Anyelika, a medical student and Justin, a public accountant were ecstatic to become one on a warm, sunny day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in front of their family and friends in a lovely outdoor ceremony. Both the bride and groom were glowing the entire day, the perfect staple of what all of the exciting wedding planning was all about!
Wedding Date: July 25, 2015
Wedding Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
First Dance Song: “I Choose You (Acoustic)” by Sara Bareilles
Justin and I met through mutual friends at Penn State University. We both ended up at a lot of the same social gatherings. We both had the same sense of humor and could always get each other to laugh. I even got him to take a tough physiology class with me. That’s when I knew he was a keeper.
Justin proposed when I was visiting Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving. I ended up botching the proposal because I was in a diva mood and wanted nothing to do with going out the day he proposed. He kindly asked the next day to take me to downtown Pittsburgh to see the holiday scene and possibly go skating around the giant Christmas tree. I finally agreed. We saw the holiday scenes, bought some hot chocolate and he cutely suggested we go to the bench we used to sit at overlooking PNC Park where the Pirates play. We would meet there for lunch when I was home over the summer and he was interning downtown. We sat there and chatted for a while. And just as I was saying that we should head back, he paused and got down on one knee. We were both shaking. The best part is, just as I thought that was the end of the surprises, he pointed to someone standing behind a camera in the parking garage across the street. His sister-in-law was there the whole time capturing the entire moment.
Wedding shopping was an unexpectedly easy process. I went to one store and found a dress that I really loved. Of course mom knows best and suggested we try at least one more place. Going through my phone quickly just to find a place to please my mother, I came across Mary’s Bridal in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. When we walked in, we were both a little nervous. It kind of looked like your grandmother’s house, still together but just a little old. I remember looking at my mom thinking, “These are ugly.” She encouraged me to get in one and next thing you know, our jaws dropped and my mom started crying. It was perfect. Sexy, yet conservative. Young and modern yet vintage and lacy. It was an allure bridal dress that was perfect for my not-so-curvy body. When they ordered my size, they didn’t even need to altar it. It fit like a glove.
I was raised deeply rooted in my Puerto Rican culture and Justin was raised in the Jewish culture. We wanted to incorporate both into our wedding ceremony. We did a traditional coin ceremony to represent my culture. It is a passing of coins that symbolize the groom’s commitment to provide for his family and the bride’s commitment to trust her groom. 13 coins are used to represent Jesus and the 12 apostles. We used coins passed from my parents wedding. It was very meaningful to us. We also had family read Seven blessings, a Jewish wedding tradition which are meant to link the couple to faith in God.
Our first dance was our favorite memory. Just an intimate moment where all 200 people disappeared for five minutes and it was just us as new husband and wife. We also just loved seeing everyone at our wedding that we’ve known for so many years. It was such a blessing to see so many people in one room for us and so happy for us.
Help a bride-to-be out!
- It’s your wedding. Make sure you have what you want.
- Despite the stress, the drama, and the expenses, it will all work out and it will be perfect! You might not agree on flowers or cake flavors but in the end, those details won’t matter and it will be the best day ever.
- On wedding day, things will go wrong and unexpected bumps will arise. Stay calm. Why worry? As long as the love of your life is at the end of the aisle, there’s no sense in getting worked up
- If you’re going to spend a lot of money, put it towards an excellent photographer. My photographer kept me so calm. Since she does this all the time, she knew the drill. Her photos are phenomenal and now we have so many incredible memories of the best day of our lives.
- Be a gracious bride! Say thank you to everyone for everything!
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals
Wedding Dress Salon: Mary’s Bride and Formal
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Hair: Joellyn Morgan Salon
Makeup: Kingdom Designs by Karen Vinoverski
Shoes: Banana Republic
Ceremony/Reception: Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, Amber Gehring
Photography: Ashley Giffin Photography
Florist: The Blue Daisy Florist
Cake: Oakmont Bakery
Stationery: Whimsical Prints DIY
Caterer/Event Coordination: All The Best Catering