6 Mother/Son Dance Ideas

The mother/son dance…it will cause your fiance more stress than you'd probably think.  I think most grooms struggle with finding a great song to dance with their mom to.  For whatever reason, the default choice always seems to be Fleetwood Mac's “Landslide”.  Not that it's not a great song; in fact, Justin danced to it with his mom at our wedding.  But there are so many other great choices too!  That's why I'm providing you with a list of my favorites today.  Send this link to your soon-to-be-hubby and let him and your future MIL find the one that will leave everyone all teary-eyed!

Forever Young – Rod Stewart
A little more upbeat than a traditional mother/son dance, but the lyrics are literally PERFECT for this special moment!  Here is just a snippet…

“May the good Lord be with you
Down every road you roam.
And may sunshine and happiness
surround you when you're far from home.
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you'd have done to you.
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever young, forever young.”

Never Alone – Lady Antebellum
I haven't yet heard this played at a wedding and I can't figure out why not.  When I first heart it, my immediate thought was how perfect it would be for this traditional dance.  This sweet message from a parent to their child will definitely tug at the heart strings.  Listen for the best lines…

“Never alone,
Never alone.
I'll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown.
Wherever you fly,
This isn't goodbye.
My love will follow you, stay with you.
Baby, you're never alone.”

Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Ok, I'm throwing it back with this one.  I remember first seeing the movie Beaches yearrrrrrs (decades?) ago, and even today, this song makes me weepy.  Moms and dads are every day heros.  This is your groom's chance to let his mom know just what she has done for him.

“It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.”

How Long Will I Love You? – Ellie Goulding
I stumbled upon this song when I was doing research for this post and I absolutely LOVE it!  A sweet ballad by a contemporary artist with heartfelt lyrics.  It speaks to the the everlasting love of a parent.  Seriously, pick this one.  It's amazing!

“How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I can.
How long will I need you?
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan.”

Close Your Eyes – Michael Buble
Why have I never heard this song before?  It's another that I discovered when writing this post.  If you listen carefully to the lyrics, it could speak to a mother's strength.  Plus, who doesn't love Michael Buble?  It's a great pick if your groom is looking for something meaningful and timeless.

“Close your eyes
Let me tell you all the reasons why
Think you're one of a kind.
Here's to you,
The one that always pulls us through.
Always do what you gotta do.
You're one of a kind.
Thank God you're mine.”

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor
If sappy love songs aren't your groom's thing, this upbeat, yet still heartfelt, classic might be the perfect choice.  Everyone will be singing and dancing along but the message won't be missed by anyone.

“I needed the shelter of someone's arms and there you were.
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs and there you were.
With sweet love and devotion, deeply touching my emotion,
I want to stop and thank you baby. I want to stop and thank you baby.
How sweet it is to be loved by you. How sweet it is to be loved by you.”

What do you think of my top picks for mother/son songs?  What are your favorites?  What song will your groom and his mom be dancing to?

Still looking for a song to dance to with your dad?  Stay tuned for my post on this very topic later this spring!

What Happens When a Bride Designs Her Own Wedding Dress

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!

From Aire… 

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!

What was the design and production process like?
The designer I worked with did my friend's gown and came highly recommended, but I was still hesitant she wouldn't understand the look I was going for.  After a few emails back and forth and me sending over as many details and pictures as possible, she sent over a few sketches with what she was thinking.  I loved all of them, but knew I had to narrow it down.  I ended up taking the bodice of one gown and the skirt of another.  When she sent the new sketch over with the two pieces together, I cried.  I knew it was going to be exactly what I wanted.
What Happens When a Bride Designs Her Own Wedding Dress from Burgh Brides
I also spent a lot of time perfecting my exact measurements with her! After the sketch was finalized, she went to work on the sloper (BB here…A sloper is “a type of basic pattern that is used as the building block for all other patternmaking.”  Thanks Google.), which she then sent to me to try on to make sure the measurements were correct.  After that process was completed came the really fun steps: selecting the fabric for the ombre skirt, the fabric for the bodice etc.
What advice would you give to another bride looking to design or customize her own wedding dress?
Be brave!  Lol!  Even though I knew this was what I wanted it was still kind of a scary process, knowing that I didn't really have control the dress after a certain point!!  I would say if you go this route, you should definitely know what you want.  Some designers can really go rogue and do what they want, not necessarily what you want!
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Aire!  What do you think?  If given the chance, would you ever design your own wedding dress?  Comment below!

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5 Things to Consider When Choosing Wedding Colors

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!

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Wedding Colors from Burgh Brides

Your Venue
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.

Flowers
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.

Skin Tones
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.

Your Style
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!

The Greenbrier: A Wild & Wonderful Wedding Venue

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.

A Beginner’s Guide to Table Sizes

Various table sizes and what each of them mean for your wedding reception may seem like a mundane topic, but it can be a very helpful one.  When it comes to ordering linens, selecting centerpieces, and working on the dreaded seating chart, having a basic knowledge of table sizes and what works best with each can mean the difference between smooth sailing and wanting to rip your hair out.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common ones!

A Beginner's Guide to Table Sizes from Burgh Brides

Rounds

Six Foot Rounds

  • You may also hear it called a “72”.
  • It's 6’ in diameter (obviously, and hence the nickname) and there are 30” from the ground to the top of the table.
  • Typically, 10ish guests can be seated here comfortably.  Caveats apply, of course; see the end of this post for just what I mean!
  • The table could look a little sparse with any fewer than 7 or 8 guests.
  • A 132” round linen will fall to the floor.  Do the math…30+72+30 = 132.

Five Foot Rounds

  • It's also known as a “60”.
  • The table is 5’ in diameter.  Again, there are 30” from the ground to the top of the table.
  • It will seat 8ish comfortably.
  • Fewer than 6 or 7 guests and it starts to look a little sparse.
  • A 120” round linen will fall to the floor.

Four Foot Rounds

  • AKA a “48”.
  • That's 4’ in diameter.  Yet again, 30” from the ground to the top of the table.
  • Between 4 and 6 guests will sit comfortably, but it's better suited for things like a cake or sweetheart table!
  • A 108” round linen will fall to the floor.

Cocktail Tables

Low Cocktail Tables

These generally come in two sizes.

36” round

  • 36” in diameter (duh) and 30” from the ground to the top of the table (are you seeing trend here?)
  • It seats 4 comfortably but you might be able to squeeze in 5, depending on the chair size.  You would use these for seating at the cocktail reception, not dinner.
  • They also make great sweetheart and cake tables!
  • A 96” round linen will fall to the floor.

30” round

  • 30” in diameter and 30” from the ground to the top of the table
  • Three or four guests could be seated comfortably at the cocktail hour.
  • A 90” round linen will fall to the floor.

High Cocktail Tables

These also come in two sizes but I’ll let you in on a little secret – a high cocktail table is usually just a low cocktail table with an extender on the base (to make it taller).

36” round

  • Still 36” in diameter but this time 42” from the ground to the top of the table.
  • A 120” round linen will fall to the floor.
  • BURGH BRIDE TIP: If you plan on tying a sash around the base, go for a 132” so the ugly table legs remain hidden!!!

30” round

  • 30” in diameter; 42” from the ground to the top of the table.
  • A 120” round linen will puddle on the floor about 3” on each side, but this can make for a really pretty look.  It can also make for a bit of a tripping hazard.  You decide.
  • High cocktail tables are typically used without chairs; guests use them for leaning or standing around instead.  However, they do make high chairs specifically for these tables.  Usually four fit comfortably but you might be able to squeeze in five.

Banquets

In the past, banquet tables were typically been used for things like the DJ, gift table, buffet lines, or anything that was placed against a wall.  These rectangle tables are still used for these purposes, but in recent years, the trend has become to use them for seating, usually with a mix of round tables.  This adds visual interest and a modern twist to your reception space.

Six Foot Banquets

  • You'll hear it also called a “90×132”.
  • That's because it's 6’ long, 30” wide, and there are 30” from the ground to the top of the table.
  • It can seat 6 (3 on each side) or 8 (3 on each side, plus 1 on each end).
  • A 90×132” banquet linen will fall to the floor.

Eight Foot Banquets

  • AKA a “90×156”.
  • It's 8’ long, 30” wide, and there are 30” from the ground to the top of the table.
  • You can seat 8 (4 on each side) or 10 (4 on each side, 1 on each end) guests.
  • A 90×156” banquet linen will fall to the floor.

Whew!  Got all of that?!  Who knew there was so much to know about tables?!

When it comes to how many guests can comfortably fit at a table, the answer depends on a few things.  If the chairs are wide or have arms, you may not be able to fit quite as many.  Likewise, if your place setting is very formal, you’ll need more space per person, which means you can fit fewer people per table.  I recommend discussing the best scenario with your venue or rental company and caterer!

Above anything else, don’t be overwhelmed by all of the numbers!  This guide was meant to be educational and helpful.  There aren’t hard and fast rules or a magic formula.  This is where hiring excellent vendors can play to your favor.  Work with those who know all of this backwards and forwards and let them determine what is best for your wedding.  Happy table-ing!

4 Simple Reasons Why You Should Consider a Small Wedding

Are you looking for a few reasons why you should consider a small wedding?  Here are four of them from Lauren, owner of PointBreezeway, the hippest, cutest little venue around.  At the end of this post, if you still have a guest list a million miles long, we need to have a little chat…

From Lauren…

Hello Burgh Brides!  My name is Lauren and I am the owner of PointBreezeway, an urban barn in the Burgh.  I converted my childhood home into a pretty amazing little venue with the hopes of preserving its rich history of a utility barn (circa 1880), tavern, speakeasy, tea room, and ultimately my family home for over 25 years.  It is an absolute privilege to share something so special.  PointBreezeway is a match made in heaven for low-key celebrators and lovers of old-world charm, everything vintage, historic, and eclectic.  Since opening PointBreezeway, I've discovered lots of reasons why small weddings are the way to go.  Here are my top four!

1.) Unique Location

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by,  And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost

This one is probably my favorite.  Why?  Well, I own one of the most unique spaces…ever.  Hosting a small wedding opens up a world of possibility with the venue you choose.  Hell, you could probably get married in your favorite coffee shop!  Give your guests something to talk about, kids.  Different = Beautiful

2.) Intimacy

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.”
– Walt Whitman

It’s your thing.  Do what you wanna do.  Parents are probably giving me the evil eye right now.  Invite your closest, most awesome people.  Love them.  Be married with them.  Share a night of cozy togetherness and hearty laughter with them.

3.) Budget

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Heck yes, Mr. Roosevelt!  The thrill of creative effort.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Small weddings are all about creative effort and that’s what makes them so perfect!  I’m going to speak to PointBreezeway on this one.  I can confidently say that with a guest list of 60, you can have a fantastic wedding here for under $10k.  Let me repeat that.  Under $10k!  Imagine if your wedding was even smaller.  The key is finding spaces that are charming and ready to go, allowing you to focus on the food, drink, and extras.  I’ve hosted weddings that served their favorite beer and pizza, hired a photographer, and picked up their florals beforehand.  The evening was spectacular and it was a dream come true.

4.) Simplicity

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
– Jack Kerouac

When great changes are about to happen, you want to feel as calm and healthy as you can.  Mentally.  Physically.  Emotionally.  Am I right?   The more simplicity that can be added to the start of a marriage is key.  When you choose to celebrate small with a big focus on what is truly important…well, as John Lennon once said, “All you need is love.”

There you have it…4 reasons why you should consider a small wedding!  What about you?  Are you considering a more intimate affair?  Why?  Comment below!

Jade & Gray Wedding Inspiration

I'm sharing a little jade & gray wedding inspiration today.  Light colors are all the rage this year.  Serenity and rose quartz are everywhere, thanks to Pantone, and other soft shades are sweeping the wedding world as well.  So it's no wonder this month's color palette idea has my heart all aflutter.  Jade is a refined take on mint green.  Think more muted and less pastel.  It can even look grayed in some lights.  But when you intentionally pair these two colors together, the combination can be magical.  Soft, sophisticated, yet still feminine, jade and gray go hand and hand with this year's hottest wedding style, organic chic.  You're in luck when it comes to florals.  Air plants, eucalyptus, succulents, lambs ear, and dusty miller are all excellent choices.  They'll look beautiful next to pops of cream and ivory, obviously.  But if color is your thing, opt for lavender, peach, plum, or even marsala.  The richness of the darker shades against the lightness of jade and gray will simple ooze drama and romance.  Keep the decor natural and simple…kraft paper, wood, crossback chairs, chalkboards, greenery garlands, and white pumpkins in the fall.  Heck, you can even revisit the cement vase tutorial I featured last year!  Either way, jade and gray is fresh, organic, and oh-so-stylish.

Jade & Gray Wedding Inspiration from Burgh Brides

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.  And then tell me what you think of jade and gray!  What do you like about this combination?  Are you using either of these shades in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

Wedding Advice from a Photographer Bride

Open your eyes and ears…you're about to receive some EPIC wedding advice from a photographer bride!  Burgh Brides Vendor Guide Member Eva Lin has been on both sides of a wedding…usually as the one capturing beautiful images of the big day.  But last year, she had her own.  And it was just as stunning as you can imagine.  Today, she's guest posting with some great tips for those getting ready to make their own walk down the aisle.

From Eva…

As many of you know, Art and I tied the knot last year, and after our wedding I feel like I have SO much that I want to share with upcoming brides!  Obviously, there are things that worked for me, and I know there are hundreds of opinions out there, so take what you need and leave the rest!

Pre-Wedding Planning

Your wedding day is one of MANY “best days” of your life.  When people say that your wedding day is THE best day of your life, does that mean it's only downhill from there?!  While your wedding day is a huge and super important milestone, it should be one of just many best days to come.  When you think of it as this end-all-be-all-ultimatum date, it becomes this giant thing in your head, creates so much unnecessary pressure, and honestly, makes you go crazy.  Try to think of it more as just planning a big party for all your favorite people, which leads me to my next point…

Remember WHY you're doing it.  It's SO easy to get caught up in the details – and there are a LOT of details.  Remember that a wedding is the celebration of the love between the two of you, not about the decor or the food.  Yes, everyone wants to throw the best party ever, but at the end of the day, remember the WHY behind this giant party to help you stay focused.

Pick and choose what traditions you want to follow.  If a tradition doesn't feel like you as a couple, don't feel pressured to do it.  If it does, go for it!  It's as easy as that.

Set aside 5% of your budget for last minute things the week of your wedding.  So many unplanned things come up last minute (and during your “wedding week,” cost becomes a non-issue!).  If you don't want to break the bank, it's better to account for this stuff ahead of time so there are no surprises!

Once you've set your budget, prioritize what's the most important to you, spend your money there, and be okay spending less in other areas.  Of course for me, photography and videography were on the top of my list, so I chose to spend my money there and less on everything else.  I was so lucky to find vendors who were able to work with my budget in other areas to still execute my vision!  I also plan on re-selling my dress, and I bought my shoes from DSW (which no one could see under my dress anyway).

Spend your money where it counts.  I've been to enough weddings to realize what is memorable and what is not.  As much as I adore beautiful hand-written calligraphy, we usually throw away the envelopes.  So as an effort to save on our invites, we just included one card and had our guests RSVP online.  Invitations can cost up to $1000+ with all the bells and whistles, and we ended up spending $250 on them (helllllo more money for cake pops!).   We chose to do a family-style dinner to avoid the need for individual place cards (we still had a seating chart – having completely open seating is kind of a nightmare).  The week of my wedding, I went a little nuts and wanted to change the backs of the flower crowns for my flower crown station from a white twine to ribbon, which would have been extra.  Luckily, my florist and my wedding planner reminded me that this is one of those things that people will not care about, and I would have regretted spending extra money on it (thank you)!

Do NOT compare yourself to Pinterest or your friends.  Chances are, you've scoured Pinterest for ideas and also have attended many friends' weddings in recent years.  And we all know comparison is the thief of joy.  No comparison, only inspiration.  Let you be you.  Your wedding will be perfect because it's yours.

The Day of Your Wedding

Take time to breathe.  I had my friend, Lauren, teach a yoga class the morning of my wedding – to get grounded, to be reminded of why we do all the crazy things we do for this one day, and to be rooted in gratitude for everyone in my life.  It was AMAZING to help me be completely present for the upcoming day.  Even if yoga is not your jam, take some time in a quiet room by yourself to just breathe some long deep breaths.  Inhale what you need to be reminded of – gratitude, love, happiness, excitement.  Exhale out what isn't serving you at the moment – anxiety, nerves, annoyance.  Repeat.  I did this a few times the day and week before – anytime I started to feel myself getting crazy over silly things.

Stick together.  I got this advice from my yoga/life teacher, Anna, who put it so well.  On your wedding day, everyone will be pulling you left and right, but make sure to stick together as you go around.  When you're talking to guests or dancing, do it together.  It's a beautiful metaphor for the rest of your life – as life takes you in different directions, move through it all together!

Savor each moment.  It's 100% true when people say your wedding day flies by.  One of my favorite parts of our wedding was when we were eating dinner – Art and I had our own sweetheart table, and we just took a moment to look around at all of our friends and family eating, laughing, and talking.  It brought us so much joy just to sit, enjoy that moment, and feel grateful that they had come to celebrate the day with us.

Delegate!  I was lucky I had so many helpers for our wedding.  My friend was my day-of coordinator to organize everything at the venue and make sure the ceremony and reception ran smoothly (some venues offer this, but if yours doesn't – I highly recommend hiring a day-of coordinator).  The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is have people asking you tons of questions left and right!  And this may seem like common sense, but you also need someone, usually your maid of honor, to be your right-hand-woman for the whole weekend.  My sister made sure I got everywhere on time, organized the entire day-after brunch for us so we wouldn't have to worry about it, and was just an amazing help the entire time.  It also helps if this person can operate with little to no direction (#bosslady).  Our friends and families also were a huge help the whole weekend – don't be afraid to ask for help!

After the Wedding

Host a morning-after brunch.  The toughest thing about weddings is that there are so many people who come who you may not have talked to or seen in a long time – and you have NO time to catch up at the wedding!  We originally weren't going to do this, but realized how nice it was to actually be able to catch up with the bride and groom at our friend's wedding a few weeks before.  So our families helped to whip up a brunch last minute and we are so glad they did.  It's also a great time to be able to say goodbye to everyone and thank them for everything!

Get a massage.  I didn't even wear heels on our wedding day, but my feet and body were just so exhausted from standing and dancing all day!  We booked a spa day at Bedford Springs, and it was definitely one of the best decisions we've ever made (that, and getting married)!

No regrets.  What's done is done.  With SO many moving pieces, there are plenty of things bound to go not as you had planned.   Thinking about them over and over will not change anything.  At the end of the day, if you are married and had a wonderful time with all your favorite people, wasn't that the hole point of it all anyway?  If you just can't let something go – just remember – you can always renew your vows in 5 or 10 years and do it again!

Thanks for all of the fantastic tips, Eva!  You're a beautiful soul, inside and out.  Any other vendors have their own advice?  What did you learn from being on the other side of a wedding day?  Comment below!

The Top 5 Reasons You’ll LOVE Having a Wedding Film

If you're on the fence about hiring a videographer, Post Script Productions is here to give you the top 5 reasons you'll LOVE having a wedding film.  Honestly, after reading this list, you should be totally sold on one.  I was one of those brides…I originally thought a videographer wasn't a necessity.  I figured I'd just splurge on a really good photographer instead.  A few months before my wedding, I changed my mind and decided I had to have a video.  BEST.  DECISION. EVER.  Seriously.  I'm so, so glad we did it.  Without it, I'd never be able to see my grandfather, who has since passed away, smile again, or hear our best man's hilarious speech, or relive the epic air guitar battle that happened on the dance floor.  If you don't believe me, maybe Carolyn, one half of this uber-talented Burgh Brides Vendor Guide member, can convince you!

From Carolyn of Post Script…

We got into the wedding film business by accident and we are SO glad we did.  We started our business and someone asked us, “Do you film weddings?”  We, of course, saw that as an amazing opportunity to not only grow our business but, more importantly, as an avenue to tell stories that people would love for a lifetime.  Having a wedding film used to be an “extra” or something that often got overlooked.  As more and more couples decide to include a wedding film into their budgeting, they are also seeing it as a necessity, just like photography.  That makes us so happy!  The moments we’ve been able to capture are incredible.  And we feel so blessed to be invited into our couple’s homes, churches, synagogues, and reception spaces to capture one of the happiest and most significant days of their lives.

Here is just a short list (we could go on forever!) of our top five reasons why you’ll absolutely love your wedding film.  We think you’ll agree that it’s definitely a necessity and definitely worth it!

1.) Family & Friends

We are there to capture the special moments…the moments you experience with your friends and family throughout one of the best (and busiest!) days of your life.  There will be SO much you won’t remember.  And there are so many people who mean so much to you that will be there to support you.  We want you to have memories of not only yourselves, but of those amazing people in your lives.  Grandparents and parents, your mentor, your college roommate – everyone.  We believe love, success, a life is nothing without people to share it with.

2.) Confidence in the Filmmaker

One of our favorite compliments we’ve received is “I didn’t even see you!”  To us, that means we were doing our job.  We don’t want to be part of your wedding day; we want to capture it.  We take that very seriously.  We want to capture it as it unfolds, as it actually happens as opposed to staging things or directing the day’s events.  We believe your wedding ceremony is sacred, regardless of where it is.  We are respectful of whatever space it’s in, the people that are involved, and those that attend.  This is your day and your film, not our film.  And, we absolutely love capturing weddings.  It’s such a joy for us and it’s a new experience with every couple.  We like to blend in with the crowd, not only in the way we dress but also by the smiles on our faces 🙂

3.) Protect your Investment

You’ve worked so hard to plan this event.  And unless you’re a professional event planner, it is probably the biggest event you’ve ever, and maybe will ever, plan.  It takes a lot of time, energy, and effort to put it all together – but how awesome is it gong to be?!  SO awesome!  A wedding film allows you to protect the investment you made.  Your wedding film is like a time capsule.  Everything will be captured – the laughter at cocktail hour, the moment you and your bridesmaids cheers with the mimosas made from your favorite champagne, the design of your bouquet, the look on your groom's face as you walk down the aisle, the speech from the best man, the words you and your husband-to-be say to each other as you promise to spend the rest of your lives together and so much more.  It all happens in a flash and a wedding film preserves it forever.

4.) Relive the Day

I can definitely relate to this topic because I just got married this past January.  It was crazy!  It went by so fast and after the day was over, after we returned from our honeymoon, and after we opened all our gifts, all I wanted to do was rewind and relive it all over again.  A wedding film is different from photographs.  They’re images, but they move!  (Our motto is “Images That Move”…get it?)  And there’s audio.  Yes, yes, the audio!  We love it.  Bridal prep/pre-ceremony footage can sometimes be audio gold.  And all that hilarious and/or tear-jerking stuff your maid of honor says in her speech  – we got it!   These are memories you’ll get to relive for years to come.  We don’t film for the wedding, we film for the marriage.  We want our couples to be able to relive their wedding day and how their marriage started – where they were, how they felt, what they promised, and who was there to support them.

5.) Two Places at Once

Yes, with a wedding film you can actually be in two places at once!  Ever wonder what’s going on with the groomsmen before the wedding?  We have it covered!  (Hint: they’re probably watching sports and enjoying a couple of beers up until about 20 minutes before they have to leave, LOL!)  Some of our favorite goofy moments (and sometimes sentimental moments) came during the pre-ceremony time with the groom and his groomsmen.  And, depending on the timeline of your day, you may not have a chance to see what cocktail hour looked, felt, and sounded like – we’ve got that covered too!  Our classic package includes two filmmakers so we can divide and conquer!  And, even if your budget only allows for one filmmaker for the day, we can usually work it out so that we can be in all those places for specific, significant moments.

There you have it – our top 5 reasons why you'll LOVE having a wedding film!  We’d love to hear about the moments you want captured on your wedding day.  We know every couple is different and therefore every wedding is different.  Comment below and let us know what’s important to you and your families!

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Think Outside the Bridal Salon: 5 Unexpected Websites Where You Can Find Your Dream Wedding Dress

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If you aren’t one of those ladies who has dreamed about their wedding since they were a little girl, you may dread the thought of wedding dress shopping.  Or maybe the idea of pushy saleswomen fussing over you just doesn’t sound appealing (who can blame you?).  Or maybe you’re like me and you try to do as much online shopping as you possibly can because malls and crowds and trying on clothes in ugly florescent lighting is absolutely the worst thing ever for your self-esteem.  Whatever your reason, I encourage you to think outside the bridal salon.  Dress shops aren’t the only place you can find the perfect wedding day look.  Why not turn to the world wide web?  You probably do for everything else, so try saying yes to the dress virtually.  Although you may never have expected it, here are 5 websites were you can find your dream wedding dress!

5 Unexpected Websites to Find Your Dream Wedding Dress from Burgh Brides

1.) Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses – Remember Erika and Mike’s wedding at J. Verno Studio?  And remember her KILLER art deco-inspired Matthew Christopher gown with the UNBELIEVABLE scalloped train?  I die. Erika got that beauty from a little website called Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses.  As the name suggests, they connect buyers and sellers of gently used bridal gowns.  But they also feature brand spanking new ones and samples too.  This listing service allows new brides to find their dream dress, often at a lower cost, while helping former brides recoup some of the money spent on their wedding.  As Pre-Owned puts it, “wedding gowns…deserve to be loved more than once.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Photos by Beth Insalaco Photography

5 Unexpected Websites to Find Your Dream Wedding Dress from Burgh Brides

5 Unexpected Websites to Find Your Dream Wedding Dress from Burgh Brides

2.) Target – This shopping mecca has everything else.  Why wouldn’t they sell wedding dresses?  While the selection isn’t huge, what they do offer are perfect options for those on a tight budget or who are maybe getting married for the second time.  They even have collections for bridesmaids and flower girls too!

3.) Rent the Runway – Why buy when you can borrow?  I recently used RTR for the first time and it was super fun.  With pieces from Badgley Mischka, Zac Posen, Nanette Lepore, Marchesa, and even the goddess of wedding dresses herself, Monique Lhuillier, you can be a haute couture bride at a fraction of the price.  While I’m all about finding that one special dress that makes you look and feel like a million bucks on your wedding day, I’m anti actually spending a million dollars on it.  Guys rent their tuxes!  Why can’t a bride rent her dress?

4.) TJ Maxx – Stay with me here.  I didn’t believe this either until a co-worker introduce me to TJ Maxx’s new website.  What I found (in addition to various home goods that I definitely don’t need but bought anyways) was a long sleeve, lace Valentino gown for under $2k.  I kid you not.  They actually have a pretty wide selection of dresses for brides, maids, and moms.  The best part?  You can try on at home and return to any TJ Maxx store.  I’m sold based on that fact alone.

5.) Amazon – From attire to jewelry and accessories to even décor and gifts, you can actually get a lot of wedding shopping done on this one site. Amazon is so great for just about everything.

What do you think?  Could/would you ever buy your wedding dress online?  Any other unexpected websites where you can find wedding dresses?  Comment below!

While I did team up with Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses to include them in this post, all opinions are my own.

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