A Pink Pittsburgh Winter Wedding | Tara + Mike


I’ve been a Pennsylvania resident for my entire 27 years and I’ve never been to Pittsburgh until this past weekend. It was so special to see this city through the eyes of Tara and Mike. I met Tara in college at Penn State where we were both involved in THON (the world’s largest student run philanthropy that culminates in a 46 hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping, dance marathon) as dancers and captains. I have been involved with Penn State THON since my brother was diagnosed with cancer when I was 11. This was the first time I missed being at THON weekend in many, many years. BUT. There is no one else I would want to spend that time with. Tara is such a loving and selfless woman, teacher and friend. And Mike is her perfect match.

Their perfectly designed, pink and rose-gold wedding was the perfect way to kick off my 2019 wedding season! Can you tell that Tara was born to be an SSP Bride?! PINK EVERYTHING. Her pink details throughout the day had me swooning!

Mike shed a few subtle tears during their first look and it was the sweetest to be a witness to their love. There was a lot of anxiety and wedding-nerves floating through the air up until this point but once they saw each other, that all totally melted away as they settled into each other’s arms. That’s what marriage should be, friends.

… but Buddy totally stole the show. Tara and Mike have a one-eared rescue cocker spaniel who is just the sweetest, floppiest little mama’s boy. Of course, I was missing my own little nugget this weekend so having Buddy to snuggle was a personal perk for me too. He was the best “best dog”. Their faces lit up every time they saw their fur baby!

After their sweet ceremony, they danced the night away with fantastic views of the Pittsburgh skyline. Enjoy some of my favorites from Tara and Mike’s fabulous, winter, Pittsburgh wedding!

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: Savannah Smith Photography | SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER: Cait Kramer Photography | WEDDING PLANNING AND COORDINATION: Courtney Drahovsky with Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square | VENUE, BARTENDING AND CATERING: Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square | OFFICIANT: Pastor Doug Rehberg with Hebron Church | VIDEOGRAPHY: Locke Creations | CEREMONY AND RECEPTION FLORALS: Bettis Floral Event Design | CAKE AND DESSERTS: Bethel Bakery | DJ: Joe Costa | HAIR STYLING: Marissa Julin | MAKEUP ARTISTRY: See Jane Blush | BRIDAL SHOES: badgley mischka and Kate Spade Keds | CUSTOM CREST: Tiny Shindigs | INVITATIONS: Minted | DECOR AND RENTALS: Eventioneers | BRIDAL AND BRIDESMAID FLORALS: Kate Said Yes | FAVORS: Sip Sip Hooray

2018 Behind the Scenes

The biggest and most embarrassing blog post of the year.


2018 was an incredible year but I won’t lie… I’m thrilled for this fresh start. Personally, professionally, politically, environmentally and spiritually ‘18 had challenging moments. But the thing that resonates with me so deeply was being able to serve so many amazing couples and their families. I’m so thankful that these sweet SSP Couples gave me the opportunity to capture their wedding days and be a big part of their lives!

It was a hectic, crazy, gorgeous and FUN wedding season. You might never think of me the same after you see these behind the scenes pictures. 😂 OH LORDY THIS IS AN EMBARRASSING BLOG POST. Are ya’ll ready!?

Let’s kick it off with an introduction to my 7 chins.
I swear, if there is a way to show clients the back of the camera without suddenly gaining an entire set of biscuit rolls on my neck, can someone please tell me the secret sauce?! I’m going to just hope that in some way this makes me relatable.

Testing light is a very, very important part of our day and we take it very seriously. Very.

This year brought me some really wonderful adventures and took me back to some of my favorite venues! It was equal parts exhilarating and exhausting.

When there is no wedding planner, I get the joy of explaining to my couples just how to cut their cake! Yes, there are tips and tricks that make that moment go off without a hitch. I bet you may not have known that the photographer directs the couple just how to cut a cake!

Ahhh… behind the scenes pictures. Also known as lots of shots of my right elbow doing weird things.

Caity shot most of my weddings with me this year and oooohhh gosh I am so thankful. You can read all of my appreciation for her HERE. She always loves and cares for my couples like they are her own. It wouldn’t be a 2018 behind the scenes post without a big helping of photos of Caity! She, unlike me, has mastered the vertical-shooting-elbow-tuck.

My role as a wedding photographer often goes well beyond planning timelines, coordinating with other vendors, helping my brides leading up to their wedding day and of course, taking pictures.

You can find me…

  • delivering cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres and cocktails to hungry bridal parties.

  • buttoning up dozens and dozens and dozens of pesky little dress buttons

  • fluffing hair

  • untangling veils

  • pinning on countless boutonnières

  • lacing up corset back wedding gowns

  • straightening out dress layers (aka climbing up inside my poor brides’ dresses. thank you for loving and trusting me, gals)

  • sewing broken wedding dress straps back on

and many, many more things that don’t involve my camera at all.

Shooting wedding parties can sometimes be compared to herding cats. But they always pull it together and show off their best selves for the camera!

For the first time in many years, every single one of my weddings was at a different venue! That means, I was traveling all over to shoot at more and more fantastic venues but I only got to visit some of my favorites once this year!

I totally fell head-over-heels in love with detail photos this year. I put a heavy focus on them in 2017 but I think 2018 was the year of drop dead gorgeous details. Shoes. Bouquets. Rings. Invitations. GIMME IT ALL.

2018 brought me a new experience too! SECOND SHOOTING FOR CAITY!!! * insert some quote about student becoming master but then scratch that because she’s always been a master girlpreneur and my favorite photog, I’m just old * We get a lot of compliments about how well we work together and I am so thankful to work beside her almost every weekend. I forget how much I rely on her until I don’t have her. OOPS. This year I had the blessing of second shooting 7 weddings for her!

I also worked with some fantastic friends in the industry this year! There is nothing better than having a prepared, professional and loving team of vendors to execute your dream wedding day! Like sweet, sweet Taylor who not only did Morgan’s hair but helped us with portraits for 30+ minutes in the freezing cold!

Arguably, I can look my most ridiculous while I’m giving posing instruction but it’s one of my favorite parts of any wedding day or session. I LOVE TALKING ABOUT POSING. Go ahead, ask me how I feel about “belly button to belly button”, the “gentle tilt” or “gimme a big giggle over this way”.

This was the first year that I implemented a same-day slideshow for my couples and their guests. I won’t lie, it can be a bit stressful and difficult to get done in a short period of time but my couples LOVE IT and that makes it so worth it! I love seeing their reactions!

Ah, receptions. The time of the day where we get to hand the reigns over to the DJ’s for the most part and start to play the role of documentarians.

This is super cheesy but pulling together this blog post reminds me of everything that I’ve had the opportunity to shoot and all of the people I’ve had the blessing of working with in 2018… and I’m feeling all kinds of grateful! Even during all of the incredibly hard days, this is truly the best job and I have the best couples!

Cheers to an even better 2019!

Select images above by Cait Kramer Photography, Meghan Baskin Photography, Andrea Krout Photography and Kristin Buckley