May the 4th Be with You — While You View This Unique Pittsburgh Wedding
Lightsabers and an “emo hour” dance party are just a few of the things that made Ryan and Megan’s wedding special.
Before she married Ryan Gartley on March 11, Megan Abbott had been a bridesmaid 13 times, so she knew how to plan an amazing custom wedding.
For her “Star Wars”-loving husband, there were lightsabers on the dance floor. For Megan, who’s part of an axe-throwing league, there was a small custom hatchet to use to cut the cake. For both of them, there were signature drinks themed after their pets, a live painter, and an emo-hour dance party to cap off the night.
“It was really important for us to have a wedding that we felt was ours … we really wanted to make sure that the wedding was reflective of our personalities,” Megan says. “So much of wedding planning is just sort of the standard, pick your venue, pick your photographer, but then we wanted to make sure we were able to, as much as possible, sneak in the individuality of it all.”
The drink stirrers she found on Etsy were customized into the faces of their dog and cat. (Piper, their dog, was also their Dog of Honor, serving as a flower girl/ring bearer). They also had custom cocktail napkins with their pets on them and a “pet cookie table” with dog and cat treats to go for everyone’s pets at home.
In addition to a lightsaber photo shoot and lightsabers on the dance floor, the wedding’s welcome sign invited guests in with Obi-Wan Kenobi’s meme-able words: “Hello there.”
“Ryan’s a huge ‘Star Wars’ fan so we knew we wanted to fit that in as much as possible but we also didn’t want a ‘Star Wars’-themed wedding,” Megan says.
The Baldwin-based couple, who held their ceremony and reception at the Hilton Garden Inn/Southpointe, also arranged for Live Painting PGH to create a portrait of their first dance, and watching him work was a big crowd-pleaser.
The readings during their ceremony were filled with quotes from their favorite movies and television shows; for their guest book they asked their friends and family to write notes on puzzle pieces to create something special they can display in their home. They also had a late-night snack bar with pretzel bites and chicken tenders.
“We tried to keep the framework of a wedding but we wanted to make the framework fit our interests and our personalities,” Megan says. “It was very cool to see a year’s worth of planning visualized.”
Because the two met online in 2019 and started dating just as the pandemic hit, Megan says one of their favorite parts of the day was getting everyone they loved together after being apart for so long.
“It was a wedding but it was also this wonderful reunion,” she says.
Their other favorite part of the day was emo hour at the very end of their reception. DJ Wonderboy from Fireside Events played songs from all of the couple’s favorite bands from the early aughts: Paramore, Andrew W.K., The Starting Line, Brand New and more.
“Our taste in music has not changed since roughly 2005,” Megan says with a laugh. “That is what we listen to, that is what our friends listen to, we knew it was going to be fun … I changed into a sweatsuit — I was ready to party.”