I Do (Again): My Unparalleled Anniversary Celebration at Fairmont Pittsburgh

Try savoring all the distinction and flare the Fairmont Pittsburgh has to offer. It can be too much for anyone, especially me.

Marvin and me after our 10-year
anniversary vow renewal ceremony at St. Benedict The Moor Church.

Photo by Barbie Gilardi   

I was already full of excitement from the day—a special day this past Saturday when my husband, Marvin, and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony at St. Benedict the Moor Church, downtown. Surrounded by our two children, mothers, siblings, nieces and nephews and a few very close friends, Marvin and I declared forever once again.

I wore a simple dress with an ivory ruffle bodice and black skirt and he wore a pinstriped, three-piece suit. Everything was simple, just the way I had planned. Immediately following our exchange of vows, we proceeded to the back of the church to cut into our tiered cake from Paddy Cake Bakery in Bloomfield and enjoyed the afternoon with our loved ones.

After church, I surprised Marvin with a trip downtown to Fairmont Pittsburgh, the newly built LEED hotel located at 510 Market Street.

The experience was amazing and unforgettable.


Fairmont Pittsburgh’s beautiful exterior.

Photo courtesy Fairmont Pittsburgh    

First, we had dinner reservations for four at Habitat Restaurant located on the second floor of Fairmont Pittsburgh. Marvin ordered the salmon, while I ordered—what else?—the bacon burger with white cheddar and a side of sweet-potato fries. Miles, our youngest, declared “Oh, whoa!” when his plate of chicken fingers and fries was served; while Marissa, our mature 10-year-old, gasped at how tasty her fish and rice were.

We were seated at the chef’s table next to the open kitchen and were treated like honored guests. From the service to the domestic fare, I loved every last bite and taste Habitat cooked up.

Once dinner ended, my sister volunteered to pick up the kids and take them home, so Marvin and I could enjoy our overnight stay. We were given a tour of the accommodations in room 1922 of the Ryan Suite. Our view of 6th and Penn Avenues was breathtaking. We had a sky-high aerial view of PNC Park. With the Vortex Skyline 80 telescope provided in the room, Marvin was able to zoom in on the action happening during the game. Before the night was over, room service delivered a bottle of sparkling wine with chocolate-dipped strawberries, candied sweets and a little sign made of chocolate that read "Happy Anniversary." It was also fireworks night at PNC Park. While the burst of light cracked and popped over the game, Marvin and I sipped on wine and ate the strawberries while watching from the 19th floor.

Sunday morning came quickly, and, to our surprise, breakfast was delivered to our room. Over French toast and pancakes, we relaxed and had time to talk about how beautifully the weekend went, from the ceremony to dinner at Habitat to our window view of the game.

“This place has a lot of flare, it’s like no other place we’ve stayed,” said Marvin, who now refers to our 10-year anniversary as happening at the Flare-mont.

Year No. 11, here we come.

Come visit the Fairmont Pittsburgh on Sun., Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. for Aisle Style: An Unveiling of Dresses, Décor & Details, with a fashion show and brunch reception. (Fairmont Pittsburgh, 510 Market St., downtown; 412/773-8800, fairmont.com/pittsburgh)

Read our resident bride-to-be Lisa Kellar’s bi-monthly blog: A Killer Wedding.

Say “I Do” to the best in local weddings, from engagement to honeymoon with Pittsburgh magazine’s bi-monthly e-newsletter, Perfect Pittsburgh Weddings. Visit pittsburghmagazine.com/enews to subscribe.