Part 5 – Setting the Scene

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham

For some reason, finding a ceremony spot turned out to be the toughest part of planning our wedding. Having a Sunday wedding automatically ruled out most of the places of worship in the area and our reception site, the zoo, didn’t allow ceremonies on the premises. I found a lovely spot due to a stroke of luck, but a week later they called to tell me that they had accidentally double booked us and we would have to find somewhere else. Aaaaa!

At wits end, I checked the map for the closest Episcopal church to the Pittsburgh Zoo, and prepared myself for some serious groveling to try and find somewhere where we could get married, even if it was on the front lawn. I called to make sure that someone would be there who would talk to me and then I went in person because I thought it would be harder to say ‘no’ to my face. I ended up meeting with the Rector of St Andrew’s, Bruce, and he listened and was helpful. It was the complete opposite of all of the other churches I had called; all were too eager to get off of the phone with me. He looked in the church’s date book, saw that September 2nd was clear and booked us with no haggling over deposit checks, no stern warnings about what we could bring or when we had to get out. It was perfect, and the church itself was beautiful outside…

and inside…

The 100 year old building was made of stone and built in the Gothic Revival style. It’s only a small donation for non-members to get married there and free for members. I’m really glad that I found it and we liked our experience so much that we became members even though it is a 20 minute drive out of our way. It’s definitely the place I would recommend to couples looking to get married somewhere beautiful and not go into debt.

We also found a few other ways to save a little money on our wedding day. My uncle was helpful enough to loan us his Jaguar to drive us to the reception. It sure beat paying for a limo.

We thought that the church was already beautiful, so we kept the decorations to a minimum. We had bunches of koi nobori (carp windsocks) at the doorway for color.

We also decided to keep it simple with the pew decorations and used simple metal lanterns on ribbons. My brother later changed the ribbons and used them for his wedding two months ago.

We placed a plastic Virgin Mary on the altar. It belonged to my Mother’s parents and stood on their hallway steps for years and served as a little memorial to them during the ceremony.

The church also came equipped with and organ and a fantastic organ player, Peter Luley. It was nice to have traditional music with our traditional church, though we were Wagner-free, and therefore wedding march-free. I walked down the aisle to Mouret’s Rondeau, aka the theme to Masterpiece Theater.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.


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