoon…
Once the I do’s were said, we grabbed a few snacks and headed out to catch the sunset for family photos and more bridal party./ couples photos. I loved this so much. we had gorgeous lighting, flocks of birds flying above and an awesome wedding party giving us some fun photos. You couldnt ask for a better group of people! I also am totally in love with Lauren + Brians photos together and alone. DREAMY…
Once we wrapped up the formal photos, we headed back in to eat a delicious german inspired dinner, followed by cake cutting and the first dances. They were so fun with the cake cutting and gorgeously danced into the night. They wrapped up the dances and began the party.
I cant say enough about how amazing these two are as a couple and friends. They are so much alike in the aspect of how kind and generous they are. They would literally give the shirts off their backs if you needed it. Its exactly how their families are and I am so grateful I was apart of their special day. Their connection and personalities definitely shine in these photos and I cant wait do it all over with them again come May for their full reception and party. I am so excited for you two and wish you many, many years of love and happiness to come.