Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mimosas, Wombats, and Best Girlfriends (Our Wedding, Pt. 1)

It's been nearly two months since Dave and I got married! We are so excited to share our photos here with everyone. I haven't had time to post recently, but for a good reason; I finally got a job! I am working in the Office of Admissions at Carnegie Mellon University. I'm very grateful.

I will post our favorite wedding photos over the course of several posts, and will share the story of our wedding along with the pictures. Our amazing photographer was Miriam Lorenzi, who flew all the way from Florida to capture our special day! We met Miriam at our friend Alan's annual Labor Day party, where she took a photo of Dave and I that we loved. A few months later, when we got engaged, Miriam was the first person I thought of to take our engagement photos. We were so delighted with the photos and how easy and natural Miriam was to work with that we decided to ask her to come to Pennsylvania for our wedding, and she agreed. We couldn't have been happier; Miriam did an amazing job, as you'll see by the photos, and we so enjoyed having her at the wedding to celebrate with us. She was a friend, who just happened to be taking our photos. Thank you Miriam!

Our friends and family came from all over the country to share our wedding with us. The night before the wedding, we all went out for a celebratory dinner. Usually sleepy Donegal, PA was alive with the annual Glass and Culture Festival; we had to park several blocks away from the restaurant. The energy was fantastic; it felt like the whole town was celebrating with us. 

Friends and family came from Florida, North Dakota, Maryland, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Maine! We're awfully lucky. 

Most everyone stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, and the next morning, the girls came to my room to help me get ready. First, we poured mimosas...

and Sam gave an impromptu toast that made me tear up for the first time of the day. Sam and I have been friends for something like 7 years. 

I never wear makeup and usually opt for hair in a ponytail, so thinking about my hair and makeup was one of the most stressful parts of planning the wedding, especially after repeatedly failing to get my hair right while practicing. However, like always, my worrying turned out to be wasted energy; the girls did everything for me, and did an amazing job. Deborah, Gwen, Ev, Miriam, and Sam all helped. 

Getting ready turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the day. It was so personal and just fun, like the best girls day out, ever. 

Ev and Sam both did a beautiful job on my makeup. It turned out just how I had wanted. 

Miriam did such an excellent job of making our messy and whirlwind hotel room look great. She even managed to make the bed into a fantastic background for shots like these. 

Our trusty wombat, Ted, has been with Dave and I since our very first trip to Pittsburgh together, which was Thanksgiving 2010. Since then, he's been traveling nearly everywhere with us, making an appearance at beaches, bars, museums, and just about anywhere we've gone. He's accompanied us on long road trips, made our friends laugh, and attained the status of cult wombat. Naturally, he found his way to the wedding. We were delighted to discover Miriam took photos of Ted holding our rings! 

I wasn't about to wear uncomfortable shoes on my wedding day, when I knew I would be on my feet for hours. I went with my trusty cowboy boots, which my Mom gave me for Christmas last year. I made wonderful memories in them as I wore them all around the country on our road trip; they were the perfect footwear for my wedding. 

My wedding dress involves the story of Dave's proposal. One day last December, after finishing college and just before my birthday, a box arrived in the mail. Dave wouldn't tell me what it was, nor did he open it. It sat in the sunroom for days, piquing my curiosity. One night, Dave told me I could open the box. He was folding laundry and was completely nonchalant. I opened the box, and wasn't sure what to think. The dress was wadded up, and at first I thought it was a set of lacy curtains, a strange gift. Dave prompted me to continue pulling it out of the box. Soon, it became clear that it was not curtains, but a dress. A wedding dress. Of course, I was speechless and just started crying. 

Dave's unique proposal perfectly suited us and our relationship. Better yet, Dave ordered the dress from Ebay. It is vintage, circa the 1960's, my favorite era. Unbelievably, when I went to the seamstress a few weeks later in Pennsylvania to see about getting it cleaned and altered, we realized the dress fit me like a glove, as if it was custom made. It needed only a bit of length removed, a bustle added, and a good cleaning and stain removal. Dave picking the dress for me was especially perfect because I hate shopping. I can imagine that shopping for a wedding dress possibly would have caused me so much stress that I may have called the whole wedding off. Also, I never would have thought to pick this out for myself, but it was truly perfect, and it just felt "right." I lovingly named the dress Joan after Joan Baez, the lovely singer who began her career in the 60's. Joan was magic, the most perfect dress possible, with the most perfect story. 

My Mom and the girls helped me get into Joan. 

Even after instructions from the seamstress, the train of this dress was really something to figure out. 

My Mamaw and I. 

After I got into my dress, I realized I could not bend down to get my socks and shoes on. Sam came to my rescue, and made everyone laugh. "I've never put socks or shoes on another adult human being before," she said. 

Last minute touchups to my hair and floral crown. 

Somehow, we made it to the winery where we were to be married on time. My mom and I shared a hug before she left to mingle with the guests and take her seat. Meanwhile, I waited with my dad in the back room of Greendance Winery. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pittsburgh Glass Center

Dave and I stopped by the Pittsburgh Glass Center on Penn Avenue one afternoon. According to their website, "Pittsburgh Glass Center is the largest arts organization on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh's East End and is a cornerstone of the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative's redevelopment of an underutilized part of the city through the arts." We'd wondered where all the neat street art along Penn Ave was coming from; apparently, it is attributable to the Glass Center. Awesome work, guys! It is great to see this neighborhood being revitalized and full of art and color. 

Inside the Glass Center's section of art for sale, we were immediately drawn to the ducks commemorating the giant rubber duck's visit to Pittsburgh. We just had to buy one of the small ones, who we've named Alfred. Alfred graces my bedside stack of books and journals and brings us absolute delight. Alfred was created by local artist Travis Rohrbaugh. 

You can also take classes at the Glass Center, including date-night blown glass classes for two, something that's definitely found its way to our "someday" list of things to do. 

The Glass Center's gallery is currently displaying the Lifeforms exhibit, which was truly amazing. 

Think about it: this entire sculpture is made of glass. Glass is such a fragile, delicate medium; it seems amazing to be able to create such detail. 

We were "blown" away by each piece in the gallery, which were submitted by glass artists from everywhere. The Pittsburgh Glass Center is one of the top art glass centers in the world! 

Submissions could be mixed media as long as they were primarily glass. 

Ants were a popular subject matter for artists. 

We had so many more pictures from the Lifeforms exhibit; each and every piece amazed us. 

As a visitor, you can walk through the entire Glass Center, even the studios where artists work. There wasn't much work going on when we visited, but it was amazing to see the giant ovens and kilns they work with. 

This was another neat discovery in a city full of surprises. We can't wait to see what we find next!

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