Sterling Noelle Rice & Brendan John Donnelly II

June 23, 2012

Linda and Alan Rice; Debra and Brendan Donnelly

Sterling and Brendan were united at a Roman Catholic mass, performed by the Rev. Edward Bryce at Heinz Memorial Chapel (1212 Cathedral of Learning, Oakland; 412/624-4157,  

Inspired by the British royal wedding, the couple sought out organic elements that complemented their venues. Nathan and Thomas from Hens & Chicks (5892 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside; 412/363-2120, brought in trees for church décor. Floral arrangements for the bridal party and reception were richly textured yet subtle.

Cyndi and Tony Araujo captured candid moments (Araujo Photography; 412/787-2711,

Sterling worked with designers at Anna Maier-Ulla-Maija ( for her custom gown. She started with an existing design for a strapless dress with a detachable train. Then she made her mark with a delicate lace overlay jacket that buttoned over her dress for the ceremony.

Alexis Stimmel of Cranberry’s Salon Karma (724/776-0005) handled the bride and bridal party’s chic updos, while Reema Anbari ( did everyone’s makeup.

Astor and Black (877/278-6718, created Brendan’s custom single-button tux with a peak lapel.

The gorgeous setting at the Duquesne Club (325 Sixth Ave., downtown; 412/391-1500, was already picture-perfect. The reception started downstairs in the two-story fountain room before moving upstairs to the dining area, where the wedding party, parents and grandparents were seated at a long oval table. After the meal, the party moved back downstairs for music and dancing.

While living in New York City, Sterling turned to Trends to Traditions owner and director Kat Shaw (412/267-2108, for help with the long-distance planning process. The Trends team recommended vendors, arranged rentals and even coordinated transportation.   

The Duquesne Club provided a five-tier almond cake with raspberry-Chambord filling and ivory-on-ivory details piped in buttercream icing — like the couple’s married initials scripted on the top tier underneath two crossed parrot tulips.

At different points during the ceremony, Suzanne Hershey (412/687-4248, provided harp music and George Balderose (412/323-2707, played bagpipes. The Chozen Few Band, a 10-piece ensemble from Cleveland, played in smaller sets during the cocktail hour and dinner, and continued throughout the remainder of the reception (contact Ralph Johnson, 216/721-6519).


Categories: Weddings