Image for Black Tie Wedding in a Retro Gymnasium at the Pittsburgh Ace Hotel

Black Tie Wedding in a Retro Gymnasium at the Pittsburgh Ace Hotel

Both grooms grew up religious so it was important to them to have their ceremony in a church. “Being raised Catholic, all the wedding ceremonies I attended as a kid and teen were inside of churches at the altar in front of family and friends,” says James. “I don’t believe that you need a church ceremony to have a blessed marriage, but I wanted the experience of walking down the aisle and reciting my vows to James upon an altar.” The Calvary Episcopal Church welcomed James and Nicholas’s black-tie celebration in its grand space with the Gothic architecture contributing to the elevated sophistication the grooms were going for in their wedding-day vision. The pastor even surprised them during the service. “Prior to the ceremony, in a meeting we had with the pastor, he asked us both the same question: What do you love about your soon-to-be husband. The most special, sentimental moment of our ceremony was when the pastor tenderly and comically incorporated our responses into his homily. He perfectly revealed the reasons why we chose to marry one another. It was an emotional surprise for us, and for our guests.”

For their reception, they were drawn to the Ace Hotel‘s restored YMCA vibes, and hosted their reception in its retro gymnasium. “The Ace Hotel is one of our favorite spots in Pittsburgh,” say the newlyweds. “The amazing food and crafted cocktails, and the vibrant, authentic staff make every person feel welcomed and special as a guest.” The timeworn walls were a perfect balance to the elegantly dressed tables with brass vases brimming with classic white flowers and greenery. As the just-married couple entered the room, they were met with a loud applause, ‘Our guests all stood and went wild as James and I walked into the space and began our first dance,” says Nicholas. “There were quite a few times when my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins circled around James and me on the dance floor. Their smiles, hugs, and kisses made us feel loved, celebrated, and so validated. We sang many family anthems, and it was amazing to see James becoming a part of so many Manning family traditions.”

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