When Kate Callahan and Chris Coughlan met in July of 2011 in Washington, D.C., he was a lieutenant in the United States Navy and she was finishing up grad school at Georgetown University. After four months of dating, Chris was deployed to Afghanistan for four months, but that didn't stop their budding relationship. "We wrote and talked about things that we never got the chance to do because he left so quickly," Kate says. "And we made plans for the future when Chris would return!"
On August 3, 2012, after five months back in D.C. with Kate, Chris proposed at The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (the site of their first date!) on bended knee with a little blue box from Tiffany & Co., complete with a perfectly-tied white ribbon. For their September 7, 2013 wedding, Kate and Chris invited 100 guests to the bride's hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they worked with Ansley Esterline of Bliss Events Ltd. to plan a traditional Catholic ceremony at Saint Mary Catholic Church and a romantic, pink-and-white reception at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Check out all the beautiful details, photographed by Veronica Varos!
Inspired by ever-classic brides like Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy, Kate says it took trying on about 30 dresses before she found "the one." The winner? A simple strapless ball gown by Martina Liana, with intricate lace detailing and a long train.
To match her blush pink wedding color, the bride wore peep-toe heels with a tulle bow by Badgley Mischka.
The groom wore a classic black tux from Brooks Brothers. His pewter cufflinks, which were in the shape of beer caps and engraved with the Guinness logo, were a gift from a groomsman who knows that Chris has a love for all things Irish.
The bride accessorized with a cathedral-length veil and carried a bouquet of white roses with green accents. To honor her late father, Kate pinned his monogrammed cufflink to the base of her bridal bouquet.
Kate's bridesmaids, in pale pink Amsale dresses, carried smaller versions of her bridal bouquet with pink roses mixed in.
Kate and Chris asked family and friends to sign a custom guestbook purchased from Etsy.
The newly-minted Mr. and Mrs. Coughlan worked with Pam of My Garden to decorate round tables with tea light candles and low centerpieces of hydrangeas and white and blush roses. "We wanted the tables to have an elegant look without being cluttered," Kate says. The tabletops were completed with gold chargers, simple table numbers, and pale pink place cards.
Even before the venue was set, the bride's dad insisted that the cake be from Jean Marc Chalellier's French Bakery, or what Kate likes to call "the best bakery in Pittsburgh!" The bride, an avid baker and lover of all things sweet, selected a traditional white wedding cake with chocolate ganache filling. The three-tiered cake was decorated with white scrolls and garnished with fresh roses and greenery. "It was everything we hoped for," the bride says.
After the wedding, Kate and Chris moved across the country to California and spent their week-long honeymoon exploring their new home state, traveling from Carmel to San Francisco and up to Napa before settling down in Sacramento. As far as wedding planning goes, Kate recommends that all future brides remember to enjoy the wedding planning process and, especially, the big day! "I found myself pausing to take a mental snapshot so that I can remember the people and special moments from that day," she says.
Ceremony Venue: Saint Mary Catholic Church || Reception Venue: Fox Chapel Golf Club || Event Planner: Ansley Esterline of Bliss Events Ltd. || Bride's Wedding Dress: Martina Liana || Hair & Makeup: MCN Salon || Groom's Suit: Brooks Brothers || Florist: Pam of My Garden Floral || Guest Book: Etsy || Cake: Jean Marc's Chalellier's French Bakery || Photography: Veronica Varos