Muted Vintage Wedding at Shady Elms Farm: Emmy & Jared

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Even a day-long thunderstorm couldn't dampen the beauty of this muted vintage wedding.  Emmy and Jared's big day will definitely tug at your heart strings.  A pastel color palette of sage, serenity, green, gray blue, ivory, and white looked perfectly shabby chic against the backdrop of Shady Elms Farm.  They wanted their wedding day to reflect them as a couple and the things they loved the most.  Thoughtful and lovely details abounded.  What were a few of my favorites?

  • The mismatched bridesmaids' dresses.  With only a few color restrictions, Emmy's girls were free to select a dress of their choice.  The result was a complimentary mix of hues, fabrics, cuts, and styles.  #nailedit
  • Emmy's look.  Soft curls, a feminine braid, and crochet TOMS made for a beautiful boho bride.  The pièce de résistance though was that.wedding.dress.  A sage chiffon skirt, beaded bodice, and ivory laser cut lace topper…this BHLDN number will stop you dead in your tracks.
  • That bridal bouquet.  Just when I thought Emmy couldn't look any lovelier, I got a glance at her bouquet.  Shady Elms Farm combined succulents, tulips, ranunculus, thistle, dusty miller, and scabiosa pods for a show-stopping, textural floral arrangement that was perfect for the day's color scheme.
  • Darling decor.  Marquee letters, antique furniture, sheer draping, bistro lights, milk glass, logs, wood slices, and even a few sparkling chandeliers gave the reception a vibe that was vintage, rustic, and modern all at the same time.
  • A nod to Emmy and Jared's furry friends.  These two are dog lovers and have fostered several pups over the years.  They just had to pay tribute to them on their wedding day!  The bride's sister and brother in law handmade a miniature replica of each of Emmy and Jared's dogs, complete with their names.  Dogs > just about everything else

If you're anything like me, you're bound to fall in love with each and every one of these images from Hot Metal Studio.  This wedding is sheer perfection!

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Jared and I met freshmen year of college at Penn State in 2007.  We had an immediate connection but did not begin dating until spring of 2009 after spending more time together with other friends.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Jared proposed to me in June of 2013 over a homemade breakfast :).  It was incredibly personal and sweet.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
I love muted blue colors with the look of grays and silvers and even some gold accents.  The save the dates and invites were all done by my talented friend and bridesmaid Denielle.  The invites themselves had elm leaves on them to match the name of the venue!  The decor was all vintage from the farm.  I love hydrangeas for the centerpieces and bridesmaids but I also loved the look of flowing/willowing flowers with succulents.  They put the gray accents and a lot of greens in, which I absolutely loved.  I really wanted to have it feel more personal to me and Jared.  Since we absolutely love dogs and have fostered pit-type dogs from the Washington Humane Society for over three years (having nine total fosters and various other dogs that we volunteered with and that touched our lives), we wanted to include these dogs in our day.  My sister Lexie and brother-in-law Sebastian made the greatest centerpieces we could have asked for that were so touching and meaningful!

What inspired your vision?
The beautiful old barn at Shady Elms started the inspiration for the general theme.

What made your wedding unique?
The band did an incredible job getting everyone on the dance floor and put on an amazing show that even those that don't like dancing really enjoyed.  Mostly vegan food and all vegetarian food was served and PW Catering did a great job bringing in lots of flavors and making it super tasty.  We had assorted cupcakes as dessert instead of cake so everyone could enjoy different flavors.  The dog centerpieces and the story they told was one of my favorite aspects of the whole event.  Hopefully they brought awareness to how amazing and loving pit-type dogs are, despite how they are viewed by the general public, and how much they have touch our lives.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
So many!  The ceremony and exchange of vows was especially moving for both of us.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Incorporate a personal touch into your day and have your friends and family help you with it.  These are the type of things you will remember forever and really cherish, especially since you can share what really matters to you with everyone you love!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Don't worry if will rain!  It was something I worried about for two weeks leading up to the day but when it rained for the entire day of the event, we really rolled with it and I actually didn't really notice.  We purchased 20 large, white umbrellas for the bridal party and they actually looked kind of cool in pictures.  And the rain made the celebration more intimate since everyone stayed close to one another!

Vendors
Band: The 19th Street Band | Bride's Dress: BHLDN | Bride's Accessories: BHLDN | Bride's Shoes: TOMS | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Mismatched from various places | Caterer: PW Catering | Ceremony Location: Shady Elms Farm | Cookies & Display: Caroline Graettinger | Cupcakes & Display: Dina Bonus | Flowers: Shady Elms Farm | Hair: Whitney of Caruso Hair & Esthetics | Dog Centerpieces: Bride's sister, Lexie Phelan, and Bride's Brother in Law, Sebastian Hoek | Linens: Windswept Party & Event Rentals | Makeup: Molly of Caruso Hair & Esthetics | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: Hot Metal Studio | Reception Venue: Shady Elms Farm | Rentals : Windswept Party Event Rentals | Stationery: Denielle DeSantis | Transportation: Elite Coach Transportation | Vegan Cupcakes & Display: Caroline Graettinger

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Berry, Blush, & Emerald Wedding Inspiration

Ohmyword.  I may have found my new favorite wedding color combo.  Berry, blush, & emerald is IN.CRED.IBLE.  It's bold, vibrant, feminine, and vivacious.  Faint of heart brides need not apply.  This palette is for those who aren't afraid to make a statement.  That's exactly why I think you need to just go for it if you're using these shades.  Start off with an emerald invitation suite that embraces the richness of this color while adding pops of metallic gold.  Save the full scheme for the actual wedding day, dressing your maids in beautiful berry dresses that flatter all skin tones while you don a blush wedding dress since that trend seems like it's never going out of style.  Imagine the floral magic that will be your bouquets and centerpieces…peonies, garden roses, snapdragons, ranunculus, dahlias, magnolia leaves, even protea…I'm already dying just thinking about it.  I like the idea of this palette mixed with a few boho vibes…geode “escort cards” or table numbers with gold calligraphy, hammered gold flatware, and even gold trimmed terrariums to add an earthy touch.  Serve up a sparkling rose cocktail garnished with fresh raspberries and even your taste buds will be embracing these colors.  However you spin it, I am head over heels for the drama of this mix and I'm certain you will be too.

Berry, Blush, & Emerald Wedding Inspiration from Burgh Brides

Clockwise from top left: The Calm Collective via Every Last Detail; Minted; Kelsea Holder via Wonderful DIY; Candace Jeffrey Photography; Loft Calligraphy; center via Pinterest

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of berry, blush, and emerald!  What do you like about these colors?  Are you using any of them in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot

Even if you aren't having a Fourth of July wedding, this styled shoot will get you prepped for next week's holiday. Red, white, and blue are the grand marshal of this inspiration parade, but they are paired together in a way that is classy, not kitschy.  That's because Julie James Design, Your Big Day, and Burgh Brides' own Lindsey Zern Photography were careful to put a modern twist on an old, patriotic favorite.  Vintage sparklers and summertime bomb pops were paired with faux wood chargers, red floral glassware, and a fun, unique centerpiece that featured taper candles and cascading ribbons for a whimsy touch.  Blue thistle and hydrangeas met deep ruby peonies, anemones, and astilbe for a gorgeous bouquet that brought a little bit of drama to the look.  Whether you're celebrating Independence Day with a backyard BBQ or a wedding, let this shoot bring some life to your party!  Happy Birthday America!

Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the designer…

We wanted to showcase a “patriotic theme” without the cliche touches you might expect.  Our goal was to show that you can take a theme that is often thought of as backyard BBQ and flip flops, and add a classy and beautiful look with unique centerpieces, vintage sparkler favors, adorable bomb pops, and more.  We added a little edge and richness to the ACE Hotel's gymnasium, which opens up to a more raw feel, with stunning faux wood chargers, a patriotic napkin fold, and cascading ribbon centerpieces.  The Fourth of July theme was shown in a whole new way.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: One Enchanted Evening | Designer: Your Big Day | Desserts: Your Big Day | Flowers: Julie James Design | Hair: Jacki DeMario | Linens: Your Big Day | Location: ACE Hotel | Photography: Lindsey Zern Photography | Videography: Kesneck Videography

Photography: Lindsey Zern Photography

Summertime Engagement Session: Caitlin & Daniel

Nothing says a summer engagement session quite like blooming flowers and bright sunshine.  Today's feature has got them both and your eyes are about to thank me.  Caitlin and Daniel, along with Schneider Photographer, visited Caitlin's alma mater, Chatham University, for a little pre-wedding photo shoot.  The beautiful campus featured budding tulips, cherry blossoms in their full glory, and numerous architectural gems that added texture and character to the photos.  These two love birds look head over heels for each other and judging by the way Daniel looks at Caitlin, he's totally smitten.  Who wouldn't be?  The bride to be (and these photos) are totally adorable!  I can feel the sunshine on my face and smell those flowers now…

Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides Sweet Summertime Engagement Session from Schneider Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

Caitlin and Daniel met through Daniel's sister-in-law who worked to orchestrate a blind date between the the two.  Their first date accidentally happened on Valentine's Day when they met for coffee and talked for a couple hours, recognizing how much we had in common and how nerdy they both were when it comes to Star Wars and Harry Potter.  They continued to date and grew together as friends and then finally realized they had fallen in love with each other.  They got engaged last summer right after Caitlin had started summer break from school.  She planned to meet Daniel for lunch and they went to a small pull-off spot on the side of the road that has a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Daniel tricked Caitlin into reading a sign about the Civil War and when she turned around he was down on one knee!!  These two are soooo incredibly sweet.  When we were deciding on a location for their engagement session, Caitlin asked if we could do it at her alma mater Chatham University.  This campus is so amazingly beautiful.  The flowers had started to bloom and the sun was setting behind the hills of the campus.  Summer engagement sessions with two people authentically in love are the best!

A Wedding Stationery Timeline from Blush Paper Co.

Wedding stationery can be a very confusing topic.  There are a million paper options, guidelines about what fonts should be paired together, and even rules about you should and shouldn't include on your invitations.  Where is a bride to even begin making sense of all of that?  Easy.  Let's start at the beginning.  And the beginning is knowing WHEN to send all of those pretty mailings and print your day-of materials.  Blush Paper Co. to the rescue with this wedding stationery timeline that will keep you on schedule!

A Wedding Stationery Timeline from Blush Paper Co. featured on Burgh Brides

From Jen of Blush Paper Co…

I created the timeline in response to the #1 question I am asked at consultations:  How are we on time?  How long will this process take?

It's incredibly helpful to have a breakdown of timelines and deadlines.  When brides book with me, we will also create a calendar together to further create deadlines, so they know exactly when to expect proofs and revisions.  It's tailored to their specific needs, so no two calendars are alike.  But in general, this guide is a great resource.  It's so helpful to know when to start the custom stationery process!   Since you're working with a live designer and having your stationery professionally printed, the timeline is a bit different than ordering from a big-box store.

AMEN!  I dare you to try and find this kind of customer service or tailoring at an online stationery printer.  While those sites have their advantages, absolutely nothing beats working with an independent stationer to design and print your wedding day paper goodies.  So check your calendar, make sure your on time with creating your paper suite, and then head on over to the Vendor Guide when you can find more from Blush Paper Co.!

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Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA: Alison & Steven

Timeless, romantic, and feminine…that's exactly what this classic ballroom wedding is.  Alison was the quintessential bride when she married Steven in July during a traditional Catholic church ceremony.  Afterwards, the newlyweds celebrated becoming Mr. and Mrs. at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association.  The historical venue (unfortunate now closed) was decorated with a color palette that will always be in fashion – blush pink, ivory, and gold.  These shades created an ambiance of romance, which was heightened by all of the small, thoughtful details Alison and Steven incorporated into their big day.  Some of what I loved most about this wedding though started well in advance of the reception…

  • The bride's and bridesmaids' robes!  These ladies got ready in style in silk floral print robes.  Alison played the part of the bride in a white version of the pink ones her maids wore.  Getting wedding ready has never looked better.
  • THAT dress!  Holy cow did Alison look amazing!  Her Allure Bridals gown that she purchased at Babette's featured a sweetheart neckline and lace applique.  The gown's best feature was its shape though!  The trumpet silhouette fit Alison like a glove and she looked like a million bucks!
  • Hello bridal bouquet!  Alison carried a mix of fluffy white and pink peonies (aka the world's most beautiful flower IMHO).  Her bouquet looked like miniature, handheld clouds and were the perfect compliment to her classic look.
  • Now let's talk about the main event!  The florals of this wedding reception simply oozed romance.  Heightened centerpieces of fresh blooms, crystals, and pearls brought height to the expansive ballroom while low arrangements of roses, tulips, peonies, and hypericum berries added another layer of dimension.  I've died and gone to flower heaven.

All of the sophisticated details were captured beautiful by Madeline Jane Photography.  If you look up the word “wedding” in the dictionary, you just might see a photo of Alison and Steven's.  I'm pretty sure that whoever invented the word had this exact look in mind.

Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides Classic Ballroom Wedding at the PAA from Madeline Jane Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Steven and I work for the same consulting firm and met soon after we both began working there in 2012.  Our friendship developed into a romance, and the rest is history!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Steven proposed in June 2015.  We went out for a boat ride on the Allegheny River.  He got down on one knee just as we approached the fountains in Point State Park.  I was completely surprised!  He also had my younger sister taking pictures for us from the shore.  It was perfect.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
I would describe our wedding as classic and romantic.  We chose blush and gold as our colors; the groom and groomsmen wore black tuxes and the bridesmaids wore floor-length blush dresses.

What made your wedding unique?
Steven and I are not native Pittsburghers but we still love this city!  Instead of a traditional guest book, we bought a large canvas poster of the Pittsburgh city skyline and had our guests sign all around it.  We hope to be able to hang this in our house to showcase our beautiful city and use it as a fun way to remember our wedding day!

What was your favorite moment of the day?
Our first look!  It was nice to get a quiet moment together before the rest of the wedding party joined us and the craziness of the day began.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Wedding planning can be very stressful and overwhelming!  Prioritize, be flexible, and keep the big picture in mind.  Everything will work out in the end, I promise.

Vendors
Band: Bachelor Boys Band | Bride's Dress: Allure Bridals from Babette's | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Caterer: Pittsburgh Athletic Association | Ceremony Location: Epiphany Catholic Church | Flowers: Toni Wierzbicki | Menswear: The Black Tux | Photographer: Madeline Jane Photography | Reception Venue: Pittsburgh Athletic Association | Stationery: Nota Bene | Transportation: Shamrock Limousine

Photographer: Madeline Jane Photography

 

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Happy Father’s Day: A Tribute to Fathers of the Brides & Grooms

Happy Father's Day from Burgh Brides!  Whether your “dad” is your birth father, step dad, adopted dad, big brother, little brother, grandpa, uncle, or just a super awesome family friend who took you under his wing, today we salute him.  From all those times he played with you as a kid, or when he wiped your tears or taught you something new, to the times he tried to put the fear of God into anyone you brought home (at least my dad tried to do this) to that final walk down the aisle to give you away, he's been the absolute best.  Thanks for everything, dad.  Happy Father's Day to you!

Comment below and tell me a little bit about the father figure in your life.  How will you honor him on your wedding day?

Don't think I forgot about the moms.  Revisit my Mother's Day tribute!

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You’ll Absolutely Love Working With Her

If there ever was a wedding photographer that perfectly captured what romance and beauty look like, it’s Madeline Jane.  This girl has a very special talent for documenting love.  She does so in a way that is classic and sophisticated, yet contemporary and casual.  From engagement sessions to weddings, family shoots and everything in between, Madeline believes in loving big, laughing hard, and preserving those sweet moments that make living life so darn awesome.  If you’re still on the hunt for someone to capture your special day, here are 6 reasons I think you’ll love working with her!

1.) Her timeless way of photographing means your images will always be in style. In 30+ years, you want to look back on your wedding photos and smile, not cringe.  While certain photography and editing styles might be super trendy now, light, airy, and romantic will never go out of fashion.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

2.) She’s got your wedding planning back. Need help with that wedding day timeline?  Want a few reasons why you should consider a first look?  Looking for some tips and tricks to make the planning process nice and easy?  All of Madeline’s client’s receive an immensely helpful wedding planning guide written and designed by her!  I’ve seen this thing…it’s amazing!  She could put me out of business with it.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

3.) Her super sweet disposition mean she's a dream to engage with. If a ball of sunshine could mix with funfetti cake and take on a human form, I’m convinced it would be Madeline.  She’s amazingly cheerful and a joy to be around.  You’ll be so glad she’s there on your big day!

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

Meet Madeline! Isn't she a doll?

4.) She'll be as obsessed with your wedding day as you are. Madeline loves love and she’ll be all about making sure this once-in-a-lifetime experience is a good one for you.  From brainstorming details to offering photo advice to just listening to the story of how you met, she’s all ears and ready to help where she can.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

5.) Details and portraits…she's got them both covered. While Madeline is a wizard with bridal portraits, don’t think for one second she’ll forget to document all those tiny details you spent months agonizing over.  A shot of the bride and groom sharing an intimate moment while a gorgeous sun sets behind them or your something blue, dress, bouquet, tablescape, or those diamond earrings your grandmother wore on her wedding day, Madeline will make sure they’re ALL well documented.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

6.) Authenticity is where it's at and she'll capture your true self. While her editing is classic, her style is far from old-fashioned.  The laid back vibe she exudes will allow you to relax, which in turn will allow your personality to shine bright.  No stiff posing or fake smiles here.  It’s all about honest, real love and whatever that means to you.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

If all of this isn’t enough to convince you that Madeline is a rock star photographer and just a super cool chic, head on over to the Vendor Guide where you’ll find more from her, including a special offer for Burgh Brides!

Classic Black & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont: Natalie & Jimmy

Natalie and Jimmy's big day is the quintessential “Pittsburgh wedding”.  Despite living in Chicago, this couple chose to get married in the bride's hometown, and I'm so glad they did.  A classic black and metallic gold color palette, a ceremony in front of the LeMont's giant windows overlooking the city's iconic skyline, and 3,200 cookies baked by family and friends – it's almost as if this wedding was made just for Burgh Brides.  Get your Steel City-loving heart ready; it's about to go gaga over this feature.  Keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Natalie's dress.  Leave it to Hayley Paige to create this stunning number.  An abundance of beading, a criss-cross back, and skirting fit for a princess – I'll just be over here dress drooling.
  • Those portraits.  Sky's the Limit Photography posed this bride and groom in front of epic Strip District graffiti, a blooming wall of ivy, and, of course, on those famous bridges.  I'm not sure what was prettier – the couple or our city.
  • Donuts!  Rather than a traditional wedding cake, Natalie and Jimmy opted for a variety of Peace, Love, & Little Donuts instead!  I'll take one of each, please.

This Pittsburgh wedding blogger has all the heart eyes over this one.  Yinz guys are going to love it too!

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
I first met Jimmy volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Chicago (I moved there from Pittsburgh in 2009).  As mentors, we saw each other once a week when spending time with our “Littles.”  Once a week soon turned into twice a week after we organized a softball team with our fellow mentors, and our friendship blossomed from there.  I was always drawn to his boisterous personality and his ability to be passionate about anything, from helping kids to the Chicago Cubs.  After a couple of years of holding out to not ruin our friendship – or our chances – we both bit the bullet and laid the cards on the table.  Our friends were relieved, in an “it’s about time” kind of way.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Jimmy proposed on December 4, 2016 in Chicago’s Millennium Park, with the lights of the city’s Christmas tree twinkling in the background.  We had gone to see The Nutcracker that night, like every year, and he had had the ring in his pocket the whole time.  We spent the rest of the night pretty much freaking out.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
In planning our wedding, we knew the most important factor: the people.  We were surrounded by friends and family from all over the country (and the world!) who have provided us endless love and support.  In fact, my little from Big Brother Big Sisters, Nancy, took a break from her first week at the University of Wisconsin Madison to be a bridesmaid in the wedding.  It was really a special weekend for all of us.

What inspired your vision?
Both our ceremony and reception were held at the LeMont on Mt. Washington.  As far as the look and feel of the wedding, both of us are drawn to classic, timeless styles, so my mom helped us create a timeless glamour motif for the ceremony and reception.  She crushed it.  As far as attire, groomsmen wore classic black tuxes and bow ties, and I had the bridesmaids choose their own LBDs and sparkly heels.

What made your wedding unique?
It was very “us.”  The whole day – from the sparkling mercury glass to the overflowing cookie table – was classic but fun.  We both love to laugh and we cry a lot – we covered those two bases all day long.

Another crucial factor of the night was the dance floor.  Jimmy and I both LOVE to dance.  I teach dance to kids on the weekends, and he just dances whenever the mood strikes.  We've been battling it out in spontaneous dance parties since before we started dating.

We did a choreographed dance to our song “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers.  And then everyone – and I mean everyone – hit the dance floor.  We were having so much fun dancing that we had to ask the DJ to stay longer.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
Jimmy's vows.  They were amazing.  I know everyone thinks their partner's vows are amazing, but his were epic.  His vows made everyone laugh, including me, and then they made everyone cry, especially me.  Having Jimmy's Aunt Donna as our officiant made it that much more special.  I was desperately in need of a tissue by the end.  He told the story of our friendship and our courtship; my paraphrasing won't do it justice.  You'll just have to trust me – it was everything.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Looking back on all of the effort we put into our wedding, my advice to any newly engaged couple is to think really hard about what matters to you most.  For us, it was having a meaningful ceremony, being surrounded by the people we love, and having plenty of time and space to dance.  Once you nail down what you absolutely cannot live without on your big day, it will be easier to make your wedding truly “you.”

My other word advice – shop for your dress early!  I went shopping just under nine months out from our day, and that was cutting it pretty close.  I would also get yourself a wedding etiquette book (yes, an actual book from a bookstore).  There is so much to sort through online that it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to address invitations or how much to tip certain vendors.  We had a wedding bible that a friend of ours in the industry gave us, and it truly answered all of our questions as we went through the process.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
We did a first look at the Heinz History Center and I'm so glad we did!  We got so many awesome pictures that afternoon, and that way we could party straight into the reception.  Although I should have thought to bring a hairbrush; my half-up hair got mangled by the wind.  Also, I guess my waterproof makeup was no match for Jimmy's tearjerker vows.  My face looked a little melty post-ceremony.  Luckily, well-prepared guests rescued me with both a hairbrush and some powder.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Hayley Paige from Bella Bianca Bridal | Bride's Earrings: Anthropologie | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Cake: Gina Fontanesi | Donuts: Peace, Love, & Little Donuts | Caterer: LeMont | Ceremony Location: LeMont | DJ: Steven Vance Violin & DJ Music | First Dance Choreography: Duet Dance Studio | Flowers: Budget Blossoms by Jilliann | Hair: Tease Salon | Linens: Elegant Events by Andrea | Makeup: Kiss and Makeup | Menswear: Vera Wang | Photographer: Sky's the Limit Photography | Reception Venue: LeMont | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Transportation: Elite Transportation

DJ: Steven Vance Violin & DJ Music | Photographer: Sky's the Limit Photography

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The 1 Thing You Absolutely Must Do During Your Wedding Reception

Your wedding reception will be a total BLAST!  All of your friends and family will be in the same place at the same time and it's an amazing feeling to know they're all there because of you.  There will be good food, good drinks, and plenty of entertainment.  You'll be partying and dancing with all of your guests and you will literally never want it to end.  BUT there is one thing you absolutely must do during your wedding reception!

MAKE TIME FOR SUNSET OR NIGHT TIME PORTRAITS.

It will be really hard to pull yourself away from the party, and I guarantee for a split second, you'll consider not even doing it at all.  But you MUST make time for more portraits at sunset or later!  You'll be tired, you'll be a little drunk, and you'll probably be over smiling for the camera.  But I promise you – remove yourself from the fun for 10, 15, 20 minutes and you will NOT regret it.  How do I know?  These shots right here.

Whether you head out at sunset, otherwise known as golden hour, or opt for night time when the sky is dark blue, the lighting will be absolutely gorgeous!  Your wedding album can thank me later.  But perhaps more important than the stunning images you'll be left with, a quick sunset or night time portrait session will give you some more intimate time with your new husband or wife.  Amid all of the hustle and bustle of the day, those quite moments will be few and far in between.  So if you can gain a few more of them AND get some breath taking images in the process, I'd say it's a total win-win.

Will you be devoting some time during your reception for sunset or night portraits?  Please say yes!