If you ever wanted to crash a wedding, here’s your chance.
In fact, crashing is encouraged at these nuptials because inviting all of Pittsburgh to attend was part of the deal when this Dormont couple won a wedding from Carnegie Museum of Art.
After several days of spirited online voting for three couples, Colten Gill and Louis Spanos captured the most hearts (and votes) with their love story. Now, they’ll wed Feb. 21 during the museum’s love-themed Third Thursday, saying their vows in the Hall of Architecture and then moving the party into the Music Hall Foyer.
It will be “an epic celebration of this love,” said Laura Zorch McDermit, the museum’s manager of social and entrepreneurial experiences (and an Incline Who’s Nexter).
After reading about the contest online, Spanos decided to “have some fun” and apply. They’d recently been talking about setting a wedding date after getting engaged in 2017 atop New York City’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
“The timing of where we are in our relationship now and the Carnegie Museum of Art event just worked out perfectly,” Gill said. “All the stars really aligned.”
“To say we lucked out is the understatement of the Millennium,” Spanos added.
But it took more than luck to earn this wedding. Thousands liked their contest entry photo and hundreds more commented and shared before they were announced as winners on Feb. 1.
“I don’t think either of us though we were going to make it to the final round,” Gill said. “We’re so grateful for everyone sharing and voting.”
The high school sweethearts met at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, attended Point Park University, and stayed together when Gill enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard. Gill, 24, originally from Butler County, now works as digital and online content coordinator for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Spanos, 23, grew up in Beaver County and is an account executive at WordWrite Communications.
Now, they have just a few weeks to plan their vows and invite their loved ones — and all of Pittsburgh.
“On the bright side, I guess we’re going to have a big wedding,” Spanos said with a laugh. “If you’ve ever wanted to watch some strangers cry in public, this is your time.”
The couple describes themselves as “yinzers at heart,” so for them, inviting fellow Pittsburghers to their wedding at a beloved cultural institution was a no-brainer.
“It’s such a dream come true to invite the whole city to celebrate what I see in Louis and in the two of us,” Gill said.
And yes, they really do extend the invitation to everyone. As Spanos said, it’s a wedding, cake, and a night at the museum for $10.
“It’s sanctioned wedding crashing,” the groom-to-be said.