Engaged: Allison & Joe

When you love Pittsburgh, what better way to celebrate it and your engagement than by taking photos in the Strip District, on the North Shore, and on one of our most iconic bridges?  That's exactly what Allison and Joe did.  They incorporated their love for the Steel City into their e-session by making stops at some of Pittsburgh's hottest spots.  Primanti's, Feinberg's, Pamela's, the fountain at the Point, and even a few bottles of IC Light – they all make an appearance in this quintessential Pittsburgh engagement shoot done by Amanda Brisco Photography.  This Burgh Bride has made this Burgh blogger proud!

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Strip District & North Shore Engagement Session by Amanda Brisco Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Joe and I are both from Pittsburgh, but we met in Virginia in March of 2012.  Our dads have worked together for at least the past 20 years and are our “cupids”.  When I graduated from college, I moved to Virginia to start my career in advertising.  Joe joined the Navy after high school and was in Virginia on and off.  When I moved to Richmond, my dad told me that his friend from work had a son who lived in Virginia Beach, and he thought we could be friends.  Joe's dad told him the same thing.  Both of us brushed them off – I mean who needs their dad to help them make friends?!  Fast forward five years and I had taken a new job where I was traveling to Virginia Beach more often and was reminded of my dad's friend's son.  So I decided to send him a Facebook message.  We met up for dinner on the oceanfront one night while I was in town and we just clicked.  We've been together ever since!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Joe was sent overseas for a tour in April of 2013.  He came home for his leave in December and we had lots of plans!  The first weekend he was home, we went to the Steelers game.  It snowed the entire time, which Joe loved, and we had a blast!  Joe had made dinner reservations that night at Monterey Bay.  We decided to take the incline up to Mt. Washington and walk to the restaurant.  I had on heels, but wanted to just wear my Ugg boots and change into my heels later.  Joe insisted that I not do that; I was so annoyed but I went along with it.  When we got to the restaurant, Joe suggested we go to the overlook to see the lights, since the city was all ready for the holidays.  When we were looking at the lights, I turned to him and he was down on one knee!  I said yes, of course!  As we were hugging, I noticed a woman snapping some pictures of us and whispered about her to Joe.  He said he knew and that he had hired her to capture our proposal!  It was a beautiful night!

Describe the engagement shoot.
We both love everything Pittsburgh, from Primanti's and the bridges to the Steelers and Pirates.  We couldn't think of better spots than the Strip District and the North Shore for our engagement session.  I love the urban look, as well as all the bricks and murals.  On the North Shore, I was in love with the way Mandy captured the beauty of the city and incorporated Mt. Washington into the background.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Do an engagement session!  It not only makes you more comfortable with the photographer, but it makes the photographer more comfortable with you.  Also, be open to suggestions and don't sweat the small stuff!

A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

You know I'm all about saving money and DIYing things.  However, if there is one wedding project I would highly (read: strongly, very strongly) recommend NOT doing yourself, it's the flowers!

Folks, don't do it.  Don't even try it.  Unless you're already a florist, can clone yourself, or have a time-turner Hermione Granger style, there isn't enough time in your life to do your own wedding flowers.  Once you read everything that goes into a day on the job with Stephanie, owner of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs (also one of my first featured vendors!), you'll agree!

Not only is it a HUGE endeavor time-wise, but it also takes a TON of skill and flower know-how.  You can't really just go to Trader Joe's, pick up a bunch of bouquets, and make some pretty centerpieces.  Well…I mean you could…theoretically.  I did this for my own bridal shower.  But then you'll end up with centerpieces that look like the ones I had at my bridal shower…and no one wants that.

Anyways, there is so much that goes into a florist prepping for and executing an order for a wedding day that I hope you're sitting down to read this one.  Otherwise, you might fall over from exhaustion by just reading how much hard work Stephanie puts in to make one bride happy.

From Stephanie…

The florist’s job begins way before the day of the wedding.  For this particular journey, we’ll go back to last October when I received a phone call to meet with bride Marissa and her mom to discuss her August 1, 2015 wedding.  We met at The Blue Daisy studio and went over all of the details and options discussing Marissa’s vision for the day.  After our consultation, a proposal was drafted and sent off for approval.  We made a change or two via email and then I did a happy dance when Marissa said she’d like to book!  We were in communication over the next several months regarding changes, updates, and counts.

Three weeks out from the wedding, I comb through the final order and calculate what flowers and supplies will be needed and I order them from my vendors.  They'll arrive the week of the wedding.

Speaking of which…let's start on Tuesday, July 28.

  • Arrive at the studio early to process flowers with Patti, my shop assistant for the day.
  • Then, off to Oakland to pick up the containers that were rented by the previous weekend’s bride.
  • Back to the studio to clean and put them away so we have room to design for this week.
  • Pulled all of the containers and supplies I need for the week.
  • Wait for the flower delivery that has the locally grown sage for the wedding.  Catch up on emails while I wait.
  • Head home for dinner and a dog walk with my husband, Patrick.

Wednesday July 29

  • Leave the house at 7:30 a.m. to head to the Strip District for the candelabras and supplies.  Everything juuuuust fits into Patrick’s SUV, which I borrowed for the day.
  • Race back to the studio to unpack the car and then I’m off again to a local flower grower to pick up the dahlias for the wedding.
  • Back to the studio after picking up our dog, Thor (He likes to come to work.).
  • Patti and I start designing. We finish up around 4 p.m. and I stay at the studio until about 5:30 p.m. sorting and prepping for the next day.
A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Thor assists by holding down the boxes.

Thursday, July 30

  • Another early start at the studio to receive the remaining flowers that didn’t make the first shipment on Tuesday.  This time Janet is assisting in the studio.  The new flowers are processed and put into the cooler.
  • We work on the tall centerpieces.
  • Angie of La Candella Weddings (BB: Hey, I featured her too!) comes in the afternoon to photograph us working (It’s always fun to have photographers in the studio!).
  • Work until about 4 p.m. then I stay at the studio to organize and prep for Friday.
  • Meet the hubs at Noodles & Co. for dinner because, frankly, I don't feel like cooking.
A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Working on the bride's bouquet…such concentration!  Photo by La Candella Weddings.

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Stephanie and Janet taking a break to smile for the photographer, Angie of La Candella Weddings.

Friday, July 31

  • Personal flowers day!  All of the boutonnieres and corsages need to be made.  At the beginning of the day, we also make four large church arrangements, then it’s wiring, gluing and taping for the rest of the afternoon.
  • I also got to make a dog collar wreath for Marissa’s pup, Ellie!  This is essentially the same mechanics as a flower crown and takes about two hours total.  By the end of the afternoon, our fingers are covered in glue and numb but all of the designing is done!
  • We pack together as much as we can for easy load up and count, count, and recount everything!  We worked efficiently this week (and only had one event) so we are done by 5 p.m. which is pretty rare.  Woo hoo, I get to sleep tonight!
  • Tacos for dinner and I fall asleep on the couch while watching a Mad Men episode with Patrick (Shhh – don’t tell me what happens!  We’re only on season 5!).
A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Making a floral crown for Ellie the pup!

Saturday, August 1 – Wedding Day!

7 a.m. – Wake up!  Coffee and breakfast with the hubs and the dog.

8 a.m. – Shower and get dressed for the day.  Grimace at the thought of wearing jeans on a hot day but prefer not to wear shorts to set ups.

9 a.m. –  Patrick and I arrive at the studio to wrap the ribbons on the bride’s bouquet, count everything again, and start packing florals in crates and boxes for transport.  I send Patrick on a hardware store mission for some emergency glue.

10 a.m. –  Amanda and Janet arrive to help load.  Play “floral Tetris” and strategically pack all of the candelabras into Janet’s Jeep.  They juuuusst fit.  Next play Tetris with the flowers and rest of the goods in the 9’ cargo van.  Everything fits, whew!

11 a.m. – We’re off!  Janet and Amanda head to the West Overton Barn, about an hour away, to begin assembling the candelabras.  Patrick and I are off to Greensburg to deliver the personal flowers to the bride’s grandmother’s home where they are getting ready.

Noon –  Patrick and I arrive to deliver the personal flowers (This is my favorite part!!).  I get to see Marissa’s face light up as she sees her bouquet for the first time.  I get all butterfly-y myself because this is why I do what I do.  Marissa “tries on” her bouquet and I instruct her and the maids how to hold their flowers as they go down the aisle (Thumbs at your belly button ladies – not too high!).  We try on Ellie’s dog flower collar and photographer Alison Mish snaps a few shots of the groom’s boutonniere.  The bride’s mom and grandma insist that we take some cookies.  After attempting to refuse, I gave in saying that I couldn’t deprive my poor husband, who was waiting in the van cranking the air conditioning.  And they were delicious – thank you!!!  We head to the church.

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

On the way to the church!

12:45 p.m. – Arrive at the church.  Quietly tie 28 bunches of baby’s breath on the pews and set up the altar arrangements.  Discuss with the priest where to place the back of church flowers since the space isn’t quite big enough and settle on moving a small table to accommodate them.  Set up the boutonnieres and corsages in the back of the church for the family when they arrive.  Take all of the boxes and the tool box quietly back to the van and walk the church to make sure no remnants were left behind and everything is perfect for Marissa’s walk down the aisle.  Call Janet to see how everything is going at the Barn.  Give her instructions to proceed and take a McDonald's/lunch order via text.

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Patrick hard at work tying baby's breath to pews.

1:30 p.m. – Head towards the McDonald’s drive through.  We don’t always have time for lunch but given the heat of the day and the amount of work remaining and the fact that we were passing a McDonald’s and fries sounded really yummy, we decided it would be a good idea.

2 p.m. – Arrive at the West Overton Barn and unload flowers from the van into the barn, where it was slightly cooler.  Quickly scarf down lunch.  The remaining six of my ten McNuggets will have to wait until later.

2:15 p.m. – Begin working quickly with Patrick, Janet, and Amanda to place arrangements, including the candelabra toppers, 12’ greenery garlands and buds, and 28 mercury glass vases filled with flowers.  Followed by adding 140 tea light candles all around the space.

3:15 p.m. – All four of us walk each table, looking closely to make sure that menu cards, favors, and silverware are still in perfect place.  We adjust chairs to be aligned correctly, check to make sure that no candles are in danger of burning flowers or anything else, and scour for loose petals and debris.  Basically we make sure each table is perfect 🙂

3:45 p.m. – I send the girls back to the shop since all that remains is placing the cocktail hour flowers (cocktail hour is outside at 5 p.m. and it’s too warm and sunny to place them yet) and put flowers on the cake (which hasn't arrived yet).  As we wait, we keep checking tables, adjusting as necessary.  I eat a few remaining french fries and nuggets.

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Ladies, before you leave, let's take a sweaty team selfie!

4:15 p.m. – Still no cake and I am worried guests might arrive early to cocktail hour, so we take the flowers to the garden and set them out.

4:30 p.m. – We should have left to go back to the church by now but still no cake!  I follow up with the caterers again and find out that it is on its way.

4:45 p.m. – Finally the cake arrives!  Patrick and I work quickly to put toothpicks into the flower buds and decorate it as per the sketch from our final consultation.  Place the topper and we’re off to the church to clean up!

5:20 p.m. – We’re too late to clean up as 5:30 mass is about the start, so we decide to attend mass (then we don’t have to get up early tomorrow!) and clean up after.  After church, the priest and church ladies tell us how much they enjoyed the flowers as we take them out to the van and place the ones that are to be left on their designated pedestals. Very satisfying 🙂

7 p.m. – Patrick and I are staying at my parent’s house in Irwin, which is closer to the venue, so we head back for some homemade meat loaf (My mom’s is the best!) and a short nap.

10:45 p.m. – Alarm goes off!  Patrick and I jump in the van and head back to the barn to clean up after the reception, which is to end at midnight.

11:30 p.m. – Looks like the reception ended a bit early so we are able to start cleaning up right away.  Chat with the mother of the bride and the bride and they tell me they absolutely loved everything.  Cue heart melt!  At midnight after a long day/week, it feels really good to hear that the bride’s vision came to life.  Happy bride, happy florist!

12:40 a.m. – The van is packed up, we head back to my parent’s house to shower, and we pass out around 1:30 a.m.!

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

On the road again!  Finally done for the day at 12:43 a.m.!

Post Wedding

On Sunday, after spending time with family, we drive back to the studio and unload everything from the van.  I spend Monday catching up on emails and phone calls that I missed on Friday and Saturday.  I'm feeling a bit under the weather so most of this happened from bed.  Tuesday means returning the rented candelabras and cleaning and putting everything away from the weekend!  We don’t have a wedding this coming weekend so no flowers this Tuesday, but normally a new shipment of pretties would have arrived by now and we’d be hard at work on the next one!

Every wedding week and weekend looks a bit different in the life of a florist.  Sometimes we have multiple events and sometimes just a larger one.  Sometimes we are hoping between venues in Oakland and sometimes we are staying over night at Seven Springs to clean up the next morning.  Some journeys begin two years out from the wedding when we meet with a bride, and other times it’s a quick four month trip (or less!) to the aisle.  No matter what the path looks like, it’s always fun and full of new challenges and happy, smiling couples!

Now, please enjoy some beautiful photos of Marissa and Nate's wedding day, courtesy of Alison Mish Photography!

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

A (Wedding) Day in the Life of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

Wow, Stephanie, you're a machine!  Talk about non-stop!  But you should be proud of all your hard work because the blooms turned out beautifully!  Thanks for sharing what a day in your life looks like.  Now go take a break already…

PS – Revisit the other posts in the  “A (Wedding) Day in the Life of” series – Soiree by Souleret, Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers, and DJ Andy Booth!

Second Anniversary Gift Ideas

Justin and I will celebrate our second anniversary next week!  I can’t believe two years have flown by already!  It seems like our wedding was just yesterday.  I can still see everyone dancing, the smiles on their faces, the lights around the room, all of the people we love together at the same time.  They really are magical memories.  Sigh…

You might remember my list of first anniversary gift ideas.  In honor of us hitting year two, I put together a list of the traditional cotton gift ideas for this second milestone!

Second Anniversary Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

A night in a fancy hotel.  Ok, technically this isn’t a tangible cotton product but I think staying on the softest of hotel beds in the comfiest of hotel sheets is pretty darn close.  And more fun in my opinion.  Get out of dodge for the weekend or check out one of the chic hotels right here in Pittsburgh.  Hotel Monaco is ah-maz-ing and dog friendly!

Egyptian cotton sheets.  Bring that luxury hotel feeling into your own bedroom permanently.  Splurge on high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and you’ll be sleeping like a baby.  Not to mention feeling like a goddess rolling around in them.  These babies are totally worth the money!

Fluffy bathrobe.  Make every day a spa day with a new plush robe.  These aren’t just for bath time; I like wearing one just around the house to feel extra cozy and comfy.  This organic cotton one from Pottery Barn looks like a piece of heaven and I love the option of making it extra special with a monogram.

Organic Spa Robe from Pottery Barn - Second Anniversary Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Personalized pillow.  This pillow from lovingLeighYours can be customized with all of your wedding details and it is totally adorable!  It will make a great accent to your bed or sofa and it’s a cute way of paying homage to your anniversary while keeping with the traditional gift idea.

Wedding Keepsake Pillow from LovingLeighYours - Second Anniversary Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Lingerie.  Bow chicka bow wow.  I’ll leave this one to your imagination.  Hey, it could be made of cotton, right?

Photo canvas.  Two years later and I still haven't hung any of our wedding photos in our house.  Don’t be like me.  Get some of those beautiful shots printed on canvas and smile every time you walk past the lovely reminders of the best.day.ever.

Monogrammed handkerchief.  This one is for the guys of course.  Why don’t men carry handkerchiefs anymore?  I say we bring back this practice stat.  It’s a little old-fashioned, I know.  But I like old-fashioned.  If you can’t see your guy going old school, how about a monogrammed pocket square instead?  These ones from J.Crew scream class act.

Monogrammed Pocket Square from J.Crew - Second Anniversary Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

A blanket.  But not just any blanket.  One that you made yourself.  If you knit or crochet, whip up a homemade gift that he will always treasure.  Don’t already have these skills?  Learn how to work those needles and make this your first go at a big project.  What a fun surprise that would make!

Any other ideas for cotton gifts?  What did you and your spouse do for each other on year two?  Did you stick with tradition or not?  Comment below!

Real Wedding: Lauren & Brendan at the Longue Vue Club

Lauren and Brendan's day is exactly what I imagine a summer wedding to look like.  The bright but simple color palette of coral and white was perfect for their August affair.  And it looks like they couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day!  Wanting to stick with their classic personal styles, the couple chose the Longue Vue Club as their reception venue because of its historical significance.  This venue is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorites.  Its grounds are so beautiful for portraits, and Lauren and Brendan's are no exception.  Just wait until you get a load of that sunset!  Milla C. Photography snapped some pretty incredible photos of these two, and of my other favorite details from their big day!

  • The embroidered button-down that Lauren wore while getting wedding-ready.  Her new monogram on the pocket, “I Do” on one cuff, and their wedding date on the other.  Completely adorable!
  • Coral bridesmaids dresses!  That color, the deep v-neck, and ruching around the waist is flattering on just about anyone, and Lauren's girls especially.  They looked like a million bucks!
  • Lauren's bouquet!  Traditionally, a bride's bouquet is all white.  While I'm usually a sucker for ones full of colorful flowers, Lauren's has me swooning.  The different textures are amazing and the palest shade of peach peeking through is just enough color to keep me happy.
  • St. Bernard Church in Mt. Lebanon served as the ceremony location and this church is absolutely stunning.  Gorgeous stain glass windows, incredible paintings, and organ pipes surround the altar, making for the most beautiful backdrop to exchange vows.
  • What is a local wedding without some photos on a bridge?  This couple and their bridal party took one over and the results are oh-so-Pittsburgh!

Lauren and Brendan's is like a tall drink of water on this hot summer day.  Congrats you two love birds!

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Classic, Coral Pittsburgh Wedding at the Longue Vue Club by Milla C Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Brendan and I met at the annual neighborhood 4th of July party in 2010.  I saw him from afar and asked my friend, Shannon, how I didn't know that he lived on her street.  We ended up being on the same team for games and hit if off.

Then, I didn't see Brendan for a while, but randomly saw him when picking my brother up at the local watering hole.  We chatted, exchanged numbers, and the rest is history.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
We were on a family vacation in Kona, Hawaii.  We had gone kayaking earlier in the day, and Brendan insisted on going for a walk before dinner.  We decided to walk to the lava shorelines and sit on a picnic bench.  Brendan started to tell me how nervous he was that he was going to talk to my dad on vacation about getting engaged.  I was trying to give him a pep talk and tell him that in Hawaii my dad would be relaxed and easy going.  Then, Brendan tells me that he ALREADY talked to my dad months ago.  I started to feel butterflies in my stomach as Brendan got down on one knee and made me the happiest girl in the world!

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
Our wedding was the best day ever!  We had a beautiful ceremony, a fabulous mix of city and rustic photos, and a fun reception.

What inspired your vision?
My vision was inspired by my love of the color coral.  I knew that I wanted everything to be centered around that.  I also have a very classic taste, so I wanted to make sure that everything was done tastefully – elegant but simple too.

What made your wedding unique?
Our wedding was unique because it was completely planned by a Pittsburgh girl doing extreme research.  I was set on having it at a historical venue.  Both our ceremony and reception were held at historical landmarks in the Burgh.  Longue Vue was a great mix of antique with modern features.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day was when Brendan and I were introduced at the reception as husband and wife.  We had so much fun dancing our way into the room.  The love and support that surrounded us was unbelievable.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I am obsessed with pictures and I did not believe my friends when they told me that the day goes by in the blink of an eye.  I would highly recommend getting a really good photographer and videographer.  At the end of the day, those are the tangible memories that you have.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Get airbrush makeup!  It makes your skin look so flawless in all of your pictures and lasts all night!  Also, don't stress about your shoes!  No one seems them!

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Jewelry: Mom's pearls | Bride's Shoes: Banana Republic | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Cake: Sue Politowski | Caterer & Reception Venue: Longue Vue Club | Ceremony Location: St. Bernard Church | DJ: Joel Lindsey Entertainment | Flowers: Petal Pushers | Hair: Red Carpet Ready Hair by Nikki B | Lighting & Decor: Benack Sound Productions | Linens: Pittsburgh Wedding Rentals | Makeup: Simone Jene Makeup | Photographer: Milla C. Photography | Stationery: Jack + Bean | Transportation: All Star Limousines | Videography: Memorable Moments

Featured Vendor: Glitter & Grit

There are A LOT of really great bridal shops in Pittsburgh.  But for a really long time, something was missing.  What if you didn't want a big, expensive ball gown or something covered in beading?  Maybe you're a bit more bohemian and have never pictured yourself in a traditional wedding dress, but instead in something you're more likely to see on the pages of Vogue?  Something less princess-inspired and more high fashion?  Something a little less “everyone else” and a little more uniquely you?

Erin Szymanski recognized that the needs of a certain bridal clientele weren't being met in Pittsburgh.  So she opened Glitter & Grit, the city's premier bridal shop that is “reclaiming romance for the boldly engaged”.  This boutique, located in Lawrenceville, offers an unmatched selection of bridal dresses and accessories, curated from independent designers all over the country and even Canada.  All handmade, this exclusive collection is unlike any other that you'll find in the Burgh.  Fashions from Daughters of Simone, Elizabeth Dye, Tulle New York, and Wai Ching, to name just a few designers, are chosen because of their simple elegance and unique approach to design.  Glitter & Grit even caters to the eco-chic bride with offerings that are earth-friendly, ethically sourced, and made from sustainable or natural materials.  Erin and her store have been filling a gap in the Pittsburgh wedding industry for the last year and a half, and I have a sneaking suspicion she'll be doing just that for a long time to come.

These swoon-worthy shots from Mandy Fierens Photography are from Glitter & Grit's latest lookbook.  Settle in for a romantic sampling of the prettiness this boutique carries and keep reading for more from Erin below.

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - Mandy Fierens Photography

In addition to gorgeous gowns, Glitter and Grit also carries amazing accessories to complete your look.  These images from E. Henigan Studios show just what I mean.

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - E. Henigan Studios

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - E. Henigan Studios

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - E. Henigan Studios

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - E. Henigan Studios

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - E. Henigan Studios

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - E. Henigan Studios

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Glitter & Grit Bridal Salon - E. Henigan Studios

From Erin of Glitter & Grit…

What type of services do you provide?
Unique, independently-made wedding dresses and accessories

Tell me a little bit about your company! 
Glitter & Grit has now been open for a year and a half.  Brides receive individual attention in a private setting, having the entire store to themselves (and their guests) for their 90 minute appointment.  The designs offered include unique styles that are a great alternative to the more traditional gowns, earth-friendly materials, handmade collections, and even color options, made by small, independent designers from all over the U.S. and even Canada.

What is your ideal client like?
A Glitter & Grit bride probably hasn't dreamed of her wedding – or her wedding dress – since she was a little girl.  Instead, she may find herself a bit outside of her comfort zone planning a wedding!  And that's okay; there are plenty of us out there that feel that way.  She's laid back, fashion-forward, and ready to make decisions about her wedding based on what's true to her versus what everyone else has “always done”.  A Glitter & Grit bride loves to support small, local businesses and is excited to find a dress that is just her style.

Contact, Like, and Follow!
Email: glitterandgritpgh@gmail.com
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Engaged: Alissa & Ben

When it comes to engagement photos, one of my biggest tips is to choose a location that is meaningful to you and your mister.  Whether at your favorite restaurant or where you had your first kiss, a session at a special place will result in photos that are even more meaningful.  Just ask Alissa and Ben.  They opted for their very own neighborhood for their pre-wedding pics with Ashley Giffin Photography.  The couple loves Highland Park and it's where they spend a lot of time – running, enjoying the fountain, and taking in the fresh blooms.  So it was a no brainer to head here for their engagement session.  And I'm so glad they did.  With the lush green trees, the colorful flowers, and the bright sunshine, the results are adorable!  Just see for yourself!

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Highland Park Pittsburgh Engagement Session by Ashley Giffin Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

When and how did the couple meet?
They met through mutual friends in January 2011, which happened to be Ben's first weekend in Pittsburgh after moving from Washington DC.  They had their first date shortly after the bride's family's 2011 Steelers Super Bowl Party.  Ben not only survived meeting her parents, family, and two of her best friends, but also a Steelers loss.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
From Ben: Alissa and I traveled to Hilton Head for a much needed 10 day vacation in the beginning of July 2014.  There was a lot of added stress at the airport and on the flight – I had to get a diamond engagement ring through airport security in my carry-on without Alissa seeing it!  Of course, we lined up with an extra-diligent TSA agent, who seemed to be pulling aside every bag for inspection.  But we got through without any hiccups and made it to Hilton Head.  At the grocery store, I deftly suggested we pick up some champagne.  Alissa suspected nothing!  We made our way to the beach for a long walk at sunset and found some quiet moments sitting alone by the dunes.  We talked about how three years had flown by, as it does when you're having fun, and about how our love carried us through some tough and good times.  I dropped to one knee to pop the question, and through lots of emotion from both of us, she said yes!

From Alissa: Ben proposed during our annual summer vacation to Hilton Head Island.  Even though it was a very long day of traveling, after dinner Ben kept asking if we could go walk on the beach before sunset.  During our walk, Ben was pretty quiet and seemed a little nervous, but I figured it was just fatigue.  As we were approaching the exit off the beach, he asked if we could sit down on a dune so he could take some pictures of the sunset.  Next thing I know he is down on one knee, asking me to marry him.  Through the tears and massive smile, I managed to say yes!

Describe the engagement shoot.
There are so many great places in Pittsburgh for engagement pictures, but what better place to do it than in their own neighborhood.  The couple moved to Highland Park in early 2013, and quickly fell in love with not only the neighborhood but also the park itself.  They spend a lot of time running in the park and summer when the flowers are in full bloom and the fountain is on is their favorite.

Color Palette Idea: Fuchsia, Turquoise, Orange, & Yellow

This month's color scheme is not for the faint of heart.  But boy is it a fun one!  Vibrant and festive, the mix of fuchsia, turquoise, orange, and yellow is basically a party waiting to happen.  It's perfect for the offbeat bride who isn't afraid of color and who really wants her wedding to make some noise.  Use these hues to dress up an otherwise drab barn or a empty space.  Make sure your venue is a blank canvas!  These colors mixed with existing decor, like a crazy carpet pattern or artwork, could lead to sensory overload.  Look for a place you can transform entirely!  Incorporate quirky, whimsical pieces, like paper fans, spray painted antique frames, papier mache, and lots of ribbon.  Think outside the box and go all in because you can't be timid when using this palette!

Burgh Brides Color Palette Inspiration - Fuchsia, Turquoise, Orange, & Yellow

Clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.

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Downtown Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot

Do y'all know about the southern tradition of a bridal portrait session?  (See what I did there?)  If not, let me explain…beyond the Mason Dixon line, it's customary for a bride to have an in-gown photo session prior to her wedding.  It's still a very popular thing to do and is thought to have originated pre-World War II.  Back then, it was actually rare to have a photographer at your wedding and instead the bride's portrait was taken prior to (or sometimes even after) the big day.  Nowadays, our southern friends use it as a great excuse for a hair and makeup trial run as they participate in this rite of passage.  I'm not sure why this custom never caught on up here in the north, but some of the city's best vendors teamed up to create a styled shoot that just might convince you to do one of your own.  Take a look at these oh-so-Pittsburgh shots taken on the Ninth Street Bridge and along the river near the Convention Center.  There really isn't anything better than our skyline, is there?

Downtown Pittsburgh Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot from Dave DiCello Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Downtown Pittsburgh Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot from Dave DiCello Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Downtown Pittsburgh Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot from Dave DiCello Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Downtown Pittsburgh Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot from Dave DiCello Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Downtown Pittsburgh Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot from Dave DiCello Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Downtown Pittsburgh Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot from Dave DiCello Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Downtown Pittsburgh Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot from Dave DiCello Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the shoot's makeup artists, Mina Rose Beauty…you remember them, right?

We partnered with Dave DiCello Photography, Glitter and Grit Bridal Boutique, Luxe Hair Salon, and Gidas Flowers to put together this shoot.  The whole concept revolved around bridal portraits, which are a southern tradition where the bride has an opportunity to get some beautiful portraits in her dress, prior to her actual wedding day.  We also wanted to show two different types of bridal looks: the classic bride with sleek lines and a bold lip, strong brows, and lashes, and the boho chic beauty with the tousled hair and a more natural approach to makeup.  Ultimately, we wanted to focus on the simplicity of the bride's beauty, the beauty of her dress, and the beauty of the city in the evening.

Vendors
Bridal Gowns: Daughters of Simone and Tulle New York at Glitter and Grit | Bridal Accessories: Glitter and Grit | Flowers: Gidas Flowers | Hair: Luxe Hair Salon | Makeup: Mina Rose Beauty | Photography: Dave DiCello Photography

Real Wedding: Heather & Dante at Fishers Farm

Heather and Dante's September nuptials prove that you don't have to spend $30k to have an unforgettable wedding.  In fact, the couple spent a third of that AND got to spend four days at their venue celebrating!!!  Heather contributed to a recent article about how to save money on your Pittsburgh wedding.  Her money-saving secret?  In order to stay within their budget, she and Dante looked for venues outside the city.  Still having trouble finding a place that suited them perfectly, Heather did an impromptu search on a vacation rental website and found Fishers Farm – a bona fide working farm and private residence. The rustic surroundings, ponds, red barn, and farmhouse suited the couple perfectly.

Heather was the quintessential DIY bride who wasn't afraid to recruit her family and friends for help with crafting and other details – her sister made the invitations, her cousin made the signs, her bridesmaids and friends helped hang paper lanterns and put together floral arrangements, and her brother even helped hang the lights in the tent.  She commented, “If you see it, we made it.”  The end result was a beautiful day chock full of charming, homespun elements.  My favorites?

  • An amazing, sparkly array of bridesmaids dresses.  The girls got to choose their own and they ended up with a beautiful mix of sequins, tulle, rosettes, and chiffon, all from Adrianna Papell.
  • THAT HEADPIECE!  Heather looks like a bohemian fairy princess in the Twigs & Honey pearl and rhinestone number she wore across her forehead.
  • A casual ceremony set up.  Dante's dad officiated the exchanging of vows and the guests crowded around the happy couple – some sitting on chairs, some standing, and some leaning against the nearby tree.
  • The couple wrote their own vows.  But Dante kicked his up a notch by writing them on the back of a Terrible Towel!  He busted it out mid-ceremony and read from it!  If this isn't a Pittsburgh wedding, I don't know what is.
  • A special serenade to Heather from all of the men in the groom's family.  It's tradition for the guys to sing the Italian favorite “Oh Marie” to every bride marrying into the Condeluci family.  What a special moment for both these gentlemen, who take such pride in carrying on the legacy, and the bride, who was welcomed into the family in such a special way.

You can just feel all of the TLC that went into this wedding simply by looking at these photos taken by Willa J Photography.  Heather and Dante's big day is proof that a wedding really is all about two people falling in love.

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Sparkly Boho Farm Pittsburgh Wedding by Willa J Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Grab your tissues because their video from Catedralography is just darling.

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
We met in a synagogue!  The oddest of places since Dante is a Catholic and I am a hippie Presbyterian.  We were both working there temporarily and there was a two week window for us to meet.  The receptionist INSISTED that we were both “young and good looking” and encouraged us to get lunch.  Needless to say, we haven't left each other's side since.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
We are SUCH a laid back couple…we don't go out much and when we do, it's nothing too fancy.  We LOVE having our friends and family over to our house, cooking for them, and watching whatever Pittsburgh sports team is on TV or playing cards.  The night Dante proposed was exactly that.  My best friends and brother were over and I was sitting on Dante's lap in the living room.  Van Morrison's “Tupelo Honey” (the song that I would later walk down the aisle to) came on and Dante got a look in his eye I had never seen before.  He asked me to follow him upstairs and he went into our closet.  I followed him (thinking he had gone crazy) and just as I was about to turn and walk away, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  When I asked him why that night, he said he knew it was time.  I jumped and shouted so loudly our guests actually stood outside of the door, wondering if they should come in.  I opened the door, ran downstairs, and we continued the celebration well into the night!

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
I call our wedding “rustic, boho, hippie, chic”.  Dante and I are super laid back and a little non-traditional.  I wanted a day that reflected both of our personalities.  Every detail of our day was “us”….from the band to the food and the drinks we served.  If we didn't like it, it wasn't part of our day, but we also kept our guests in mind throughout the entire planning process.  Our guests felt instantly welcomed and relaxed, just as they do in our home.

Our friends and family informally gathered around us during our ceremony and Dante's father acted as our officiant.  Neither Dante nor I knew what he was going to say so it was a really special moment.  We also wrote our own wedding vows.  Dante, in typical Dante fashion, wrote his vows on the back of a Terrible Towel, which I now lovingly refer to as my Terrible Vowels.

We had a live band at our reception (we are HUGE live music fans) and our caterer served smoked BBQ ribs, chicken, and a whole pig – all family style!  Our guests are STILL talking about that food!

What inspired your vision?
My headpiece and my maid of honor's dress.  I'm still COMPLETELY obsessed with both.  I kept a neutral palette and my bridesmaids all chose their own dresses.  Everyone looked STUNNING!  The guys wore white shirts and either khaki or gray pants.  Once I nailed down those two pieces (and with a little help from Pinterest) everything fell into place and came together better than I could have ever imagined!

What made your wedding unique?
I am a budget bride who wanted a non-traditional wedding.  We were on a $10k budget, which nowadays is almost unheard of.  We stayed within our budget AND got to spend FOUR days at the venue with our friends and family…how awesome is that?!?  Dante and I are so laid back and we wanted a day that reflected exactly that.  We LOVE spending time outdoors, around a campfire, and we take weekend trips ALL the time.  Right away, I knew that we should look for something outside the city so we could have a weekend getaway for us AND our guests!  I looked at traditional venues and nothing really felt like “the place”.  So on a total whim, I went to a vacation rental website and began emailing homeowners, asking if I could host a wedding on their property.  I got some “colorful” responses, to say the least.  But I didn't give up and finally I found Fishers Farm – a stunning 5-bedroom farmhouse about two hours north of the city that sits on 126 acres with a pond, streams, and even a bridge leading to an arbor!  What could be more perfect?  We knew we had found the perfect place to begin our forever!

What was your favorite moment of the day?
Crossing the bridge and meeting Dante – seeing everyone there supporting and loving us was a truly special moment.  Also, the ENTIRE reception!  No one left the dance floor and taking in all our closest family and friends celebrating together is something I will cherish forever.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Planning a wedding is like planning your own Christmas but better!  Don't worry about what you think other people expect from or want for you!  The day is about you, your husband, and the beginning of your forever.  Trust me, once everything comes together, NO ONE will leave saying “I wish she would have….”  There is no other time in your life when you can have a day ALL ABOUT YOU!  Embrace every second of it!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Nothing…I truly loved every second of our day, and I know my husband did too!

Vendors
Band: Terrance Vaughn Trio | Bride's Dress: Maggie Sottero at The Exquisite Bride | Bride's Headpiece: Twigs & Honey | Bride's Shoes: White House Black Market | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Desserts: Made by the bride & groom! | Caterer: Fort Worth Restaurant | Ceremony & Reception Location: Fishers Farm (private residence) | Flowers: Community Flower Shop | Hair: Jessi Rawlings & Kathleen Quigley | Decor: Handmade by the bride and family | Makeup: Kiss N' Make-Up | Menswear: J. Crew | Photographer: Willa J Photography | Rentals: Classic Tent Rentals | Stationery: Gianna Rotunno (sister of the bride) | Videography: Catedralography

 

Featured Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

What's the best way to ensure that you love your wedding photos?  Find a photographer that you connect with.  Someone that shares some personalities traits, has similar likes, and that just “gets you”.  If there is one Pittsburgh photographer who really “knows” their clients, it's the gals of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers.

Pittsburgh girls are unique.  I feel like I can say this because I am one, born and raised.  There are two sides to us – the hip, fashionable “it” girl and the friendly, sweet girl-next-door.  We loves nights out on the town but we can also be homebodies.  We can drink champagne or IC Light, house a cap, egg, and cheese or sashimi, wear a ball cap or designer duds, and listen to country music or hipster punk.  We can be sweet as pie until you say something not-so-nice about our beloved Steelers.  We find a way to be all of these things at once and that's why we're so awesome (IMHO).  Leeann, owner (obvi), and her sidekick, Melissa, totally get this!  Because that's who they are too!  They love this city, its people, and all of the unique characteristics each has to offer.  They brag about being the “big city photographers for the hometown bride”, which means they understand (and love) the dichotomy of Pittsburgh!

Besides connecting well with their clients, Leeann and her team are amazingly talented, not only at capturing the must-have wedding moments –  the walk down the aisle, the first kiss, the first dance – but also the quiet, unplanned ones as well.  The bride helping her dad with his tie, the maid of honor dabbing her eyes at the ceremony, the groom sweetly looking at his wife during dinner – these ladies are constantly on the look-out for moments just like these.  They believe that family is the most important thing and they strive to capture the essence of yours and how it plays out on your wedding day.  Their unique work with layering means each photo has depth.  And I love the way they play with light, both natural and otherwise; it's almost as if their couples have a glowing aura around them.

It's no wonder Leeann is one of the most successful wedding photographers around.  The photos speak for themselves.  Check them out and read more from Leeann below!

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Burgh Brides Featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

From Leeann…

What type of services do you provide?
Big city photographers for the hometown bride!  We specialize in wedding and engagement photography for Pittsburgh girls who love nights out downtown, delicious sushi, bonfires with friends, and family holidays.  Our brides aren't afraid to stand in the cold and cheer on the Steelers, and they love a good sale at Ross Park.

Tell me a little bit about your company! 
I started the business in 2009, after getting married in 2008.  I thought, “Hey, I could do that!”  And sure enough – here I am!  I've photographed over 100 weddings since then, and I quit my day job as an industrial engineer in 2010.  I've never looked back!  In 2012, I added Melissa and Loren to my business and we recently rebranded as Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers.  All three of us now work closely, and we cater to some amazing brides and grooms in the Pittsburgh area.  This is our full-time work, and we're really proud of what we do.

From a business perspective, we are ultra-organized, efficient, quick to answer, down-to-earth, and professional.  We are proudly active in the photography and event industries here in Pittsburgh.  I serve as the Vice President of Communications for the International Special Events Society Pittsburgh chapter, and I also speak nationally to photographers about business and efficiency.  We plan to be in business for a LONG time, and we have many long-term goals.

We also keep in touch with our clients!  It's pretty awesome to see their families growing! 🙂

What is your ideal client like?
We concentrate on couples who have the perfect “Pittsburgh” dichotomy…because that's who we are too!  Our brides and grooms love nice things, wonderful vacations, shopping, and good food.  They are also really down-to-earth people who can swim in a river, tailgate in the cold, eat a Primanti's sandwich, and celebrate family holidays at their childhood home in a nearby suburb.  Our couples love Pittsburgh, and we love them for that.

Contact, Like, and Follow!
Email: collective@leeannmarie.com
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