• Ashwood

Winter Wedding in the City | Dan + Rose | Downtown Pittsburgh & Station Square

Updated: Jan 19

I say 'winter' in the slightest, as even though it was January, Pittsburgh had record high temps and Dan & Rose' wedding was a beautiful 70 degrees. It was a perfect day for a perfect wedding. NO, REALLY! PERFECT!!! I could not have asked for a dreamier wedding to go with dreamy clients. NOT only dreamy clients, but they picked the best vendors to work with. I was surrounded by the "DREAM TEAM" of wedding professionals, making my day, as if I was on cloud nine... but enough about how the day went for me. Let me tell you all about this dreamy now MR & MRS.

I met Rose over late spring last year, when she traveled in to Pittsburgh from State College to see her fiancé. They had found me the same way a lot of brides are finding me these days, through a super awesome Pittsburgh wedding group. I recommend all brides to find one or join this specific Pittsburgh group if you are nearby. Rose was a very sweet lady during our meeting and knew exactly what she was looking for. A couple of months later, we were meeting on Washington's Landing in Pittsburgh for engagement photos. I had never been before, but was so glad they thought of it for their session. We created some of my favorite engagement photos that day and it was so much fun. It was the first time I was meeting Dan and these two were seriously the sweetest and so much fun together.

Then came the wedding day. The day begun for me in the Woodlawn Bridal Suit at the Sheraton hotel - Station Square, were as my assistant Dawn, started in Dans' apartment in Downtown Pittsburgh. They both were surrounded by their wedding party while everyone mingled and began their prep for the wedding. The girls had their hair and makeup done and the guys, well, they mostly mingled (Guys have it so easy!!). I was able to sneak in a few photos of the dress and accessories before we headed off to another room in the hotel, where Rose read her letter from Dan. What a beautiful moment that was to be apart of; very touching words. She gathered her composure and headed off to put on her dress.

Rose' dress was absolutely stunning and the story behind was extraordinary. I had the pleasure of being apart a few fairytale dresses this year, such as mothers dresses handed down,but this one may top the cake in stories. While it may have come from her mom, Roses dress was actually purchased at a church fundraising event. That is right. Rose' mom bought a $50 dress, without her approval, not knowing whether she would like it or not, but ended up loving it enough to make it her own and creating a show stopper. It was a basic satin A-line fitted, but they added a detachable train... amazing!

Once we had her and the other girls dressed, we headed over to Dan's apartment to do a first look on the rooftop. I could not have asked for a better setting for this first look, especially with the cooperation of such amazing weather. No, it may have not been sunny, but honestly, I think sun may have ruined it with shadows and squinting, so I'm not mad at it. But wind, holy goodness wind! I will take ALL the wind (within reason... like at this very moment, the wind is angrily tearing apart my deck as I type this...curse you Mother Nature!) For this instance, the wind was magical! It kept blowing her veil and little strands of hair so perfectly. It almost became annoying to them, but it was EVERYTHING for the rest of us. Their reaction to seeing each other for the first time was so special and heartfelt. The joy on Dan's face, seeing his blushing bride in all her beauty. They laughed, smiled and danced a while, letting them take it all in. Once they had their moment together, we brought the rest of the wedding party up for some epic group shots.

Once we finished up on the rooftop, we took a few shots in their lobby and then headed off to their church for just a few photos of them two alone. Their church was First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, which just so happened to be the same church Roses' parents were married at. It is a grand church, so beautiful both inside and outside. I loved all the details in the architecture and how absolutely gorgeous it is! Once we finished taking a few unique photos of the church, we headed off to the Clemente bridge to take more bridal party photos.

The bridal party photos on the bridge were a little more than interesting. The bridge isn't exactly traffic free, but does have good breaks in traffic... sometimes. It makes it tricky to keep a continuous flow of photos as we had to keep running on, setting up, getting the shot and then running back to the sides. It made it fun as well however as it kept the bridal party interested and smiling. I loved being able to capture these photos however, as it is the best picturesque scenery to paint what Pittsburgh truly looks like. Once we were able to wrap up bridal party photos, we headed off to the ceremony.

The ceremony was beautiful. The large church made for great photos and even though the church is decently dark, the alter was well lit and beautifully designed. It included an organ player for the processional and recessional and the long aisle made for a dramatic entrance. The ceremony was a bit long but well done in what was spoken and how it was arranged, straight to the point. We finished the 'I Do's' and first kiss then headed on to the family photos. Once we wrapped up at the church, it was time to head off to the reception.

The reception was held back at the Sheraton Station square, where the day had first begun. The bridal party headed up to the Bridal suite and the rest of the wedding went to the ball room for cocktail hour. Once it was time to announce them as MR & MRS, everyone headed to the dance floor while they enjoyed their first dance as husband and wife. Once the dance was over, they went straight into the cake cutting. The cake cutting was then preceded by dinner, where we led off with Rose' fathers speech. I had the opportunity to chat with Roses' father at the church while we waited for the ceremony to begin. He is such incredible father who clearly has nothing but love for his daughter. He is a spunky and fun guy, the typical 'dad' you would see in family comedy shows, loving, yet you could see him being the first in a crowd to reminisce on a past funny story. That is exactly how his speech was given. Lot's of love for both the bride and groom with quite a few laughable moments.

The next person up was one of the groomsmen to give the blessing for dinner. The salads were served and we moved onto the bridal party speeches. First up was Rose's best friend from college and maid of honor. She delivered a beautiful speech with a few past time stories. Followed by the best mans speech, who has known Dan since day 1, as his brother. He also delivered a very moving speech with a few funny add-ons. Then it was time for dinner.

Once dinner wrapped up, it was onto the parent dances. They started with Dan and his mother, who had a short and sweet dance, which then was joined by all the mothers and their sons. It was very touching to see all the mothers and sons join them, all ages and all walks of life. Once the song was over, it was time for the Father-daughter dance. They started off with a nice slow dance but then turned into a fun, choreographed number. It was such a cool experience to watch. The party started shortly after, having everyone join the dance floor. These guests know how to P-A-R-T-Y!! We caught a few fun moments on the dance floor and then grabbed the newly weds for their last set of couple photos.

It was raining ever so lightly outside and this was perfect for night shots on the riverwalk. We spent a few minutes outside, getting their last moments together, alone on their wedding day. It was everything I was hoping for when the news mentioned rain in the forecast for the day. Nothing during the day and all of the rain at night. Once we finished outside, we headed back to the dance floor where the night was dance away and my time had come to an end.

I couldn't have asked for a better wedding day as a vendor and to witness and be apart of such a beautiful union. I wish nothing but the best for many, many years to come for such a sweet couple. Their family, their friends and everyone included on their wedding day couldn't have been better picked. I felt so welcomed from the Moment I walked in to the bridal suite and the entire day there after. It is true when they say you are what you surround yourself with and Rose and Dan are two lucky people to be surrounded by such amazing people in their lives.

Congratulations to you both and all of your family,

XoXo, Ashley

What was the venue, in what town and what was the couple’s name?

Dan and Rose Stidsen First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square

How did the couple meet?

Dan was home from Milwaukee, Wisconsin visiting family and friends in State College, PA in November 2016. Dan and his friends had plans to go out in downtown State College, but his friends wanted to stop by Rose's townhouse before heading downtown. While at Rose's house, Dan was woo-ed by Rose's middle school science experiments. They talked the whole night and Dan asked for Rose's number. A week later, they went on their first date.

What was their first date?

Dan asked Rose to a Penn State hockey game. After the hockey game they went out for a drink. With Dan only being in town for a week after their first date, Dan and Rose made a lot of time for each other before he left to go back to Milwaukee. The week included watching a Penn State game together, watching a Steeler game together, going out to dinner, played pool on Thanksgiving eve, dinner and drinks, and another Penn State football game!

How did the groom propose?

Dan and Rose had plans to celebrate Easter and Rose's mom's birthday in Pittsburgh the weekend of April 12, 2019. Rose was living in State College at the time and Dan was living in Pittsburgh. After school on Friday, Rose planned to drive to Pittsburgh to begin the Easter and birthday celebrations. On Friday, Dan, some friends and family (Rose's parents, brother & sister in law, and Grandma) all sneakily went to State College. During the last period of the school day, Rose's teacher friend asked her for help throwing away a bookshelf and getting a new one out of her car. While Rose was out of the room, Dan snuck in the school with the help of another teacher. All the kids in the class were told to go out into the hallway and line up on both sides. They were all given 11 roses. Dan waited in the classroom. When Rose came back into the school carrying the new bookshelf, she turned the corner to go down her hallway. She saw all the kids standing there. As she walked to the classroom, kids were giving her roses and telling her how special she was. Rose was still a little confused, thinking that maybe her student teacher planned this. But when she got down the hall and had 11 Roses in her hand, she went into her classroom. Dan was standing there with the 12th & final rose and proposed. She said YES!


Ashwood Imagery assisted by Dawn Derbyshire


Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square


Courtney Drahovsky


Urso Transportation


Colonial Press, State College PA


Bruce Schlenke


Men's Warehouse


David's Bridal


Jacquelyn Cuturic


Emily Lenz--cousin of the bride


DJ Magic Moments


Bethel Bakery


Ellyn Snyder--mother of the bride & a team of family & friends


Dorosh Documentaries



@2020 ashwood imagery. Creator of Escape the Ordinary

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