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Chapel Of The Holy Spirit At Duquesne University

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Elegant Afternoon Brunch Wedding

Originally published by in April 2014.  Click here to read the original article.

In my book, brunch weddings are just about the most genius thing ever. When planned right, they make for a wedding EVERY bit as elegant as their evening affair counterparts, and this little beauty from Rhaina Taylor is a perfect example. Dive into all the daytime wedding beauty waiting right here.

From Rhaina Taylor… A real life “Roman Holiday.” Mary Pat Stahler and Lee Feigert met on Duquesne University’s Rome Campus in 2006. To paraphrase Mary’s mother, the maid of honor, after Mary returned from Rome, she kept mentioning Lee’s name repeatedly. Their fairytale continued with their big apple engagement. Lee took Mary to NYC for the weekend to see Wicked and to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center. They had always talked about doing this. Lee arranged for everyone to clear the ice, and their song was played, Better Together by Jack Johnson, over the loud speaker. He proposed to her with just the 2 of them on the ice. Once she said yes, the crowd around them started cheering. Lee also arranged to have it video taped and photographed, which Mary never noticed was happening.

Lee and Mary Pat’s wedding day began very early with their 1st meeting at 8am. Mary rounded the corner and gently tapped Lee on the shoulder. Across the street both Lee’s mother and Mary’s mother, the maid of honor, just beamed while watching this intimate moment. From their we ventured to Chatham University’s Campus for our 1st portrait session of the day. Mary had such a complete vision of her special day complete with a few very special portraits that she wanted taken. A reenactment of a childhood photo with her brothers and my personal favorite… a couples’ photos which included both sets of their parents.

The Duquesne University alums chose to marry in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on Duquesne’s campus. Followed by their elegant brunch reception, held at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Mary Pat’s vision was of an intimate, rustic reception with a white, cream, and blush color palette. They enlisted the talented Shari Zatman of Perfectly Planned by Shari to help bring their vision to light. The bride wanted mixes of natural elements such as wood and burlap mixed with lace and crystal.

She also wanted her guests to be seated at one long farm table rather than be divided at separate tables. Shari brought the look together with lace tablecloth overlays placed over row after row of double width banquet tables paired with wooden farm chairs. Hanging low over the tables were elegant crystal chandeliers to add elegance to the tablescape. The floral centerpieces were a neutral palate of garden style flowers in an eclectic mix of containers. They wanted handmade elements of real lace incorporated into their invitation, so their stationer, Create Studio, handmade their invitations with wrapped lace ribbon details. The guests were assigned seats at the long table so they found their table assignments by looking for their names which were hand calligraphied on round cards which rested just below the clear glass charger plates at every place setting.

Their day was concluded with a portrait session inside Phipps Conservatory’s Broderie Room. As we walked through the building we took advantage of every nook and crany. Lastly we snuck outside to capture a few shots with Phipps’ signature glass enclosure as the background.

“Stick to your vision,” Mary Pat advises. “Don’t feel like you have to incorporate something into your wedding because of tradition if you don’t like the idea.” The couple did hold on to one special tradition, their first dance was to the same tune that played in the background during Lee’s fairytale proposal.