You could say it was fate that brought us together.  I’d say it was a couple margaritas and two very persistent friends.  James and I’s first few meetings were a series of missed connections.  Our first apparent meeting, was at a Pitt tailgate, then a St. Patty’s Day bar crawl, and the list goes on.  Although we never spoke more than a few words to each other, my cousin and best friend (and now one of my maids of honor), Jordan, continued to insist what a great couple James and I would make, to which I would promptly respond, “Who’s James again?”  James was Brandon’s best friend.  Brandon is  Jordan’s then boyfriend, now husband.  Still following?  This continued until one night when Jordan and I decided to go out for some Mad Mex margaritas.  (Side-note, for those of you who are unfamiliar, these are humorously large and humorously strong drinks that are also absolutely delicious).  As we were getting ready, I heard Brandon slyly call from the other room, “Hey Jordan, where are you guys going again?  Mad Mex?  I think James and I were going to go there too.”  Jordan played dumb, but it only took a couple of weeks for her to admit that it was all a set up.  The four of us had a great time that night,  We laughed and drank for hours.  You would’ve thought this is it.  This is how they got together.  Nope.  Fooled ya.  James and I did not talk after this.   However, a few weeks later the four of us “just happened” to meet up again.  Somehow, James and I finally found ourselves alone and started chatting.  We found out that both of our favorite animals were tigers and both of our favorite colors were blue.  And I guess, that’s all James needed to know!  He asked me out the next day, and we had our first date at a burger place called BRGR.  About a year and a half later, we moved into an apartment together, got a puppy, and the rest is history!  Now enjoy pictures of Jax, before getting to James’ part 🙂




Emma and I had been dating for a little over three years before we got engaged.  During that time we’d continued to find out just how much we really had in common.  Whether it was Pittsburgh sports, music tastes, or a love of breweries and craft beers, we were able to keep finding new and interesting things to do that we both really enjoyed.  This ended up culminating in a trip to Thailand in the summer of 2016.  Pretty much as soon as we decided we were going on the trip everyone started to think we would get engaged while travelling.  I decided that I’d rather be engaged before the trip, so I tried to plan a day where we could go walk through one of the city parks with our dog (Highland Park, definitely worth checking out if you find yourselves with some spare time).  We’d often walked through the park, and there is part with a small bridge over a stream that I thought would work well.  However, in classic Pittsburgh fashion, it decided to rain heavily all day, so I had to pivot my plans at the last minute.  I decided to take Emma out for the night and recreate a date from earlier in our relationship. We had dinner at Benjamin’s Burgers and then went to James St. Gastropub to see some jazz in the basement speakeasy (both of these places are on the Pittsburgh North Shore, close to the reception venue).  While we were on our date, my brother and best man David was arranging flowers and candles on our back porch so I could surprise her and propose when we got back home.  It worked, she said yes, and here we are today.