Love is so fascinating. I have found that many of the relationships that work the best are founded upon mutual respect, honesty and sharing of interests. Erica and Brendan would soon develop the former two, but their interest toward one another began with a humble interest of the same activity and lifestyle. Interest developed into love, which inevitably grew into a desire to marry! I got to shoot their wedding at Spirit in Pittsburgh PA and it was so magical. Here is their story.
About the Couple
Erica Parrinello is a vibrant young lady who has beauty that caught the eye of Brendan Cusick. They met in 2012 at a Christmas Eve Party. They started with light conversation– then, they found out they both have a passion for mountain-biking. Now, it may seem like simply a hobby to some… But for Erica and Brendan both, it’s more than that. Finding someone else who has the same passion is very special. So Brendan saw the opportunity to ask pretty-girl Erica to go out together on a “date” of sorts; he asked her to go mountain-biking with him sometime! Now, asking a girl out on a first date is never easy. Erica fondly recalls giving Brendan her number. As he was putting the number into his phone, his hands were trembling! “I’ll never forget that…” she remembers, “he was so cute!”
They knew from the start they were good for one another. Because of this, they were pretty serious from the beginning. A few months after they started dating, Brendan told Erica he loved her on their first Valentine’s Day together. From then, the love only kept growing.
They had been together almost four years when Brendan popped the question. He proposed in early summer in 2016. They were at a geological feature in Yosemite called “Cloud’s Rest”. As they were looking out over the amazing view, Brendan asked her, “isn’t this perfect?” to which she agreed. Well, seeing as how she agreed to that question, he could only hope for the same result for his next question! He proceeded to get down to one knee, and as he held out a ring, he said this killer line: “do you know what would make it more perfect? If you said yes!”
She was speechless. But, of course, I wouldn’t be here writing about their wedding if she hadn’t given him a yes!
Spirit in Pittsburgh PA is a huge event space, perfect for their wedding! It has a pizzeria, bar, and an event hall with stages on both of its levels– you know, all the awesome stuff a building can have. I want to give Spirit in Pittsburgh PA a special shout out; they even did a special gluten-free plate for me, leaving me the ability to gorge if I wanted to! Thanks! The lighting plus the venue itself had a black-and-white feel and ambience to it, so I mostly shot in black and white. This gave a classy, timeless look to the photographs that I love.
The photography tuned out breathtaking, as I got to shoot Erica and Brendan at the happiest time of their life so far. She looked absolutely stunning in her wedding gown. And I can’t say the groom didn’t clean up nicely! Brendan couldn’t tie his bowtie (those things can be tricky) and ended up spending almost all his time allotted to getting ready focused on trying to make it work! His cousin stepped in, saving the day, to tie that pesky bow. What was more radiant than the jewelry or lighting on the pictures was the happiness you could see and feel beaming from the couple. Remember when I talked about how fascinating love can be in the beginning? Well that love was in the room that day. Special, wonderful, beautiful. And I was allowed to capture it all with my camera.
The wedding itself was fun, just like the couple. Even their fur-baby Banjo didn’t miss out, as he was featured in the wedding! It was an intimate ceremony, and everyone had a great time during it and the reception. Their first dance was to “Breathe” by Pearl Jam. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a super fan-boy when it comes to Pearl Jam. But no worries… I didn’t totally geek out, dance, or steal their thunder.
If love can begin with something like a mutual interest or passion, maybe there are others out there like Erica and Brendan who can find the perfect man or woman out of a common interest. But there is more to it than just that. Luckily, this couple had it all for one another and they will get to delight in their love for the rest of their lives together. And I am so happy I got to be a part of that story and capture it with these images.
If you’re looking for a PA wedding photographer, or have an engagement or business shoot you would like to hire, contact me here. To see some of my other work on PA weddings I’ve shot, click here to see a fun one about a wedding I shot on one Black Friday.