Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of

When you think of “wedding vendors”, please don't forget about the stationery designer!  While they may not physically be present on the day you get married, they still work just as hard as those other pros who will be.  In reality, your stationery designer is a very essential part of your wedding day.  Without the save the date and invitation, how would your guests know when and where to show up?!  It might seem silly but from consultation to conception to design to the proofing and printing process, stationery designers are true artists who care about your wedding day as much as you do.  Get a behind the scenes look at a designer in action as Kimberly of Purple Wagon Designs shares her process with us!

From Kimberly…

While wedding stationers like myself are certainly considered wedding “vendors,” we’re different than most of your vendors because we aren’t AT the big event!  All of our work happens BEFORE the wedding…but that doesn’t make it any less important.  In fact, without invitations, no one would show up to the wedding!

To give you a little insight about what goes into creating the perfect wedding stationery for someone’s big day, I’ll be giving you the play-by-play with my recent bride, Clare, and our journey to create her dream invitations!

CONSULTATION

Thursday, February 16, 7:36 p.m.

Five months prior to Clare’s wedding, she contacts me to inquire about invitations and we schedule an in-person consultation.

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

Friday, February 17, 9 a.m.

I meet with Clare to discuss the details of her July 8th wedding: the overall feel of her wedding – traditional ceremony with a casual and relaxed cocktail reception; the locations – St. Bernard Church and The Mansions on Fifth; and the color scheme – pine and blush.

Also during our initial consultation, Clare picks out the shape and structure of her invitation.  She chooses a modern and functional pocket card in dark sage, a beautiful paper patterned with pink magnolias, and a lovely natural linen stock.  I’m IN LOVE with her choices!

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

PROPOSAL

Tuesday, February 21, 1:34 p.m.

I put together the proposal and contract for Clare’s wedding stationery and email it to her for review.

Tuesday, February 28, 9:03 p.m.

Receive email from Clare stating that “We are go for launch!!!!” and asking what the next steps are. Reply, share her excitement, and ask her to mail out the signed contract and deposit so we can get started.

Monday, March 6, 12:15 p.m.

Find Clare’s contract and deposit mixed in amongst the junk mail.

4:53 p.m.

Order all the necessary paper and envelopes for Clare’s invitations, along with that of three other couples with summer weddings.

DESIGN

Thursday, March 9, 2:30 p.m.

Begin working on the initial design of Clare’s wedding invitations.  I also have a few deliveries for other clients today, so I don’t get as far as I’d like.

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

Friday, March 10, 11 a.m.

Arrive back home following my daughter’s field trip to the Mt. Lebanon police station (so cool!) and put the finishing touches on Clare’s initial design.  Send it off and hope she likes it!

7:04 p.m.

Receive an email from Clare with feedback.  She LOVES it!  I do a little happy dance then quickly make her minor changes and send back to her.

Thursday, March 16, 1:25 p.m.

PAPER DELIVERY DAY!!  I haul two massive boxes into my office (paper is HEAVY!) and check that everything is accounted for.  I also let my kids make a huge mess playing in the packing peanuts 🙂

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

Tuesday, March 23, 1:06 p.m.

Finish up the initial design of all the inserts for Clare’s invitations and send off for review.

Friday, April 7, 4:30 p.m.

After some back and forth with Clare making sure the wording, details, and designs are absolutely perfect on every part of her invitation, I send the artwork to print.

ASSEMBLY

Monday, April 10, 12:52 p.m.

Receive a message that Clare’s invitations are ready to be picked up from the printer – in record time. It’s always so exciting to open the box and see the printed versions for the first time! They turned out exactly as I had hoped!

Tuesday – Saturday

Print the envelopes for Clare’s invitations and work on assembly.  Unlike the designing which is done during the day in my office, the assembly part of my work happens in my cozy basement in the evening while watching TV, so it’s a bit more relaxed.

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

Sunday, April 16, 10:35 p.m.

Assembly on Clare’s invitations is complete and they’re packaged up and ready to go!

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

DELIVERY

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

Wednesday, April 19, 8:15 p.m.

Meet with Clare to deliver her invitations – she loves them!  Seeing the look on a bride’s face when she sees her invitations for the first time is an incredible feeling!

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

“DAY OF” STATIONERY

Friday, May 12, 6:25 p.m.

Time to get started on Part Two of Clare’s wedding stationery!  In addition to the invitations, I will also be creating her ceremony programs and thank you notes.  I send her some examples of ceremony programs that she can use as a guide.

Thursday, May 25, 2:29 p.m.

I use the information Clare sent for her program and put together the initial designs for that and the thank you notes using the same theme and design that was used on her invitations.

Tuesday, June 6, 10:33 a.m.

After a little back-and-forth on the content of the program, both pieces are approved so I send them off to print!

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

Monday, June 19, 10:15 a.m.

Pick up Clare’s wedding day stationery from the printer and package it up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2 p.m.

Meet with Clare one last time to deliver her programs and thank you notes.  She is as happy with these items as she was with her invitations, and that makes the whole process totally worth it!

Purple Wagon Designs: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of from Burgh Brides

As you can see, a whole lot of behind-the-scenes time and effort goes into designing and creating the stationery for a wedding, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!  I consider it an honor to work with each of my couples on such an important element of their wedding!


While you can't be there in person, Kimberly, I know you're there in spirit, cheering on each and every client on her big day.  Thanks for peeling back the curtain for us!

If you have some catching up to do, check out a wedding day in the lives of Traveling Heart Productions, Sapphire and Lace Design and La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans.  I've still got a few more up my sleeve so keep your eyes peeled.

You can also revisit some of my favorite posts from this series in the past!

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session: Kortney & Rob

For these two architectural designers, three of Pittsburgh's best features are its buildings, its history, and its views.  So for their engagement session with Breanna Elizabeth Photography, Kortney and Rob took in some of their favorite hot spots that best showed off the city's good sides.  From the gorgeous once-train-station-now-event-venue The Pennsylvanian, to the blooming gardens of Mellon Square Park, to the infamous Andy Warhold Bridge, these three traipsed all over downtown, taking in its richness and urban beauty.  Breanna, the lady behind the lens, also studied architecture, so this session was a literal match made in heaven for both the couple and the photographer.  Enjoy some of Pittsburgh's most beautiful sites while admiring just how stinking cute Rob and Kortney are!

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Architecturally Inspired Engagement Session from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We met in our first semester of architecture school at Kent State.  My group of studio friends just so happened to live in his dorm, so our paths crossed a few times.  We were both so shy that we barely talked to each other at first, but his cute curly locks most definitely caught my eye!  We got to know each other well over the next few months, and before long, we were walking to class together, going on coffee and lunch dates, and deemed inseparable to our friends!

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

Rob and I both love the fall, so each year we plan a day where we get out and enjoy our favorite season.  It was the fall of 2013.  Rob had finished his Master's degree and was working at an architecture firm downtown; I was interning at a kitchen and bath showroom and finishing up my Master's degree.  We decided that we were going to play hooky this year for our big fall day date, so we requested Friday, October 25, 2013 off to paint the town red!  Our day was filled with so much fun and laughter – we explored Phipps Conservatory, picked and carved pumpkins, and then cleaned up for a much anticipated dinner at Bella Vista.  We were dressed to the nines – Rob in his finest suit and me in my favorite white dress, which Rob suggested I wear.  It wasn't until we were going up the Duquesne Incline that I realized this was no ordinary date.  I spent all of dinner anticipating the big question.  I even tore through my cannoli looking for a ring.

As we were waiting in line to go down the incline, Rob suggested that we go outside to the overlook.  Despite it being windy and less than 10°, I couldn't pass up one of the best city views, especially underneath the starry sky. At some point in our relationship, I had mentioned that when the big moment happened, I just wanted it to be the two of us.  Being the sweet and sensitive guy that he is, Rob made it a priority to pop the question once we were the only two on the overlook.  Well, EVERYONE wanted to see the view that night!  It took three attempts to get the question out, but before he even finished asking, I shouted “Yes!”  I don't think I even let him get down on one knee before I grabbed him out of pure excitement!  It was the best moment, we were on cloud nine.

Describe the engagement session.  What inspired it?

The engagement shoot was a blast – three architectural designers wandering through downtown Pittsburgh, sneaking into old train stations and standing in the middle of bridges while cars drive by – what could be more fun?!  Rob and I love exploring the city, so the engagement shoot was literally us enjoying some of our favorite downtown spots – Market Square, Mellon Square Park, and the Andy Warhol Bridge.  Luckily, I was able to pull some strings and get us into The Pennsylvanian, which is one of our favorite buildings due to its rich history.  We could not have asked for a better photographer and friend to share this experience with us!

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Introducing Community Flower Shop!

Community Flower Shop said it best with “Our ideal client is someone who wants something unique, creative, and anything but ordinary.”  Those words perfectly describe the work coming out of the latest Pittsburgh wedding florist to join the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide.  I've never seen the same arrangement or bouquet from them twice.  Patrick and his team are artistic designers who push the limits with out-of-the-box combinations of lines, texture, and color.  The results are floral magic.  Go meet them and see more of their work in the Vendor Guide!

Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni: Diana & Marc

A ballroom wedding will always be beautiful.  There is something just so quintessentially…well, “wedding”…about them.  And today's feature is a prime example of just why they will never go out of style.

Diana and Marc consider themselves to be traditional, yet progressive.  When they got engaged, the couple knew they wanted to incorporate both of these attributes into their big day.  They ended up with a classic wedding day with unique, modern spins on tradition.  For starters, the art deco-inspired Urban Room of the Omni William Penn Hotel played the incredible backdrop for the ceremony, while the Grand Ballroom held the stylish reception.  A color palette of gold and ivory kept things chic while textured linens, an abundance of amber uplighting, and a mix of tall and low centerpieces added a trendy element.  The twists on the status quo don't stop there though.  Be on the look out for the following:

  • Ivory bridesmaids gowns.  Yep, the bride wasn't the only one in white!  Diana bucked tradition by dressing her ladies in a color that complimented the scheme for the day and her gold ombre wedding dress.  I love a bold bride!
  • A heartfelt ceremony entrance.  Since Diana's dad passed away, she chose her mom and twin sister to walk her down the aisle.  I'm sure those steps were really meaningful and sentimental for all three of them.
  • An in-the-round set up.  While Diana and Marc exchanged vows, guests surrounded them on all sides.  This style of set up allows for an intimate ambiance and it ensures everyone has the best seat in the house!
  • Diana's speech in honor of her dad.  When the traditional father/daughter dance would have taken place, Diana took the opportunity to say some words about her late father.  I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house as the bride paid tribute to him.

Elegant, refined, and effortlessly beautiful, Diana and Marc's wedding was captured by Nicole Cassano Photography.  This feature is proof that you can break all of the wedding “rules” and still end up with a day that is perfectly pretty and, most importantly, perfectly YOU.

Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Classic Ballroom Wedding at the Omni from Nicole Cassano Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We met more than seven years ago through my twin sister, Donna, who worked with Marc's best friend and co-best man, Chris, in high school.  Donna and Chris had tried for a while to set Marc and me up.

While Donna and I were seniors at Notre Dame, Marc and Chris decided to come visit and go to the ND football game against Pitt.  Marc and I kept in touch casually for a while after that weekend, but we remained friends for a long time until we finally made things “official” by starting a long distance relationship when I went to law school in Virginia.  I spent my law school summers working in Pittsburgh with Marc until finally deciding to move to Pittsburgh after graduation!

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

Marc surprised me during my last semester of law school in Virginia!  I had been texting him all morning, complaining about a hangover and telling him that I wished I had a Gatorade there to help me feel better.  A few minutes later, I heard a knock on my front door, and when I opened it, I was shocked to see Marc there!  I couldn't believe he was at my apartment (which was over five hours away from Pittsburgh) during the middle of the day when I thought he was at work!  So when I asked what he was doing there, he handed me a bakery box and a Gatorade and said “I brought you sweets and a Gatorade for your hangover.”  I was still in shock that he showed up unannounced like that, because with the long distance relationship, we always had our visits planned out weeks in advance.  When he came inside, he handed me the bakery box and told me to open it.  As I opened it, I saw a cake shaped like a Tiffany blue ring box.  I looked over at Marc, and he was already down on one knee.  I took the lid off of the ring box cake and saw the ring!   He asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes!  We immediately ate the cake after he proposed, and it was absolutely delicious!

What inspired your vision?

The venue really was the starting point for our vision for the wedding.  The Grand Ballroom of the Omni is such a classically beautiful venue that commands a certain level of elegance for the events held there.  We always knew that we wanted our wedding to be more formal and elegant.  It seems as though the trend lately has been more of the rustic-themed weddings.  While those weddings are great for the people who have them, those kinds of themes don't fit with our personalities.  We are both professionals who live and work in downtown Pittsburgh, and we really enjoy the city lifestyle.  We are not “country” or “outdoorsy” people at all and we wanted our wedding to reflect that.

What made your wedding unique?

Our wedding was unique because we combined the traditional classic elements of a wedding with a very modern and progressive interpretation.  We consider ourselves to be very progressive, so we wanted to have a traditional wedding but with very non-traditional elements.  One very unique element was having the bridesmaids wear ivory.  I never believed in the “rule” against other people wearing white to the wedding, so I wanted to make a bold statement by having the bridesmaids wear it.  It was also the perfect color to complement the gold ombre color of my wedding dress, and I thought the overall look of the wedding party was extremely classy and elegant.

For the ceremony, my mom and twin sister, Donna, walked me down the aisle because my dad passed away several years ago.  This was a really special moment for me during the wedding.  I also gave a speech in honor of my father in place of the father/daughter dance.

We did not want the ceremony to be religious, and I was determined to prove that we could have a beautiful ceremony without needing religion to be a part of it.   For the ceremony, I wrote my own wedding “reading” that was comprised of excerpts from the US Supreme Court and Massachusetts Supreme Court opinions on same-sex marriage.  It turned out to be a really beautiful reading that many people loved and appreciated, and it really made our ceremony unique.  Keeping in line with the non-traditional ceremony, Marc and I both wrote our own wedding vows.  I didn't realize beforehand how much this would change the emotional element of the ceremony, but it made it much more special and personal than it would have been than if we had simply repeated words and said “I do.”   We both got emotional during our vows, but it was so incredibly touching.  I would really recommend that other couples do this!

Finally, one of the other important aspects of the wedding was the fact that I am not changing my last name, and I was not afraid to be proud of that decision during the wedding.  Throughout the wedding, we were announced as “Diana and Marc” instead of “Mr. and Mrs.,” and I am not ashamed to explain my reasons for keeping my last name when people ask.  I think that Marc and I were really able to showcase our unique, non-traditional views with traditional elements of weddings that still made it very special.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Our favorite moment was walking down the aisle AFTER the ceremony ended.  It was so exciting to know that we were finally married and that we had the entire rest of the evening to celebrate to the fullest with our closest friends and family.  As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, we walked directly into the Grand Ballroom and saw our gorgeous reception all set up!  It really was a magical moment.

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

Don't feel as though you are bound to tradition when planning your wedding.   I know that there are so many “rules” when it comes to weddings, but they're only rules because people feel obligated to follow them!   We broke so many so-called “rules” when we were wedding planning, but it made our wedding really fit our personalities.  I would not be afraid to do exactly what you want when planning your wedding, because it really is the only day when everything is all about YOU.

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

Specialty linens and a cookie table are must haves!  The linens added so much beauty and elegance to the reception that could not have been achieved by anything else.  Even with fancy place settings, menus, favors, centerpieces, etc., the linens add an extra pop to the decor that makes it so much more fun!  I am so glad that I chose to use them.

Also, the Pittsburgh cookie table is a MUST!  This is one tradition that we knew we wanted to follow, because it's the best one!  Your out-of-town friends and relatives will love it, even if they aren't familiar with the tradition!

Vendors

Band: No Bad Juju | Bride's Dress: Maggie Sottero | Bride's Accessories: Zola Keller & MB Bride | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBG | Cake & Desserts: Bella Christie | Calligraphy: Brittany Zack | Caterer: Omni William Penn Hotel | Ceremony Location: Urban Room, Omni William Penn Hotel | Flowers: Budget Blossoms by Jilliann | Hair: Brooke Rockwell Hair Design | Lighting: Gray Phoenix | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Carly Tuscano from Fluhme Beauty | Menswear: Calvin Klein | Photographer: Nicole Cassano Photography | Reception: Grand Ballroom, Omni William Penn Hotel | Stationery: Just Invite Me | Transportation: Molly's Trolleys | Videography: Just Hitched Wedding Films | Wedding Planner: Amanda Mason

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Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist

Children of the 80s, listen up!  If you loved Lisa Frank, Zack Morris, side ponytails, and neon colors, you're going to LOVE this styled shoot from some of Pittsburgh's finest wedding talent.  When tasked with using a box full of mystery ingredients to curate a wedding theme, Sandrachile and Devoted to You delivered.  And I mean in an EPIC way.  They enlisted the help of Fresh Cut Prints and Leafhopper Designs to bring this unique, throwback vibe to life.  Vibrant colors like hot pink, purple, yellow, and turquoise looked striking against black and white accents and the blank slate-ness of the shoot location – The Union Hall at Bar Marco.  With floral arrangements of varying sizes, styles, and textures, gold flatware, vegan Relish donuts garnished with fresh fruit, and confetti galore, the tablescape was playful and nostalgic.  Because 80s music is the best music, subtle nods were thrown to classic jams with record place settings and bold fonts in the paper goods.  Even the models looked the part with a custom tulle skirt made by Kata Banko Couture and bold, bold, BOLD hair and makeup by Colton DeLong.  A rad, modern twist on the favorites of my childhood, this styled shoot will leave you both inspired and longing for those good ol' days!

Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh 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Some behind the scenes pics of the killer team in action, working to bring the whole vibe to life.

Out of the Box Wedding Inspiration with a 1980s Twist from Sandrachile and Devoted to You Events featured on Burgh Brides

Photo by Jenni Grace Photography; From top left: Sandra of Sandrachile, Colton DeLong; Melissa of Devoted to You, Melissa of Devoted to You and Erin of Fresh Cut Prints; Sarah of Leafhopper Designs; Erin of Fresh Cut Prints

From the photographer…

In the middle of the December hecticness, I came across a post on Facebook inviting wedding vendors to participate in a contest that would put our talents to the test.  The challenge was to style a fake wedding in one week.  On top of the time constraint, we had to use the elements of a mystery box, and of course, we did not know what those elements were until receiving it.

Being the restless individual that I am, I signed up faster than light, putting together a team that I was confident would leave everything “on the field”.  Every member of the team was very talented, yet very different from each other in terms of style.  Our biggest challenge was to bring all these micro visions together cohesively, in a crunch time frame.  Despite being all different from each other, we all have one common core – we are all SUPER passionate about our crafts.  I named the team Confetti Unicorns, and together we put this styled shoot together in four days.  On March 15th, while the women of the country marched for equality, we demanded equality by doing what we do best – we styled a killer wedding.

Our mystery box had papers, acrylic tags, and confetti; we knew exactly that our inspiration would be from the late 80's and early 90’s…Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Paula Abdul, New Kids On The Block, Cindy Lauper, and Lisa Frank.  We loved this era of so many icons, but we wanted to give it a contemporary modern twist.

We incorporated colors through our vegan donuts, which were iced and decorated with bright fruits.  The bridal ensemble was a custom creation of the amazing Kata Banko Couture, who in only two days and without ever seeing the model came up with an amazing piece that included layered tulle, a statement of the early 90's, yet it was a separate, which is a current trend.  The flowers were different sizes, styles, and textures, bringing the color palette to a full swing.  The bride's hair incorporated a pop of color though extensions, and her makeup included a playful eye shadow.  Since the 80's and 90's music was an underlying vibe, we emphasized it by upcycling records as place cards and in the stationery design.

And personally, as a photographer, I wanted to emphasize beauty beyond traditional stereotypes and standards by asking a non-model couple to be my model for a day.  This couple added the perfect dose of empowerment and sexiness, which in the end made us the winners of the competition, showing everyone the incredible talent we have right here in the Burgh.

Vendors

Photography: Sandrachile | Stylist: Devoted to You | Accessories: Rosey West | Custom Dress: Kata Banko Couture | Desserts: Vegan donuts by Relish Co. | Flowers: Leafhopper Designs | Hair: Colton DeLong | Makeup: Colton DeLong | Menswear: The Groomsman Suit | Models: Kimmy Johnson and Jeffrey Robert | Neck Tie: Becoming | Shoes: Cinderella of Boston | Shoot Location: The Union Hall at Bar Marco | Stationery & Paper Goods: Fresh Cut Prints | Mystery Box Items: Curated by Color Pop Events | Contest Organizers: Catalyst Wedding Magazine | Paper Inspiration: Suite Smith Design | Acrylic Name Tags: California Lustre | Confetti: The Confetti Bar

Photography: Sandrachile | Custom Dress: Kata Banko Couture | Shoot Location: The Union Hall at Bar Marco | Stationery & Paper Goods: Fresh Cut Prints

Cute & Casual Engagement Session: Stacey & Joerg

It's all smiles and cuteness in this casual engagement session from Levana Melamed Photography that shows off Pittsburgh beautifully!  Joerg is German, Stacey is Malaysian, and they met in Kuala Lumpur.  It's was a little bit of love at first site for these two world travelers, who began their long-distance relationship shortly after meeting.  They both now call Pittsburgh home 🙂  An engagement shoot that showed off their city and their unique personalities was the perfect way to kick off their new life together.  Their easy-going and playful relationship is totally evident and I adore the way Joerg makes Stacy smile.  Speaking of making someone smile, these images are bound to do just that to you.  Enjoy!

Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides Cute & Casual Engagement Session from Levana Melamed Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

The shoot was very casual but highlighted the important aspects of our personalities, and the love for our new home, Pittsburgh.  We are both easy-going individuals who enjoy running and biking along the Three Rivers Trail, so it was a perfect opportunity to capture us at one of our favorite places.

Our shoot was unique because it highlights our lives as two individuals from different countries, making a new home for ourselves in Pittsburgh.  It was also unique because the Three Rivers Trails and Pittsburgh itself provides such breathtaking scenery for a photo shoot.  Our shoot also enables us to show people where we live and the places where we spend a lot of time.

 

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Win Tickets to Rocked! A Couture Bridal Event from Pittsburgh Magazine

Have you marked your calendar for Rocked!?  This couture bridal event is being brought to you by Pittsburgh Magazine and it's all going down at the Rivers Club on August 17.  Think styled vignettes, the best of the city's wedding professionals, cocktails, light bites, and an evening of wedding planning with your favorite pals.  Sounds like a blast right?

Now's your chance to attend for FREE!  I've teamed up with Pittsburgh Magazine to give away a pack of five tickets to TWO lucky readers!  Keep scrolling to enter and then save the date for this wedding event that bound to be epic!

Rocked! A Couture Bridal Event from Pittsburgh Magazine

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Rocked! Tickets Giveaway Ts & Cs

  • Prize: Two 5-pack tickets to Rocked!  A Couture Bridal Event from Pittsburgh Magazine on 8/17/17.  No cash value.
  • Giveaway Dates: 8/8/17 3 p.m. EST – 8/11/17 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Use the Rafflecopter widget above to enter.
  • Two winners will be randomly drawn using Rafflecopter and announced via this blog post Burgh on 8/12/17.  The winners will also be notified via email.
  • Winners have 72 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Giveaway is open to the public.  All persons are eligible to enter and win. 

Introducing Steven Dray Images & A Special Offer!

Swoon-worthy and a bit atypical, the work of Steven Dray Images is downright delicious.  It'll leave you with all the heart eyes.  Don't believe me?  Head on over to the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide to see more work from the latest photographer to join the pack.  He's got talent to spare, a super cool perspective, and he's just awesome to be around.  What more do you want in a wedding photographer?

Want to work with Steve AND save some dough?  Mention Burgh Brides for $250 off any package!

Steven Dray Images - Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer & Burgh Brides Vendor Guide Member

A Weekend Full of Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll: Abydee & Ryan

Wow, talk about a celebration!  Not only did Abydee and Ryan plan an insanely fun wedding reception, but they also treated their guests to a whole slew of events to celebrate their special weekend in August.  All of these events were inspired by one thing – the couple.  Abydee and Ryan wanted everything to reflect them, and by pairing with talented vendors who not only understood their vision but also their personalities, that's exactly what they got.  Unique florals and decor, a visionary photographer, more than one live musician, and a museum that perfectly captured the eclectic nature of the day – all of these came together to make Abydee and Ryan's day perfectly beautiful and perfectly “them”.  A few of my favorites?

  • An 8-course vegetarian tasting menu served at the rehearsal dinner.  What makes this significant is that most of the couple's family and friends aren't even vegetarians.  Yet, Abydee says everyone was totally blown away by how delicious everything was!  I love that the bride and groom infused their personality even into this meal, and that everyone embraced and enjoyed it!
  • Is there a better venue for this affair than the Mattress Factory?  A bit anything goes itself, this venue was a match made in heaven for this wedding day.  Casual, comfortable, organically beautiful, and roomy enough to allow for a flowing reception, the art museum housed this event perfectly.
  • Izzy the four-legged friend made for the cutest flower girl!  With her floral “collar”, she sat right next to Abydee and Ryan as they exchanged vows and then she hung out at the party all night long.  Talk about a well-behaved dog!  Izzy, maybe you can come give my dog some pointers.
  • Best reception entertainment ever?  It's quite possible.  Rick Larrimore and his ROD STEWART TRIBUTE BAND kept the dance floor packed!  Even the groom got up and played a few sets with them!  Man, what I wouldn't give to be invited to a wedding with a Rod Stewart tribute band!  Talk about fun!!!
  • The finishing touch on the celebration was an after-wedding brunch at Tiki Lounge, the place where Abydee and Ryan first met.  Not one but two live bands entertained guests as they feasted on yummy food from Double Wide Grill.  Now, THIS is a perfect end to a perfect weekend!

This laid back, comfortable weekend was chock full of parties, laughs, and good times.  Oh, and two people got married too!  Enjoy these beautiful images from Mandy Fierens Photography.  They are bound to inspire you to plan your own three-day party!

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

A Weekend Full of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebrations & Rock n Roll by Mandy Fierens Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

Tiki Lounge on my 21st birthday!

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

At Feelings Cafe during New Orleans Jazz Fest on May 2, 2013

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

Our ceremony was held in the outdoor garden of the Mattress Factory.  Our dog, Izzy, was the flower girl. She walked down the aisle and peed in the grass.  Pure perfection.  Our friend, Zombo, played music during the ceremony – Velvet Underground's “Here She Comes Now”.  I walked down the aisle with my mom and dad to Humble Pie's “You're So Good for Me”.  Following the ceremony, guests explored the exhibits and enjoyed hors d'oeuvres in the lobby.  We tented the upper courtyard for dinner.  Desserts were back down in the garden and the band (Rick Larrimore, a Rod Stewart tribute band, that we had seen one 4th of July) played in the lobby.  Ryan got up with them and played guitar for a few sets.  It was so hilariously us.  The next day, Double Wide Grill catered a brunch at Tiki Lounge.  Our friend's band from Kentucky, The Other Brothers, played.  A local Rolling Stones tribute band, Mothers Little Helpers, followed.  Friends sat in, played, and sang with the band.  Such an amazing weekend.

What inspired your vision?

Our strategy was pretty simple.  We wanted to celebrate!  With the exception of various dinner and holiday parties over the years, our wedding was going to be the first event where all our friends and combined family would be in the same place at the same time.  This creates an amazing environment and we were excited to absorb every second.  We wanted the whole weekend to be laid back and comfortable.  Well, the kind of comfortable that results from being tugged out of your shell and nicely forced to eat mainly vegetarian food and revel in rock n roll for an entire three day weekend. 😉

What made your wedding unique?

Ryan and I had a blast with the creative process.  We tried to plan an event that personified our relationship.  We learned we are not “Package A or Package B” people, and we therefore learned how much we would come to rely on amazingly talented local businesses and individuals.  Selecting the right vendor partners with unique personalities that complemented our own was crucial to the event's success.  From the rehearsal dinner, wedding venue and decor, to the Sunday after-party and music throughout, everything was perfectly us.  All that's left unsatisfied is figuring out a way to do it all again.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Every single thing; I can't pick just one favorite.  But if I had to pick one moment to relive it would definitely be Friday morning just so we could enjoy the whole weekend again!

Vendors

Band: Rick Larrimore | Bride's Dress: Nicole Miller from Glitter & Grit | Bride's Accessories: Alexis Bittar | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom | Cake: Mother of the groom! | Caterer: Big Burrito | Ceremony & Reception Location: The Mattress Factory | DJ: DJ Zombo | Flowers & Decor: GreenSinner | Hair & Makeup: Izzazu Salon | Photographer: Mandy Fierens Photography | Post-Wedding Brunch: Tiki Lounge catered by Double Wide Grill | Stationery: Minted | Transportation: Lenzner Coach

Traveling Heart Productions: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of

What is it like to be behind the camera on a wedding day?  In this case, I mean video camera, of course.  Today, Christina of Traveling Heart Productions is here to answer the question for us!  In the next edition of “A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of” series, Christina is sharing what a day (actually what a FEW days) in her life looks like.  A lot (and I mean a lot a lot) of work goes into making a video – there's prep time, schedule creation, location scouting, consulting with the other vendors, backing up all of the footage (usually to multiple places), and hours and hours of editing…not to mention actually being there on the wedding day to film it!  But why am I telling you all of this?  You can just read the first hand account from Christina instead!

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

Hey all!  My name is Christina, and I’m the owner and lead videographer at Traveling Heart Productions!  I’m so excited to provide you with a behind the scenes look at my life as a wedding videographer!  I love filming weddings, and I’m always so honored and excited to capture such an amazing and important day.  The wedding day preparations begin several days prior to the wedding, starting on Thursday.  Here’s the rundown of a wedding my second shooter, Brandon, and I filmed a few weekends ago:

Thursday

Time to charge batteries and double check my equipment.  I have lots of batteries on me during the wedding day, and I need them all to be ready to go.  I also look over my equipment and make sure everything is here and in working order.  Tripod and monopod plates?  Check.  Shoulder mounts?  Check.  Just making sure I’m not missing anything important!

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

A typical setup for me – camera, shotgun mic, monopod

Friday

Time to format cards, organize my camera and equipment bags, and look over the timeline and questionnaire.  I prepare my second shooter’s bag as well, so she’s ready to film groom preparations right away.  Once our bags are packed and organized, I start preparing what I want to wear.  I’m usually either in black pants and a blouse/cardigan combo, or a maxi dress with a cardigan.  Layers are my friend, since it often goes from being 85 degrees outside to super chilly in the reception space.  For tomorrow’s wedding, I’ll be in a maxi dress that I love to wear.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

Saturday (Wedding Day!)

7:30 a.m.

Time to get up!  I get showered and dressed.  Time to move my two camera bags and my equipment bag into the car.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

I always keep my camera cards with me in a sturdy case. You just can’t be too careful with memory cards!

8:30 a.m.

Today’s wedding is in Johnstown, PA, so we have a little bit of a drive this morning.  Brandon and I will be driving together, as we do for most weddings, because she lives down the street from me.  I swing by her house and pick her up.  We stop at Panera to grab bagels and coffee for breakfast.  Panera = life.

9:30 a.m.

Still driving!  It’s a relaxing morning so far.

10:30 a.m.

We arrive in Johnstown.  We aren’t supposed to be on location until 11 a.m., so we spend a little time scouting where we need to be later in the day.  I run through the itinerary again, and give Brandon a copy.

10:50 a.m.

Arrived at the bride’s house, where she will be getting ready!  I grab my camera bag and my monopod from the trunk.  Brandon types in the address for the groom’s location (his parent’s house — just down the street) and she departs.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

Here Brandon is at a wedding we filmed in California. She’s in a tree because the photographer and I needed a model for that particular spot. She’s a good sport!

11 a.m.

Ring the doorbell, and I’m here!  Time to start filming preparations.  I introduce myself to everyone, quickly set up my camera, and I’m filming!  I say hello to Leeann, today’s photographer.  I'm really excited about that because I really enjoy working with her.  I mostly focus on details, hair/makeup, the bride getting into her dress, and the overall interactions between her family and friends.  It’s a super relaxed and happy atmosphere.

12 p.m.

Time for us to travel to the groom’s location, where the couple will be doing a first look.  Woohoo, I love first looks!  I grab a ride with Leeann, since my second shooter has my car and off we go!

12:15 p.m.

It’s pouring down rain when we arrive, but it quickly dissipates.  The couple has a super cute first look and now they have some free time to take portraits.  I hang around to grab some portrait footage and then Brandon and I are off to the church to set up!

1 p.m.

Arrive at St. Mary's Byzantine Church after inhaling a turkey sandwich in the car.  We bring in our cameras and equipment and set up our three cameras.  It’s so hot out, and I’m really glad the church is air conditioned.  Once the groom arrives, I put a mic on him to record clear audio from the vows.  I coordinate with Leeann to make sure she’s okay with my anticipated locations during the ceremony (so we’re not in each other’s shots) and now I’m ready to film!

1:30 p.m.

Ceremony begins!  This church is so gorgeous and there are lots of beautiful spots to capture the ceremony.  Brandon is split between two cameras on tripods — one in the balcony and one on the far right hand side of the church capturing the bride’s face.  I am on a monopod next to Leeann during the processional and then I’m off to the left hand side for vows and ring exchange, capturing the groom’s face.  During the rest of the ceremony, I quietly walk around and get other shots from interesting vantage points.  I’m back on the left hand side for the kiss!  Yay, they’re officially married!

2:30 p.m.

Bubble exit outside!  So cute!  The ceremony has ended, and it’s time for Brandon and I to break down our equipment and most of our cameras.  I remove the mic from the groom so he can take formal portraits in the church.  While formal portraits are happening (I don’t film the formal family portraits), I grab some interior shots of the church.  Once I have everything I need, I pack up my camera and let Brandon know where to go for the reception.  I send her there early so she can grab detail shots before the guests arrive.  She loads the car back up with our equipment (I really need to buy a bag with wheels for us). I ride with Leeann again — and we’re off to bridal party portraits!

3:30 p.m.

Bridal portraits are at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown’s campus, and I’m excited to grab some pretty footage!  I always have fun filming couples interacting with their bridal party and with each other in a creative way.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

This is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day.

4:30 p.m.

We travel to the reception site (Johnstown Masonic Temple) and I grab some more footage of the couple before going into the reception hall to set up with Brandon.  She has already filmed lots of pretty detail/hall footage.  We coordinate where we will most likely be during the reception.  I introduce myself to the DJ and plug into his equipment so I can record the toasts for the video.

5:30 p.m.

The reception begins!  The order today is: Introductions, First Dance, Cake Cutting, Toasts, Blessing and then…

6:30 p.m.

Dinner!  Time to take a break and eat.  Feels good to sit down.

7:30 p.m.

We’re back at it, and ready to film the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances.  The floor opens up for dancing.  Party time!

8 p.m.

The sun is setting and it’s a perfect time for some outdoor evening portraits.  Leeann and I both head up to the roof (!!) where we can get some gorgeous shots in beautiful light.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

A still frame from their video — gotta love evening light on a roof!

10 p.m.

Ceremony ends.  We say goodbye and thank you to everyone!  Brandon and I break down our equipment and load everything back into the car.  Tonight is a bit of a longer drive home (two hours) since we’re in Johnstown.  I drop Brandon off at her house.

12 a.m.

I’m home!  Time to copy all of my footage onto my computer.  I have nine camera cards full of wedding gorgeousness, and I love scrolling through everything as I copy it over.  Once it’s all on my computer’s hard drive, I back it up onto an external hard drive, and then I also upload it to cloud storage.  I also will not wipe my camera cards until the wedding has been delivered to the couple.  I take a lot of precautions with my footage; media management is important!  While this is happening, I’m usually eating a snack, drinking water, and watching Parks and Rec, because it’s the best.  I’m a night owl, so being up late is no issue for me, and I sleep better knowing I have everything backed up.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Traveling Heart Productions

I’m home and at my desk. It’s 1 a.m., but I have Parks and Rec to keep me company.

2 a.m.

Whew, I’m tired!  Time for bed (I’m asleep in 10 minutes).

That’s my entire day!  The next few days I spend working on the teaser trailer.  Once I deliver that to the couple, I begin editing their full highlight film.  I usually spend about 40 – 50 hours of editing on each wedding that I film.  Thanks for following along with me!


And what better way to see a wedding videographer in action than with a behind the scenes video?  Duh!  Enjoy this little snippet that Christina put together!  She's the absolute best for sharing her day with us and I hope she definitely took Tom Haverford's advice and treated herself after this!

If you missed the beginning half of this summer series, you can see what wedding days in the life of Sapphire and Lace Design and La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans look like.  Be sure to stay tuned as I share more in the coming weeks.

You can also revisit some of my favorite posts from this series in the past!