This Glamorous Pittsburgh Wedding Was Straight Out of the 20s

This bride and groom had fun creating an experience for their guests with intricate details evoking “The Great Gatsby.”
Heather Carmen Wild Native Photo239


For Heather Dean and Carmen Connolly, a wedding inspired by the Roaring ’20s just made sense. 

After growing up in the same town and attending the same grade school, Heather and Carmen’s paths finally crossed in 2019 at their local saloon. After they dated for two years, Carmen popped the question during an intimate walk with their dog, Rex.

Heather always dreamt of an intimate and stunning destination wedding in Italy, while Carmen envisioned a huge Pittsburgh wedding to accommodate his large family. 


Bringing their visions together, the couple opted for a grand Pittsburgh wedding.

“I wanted to create an experience for people,” says Heather. With more than 300 guests invited, the couple spent months ironing out the details planning an unforgettable event that paid homage to this iconic era.

“I love old things,” says Heather. “I’m an old-timey person and I love history. So I really wanted to find a venue that shows off Pittsburgh’s history and also has an art deco vibe to it.” After a long search, the couple landed on the Pennsylvanian, a former Downtown train station constructed in 1900, as their wedding location. They enlisted Soirée by Souleret to bring their vision to life.


The two tied the knot on June 10, 2022, at St. Bernard Church in Mt. Lebanon before moving on to cocktail hour beneath the dome of the Pennsylvanian. From the moment guests arrived, they were transported back in time. 

The highlight of cocktail hour was the Champagne showgirl, an entertainer elegantly strolling through the crowd with glasses of champagne displayed on her skirt. The cigar station, Carmen’s personal favorite touch, featured artisans hand-rolling cigars for guests. Wedding guests mingled in the stunning court, enjoying live jazz music and sipping drinks from the martini bar. 

The couple’s most treasured moment of the night was their first glimpse of the venue. They slipped away from cocktail hour and had a private entrance, where they finally witnessed the culmination of all of their planning.


A scene straight out of “The Great Gatsby,” the venue was adorned with velvet chairs, elegant table settings and a towering palm trellis, inspired by the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The couple’s attention to detail was evident in every aspect of their wedding from vintage suitcases used as card boxes to the luxurious gold color scheme. Heather took inspiration from her favorite speakeasy bars in New York and Chicago, with dim lighting, velvet lamp shades and neon signs. 

Heather Carmen Wild Native Photo438

Heather’s love for the bygone era was also evident in her dress and even her ring. Her dress was adorned with sparkles and bows wrapped around her shoulders, and her ring, a vintage marquise diamond from the 20s, was customized with her late grandmother’s baguettes.

There were many Pittsburgh touches at the wedding, inspired by love for their hometown: Farmer’s Daughter Flowers the floral arrangements, Leaf and Bean ran the cigar station and a Prima Coffee cart catered to guests. The final touch was late-night Primanti Bros. sandwiches for guests.

Categories: Weddings