Samantha Brooke Helsing & Drew Spagnola

Photos by Jennifer Detar Photography


August 4, 2012


Felicia and Thomas Helsing; Cheryl and Joseph Spagnola

The Beaver natives tied the knot during a simple ceremony held in the ballroom of the Fairmont Pittsburgh (510 Market St., downtown; 412/773-8800, Along with white rose petals and vases of floating candles, the aisles were also lined with arrangements of hydrangeas, which were later used as reception centerpieces. A friend loaned the couple a large antique mirror, which served as the backdrop for their nuptials as pastor Benjamin Kendrew, cousin-in-law of the bride, performed the service. Three Rivers String Quartet (412/563-2312) accompanied the ceremony and performed a contemporary mix as the newlyweds recessed.



Samantha carried a beautiful bouquet of white hydrangeas with crystal accents, designed by Tony of Bella Flora (3239 Washington Pike, Bridgeville; 412/914-0673). Bella Flora also arranged the reception centerpieces.

Jennifer Detar Photography (914/721-0299, and Robert Charles Wedding Films (412/407-7153, captured the couple’s big day on camera.



Samantha wore a strapless Maggie Sottero gown with a sweetheart neckline, ruffled skirt and crystal accents from Bridal Beginning (450 Cochran Road, Mt. Lebanon; 412/343-6677, For her “something borrowed,” she took her sister’s bubble wedding veil to Laurel Hager of Laurel’s Sewing Shoppe (3400 South Park Road, Bethel Park; 412/835-3146), who transformed it into a fingertip-length veil with Swarovski crystal-lined edges. Samantha also wore chandelier earrings and a jeweled bracelet from Nordstrom.

Allison Roth Studio (33 Terminal Way, South Side; 412/427-8078, applied Samantha's makeup, and Katie Hummel of The Salon on 3rd (1140 3rd St., Beaver; 724/987-4505, styled Samantha’s hair.

Drew chose a timeless Vera Wang tuxedo with a black bowtie from Men’s Wearhouse.



After the couple said "I do," the temporary wall that had separated their ceremony from the ballroom was taken down. Tables were set with black tablecloths to make the all-white centerpieces pop, and the groom's sister, designer/artist Ali Spagnola, created a variety of decorations, including table numbers and quotes in white vintage frames ( Dinner options included filet mignon with bacon and roquefort gratin, herb-crusted wild halibut and stuffed chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. Guests snapped photos in a photobooth (ShutterBooth: 5168 Campbells Run Road #104, Robinson Township; 724/203-4065, throughout the evening. Mini Primanti's-style sandwiches were served as a surprise late-night snack. Guests took home their photobooth printouts as well as personalized matches as favors.

The Fairmont provided a three-layer banana cake with chocolate ganache, white fondant icing and black scroll detailing.



The couple didn’t have an official wedding planner, but they credit Fairmont wedding specialist Meghan Tiberio with going above and beyond to help coordinate the wedding. After contacting the Fairmont on their first anniversary to re-emphasize how much they enjoyed their big day, Drew and Samantha received a small congratulatory replica of their wedding cake.

The couple and their guests couldn't get enough of the John Parker Band (One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St., downtown; 724/941-1111, After accompanying Samantha and Drew's first dance to Ray Montagne’s “You Are the Best Thing,” the band played everything from Andrea Bocelli to Sir Mix-A-Lot. The crowd had such a blast they convinced the act to stick around for another 30 minutes.



Categories: Weddings