Lindsay and Melissa are very different. Some of Melissa's interests are working out, technology (IT), she's a self proclaimed wine connoisseur, loves working on cars with her dad and spending time with family. She is very outgoing and always up for trying new things. Lindsay's adventurous spirit usually gets her dragged into these new things as well! Lindsay enjoys hanging out with the second loves of her life, Barry and Ally (their Brussels Griffon and Black lab mix).
Lindsay, like most of Pittsburgh, loves the Steelers and Penquins. She also enjoys watching basketball (which our wedding cut into her March Madness time) and drinking IPAs. Both enjoy each other's company, whether it's listening to music, going to concerts or binge watching our favorite shows from the couch (it's never a dull moment). Lindsay can make anyone laugh - If you ever have the privilege of meeting her, she will be one of the funniest people you know. That is what made Melissa fall in love with her... "Even though we are different we compliment each other perfectly... Every brunette needs a blonde right?"
Melissa & Lindsay had met a few times very briefly in late 2012 and early 2013 through mutual friends, but the timing wasn't right. It wasn't until March of 2013 on the day of the St. Patty's Day parade where the two actually spoke and Melissa asked Lindsay out to dinner. Even though Lindsay was reluctant at first, she accepted.
"The proposal happened on Dec. 10th 2015. We had just got home from work and decided we were going to go to dinner at our favorite restaurant. As Melissa jumped in the shower, Lindsay found she just couldn't wait another second and began writing "Marry me" on the steamy mirror waiting for Melissa to come out..
Melissa was surprised to see Lindsay down on one knee - "I was happy she asked me that way because I was totally caught off guard. If we would have went to a fancy dinner I would have been expecting it," Melissa shares. It was in that moment Lindsay told Melissa that she was her favorite pain in the ass and asked her to be her wife.
?Luckily, Melissa said yes, or else dinner would have been really awkward that night. Lindsay may deny crying during the proposal, maybe it was the mist from the shower, but Melissa swears she saw tears. Lindsay claims the tears were from being down on her bad knee that she injured in high school.
Our wedding party consisted of our best friends and our siblings. Melissa's sister, Nicole, was the matron of honor and her best friend, Samantha, was the maid of honor. Lindsay's party wasn't as traditional for a bride. Her brother, Steven, was her best man and her best friend, Preston, was a bridesman. Lindsay also like to refer to them as Broomsmen since she was the "Broom" :)
After the rehearsal dinner the night before, we went our separate ways because we didn’t want to see each other the day of until we were at the altar. No first look. No peaking. We really had no idea what one another’s dress or anything looked like. We wanted the surprise. Melissa stayed at the hotel with her mother and sister and I stayed at our house with my bridesman. The day of, Lindsay had to gather all her things, including the dogs and make her way over to the hotel after her, and the boys got breakfast at Starbucks.
It was a little hectic having to worry about not forgetting anything plus making sure the dogs had all their things as well, since they were a part of our day also. Shortly after Lindsay got to the hotel, her brother and his fiancé Merry showed up as well as Ramon who was there to do her hair. So naturally, we got the mimosa’s flowing and Ramon got to work. While Lindsay was getting her hair done, Melissa was upstairs with her mom, bridesmaids and few cousins who could not wait for the ceremony to begin, nervously drinking mimosas. Mailinn also brought in food for the entire bridal party and Sammie (MOH) handmade chocolate covered strawberries.
Throughout the day Lindsay did a lot of pacing back and forth just waiting for 4:00 to come by. Like Melissa, Lindsay was also very nervous and couldn't eat much but figured it was a good idea to choke down a Belvita cookie with her mimosa's to avoid being sick later in the night. By 3:30 hair and make-up were done and it was time to hop into the dress. Lindsay had her two aunts there to help her get into it. It took an entire search party to find the clasp on the back of her dress. By then, her party was in the neighboring room putting on their boutonnieres and waiting to head down. Melissa’s mom and sister helped her put on her dress – “I feel like most of the morning was dragging on and then all of a sudden it was 4 o’clock and I had to rush to get down to the ceremony” – Melissa.
Then it was time.
The “Bridesmen” and Lindsay’s dad and aunts were ready to head down. Kelli and her team did a great job of making sure we didn't see each other. We had no clue where to other one was before we walked into the ceremony. It actually was a lot of fun to have that mystery. Preston escorted the aunts down the aisle followed by Steve (Lindsay’s brother) escorting Melissa’s mom and Lindsay’s Step-mom. To Lindsay the ceremony was a blur but at the same time couldn’t be over soon enough (I hated standing up there with everyone looking at me!).
?Once the ceremony ended we had snacks in our suite and took pictures with the party and family. And then the party started! We didn’t even eat our dinner we were so excited to walk around and see all of our friends and family who were there to share our day with us. The rest of the night was filled with nothing but drinking and dancing! The dogs even made it down to the party for an appearance. We were lucky enough that the party didn’t end after the wedding was over. The brides and a big group of family and friends went over to the hotel bar to keep it going until last call. People were ordering shots and pizza’s for the entire bar. The whole day was incredible. It was such a mix of emotions going from nervous as hell to elated not being able to remove the smile from our faces.
We tried to follow a lot of traditions that one would consider "historically traditional." We both had something old, something borrowed, something new and something blue. Each of us had a member of our party take our wedding day gifts to one another. We also did the dollar dance which is a tradition in Melissa's family. We both did our separate father daughter dances. There was no throwing of the bouquets, no first look. We also had a memory table with pictures of our lost loved ones whom we wish were there to share our day. We did the typical first dance but had Lindsay's brothers fiance sing Etta James' At Last. The ceremony was actually non-traditional. We had a friend ask us if she could "marry us" and we thought it was a great idea. Karen sent us separate emails with questions and put together the ceremony based on that. We actually received a lot of positive feedback for the ceremony, it basically told our love story - I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. ?
Melissa decided to take Lindsay's last name but also kept Finley. I wanted us to have the same last name so if/when we have children they will be Waltl's too!?
Melissa had placed a photo of Lindsay's mom, who has passed, in her bouquet without Lindsay knowing it. For Lindsay, this was one of the most touching moments. The day also lent a funny moment for Lindsay as her brother shared his toast, "Those of you who knew Lindsay before Melissa knew she was pretty terrible. (Pause) She still is but not as bad now that Melissa is around."
Melissa describes the day as the best day of her life, "Everyone was telling us how wonderful the ceremony was and how different from any other wedding and we loved that, but for me the day was joyous because we were surrounded by family and friends on the dance floor. The majority of my family lives out of town and almost ALL of them came to celebrate with us. It was perfect." .
We did not specifically target LGBT friendly vendors. We used vendors that were recommended to us by Kelli or friends and hoped for the best. Luckily we didn't run into any issues with our event being a same-sex marriage.
?All of our vendors were super friendly and accommodating. Our cake designer just thought she double booked herself when we walked in and told her we were two brides! She didn't even bat an eye when we told her we were marrying each other. She was more so relieved there wasn't a scheduling issue!
"For the past 7 years, I have been lucky enough to direct weddings at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh South. While I have planned and coordinated with hundreds of couples to help make their day as special as it could be, one of the most momentous days in my career was when I witnessed the love of Melissa and Lindsay on their wedding day. It was a beautiful day, for two beautiful ladies, and I’m so glad I was able to be a small part of it, even for just a moment. I’ll forever cherish their friendship." ??- Kelli Gorecki, Wedding Specialist
We both regret not eating any cookies! Melissa's mom made the majority of the cookies at the wedding and since Lindsay and I were running around trying to see everyone we forgot to grab some.
Also I do regret not having a list of pictures that I wanted to get. It would have been nice to have pics with the entire family, friends and some group pics that we missed. Another regret is not just sitting down to eat. We were too anxious to go talk to everyone so people were served their food later and there was ultimately less dancing. Our bad!
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