As a wedding photographer, you get used to shooting in unusual locations. To be fair, that’s part of what makes the job so awesome. That and getting to capture couples’ wedding photos so they can enjoy them for many years to come. So, when I found out I’d be shooting a National Aviary wedding for Gabby and Jim, you know I was excited, especially because I used to work with Jim’s aunt, and they chose to work with me because they liked my style and felt comfortable with me.  

Before we get to all of that though, let’s talk about the venue.

The National Aviary

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh is becoming a popular wedding location. It makes sense too, with their beautifully maintained grounds, wildlife, and spots like the Garden Room. This was where Gabby and Jim held their reception, so we’ll get to that later, but it’s a low-key classy place. 

Overall, for their aviary wedding day, Gabby and Jim wanted to go for a “modern classic” vibe, which you can see in Jim’s hairstyle and Gabby’s classic cat-eye makeup. Also, Gabby wore an amazing and unique gown unlike any I’ve ever seen, and she looked stunning in it!

The decor for the aviary wedding was bright and colorful too, with amazing tropical blooms from the florist. The florals were overall very organic and not too fussed over. That was another great thing about this wedding. It felt very well put together, but it wasn’t overdone or forced.

Gabby And Jim’s National Aviary Wedding And Reception

As a wedding photographer, you get to follow the couple on their journey throughout their wedding day. This was no different with Gabby, Jim and their National Aviary wedding day. 

The getting-ready shots were some of my favorites. It was a lot of fun spending time with Gabby and Jim and seeing how each of them got ready in different ways. Gabby had this amazing ability to go from a big grin one moment to a model "smize" the next, and I was living for it. The wide range of photos I was able to capture for here was awesome!

Jim had a blast hanging out and eating some pizza with his family and groomsmen from one of his family's favorite pizza shops in the city. These are the moments that add a little flavor to a wedding day, the moments that make it unique.

The first look was also insanely cute! I was thrilled to be a part of organizing that for them. You could tell how much this moment meant to them, how tender and vulnerable they were with one another in it. It’s one I’m going to remember for a while too.

The aviary wedding was just as moving, taking place on a lawn outside the Garden Room. It was intimate and had a kind of secret garden feel with all the ivy and brick walls. Gabby just couldn’t keep her infectious smile off her face throughout the whole thing.

And what can I say about the reception? Everyone cut loose and had a grea time eating, dancing, and just enjoying each other’s company. 

Final Thoughts

I’d love to work at another aviary wedding or another unusual location. This was a lot of fun to be a part of, and I’d love to help you with your wedding too. So, whether it’s somewhere unusual or in a place that’s a little more typical, let me know what you need, and we can start planning everything out! By the way, here are some answers to questions you might have. Just in case.


Photography: Lindsey Zern Photography
Planner: Renee at Devoted To You Events
Florist: Janessa at Gold Dust Floral
HMUA: J. Casaldi Artistry
Venue: National Aviary Pittsburgh

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