The Surznick Common Room

Thursday, May 24, 2018

#MeetTheMeowburgs: The Wedding


What better time to talk about our wedding than... 4 and a half months after it happened? Yeah, we're a little behind over here, but we are SO excited to finally share our wedding with you today. It was the best day we could have hoped for and we're thrilled to relive it with you guys! There are a bunch of photos below, but we wanted to give you some details first. This post is going to be a doozy, buckle up!

When: January 6, 2018 (our 9 year dating anniversary)

Where: Ace Hotel Pittsburgh - Ballroom. Getting married in the middle of winter certainly limits your venue options, but we wouldn't have wanted to get married anywhere else. Working with the event team at the Ace made our planning process so easy and we are so grateful to them for their guidance and help!


How Many Attended: About 80 guests

What Sarah Wore: My dress was a ModCloth/BHLDN hybrid. I did not picture myself wedding dress shopping in person with a bunch of people voting yes/no. Instead, I drank a bunch of wine one night and looked at ModCloth's bridal section online. I found a dress that was cute and on sale for about $70 - it's no longer available, but this is what it looked like originally.

via ModCloth
Later I found this beautiful lace topper from BHLDN - I'm still so in love with it. My mom cut the lace top off of the ModCloth dress and I wore the dress with the BHLDN topper instead. All in, my dress was under $300. I wore dark green velvet Mary Janes, which were super comfortable - I kept them on all night.


I decided to do my own makeup and kept it pretty much the same as what I normally wear (winged eyeliner will be my legacy.) I had no idea what to do with my hair, and I rarely get it cut so I don't have a go-to stylist. Luckily my friend Jessica offered to do my hair for me, which was a huge stress reliever, and I love how it turned out (thank you, Jess!) The only jewelry I wore besides my rings were rose gold lotus earrings from Etsy.

What Nick Wore: (Hey, it's Nick!) I wore a custom suit from Men's Wearhouse. It even had my name stitched inside! It doesn't matter what your thoughts are on Men's Wearhouse, or any other clothing store, a custom suit is worth its weight in gold. You feel like a million bucks and look amazing. If you're getting married, make sure you get a tailored suit. (And pro tip: it turns out Men's Wearhouse is basically ALWAYS having some form of a mega sale. No matter the time of year, you can get a sweet deal.)


Food: Since our wedding was at the Ace Hotel, all of the food/drink was from their in-house restaurant, Whitfield. The food was INCREDIBLE. If you've ever been to the Whitfield, you know that their food is amazing (both the chef and pastry chef were recently nominated for James Beard awards!) and we couldn't have been happier with the menu.

Nick and I were adamant about having an all-vegetarian wedding, and we are so thankful to the Whitfield for coming up with the most fantastic off-menu dishes for us. The food was served family style, so we didn't need to get meal preferences from guests beforehand, which was really nice. We actually tried to kept the menu a secret (not everyone is as excited about vegetarian food as we are), but all of our guests loved the dishes.

We had a beet salad and a mixed greens salad to start. For the main courses there was a parmesan risotto with roasted cauliflower, shaved Brussels sprouts, and tomato butter, as well as roasted squash with rice cakes, kale, harissa, and lentil salad. Dessert was a bourbon pecan bread pudding and a vegan chocolate fudge (made with avocado!) There was also a cheese plate during the cocktail hour, and of course - open bar (this is a Surznick wedding, after all.)


We didn't have a cake for the wedding ceremony, but our friend Annie made us a wedding cake that we could share with guests at our house the day after the wedding. The cake was so beautiful and so delicious. If you are local and need a cake (vegan options available!) please reach out to Annie!


We had our rehearsal dinner at Apteka, a local all-vegan Polish restaurant (pierogies!) We highly recommend visiting if you haven't been before!

DIYs and Decor: The ballroom at the Ace is so beautiful on its own that we didn't really want to overdecorate. We made two backdrops - one for us to stand in front of on the stage during the ceremony, and one for photos during the reception. The paper chain backdrop is a DIY by The House that Lars Built. For our centerpieces, we used caterpillar bud vases we got on clearance from a local shop and filled them with moss and faux flower buds from JoAnn Fabric. A big thank you to our friends Jamie, Jessica, and Geoff for helping us put together the centerpieces and backdrop!


Guest Book: Our friend, Steve, helped us design the best wedding guest book ever. I knew I wanted to do something unique and I was inspired by a photo that I saw on Instagram years ago and had saved on my phone. Our guests each had a card to fill out with their name, how they know the bride or groom, favorite memories, where they traveled from to attend, and some special wishes for us. Our favorite feature was that they had to draw a photo of themselves (which made for an excellent read-through of the cards the next day). We plan to have them all bound into a book that we can look back on for years to come. Thank you, Steve!


Favors: We went back and forth over favors for a LONG time until we finally decided to scrap the idea. I don't remember ever receiving a wedding favor that I've loved and kept forever, and we figured our guests probably felt the same. Instead, we used the money we would have spent on favors to make a donation to Community Human Services, a local organization with the following mission: "To empower individuals and families to live in stable housing, connect to community resources, build relationships, and access quality food." The Ace Hotel Pittsburgh is in the former YMCA building in East Liberty, a neighborhood that has seen its fair share of gentrification over the past several years (and is ongoing.) While it's a modest donation, we hope it makes a small difference in our community.

Officiated By: Our friend, Jordan! I've known Jordan since 1st grade and he and Nick have become close over the past few years. We wouldn't have wanted anyone else to marry us! He traveled all the way from Austin, TX to legally bind us and we're stoked to travel to Austin to see him soon.


DJ & Music: Our wedding was DJed by Kevin Petted of The Best DJs. I walked down the aisle to Quelqu'un m'a dit by Carla Bruni, and Nick and I walked into our reception to Fat Lip by Sum 41 (as if there were ANY OTHER OPTION.)

I think the other song highlights of the night were Country Roads (a Mr. Nick classic) and Sugar, We're Goin' Down (EVERYONE sang along.)


First Dance: Pretty much right when we got engaged, I decided that I wanted to do a choreographed routine for our first dance. Nick was game, but we didn't even pick songs or start practicing until about a month before the wedding.

Our friend Thomas put the songs together into one track for us (thank you, Thomas!) - our song selections were:
- January Wedding by the Avett Brothers (for obvious reasons)
- Cliff's Song from the movie Bring It On (one of my favorite movies of all time)
- I Just Do by Dear and the Headlights (Nick and I declared this 'our song' at like age 19)
- 2YL by The Front Bottoms (it's perfect)


My lovely friend, Bethany, captured a video of the dance for us - you can watch it below!


Photography: Our wedding was shot by Alyssa Florentine of For Rue Photography, along with her 2nd shooter, Michael. We're sharing some photos below, but it was very hard to narrow down. We love them so much and will cherish them forever. Thank you, Alyssa and Michael!


If you made it this far, thank you for reading! Our wedding was a long time coming, but truly the best day. If you have any questions, be sure to let us know in the comments below and we'd be happy to share. If you missed any of our other wedding-related posts, you can catch them below.

The Engagement
The Plan
Save the Dates
My Bouquet
Our Invitations
Getting Healthy
Table Numbers, Place Cards, & Favor Tags

Thank you so much,
Sarah & Nick