This past Saturday brought temperatures in the 40s, which felt quite cold after our recent warm spring weather. Not what I expected for mid-April. The cold wasn’t so bad for me – here’s a secret I often keep to myself –  I would rather it be 45 degrees than 85. I mean, you can always warm up with a hot drink or putting on a hat or a scarf, but if you need to cool off, it’s not as easy to find a pool or ocean to jump into to. I’m sure those who live in Pittsburgh haven’t forgotten the brutal winter we had. Horrible, right? Well, I didn’t think so.

I digress.  I know the cold was not welcomed by bride and groom Jennifer and Jon, who live in Arizona. To them, it must have felt like they were getting married in Siberia! Typical of Pittsburgh, really, to disappoint as far as weather – but to exceed expectations in every other way.

The day began at the Spa Uptown, located in the Marriott City Center hotel.

Jennifer wanted something different for her flowers. I loved the added touch of the peacock ribbon by her florist, Mary Abel. This is the maid of honor’s bouquet.

Jennifer and Jon opted to see each other before their ceremony. I’ll admit it – I love it when couples do this. Having that moment of seeing each other looking and feeling on top of the world, with no one else around (except a couple discreet photographers) is such a treasure. Jennifer and Jon were able to hug, kiss, talk and gawk as long as they wanted. And of course, after their ceremony ended, and they were finally married, we were all done with pictures! So they were able to attend their cocktail hour and greet their guests, and not worry about having to go have more pictures taken.

Without further ado… here comes Jennifer! She borrowed the blue shawl from her mother.

This next photo is by Pamela Marie, who assisted me in photographing Jennifer and Jon’s wedding. HUGE thanks to Pamela for her rock solid photography and assistance. THANK YOU PAMELA!

Look at Jon’s huge grin! Love it.

These two were so relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. I do think that seeing each other before the ceremony is reassuring to both the bride and groom.

I’ve neglected to mention how gorgeous they both are, although you’ve surely figured that out for yourselves by now, right?

I love everything about this next image. I think they enjoyed every opportunity to be close – it was cold!

Pamela’s angle:

As it was not just cold, but also quite windy, and then finally raining a bit, we opted to do Jennifer and Jon’s formal photos inside the History Center. I think Jon’s 18-month-old niece appreciated that the spot we chose was right next to the kids’ play area. After we finished the group photos, Jennifer and Jon stopped to play with her at the train table. You don’t see too many couples playing with trains half an hour before their wedding!

Jennifer and Jon’s ceremony was in the Great Hall on the first floor.

A look from above at Jennifer’s stunning orchid and peacock feather bouquet. Photo by Pamela.

I loved this decorative tree/candleholder on the card/gift table. Note that the base looks like roots.

Jennifer’s father gave a very moving speech. I’ll never forget his hand vigorously shaking the paper he held in his hand as he was overcome with emotion.

There were plenty of laughs in there, too. This is Sara, the maid of honor.

I always look forward to the cookie table, and this one was epic. Guests were sent home with even more cookies in cute little paper tote bags.

What makes for a rocking dance floor? Cityscape, a versatile band that played a perfect mix of the current and the classic. It also helps when the bride and groom aren’t shy on the dance floor. Jennifer and Jon clearly love to dance, and it was great to see that they spent plenty of time enjoying themselves on the dance floor. After all the hard work and time spent planning a wedding, I love when brides and grooms have an opportunity to be together and celebrate.

Photographer’s note: it is DARK in the History Center! I used a total of five lights. One strobe in the far corner of the dance floor by the band, pictured above. (I also used the modeling light of this strobe as a continuous light during the ceremony – thanks to my friend Randi for the suggestion.) I had one speedlight caddy corner to the strobe, and a third speedlight at the other end of the room so that I would have some extra light for any shots I needed down there (like the cookie table). And then I had one speedlight on each camera to provide some fill.

Next photo by Pamela.

Fun fun fun family. There are so many great spots in the History Center for photos! And I can’t say enough about the staff there, particularly Lori, the events coordinator. Her team worked so well together and had such a positive, helpful attitude. I could go on and on… but I’ll save that for a separate post.

End of the night.

Jennifer and Jon – I’m so honored to have been there to document your wedding. I am sure every guest had a fantastic evening – I know it’s a wedding I would have enjoyed as a guest! One of the caterers remarked to me that the personal touches, unique decor and flowers made for one of the most beautiful and memorable events she’d ever seen. I couldn’t agree more.  THANK YOU!


The Final Credits

Venue: Heinz History Center

Caterer: Common Plea

Florist: Mary Abel

Gown: Augusta Jones

Band: Cityscape (Three Rivers Entertainment)

Salon: Spa Uptown at the Marriott City Center


Christina Montemurro Photography is a top-rated photography studio specializing in special events, including weddings and bar mitzvahs, serving the greater Pittsburgh area. Christina’s focus is on creating genuine, heartfelt, relaxed images, with extraordinary attention to detail and customer service. Contact Christina now to check availability for your engagement session, wedding, bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah. Christina has been rated among top Pittsburgh photographers. You can read reviews by Christina’s past brides and grooms here and here.