A party without cake is just a meeting, right? Mixed with Love Cake & Cookie Co. thinks so! Where there is cake, there is a reason to celebrate, and Janelle thinks every sweet creation should be meaningful and personal. I couldn't agree more. That's why I'm so excited to introduce you to this fabulous Pittsburgh wedding cake baker and treat maker! Go meet her in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide!
Hiring a wedding planner will be one of the BEST wedding decisions you make! Trust me on this one…and trust Olive & Rose Events with the most important celebration of your life. Kim combines contemporary style with classic elements for chic soirees that are unique, memorable, and fun. Think you can't afford a wedding planner? Think again! Olive & Rose boasts a wide array of packages; you're bound to find one that fits your budget and needs. Visit the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide to learn more!
Aaaaaaand if you book by February 28, 2018 and mention Burgh Brides, you'll receive 10% off a Planning Package PLUS you can choose one of three different Add-On Services for FREE!
This navy and blush wedding had a healthy dose of glam and I'm all kinds of smitten over it! After an incredibly heart-string-tugging proposal, Carly and Jeff wanted their wedding to be elegant and fancy but also to reflect how important their friends and family are to them. Gorgeous details and thoughtful nods to those they love created a winning combination. The palette of modern navy and always-feminine blush pink was accented by metallic gold decor and sparkly elements. Thanks to creative lighting, tons of draping, and a canopy of hanging crystal chandeliers, J. Verno Studios was transformed into the perfect reception space that brought their vision to life. All white centerpieces in a variety of arrangements, mercury glass, and gold chiavari chairs were the cherry on top of the already fantastic look. Sophisticated, glamorous, and totally Pinterest-worthy, this wedding, documented by Lauren Renee Designs, is sure to leave you breathless!
From the bride…
When and how did the couple meet?
We met in the spring of 2015 – online of all places!
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
A year after we met, Jeff had several plans on how to propose, but the day he picked up the ring, he knew he could not wait. So he bought t-shirts – one for each of my three sons and a fourth for this collie, Nixon. Our nanny helped write “Will you marry me?” spread out on the four shirts. I came home from work and the gym and was perplexed why the dog was wearing a t-shirt with a “?” on it. I then saw two of the boys sitting at the table, their shirts reading “Will” and “You”. I looked at Jeff, then at the nanny before asking in disbelief, “Wait. Is this happening?” I soon found the third son wearing the final shirt “Marry Me”. Jeff got down on one knee and proposed! And I said yes! A group hug ensued!
Describe the look, theme, style, and colors of the wedding.
We wanted a big party to celebrate our marriage with our friends. We wanted it to be elegant and classy. We kept the colors simple. My dress was blush, Jeff wore navy and so did our guys and gals. There were lots of white flowers and some gold accents.
What inspired the vision?
Having a time to celebrate with everyone we were close to was important to us. We wanted it to be like a large dinner party that no one wanted to leave and where our guests knew how important they were to us.
What made the wedding unique?
The bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, and I drove ourselves to the wedding, while the groomsmen, ring bearers, and Jeff arrived at the church in style…in the black, 12 passenger wood grained interior that was not intended for their use! After the initial shock and panic, we all had a good laugh – like almost-ruin-my-makeup laugh! Even the priest said in all of his years, the groom “stealing the motor coach” was truly unique!
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Our first dance. It was sung by a dear friend and the lyrics were perfect. It's such a whirlwind and that was a moment we were finally married and kind of alone…together and married to my best friend.
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Hire someone to help coordinate the details. If not through the process, then definitely the day of. And then relax! Know that things are going to go wrong…it's okay. We laugh and reminisce about those things as much, if not more, than if they would have gone right!
Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
Make sure you love your vendors and that they share your vision. We had such amazing people to help pull off our day. We found people we liked and trusted. I think that's something you can't live without…and you need both – to like and trust them.
I wish we would have carved out a little more time to be alone right before (to breath and just relax) and after the ceremony (because whoa…we were married!). It's so hard to take it all in. It's a whirlwind. I wish we would have just had a few more minutes when time slowed down.
Bride's Dress: Sottero and Midgley from The Exquisite Bride | Bride's Rings: Melanie Burke Pohl at Goldstock Jewelers | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Cake: Oakmont Bakery | Calligraphy: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Caterer: Sausalido | Cookies: Nancy B's Bakery | Ceremony Location: Saints John and Paul Catholic Church | DJ: DJ Nugget | Flowers: Hearts and Flowers Floral Design Studio| Groom's Rings: Noah Gabriel & Co. | Hair: Beauty Justified by Justine | Lighting: J. Verno Studios | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Beauty Justified by Justine | Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger from Macy's | Photographer: Lauren Renee Designs | Reception Venue: J. Verno Studios | Rentals: Elegant Chair Cover Designs | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Wedding Planner: Devoted to You
Photographer: Lauren Renee Designs
Are you still shopping for a wedding florist? Allow me to introduce you to Blossoms by Jilliann! Using her floral know-how and her desire to make your big day just as you imagined (without breaking the bank), Jilliann creates pretty arrangements, lush bouquets, and much more. You'll get a boutique experience without the boutique price tag. So what are you waiting for…go meet her in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide!
For a frosty and fabulous color palette, consider an ice blue & silver wedding. When done right, this combo can be amazingly beautiful. Go for a muted, almost gray shade of blue and avoid anything that reminds you of something you'd see on Frozen. When mixed with metallic silver, it's a stunning backdrop for a winter wedding. To make it work in a way that wows, I say skip the white wedding dress. Gasp! I know, I know. But trust me on this one…you will turn heads in the BEST way possible. Go for a bridal look that embraces the trendy ice blue dress and you'll be a modern day Cinderella. Dress your maids in a silver sequins and your gents in modern navy tuxedos. I say keep your flowers monochromatic white but add bits of blue thistle, silver brunia, and even dusty miller to bring subtle color to the arrangements. Silver rimmed charger plates, mercury glass, an embellished cake, and other crystal details and you've got a healthy dose of glam. Ice blue and silver is a modern take on the classic princess wedding palette. It's a new favorite of mine for sure!
For even more ice blue & silver wedding ideas, visit my Pinterest board! And then tell me what you think of this palette! What do you like about it? Are you using any of these colors in your wedding day? How so? Comment below!
Revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!
If you’re looking for a venue that combines quirky fun with that traditional wedding feel, a Carnegie Science Center wedding just might be for you. This city space offers it all. From unique ceremony spots to say I Do, to funky backdrops for portraits, to cozy exhibit spaces for cocktail hour, to multiple rooms for the main event, there is room for all of your big day’s moments at the Science Center. When you combine the child-like wonder of a science museum with the traditional elements of a wedding, you get an experience you and your guests won’t soon forget. If this sounds like something you’re looking for, here are 6 reasons why hosting your wedding at the Carnegie Science Center might be a really good idea!
There’s a BRAND NEW space!
In just a few short months, the Science Center will open its brand-spankin’ new PointView Hall. This flexible event space will hold up to 400 guests for a banquet style reception, but it can be divided if your party isn’t quite that large. Decked in a neutral color scheme with contemporary features, the hall will be well-suited for just about any wedding style and palette. But PointView Hall’s best feature is undoubtedly the open terrace space overlooking the Point. Talk about breathtaking views! Can you just imagine a cocktail hour here, or evening portraits as the sun is setting? GOR-GEOUS. Trust me when I say this – PointView Hall is bound to be the new IT venue in Pittsburgh! Get in while the gettin’s good!
There’s something for everyone!
If PointView Hall doesn’t fit your vision, fear not. The museum boasts several other event spaces that are perfect for the couple who is looking for something a little more unique. From exhibit spaces to the Buhl Planetarium to the Works Theater and more, the Science Center can accommodate small AND large crowds while providing as much of (or as little of) a science-infused environment as you want.
They team up with some talented vendors!
Your guests’ taste buds will be treated to amazing cuisine from Culinaire, the Science Center’s exclusive caterer. From hors d’oeuvres to a 5-course dinner, everything cooked up by these talented chefs looks Instagram-worthy and tastes even better. Want to incorporate a little science-inspiration into your menu too? Wow your family and friends with Culinaire’s liquid-nitrogen cocktails or smoothies! While they are the sole food and beverage provider at the museum, you’re free to hire any other vendor that you like, allowing you to shop around for the best fit and price!
It’s convenient, and there are tons of amenities!
Located on the North Shore, the Carnegie Science Center is easy to get to from just about any direction. Your guests who are prone to getting lost will thank you. Plus, the museum’s on-site parking lots will make their trip even easier. For those out-of-towners who need a place to crash for the weekend, several hotels are located just up the street, near the stadiums. Don’t want your night to end after the DJ plays the last song? An after-party at the Rivers Casino next door or at one of the many North Shore bars sounds like a great idea!
There are lots of great photo ops!
Ever dream of having your picture taken in a space ship? How about in a planetarium under the stars? Or next to a robot? All of these – and more – can happen at the Science Center because the museum is chock full of cool spots for portraits. I love when couples infuse a little personality into their wedding day photos, and what better place to do so than a venue that is whimsical, interactive, and out-of-this-world (quite literally)? Do you just have.to.have a wedding day photo with a bridge in the background because it’s SO PITTSBURGH? Done and done, thanks to the PointView Hall’s patio space that overlooks the river, Point State Park, and several bridges.
It’s an unforgettable experience!
At what other venue can you find in-house entertainment? When you host your wedding at the Carnegie Science Center, you have the option of letting your guests explore the museum while they’re there! Jaws will drop and smiles will grow as play and engaging with the exhibits is encouraged. Kick things up a notch with a hands-on cocktail hour experience, or just let the guests who tire of dancing traipse about the museum at night. Either way, I am certain they’ll be talking about what a fun and memorable wedding you hosted for many years to come!
If you’re still venue shopping, I encourage you to check out the Carnegie Science Center. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a space that is as creative and memorable!
If you frequent Shadyside or Squirrel Hill, you’re familiar with the beautiful boutique that is Glassworks Pittsburgh. A purveyor of chic and modern table top finds, Glassworks offers a plethora of gift ideas and treat-yo-self splurges. From fine china, tableware accessories, and stemware to every day dinnerware and serving pieces, there’s something for every occasion and style, making it an excellent option for wedding registries! If you’re looking for some unique pieces to start your new life together, here are 6 reasons why Glassworks is THE place to shop!
Shopping small and local is cool.
Forget Target, Macy’s, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Hit up your neighborhood mom and pop shop instead. When you shop small, you support an entrepreneur and their dream and help to keep a neighborhood vibrant. Your support means more to them than you probably realize. It’s the reason you’ll be treated like a friend instead of “customer.”
You’ll see some familiar names.
Oneida, Missoni, Reidel, MacKenzie Childs, Michael Aram, Vietri, Baccarat, Nambe, Mariposa, William Yeoward. These are just a few of the recognizable brands you’ll find at Glassworks. In fact, they carry many of the same lines that you’ll find in your favorite national department store. While the store itself may be boutique and your shopping experience customized, you won’t have any trouble finding the household names you know and love.
You’ll find lots of unique items.
A wedding and a marriage are worth celebrating with something extra special. I love when couples splurge for that one item that will remind them of their big day, and guests love giving memorable gifts too. Whether it’s an engraved sterling silver frame, a gold-rimmed ruffle crystal cake stand, or a keepsake platter customized with your names and wedding date, there are lots of unique pieces that make for an unforgettable gift.
It’s where classic style meets the modern couple.
Let’s face it. Lifestyles are becoming more casual and fluid. Not too many people still register for silver flatware and bone china. But if that is your thing, Glassworks has it! Fancy place settings and crystal champagne flutes are just some of the higher end items they carry. On the other hand, if you’re more of the everyday couple, Glassworks has plenty for you too. This shop is on the forefront of trends and modern day living, while also still offering the timeless pieces that will never go out of style
It’s convenient for you and your gift-givers.
With two locations – Walnut Street in Shadyside and Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill – it’s easy to get to a Glassworks no matter what side of town you live on. Creating your registry in person can easily be done on a weeknight or Saturday afternoon, while your local family and friends can pop by and pick up their gift of choice at any time. Prefer to do everything online? No problem. The Glassworks website is fully stocked with their in-store selection and you can create a registry with a few clicks of the mouse. They handle gift wrapping, packaging, and shipping like a boss too, making shopping simple for out-of-towners!
You’ll be treated to a personalized registry and shopping experience.
When you shop at Glassworks boutique, you’ll get just that – a boutique experience. Highly focused and intimate, the Glassworks registry creation process is all about getting to know your style and needs. The knowledgeable and helpful staff will walk you through the steps, making sure that every room in your new home is covered and that the selections match your lifestyle. When purchasing their gifts, your friends and family are extended the same pampering. You simply don’t receive treatment like this is a big box store.
Swing by Shadyside Glassworks location to start your registry or visit their website to check out their selection. I guarantee you’ll find all sorts of goodies that will be great as you start this new chapter of your life!
When it comes to proposals, some guys like to go big or go home. When Jacob decided to pop the question to Jess, he wanted something uber romantic. To help with all of the details, he enlisted the help of Exhale Events, who then had 48 hours to put together a team of A+ vendors, design the perfect proposal set up, and execute it flawlessly for the couple. Hotel Monaco's Rialto Suite rooftop provided a backdrop of the city while Jacob dropped to one knee under a floral arch made of vintage ladders from Vintage Alley Rentals, fresh greenery and flowers from Sapphire & Lace Design, calligraphy wooden signs, and twinkling candlelight. After saying YES and a mini photo shoot with Abbie Tyler Photography, the couple celebrated with their family and friends. If this isn't the most romantic way to start an engagement, I don't know what is. Congrats to the bride and groom to be!
From the proposal planner…
According to Jacob, this modern day romance began when the pair matched on Tinder. He was finishing his residency in Pittsburgh and getting ready to make a move to South Carolina, so he was a bit apprehensive to reach out, knowing he had to leave soon. However, something told him that he had to meet her, so he decided to throw all caution to the wind. After dating Jessica for a few weeks, Jacob decided to cancel his move to remain in Pittsburgh. As he recalls, “one of my friends said that if you meet a girl from Pittsburgh and fall in love, you’re likely to never leave the Burgh.”
For the proposal, Jacob wanted something very romantic, but the details were up to us given the 48 hour time frame we had to work with. His only real request was that he wanted “Crash into Me” by Dave Matthews Band playing when he proposed. We were able to catch a bit of the proposal from our hiding spot and it brought a little tear to our eyes. You can tell how much Jacob loves her just from the way he looks at her.
After the couple got engaged and did a mini photo shoot with Abbie, Jacob had a private dinner prepared for Jessica. Little did she know, she was in for one more surprise. All of their closest friends came to celebrate that evening in the hotel suite. There was champagne flowing and appetizers shared on that gorgeous summer night. A perfect cap to a romantic evening.
Catering & Desserts: Hotel Monaco | Flowers: Sapphire & Lace Design | Lighting: Pittsburgh Wedding Rentals | Location: Hotel Monaco | Photography: Abbie Tyler Photography | Proposal Planner: Exhale Events | Signs: Twenty Sixth and Sketch | Vintage Ladder Arch: Vintage Alley Rentals
Looking for a hair and makeup artist who will make sure you're looking like a million bucks from the shoulders up on your wedding day? Glam to Go is your gal. Whether your look is effortless with beachy waves and subtle makeup or a classic bridal updo with a full-on fabulous face, Annika will have you looking camera ready. She's the newest stylist to join the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide and I can't wait for you to meet her. Go visit more of her work and then give her a shout!
If you have never planned a wedding before (and really…who, besides a wedding planner, has?), you may not know where to start, what to expect, what to do, or more importantly, what not to do. For those that don’t know any better, the walk down the aisle is littered with missteps. To save you from experiencing wedding regret, I put together a list of 10 wedding planning mistakes brides and grooms commonly make. Consider yourself warned (and adjust accordingly if there is still time!).
1.) Assuming DIY is cheaper
It isn’t always! By the time you buy the materials and tools needed, a project may end up costing you just as much, or perhaps even more, than a professional would have. Also, ask yourself what your time is worth. If you spend 30 hours DIYing something in order to save $50, is it really time well spent? Me thinks not.
2.) Or DIYing too much
Hey, I love a good DIY wedding as much as anyone. But like all good things, DIY is best in moderation. Doing it yourself can be stressful, expensive (see above), and it doesn’t always turn out as planned. Pick and choose your DIY projects carefully so as to not totally stress yourself out. Then, leave the rest to the pros.
3.) Not hiring a day-of coordinator
I know some people will disagree with me. That’s fine. But I will politely argue that a day-of wedding coordinator is worth every.single.penny. You don’t want to spend the morning of your big day putting the proverbial icing on your wedding cake (that’s a metaphor, people). You want to be relaxing with your ladies, getting pampered, and soaking in every moment…not decorating tables, worrying about whether the DJ has shown up yet, or Googling “How to pin on a boutonniere”. Hiring a coordinator actually lets you be a bride! A full coordinator can even help you with the design process, mapping out the day’s timeline, and perhaps even save money!
4.) Not allotting enough time for getting ready, receiving line, family photos, etc.
These things take waaaaaay longer than you think. Putting on your dress, shoes, jewelry, garter, and other pieces can easily take 30 minutes – even longer if you have a corset or button back. A receiving line for 150 people is another 30 – 45 minutes (literally everyone will want to hug you!) And family photos really can’t be accomplished in 5 minutes unless your photographer is a wizard. Running over on one aspect pushes the entire day back or will force you to shorten others. Ask your vendors how much time to allot for the big moments and then keep a watch handy (sounds like a good job for the best man)!
5.) Allowing your day to become someone else’s day (i.e. not setting boundaries).
A wedding day never belongs to just the engaged couple. It's also a special day for the parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. It's really fantastic when those other folks want to be heavily involved in the planning process, but you have to know where to draw the line. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into making decisions that don't reflect you and your fiance. At times, you might need to stand your ground and be firm, but it's better than feeling like your wedding is no longer under your control.
6.) Not being flexible with dates, vendor selection, etc.
If you have your heart set on a certain date, venue, or photographer, act fast. Otherwise, you could be disappointed when your favorites are already booked. With that being said, try to also be flexible. Is there another date you could choose? There are so many talented vendors in this area that you’re bound to find another that you love just as much. Be flexible and go with the flow. Which brings me to my next point…
7.) Expecting perfection
I hate to break it to you but it’s not going to happen. Something will go wrong. Maybe it will be something small or maybe it will be kind of a big deal. But it’s how you react to it that matters. In the end, you’ll still be married to the love of your life! NOTHING will change that…not even mismatched napkins, no-show guests, or a little rain. Take this minute to accept the fact that there will be some hiccups. Now move on!
8.) Not creating cohesion
Your wedding should have common threads woven through all aspects of it. This is usually what people mean when they refer to your wedding theme or style. Haphazardly pieced-together elements can leave your guests wondering what look you were going for. Settle on a style that best matches your personality and your venue and stick with it. Don’t overload your guests (and your photos) with too many different looks no matter what becomes popular on Pinterest!
9.) Not doing your research
Do your homework, people. Those of you who have never planned a wedding will likely be floored at what some things cost. I’m not saying things are overpriced but that’s just the reality of the industry. Knowing the average cost of a caterer, florist, DJ, photographer, etc. will help you determine an appropriate budget and save you from experiencing sticker shock later.
10.) Not being nice
In my opinion, the number one, worst mistake you can make is not being a kind, gracious, glowing bride. No one wants to deal with a crazy person. Don’t be that girl! Revisit my tips on how to be the best bride you can be!
Any former Burgh Brides out there willing to admit some of the mistakes they made? What lessons did you learn while planning your wedding? Anything you wish you would have known ahead of time or done differently? Comment below!