Written By Michelle Franzen Martin; Photos By Suzanne Delawar Studios. For Mitchol and Meaghan Pappan, their past and future came together on their wedding day at Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.
The two were high school sweethearts who fell in love at the age of 13. After high school they both attended Ohio University and often made the drive from their hometown near Pittsburgh while singing Shania Twain’s song “From This Moment On,” which they knew would one day be their wedding song.
On September 23, 2017 the tune did become their wedding song accompanying many cherished recollections that were carefully woven into the wedding and reception at the hotel. Bonnie Walker of Bonnie Walker Events planned the wedding saying, “We had to incorporate the many memories and years of love that they have for each other in their wedding.”
The couple chose the Omni William Penn Hotel after falling in love with its elegant features and astonishing details. It was the perfect place to celebrate with 290 weddings guests, including a wedding party of 20. “My vision for the wedding was very elegant and romantic with lots of flowers and candles everywhere,” Meaghan says. “I had seen Bonnie’s work before, so I knew I was in great hands.”
Elegance and Romance
Walker introduced a color scheme including ivories, golds and varying florals for an extraordinary level of elegance and romance. Her attention to detail was perfect for the couple whose engagement was also carefully coordinated. Mitchol surprised Meaghan with a marriage proposal in Paris when she was visiting the city with her family.“[The photographer] had me turn around and face the Eiffel Tower for a picture, and when I turned back around, Mitchol was there on one knee,” Meaghan remembers. “I was in complete shock and instantly started crying. It was the most amazing moment of my life.”
“The most memorable part of the planning process would be creating the elegant concept of the ballroom,” Walker says. “The couple chose Omni William Penn Hotel because of the grandeur and romantic elegance of the space in addition to the outstanding food. That being said, those two elements made it easy to create a spectacular event.” After exchanging vows at their church, the couple and their guests began the evening with a cocktail reception in Omni William Penn Hotel’s Urban Room, where they were greeted by gold-mirrored bars, gold molding and white corner pedestals.
The cocktail hour itself was uniquely Mitchol and Meaghan with elegance, sophistication and fun. In the center of the room, Walker built a large square platform that was elevated and staged for the dueling pianos. It was also a nod to the Pappans’ Greek heritage and the couple offered guests an opportunity to sample an assortment of delicious Greek foods.
Walker, who planned several weddings for other members of the couple’s families, remembers enjoying the site visits and tastings with the couple as they were planning their wedding. “We went into the tastings open-minded and came out with outstanding options that reflected the family’s Greek heritage along with other great food selections,” Walker says.
Grand Ballroom Reception
After the cocktail hour, guests moved into the Grand Ballroom for the reception. There, they were greeted by a 12-foot-by-8-foot entrance wall with the couple’s monogram and gold filigree elements. Florals were positioned in front of the side panels, and the escort cards were placed on tables on both sides of the entrance wall. “The overall goal was to create a soft, romantic, impactful statement,” Walker says.
The interior of the ballroom was breathtaking with a sweetheart table elevated on a small, round stage and complemented by two gold tables with mirrored tops for the bride, groom and bridal party. Behind the sweetheart table was a giant floral wall with the monogrammed “P” in the center. One of Walker’s unique design details drew inspiration from the hotel’s famed lighting fixtures.
Omni William Penn is well-known for its grand, historic chandeliers, and at the Pappans’ reception, 16 large chandeliers hung from the canopy over the dance floor. “The Grand Ballroom was dripping in crystals for a dramatic, yet romantic effect,” Walker says.
The ballroom also had a soft glow from hundreds of cylinders that lined the balcony and burned cream-coloredfloating candles. The atmosphere of the room, with the candles, sparkling chandeliers and warm color scheme, was particularly touching when the couple danced to “From This Moment On.”
For dinner, guests enjoyed signature-wrapped Aveline Salad, short ribs with burgundy demi-glace paired with jumbo lump crab cake, dauphinoise potatoes topped with fried leeks and basil, and garlic aioli green beans wrapped in daikon. Dessert shelving stations were located on both sides of the ballroom featuring sweets from Bella Christie bakery.
When it was time to cut the cake, the Pappans and their guests were treated to a five-tier wedding cake with roses at the top, middle and around the bases in both lifesize and in a miniature, replica version that was served at their tables. “If the guests wished to take their cake home, the Omni William Penn staff placed the mini wedding cake in a clear box and tied it with a small fork and knife,” Meaghan says.
After an evening of dancing to the 15-piece ensemble Studio E band it was time for the after-party in the Urban Room. A comfort food station was set up and guests danced to music played by a DJ. Looking back, the couple enjoyed every moment of their special day, as well as the time they spent preparing it with Walker. “My favorite part of the planning process was putting all of our ideas together and then watching Bonnie make them come to life,” Meaghan says.
Walker agrees. “The Pappan family is an absolute blast and truly the salt of the earth,” she says. “Mitchol and Meaghan have been together since they were in high school, so the dynamic of their relationship is great, as they know each other’s quirks and have such a solid foundation within each other and their families. This wedding was our third that we planned for the family, and each one just keeps getting better.”