As today concludes June's Pride celebrations, I can't help but be a little sad that this month that's full of fun and celebrations is coming to an end. Pittsburgh is an amazing city to celebrate the LGBTQ community with the month-long celebrations in the city, thanks to the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh. I unfortunately had to miss the big celebration in the city this year, but for good reason! Alysha and Cassie were getting married and I couldn't have asked for a better celebration out of town than theirs! If I had to miss Pride in the Streets in Downtown Pittsburgh, than it was definitely going to be for a same sex wedding outside of Pittsburgh in Altoona at the Altoona Grand Hotel.
My morning started off headed east to the Altoona Grand Hotel for Alysha's getting ready photos. Cassie was at their house nearby in Duncansville. After some detail shots and a few family portraits outside of the hotel, Alysha was escorted to the entrance by her twin sister and her mother. Cassie arrived in a vintage trolley, provided by Rix Limousine, and was blindfolded so that the brides could ride together and still have their first look at the alter. Sitting across from one another, these two gorgeous ladies were able to speak to each other but refrained from touching and wore matching blindfolds, with their sisters' holding on to make sure neither bride could peek!
Upon arriving at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Hollidaysburg, the brides got off the trolley one by one, greeted by their family and friends! The church was packed with even guests standing in the back and to the sides of the pews! What an amazing celebration to have so many friends and family celebrate their love and witness the two brides become Mrs & Mrs! Once the two said their "I Do's," the crowd proclaimed their congrats with a bubble send off outside of the church.
We gathered to take the family formal portraits at the alter and then hopped on the trolley to go over the bridge to take wedding photos at Warner's Florist in Hollidaysburg and to grab a few under the Hollidaysburg sign across the street at the Hollidaysburg Train Depot. Portraits at Warner's Florist could not have been any prettier! This small town business has been selling some of the prettiest flowers since 1950! I grew up a few miles away from the shop and have always known Warner's to be the best around! When I asked permission to take Alysha and Cassie's wedding photos there, I was so happy the brides were on board with my idea! The vibrant pops of color in the middle of June really gave a nice rainbow of color for photos for this same sex wedding! The location offers around 9 greenhouses and a spacious outdoor area full of fragrant blooms, as well as a nice green space!
After walking across the street to take wedding photos at the Hollidaysburg Train Depot, we jumped back onto the trolley and enjoyed a few cold ones before making their grand entrance into the Altoona Grand Hotel. Recently remodeled, the space looked stunning with the help of the uplighting from Boomerang DJ. Pro tip-- ALWAYS go with the uplighting if it's an option or purchase it in addition to get the best looking ballroom! The pop of color on the walls really adds dimension to photos and turns a boring white room into a lively place to party! I typically don't blog table shots from receptions, but I especially loved the blue and pink uplighting mixed with the yellow light from the chandeliers set behind the guests.
The party carried on and this reception at the Altoona Grand Hotel was a blast! Boomerang DJ's had everyone up on the dance floor! From laughter to tears, this party was so much fun and you could definitely feel the love inside of that room! I ended my night just after the money dance-- polka style! If you're going to do the money dance, you HAVE to put on the polka music and have your guests dance around you after dancing with you! Then once everyone has their turn, the newlyweds have to fight their way out of the crowd to get to each other. After a quick grab by Alysha's mother, Alysha broke free and was able to get to her bride, Cassie! It's always a hilarious event to watch and so much fun to photograph!
Congrats to these two brides on their special day!
Photographers: Lovas Photography (Rachel)
Ceremony: Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Portraits: Warner's Florist
Portraits: Hollidaysburg Train Depot
Reception & Caterer: Altoona Grand Hotel
Dresses: David's Bridal
Men's Wear: Men's Wearhouse
Cake: Lois Appleman
Florist: Alley's City View Florist - Erika
DJ: Boomerang DJ
Invitations: Vicki Bilka - JV print solutions