Well, blog… it’s been a while. A LONG while. Was my last post really in January? In that post (my annual behind the scenes recap) I said, “2020 weddings will be here before we know it!” WRONG!

We all know what happened. It’s been a roller coaster ride waiting and watching to see what would happen, and seeing so many plans, events and dreams be cancelled, postponed or changed. Looking back, I can remember thinking “the late May weddings will be fine!” “Everything will be better by July!” “Surely by fall we’ll be back to normal!”

It’s not been easy for couples getting married. I can’t imagine the stress of trying to decide whether to postpone, downsize or cancel. Trying to pick a new date. Waiting. Hoping. Worrying.

I don’t ever like to make weddings about me, but I’m going to be honest – it’s not an easy time to be a wedding vendor, either. Setting aside the complications of postponed and cancelled events, wedding vendors are now facing potentially unsafe conditions. While some venues are strictly enforcing guidelines, others are looking for loopholes. Or, claiming to follow guidelines – but not actually doing so – and asking guests and vendors to sign a waiver when they arrive, relieving the venue of liability. Basically, I’m a nervous wreck before I talk to the couple and find out how many guests are coming, and what measures are being taken to keep everyone safe.

And so, it was a relief to be a part of Lauren and Matt’s wedding day, as they very carefully planned all the details to ensure everyone’s safety. This meant letting go of having all of their family and friends hear them exchange vows, and postponing their Grand Hall at the Priory reception until next year.

But Lauren and Matt were ready to be married – NOW! And so they proceeded with their wedding ceremony, attended by their immediate family and BFFs, followed by a small backyard dinner. We also had plenty of time for photos, with stops in the Strip District and a brand new section of North Park (more on that below).

While this wasn’t the original plan, it was an absolutely beautiful, magical day, full of love, meaning, and celebration. Here are some of my favorite photos from their day.

Matt and his groomsmen relaxed in the courtyard at the Priory prior to the ceremony.

Groomsmen relaxing at the Priory Hotel
Groom Getting Ready at the Priory Hotel
Meanwhile, Lauren and her bridesmaids got ready in the spacious penthouse suite at the Priory. Bride Getting Her Veil On
Lauren’s mom, Karen. I photographed Lauren’s sister Lisa’s wedding back in 2016, and it was absolutely wonderful to spend another day with this loving family! Emotional Mother of the Bride
Lauren showing her soon-to-be mother-in-law, Teresa, how she had a piece of one of Matt’s dad’s suits sewn into her dress. Bride and mother-in-law
Bride's mother and sister helping her get dressed
Bride with flower girl niece
Bride waslking down the aisle at St. Augustine Church
Masked groom greeting his bride
Mother of the bride reading at ceremony at St. Augustine Church
Lauren and Matt exchange rings at St. Augustine Church Pittsburgh
Lauren and Matt exchange rings at St. Augustine Church Pittsburgh
This was one of my favorite moments. What the Sign of Peace looks like in 2020. What the Sign of Peace Looks Like in the COVID-19 era, 2020
Socially distanced guests. Recessional
After the ceremony, we drove a few blocks to the iconic railroad bridge in the Strip District. I love this spot! Bride and Groom at Summer Wedding in the Strip District
Groom with Bowtie in front of brick wall
On the way to North Park, we stopped to briefly break Lauren and Matt’s rescue dog, Bean, out of his kennel. They were all super happy to see each other! So cute! Bride and groom with rescue dog in tux
Bride and groom with rescue dog in tux
Then it was off to North Park! Knowing that I spend much of my free time exploring the park, Lauren asked me to pick a spot for photos. I had two places in mind, but at the last minute, I came up with a third. And so glad I did – it was perfect!

North Park had just opened the “North Park Meadow,” a large field of black-eyed-susans. Gorgeous, right? Bride and groom in field of black-eyed-Susans at North Park
Bride and groom in field of black-eyed-Susans at North Park
The flower field was pretty enough, but, right next to it, there is a large hillside with giant boulders forming steps up the hill. Absolutely perfect for spacing out the bridal party! Bride and Groom on Boulder Pile at North Park
Bride on Boulder Pile at North Park
And shooting from the other side provided this gorgeous silhouette. Bride and Groom Silhouette at North Park
Wanderlust Weddings and Events did a fantastic job designing the tables for Lauren and Matt’s dinner. So pretty! Beautiful Gold and ivory table display with custom name plate
Wedding cookies with dog topper
Bride and groom first dance at backyard wedding
Bride and groom first dance at backyard wedding
Father daughter dance at backyard wedding
Mother son dance at backyard wedding
Father of the bride speech at backyard wedding
Father of the bride speech at backyard wedding
Mother of the bride speech at backyard wedding

Lauren and Matt, my most sincere congratulations. I am so happy for the two of you, and have so much respect and admiration for the grace and thoughtfulness you put into every wedding decision. Thank you thank you thank you!