Pittsburgh in May seemed like the perfect place for Stacy Ott and her fiancée, Matthew Carroll, to get married.
Stacey, a Hatboro native from the eastern side of Pennsylvania, and Matthew, a huge Steeler fan from Chicago, decided to have a small intimate wedding surrounded by their immediate families – in Pittsburgh.
They and 22 family members made a weekend of the wedding: highlights included staying in the heart of Steeler Country at the Hyatt Place North Shore, dining at Station Square and cruising the three rivers on the Gateway Clipper Fleet.
The wedding day, Sunday, May 26, began with the bride to be and her attendants getting their hair styled in South Side before heading back to the hotel to prepare for the ceremony. Stacey asked her 10-year-old niece to be responsible for the bag carrying the wedding license, rings and payments for the day.
“Everyone in the family said I was nuts,” Stacey said. “All day, the whole day while we were running around town taking pictures she kept track of that bag tightly.”
Finally, at 6:45 p.m. it was time to take the Duquesne Incline up to the top for the ceremony on the observation deck. Prior to getting on the incline, Stacey took the wedding rings out of the bag her niece had watched diligently all day and gave one ring to her and Matthew’s mothers.
During the ceremony the mothers were to stand next to Fr. David Anderson and hand him the rings at the right moment.
At the top, the wedding party enjoyed the views while Tom Reinheimer, manager of the incline, cleared the observation deck in preparation for the ceremony. The family assembled and the wedding began.
“I saw out of the corner of my eye my mom fumbling with the ring. She then started to look at her feet and cry. She had dropped the ring,” Stacey said. “I heard someone say, ‘Oh, it went off.’”
“The ring was my husband-to-be’s wedding band, which was also was my late father’s wedding band and had great meaning to me.”
The ring dropped perfectly and bounced off the deck and on to the steep Mount Washington cliff below incline. Immediately, one of Stacey’s sisters took her wedding band off and handed it to her mother so the ceremony could go on. No one was the wiser that a disaster had just occurred.
Once the ceremony was over Mr. Reinheimer and Stacey’s new brother-in-law went onto the cliff to search for the lost ring.
“They get down there and we all are praying they will find a wedding band, but if you have ever looked over the incline there was really no chance,” she continued. “Within five minutes we hear ‘Is it silver?’ ‘I said yes!’ They had found it.”
When the returning heroes started to come back up the cliff, they realized they had taken the wrong keys with them. They were locked out on the cliff.
The rest of the wedding party went running inside the incline building to let them know and another staff member was able to let them back in.
“What a great day! A perfect weather day to showcase a fabulous city and a local hero helping us get our wedding band,” Stacey said.