Emilee and Bryce had an all-in-one ceremony and reception at Southpointe Golf Club in early March. These two have been together since sophomore year in high school. They currently live in Morgantown where Bryce is finishing up his studies at WVU.

The day started with the ladies and men getting ready in their respective Southpointe Golf Club’s locker rooms. Sometimes, we as photographers will ask you to slip your dress on in an area with better light for great prep photos and we have some favorite spots at Southpointe for this. Emilee was so nice to let us do this. We couldn’t get over her uncanny resemblance to actress Sarah Hyland. Bryce was down for any kind of photos and told us to feel free to direct him.

After the prep photos, we headed out for a windy first look. The weather was quite chilly but everyone was troopers and we got all the photos with the bridal party done. The ceremony was held in the ballroom. The guests then headed to the cocktail hour in the lobby while the space was flipped into the reception room. Having done a first look when you’re having an all-in-one ceremony and reception allows for the best flow of the day for the guests and the couple.

A few interesting details at the reception were the groom’s cake featuring a photo of his beloved dog Maggie and tuxedo style chocolate covered strawberries for those who didn’t want cake. Of course, no wedding for WVU alums is complete without the singing of Country Roads. Emilee and Bryce had a glow stick send-off.

Note to the couple:

Emilee and Bryce, we loved working with you two! We thank you for choosing Kristen Wynn Photography and wish you a lifetime of love and happiness always. Congratulations!

Be sure to see our full galleries here!

Prep location: Southpointe Golf Club
Bridal Salon: David’s Bridal
Shoes: ALDO & TOMS
Other Bridal Accessories: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Men’s Formalwear: Daniels of Morgantown
Florist: Memories in Bloom
Hair Stylist: Shaina Joyce
Make-Up Artist: Bride
Hotel Accommodations: Cambria Hotel Washington Meadows Casino
Ceremony venue: Southpointe Golf Club
Reception venue: Southpointe Golf Club
Cake: Signature Desserts
Catering: Southpointe Golf Club
Entertainment: DJ Mike Simmons
Rings: Allison’s Fine Jewelry
Favors: Koozie
Alterations: A Rogue Under Pressure: Designs & Alterations
Rehearsal Dinner: Cannon’s ChopHouse
Photographer: Kristen Wynn Photography

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Danielle and Louis are one of our 2019 wedding couples. It was so great to meet up in person! I loved that they gave me free reign on shots and locations I’ve always wanted to use, like the Fineview Overlook! We had amazing sunshine on this chilly day and I can’t wait ’til their big day!

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Jennifer contacted me about doing a session with her parents, her sister’s family and her own family. It was wonderful because Jennifer’s dad recently retired from Carlow University so it was great to do the session on their grounds and we love doing extended family sessions! Carlow’s campus is so beautiful!

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We had so much interest in minis this year. February is always dicey weather-wise, so we rented out this beautiful studio – Studio 618 in Point Breeze. We love the blank canvas that it provides and it was nice and warm inside for all the little families. So great to see all of you!

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Diane and Ryan met while playing intramural sports – specifically flag football. They’re competitive and athletic – they were married in mid-February. I just love winter weddings and love when I have the opportunity to photograph one!

The ladies and men got ready at the Inn at Lenape Heights – the ladies were in the bridal suite while the men got ready at the 19th hole – the hospitality suite in the hotel. The men played cornhole before the first look and portraits.

The men wore navy suits while the ladies wore burgundy gowns – Diane and Ryan’s colors were burgundy, navy blue, and gold. The ladies kept warm with blankets as shawls and Diane even wore a beautiful burgundy coat for the outdoor photos. It was about 28 degrees for outdoor photos – but it didn’t rain or snow! Since the ladies had on floor length gowns, I loved Diane’s idea – she wore fleece lined leggings and sparkly tennis shoes, as did her ladies!

Ryan’s parents, sisters, and quite a few aunts and uncles were married at his hometown church, St. Luke’s Lutheran, and Ryan also went to grade school there – so this church has history for the family and that’s where Diane and Ryan chose to get married. It was also Pastor Ben’s first solo wedding – so memorable for many reasons!

The hotel lobby is gorgeous! A lot of times, a lobby will be pretty but it doesn’t work lighting and space wise for photography due to restrictions and other guests. This hotel has just 20 rooms – and all were occupied by Diane and Ryan’s guests – so we were free to use the beautiful well-lit lobby staircase for photos!

These two have two golden retrievers – Allie and Kobe. In honor of them, the couple offered doggie treat bags as a favor for guests to take home to their own pups! After the reception, Diane and Ryan hosted an after party complete with tacos and french fries in the bar!

Note to the couple:

Diane and Ryan, it was a pleasure to work with the two of you! We thank you for choosing Kristen Wynn Photography and wish you a lifetime of love and happiness always. Congratulations!

Be sure to see our full galleries here!

Invitation: Vistaprint
Prep location: Inn at Lenape Heights
Bridal Salon: The Exquisite Bride
Hairpiece: The Exquisite Bride
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Men’s Formalwear: Jos. A. Banks
Bouquets: Made by the bride
Centerpieces: Leechburg Floral
Hair Stylist: Elisha Evans Styling
Make-Up Artist: Blake Artistry/Chet Michael
Hotel Accommodations: Inn at Lenape Heights and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kittanning
Transportation: Byers Taxi Service, Inc.
Cinematographer: Mariana Filmworks
Ceremony venue: St. Luke Lutheran Church
Reception venue: Lenape Heights Golf Resort
Cake: Sweet Treats Bakery
Catering: Lenape Heights Golf Resort
Entertainment: Jason Kendall Productions
Rings: Mathew Jewelers
Favors: Homemade Dog Treat Bar
Honeymoon: Belize
Photographer: Kristen Wynn Photography

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Emily and Cody went to high school together. They didn’t date in high school but started dating afterwards. These two are big sports fans and love to watch the Steelers, Pens, Alabama and PSU. They also love to laugh. I can’t wait for their wedding coming up this year!

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Bridget and Cameron currently call Chicago home, but started dating when they were both living in Cleveland. I am SO excited for their wedding – it’s coming up soon! These two are adorable together. We started off near the grounds of Severance Hall and the Art Museum, then took a ride over to the skyline and a local restaurant/brewery. Cleveland was foggy that day and I love the soft diffused light it was giving me for photographs – I could have kept going all day! Alas, it was a Sunday and Bridget and Cameron had to journey back to Chicago while my assistant Allison and I had to head back to Pittsburgh – but I’m so pumped for their June wedding – it will be here soon!

One Person has left comments on this post

Bridget said: | Mar 23, 2019 - 01:03:08 |

We are soooo excited too!
Bridget and Cam

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We just love doing winter weddings here at Kristen Wynn Photography! And Rachael and Tim’s was no exception. We met up with the ladies at the house next to Armstrong Farms Fieldstone Barn while the gentleman got ready nearby at Drake’s Guest House. The weather was a bit rainy but one thing that’s great about Armstrong Farms is that there are so many covered spaces to use for photography.

Rachael and Tim met when they were both attending college at Robert Morris University. Their aesthetic was winter but not necessarily the holidays. Although they did bring in some holiday touches, such as, a wedding cake shaped like a Christmas tree and a bright red shawl for Rachael.

Rachael and Tim were engaged in Punta Cana on the beach at sunset. Their dog, Toretto, played a part in the wedding festivities. He even had his own tuxedo shirt!

There was a hot chocolate bar for guests prior to the ceremony. The favor was individually boxed gourmet cupcakes. Rachael and Tim didn’t do a first look and the sun sets early in the winter so I wanted to share how they were able to get some additional bride and groom portraits. At the reception, while guests were still eating, the couple took about thirty minutes to drive to a few empty barns on the Armstrong Farms property. We worked with some of our specialty lighting to get photos where they could stay indoors but still be lit after dark. These two honeymooned at Secrets Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Note to the couple:

Rachael and Tim, we loved working with the two of you! We thank you for choosing Kristen Wynn Photography and wish you a lifetime of love and happiness always. Congratulations!

Be sure to see our full galleries here!

Invitation: Zazzle
Prep location: Armstrong Farms
Bridal Salon: Michael’s Bridal Galleria
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Other Bridal Accessories: Macy’s
Veil: Rachael’s Communion Veil
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amazon
Men’s Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Kellie Zachodni
Hair Stylist: Cara Love
Make-Up Artist: Cara Love
Coordinator/Planner: Marlene Mitko
Ceremony venue: Armstrong Farms
Reception venue: Armstrong Farms
Cake: Mainstreet Bake Shop
Catering: Monteverde’s Catering
Entertainment: Redford Djs/Andy
Rings: Trinity Jewelers
Linens: Monteverde’s Catering
Favors: Gourmet Cupcakes from Mainstreet Bake Shop
Hot Chocolate Bar: Mean Bean Catering Co.
Alterations: Michael’s Bridal Galleria
Photographer: Kristen Wynn Photography

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Top Prep Locations for Brides (and Grooms too!) – In and Around the City of Pittsburgh

Kristen, is this a top 10 list? A top 20? Nope – this list is fluid and I continue to add to it as I photograph more and more weddings! These prep locations are some of my favorites for lighting, space, location, and timing needs – so if you’re searching for a hotel or prep space, feel free to use these suggestions!

You’ve chosen your location for your ceremony and reception. Did you know there’s another location you need to choose? Where will you be getting dressed?

Here at KWP, I always start wedding day coverage with details and getting ready shots. It is a great time for candids with family and the bridal party. The best possible location (and most importantly light) will enhance those images.

For the best possible getting ready and detail images, here are a few secrets to thinking like a photographer:

If the ceremony or reception site has a bridal suite, check to see if it will work for you. The biggest challenge with a ceremony or reception site bridal suite for getting dressed is timing. At many venues, the time to access the getting ready suite is limited. If you can’t get the bridal suite all day (starting at around 8 am for most afternoon weddings), it may be best to choose another location.

If you like the look of the bridal suite, but the timing won’t work, you can always get a few “touching up” shots once we arrive after having done your actual dressing elsewhere.

Talk to me about your venue prep space and I can give you my opinion and recommendations for best results.

Consider renting a hotel suite near your ceremony venue. And consider having the groom get ready somewhere nearby as well – the tips in this section apply to his prep too! Having the groom nearby (at a private home or another hotel/at the venue) can allow me to photograph the groom and groom’s prep images with the best results. Both parties will want to avoid long drives between the prep location and ceremony. I’d be happy to provide some recommendations for the best getting ready hotels. This list is in no way all inclusive, but is just some examples of some places I’ve loved for space, layout, and lighting:

AirBnBs and Private Home

Doubletree Monroeville – King Corner Large Room

Fairmont Hotel Downtown

Hyatt Regency Airport – Conference Suite

Renaissance Hotel – Riverview Corner Room (or any of the large suites! A special touch can be the balcony suite!)

Sheraton Station Square – King Deluxe River Room or King Sheraton Club Guest Room

Wyndham Grand Four Bedroom Presidential Suite – perfect for large bridal parties

Wyndham Grand – Junior Suite or Hospitality Suite

Omni William Penn – suites or any room that faces outward to the street for best light! (avoid the inward facing rooms as they are dark – ask for a large room)

Homewood Suites Southpointe – the suburban sleeper, this one is! I ADORED the room we had here once – two restrooms, long and narrow living space with tons of windows for each makeup artist. This is a great option for Bella Sera and Southpointe Golf Club weddings! Ask for the Executive Suite when you call!

Mansions on Fifth – Presidential Suite

Priory Townhouse – get the one on the same side of the street as the Priory courtyard – right next door! (there’s also another pretty two room suite here with a big mirror in the master bedroom as well that could be a nice option!)

Hotel Monaco – Suite

*Don’t see your hotel listed here? Don’t worry! Contact me and I might be able to give you advice on that particular hotel! For example, at the Home2Suites in McCandless Crossing, you want the room that is a suite with a separate living room and not the all in one room due to the location of the bed! At the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh-Cranberry, you ideally will have a room available to you that doesn’t open its windows into the inner court, lest guests see you dressing. The best bet are the exterior facing rooms! Let us know your location and we will tell you our previous experiences if we have any to share and rest assured, we will always make it work no matter what

And here’s some more general tips! My booked clients get ALL my prep location tips in our Wedding Guide!

When choosing a getting ready location, look for windows. A great window can make for nice portraits and getting ready shots. Some hotels have the window obstructed by the A/C unit below it, which isn’t ideal – the bigger the window, the better!

In a hotel, a larger room is better. In my experience, any more than four ladies is a tight fit in a standard sized hotel room. A hotel suite will allow you to have the most flexibility and multiple rooms.

It may be best if the bridesmaids use their individual rooms at the same hotel to store their things and get dressed or arrive dressed to the bride’s room if space is limited. It’s best if there are other rooms someone in your party is using at the hotel both the night before and the night of the wedding (more on why later in the chapter.)

You could also get two adjoining rooms for getting ready if you have a few ladies with you.

In a hotel or a private home, you don’t want a room crammed with furniture. A room with a single bed works better than a room with two doubles. In a private home and even in some hotels, don’t be alarmed if I clear out some of the furniture. Rooms filled with furniture make it difficult to get a lot of the bridesmaids in the shot, for example.

I’ll do a little cleaning up for you, so it’s best if the bags have a place to go. This brings me back to my previous point, about the bridesmaids having rooms on site.

It’s great if at least some of the bridal party or your parents also have a room in the hotel the night before the wedding and the night of the wedding.

This gives more space, more bathroom facilities to use, and a place for suitcases and bags that isn’t in the bride’s room.

Moving bags and suitcases around involves a lot of logistics and time on the wedding day. If just one or two bridesmaids need to take their bag out to the car or transfer things to another room, it adds time to your wedding day. (The bridesmaids’ bags and gear is not usually as much of a problem in a private home, where there is more space.)

Side note: If you and the groom are coming back to the room that night, do you want to be interrupted by your bridesmaid needing to get her things from your room?!

When the main room is filled with hair, makeup, and ladies, I’ve even taken the bride to the bride’s mom’s clean, fresh room to save time and give a pristine look to the images. I am always on the lookout for the best getting dressed spot.If a standard sized hotel room doesn’t work, ask about a (sometimes complimentary) conference room (remember the windows!) for at least part of the prep. Some of my brides have had great success with hair and makeup being done in a spare conference room, then moving upstairs for the actual dressing. This is a great option.

Occasionally, I may use the same room (at a non-hotel venue) for the guys and girls, and I will have the groups swap. There have been times where the groom was placed in a gorgeous room with great light while the bride was downstairs in a locker room. Or there have been times the men were in the basement while the ladies had a spacious, pristine suite with many rooms.

In these rare cases, I may perform very strategic swaps for the actual dressing of the bride or groom only. I may have the groom dress in the optimal room, do his photos, and then bring the ladies to the optimal room while the guys are sent to wait in the golf club bar, for example. I want both members of the couple to have the best possible images and in a situation where one room clearly stands out as the best – I want to take advantage of that. So don’t be surprised if I suggest this to you.

Don’t worry about having a showroom ready home if you choose to dress at home. I’m most concerned about lighting and adequate space than the most up to date decor. Spotless housekeeping is not required, as long as there is space to move around. I’ve worked everywhere from modest apartments to the largest homes, and I’m always happy to talk with you about your needs and concerns.

I may ask you to pull up the dress and get decent in a room (in a private home or at a golf club, for example) where you are comfortable, then come out to a perfect lighting location for the final zipping, buttoning, and fastening.

Make sure you and your family are comfortable with the getting ready location. If you are using a parent’s home, make sure they understand I may move furniture around or take a peek in a few rooms (with permission, of course) to choose the best dressing spot. I will also likely turn off the lights and move some lamps around – just ignore my behind the scenes work.

For a very stress-free getting dressed experience, a hotel may work best. This can be the best option if you or your future spouse don’t want to feel pressure to clean up the day before everyone descends on the home.

When talking about hotel rooms, you will need to rent the rooms used for both the night before and the night of the wedding. Check-in and checkout times are not wedding friendly. You will need to have the room for both nights and not rely on checking in or out of a getting ready room on your wedding day – there’s simply too much to do.

No matter where you or the groom choose to get dressed, I will work hard to find the best spot and the most beautiful lighting locations!

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Not everyone will agree to do their photos behind a car wash. But these two did!

Leading up to Andrea and Brian’s wedding day, I was searching for a covered area near their venues as heavy rain was predicted. I found a cute fence behind a car wash and Hahn’s Greenhouse was so kind to let me use their covered area to take some photos adding some fall color!

The day started with one of the most PERFECT hotel rooms I have ever had for my style of shooting – the presidential suite at the Homewood Inn and Suites in Canonsburg. This room was huge and featured two bathrooms – perfect for all the ladies getting ready!

Following the getting ready, we headed over to the first look with just the bride and groom and did some photos dodging the rain drops before church!

The ceremony was held near the bride and groom’s home in West View – Brian’s cousin Jackie is a professional singer and she sang a beautiful Ava Maria during the mass.

After church, we headed to Bella Sera – we got creative there and used the portico for the bridal party photos. When you have a small amount of space, it helps to use levels to keep everyone under the cover and we used some little chairs we keep on hand to make one of my favorite rainy day bridal party photos.

The rain continued all night, but Andrea and Brian ducked out before sunset and let us get some great photos on the grounds. And of course, the night was not complete without a sparkler send off!

Note to the couple:

Andrea and Brian, thank you for letting us be a part of your special day! It was a pleasure to work with the two of you! We thank you for choosing Kristen Wynn Photography and wish you a lifetime of love and happiness always. Congratulations!

Be sure to see our full galleries here!

Invitation: Beacon Lane
Prep location: Homewood Suites by Hilton-Pittsburgh Southpointe & Private home
Gown Designer: Kenneth Winston
Bridal Salon: The Exquisite Bride
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Men’s Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse/Joseph Abboud
Florist: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs
Hair Stylist: An Affair with Hair
Make-Up Artist: JL Studio & Beauty Boutique/Katie
Hotel Accommodations: Homewood Suites by Hilton-Pittsburgh Southpointe
Transportation: Elite Coach Transportation Inc.
Cinematographer: Allegheny Archives & Media LLC
Ceremony venue: Saint Athansius Church
Reception venue: Bella Sera
Cake: Bethel Bakery
Catering: Bella Sera
Entertainment: Redford Djs/Kevin Redford
Rings: Goldstock Jewelers/Simon G. Collection
Photo Location: Hahn Nursery Garden Center & Greenhouses
Favors: Candy Bar
Photographer: Kristen Wynn Photography

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