Art & Marriage: A Warhol Wedding
This Pittsburgh couple incorporated history and Pop Art into their wedding festivities.
Photos by Kristi Telnov
When Bonnie Sheetz and Brian Ottavian started planning for their wedding, they had no plans to pay homage to the great artist and native Pittsburgher Andy Warhol. But Bonnie, an art fan, wanted to know more about the artist who grew up in the same city as both her and her future husband after they decided to have a traditional Byzantine Catholic ceremony at St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Greenfield — Andy Warhol’s childhood church.
“There are stories about how the look of the inside of the church even influenced his artistic style,” Bonnie says.
After learning about Warhol’s connection to both Pittsburgh and the church and visiting The Andy Warhol Museum — where there are pictures of the church on display — Bonnie and Brian decided that they wanted to incorporate details of Pop Art into their special day on Oct. 22.
For the ceremony, the couple created programs using photos of themselves in Warhol’s vibrant Pop Art style. In the program, there was also a quick history lesson on Warhol’s relationship with Pittsburgh and the church.
The couple’s wedding reception took place at LeMont restaurant, where they dined and danced to the groom’s all-80’s playlist — the last decade of Warholian Pop Art. “My husband, Brian, really didn't have many specific requests for the wedding besides he wanted 80's music, blow up guitars, and somewhere along the way decided to buy the groomsmen all colorful socks,” says Bonnie. The couple made their grand entrance to “Just Like Heaven,” cut the cake to “I Melt With You” and closed out the night with “Send Me an Angel.” Bonnie and Brian’s videographers kept up the theme by documenting the night in an 80’s VHS-style video.
“Brian also danced with his aunt to Bob Seger's ‘We've Got Tonight’ in honor of his mom who, unfortunately, passed away four months before our wedding after a 10-year battle with cancer,” says Bonnie. “It was a great way to honor her, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room.”
The couple completed their wedding reception with other Pop Art influences, such as a children’s activity book with cartoon versions of the bride and groom, an antique 1960’s bus that transported the bridal party and an ice sculpture by Ice Creations modeled after pop artist Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” print that was a gift from Bonnie’s parents.
“I never asked my parents for anything in particular, but as I was growing up, my parents would talk about ‘saving for our weddings’ and I always joked to make sure they ordered ice sculptures. It just became a long-running joke for most of my life about not forgetting to plan for an ice sculpture,” says Bonnie. “When we came in for the reception, before we walked into the dining area, there it was waiting!”