Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors Offering Thanksgiving Weekend Savings!

Start your wedding planning a little early (and save some money at the same time!) by taking advantage of these Pittsburgh wedding vendors offering Black Friday or Small Business Saturday deals!  Your wallet can thank me later!  Now I'm gonna go eat some pie…I'll see ya with some new content on Monday.

Christina Montemurro Photography

Save $200 off any wedding package booked by December 2!  Be sure to mention Burgh Brides to get the discount!

Syncopated Pictures

Save $200 off any 2018 Wedding booked by December 2!  Be sure to mention Burgh Brides to get the discount!

Sandrachile

Ready to pop the bling?  Then make sure you document the experience with professional pictures of the epic moment.  If you are planning to propose in December, this deal is for you!  Normally $350, but if you purchase NOW you'll save one hundred bucks.  Hurry!  Limited availability!  *Includes hand warmers to make sure your hands don't look purple in pictures. #JokingNotJoking

La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans

Celebrate Small Business Saturday at La Pomponnee with their Customer Sip and Shop event on Saturday, November 25.  Enjoy 20% off $100+ gift cards, champagne, sweets, and prizes!

Blush Paper Co.

They're kicking off the biggest sale of the weekend with 25% off all lifestyle goods in the Blush Paper Co. online shop! Use code BLACKFRIDAY25 to save on address stamps, mugs, make up bags and totes!  Plus, save even more by joining their email list!

 

Modern Era Weddings

Book the award-winning Tim Harris as your wedding DJ between now and December 31 and save $200!  Modern Era is also offering $300 off any videography package until December 10!  Their sister company, the Pittsburgh Circus Arts Collaborative, is also offering $200 off any show with three or more performers!

Clarissa Boutique

Save 15% off all in-store merchandise on Small Business Saturday!

Tyler Norman Photography

Now through Cyber Monday, save 15% off any photo service with Tyler Norman Photography INCLUDING WEDDING PACKAGES!

Kristin Ryan Weddings

Save half off the standard ceremony fee!  The normal price is $250, but the deal price is $125!!  Deal runs through November 27 (Cyber Monday); couple must have made initial contact before midnight (local Pittsburgh time) on November 27, 2017 and have signed electronic contract before midnight (local Pittsburgh time) on December 2, 2017 to deal.  Contact Kristin to book!

Fresh Cut Prints

There's nothing more fun than sending holiday cards featuring your engagement or wedding photos.  In an unprecedented sale, Fresh Cut Prints is so excited to offer 25% off photo Christmas cards from November 23 – 27.  That means you could be getting completely unique and custom designs for as low as $1.65 per card!  Now that's something to be excited about!  Use the promo code BRIGHT17 at checkout to receive the discount.

Not ready with your photo yet?  Simply purchase now and send your photo when you're ready (through December 13)!

Oakwood Photo + Video

Book both photography and videography with Oakwood Photo + Video by December 8, 2017 and mention the promo code “Burgh Brides” to receive $300 off your total and a set of gift prints! Visit their website for info and to schedule your consultation!

Hello Rachel Creative

Hello Rachel Creative is currently offering 15% off your entire project if you book before November 30th!  This offer includes any save the dates, invitations, and day of paper goods you may want. It's never too early to think about your wedding stationery, especially with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season going on. Visit the website or email Rachel to get started!  Be sure to mention this offer!

Olive & Rose Events

Save 10% off any planning package PLUS choose one add-on service for free:

  • Up to 8 hours of Rehearsal Dinner Assistance
  • Up to 8 hours of Bridal Shower Assistance
  • Hotel Guest Bag Idea Generation and Delivery

Call or email and mention Burgh Brides.  Black Friday promotion expires February 28, 2018.

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel

Book your wedding at Pittsburgh's Wyndham Grand Hotel and earn 75,000 points WORTH A FREE 5 NIGHT STAY!!!  Points can be used worldwide at any Wyndham property and are perfect towards that honeymoon trip!

Heaven Sent Farms

Heaven Sent Farms is offering $500 off available dates June-August 2018 if you book before the New Year and mention Burgh Brides!  Please visit their website and contact them to schedule a tour!

Kaitlin Powell Photography

Receive *$300 off your wedding package when you book by December 31, 2017!

*Does not apply to engagement/portrait sessions.

Erin Art Design

All custom art work pieces – including canvases for your new home, hand-painted clutches to match your bridesmaids dresses, and even cool favors for your guests – are 20% off the entire month of November.  But Burgh Brides readers can save an extra 10%!

Jenni Grace Photography

Save 15% off all wedding day packages PLUS an extra $500 in product credit for weddings booked before December 15!  Also, save 20% off all destination weddings and portrait sessions booked before December 31.  And!  Save $200 off all Full Portrait Sessions booked before December 31!  Allllllll the savings.

Oh Joyful Day

Stock up on these cozy ceramic camp fire mugs from Oh Joyful Day for just $15 plus FREE shipping!  Perfect for shipping hot cocoa while snuggled up next to your love, or a great favor idea for fall weddings!!!

Leight Up Life Photography

Save $150 off any wedding package booked now through December!  Mention the “Thankful for Love” promo when booking!

Brewed 2 Burn

Use code GLOW at checkout to receive a free silver/gold 10 oz.holiday candle in their signature Winterberry Scent with the purchase of two Brewed 2 Burn Candles.  These hand-poured, all natural soy candles make for a fun wedding favor, a great way to “pop the question” to your bridal party, or just the perfect gift for the beer lover in your life!

Jessica Garda Events

Save 5% off Wedding Management Services for your 2018 wedding if you book before December 15!

Wedding Management Services include:

  • An initial meeting to go over every detail of your wedding
  • Creation and distribution of a detailed timeline for you, your party, your family, and your vendors
  • Communication with your vendors starting two weeks out
  • Rehearsal supervision and coordination
  • Delivery and set-up supervision
  • On-site supervision and coordination on your wedding day – ceremony and reception
  • Ensure wedding gifts are transported to their final destination and payments and gratuities are delivered to vendors

PLUS – Wedding Management clients will receive access to their Aisle Planner software, which includes a personalized, detailed checklist to help you along the way!

Who will be checking some things off their wedding vendor shopping list this weekend?!  Comment below and let me know which deal you'll be taking advantage of!

Low Key Wedding with a Super Cool Vibe: Marissa & Adam

The low key wedding trend is in full force and I'm all about it.  Marissa and Adam were too.  Rather than making their special day a big production, they opted to keep things casual.  Thirty friends and family joined under a massive tree in the middle of Frick Park to take in the sunny day and the couple's vows.  Despite the woodsy setting, Marissa still looked ravishing in a figure flattering off-the-shoulder sheath wedding dress from none other than JCPenney.  After the unconventional yet heartfelt ceremony, Marissa and Adam joined their guests for a family style feast at their favorite local restaurant – Legume.  The party didn't stop there though.  The crowd enjoyed cake and dancing at the oh-so-inspirational Workshop PGH.  The space, which typically hosts DIY classes and events, gave off the perfect whimsical-meets-industrial vibe with some fun, colorful pennant banners, cool art installations, and eclectic pieces.  Marissa said it best with, “Remember that it's about the people, not the things.”  This wedding is what it's all about folks – love, laughter, and being surrounded by those that mean the most.  Enjoy the beautiful coverage of this intimate day from Whitling Photography.

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From the bride…

Tell me about yourselves!  When and how did you two meet?  How long have you been together?  How did you get engaged?  All the juicy details!

Adam's a kick-ass cancer survivor/recent med school grad who's looking to specialize in Radiation Oncology.  He's also an insanely good cook (in my opinion) and a whiz when it comes to DIY bicycle repair.  I am obsessed with our local farmers market and have recently rekindled my love affair with the Harry Potter series (this time on tape).  We are both voracious readers, love Asian food (of any kind), and most weekends can be found either hiking through the woods, chilling in the park, or eating dumplings.

Adam and I grew up together, but we didn't start dating until our friend circles started mingling the summer before our junior year of high school.  Since then (~11 years?), we've weathered long distance dating, major life changes, multiple moves, med school, and a year-long bout with cancer and chemo (Adam's been cancer-free since June 2015! Woot woot!).

If I could, I would attach a picture of the both of us in our pee wee soccer photo.  We are adorable, but neither of us remember being on the same team.

Describe the look, theme, style, and colors of the wedding.  What inspired it?  What was unique about it?

Our wedding was everything we could have hoped for: intimate, sunny, low-stress, and full of laughter, good food, and music.  We wanted to show our loved ones (most of whom are from out of town) why we fell in love with Pittsburgh, so we got married in the beautiful Frick Park, had dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants (Legume), and partied at a really fun venue near where we live (Workshop PGH).  We didn't want the day to feel like a big production and we wanted to be able to spend time with our guests, so we kept the guest list to about 30 people.  This meant that on our special day, we were surrounded by our nearest and dearest and actually had time to eat!

What was your favorite moment of the day?

We have many, but here's a sample:

  • Exchanging our vows
  • Seeing all of our favorite people having a great time during dinner
  • The impromptu sparkler dance party that happened later that night outside of Workshop PGH
  • The cake!  There is nothing quite like Prantl's burnt almond torte, and we LOVED their red velvet cake.

Is there any advice you would give to other couples planning their big day?

  1. Perfect is the enemy of good.  Your wedding doesn't have to be Instagram worthy; it just needs to make you and your partner happy.
  2. Remember that it's about the people, not the things.
  3. Stick to your budget, but have an emergency fund for unexpected items.
  4. Smile, take deep breaths, and focus on having fun.  Don't sweat the small stuff (see item #1).

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Scarlett from JCPenney | Bride's Bracelet: Charming Charlie | Bride's Earrings: Francesca's | Bride's Flower Crown: Workshop PGH | Bride's Shoes: Forever 21 | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Cake and Dance Party Venue: Workshop PGH | Caterer: Legume | Dinner Venue: Legume | DJ: DJ Hypnotik from Loyalty Entertainment | Flowers: Workshop PGH and Legume | Hair: DIY | Lash Extensions: Luxurious Lashes by Lisa | Lighting: Loyalty Entertainment | Makeup: DIY | Rings: Orr's Jewelers | Menswear: J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Allen Edmonds, and Calvin Klein | Photography: Whitling Photography | Stationery: Walmart | Transportation: Antique Coach Excursions

Photography: Whitling Photography

Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session: Pamela & Domenic

There isn't much to say about this feature other than it is a completely, insanely, out-of-this-world gorgeous engagement session.  Pamela looks like a movie star, Domenic is clearly head over heels in love with her, and that glowing sunset is the only accessory this shoot needed.  Styled in blues and teals to match Pam and Dom's wedding color palette, this session set in Mellon Park is simple but romantic, modern but classic, and just so, so good.  It showcases the couple's love, the varying textures and backgrounds of the park, and the light is downright luscious.  Ann Louise Photography has seriously outdone themselves this time.  I am so obsessed with these photos that there was no way I could narrow it down to just a dozen or so.  But believe me, you'll thank me when you see them.  You're welcome ahead of time.

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We actually met in 2002 during freshman year of high school.  Though we were classmates through the next eight years at Canevin and then Duquesne University, we never dated.  Although, Dom did try to get my number during freshman year.  We're not really sure what happened, as the next part of the story is a little fuzzy.  But Dom ended up with what he thought was my number in his phone.  He called and texted, but never heard back.  Four years go by, and we both graduated from Duquesne, and are coincidentally working on 5th Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.  We both liked to frequent the local sandwich shop The Brown Bag Deli.  As it would happen, the owner would tell Domenic about a beautiful blonde who frequented the deli, trying to set him up (not knowing it was me!).  One day, we bumped into each other in the BBD, the owner winked, we got to talking, and Dom realized that he was ONE digit off from my correct phone number.  And the rest, as they say, is history. 🙂

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

Dom had actually been planning on proposing for a long time…if he had his way, probably a few months after we started dating!  I'm an old soul though, so after five years, we were both ready to “take the next step” in our relationship.  However, I have three brothers.  It just so happened that as Dom was beginning to look at rings and plan the proposal, unbeknownst to me, my brothers were as well.  One by one, they each made their intentions to “pop the question” known…and poor Dom, wanting to give everyone appropriate space and time, was getting more and more frustrated!

Three engagements and six months later, Dom finally popped the question.  We were actually vacationing with my family at the Outer Banks, NC, a special place my family vacations each year and that was meaningful to Dom and me as well.  I was actually in the middle of reading Game of Thrones when Dom asked to go for a walk on the beach (I reluctantly agreed – those sand crabs, yuck!).  However, once we got down to the beach, we walked along the shore, and Dom got down on one knee.  It felt like a dream, and I finally said yes!

Describe the engagement session.

I knew immediately that we wanted to do an engagement shoot, as photography was a big priority for the wedding.  After looking through a few portfolios, I immediately fell in love with Ann Louise Photography.  Their photos are so dreamy, classy, romantic – everything I was looking for!

I wanted to do something whimsical – almost fairy tale-esque, for the engagement shoot.  Jessica and Jillian (the absolute best!) helped us choose the perfect location, the popular Mellon Park Walled Gardens in Shadyside.  I styled our outfits around our wedding colors – navy and dark teal – to coordinate with wedding plans down the road.

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Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Weddings that give back will always be cool.  Whether it's partnering with a sustainable caterer, hosting your celebration at a venue with green practices, sourcing everything locally, or even asking that guests not wrap their gifts, there are lots of ways your wedding can help to change the world for the better.  But because I love Pittsburgh so much, my favorite is when couples find ways to give back to their own community.  There are countless locally based non-profit organizations who would absolutely love to partner with you  Here are four of my favorites!

412 Food Rescue

According to 412 Food Rescue's website, forty percent of the food produced globally goes to waste.  This sickening statistic doesn't have to include your wedding menu though.  With 1 in 7 people going hungry, 412 Food Rescue aims to end food waste while simultaneously ending hunger.  Among other programs, the group works with local restaurants, groceries, and other retailers to collect surplus food and deliver it to nonprofits who serve those who are food insecure.  Rather than ending up in the landfill, this perfectly good food can go to people who need it instead.  After appetizers has been passed, dinner has been served, and the cookie table has been raided, the leftover food from your wedding can help to fill up some bellies, while your generosity can help to fill up some hearts.

Brides/grooms can decide to donate their extra food, providing it has been prepared in a commercial kitchen.  It is best for couples to contact us as early as possible so we can connect with caterers to maximize the amount of leftovers that is appropriate for a donation.  We will provide signage for wedding festivities so guests know that the couple is promoting sustainability and the end of hunger as part of their celebration.  Additionally, rather than using completely floral centerpieces or decorations, some couples opt for edible, seasonable decorations that include fruit, gourds, nuts, or herbs.  Guests can be encouraged to bring a healthy nonperishable pantry item like rice, broth, beans, flour, or spices (which are very difficult to obtain for many food insecure families).  Lastly, monetary donations directly support our operational and programmatic efforts to #endhunger and #endfoodwaste in Pittsburgh.

If brides and grooms believe that all people deserve direct access to fresh and healthy food, then they should partner with 412 Food Rescue.  As new couples begin their journey together, we encourage them to start giving back to their communities and support neighbors in need, who may be families that struggle with food insecurity.  Furthermore, many of our Food Rescue Heroes are young families who seek to instill these community-centered values within their children and themselves.

– Becca Sufrin, 412 Food Rescue

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Mercedes, one of the 412 Food Rescue Heroes, and her daughter

Centerpieces 4 Seniors

Ever wonder what happens to the flowers and centerpieces after a wedding?  Sadly, they usually end up in the trash.  Upon realizing this, Kelli Burns and Rose Davidson started Centerpieces 4 Seniors in 2015.  Their pair collects leftover floral arrangements, repurposes them, and then delivers the blooms to local nursing homes and senior care facilities.  The impact is two fold: the flowers get a second life and the lives of seniors are brightened by this simple act of kindness.  Burns and Davidson work out of Davidson's Mt. Lebanon garage, rearranging centerpieces and getting them ready for a new home the day after the wedding.  With the help of many volunteers, as many as 125 new arrangements are created in any given weekend.  That's 125 smiles on faces.  And if that doesn't put one on yours, I don't know what will.

We are now in our third year of making a difference in seniors' lives.  The repurposed centerpieces are delivered to local nursing homes to bring happiness and cheer to the residents and caregivers.  We share small details of the fun event and residents begin to connect with pleasurable memories from their past.  Seeing seniors smile as they talk about the centerpieces and enjoy their dining tables keeps the party going!


  
Let us know if you have an event and are willing to join us in brightening the lives of seniors.  Donated centerpieces will be picked up from your event and delivered by friends of Centerpieces 4 Seniors!

– Kelli Burns, Centerpieces 4 Seniors

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Kelli Burns (left) is also a local wedding DJ (and a great one at that)!

Beverly's Birthdays

Weddings are a celebration, and each anniversary can be thought of as a “birthday” of the big day!  Sadly, not everyone gets to experience the child-like joy of celebrating a birthday though.  Beverly's Birthdays was started when a young girl shared with the organization's founder the fact that she had never had her own birthday party or had a piece of her own birthday cake.  Over six years later, the nonprofit has created over 25,000 birthday celebrations for children experiencing homelessness and families in need.  No child should ever feel forgotten on their birthday, and this group works to ensure that through gifts, parties, and even their Classroom Cheer Program, which supports teachers working with at-risk youth populations.  While your wedding might be your own special day, you can use it to spread some birthday cheer and guarantee local kids have their own special day too.

Living with the chronic stress that comes from a housing crisis can be crippling, but your gift will be a break from that stress to just smile, laugh, and create family memories that will last a lifetime.  People can get involved by visiting our website and signing up to volunteer.  Another idea that a few brides and grooms have done is to make a donation to Beverly's Birthdays in lieu of wedding favors.  Additionally, couples could collect birthday presents, which would then be gifted to the children we work with.  The couples that get into it have done amazing jobs!

– Josh Whiteside, Beverly's Birthdays

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Some of the smiles created thanks to the celebrations hosted by Beverly's Birthdays

Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Rescue

As the dog mom to a 150 lb Cane Corso mastiff, this organization is near and dear to my very own heart.  Gentle Ben's is dedicated to rescuing, fostering, and placing large breed dogs, such as Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, and Mastiffs.  As the NPO's name would suggest, these pups are giant – but gentle.  However, given their sheer size and the responsibility that comes along with it, they likely wouldn't be adopted if they were in a typical shelter.  Noreen Kohl and her late husband made it their mission to ensure these dogs are not forgotten; that they get the socialization, training, and medical treatment they need; and ultimately that they find their forever home.  If you love dogs (especially big ones) as much as I do, you'll feel so good about helping them out.

Brides/grooms can work with us in many ways!  They can ask their guests to bring an item which can be donated to Gentle Ben's.  We can always use leashes, collars, toys, beds, etc.  Monetary donations go towards vetting, food, and especially the very expensive surgeries some of the dogs require.  One of our current rescues – Harley, a fourth month old mastiff – was very sick when he came to us and spent several days in the hospital.  He will also require a life-saving surgery in a few months, which will be thousands of dollars.  We have helped so many families who need to find a new home for their dog for one reason or another, many times at no fault of their own.  When we take in their dog, they become part of our family.  I will keep their original family updated with photos and emails.  This gives them peace of mind so that they can focus on getting their lives back in order.

– Noreen Kohl, Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Rescue

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Some of the many dogs at the Kohl's Zelienople home, which doubles as Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Rescue

Do you have a local NPO that is special to you?  Are you giving back to them through your wedding festivities?  Comment below and tell me about the organization and how you're helping!

Burgh Brides Bash is Goin’ Down November 30!

Have you heard the good news?  The annual Burgh Brides Bash is taking place on November 30 and you're all invited!

Join us for an evening of sips, snacks, sweets, and socializing with fellow Pittsburgh wedding lovers.  We'll toast to the past year and say “Cheers!” to whatever 2018 has in store for us.  It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!

Get full details and ticket information!

A HUGE special thanks to our sponsors! 

3 Rivers Events

Golden Hour Candle Company

Innovative Mobile Catering

Nizhoni Bakery

Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt

Modern Era Weddings

ShutterBooth

GreenSinner

The Pittsburgh Stylist

Purple Wagon Designs

Dawn Derbyshire Photography

EF Lighting

Poppy Events

Eventioneers

Vintage Alley Rentals

Vintage Glam Wedding at the New Hazlett Theater: Caitlin & Adam

Inspired by the bride's love of vintage glam and incorporating some seriously sweet details, this wedding is bound to leave you with all the feels.  Caitlin and Adam met through an improv comedy theater group and carried a subtle nod to what brought them together throughout their entire wedding day.  The New Hazlett Theater was the perfect backdrop for the nuptials and party, custom signs inspired by movie posters decorated the space, and Chicago style popcorn escort cards let guests know their place for the night.  The cutest theater-inspired element happened when Caitlin and Adam took a bow before the crowd, just after being pronounced husband and wife.  SO CUTE!  Caitlin brought her love of the classic style to the affair with tons of gold details, a va-va-voom wedding dress, and a timeless feel overall.  But here's what I loved the best!

  • I mentioned Caitlin's dress, but her whole look was simply stunning!  A curve hugging satin gown, vintage blue suede pumps from ModCloth, a sapphire statement necklace, and a faux fur wrap to keep the fall chill at bay…I'd swear she stepped right out of the 1940s.
  • Not to be outshone by his bride, Adam was one stellar looking groom.  His blue plaid suit was totally custom made and was oh-so-cool.  Bye bye black and white tuxedos.  Hello modern groomswear.  Who says the bride gets to have all the fashion fun?
  • In a unique twist on tradition and at the suggestion of the groom, Caitlin and Adam wrote each other's vows.  Meaning he wrote the ones she read to him and vice versa.  What started as a joke turned into a really sweet, really heartfelt spin on the I Dos and I'm totally in love with this idea!

Oakwood Photo + Video was on set (see what I did there?) to document every last darling, vintage-y, glamorous detail.  This wedding has quickly become one of my absolute favorites.  I bet it's going to be one of yours too!

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If all of those gorgeous photos weren't enough, check out the video footage of Caitlin & Adam's big day, also from Oakwood Photo + Video.

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We met in Chicago in the summer of 2011 at the small improv comedy theater that I was running at the time.  Adam came to do a show during which he did a scene where he was from Pittsburgh.  Being from Pittsburgh myself, I knew only a true Pittsburgher could pull off that accent.  I struck up a conversation about our roots and and we quickly became friends.  We were buddies for almost a year when he finally sent me an email to ask me on a date (he didn't have my phone number!).  The rest is history!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

It was a Thursday night in May.  Adam knew I didn't want a public affair, so he planned a night in.  Reminiscent of our first date, he set up a mini bowling alley in our living room and made corn dogs.  He decorated the whole apartment with a banner and candles and he was playing our song, “Baby, I Love Your Way” by Big Mountain.  Unfortunately, unaware of the surprise that awaited me at home, I worked until 7:30 that night and got home extra late.  I entered the apartment and when I saw everything, I froze thinking I had forgotten a special holiday or anniversary.  I wouldn't move away from the front door until Adam got down on one knee.  I said yes, grabbed the ring, and put it on my own finger!  I completely blacked out and only vaguely remember details of how the night went down.  We laughed, we cried, we ate our corn dogs, I drank almost an entire bottle of champagne and we FaceTimed with our families.  It was an all around great night!

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.

Going into the wedding, I wanted a vintage glam feeling, but with a bit of comfort and our own character.  We had a lot of friends and family contribute to our day, which added to the personal feel.  I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed, so inevitably I stressed out like crazy leading up to the day.  Adam's sister did all of the graphic design and she did a great job capturing our essence as a couple as well as celebrating the architecture of the space, which translated to our Save the Dates, invitations, additional signage, labels, and a gigantic poster that welcomed guests.  Adam's mom crafted the “escort cards”, which were made of Chicago mix popcorn in mini bags on which name tags were fastened.  My mom and I wanted to pay homage to the past weddings of our family, so we had our parents' and grandparent's wedding photos blown up and displayed on the bar.  Adam loves Batman, so there was a hint of comic book inspiration in the Save the Dates and welcome poster.  The Batman logo even made an appearance on our cake, as did some of the design elements from our invitations.

What inspired your vision?

I love old Hollywood glam of the 40s and 50s.  It feels classic and timeless to me.  I wanted to show off my curves in an exquisitely tailored dress (shout out to my seamstress, Nancy!) and a cathedral length veil because why not?!  My shoes were blue with ankle straps and reminded me of something my grandmother would have worn when she first met my grandfather.  And then my necklace.  Oh, my necklace.  It was the one accessory I was willing to splurge on because I love a good statement necklace.  Lulu Frost did not fail me.  I loved it so much and am nervous to wear it in plain clothes.  Underneath my dress, my mother had made my garter out of one of my late father's old shirts.

Adam was also very into his suit.  It was very cool how into he was.  His sister had a friend in Chicago whose husband designs suits.  I never went to any of the fittings, but I heard all about the process and how he got to pick everything from the fabric to the buttons.  Adam and I agreed we wouldn't see each other's outfits until the actual ceremony, so the first time I saw the suit was when he saw me in my dress for the first time as I walked out for the ceremony.

What made your wedding unique?

A few things.  Our venue for sure.  The New Hazlett Theater is an amazing space.  You don't have to do much to it because its architecture speaks for itself.  There's so much history in the building and the fact that they only do about seven weddings a year makes it that much more special.  And because we met in a theater, getting married in one was very cool.

Having so many friends involved in the wedding made it so personal.  Our friend Rob officiated the wedding.  Our friend Alex did the music.  And we made our entire wedding party plus my brothers give speeches.  Yep, that's eight speeches.  Because we have so many performer friends, their speeches were all so spot on.  But having our non-performer friends and family members speak was equally special.  Everyone put so much thought into their speeches that I could have listened to them all night long.  So much love!

And because my father had passed away five years ago, my mom and I danced together.  We danced to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac.  Not a dry eye in the house.  It was a really wonderful moment.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

There were two moments – both very different.  The first was while we were getting ready.  The girls were all crammed into the green room backstage.  Because both my mom and I were getting our hair/makeup done at the same time, my mother-in-law was assigned to veil steaming duty.  None of us ever noticed, but the steamer was set up directly under the smoke detector.  Naturally, the steamer set off the fire alarms in the entire theater.  There was a minute of confusion and panic, but when we all realized, it was a good laugh.  The fire department showed up and took pictures with all of us.  They were great sports.  My mother-in-law has sworn off steamers!

The second moment was our vows.  What started as a joke became a reality about two months out from the wedding.  Adam had suggested that we write each other's vows (I would write the vows Adam would read to me and he would write the vows that I would read to him).  People were skeptical.  I, frankly, was skeptical.  It was a total reversal of cliches.  Adam had finished his vows over a week before the wedding.  I wrote mine at 2 a.m. the day before the rehearsal dinner.  I couldn't sleep and my mom and I had this great moment on the couch in our living room where we cried about the wedding being real now.  And then I sat up after she went to bed and wrote the vows on the List app on my phone.  The first time we saw the vows was during the ceremony.  I read what he wrote first and I could barely get through them.  They were so similar it was unreal.  Adam got choked up while reading the ones I wrote for him, too (This is unheard of.  The dude does not cry.).  Afterward, I had friends come up to me who swore we must have shared the vows before the wedding because they were that similar.  It was awesome.

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

Know what details are important to the day and know what ones are only important to you.  Know that those details are not worth the tears.  Know that it is your day, but also know it is everyone else's day too.  Your soon to be husband, your mom, and your soon to be family get to have a say too because they want to celebrate you.  People will have opinions and will think things are more important than you think they are.  So know which things you don't care about and which things you are willing to give to other people to own.  They want to help and be a part of your day too – not because they are selfish, but because they love you.

And most importantly, know yourself!  Know what pushes your buttons and avoid those things.  And know that if you have to write a three page itinerary broken down to the minute to feel relaxed on the day of, then darn it, you make a three page itinerary broken down to the minute and pass it out to the 20+ people involved in your day so they can follow it (or not!), but girl doesn't it feel good to let go!?

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?

Google Docs and Google Sheets!  I love a good spreadsheet and Google Drive kept me so organized.  I could quickly access things on my phone and computer and share things among vendors and the wedding party.

Planning a wedding out of town is hard work!  I'm not just saying this because I'm on the site, but honestly the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide helped me out tremendously.  I had no idea where to start so the Vendor Guide was a great jumping off point.

Anything I would do differently?  Probably try not to get as stressed out and have a melt down with my mom in the middle of my street in front of the roofers and lawn care guys two days before the wedding, but then again I know me and that melt down would have happened no matter what.  So must do's: have your meltdown and then go and get a mani/pedi and do those at-home masks from Sephora while drinking a glass of wine.  It will all be okay!

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Carlisle's of Pittsburgh | Bride's Accessories: Lulu Frost | Bride's Shoes: ModCloth | Cake: Oakmont Bakery | Caterer: Robert Maravalli | Ceremony Location: New Hazlett Theater | Cocktail Napkins: For Your Party | DJ: Alex Kliner | Getting Ready Snacks: Burgh Bites Food Truck | Groom's Attire: BLVDier | Groomsmen Attire: Topman | Flowers: Sapphire & Lace Design | Hair: Hannah Conard Beauty | Decor: Sapphire & Lace Design | Linens: Sapphire & Lace Design | Makeup: Hannah Conard Beauty | Matches: For Your Party | Photography: Oakwood Photo + Video | Popcorn Escort Cards: Kernel's Gourmet Popcorn & More | Reception Venue: New Hazlett Theater | Rentals: Sapphire & Lace Design | Stationery: Bethany Schreck | Videography: Oakwood Photo + Video

Flowers, Decor, Linens, & Rentals: Sapphire & Lace Design | Photographer: Oakwood Photo + Video | Videography: Oakwood Photo + Video

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Versatile Vintage Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

While vintage rentals aren't new to the wedding world, this styled shoot will have you thinking about them a little bit differently.  In order to showcase the versatility of antiques and old world pieces, Leight Up Life and her team of vendors designed three vignettes using the same vintage finds: a screen, a card catalog, and barrels, all from Copper & Sage.  From a stunning ceremony set up to a lively cocktail reception to a whimsical dessert display, each piece made an appearance in each scenario and was styled to perfection.  Colorful and dramatic florals from Leafhopper Designs accented each display while watercolor hand-lettered stationery courtesy of Oh Joyful Day added a personal touch.  Mixed with Loved added her special touch to the dessert display with yummy looking cupcakes and a multi-tiered confection.  While each vignette was unique in it's own way, they all fit in perfectly with the surroundings at Pinehall Farms, the shoot's location.  A little bit rustic, a little bit antique chic, and a little bit playful, this styled shoot will inspire you to weave a vintage vibe throughout all aspects of your big day!

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If you thought that was fun, wait until you see the moving footage from Traveling Heart Productions of how everything came together!

From the photographer…

Nowadays vintage goods are making a comeback in a new, fun way.  It's so amazing to see them placed at a wedding day!  This styled shoot was based around three unique vintage pieces: a screen, a card catalog, and barrels.

The options are truly endless with them and we wanted to offer some fun inspiration on how they can be utilized throughout the day.  With each piece, we have styled them specifically for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception by using all of the same simple details.

Bringing in the rustic colors was really important as our inspiration behind this styled shoot was our great location at Pinehall Farms and it's vintage rustic red barn.

We felt like we put three different weddings together in one day!  It was a true labor of love and life.  Most styled shoots feature a couple or models and we really wanted to focus on the details to bring couples a unique perspective, one that they could truly implement into their own special day.  We hope you feel inspired to create something all your own with these three vintage pieces!

Vendors

Decor & Rentals: Copper & Sage Vintage Rental Co. | Desserts: Mixed with Love Cake & Cookie Co. | Flowers: Leafhopper Designs | Photography: Leight Up Life | Shoot Location: Pinehall Farms | Stationery: Oh Joyful Day | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Favorite Wedding Favor Ideas: Unique Ways to Thank Your Guests

Since November is the month of giving thanks, I was inspired to share some of my favorite wedding favor ideas!  If I'm being perfectly honest with you, I have a love/hate relationship with favors.  While I do think it's very important to acknowledge and publicly thank your friends and family for attending and celebrating your marriage, unless they're done right, wedding favors can be a total waste.  The trick is to go with something edible, useful, charitable, or otherwise super unique.  Skip the dumb tchotchkes that no one will remember (and that will likely be left on the table at the end of the night) and go with one of these ideas instead!

A Donation

Rather than giving people more “stuff”, do some good with your wedding favor dollars.  If there is a non-profit that is near and dear to your heart, make a donation in the name of your guests.  Animal welfare, disease research, or even your local women's shelter…it doesn't matter the cause; just find one that resonates the most with you.  Because weddings that give back will NEVER go out of style.

A Double Duty Escort Card/Favor

Why spend more money than you have to?  Opt for something that can play double duty as both an escort card AND a wedding favor!  Pick it up open arrival, take it home at the end of the night…and get more mileage out of your wedding budget at the same time.  I love the idea of choosing your drinking glass for the evening and then adding it to your own at-home collection, as done by a recent couple at PointBreezeway.

The best take I've seen on this double duty idea is when guests were invited to “Please Be Seeded” with a packet of seeds to plan in their own garden!

Home Brew

If you're the type who makes their own brewski, bottle up a big batch for your guests!  They'll love the homemade nature of this and you can personalize it even more with a custom label.  Nick and Lisa – the duo behind So Fresh Films – did this at their wedding a few years ago!  Hey, if it's good enough for a wedding vendor (who has literally seen it all), it's good enough for you too!

Anything Edible

If your guests are anything like me, they love to eat.  I'd never turn down a free treat, so get some to-go containers and let that Pittsburgh cookie table serve as your favor.

Or infuse some hometown flavor into your day by gifting a treat from your favorite local food maker or provider!  Either way, you'll guests' taste buds will thank you.

Or Drinkable!

Beer isn't the only kind of beverage that can act as a wedding favor.  Pass out some grounds of your favorite coffee to brew up some love at your reception.

Coffee not really your thing?  Individual cans of tea leaves make for a great giveaway too!

Something Useful

If you are going for a tangible favor, make sure it's at least something people are going to actually use.  From all of the weddings I've attended in the past, the only favor that you'll still find in my cupboards to this day are pint glasses.  Why?  Because I break them often and always seem to need one.

Another idea is the mini cast iron skillets given out at this classic but unique wedding.  Perfect for making all sorts of things!

Something that Speaks to Your Heritage

Infuse your history into your wedding day with a favor that speaks to your heritage.  The groom of this wedding was from Kazakhstan, where the yurt is a common type of housing.  As a subtle nod to his background, guests were treated to tiny, colorful yurts which were filled with chocolates.  Blend modern day with old world with a unique idea reflecting your own background!

Plants or Flowers

Say thank you and help the environment at the same time by gifting something that will grow on long after the wedding day.  Tree seedlings (like those given out at Whitling Photography's own wedding), fresh herbs, or even a Build-Your-Own Floral Bouquet bar all make excellent, earth-friendly favor ideas!

Something from the Heart

The ultimate wedding favor idea is something from the heart.  If you're crafty or are down with making something with your hands, set out to create something special for each of your guests.  It can be as simple as coasters made from old vinyls, or homemade soy candles.

Or it can be something much more elaborate.  These beautiful mugs were hand-thrown by the bride and added an artistic DIY touch to the day.

When jewelry-maker Heather wedded Jeremy Ganss, ladies were treated to earrings and men to engraved money clips, both made by the bride herself!  Absolutely LOVE ideas like these!

How will you be thanking your guests?  Are you going with a tangible favor or some other idea?  Comment below!

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List

Forget Napa.  A Sonoma wine country honeymoon is the way to go.  Very much the road less traveled, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Sonoma.  Less touristy, less expensive, and slower-paced than Napa, Sonoma is peaceful and serene yet it can still provide that full wine country experience.  Romantic tastings, adventurous activities, and world class luxury with a small town feel, there is something for everyone in Sonoma.  So I say head there instead!  Take a look at my ultimate Sonoma wine country honeymoon bucket list and start planning your post-wedding getaway!

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Skip the Chain Hotel

With a plethora of bed and breakfasts ranging from quaint to luxurious, I say shop small when it comes to accommodations.  Staying at a B&B comes with so many more perks – you’ll feel more pampered while still getting that privacy you’re longing for.  Plus, hello home cooked breakfast!  And because you’re in wine country, most feature a tasting and/or cheese pairing reception nightly.  My personal favorite home-away-from-home is Camellia Inn.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

What was once the first hospital in Healdsburg is now a small but mighty B&B within walking distance of many attractions.  Owner Lucy is a sweet-as-pie innkeeper who treats each guest like family.  However, it was the bed and sheets that made my stay worthy of penny.  BEST.  NIGHT'S.  SLEEP.  OF.  MY.  LIFE.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Purchase a Wine Pass

Available through The Wine Road, this $30 pass will allow you a free tasting at any of 60+ wineries.  It’s a great way to check out many of Sonoma county’s delicious sips while saving a buck.  If you were to go at it on your own, most tastings range from $8 to as high as $55.  It doesn’t take a math genius to realize the wine pass will easily pay for itself.  And don’t think that it only includes sub-par wineries either.  You’ll find such recognizable names as Clos du Bois, Kendell-Jackson, and Korbel, to name just a few.  Make your rounds on Sonoma County with this tasting pass to a sampler’s paradise!

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Hire a Driver

All those wine tastings can take a toll on your sobriety, and a DUI is never worth it.  Stay safe and hire a driver for the day.  The expense will not only ensure that you don’t break the law, but it will also allow you to sit back and enjoy the day.  While someone else navigates the road, you can relax and revel in the beauty outside your window.  And if you want a driver who is knowledgeable, helpful, and always up for an adventure, I recommend Aaron of Healdsburg Vino Tours.  Dude knows his way around the vineyards.  Oh, and if you’re thinking you’ll just call a Uber….yeah….ummm, not likely.  Not only are there not many drivers in the area, but you likely won’t get services in the valley either.  That’s where having a personal driver comes in the most handy!

Treat Yo Self

After the craziness of the wedding, you’ll be in desperate need of some personal TLC.  Relieve some of that stress and work off those post-wedding blues with a few spa treatments.  The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg offers head to toe services that will have you feeling like a new person in no time.  Try the oxygenating facial to keep that bridal glow long after the honeymoon, or a side-by-side Himalayan salt stone massage in the couple’s suite.  Afterwards, take advantage of their outdoor pool and jacuzzi, complete with water-side beverage service.  Because nothing says luxury quite like a glass of prosecco while basking in the California sunshine.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Hit the Skies

If you thought the area was pretty from the ground, just wait until you see it from the air.  Wake up early and face your fear of heights with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Sonoma wine country courtesy of Up & Away Ballooning.  You’ll soar over lush vineyards, rolling foothills, and skyscraping redwoods.  Talk about breathtaking.  In that basket sipping champagne in the sky, you’ll feel like you’re in your own little world of two.  I can’t think of anything more romantic post wedding day.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Take a Romantic Stroll

If you blink while driving through “downtown” Healdsburg (the keystone town of Sonoma wine country), you’ll miss it.  It’s small but this little wine town has a lot to offer.  It is very much a walking town and the main drag is full of cute boutiques, inviting tasting rooms, and yummy cafes.  Spend a few lazy hours meandering through the adorable streets and you’ll find yourself plenty entertained.  Whether its window shopping, wine sipping or even restaurant hopping, spend some quiet time together, holding hands and taking in all Healdsburg has to offer.

Eat More Sugar

Now that the wedding is over, you don’t need to worry about fitting into that dress, which means you can go back to indulging in delicious treats.  Moustache Baked Goods can help you overcome that sugar craving.  Cupcakes (try the banana brown butter chocolate!), macarons, whoopie pies and more grace their display cases, making choosing just one very difficult.  If cold desserts are more your thing, visit their close-by sister shop Noble Folk.  Featuring locally sourced ice cream, it’s a great way to beat the California heat.  For an even bigger treat, try their homemade pies.  Or go all crazy and opt for an a la mode slice to combine the best of both worlds.

Spend Some Time with Nature

You can’t go to northern California and not partake in some outdoor activities.  Whether it’s heading to a near by national forest to be impressed by the redwoods, renting a canoe and hitting the water, or riding bikes and taking in the scenery of the valley, make some time for nature during your stay.  There is an outdoor adventure for everyone and every skill level.  The weather is gorgeous pretty much all year round and you’ll be in awe at how beautiful this earth really is.  Plus, you’ll need to do something to work off all of those wine calories.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

So what do you say…have I totally sold you on a Sonoma wine country honeymoon yet?  Comment below and tell me if you've ever been there and what you loved most about it!  I'm already planning our return trip!!!

While this post was sponsored by The Wine Road, all opinions, insight, and recommendations are my own.

Sophisticated, Neutral Wedding at the Priory: Chrissy & Josh

A little bit of glam meets a little bit of sophistication in this affair with a neutral color palette.  Chrissy and Josh's Priory wedding combined classic elements with contemporary trends, all while being picture perfect.  Timeless taupe and ivory met modern day mixed metallics of gold, silver, and rose gold for a look that was chic and simple.  GreenSinner used lush greenery in the form of table runners, abundant bouquets, and a variety of centerpieces to add a element of natural, earthy goodness to the day.  Throw in some crystals, mercury glass, and a healthy dose of beading on Chrissy's Allure Bridals wedding dress (not to mention those peep toe Jimmy Choos!) and you've got a recipe for a dream wedding.  When planning her big day, Chrissy wanted to create something warm, soft, and romantic.  I'd say mission accomplished, Chrissy.  Enjoy all of the sparkly, fresh details captured by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers!

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From the bride…

Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?

It was a total surprise!  Josh and I rode bikes a lot but somewhere throughout the summer it got away from us.  The week of the proposal, he asked me at the beginning of the week if I wanted to ride bikes on Saturday morning.  I thought nothing of it.  (I also thought nothing of the cargo shorts he chose to wear instead of gym shorts but hey, where else would he keep the ring?)  We went to the Riverfront Trail and stopped for a break around the Alcoa building (where we met at work) and that's where he popped the question!!  I never thought we would get engaged on bikes, in gym clothes, at 10 a.m. but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Describe the look, theme, style, and colors of the wedding.

The wedding was romantic, sophisticated, and warm.  The color palate was neutral, blush, and gold.  The bridesmaids dresses were the perfect mix of being glamorous and natural.  The overall floral look was a soft palette including greenery, birch trees, and romantic lighting, which provided the exact ambiance we were looking for.  The entire design team understood our vision, and the wedding was executed to perfection.

What inspired the vision?

I was really into the romantic, soft, wintery feel.  Google and Pinterest quickly became my best friends.  After seeing so many weddings, I knew what I wanted and this helped with my vision a lot.  Looking back, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

What made the wedding unique?

The obvious answer is that the wedding was planned in six months and took place in February.  What made the wedding unique for us was the overwhelming joy and love we felt from start to finish.  Josh and I are incredibly fortunate to have the love and support from our family and friends, and it was very evident on our wedding day.  The genuine response of people wanting to be involved, whether it was offering relationship advice, giving honeymoon tips, or volunteering to make dozens of cookies, meant the world to us.  We made it a point to take the day slow, look around, and take mental pictures as we knew this day would be one we would never forget.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

There were so many moments we wouldn’t change and will remember forever.  Two specific things that stick out to both of us would be the father of the bride toast and our final dance with all of our loved ones.  My father and I have a very special relationship.  To marry a man I knew he approved of was important to me.  Not only did that happen but they have grown to have their own love and respect for each other.  His genuine words of support, love, and happiness will be ones we will both never forget.  Finishing off the night dancing and singing “Piano Man” as we were hand-in-hand looking around and being able to take it all in was so special to us.  This will forever be one of “our songs” and a memory we will share with our children.

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

Cherish the moments.  From my engagement, wedding shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and big day, I made a conscious effort to look around and be present.  The events and timeline will go so quickly and you will never get it back.  Things will happen you can’t control and most of the time no one will ever know about.  These are the things that aren’t important.  Remember who was there, how special you felt, and that this is your day.

Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?

A must have is definitely either a wedding planner or a strong team behind you.  Our wedding was planned in six months and without the support and decisiveness of my family and friends it couldn’t have happened.  So if you aren’t someone who can be assertive or make decisions easily, my must have would definitely be a wedding planner.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Allure Bridals from Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Jewelry: Borrowed from bridesmaid | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo and Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids | Cake: Grand Hall at the Priory | Ceremony Location: Grand Hall at the Priory | Chair Covers & Bands: Pittsburgh Chair Covers | DJ: Flipside DJs | Flowers: GreenSinner | Hair: Lyndsay Clark from Studio Booth (bride, mother of the bride, and bridesmaids) and Hannah Conard Beauty (bridesmaids) | Harpist: Sound of Elegance Harpist |  Makeup: Hannah Conard Beauty | Photography: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers | Reception Venue: Grand Hall at the Priory | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Videography: Just Hitched Films

Flowers: GreenSinner | Photography: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers