Melanie & Tony

March 30, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


The wedding of Melanie & Tony 

January 3, 2015


Melanie and I go way back... Back to the days of playing high school tennis together, and kickin' butt as doubles partners.  Well, at least in my memory, we kicked butt. When she called me to tell me that she was engaged, and planning a winter wedding, I couldn't be more excited for her and what a unique wedding date she was planning.  A new year, a new marriage, in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh... it definitely had a romantic ring to it. We knew there was a risk of a snowstorm, but nothing was going to stop these two love birds. And thats exactly what happened... The morning of the wedding hit with a 32 degree rainy forecast, which quickly turned to ice, then back to rain. But that did not stop even one guest from attending this event, no one was about to miss these two wed! And it was quite THE event! What a way to start off 2015! Just check out some of these amazing details that Melanie, her mother, and wedding planner, Teri, put together!


My favorite way to start every wedding blog is one of the bride's details... most often, her shoes! And these did not disappoint, check out these bold red beauties and that AMAZING bracelet! (I'm still starry eyed all these months later!)


I have asked Melanie to describe some parts of her day through an interview list of questions. Check out her detailed account of her wedding below! 


How did you plan all of the moving parts of your wedding? 
"I was going through nursing school and working at the time, so I had hired a wedding planner, Teri McCort.  She helped all of my crazy ideas become reality and then on top of that she kept me in line with timeline and with all the lists that come with planning a wedding.  I mean at one point I had a list of the lists I had to put together, how does that even work?!  My Mom was also a big help with all the details, I had a really great support system in place with all of my family in fact, but my Mom was a huge help with invitations and the little details like the amount of food and timing of the reception.  It is important to keep your identity and what you want as the bride, but also keep in mind the people that are taking time out of their schedules to come celebrate you.  So when planning it all out, we tried to manage pictures, such as putting all of our pictures before the ceremony so the bridal party could be there for cocktail hour, making sure the food was non stop, from cocktail hour to the final dance song, there was food (sliders and some pizza go a long way with an open bar at 10:30 ;)), and if you're having your wedding during some sort of sports event, just give in and put a TV somewhere where the men can watch the game (or you will lose every single man by 9:00pm)."




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Sami Stewart did the bride's beautiful makeup!


How did it feel, after over a year of planning, to finally wake up and realize it was your wedding day?

"My wedding wasn't something, to be quite honest, I expected.  I thought I would have a pretty wedding with a decent reception but what I got totally blew my mind.  From the moment I woke up, I felt like I was in this euphoric state, nothing bothered me, nothing made me crazy, I didn't even cry when I was doing my vows.  I was totally zen the whole day, without the help of any type of medication either.  It was just very calming to know that by the end of the day, I was marrying the best team mate I have ever had in my whole entire life."


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Floral Bouquets done by Elizabeth at The Botanical Emporium



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How long have you dated and been engaged?
"We have been together close to 4 years.  We were engaged after about a year, but we are older so I feel being in our 30's and knowing who we are and what we like it was an easy decision to get engaged, and for me to say yes.  Our engagement was 1 and a 1/2 years, and he did the deed at the most magical place on earth... on the bridge to Tomorrowland since we were taking our first steps in the future together that night.  If you don't know by now then let me inform you, Disney World in the Magic Kingdom right as the fireworks ended.  Even remembering it now brings tears to my eyes, it truly was such a happy moment in my life. " 

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Cake designed by Cakes by Debbie Sutara and cookies done by The Cookie Tray.



What was the theme of your wedding?
"My decorations were a garnet red, with ivory and black damask, but my theme was actually our family and friends.  We became who we are and we fell in love with each other because these people have touched our hearts, lives, and souls in some way that made us the people that we are.  If it weren't for them we wouldn't have been together, and it was extremely important to me for them to be happy, enjoy their day with us, and have a night that was as much as a gift to them as they have given to us.  We made sure they were happy, drunk, and fed well the whole night through." 



Chair covers & table runners done by Teri McCort of A Wish Come True.


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{This amazing view of the church, where Melanie and Tony said their vows hours before, was able to be seen right from the reception ballroom all night long.} 

Ceremony took place at St. Mary's of the Mount Parish



{Melanie's first look at the ballroom was with Tony by her side, before any guests came into the room... it brought a tear to the eye!}
What did you expect about the day, vs. what actually happened?
"Well, an ice storm hit in the AM, make-up artists couldn't come in, people couldn't get their hair done, we only got in one photo location for pictures, my husband-to-be went home the night before because he couldn't sleep since everyone in his room was snoring, I could list more but honestly, I knew he would be back, the ice wasn't going to last, pictures of the event were important but not the end-all be-all for me, and people just did their own hair and make-up. Like I said you can't sweat everything.  All that matters is keeping the big picture in mind:  People love and care about you enough to brave the roads, leave their schedules, and spend money on a gift to come celebrate your special day, and this is the day that you take that HUGE step and marry that perfect-for-you man.  And guess what happened... I felt like a princess the whole night, I was on cloud 9 the whole way. The pictures were stunning, hair was on point, roads were clear, and we all had a blast (he made it to the altar by the way too ;).  You have to make sure you keep your thoughts positive and your eye on the prize.  That wonderful man."




Reception held at Wyndham Grand Hotel, and reception coordinator was Ashley Barna. 



{Melanie changed into a gorgeous reception dress for dancing... I didn't think she could top her first dress, but the second was just as beautiful and perfectly suited the evening amazing dance party!}


Head table lighting & draping done by John Resetar of Arvay Event Rental.





Photobooth provided by Brandi Patterson at Shutterbooth.  Videographer was Andrew and Bethany D’Amico at Steady Creek Cinema.

Check out Melanie and Tony's highlight video reel here


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{So, without realizing it, Melanie and Tony planned a wedding that would end up the same day as a Steeler's home playoff game! Just across the river, practically a stone's throw away, the NFL game was happening while guests danced and watched on a big screen. Lucky for them, they got a free fireworks show out the windows during the dancing! Notice in the shots above...  yeah, right behind my head. See me standing up there on a chair? shooting the dance floor, I didn't even notice the amazing show right behind me... luckily I have a great second shooter to be my second eyes! Thank you Bill!}

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DJ was Jeremy Ganss of Jeremy Ganss Productions... and he definitely kept the party going! 


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So, how you would describe the day, now looking back?

"When I say perfect, I mean perfect.  Sure there were a few crazy hiccups but at the end of the day, it's important to remember the day will reflect how you behave.  I'll repeat that: YOUR DAY AND YOUR GUESTS WILL REFLECT HOW YOU BEHAVE AND REACT ON YOUR DAY.  Sure you may have a specific time line, and certain dances, and yada yada yada, but here's the catch.  Don't lose what you did this for, to include your family and friends on the union of the man you have been waiting for for a long time.  At the end of the day, just remember it is about you marrying your husband, if that happened, then the day was beyond perfect."



What is your advice to any future bride?
"Goodness... where to start.  Well, with Moms... just let her help you and give you input and help plan.  Your life will be so much better if you just accept the fact that she wants to be involved and honestly, as long as she's not picking out style or colors, what's the big deal.  You're still marrying your husband, and guess what... she's usually on point with her suggestions anyways.  So just go with it.  
Two things to consider:  A WEDDING PLANNER and a FAREWELL BRUNCH.  Holy moly what would I have done without Teri...  She was truly a God send.  If you can't afford one for the whole time, just for the love of GOD, do it for your last month for vendor organization and day of details.  You shouldn't have to worry about a thing or know about anything crazy going on at your wedding and reception, and they take care of all the really horrible tiny detail stuff that can be fun at first but then get tedious.  The farewell brunch helps you see the people you may have missed the night before and also helps with the hangover.  Just don't make it too early or you will feel the burn for sure.  
During the reception, take a moment with him to step back from the event and see the big picture.  We may have not always been side-by-side that night, but every once in a while we looked around and just took it all in.  All those people, all that hard work and organizing, is happening around you and brought together because of you.  Don't let it fly by.  
Think about a Pre-Honeymoon.  Before the wedding, Tony and I got away for few days.  We found a cheap trip down to the original location (Disney World), for just a long weekend. It was EXACTLY what we needed.  Planning a wedding is stressful no matter how much help you may have (God bless you brides that do it all on your own), a little pre-honeymoon helps remind you to keep it light and the main reason why you are going through all that planning.  For him.  
Last one... Don't be a drama queen and a diva.  That's not fun for anyone.  Try to stay laid back and not too demanding. It's your day sure, but try and be realistic with your demands.  You will have SOOOOOO much more fun. ;)
~ xoxo! Mrs. B ~ "
Congratulations to Tony and Melanie on such a beautiful wedding, we were so thrilled to be a part of such an exciting day in your lives!
Sincerely, Autumn and Bill Stankay 


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