We absolutely love an industrial venue as much as the next person, but even more so when they’re softened up a bit with warm creams, flirty pinks, and lots of greenery. Ali and Frank’s wedding, captured by Caitlin Thomas Photography and flowered-up to perfection by GreenSinner, blends the industrial with the romantic expertly, and is sure to inspire any couple going after a similar aesthetic!
From the bride, Ali: We really wanted our wedding to feel like an intimate dinner party followed by the ultimate dance party — not an easy thing to do when you have 185 guests, but for us it was more about creating an atmosphere that felt soft, sweet and inclusive despite our large industrial venue. We made use of long communal tables and family style dinner service to encourage our guests to get to know one another, share food and stories and leave feeling like they had made new friends throughout the celebration. We also really wanted our entire wedding weekend to feel personal and representative of who we are as a couple. We therefore chose a industrial venue in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, a city that means so much to us as a couple and which we were thrilled to share with our family and friends. We also opted to forgo a religious ceremony in favor of something more personal given that neither of us are super religious. Both our parents have been married for over thirty years and we wanted to pay homage to the incredible examples they have set for us as spouses by including them in our ceremony. All four parents took part in our ceremony, with my dad taking the lead. The result was the most beautiful and heartfelt wedding ceremony I have ever been a part of. There was not a dry eye in the house and we are still getting compliments from our guests about how meaningful the ceremony and vows were.
Adjectives that we’d use to describe our general look would probably be urban romantic, relaxed, sweet. We absolutely fell in love with the urban look of the Pittsburgh Opera — large windows facing the city, exposed brick walls and a very industrial feel. To soften the space a bit — but not be over the top — we decided on a Valentine’s Day theme — lots of pinks, creams, a pop of red and tons of greenery. We didn’t want to stick too firmly to specific colors, so the “Valentine’s Day in May” theme allowed us to have some continuity without being too matchy or uniform. It also fit perfectly with the romantic and sweet vision we was going for, though we were careful not to let it get too cheesy. Our florist, GreenSinner, and our caterer, JPC Event Group, absolutely killed it with the flowers and décor — from the cookie table to the linens to the incredible “runner” of milk vases and flowers, every detail was in keeping with our general theme and the space was transformed exactly as we had envisioned it. Keeping with the feel of the space, we opted for a more relaxed look in terms of style. My dress was simple, comfortable and bling-less and the groomsmen were in suits rather than tuxes. I think our guests were surprised by the venue and look but realized quickly that it was perfectly fitting for us.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? You have to know what budget you are working with before you book anything. While we paid for the majority of the wedding ourselves, we did have some incredibly generous donations from our parents and grandparents. Money conversations are never fun but I’d say it’s imperative to have them at the outset so that you know realistically what money you have coming in, how much you need to save and what final budget you are working with. I would have been crushed if we had seen or fallen in love with a venue or vendor that I couldn’t realistically afford so I’m glad we got the money discussions out of the way first and had a clear sense of what we had to spend on our big day. We would also say that you should do your research when it comes to vendors. If you know what you want, make sure you find someone that is going to see that vision through. We worked with an absolutely all-start team of vendors who supportively listened to every wish and thought we had throughout the planning process and then used their creative genius to see it all through to the tiniest of details on the day of. I was bowled over by how professional, attentive and genuinely kind every single vendor we worked with was and would recommend all of them in a heartbeat.
Bridal Party Processional: “I Follow Rivers,” Triggerfinger
Bridal Processional: “‘Til Kingdom Come,” Coldplay
Recessional: “Thunder Clatter,” Wild Cub
First Dance: “Stay With You,” John Legend