Heartfelt Castle Hill Cider Wedding | Rebecca + John Michael

Oh, girl, hearing somebody say “When I tried on my dress, I had a different emotion than I did with any other dress – I felt like myself.” gives us allll the feels! It’s how Rebecca described finally slipping on her Poppy gown at Bridal Beginning  in Pittsburgh, PA after a months-long dress search.

Rebecca and John Michael met when she was 16 and he was 17, right before entering college. Though neither was looking to date (because college), the chemistry was instant. They went on a date a few months later, and several years later John Michael proposed in Vienna, Austria at Schmetterlinghaus—a butterfly house.

For their first dance, these two chose “Baby, I’m Yours” by the Arctic Monkeys and, because they love to swing dance, incorporated some moves!

More about their day from Rebecca:


How did you guys meet?


“A mutual friend introduced us and we instantly had a connection! At the time, I was 16 and John Michael was 17. The part we both laugh about now is that we were not looking for a relationship! At the time, we both planned to wait until college to seriously date anyone, but we found each other and the rest is history. John Michael and I were fortunate to attend the same college and our wedding day was long awaited by us, our family, and our friends! We will celebrate five years together this Fall.”

wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Poppy via Bridal Beginning | photographer: Ashtyn Brooke Photo | scroll down for full vendor list

How did your sweetie propose?


“Our spring 2018 semester, John Michael and I chose to study abroad together. Before leaving for the trip, I had a pretty strong feeling that he was going to propose! I had no clue as to when, where or how he would do it. About three weeks into our trip, February 9th, to be exact, we spent the day in Vienna, Austria exploring the city and enjoying our time together. John Michael had mentioned wanting to visit a place called “Schmetterlinghaus.” It translates to Butterfly House in English. As one can imagine, February in Vienna is quite frigid, so I was more than happy to go to an indoor botanical garden housing thousands of butterflies! A beautiful bridge overlooks the entire garden and he proposed on the bridge! I have never been so surprised, happy, or shocked in my life! It was such a special day for us.”


How did you choose your gown?


“Over the course of five months, I’d been to many different bridal shops and I was starting to feel discouraged! I found the Poppy dress online and I fell in love immediately. I sent pictures to my family members because it was exactly what I had been envisioning for my dress—romantic and timeless. I researched bridal shops in my area and I found my dress at Bridal Beginning in Pittsburgh, PA. When I tried on my dress, I had a different emotion than I did with any other dress—I felt like myself.”


Tell us about your day!


“We honestly had the most wonderful day of our lives. The weather was perfect—sunny and close to 75°!  Everything was just as we imagined and so much more! Our main goal for our day was for everyone to feel welcomed into one big family. We kept our guest count low purposefully because we wanted to have a personal relationship with everyone who attended the wedding.

Our Catholic Faith was a huge part of the day, and so our ceremony was very special and personal to us. We chose to have our wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church where John Michael grew up and hand-picked every Bible verse that was used and song that was sung during the Mass.

We hosted our reception in a beautiful barn located in the mountains of Virginia. We had a donut truck, a bourbon and cigar bar, and a floral arch for our Polaroid guestbook. It was so fun and it was the perfect celebration of our relationship! We would not change a single thing.”


What was your first dance song?


“I found “Baby, I’m Yours” by the Arctic Monkeys by chance and we both fell in love with it! One of our favorite things to do together is swing dance—so we incorporated that into our first dance! It was so much fun!”


Describe your wedding day in 5 words or fewer:


“Classic, personal, powerful, joyful.”


Three words that best describe your partner:


“Rebecca says that John Michael is passionate, bold, and kind.

John Michael says Rebecca is loving, patient, and curious.”


Where did you go on your honeymoon?


“We spent 11 days in the Bahamas! We stayed at a resort and we went on several day excursions. It was the perfect balance of relaxing and fun. We’re so glad that we spent time to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.”


Any advice for future brides/grooms?


“Take time during the day to spend time with your new husband/wife. The day flies by so quickly and it is easy to get caught up in the craziness, but make sure to purposefully spend time with the person who you just committed your life to! My husband and I found that those were the most special and memorable moments.”

Rebecca + John Michael’s Castle Hill Cider Wedding Vendors


wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Poppy via Bridal Beginning | photographer: Ashtyn Brooke Photo | planner: Laura Elizabeth Weddings | venue: Castle Hill Cider | florals: The Posey Detail | hair: Top Knot Studio | makeup: Rouge 9 Makeup | caterer: APimento Catering | donut truck: Carpe Donut | rentals: Festive Fare and MS Events | videographer: Harvest Film Co.

Were you a Lea-Ann Belter bride? We’d love to see your pictures and share your story! Email Jessica@Lea-AnnBelter.com.