While Molly and Andy both graduated from Bucknell University, their paths didn’t cross until later, when they were living in Philadelphia. They met through a group of other Bucknell alumni, and after being in the same circle of friends for a while, a few of them started to say to each other, “hey… do you think something’s going on with Molly and Andy?” Yes… something was going on.
I met Molly when I photographed her sister Leigh’s wedding. I even photographed Molly and Andy together that day… little did I know I’d be spending their wedding day with them three years later at the Hotel Monaco.
Molly and Andy had a few key requirements for their wedding day. They had many out of town guests, so they wanted all of the logistics to be simple and straightforward. And they wanted it to be sincere and meaningful, not just going through the motions.
I’d say that they nailed both of these. If you want simple logistics, you can’t get any easier than having your ceremony and reception in a hotel, so your guests can get everywhere they need to go with an elevator ride and a walk down the hall. Even better when your hotel is steps away from a T station and a parking garage.
And as for sincere and meaningful, together with their groomsman Bret, Molly and Andy wrote a moving, personal, emotionally resonant ceremony. Bret acted not just as groomsman, but officiant as well. I’ve written before about choosing a friend or family member to act as officiant – featuring Leigh and Scott’s wedding, as well as the pitfalls of having a ceremony that’s too short. Molly and Andy’s ceremony was absolutely perfect and perfect for them, and not too short, not too long. This was a rare instance of a room full of completely attentive guests – more coming on this in a separate post. You could feel the engagement and connection among everyone in the room. Very moving.
After the ceremony, guests went upstairs for a relaxing cocktail hour on the private rooftop patio adjacent to the Biergarten. A reception followed in the Sheffield Ballroom, with entertainment by John Parker & the John Parker Band.
Joining me for the day was the fabulous Pamela; some of the images featured here are hers.
The day began with Molly, her bridesmaids and family getting ready in the Emperor Suite. I was so happy to see her mom Debbi’s beautiful smile again. Hair and makeup by The Beauty Xpert.
I’m always drawn to natural window light when I’m in a hotel room. So I love that Pamela went the other route for this portrait of Andy, using bounced flash to take advantage of the black and white houndstooth curtains.
Molly and Andy chose to do a first look prior to the ceremony, so they’d be able to enjoy the rooftop cocktail hour with their guests. But also, this gave them an opportunity for some quality time together. Sure, this makes for great photos, but it also makes for an unforgettable moment between bride and groom – after all, it’s that connection that the whole day is about. It’s a gift to have a job that allows me to witness such a powerful moment like this.
It was an awfully hot June day. More bonus points to the Hotel Monaco for having many, many options for indoor photos. We made use of the hanging garden in the lobby area, the living room, and the banquet foyer before going outside for a few photos in Mellon Square Plaza.
The rooftop patio…
On to the party, which started on a high note with excellent speeches, and went at full tilt all the way until the last note by the John Parker Band.
Lots of folks have a wedding cake. Most have a wedding cake. But Molly and Andy had a wedding pie. I loved the informality of this event. One of Andy’s groomsmen brought the pie over and just held it there while they cut it.
Glad to see Leigh and Scott haven’t forgotten their favorite pose.
I can only guess that when this guest woke up Saturday morning, she didn’t know she’d be singing “Party in the USA” along with the John Parker Band that night.
Venue: Hotel Monaco
620 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Florist: My Garden
Hair & Makeup: The Beauty Xpert
Pies: Hotel Monaco
Cookies: Oakmont Bakery
Photo booth: Clear Choice
Christina Montemurro Photography specializes in photographing Pittsburgh weddings, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs. Using a photojournalistic approach, experienced photographers Christina and Pamela provide 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 wedding photographers. You can read reviews that Christina’s brides and grooms have written here and here. Some of Christina’s favorite venues include the Carnegie Museum, Temple Sinai, Temple Ohav Shalom, Rodef Shalom, Heinz History Center, Edgewood Club, Hotel Monaco, Omni William Penn Hotel, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square, PNC Park and Twelve Oaks Mansion.