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Say I Do — to Pierogies

Try this new wedding food that’s an old Pittsburgh favorite.

Photo by Laura Petrilla


When you’ve been to enough weddings, the food can all start to taste the same. In an effort to switch up their cuisine, these couples decided to add a beloved, and versatile, Pittsburgh favorite — the pierogi.

Photo by Justin Boyd Photography

Something Different

Katie Harbison and Shawn McGregor have likely tried every wedding dish out there. Katie has been a bridesmaid in 13 weddings, and Shawn is in a band that performs at weddings. They knew they wanted to do something different.

“We had a non-traditional venue,” Katie says of Mr. Smalls Theatre, where their wedding and reception were held on Sept. 8. “We wanted non-traditional food.”

Katie, who grew up in a Slovak family eating homemade pierogies, knew she wanted them on her wedding day. Katie’s grandmother makes pierogies every Wednesday with her church, and Katie considered buying the pierogies through the church. But then she had another idea. Katie used to work in booking concerts and was familiar with Moondogs, a local music club and pub. The owners of Moondogs also own Starlite Lounge, a bar known for its oversized pierogies, which Katie thought could be a hit at her wedding.

“We got married in September, and people still bring up [the pierogies] all the time,” Katie says.

Katie and Shawn also featured a mac-and-cheese bar and pot roast at their wedding, completing a menu full of comfort food.

Photo by Ryan Zarichnak Photography

Fall Fun

For Katie Kurtzman and Adam Longshore, having pierogies on their Sept. 30 wedding day was non-negotiable. Katie became so adamant about including pierogies in the menu that Adam couldn’t help but tease her for her no-nonsense demeanor.

Katie and Adam, from Dover, Pa., and Alabama, respectively, had many out-of-towners and first-time visitors attend their wedding. Katie felt that it was important for the attendees to “experience Pittsburgh food,” but she didn’t want to go over-the-top with her Pittsburgh touches.

“We weren’t going to have a Steelers cake or anything,” Katie says with a laugh.

To add to her autumnal theme, Katie and Adam decided to have pumpkin pierogies. “They gave us that extra fall flavor,” Katie says.

Photo by Leeann Marie Photography

Late-Night Bar

“Traditional ballroom wedding” doesn’t mean “boring, stale party.” Olivia Heim knew she wanted a classic ballroom wedding when she married Benjamin Whiting on Nov. 4. However, she wanted to add some fun local touches.

“We both are from Pittsburgh, and we absolutely love Pittsburgh,” Olivia says.

Along with the staple Pittsburgh cookie table and late-night Primanti’s-styled sandwiches made by the Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel, where they held their reception, Olivia and Ben provided a late-night pierogi bar, complete with toppings such as bacon, cheese and sour cream.

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