Real Pittsburgh Wedding: Ashley Ames and Michelle Stiller Are Made for Each Other

Ashley Ames took Michelle Stiller’s last name after they tied the knot, because, as Michelle says, “you can’t give up the last name ‘Stiller’ in the city of Pittsburgh.”
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PHOTOS BY KRISTY LUMSDEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Ashley Ames & Michelle Stiller
June 18, 2022

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When Ashley met Michelle
Ashley Ames and Michelle Stiller met in the summer of 2010 at a mutual friend’s bonfire — a meeting that Michelle called love at first sight. “I remember it very vividly, and I swear time stopped,” Michelle says. After the bonfire, they started spending time together. A few years later, Michelle was accepted to Duquesne University’s pharmacy program, and a year after that, Ashley was accepted to Duquesne’s occupational therapy program, and their relationship grew as they attended the same school. The timing of their programs lined up so they graduated together in 2018.

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They Said Yes
After 10 years as a couple, Ashley and Michelle each wanted the chance to propose to each other. They each designed rings and planned to propose on New Year’s Eve 2020 at Prince Gallitzin State Park in Cambria County, keeping the details a surprise. Amid a blanket of freshly fallen snow, Michelle proposed along the lake with white roses and Champagne; Ashley proposed along a hiking trail, including photos from their hiking trips in years past. Michelle had one more surprise in store: Due to the pandemic, the couple kept their engagement party that evening small with just parents and siblings, but Michelle had arranged for loved ones to send in congratulatory messages that she compiled into a video for Ashley.

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The Big Day
The pair shopped for wedding dresses together at The White Orchid in the South Hills but kept the other from seeing their final selections and asked the store’s consultants to ensure they didn’t buy the same dress or dresses that clashed. As it turned out, they chose dresses that complemented each other — from the same designer. On their wedding day, Ashley and Michelle walked down the aisle together, with their fathers escorting them. At the reception, they had pierogi appetizers, a signature drink named after their dog, Bentley, and Terrible Towels with a play on the Pittsburgh pronunciation of “Steelers,” as Ashley was taking Michelle’s last name of Stiller. “A few factors went into the decision,” Michelle says, “but you can’t give up the last name ‘Stiller’ in the city of Pittsburgh. That would be a crime.”

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Happily Ever After
Ashley and Michelle went to Maui for their honeymoon, filled with hiking, snorkeling and beach visits. Ashley, 27, is a pediatric occupational therapist at Sensory Link Pediatric Therapy, and Michelle, 29, is a pharmacist with Highmark. They live in Verona with Bentley and are expecting their first child in July.

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Ceremony & Reception Site The Barn at Maple Falls, Rockwood
Caterer The Barn at Maple Falls
Cake Tasty Bakery
Cookie Table Made by family, friends, Oakmont Bakery, and Stoecklein’s Bakery
Dresses Sophia Tolli; The White Orchid
Hair Meraki Wedding Hair
Makeup LMG Makeup
Engagement Rings James Allen
Wedding Bands Jared
Flowers Fields of Heather
Music/Entertainment 2nd II None Productions
Stationery/Invitations Truly Engaging
Videographer One&Only Media
Transportation Somerset Transportation and McIlwain School Bus Lines
Officiant Ceremony Officiants, The Rev. Jordan Berty
Wedding Planner Devoted to You

Categories: Weddings