The second floor of a restored, turn-of-the-century firehouse is now home to the Union Hall, the private event space of award-winning Bar Marco. The windows and ceiling will wow you, the rotating art displays will inspire you, and the locally sourced food and creative cocktails will thrill your taste buds. For more proof why this venue is perfect for your celebration, head here!
Sweetheart, head, or king's table…who knew there were so many options for dinner seating?! Well, when it comes to the bride and groom, there are. And each one of them has their pluses and minuses. Before you choose between a sweetheart, head, or king’s table, make sure you know the difference! This breakdown will make selecting the perfect scenario for your reception a whole lot easier.
Table for two, please! This scenario involves a private table for the bride and groom only. Personally, this is my favorite option. Surprisingly, you may not get to spend much of your wedding day with your new husband. Especially at the reception, you will feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions. So many people to talk to, so many pictures to take, so many moves to bust on the dance floor. A sweetheart table allows you to set aside some private time with your better half, even if that time is only spent sharing a meal. You can chat about the day, hold hands under the table, and feel as if you’re the only two people in the room, even if for only a short time.
Some cons? Guests may want to come and talk to you but might feel intimidated or like they are interrupting. If you see this, wave them over to let them know it’s A-OK. Also, if alone time with your hubby during dinner isn’t a priority, you could feel disconnected from the rest of your party.
What you’re probably used to seeing at a wedding, a head table includes the bride and groom, plus their entire bridal party. Girls on the left, guys on the right, or seating by couple, this scenario allows all of your ladies and gents to feel just a little bit special. You can celebrate with your besties close by and it makes toasting pretty easy.
There is one down side to this option though…significant others. The plus ones of bridesmaids and groomsmen are left to sit with the rest of the wedding guests. It’s fine if they know a lot of people, but it could be awkward for someone who is fairly new to your circle of friends. That’s where a king’s table can help.
Take the bride and groom, add their maids and men, and throw in all of their dates too. Voila! You’ve got yourself a king’s table. It allows your bridal party to keep those dates close by and it saves those dates from feeling awkward at a table with folks they barely know. You could even throw in or swap out bridal party members for parents or close family members. Either way, you’re surrounded by your nearest and dearest. Conversations are easy since there are so many people to talk to.
One con to a king’s table is sheer size. It will take multiple tables to make one very large table. There may not be space in your venue to accommodate this. And, of course, there is the whole intimacy thing. Sitting with this number of people won’t make for a very romantic dinner with your mister. You just need to decide what is most important to you!
Sweetheart, head, or king's table…what is your favorite and why? What type of table will you be setting at your reception? Comment below!
Ever wonder what happens when a bride decides to custom design her own wedding dress? I'll tell you what happens – big, beautiful, dreams-coming-true kind of things. That's what. Today's post is the tale of one such bride.
I first “met” Aire when I was scrolling through some Instagram posts tagged with #burghbrides. There were these photos of this one particular bride rocking a totally unique, incredibly gorgeous pink ombre wedding dress.
After sending her about 30 heart eye emojis and asking where on earth she found such a stunning gown, I was floored when she told she was in the fashion industry and her gown was 100% custom designed!!!
Of course it was. I shouldn't have been surprised. No mere mortal bride could rock this Beyonce of a dress. No, no, it was only meant for someone who knows, understands, and literally eats, sleeps, and breaths fashion. But I still wanted to learn all about it…why custom, who made it, what inspired the design, etc. etc. etc. insert one thousand questions. So I asked Aire to spill her guts in a guest post and she happily obliged!
With the countless, beautiful dress options out there, why design your own?
There has a very particular detail that I wanted and I wasn't finding it in the market! As a graduate of The Fashion School at Kent State and someone that has worked in the fashion industry my whole career, I've always felt very drawn/close to the design process. Since I know what goes into the production of clothing, I couldn't see paying such a high price for a gown that wasn't exactly what I envisioned.
What inspired your design and overall look?
I've always been been drawn to raw edge chiffon, like on the sleeves of vintage Chanel suits and gowns with texture. When I was watching Project Runway a few seasons ago, my vision starting coming together when one of the designers did layered raw edge fabric on a gown. The ombre skirt was a last minute addition after a few Couture Week shows a few seasons ago. I figured if I was doing custom I might as well go all the way!
In timeless snapshots or a moving film, All Heart Photo & Video is capable of documenting your wedding from every angle. Dana and Keren work together seamlessly to make sure all the big gestures and small moments of your big day are captured sweetly and honestly. See more of their work and read about their photography and videography services!
This playful anniversary session makes me ask why engaged couples and brides and grooms get to have all the fun?! I think it's awesome that anniversary sessions have become a thing! Take it from the old married lady herself – there is a difference between the love you feel for each other on your wedding day, and the love you will feel for each other years later. It's stronger, steadier, based less on how cute you think he is and more because he throws a load of laundry in without having to be asked. It's hard for me to put my finger exactly on it, but hopefully all of the other wives out there will know what I'm talking about and agree.
This transition and growth is a very special thing, which is why I think paying tribute to it is such a great idea. An anniversary session is a celebration of your commitment and everlasting love, and I'm so excited to share Carmela and Aaron's with you today!
These two had a very small wedding on February 13, 2015. In fact, it was so small that they didn't even have a professional photographer there. To celebrate their first year as husband and wife, Carmela enlisted the help of her friend Levana Melamed to capture her and Aaron's special love. Even while in the middle of the woods, this husband and wife weren't afraid to be playful and flirty, making it clear that they are still wild about each other. So many special moments were captured, all representing so much happiness together.
Carmela and Aaron are planning a large wedding celebration in Mexico at the end of this year. Until then, enjoy these photos that I'm sure make them want to say “I do” all over again!
Side note – Wondering why Carmela looks so gorgeous? It's because she's a professional makeup artist, and a great one at that. Check out Beauty by CC on Facebook and Instagram! And if you're a bride, heed her wedding day skin prep advice: “Always wear SPF! Yes, even in Pittsburgh! Cancer and sun damage are not things you want to mess around with.” Excuse me while I go reapply.
When planning a wedding, one of the first decisions you’ll make is to nail down your wedding colors. But it’s not as easy as you might think. You could keep it simple and just choose your two favorite hues. But I think there should actually be some thought behind this decision. My advice? Consider these five things before finalizing the color palette for your big day!
This is HUGE! Take a good look around your venue. Note the artwork, upholstery, wall paper, and even the carpet. Steer clear of any colors that would clash with these. You want everything to be cohesive. If your color palette clashes terribly with the décor of the venue, your guests could be left very confused because their eyes won't know where to look. For example, many hotel ballrooms have colorful carpet with crazy patterns. I’ve never understood this. You’d think they’d pick something more neutral to appeal to a wider audience. But I digress. If your hotel’s carpet is burgundy and navy blue, a lavender and sage green wedding might look totally out of place. Consider the overall picture!
The Time of Year
Fall and winter weddings tend to feature darker, richer colors. Meanwhile in spring and summer, we see pastels and brights. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules about this but a hot pink palette may seem a bit out of place at a January wedding. Similarly, you don’t often see black as a main color at June nuptials. That doesn’t mean you can’t choose unseasonable colors! I'm just saying that you might want to give some thought to the time of year.
Think about what kind of flowers you’d like to have. Do those flowers come in the colors you’re considering? Or would you be open to another accent color for florals? For example, while a gray and light blue wedding can be beautiful, there really aren’t a ton of blue flowers. And there certainly aren’t gray flowers. All white or all pink florals would make for a beautiful pop though! Don’t even think about asking your florist to dye flowers. I will literally hurt you.
As much as I love my sister, I might never forgive her for choosing the palest of pink/nearly nude color for her bridesmaids' dresses. That shade and my fair skin tone were not friends. I was practically invisible. Anyways, think about your potential colors and how each would look in the form of a dress. Consider these shades and the skin tones of your ladies to ensure that everyone looks and feels their best.
How would you describe your wedding? What is the overall atmosphere and feel you’re trying to create? Now think about how the answers to those questions connect to color. If you’re going for casual and playful, lean toward bright, fun, or whimsical shades. For a timeless, chic affair, opt for a classic neutral, like black or navy, with an accent shade and even a metallic. Trying to create drama? Jewel tones are your friend; pastels…not so much. Think about what vibe you want your wedding to give off and then determine what colors put you in that mind set.
Any other things to consider when choosing wedding colors? What colors did you select and why? Did any of the above play any part in your decision? Comment below!
If you've never heard of The Greenbrier Resort, prepare to have your world rocked.
Approximately 30% of all proposals take place between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as “Engagement Season”. Yes, that’s a real thing. If you were one of the lucky ladies to get a shiny new ring in the past few months, congrats! Now the real fun begins…planning a wedding! You’re undoubtedly beginning to explore your options for photographers, florists, and caterers. Before any of that, though, you need to find a VENUE! And it’s important that you know all of your options. There are a plethora of amazing choices both in and around Pittsburgh. But have you ever thought outside the city? Heck, what about outside the state?! After reading this post, you just might want to consider it.
A short four hour drive south, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virigina, sits The Greenbrier. Otherwise known as America’s Resort, this place is where Southern hospitality meets luxury and leisure. Surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains, The Greenbrier is a natural oasis for those looking to get away. The beautiful scenery and a world-class spa will make relaxing and recharging easy. Yet with a casino, championship golf course, and over 50 other activities, you’ll never be bored. And when it comes to weddings, The Greenbrier does them like no other.
Whether you’ve always dreamed of exchanging vows at an intimate, mountain-view ceremony or dancing the night away in an opulent hotel ballroom, The Greenbrier caters to a wide range of styles. Regardless of yours, you’ll be in good hands. Their commitment to outstanding service and hospitality means your wedding day is just as important to the staff of The Greenbrier as it is to you. From the infamous white columns and charming décor to the wondrous mountains surrounding the resort, you’ll never run out of incredible backdrops for those bridal portraits. With the accommodations and entertainment, your guests will experience their own mini-vacation thanks to your wedding weekend.
Don’t just take my word on all of this though. Learn just what makes The Greenbrier so special, straight from Maren White, the Wedding Director there.
What makes The Greenbrier an excellent choice for a wedding venue?
The Greenbrier is an extremely unique property that speaks not only to our brides, but also our grooms! The feminine and colorful interiors designed by Dorothy Draper are an exciting juxtaposition to the wild and wonderful West Virginia outdoors. With over 50 activities to keep your guests entertained throughout your wedding weekend and the elegance of our ballrooms, there is no other property as special as The Greenbrier!
What is The Greenbrier's best feature?
It is hard to say that any one feature stands out at The Greenbrier. With our presence within the West Virginia and White Sulphur Springs community since the 1700s, our team of service members has been deeply rooted in our town’s culture for hundreds of years. At The Greenbrier, we are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. It is our excellence in service that set our guests' experiences high above any other property of our caliber.
What is the advantage of hosting a wedding or event at The Greenbrier?
The Greenbrier’s Wedding Team is dedicated to assisting our brides with the entire wedding planning process. From selecting the perfect reception location to fitting your groom’s tuxedo in our Ralph Lauren store, The Greenbrier prides itself on having everything that a bride could dream of for her wedding weekend!
How many guests can be accommodated in the various spaces?
The Greenbrier is an extremely versatile property. With our iconic North Parlor being able to accommodate groups of 40 guests or fewer, we are an ideal location for intimate weddings. If you are planning a grand affair, our Colonial Ballroom can comfortably accommodate over 600 guests with plenty of room for a dance floor and a band that will keep your guests celebrating all night long!
Can a ceremony be held on-site?
The Greenbrier is host to many gorgeous outdoor ceremony spaces, including the North Garden and Presidential Lawn. However, our brand new Chapel has been the preferred venue to exchange vows this past year! Nestled on The Greenbrier’s North Lawn, The Greenbrier Chapel was designed to blend in with the historic structures and natural landscape surrounding it, while also offering romantic touches including custom chandeliers, stained glass windows designed by Carlton Varney, and modern conveniences including private rooms for the wedding party and ADA accessibility.
Minimoons are becoming a popular trend among newlyweds! Why is The Greenbrier an ideal spot for a trip like this?
Since 1778, people have traveled to The Greenbrier to “take the waters” and bathe in the white sulphur springs. Today, The Greenbrier's world-renowned mineral spa offers a variety of services designed to bring newlyweds the relaxation and comfort they need after a whirlwind wedding! Not only is the spa an inviting reason to minimoon at The Greenbrier, but our food and beverage team is dedicated to making every dinner romantic and delicious!
Who knew such a luxurious destination existed this close to the Burgh?! I for one can’t wait to check it out. And if you’re still wedding venue shopping, you definitely should too.
While I did team up with The Greenbrier to bring you this post, all opinions are my own.
If you consider yourself a vintage bride, you need to check out Vintage Alley Rentals. Furniture, set pieces, china, and other antique decor, this rental company has all the extras you need to bring your vintage, rustic, or whimsical theme to life. Check out a bit of what they offer here!
Mention Burgh Brides when booking and receive FREE styling of your head table!
Oh, and Vintage Alley Rentals is the sister of the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Company. If you're looking for a unique alternative to the everyday nuptials, you NEED to check them out!
Nothing tugs at the heart strings more than the simple but sweet wedding of high school sweethearts. After years of dating (and a pretty romantic proposal), Whitney and Brandon finally tied the knot last March. A spring time wedding was important to Whitney. So to reflect the colors of the season, the bride chose a yellow and gray color palette. As she put it, “Yellow always means spring time, and gray sometimes means spring time in Pittsburgh!” In terms of the details, things were left to be rather simple. But that doesn't mean this wedding wasn't anything but exceptional. In fact, there were so many things about it I loved, including:
- Bridesmaids' dresses from everyone's favorite store…Target! I've mentioned Target's chic but affordable line of wedding wear before. The short, yellow chiffon number worn by Whitney's ladies is just one example. Cute and it doesn't break the bank? I'm totally sold.
- A ceremony location that would make any Steelers fan proud. In the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center, Whitney and Brandon exchanged vows with a sea of black and gold fans behind them. The pair claims they are a “non-traditional couple”. I can't think of a more unique/perfect spot to say “I do!”
- Bridal portraits that took advantage of all of the eclectic and modern nooks and crannies of the Heinz History Center. A first look in the library, candids that highlighted the unique architecture, and even a few snaps on a yellow staircase (to match the color scheme, of course)…Breanne of BNK Photography really outdid herself this time.
- A cocktail style reception at Olive or Twist. Rather than a stuffy reception, Whitney and Brandon opted for something a little more laid back. With a yummy dinner and music provided by Eventures Weddings, guests still very much enjoyed this spin on the traditional party.
- Even more of Whitney and Brandon's personality infused into typical wedding traditions. Since they don't consider themselves a conventional couple, the pair wanted to make sure everything reflected them. That meant a unique ceremony site, but being married by a minister; father/daughter and mother/son dances but shorter ones; no round tables but a buffet style meal; a bride wearing her mother's veil but bright yellow Steve Madden flats; and an A-line lace dress made modern by a trendy peplum skirt.
Simple and sweet, but still thoughtful and personal, Whitney and Brandon's wedding day is well worth a look. So go ahead and take a gander. Trust me, you'll be so glad you did.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met in high school. I was actually interested in one of Brandon’s friends at the time, so we became friends by default. We hung out in groups and one random February evening I called him and we talked for 4 or 5 hours. After that, it was every night for hours until my mom would yell at me to go to bed. We became official somewhere between March and April of 2006, so we picked an anniversary date of March 20th.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Brandon and I both took a class in high school called “Consumer Economics”. It was basically a class that helped high school students learn “adult” tasks – balancing a checkbook, mortgage information, buying a car, etc. Although we didn’t take the class together, the final project each semester was to plan our dream wedding. I compiled a binder full of elegant wedding details including dresses, cashmere sweaters I would buy for my bridesmaids, and a Tiffany’s wedding band. Brandon was at my parents' over the course of a week in August 2013, helping them finish their deck in the backyard. He asked my mom if he could have the wedding binder. He had already asked my parents if he could ask me to marry him. I was out at a work function that evening. Knowing that I would open it when I got home and think my mom had just given it to him to make me laugh, Brandon set the binder on the desk near our kitchen. Of course, I started flipping through it, and I got to the last page and my engagement ring was tucked into the last sleeve pocket. I turned to him and he was down on one knee. I don’t even remember what he said but of course I said yes!
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
The best way to describe our wedding was simple, personal, and detailed. Since it was “our” day I wanted it to feel like “us”. We are a nontraditional couple, having been together for so long. So I wanted to modify typical wedding traditions to be more “us”. We got married in a non-traditional venue, but with a minister. We did the father/daughter and mother/son dances, but we cut them shorter. We didn’t have round tables at our reception, but we did do a buffet style dinner. I wore my mother’s veil, but bright yellow flats under my dress. My dress was a traditional A-line with lace, but it had a trendy peplum skirt.
What inspired your vision?
We, as a couple, inspired my vision. We’re not overly fancy or stuffy people. There were details that I cared about, and ones that didn’t matter. I picked and chose what meant the most to us. Spring time was also an important factor to me. I wanted our colors, yellow and gray, to reflect the time of year. Yellow always means spring time, and gray sometimes means spring time in Pittsburgh!
What made your wedding unique?
I think our wedding venues made it unique. We had a family-only ceremony in a very non-traditional space. Our reception was at a bar/restaurant and included the rest of our close friends. We had a buffet style dinner with small plates, so you could keep going back up and trying other foods.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day is a tie between our first look and a moment right after family photos when Bre, our photographer, found a yellow spiral staircase and we took photos there just the two of us. It was probably only a 10 minute time period, but it was just the two of us and no one could even hear what we were talking about. It was our first chance to be alone after getting married. Brandon said his favorite moment was definitely our first look.
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I think my biggest piece of advice is get things done early. The earlier you can check things off your list, the less stressed you will be at the end. Also, a piece of advice that I found on “A Practical Wedding”, a blog I read often before and even after our wedding – “If you’re working on something DIY and it just isn’t working no matter what you do, let it go and move on.” I originally had plans to crochet a capelet to wear with my dress when we went outside. I am a decent crocheter but I had to modify the pattern. I probably started over 10 times before I found that advice. I immediately quit, let it go, and moved on to another project.
Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
My only must have and can’t live without is the first look. I always knew it was something I wanted to do; I never cared if I had that traditional first look when I came down the aisle. It was so wonderful to be able to talk and be with each other before the wedding. I was nervous and anxious all day but as soon as I saw Brandon, I was immediately calm and excited. I wouldn’t change anything about our day – it was perfection!
Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Accessories: Jewelry from Nordstrom & her mother's veil | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Target | Cake: Giant Eagle | Caterer & Reception Location: Olive or Twist | Ceremony Location: Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center | DJ: Eventures Weddings | Flowers: Budget Blossoms by Jillian | Hair: S Spot Salon | Makeup: Emily Buhman | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: BNK Photography | Stationery: Whitney Livesy | Transportation: TDF Limousine | Videographer: Parker Productions