It’s not my story to tell, but as I’m sure you’ll figure it out through the pictures, this is the story of two families joining together. It is a beauty out of ashes story. This fall Gateway Clipper wedding was a celebration after many hard years.
Kimmy, the bride, is my second mom. I’ve been best friends with her daughter, Chelsy, since the beginning of middle school. I grew up going to their house. Any opportunity we had Chelsy and I got our moms to drive us to each other (40 minutes away) so we could hang out and ultimately spend weekends together. Once we got our licenses we only saw each other more. After college I got a job with Chelsy’s aunt, while she was in law school. It was also 40 minutes from my house so some nights I would just stay at her parents’ house instead of driving all the way home. I eventually kept toiletries and extra clothes at their house so I could just go to their house after work.
When I got married and moved to New York things changed, but not my friendship with Chelsy and her mom.
When Kimmy asked me to photograph her wedding I was beyond thrilled! I was so excited to be able to spend most of her wedding day with her, Chelsy, and Chelsy’s girls. It was also not something I ever thought I’d be doing in 23 years of friendship with Chelsy.
As I photographed some of Kimmy’s details I also hung out in her mom’s room to get some shots of the two of them getting ready. It reminded me of being in middle/high school and getting ready on Sunday mornings to go to church at Chelsy’s. We somehow always ended up in her mom’s bathroom and I would watch as Kimmy put on her makeup and do her hair. She always seemed to have everything you could ever need, especially when you’re a teenager who decided to spend the night last minute and didn’t have any toiletries.
Kimmy always has the best jewelry. 🙂 She wore her mother’s ring, her engagement ring from Charles, and the ring she wore on her wedding finger when she wasn’t married any longer.
I love this picture of Chelsy helping her mom into her wedding dress. Especially because I was also there when Kimmy helped Chelsy into her wedding dress.
Oh Kimmy you’re so beautiful on the inside and out!
After we got Kimmy dressed it was a mad dash to get Chelsy’s 4 girls dressed and ready to be flower girls!
Kimmy and her girls had one last dance party in Kimmy’s place before they left!
Kimmy taught the girls how to pick up their dresses and walk.
I finally got to see Charles on the Gateway Clipper Princess boat.
Ben second shot for me and I love this picture he got of the girls coming outside to get on the boat.
Gateway Clipper has it down to pretty much the minute of when the boat leaves and when it will be on the Ohio River facing the fountain at Point State Park for the ceremony to start.
The girls did a great job at throwing flowers and handing out Hershey Kisses. Kimmy’s mom always had Hersey Kisses in her purse that she’d share.
Chelsy’s brother Zak walked Kimmy down the aisle, but I loved this last moment between Kimmy and Chelsy.
The older girls were so excited for their “special jobs”. CeCe got to take Kimmy’s bouquet.
There was a worship song, “Goodness of God” by Bethel Music, that has been especially important to Kimmy and Charles in last couple of years. They took the time to sing the song and worship during their ceremony. It was so special to see them worshiping together with Pittsburgh in the background, the city where they have a new house and life together.
Elle’s special job was to carry the ring box in her basket and she took it very seriously. Especially because the real rings were in the box. Kimmy used her mother’s wedding ring as her new wedding ring.
Kimmy and Charles also had time to have their kids come up with them and pray during the ceremony. It felt like not only were they getting married, but their families were coming together.
This is one of my favorite portraits from the day.
I love these girls so much and they look so cute! Chelsy’s daughters are my adopted nieces and I know I’m partial, but they make perfect flower girls. (Also I put Elle and CeCe, the two on the right, in the wrong dresses. I couldn’t find any tags with sizes! Whoops!)
Every time I talked to Kimmy about the wedding and pictures she always said that she really just wanted a big family picture. I felt the pressure when it was time for that picture, but I love how it came out! (With a little help from Photoshop.)
Pittsburgh ended up becoming the theme of their fall Gateway Clipper wedding for a couple of reasons: Their new house is in Pittsburgh, they said their vows while overlooking the Pittsburgh skyline, and the had their wedding on the Gateway Clipper – Princess Boat, a Pittsburgh landmark, that literally goes up and down the three rivers that join together at the Point.
They included their Pittsburgh theme into the wedding by having black and gold colors, the Pittsburgh skyline on their wedding cake, and of course having the Pittsburgh Cookie Table.
This is a Pittsburgh Cookie Table and I think it should be at every wedding, not just Pittsburgh weddings. Family and friends make cookies leading up to the wedding day and then they’re all plated and put out at the reception. You can eat cookies at the wedding, but there’s usually a bag so you can take some home. (If a bag is not provided then a cocktail napkin will also work. 😉 ) When I got married we made roughly 8 to 10 cookies for each guest so it’s a lot of cookies.
Kimmy even found two bridges to put on the table that held cookies! They represented the Smithfield Street Bridge and the Roberto Clemente Bridge, the two bridges the couple travels the most.
I was so disappointed because I put together a really good bag of my favorite cookies and then I left it on the boat at the end of the night.
Welcome to officially being a grandfather, Charles! Kimmy and Charles were announced into the reception with Charles holding Leonie, Kimmy’s youngest granddaughter.
While we were taking pictures I had Kimmy and Charles dance a little and they can really dance! They said they learned it all from YouTube!
My parents were the 2nd to last to be on the dance floor for the longest to be married dance.
When they said to get low, Elle got low!
Chelsy and me with our mommas! We’d actually all been on a Gateway Clipper boat once before. We had our middle school youth group Christmas party on the boat and our moms were chaperones.
Elle is quite the artist and she drew the whole wedding day in her coloring book.
Kimmy is originally from West Virginia and went to WVU so Take me Home, Country Roads had to be the last song.
Once we got off the boats there were sparklers to end the night!
Congratulations Kimmy and Charles!! Kimmy, I am so glad that I got to spend the whole day with you and Chelsy. Charles, I’m looking forward to getting to know you even more. I am so happy for the two of you and your beautiful future ahead of you. Love you!
FALL GATEWAY CLIPPER WEDDING VENDORS:
BRIDAL DRESS | Tadashi Shoji
BRIDAL SHOES | J. Reneé
GROOM ATTIRE | Macy’s
VENUE | Gateway Clipper – Princess Boat
INVITATION | Shutterfly
FLORIST | Botanical Emporium
CAKE | Signature Desserts
PHOTOGRAPHER | Cassady K Photography
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