Songs I’m Currently Loving III

Wedding season is in full swing so let the wedding dancing begin!  After all, wedding dancing is the best kind of dancing.  Here are some new and old songs that I've been loving lately!

Love Me Like You Do – Matt Johnson
Ellie Goulding's version of this song has been at the top of the charts for months.  But Matt Johnon's slowed down version is a bit more romantic.  Add it to your cocktail reception or dinner playlist to set the mood.

Noteworthy Lyrics:
“Fading in, fading out
On the edge of paradise.
Every inch of your skin is a holy grail I've got to find.
Only you can set my heart on fire, on fire.
Yeah, I'll let you set the pace
Cause I'm not thinking straight.
My head spinning around I can't see clear no more.
What are you waiting for?”

Want To Want Me – Jason DeRulo
Song of the summer?  Perhaps.  I had this song on my running playlist long before it came out (thank you, Spotify).  Now that it's popular, it's bound to get your guests out of their chairs and on the dance floor.

Noteworthy Lyrics:
It doesn't matter.  This beat is just fun.

I Love You Will Still Sound The Same – Oh Honey
I recently discovered this band and am really loving their stuff.  It's upbeat with sweet lyrics and it just makes you feel good.  This number would be great for the recession right after you're pronounced Mr. and Mrs. or as a last song of the night.

Noteworthy Lyrics:
“So when our eyes have seen their better days
And our hearing starts to fade.
Put your arms 'round my neck, and your heart on my chest.
‘I Love You' will still sound the same.
‘I Love You' will still sound the same.”

Time of Our Lives – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo
Another number that is sure to get people on their feet and shaking it.  Pitbull typically annoys me but I actually like this song.  A wedding dance floor with friends, drinks, and music you can move to.  What's better?

Noteworthy Lyrics:
Again, it doesn't matter.  Pitbull isn't known for being a lyricist.

What songs are you dancing to these days?

Engaged: Jessica & Matt

One of Pittsburgh best's features is its waterfront.  In not too many places can you walk alongside or float down a river and take in a spectacular view of the city skyline.  This engagement session, brought to you by Steven Dray Images, captures this unique side of our city so spectacularly.  Whether taken from the dock or on the water, near the Convention Center or on the roof of a parking garage, these photos show all of Pittsburgh's best sides.  And Jessica and Matt (and their pooch!) are pretty cute too!  See what I mean below.

Pittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh Brides Pittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh BridesPittsburgh Waterfront Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images Featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

Matt & Jessica were plain awesome!  They contacted me because they were doing a small destination wedding but wanted their engagement photos to reflect Pittsburgh's beauty.  Matt had a boat docked in the city and we decided it would be stellar to incorporate that into the photo shoot.  A little California lifestyle brought to the Three Rivers.  They were so easy to photograph. Easy to direct and super easy on the eyes.  Let's be honest, they are a good looking couple.  We had a blast hitting some of Pittsburgh's iconic spots, like the Convention Center fountain, and using bridges as our boating backdrop.  I loved this photo shoot because I feel it showed a different side of Pittsburgh.  This shoot was also featured in Whirl Magazine.

Do’s and Don’ts for Wedding Guests

Last month, I gave some tips on how a bride should behave.  Today, I'm dishing out advice for your wedding guests!  Between being a wedding planner for many years and having a large friend/family network, I’ve attended a lot of weddings.  In the summer of 2013 alone, I went to seven; make that eight if you want to count my own.  With each one, I've found there are two types of guests: the good and the who-invited-that-person.  I wish I could stand at the entrance to each wedding and pass out a list of tips on how to be a good wedding guest.  I'd then make the guests sign a contract stating that they’ll comply to each bullet point.  Unfortunately, I can’t.  But I can share my thoughts with you in hopes that the word will start to spread.

Do's & Don'ts for Wedding Guests from Burgh Brides

Don’t get obnoxiously drunk.  Indulge a bit.  Have a good time.  Act a little goofy.  By all means, it's a celebration!  But figure out how many drinks it will take for you to either a.) pass out or b.) do something that will embarrass yourself or someone else, and stop indulging two drinks before that.  Trust me.  You do not want to wake up to the incriminating photos.  I’m sure I don’t even need to talk about drinking and driving so I won’t.

Do attend the ceremony.  Unless you get a flat tire on the way there or have some other crazy extenuating circumstance, there is no excuse for only showing up only for the reception.  It’s tacky and makes you look like you’re only there for the free booze and food.  You very well might be, but attend the ceremony anyways.

Do let the photographers do their job.  Don’t be an Uncle Bob (see #1 on the list of 10 Ways to Piss Off Your Wedding Photographer).  I know you might have a fancy schmancy camera or maybe just an iPad, and you think you want lots and lots of pictures of all the important moments.  But don’t get in the way of the professionals.  They were paid big bucks to be there; you’re there to celebrate and enjoy yourself.

Don’t add a photo of the bride to social media before she walks down the aisle.  You would think this goes without saying but I’ve seen it happen.  Don’t ruin that moment the couple has been waiting for because you’re anxious to Instagram.

Don’t remove any articles of clothing.  Guys, jackets are ok to come off but keep your ties and shirts on (I can’t believe I have to say that either).  If you get too hot, drink some water or sit outside for a few minutes.  But don’t let yourself look sloppy by striping down to your undershirt (or bare chest, like I've seen on one more than one occasion).  Ladies, I know some of you like to take your shoes off.  This gives me the willies.  I suggest planning ahead and bringing flats/flip flops if you plan on tearing up the dance floor.

Do purchase a gift from the registry or give cash or gift cards.  This is tricky and I’m sure a lot of readers won’t agree with my opinion.  Yes, technically, it is the thought that counts and the couple should be grateful that you were kind enough to even give them a gift.  But I’m willing to bet that they would much rather have the coffee pot they registered for over you going rogue and purchasing something that you “just know they’ll love.”  The couple took the time to create registries of items they really need or want.  Unless you really, and I mean really really, know a couple’s taste, don’t purchase something that isn’t on one of those lists.  If you don’t heed my advice, at least provide them with a gift receipt.

Do RSVP and do it on time.  Hey, you know those little cards that are included in the invitation that ask if you’re attending or not?  Those ones that come with the pre-stamped envelope?  (It literally couldn't be any easier for you.)  Yeah, you’re supposed to fill those out and send them back.  By the date requested.  Make the bride and groom’s lives a little easier by not making them track you down after the RSVP date to find out if you’re attending or not.  Bonus Tip: If you have to cancel last minute, do let someone (bride, groom, mother of the bride, wedding planner, someone, ANYONE!) know.

Don’t ask to bring a guest if one wasn’t included on your invitation.  Oh, and don’t just bring someone along anyways.  I’m sure there is a reason behind why “and guest” wasn’t included on your invitation…be it budget issues, capacity constraints, or who knows what (it doesn't really matter since it's not your wedding).  Asking to bring a date along, or worse yet, not asking and just showing up with a plus one, costs the couple money, messes with seating arrangements, and is a tad bit disrespectful.  Just don’t.

Ladies, don’t wear white.  Don’t even think of wearing white.  This is a given.  But I’d advise to also stay away from anything that is mostly white even if it has a pattern, or ivory, very pale pink, or flesh tone.  It’s the bride’s day.  Also, don’t wear anything that shows off too much cleavage or leg.  A wedding is a classy affair.  If you’re on the fence about whether something is inappropriate, it probably is.

If there are favors, take only one.  Don’t be greedy and fill your hands, arms, and pockets.  Most of the time, favors are meant to be one per person or one per couple.  Follow similar advice at the cookie table.  Traditionally, there are bags or boxes that you can fill up to take home and enjoy later.  Go for it!  There is nothing better than a cookie breakfast the morning after a wedding.  But make sure you don't take more than your fair share and that you’ve left some for others to enjoy.  Unless, of course, it's the very end of the night and there are a ton left over.  In that case, fill up and bring me some too.

I could probably keep adding to this list but I’m curious to hear your thoughts.  Any additional advice on how to be a good wedding guest?  Any good or bad behavior that you've seen?  Share below!

 

Ask Burgh Brides: July

This month's question is one I think most Burgh Brides (and just brides in general) struggle with.

Ask Burgh Brides: Should I invite non-local family and friends to the bridal shower?

Bride M writes…

“What is the etiquette when inviting out-of-town people who you know definitely can't make it to your wedding shower?  I don't want them to think I am fishing for a gift, but I also don't want another family member to mention my shower and for them to wonder why they didn't hear about it.  I know if the situation was flipped, I wouldn't mind receiving an invitation or buying a gift for someone.  Everyone I ask says something different… please help!”

Yes, this is definitely an issue that all brides have trouble with!  And I totally get it.  On one hand, you don't want those who live far away to feel left out.  But on the other, you don't want to appear as if you are just inviting them (despite knowing that the is no way they could attend) in order to get a present.  But I think perhaps brides worry about this a bit more than the out-of-town guests do.  Like you said, if the situation was reserved, you wouldn't feel like you were just being hit up for a gift!  So it's quite possible that you're non-local guests wouldn't feel that way either.

Personally, I think it's nice to include everyone.  You can always include a hand-written note with your invitation saying that you know they won't be able to attend but that you'll be thinking of them that day and wishing they were there.  It shows that they are important to you and that you want them to feel included, even if they physically can't be.  I don't think your closest friends and family members would view an invitation from you as a ploy to get something from your registry.  But if they choose to send a gift, great!  If not, that's great too!  Because it's not about presents, it's about people, right?  Right!

Readers, what do you think?  How did you handle out-of-town guests when it came to your bridal shower?  Comment below and help a fellow Burgh Bride out!

Planning a wedding and need some help?  You’ve come to the right place!  Submit your question and you could see it answered right here on the blog.

Real Wedding: Lauren & Chris at South Hills Country Club

A sunny day, a perfect mix of sparkle and pastels, and this gorgeous couple come together in today's Real Love feature.  Lauren and Chris's June wedding was inspired by their color palette of silver and shades of purple.  And those two colors come together so nicely.  From the lavender bridesmaids' dresses and the gray tuxedos to the rhinestone and metallic floral containers and the soft, purple uplighting, this look is soft, summery, and romantic.  Lauren also worked her favorite accessory (bows!) into the day in lots of subtle, cute ways.  Ann Louise Photography captured all of the perfectly planned details, such as:

  • Tiffany meets Kate Spade for “something blue” – the bride's sweet bow-inspired heels and clutch
  • A cake that is decorated with the prettiest, most realistic sugar flowers I've ever seen.  It's almost too pretty to eat!  Almost.
  • Table “names” that coincided with significant numbers for the couple.  For example, table 7 = the month that Chris and Lauren started dating.
  • “Meet the girls” and “Meet the guys” photo displays that allowed everyone to get to know the bridal party a bit better
  • A groom's cake that pays homage to one of his favorite past times…golf!

I absolutely love this wedding and isn't Lauren's getting-ready robe the most adorable thing you've ever laid eyes on?  Oh, and I want her hair.  Congrats, you two!

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Chris and I have known each other virtually our entire lives.  We went to school together at St. Elizabeth Elementary and Thomas Jefferson High School.  We began dating our senior year of high school and have been together ever since!

Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Chris proposed at Niagara Falls on November 9, 2012.  We walked along the U.S. side of the falls after fireworks and then Chris got down on one knee and proposed next to the falls!  It was very romantic and it was just the two of us.

Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
For the wedding, we wanted to have purple and silver colors mixed throughout.  The flowers really brought out all the colors that were incorporated, along with the bridesmaids' light purple dresses.  One of my favorite pieces was the purple uplighting in the country club, which gave the whole reception a more romantic feel.  Our guests wore formal attire.  We didn’t have a “theme” necessarily but incorporated small parts of golf (Chris’s groom’s cake and the venue choice), as well as bows (my favorite accessory).

What inspired your vision?
I spent a lot of time researching different elements of what we wanted in the wedding on The Knot, Style Me Pretty, and Pinterest.  Purple was always the color that we thought we wanted and the combination of the girls' light dresses with the guys' dark ties, as well as the flowers, tied everything together perfectly.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I would tell future brides to definitely talk with their fiance and get a clear idea of what they both want for the wedding and reception.  Find a few things that are important to both people and focus on those first.  I would also tell brides to not let the opinions of other people influence how the wedding day will be.  This is your and your fiance’s day and you should plan it together.

Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
A couple musts for me were the dress, shoes, flowers, and uplighting.  The dress and shoes are important because you will always look back on this day; it was very important for me to find something that I would always love and be happy to look back on for the rest of my life.  Flowers and uplighting were also important to me because I really feel that they set the tone of the reception and made everything look so much prettier!  I honestly wouldn’t do anything differently.  I didn’t get everything that I wanted but I focused on the important things and researched different vendors and was completely happy with the result!

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier at Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Accessories: Belt: Watters at Anne Gregory for the Bride; Bracelets: Kate Spade and Bauble Bar; Earrings: Givenchy at Macy's; Purse: Kate Spade; Robe: Love Ophelia | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Cake Knives & Toasting Glasses: Kate Spade | Cake Topper & Mr. & Mrs. Sign: Etsy | Ceremony Location: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish | DJ and Lighting: Rockin' Bob's DJs | Favors: Sarris Candies | Flowers: Bolsinger's Flowers | Hair: Maureen Bianchi | Linens: Exceptional Essentials Plus | Makeup: Susie Katilius of Sephora | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photo Booth: ShutterBooth | Photographer: Ann Louise Photography | Reception Venue & Caterer: South Hills Country Club | Stationery: More than Words | Transportation: Amore Limousine | Videography: Nathan Hamblin Productions

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Burgh Bride Blogger: What’s In A Name?

When planning our wedding, there was never a question about one thing: taking my husband's last name.  It's just always been something I wanted to do, even before I was engaged.  I'm old school like that.  However, I realize that it's not for everyone.  In fact, more and more women are electing to keep their maiden names.  It's a very personal choice and there isn't a right or a wrong answer.  But in case you were interested in what the resident Burgh Bride Blogger, Jess, is planning on doing, today is your lucky day.  Here is what Jess has to say on the matter!

From Jess…

In many ways, I’m a very traditional bride.  I want the white dress, the church ceremony, and the Kitchen Aid mixer.  I also want to take my fiance’s last name.

Fifty years ago, there was little debate about whether a woman “should” take her new husband’s last name.  It was just a part of getting married.  But in 2015, after being engaged for six months, I’ve been asked whether I plan to change my name time and time again.

I think the most important thing to point out about this debate is that no one “should” do anything.  It’s perfectly wonderful to keep your own name.  It’s perfectly wonderful to take your partner’s.  Zoe Saldana and her husband recently made headlines when they announced that he took her last name.  The decision to change or not change your name, the thing you use to identify yourself most often, is a very personal decision.

I made my decision for many reasons.  I love the idea of starting off a life together sharing a name.  Many couples say that having a last name in common bonds them and truly makes them feel like a family unit.  While I’ve accomplished many things as a Brown, my common last name has hardly separated me from the pack.  My fiance’s last name is more distinctly German, a heritage we share, while the heritage-rich names in my family died off before I was born.  While this tradition is built from the idea that a woman is a man’s “property,” I feel loved and respected by my fiance and know that he sees me as an equal.

But the decision wasn’t black and white.  My dad has two sisters and two daughters, which means that our family name will die off with my sister and me.  And I have always been extremely independent person, taught not to rely on anyone else or lean on anyone else to build my identity.

And let’s not forget that there aren’t just two choices when it comes to changing your last name.  Many wives choose to hyphenate their last names, some couples both decide to hyphenate, and some couples simply choose a new, original last name to share in the end.  I love the show “Newlyweds: The First Year,” and last season, same-sex couple Sam Goettlich and Laura Semon chose to start their new life off with the last name “Abby.”  Even though Laura and Sam had both launched their successful careers using their maiden names, they decided in the end that this was something they wanted to share.

Of course, changing your name involves some complication.  What do you do if the two of you decide to get divorced?  What last name will you give your children?  And keeping your maiden name does as well.  Do you correct someone when they address a letter to “Mr. & Mrs. Smith?”  How do you react to someone who is criticizing you for bucking tradition?

In 2013, it was reported that more than 90% of brides were still choosing to take their husband’s last name.  Some people see this as a failure for feminism, while others see it as tradition kept alive.  I know that even if the common choice was to keep your name, I would still decide to change mine.  To those who say that changing your name is, in a sense, giving up your identity, I want to say that I hope to be identified by many factors other than my name.  It’s just a slice, not the pie.

Other than dreading the initial confusion of signing my name in a new way for the first time since learning to write, I cannot wait to take my husband’s last name.  To take the name of the man who moved on a moment’s notice when I told him I got a new job.  Marriage is a combination of give and take.  While in taking his last name I may be giving something to him, I know that in the months leading up to and following our wedding, he will give just as much.

Fellow brides, are you taking your partner’s last name?  Are they taking yours?  Did you choose to share the last name of your favorite character from Orange is the New Black?  No matter what you decide, be proud of the person you are, whatever you choose to call yourself.

xo,

(The Future) Mrs. Jessica C. Mey

Introducing The Burgh Brides Shop!

It's here!  It's finally here!  The Burgh Brides Shop is open for business!  Apparel, mugs, and more, all geared to help you celebrate being a Burgh Bride.  Get a load of some of the goodies available and then head to the shop and save 10% by using the code BURGHBRIDE10.  Offer good through 11:59 p.m. today only.  Happy Shopping!

Be sure to visit the Shop FAQs for answers to questions about shipping, custom orders, returns, etc.!

Featured Vendor: Cinebard Films & A Giveaway!

Everybody knows I'm a big fan of wedding videos.  I'm an even bigger fan of them when they are as heartfelt and as romantic as the ones Cinebard Films produces.  That's because Cinebard Films doesn't just produce wedding videos; they tell love stories.  Amanda and Josh, the duo behind the cameras, capture every emotion, every moment, and every feeling of your special day.  But more than that, this talented duo has a way of retelling your story that will conjure up all of the butterflies, giggles, and tears of joy you experienced in the first place.  With a video from Cinebard Films, not only will you get to rehear your vows or your maid of honor's speech, but you'll also get to see the moments you might have missed – the flower girl on the dance floor, a bridesmaid doing a final makeup check in the mirror, or your dad as he wipes his tears away during the ceremony.  The level of attention Amanda and Josh pay to detail mean that your love story – the whole story, not just the big moments but all of the tiny ones in between as well – gets told.  And told well.  There truly isn't anything more special than that.

Besides being talented videographers, Amanda and Josh are also engaged!  What better way to know what your wedding clients want than to be a bride and groom yourself?  Between planning their own nuptials and working with clients, these two are on their way to becoming Pittsburgh wedding experts.  I may have some competition on my hands 😉

Just kidding!  But in all seriousness, grab some tissues and watch two of their latest films below.  Then, keep scrolling for more from Amanda and to learn how you can win your own Pre-Wedding Interview Video!

Jeana & Cory

Paige & Ryan

From Amanda from Cinebard Films…

What type of services do you provide?
My fiance, Josh, and I provide wedding video production services.  We don't just make wedding videos.  We tell love stories.  We produce high quality keepsake videos customized to tell the unique tale of each couple's happily ever after.  In addition to the ultra-shareable Love Story Featurette Video, we also offer a Pre-Wedding Interview Video, where couples have the opportunity to tell their love story in their own words.

Tell me a little bit about your company!
Josh and I have been producing love stories for a little over a year now, and it has been an absolute dream.  Josh started making movies in high school, but didn't pursue film school.  We both work full time outside of Cinebard Films, but our passion is telling stories with video.  And really, love stories  are simply the best.  We love what we do and we bring love to every story that we tell.  We also know what it's like to plan a wedding so we always deliver high-quality video production at unbeatable rates.

What is your ideal client like?
Our ideal client is so excited about getting married that they want to tell their love story – whether it's a love story they want to shout from the mountain tops, or just watch together after they're married while enjoying a bottle of wine.  They are deeply in love and they can't wait to spend the rest of their lives together.

Contact, Like, & Follow!
Email: cinebardfilms@gmail.com
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And enter to win a Pre-Wedding Interview Video from Cinebard Films!  They describe it as “a short film that tells your love story in your own words at a cool off-site location before your wedding day!”  And you can have your very own!  Since these two are video buffs, you're going to have to get comfy in front of the camera to enter this giveaway.  Grab your phone, put the camera on video mode, hit record, and let us know when or how you knew your fiance was the one!  You can interview your boo or answer the question yourself.  Then, email the clip to hello@burghbrides or share it on my Facebook page.  Contest runs until 11:59 p.m. on July 20!  Good luck!

A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of: Andy Booth

Last week, I introduced you to Andy Booth, one half of the team at Jeremy Ganss Productions.  This week, Andy is giving us a behind the scenes look at what his life really looks like when he has a wedding to DJ.  I'll be honest…even I was shocked by this one!  I have worked with Andy many times before and even hired him to entertain at my own wedding…but I had NO IDEA about the amount of work and attention to detail that went into his job.  If you think all a DJ does is make a playlist on an iPod, you are dead wrong, my friend.  Andy works his tail off.  No wonder he has a reputation for being one of Pittsburgh's best wedding DJs!  Here is what a typical work day looks like for him…

From Andy…

My wedding on June 20 was at The Pennsylvanian in downtown Pittsburgh.  It is a converted grand old train station and a historical landmark.  It is beautiful, big, and full of marble and glass.  It starts out as an empty space, and a great team of vendors turns it into a beautiful ballroom.  While there are acoustical challenges that come along with the space, my business partner, Jeremy Ganss, and I have figured them out, and I approach a wedding there with confidence.  As the groom told me after this wedding, “You were right about the sound…it was amazing!”

What The Pennsylvanian looks like without a wedding set up. Cavernous, and echo-y...but beautiful!

What The Pennsylvanian looks like without a wedding set up. Cavernous, and echo-y…but beautiful!

Since June 19, 2014, when the bride and groom signed a contract with Jeremy Ganss Productions for me to entertain at their wedding, I’ve been in regular contact with them.  In the interest of keeping this post relatively short(er), I will skip ahead to May 2015, when planning started in earnest:

Monday, May 11                     

Meet with bride and groom after work to review timeline, details, and to chat about the reception.  Looking to clearly understand “vibe” the couple is looking to achieve.

Tuesday, June 16

Exchange Facebook messages and emails with Jean Ross of Opening Night Catering regarding timelines and event flow.  Compile event “cheat sheet/time line” and share with other vendors.

Wednesday, June 17

Test 20 uplights and dial-in the bride's desired color. Charge uplights. Update firmware on Bose equipment. Verify and listen to all “event” songs on bride's timeline.

Thursday, June 18

Download this week's music files from POOL (DJ subscription service) and listen to key new songs.  Last minute email to the bride to confirm an open item and briefly review flow.

Friday, June 19

Chill time…usually a movie with my wife.  This week, we stayed in, as my youngest daughter was leaving at 3 a.m. Saturday for a mission trip to Coast Rica.  Celebrate Fathers Day, since both of my girls will be out of the country on Sunday!

Saturday, June 20/Wedding Day!

10 a.m. – Rise and shine (late for me, but see note above about 3 a.m. departure)

10:30 a.m. – After coffee and breakfast, start checking and moving music to performance computer.

11 a.m. – All new music transferred to Mac, time to build the playlists!  Playlist 1 contains “event” song choices.  Playlist 2 contains Must Plays.  Playlist 3 is a special dinner list.  The Must Play list was too long for the amount of time, so several slower songs were mixed into the dinner mix.

Pre-Wedding Prep

Pre-Wedding Prep

Noon – Put lights back on charger so they are fully charged for the reception.

12:30 p.m. – Lunch break.  Salad and Gatorade.  Staying hydrated on a humid day like today is critical!

Pre-Wedding Noms

Pre-Wedding Noms

1 p.m. – Pack lights, gather forms, computer, hard drives, etc.

1:30 p.m. – Load the car.

2 p.m. – Iron shirt and suit and hang in car (so I don’t forget them!).

2:30 p.m. – Shower.

3 p.m. – Leave for The Pennsylvanian.

3:15 p.m. – Quick stop at a convenience store to stock up on Vitamin Water!

3:45 p.m. – Arrive at The Pennsylvanian and start to unload.

Andy travels light.

Andy travels light.

4 p.m. – All equipment now inside, car parked, time to get going on setup.

4:05 p.m. – Greet and chat with Jean Ross of Opening Night Catering.

4:15 p.m. – Set 16 lights around perimeter of room, on pillars.  Test wireless connection to lights.  Double check angle, position, consistency of color.  Since this was my first uplighting event at The Pennsylvanian, I went into Santa Claus mode—making a list and checking it twice.  VERY happy with the results.

The end result!

The end result!

5 p.m. – Now on to the audio setup.  Set up and sound check four Bose L1 systems around the room.  Two are hard wired into my main box, and two are wireless, placed on the perimeter of the room.

5:25 p.m. – Happy with the sound and the lights, time to change into my suit (with Batman socks!).

But first, let me take a selfie.

But first, let me take a selfie.

5:30 p.m. – Reception begins with cocktails under the Rotunda outside.  A string quartet was performing, which meant no need for a sound system there for cocktail music.  Although, the system was in my car, ready for quick setup, if something went wrong with the quartet.

5:45 p.m. – Meet videographer and review timeline and plans and talk about audio feed.  Set up and test feed from my mixer into his system.  He’s happy, so I’m happy!

6 p.m. – Check lights again, now that house lights are down.  Check audio again, just because…

6:15 p.m. – Greet groom as he enters the room in search of the restroom.  Chat, get his opinion on the lights (which he loved, but deferred to the bride) and point him in the right direction.

6:30 p.m. – Greet the bride as she comes into the room and sees it for the first time.  She loved the lights, “Just what I was looking for!”  Chat with bride and her dad, and review timeline with dad, since he’ll give a welcome toast and blessing.

6:45 p.m. – Doors open.  Guests filter into the main hall from the Rotunda.

The party is about to begin!

The party is about to begin!

7 p.m. – Gather parents and meet bridal party under the Rotunda.  Give instructions for intros—where to go, when to perform their dance moves, what to do once they get to the dance floor.  Review pronunciations, titles, etc.  Discover a change in the pairing of the couples and adjust my cheat sheet accordingly.

7:10 p.m. –  Introductions.  Announce parents first, to “Happy” by Pharrell.  Next, bridal party to “Can’t Hold Us” by Mackelmore.  Finally, bride and groom to “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness.  A loud, rowdy welcome from the guests, which is always a good sign…

7:15 p.m. – Bride and groom’s first dance to “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen.  Again, a loud and rowdy ovation!

That dress! Hayley Paige, you slay me.

That dress! Hayley Paige, you slay me.

7:20 p.m. – Bride and groom cut the cake to “Love You Madly” by Cake (Always LOVE that choice, by the way!)

7:25 p.m. – Bride’s dad welcomes guests and gives blessing.

7:40 p.m. – All guests served salad.  Time for maid of honor and best man to toast the bride and groom.

7:55 p.m. – After a few trips around the room to check audio levels and a review of notes for post-dinner activities, I sit down with photographer and videographer for dinner in the lobby.

8:15 p.m. – I noticed that there were two extra boxed dinners, so after checking with Jean Ross (who loved the idea) I invited the Pittsburgh police officer on duty to join me for dinner.  He was so happy!

8:30 p.m. – After greeting tables, bride and groom were ready to kick off dancing!

8:35 p.m. – Father/daughter dance to “Emily” by Frank Sinatra.

8:40 p.m. – Mother/son dance to “Days Like This” by Van Morrison.

8:45 p.m. – Open dance floor with “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by the King.

8:50 p.m. – The rest of the night is a blur.  I remember looking at the clock on the far wall, and the next time I did so it was 10:30 p.m.  Every song seemed to be someone’s favorite.  The bride’s Must Play list was a hit, and she gave me permission to mix in other songs to fit in with her choices.  It worked out so well, and the dance floor was packed the whole time.

Dance floor!

Dance floor!

Packed all night

Packed all night

10:45 p.m. – Chat with bride and groom, who just realized that the night was coming to an end.  They had certain songs they wanted to have played in the last ten minutes.  Finished with “And We Danced” by Mackelmore, “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, and “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money.

11:02 p.m. – Last song ended.  Announced after-party for the bride and groom and said goodnight to the guests.

11:15 p.m. – Walk around perimeter, turn off lights and audio, and disconnect cables and wireless.

11:30 p.m. – Chatted with bride and groom and said goodnight.

11:45 p.m. – All audio equipment packed up, wheeled to car, and loaded.

11:50 p.m. – Back into ballroom to collect and pack lights.

12:10 a.m. – Loaded lights into car.  One last walk through to be sure nothing was left behind.

12:15 a.m. – Depart from The Pennsylvanian.

12:40 a.m. – Back home and ready for bed!  Of course, I’m wired for sound, so I didn’t actually make it to bed until 1:45 a.m.

Sunday, June 21

Unpack car, put equipment away, and relax!

BB here…

Andy, 1:45 a.m. is like 5 hours past my bedtime.  Seriously, old lady right here.  But I guess if I was dancing to one of your awesome playlists, I'd want to stay up into the night too 🙂  Kudos to you on all of your hard work and success!  And thanks for giving us a backstage pass to a day in your life as a wedding DJ!  Special thanks to Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers for these recent photos of Andy hard at work during a rehearsal dinner.  The man never stops.

Andy Booth - Leeann Marie

Andy Booth 2 - Leeann Marie

Real Wedding: Chelsea & Billy at Horizon View Farms

When I asked Chelsea to describe her wedding, she said it was “magical, woodsy, whimsical, rustic, a fairytale wedding!”  A long description but a perfect one!  Chelsea and Billy's October wedding was inspired by many things: Chelsea's love of fairytales, Billy's love of horses, their shared love of everything country, and not to mention their own incredible love story.  Carefully piecing all of these ideas together, the couple ended up with a day that is one part rustic, one part glam, and chock full of DIY, made-with-love touches.  I found myself especially gushing over the:

  • Adorable Betsey Johnson shoes donned by Chelsea that also served as her something blue
  • Collection of chalkboard-inspired signs with their fun fonts and hints of sparkle
  • Garden of tissue paper pom poms-turned-flowers that made for a unique backdrop to the cookie table
  • Night-time bon fire where guests could put those s'more favors to good use
  • Wedding video that is like a segment straight out of a Disney movie!  Just Hitched Wedding Films did a great job at capturing Chelsea and Billy's big day and telling their love story.

Sky's the Limit Photography was on hand to document every fairytale-inspired detail.  And they lived happily ever after <3

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
On May 26, 2013, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, my family was visiting when Billy came out from one of the back rooms with a scrapbook.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE pictures and scrapbooking.  On the front cover of the book was a picture of our house.  As I opened the book, I began looking through a collage of pictures of us and the lyrics to the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips.  Right before I got to the last page, I realized my whole family, as well as Billy’s parents, were crowded around us.  I noticed Billy slowly getting down on one knee as he said the words, “I just have one more thing to ask you.  Chelsea, will you marry me?”  As I stood in complete surprise, the last page of the book had a picture of a beautiful diamond ring and said “Will you marry me?”  With a feeling of complete happiness and excitement, I said yes and jumped in his arms as soon as he placed the ring on my finger.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
Magical, woodsy, whimsical, rustic – a fairytale wedding!

What inspired your vision?
After we chose our wedding date, the first detail (literally) that I chose next was the bridesmaids' dresses.  I stumbled upon the dress in a bridal magazine and instantly knew what I wanted our wedding to look like.  As I tried to explain the vision to Billy and my mom, I couldn't seem to find the right words.  As planning continued and we added more details, I also kept adding more adjectives to describe our wedding, hence the long description above!  I love fairytales and love stories, but at the same time, my husband and I also love the country and we wanted to tie these two themes together. We wanted to combine the rustic look of a farm wedding with the magical touch of a fairytale.

My husband and I had our engagement photos taken on his family farm and we wanted to stick with the theme of a farm wedding.  However, ALL the barn venues within a reasonable driving distance from our hometown and large enough for all of our guests were completely booked.  We both have huge families and could not imagine trimming our guest list, so we had to find a venue large enough for 350 people.  Simultaneously, the planning continued – from handmade glittered mason jars and chalkboard signs to barn beam backdrops and tissue paper flowers.  Although we did not have our dream venue, we still worked to make our wedding as rustic as possible.  Then, one day about three months before our big day, I was browsing online when I stumbled across a new venue near our house.  Could it be true?  A farm available for our wedding?  Although I knew it was highly unlikely that the farm would actually be open and available for our wedding, I sent over a request for information.  I was quite pleasantly surprised when I received a response from the farm saying that they indeed still had our date available.  I stared at the computer screen for at least five minutes and maybe even pinched myself.  Although I knew it was completely crazy and would require a lot of switching around, I still brought the idea up to my parents, in-laws, and husband.  After some convincing and a visit to the beautiful Horizon View Farms, we knew this was the place.  The best part of Horizon View Farms is that you have the freedom to create your own magical, fairytale wedding.  We chose the horse arena for our reception because we already had many handmade decorations accented with horse shoes (for Billy's love of riding horses).  We wanted our day and wedding details to tell our love story and we created a laid-back, country atmosphere for our guests.  We wanted the reception to be filled with things we love and a variety of fun activities for guests.  We rented a photobooth with props and the owner of the farm was nice enough to start a bonfire that night so our guests could use the smore favors!  Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my cookies and milk before bed each night.  Sticking with tradition, many of our aunts, my grandma, and my mother-in-law baked a few thousand cookies for our cookie buffet.  A lot of preparation went into making our details come together, but we are very blessed with many creative and talented family members who were more than willing to help us in any way that we needed.

What made your wedding unique?
Our wedding was unique in the sense that we pretty much were able to design and include details that tell our story.  Horizon View Farms is somewhat new to the wedding scene.  They have a horse arena barn, a tradition red barn, and a pine forest that is near a lake and beautiful fields.  The horse arena is fully functional for horse camps and riding lessons, so we had to work from scratch to create our wedding.  We worked with Windswept on the layout and lighting. My mom and I worked on finding the perfect details and decorations to create a rustic fairytale wedding.  Honestly though, what made our wedding most unique was our ceremony.  We are very goofy and love to laugh.  Although Billy's emotions got the best of him as I walked down the aisle and when we said our vowels, he still managed to make everyone in the church, including our pastor, laugh and joke around, which has ALWAYS been one of my favorite things about him.  It was a ceremony filled with traditions, but also unconventional in the sense that we laughed the whole time.  It really set the tone for a day filled with happiness, fun, and love!

What was your favorite moment of the day?
Our ceremony was by far our most favorite part of the day.  My childhood pastor married us and shared some very heartfelt words about our love story. Billy cried his eyes out while I laughed (I have never been the emotional type, haha), but it made for a ceremony full of laughter and happy tears.

We shared our first dance as husband and wife to “Cross My Heart” by George Strait.  Billy sang this song to me on one of our first dates after he first told me that he loved me.  Since that day, he always sends me audio texts with this song any time he hears it on the radio while he is at work.  One of our favorite memories from the night was dancing to the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips,  with our family and friends circling around us at the end of the night.  This song holds quite a few special memories for us.  First, our proposal was centered around this song.  Secondly, when I went dress shopping with my mom, as I was trying on what would eventually be my wedding gown, this song came on the radio at the store, right as I was walking out of the dressing room.  When I saw myself in this dress, I knew it was the one.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I think that the craziest thing about the wedding day is when you forget about all of the details, the flowers, the photos, the dress, and just focus on marrying your true love.  The day before the wedding, Billy and I spent an hour sitting outside,  just talking about what the weekend would bring and how excited we were to finally become husband and wife.  This really set the tone for our weekend, and I suggest all brides and grooms take time before the wedding, before the hectic getting ready and meeting with guests and celebrating all night, to sit down and reminisce about your first meeting and how far you've come as a couple.  We really enjoyed this moment.

Also, every bride dreams of prefect, sunny skies for her wedding day, but honestly, it is not the weather that makes a wedding beautiful.  It's the love shared between two people and the beauty of family and friends from two different families coming together to celebrate the new life of the happy couple!  So try not to worry too much if it rains on your big day.  We had crazy weather, but I chose to embrace the beauty of the day!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
DEFINITELY hire a great videographer and photographer!  These are two of the most important details!  You'll want to look back and relive the moments of your wedding day.  Even if you're on a tight budget, I strongly recommend not skimping on these areas.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Allure Couture at MB Bride | Bride's Accessories: Hairpiece, Veil, Necklace, & Earrings: MB Bride; Purse: Kate Spade | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Camille La Vie | Cake: Joni's Cakes & Candies | Caterer: St. James Catering | Ceremony Location: Central Fellowship Church | Decor: Made by the bride and Etsy | DJ: R&R Productions | Flowers: The Grasso Greenhouse | Hair: Mirror Mirror Salon | Lighting, Linens, & Rentals: Windswept | Makeup: Beauty by Joy | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer & Photo Booth: Sky's the Limit Photography | Reception Venue: Horizon View Farms | Rings: Joyce's Fine Jewelry | Stationery: Etsy | Transportation: Red Carpet Limousine | Videography: Just Hitched Wedding Films

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