Natalie + Kevin at the University Club in Oakland, Pittsburgh

My story
When I first moved to Pittsburgh in 2009, Natalie and Kevin were some of the first friends I made here. I remember meeting them at a backyard BBQ. A makeshift movie screen was setup and the projector was playing Slumdog Millionaire. We all danced to the theme song, talked about our life goals, talked about how we were going to get cancer from eating BBQ food, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Afterwards, we kept in touch over Facebook. During this time, I was starting up my photography business. I found people tough to photograph so I wanted more practice. I asked Natalie and Kevin and they agreed to be my models. Some of my first portfolio photos were of them and because of them I booked my first few weddings. As I grew as a photographer, I learn new ways to shoot, new techniques to try, and whenever I asked them to be my models, they were there to helped me out.

Their story
It all started with a photograph of a girl. Boy finds this photograph and was captivated by the girl. He thinks of her and dreams of her. Dare we say, he might have fallen in love even before he knew what love was. Girl? She didn’t even know there was a boy thinking of her. When they first met, boy was definitely still captivated by girl. Girl, well she got hit in the face with a hacky sack after boy tries to catch her attention. Boy was still attracted to the girl with a black and blue eye. Boy likes girl and girl hates boy until their pursuit and chase led them into each others’ arms. They were forbidden to date as kids but they often wrote emails to each other, thousands of emails to each other which they still have. Boy made a grass ring for girl. A sign and promise of his love and loyalty. A ring that she kept close to her over a decade later. Boy later became a man and after a decade of being together, he wanted to make it forever.

Proposal
Natalie loves Paris and have pictures of Paris and the Eiffel Tower hanging on the walls of her apartment. With their anniversary coming up, Kevin decided to plan a trip to Paris. At 5am that day, he said to her “lets chase the sunrise at the Eiffel Tower.” They love sunrises and sunset. It was just another adventure for Natalie. When they got to the Eiffel Tower, Natalie saw a familiar view. Kevin took her to the same location as seen in the photos hanging on her wall, the photos they see everyday when they come home. He got on one knee and fulfilled his grass ring promise.

Their advice
They have been together since they were kids. Their advice to future couples is to never give up. Life will change you as a person and will change your relationship. But love never change nor does it have to change. While we all my be imperfect, that one person who loves you may see nothing but perfection.

About the wedding
The wedding was strictly DIY. Everything from the vases, the box the vases stood on, the floral wall, all decorations, were put together by Natalie/Kevin and their friends. Natalie and Kevin even wrote the menu themselves. They brought in a family friend, the owner and co-chef of Sesame Inn, to attend and approve menu discussions. The University Club’s executive chef did an amazing job with the food. Natalie and Kevin absolutely loved how professional and receptive the executive chef and University Club’s staff members were. Live music was done by the Brooklyn Duo. If you haven’t heard of them, check out their YouTube channel. Natalie fell in love with them when she watched their rendition of “All of Me” on YouTube. The song was played during their song for the first dance. The amazing cinematic wedding video was done by Avec Lumiere Productions. These guys were absolutely amazing. I will link the wedding video once it goes live. I want to give a special shoutout to Oakmont Bakery. Natalie and Kevin’s cake collapse upon itself that morning and was a disastrous mess. The bridesmaid reached out to local bakeries looking for help. Oakmont Bakery stepped in, made a cake from scratch, and it was ready to go before the reception started. Both of Natalie’s custom-made dress were done by Thai Nguyen Collections. The dresses had beautiful detail. Natalie told Thai that she didn’t want a full wedding dress and wasn’t sure about having a train. So Thai made her an attachable train that she can use if she wanted to. That train ended up being an absolute stunner for photos ;) Natalie’s and the bridesmaid’s shoes were by Jimmy Choo. Kevin’s ring was designed by Cartier. Natalie’s ring was designed by Kevin! With the help of Henne Jewelers, his ideas came to life.

Photographer’s last words
I wouldn’t be living my dream if it wasn’t for them helping me get where I am now. They are two people I deeply care for. I am truly honored and grateful that I was there to capture their day.

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