Color Palette Idea: Cranberry Red & Dusty Lavender

This is the first of a new monthly series – color palette ideas!  One of the first wedding decisions you'll likely make is selecting a color scheme.  For some unique pairings and inspiration on how to make them work, look for a new combo idea the last Thursday of every month!

First up…cranberry red and dusty lavender!

Swoon.  The mixture of deep red with the lightest shade of purple is about as romantic as it gets.  This set of colors is warm without being too dark.  For a winter wedding that is off-the-charts gorgeous, throw in natural elements like wood barrels and faux fur, as pictured below.  Year round, incorporate fresh cranberries or red hypericum berries and branches of pussy willow or raw cotton into your centerpieces.  Use silver charger plates or mirrored vases to add a touch of metallic.

Cranberry Red and Dusty Lavender Wedding

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

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

First Anniversary Gift Ideas

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Who here is celebrating a first anniversary soon?  If you raised your hand, I have some great gift ideas for you!

First Anniversary Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Professional Wedding Album
The traditional first anniversary gift is paper and when Justin and I celebrated year one, we figured that a professional photo album was pretty close to paper.  It turned out beautifully and our photographer Beth Insalaco did an amazing job with the design.  I'm so glad that we have such a nice keepsake from our big day.  The pages are thick, the cover is soft leather, and the colors and images are crisp.  Definitely worth the splurge!  My iPhone photo doesn't do it justice.

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Plane Tickets
Surprise your sweetie with that honeymoon you didn't get to take or the long weekend you both need.

Spa Day
A gift certificate for a couples massage sounds like a great, relaxing way to celebrate your anniversary.

Vow Print
There are lots of these custom vow prints available on Etsy, but Jenna Sue Design's is my favorite.  The layout is clean, the script font is the right amount of fancy, and there are lots of color options for both the background and the text.  If you wrote your own vows, this is the perfect memento.

Love Letters
If you're super ahead of the game, write your other half a love letter every day during your first year of marriage.  Have them printed on beautiful paper and bound to make the most romantic book ever.

Chic Stationery
Bring back the fine art of letter writing with a personalized stationery suite, including note cards, a note pad, and maybe even a Mont Blanc pen if you're feeling extra fancy.  I'm absolutely loving the latest foil-stamped collection from Minted, available in all sorts of designs and colors and able to be customized with your sweetie's name.

Event Tickets
Ladies, surprise your hubby with front row concert tickets or backstage passes.  Gentlemen, I know most of you might not enjoy sitting through a musical, but I bet your wife would love it.  Treat her to a night of dinner and Broadway in the Cultural District.

Photo or Coffee Table Book
Mixbook has made photo books super easy to make and one of images from your first year as husband and wife is a great gift idea.  Or find one full of works from your spouse's favorite artist or images of their favorite city.

Boudoir Session
Speaking of photos, step in front of the camera again but this time for a boudoir session.  Boudoir photography has many forms and it doesn't have to be overtly sexy!  There are many styles out there and you're bound to find something that fits your comfort zone.  Make a for-his-eyes-only photo book with all of the amazing proofs!  A special thanks to the Girlfriend Experience Boudoir for this suggestion!

Homemade Card
Bust out your scissors, rubber cement, and construction paper.  Get crafty and make a card instead of buying one.  Write a heartfelt message instead and I guarantee that card will be the most meaningful one you ever give to your sweetie.

What about you?  What did you and your spouse gift to each other on your first anniversary?  Did you stick with tradition, or did you go rogue?  Comment below!

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Industrial Chic Wedding Ideas

The rustic and shabby chic wedding trend has been dethroned.  Industrial chic is the new black and it’s hot hot hot.  An eclectic mix of antiques, raw textures, hard metals, and distressed elements, industrial chic is easy to pull off because it’s a bit anything goes.  If you’re looking to design your big day after this hip look, here are a few ideas for you.

Venue
Look for a warehouse or loft style with lots of exposed brick or duct work.  Shy away from ballrooms or any venue that is too ornate.  I’ve praised the Pittsburgh Opera and the New Hazlett Theater, but the Pittsburgh Winery, Engine House 25, and the first floor of the Heinz History Center would also make great backdrops for an industrial chic wedding.  Barns, although typically decorated with a rustic vibe, could also work beautifully with this new look!

Marquee Letters
You could buy these statement signs but Pinterest has a ton of tutorials; give DIYing them a go.  Jo-Ann Fabric sells paper mache letters that are 24” tall and perfect for this purpose.  Place X-O-X-O behind the sweetheart table, B-A-R above the you-know-what, or the first initials of your and your sweetie’s names, with an ampersand in between, on the seating card table.

Marquee letters not in your budget?  Aren’t a DIY kind of bride?  Spell your message with giant, metallic letter balloons instead!

Hard Metals
Skip the banquet chairs and chiavaris, which can be a bit too formal for this vibe.  Opt for metal chairs instead.  All Occasion Party Rental’s Philia chair is amazing and will really bring the industrial theme to life.  Also, visit flea markets and thrift stores to collect all the brass candlesticks you can find.  Look for various shapes and heights to add dimension.  Stand two or so on each table to jazz up the centerpiece, use them as bud vases, or build a large display that really packs a bunch.

Antiques
A vintage typewriter could be a unique guest book.  Old apothecary bottles or tin cans make great floral vases for cocktail tables.  Worn hardback books under centerpieces add height to floral arrangements.  There are lots of ways antiques can be used while still keeping your wedding modern.  Steer clear of lace, pearls, or anything super frilly or feminine and you’ll stay on point with this trend.

Strings of Lights
Instead of twinkle lights, use Edison or bistro bulbs, which fit into the theme a bit better.  They both give off a soft glow that creates a vintage, romantic ambiance.  Drape them above the dance floor to create a nighttime sky affect or just hang them above or vertically behind where you’ll exchange vows for a jaw dropping backdrop.

Bare or Distressed Elements
Table linens can be really beautiful.  But if you’re going with the industrial chic look, spend your money on renting solid wooden tables instead.  Skip the linens altogether or keep it simple with a runner, allowing the wood to stand out as much as possible.  Paint table numbers on bricks or cement blocks, use wooden crates to add various heights to displays, hang seating cards from nails hammered into distressed wood, or use galvanized bucks to keep bottled drinks cold.

Muted Tones
The industrial theme works best when the color palette is a bit understated.  Marsala, Pantone’s color of the year, works amazingly well, but so does hunter green, black, navy, plum, and gold.  If dark hues aren’t really your vibe, you can definitely pull the industrial theme off with pastels – pale pink, mint, white, ivory, and sage green.  Like a punch of color?  Use a single shade, such as magenta, bright red, yellow or even turquoise, to add a pop.

Portraits
When you’re out taking bridal party photos or portraits with your new better half, look for all sorts of textures and backgrounds.  Graffiti walls, alleys, and abandoned buildings can be amazingly striking against the formal wear in the foreground.  Let your photographer explore and be open to standing in front of something that isn’t seemingly beautiful at first.  Trust me, the photos will be incredible!

Although industrial chic is all about hard, rough elements, you shouldn't be afraid to add in a healthy dose of sparkle!  The contrast can be a really beautiful one!

What do you think of this new trend?  Are you loving it as much as I am?  Check out my Pinterest board for more industrial chic wedding ideas!

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2015 Bridal Fashion Trends

The Fall 2015 Bridal Fashion Week wrapped up back in October but it left us all swooning over the pretty trends we’re bound to see this new year.  Expect to see lots of low and open backs, illusion lace, cut outs, plunging necklines, short dresses, bold beading, and even hints of color!  Take a gander at a few of my favorite gowns and keep your eyes peeled for Burgh Brides donning the latest looks.

Low and Open Backs

Illusion Lace

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Left: Allure Bridals; Right: Oscar de la Renta; Both from Brides

Cut Outs

Plunging Necklines

Short Dresses

Bold Beading

Hints of Color
(P.S. Ice blue is the new black)

I also noticed that a lot of trends are overlapping…for example, a short dress with bold bling or one with a hint of color and a plunging neckline.

What do you think?  What trend is your favorite?  Does your dress include any of these new looks?  Is there a trend that you aren't crazy about?  Comment below!

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2015 Wedding Trend Predictions

Happy New Year!  Ok, I’m a few weeks late but A for effort, right?  With each new year comes new trends, new changes, and new ideas.  Now that 2015 is in full swing, let me make some predictions about what I think you’ll be seeing a lot of this upcoming year.

Unique Venues
While a ballroom wedding will always be classic, expect to see more and more weddings taking place at off-the-beaten path venues.  Choderwood, the Pittsburgh Opera, Churchview Farms, and the Studio on Fifth are just a few of the locales that are going to be booming.  If you want your wedding to stand out, consider holding it in an unexpected or non-traditional venue.

2015 Wedding Trend Predictions from Burgh Brides

The Pittsburgh Opera; Photo by Beth Insalaco Photography.

Patterns
Be it paisley, wide stripes, florals, or the ever-popular chevron, I think we’ll be seeing a lot of patterns.   From the invitations to the linens to even the bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses, there are so many ways to incorporate patterns into your big day. Keep it tasteful by only selecting a few of them and keeping the other details more neutral.

2015 Wedding Trend Predictions from Burgh Brides

See more of this striped wedding dress here. Photo by Steven Dray Images.

2015 Wedding Trend Predictions from Burgh Brides

More of this real Pittsburgh wedding on the blog next week! Photo by Elizabeth Craig Photography.

Flower crowns
These circles of pretty blossoms are hot and I’m so happy about that.  For a daring but ethereal look, opt for one instead of a traditional bridal headpiece.  If you aren’t so bold, I bet one would look adorable atop a cutie-patootie flower girl.

Hand Lettering
Traditional calligraphy will always be beautiful, but more modern, stylized versions of this art form have made their way on the scene.  Script and scrolls or blocks and baroque touches, find a professional and style that matches your wedding look and use on anything from envelopes and seating cards to bar signs and menu cards.  Mix fonts for a contemporary look.

Sequin Linens
Sparkly table coverings are glamorous, reflect mood lighting beautifully, and pack the right amount of punch.  They can be pricey so if decking out all of your tables in glitz isn’t quite in your budget, go for sequin linens on the cake and sweetheart tables only, or use sequin table runners all around.

Experiential Weddings
Even though it’s your day, make your guests feel special!  From the minute they arrive until the very last dance, create an experience for them!  There are so many ways in which you can do this and brides and grooms are picking up on them.  Let Pittsburgh themed goodie bags greet out-of-town guests at the hotel, butler pass signature drinks to guests upon arrival, provide paper fans and fun sunglasses for an outdoor, summer ceremony or cozy blankets for a fall one, set up a cigar and scotch bar at the reception for the gentlemen, gift each child with a coloring book, some crayons, and other small treats to keep them occupied while the adults have a good time, or how about coffee and donuts for everyone the next morning?  Immerse your guests, appeal to all of their senses, and engage them so your wedding is a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience for them.

More Personality
Couples are making their wedding all about them and I think it’s fantastic!  They have found those little spaces where they can infuse their personality and their likes, making the day all the more special and personal.  More brides and grooms are writing their own vows, grooms cakes are modeled after the guy’s favorite sport or team, tables aren’t just numbered but named after meaningful dates or locations, and favors are a reflection of a shared love or interest.  A wedding is a celebration of YOU, both individually and as a couple!  It should be reflection of what you both hold near and dear.

What do you think we’ll be seeing a lot of in 2015?  Any trend that you’re super excited about?  What 2014 trend are you happy to see go away?  Comment below!

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What to Do After Getting Engaged

How many newly engaged gals do we have out there?  Congrats to you!  Did you know that around one third of all proposals take place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve?  Love is in the air, people.  If you were one of the lucky ones who received a shiny new sparkler recently, read on for what to do next!

Take a pic!  Maybe it’s a selfie, maybe it’s a shot of the ring on your finger, or maybe your guy went the extra mile (and earned 1095720359 brownie points) and hired a photographer to secretly document your proposal.  However you do it, just snap a photo so you have a way to remember this exciting time forever.

Pause.  Before you do anything else, stop.  Don’t move.  Take in the joy.  Breathe in the excitement.  Channel your emotions, the look of the ring on your finger, how the word “fiance” sounds and how it feels to say it.  Bottle it up and commit it to memory.  This time is so incredibly special.  Try to make it last as long as you can.

Spread the good news!  Now you can take action!  The first phone calls (yes, an actual phone call, not a text message) you make should be to both of your immediate families.  Parents, siblings, grandparents, and anyone else who is extra special to you.  Next, let your close friends in on the fun.  Lastly, turn to social media to fill everyone else in.

Get your ring sized.  Unless your guy is really good, your ring will likely be too small or too big.  Take that rock to your trusted jeweler to get a perfect fit.  You’ll likely need to leave it for a few days.  Just a warning: it will be painful.  Once you have the beautiful diamond on your finger (and the guy of your dreams), you’ll never want to be without either one again.  It’s also a good idea to get your ring appraised and insured.

Get a manicure.  You’ll be showing off that finger to everyone who will look (and you’ll catch yourself staring at it…a lot).  Make sure your hands are in tip top shape by treating yourself to a manicure or a pretty new polish.

Celebrate!  If an engagement party isn’t in the budget or just isn’t your thing, plan an extra special date for the two of you.  Take some time to revel in this moment that will be unlike any other in your life.  Pop the bubbly and make a toast to the start of your life together!

Relax.  Don’t be one of those girls that has their venue booked, their bridal party asked, and their dress purchased a day after receiving a ring.  Immediately after announcing your engagement, you'll be bombarded with questions like “Have you picked a date yet?” and “What are your colors?”  Slow down, people.  Unless you’re planning a short engagement, I'd suggest giving yourself some time before you do any wedding planning whatsoever.  Your engagement will truly be one of the most exciting periods in your life.  Don't be in such a rush to get it over with.  Take at least a month to just enjoy your new fiance and this fun time.  Your Pinterest board will be waiting for you on the other side.  And if you don't believe me, read this from Offbeat Bride.

Any other tips for the newly engaged?  Did you recently say “Yes!”?  What few things did you do immediately after?

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2015 Color of the Year Ideas

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In early December, Pantone announced the color of the year for 2015…marsala!

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I'll admit that at first I wasn't a big fan of their selection.  Pantone describes it as “robust and earthy” and cites the shade's universal appeal, drama, and sophistication as the reason for the pick.  While this cross between brown and maroon is warm and cozy and could amazingly paint a fall or winter wedding, I felt the color of the year should transcend seasons.  However, as the weeks went on, I started to see more of its red hues and less of its brown ones and marsala grew on me!  I'm not saying that I wouldn't have loved a metallic, bright, or jewel-toned selection but marsala can be really beautiful.  Imagine it paired with nude tones and light colors, such as pink, pale blue, and even sage.  On the other hand, the richness of marsala with burnt orange, mustard yellow, emerald green, and copper would be to die for.  Dare I say I like marsala?  Here are a few ideas on how you can incorporate what is perhaps my new favorite color into your big day.

Flowers
There are some really beautiful flowers that are more along the berry end of the marsala spectrum.  Try dark peonies, dahlias, calla lillies, tulips, pincushion flowers and amaranthus.  Mix in some pastels for a floral look that is just dreamy.

Signature Drink
Not only are pomegranates beautiful, but they also make for some pretty tasty beverages.  Match the color of your signature drink to the marsala theme by serving pomegranate mojitos or pomegranate vanilla sangria.

Venue and Decor
Lucky for all you marsala lovers that industrical chic is the new black.  This trendy wedding look incorporates raw, earthy, distressed, or antique elements for a look that is half modern, half vintage.  Look for a venue with lots of exposed brick, such as the Pittsburgh Opera or the New Hazlett Theater.  You can also use bricks in your decor…think table numbers, risers for food trays, or even a cake stand!

Menswear
Deck your gents out in dark red jackets, like Jaymie and Jonas did for their real Pittsburgh wedding this fall.  If you aren't that bold, check out the variety of patterns and fabrics available for neck ties, bow ties, and pocket squares at The Tie Bar.

Bridesmaids' Dresses
The Sipping Sangria dress from ModCloth brings three trends together – marsala, cut outs, and short dresses.  It's a win-win-win.  Oh, and ModCloth is a Pittsburgh-born company!  Winning x 4!

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Makeup and Hair
I love a bride who rock a bold lip on her wedding day.  Be brave with a dark shade of red on your mouth and keep the rest of your look neutral.  If you are looking for something a little less daring, opt for a vampy shade on your nails instead.  Merge two trends into one by wearing a flower crown made with some of the blooms mentioned above!

What do you think of marsala?  Did it take a while for it to warm up to you or did you love it right away?  Will you be adding it to your big day color palette?  For more marsala ideas, check out my Pinterest board!

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Charming Styled Shoot at PointBreezeway

Remember the darling little venue I featured last month?  PointBreezeway is back and this time with a team of vendors who created a styled shoot that is so sweet and cozy I can barely stand it.  The space's character is apparent at every turn and these images showcase it beautifully.  Intimate, quaint, and anything but cookie cutter, PointBreezeway is one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path venues in Pittsburgh.  It's easy to see why.

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From Lauren of PointBreezeway…

The idea behind this photo shoot was to showcase the venue for the urban barn that it is.  All of the vendors involved agreed to let the venue speak for itself; the natural charm and cottage comfort are apparent in every photo.  Melissa from Devoted to You flawlessly coordinated this day and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my space!  Simplicity was key and she nailed it.  This collection of moments is showing every bride or groom what a home-style wedding looks like at PointBreezeway…deliciously intimate and romantic.

Vendors
Chalk Art and Invitations: Kim Werner of Purple Wagon Designs | Dress: ModCloth | Event Stylist: Melissa Crawford of Devoted to You | Florist: Patrick Devlin of Community Flower Shop | Makeup and Hair: Marissa Julin | Models: Marlaina Wilamowski and Alec Bosler | Photographer: Kelly Bucklen and Adrienne Shaw of Kelly Adrienne Photography | Venue: PointBreezeway

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Songs I’m Currently Loving

I thought I'd start a fun new series called “Songs I'm Currently Loving.”  As you likely guessed, I'll clue you in on some of my new (or old) favorite tracks and share ideas on how you can incorporate them into your big day's play list.

Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
This track would make for an unbelievably romantic first dance.  There won't be a dry eye in the house.  Favorite lyrics?

“When your legs don't work like they used to before
And I can't sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks”

Pass the tissue, please.

Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance
I love when this song comes up on my running playlist.  It reminds me a little bit of an 80s dance hit but the 80s were awesome, so there.  It's fun, upbeat, and would make a great last song at a reception.  Favorite lyrics?

“A backless dress and some beat up sneaks,
My disco tec Juliet teenage dream.
I felt it in my chest as she looked at me.
I knew we were born to be together,
born to be together.”

Less talking.  More dancing.

Sara Bareilles – I Choose You
This song isn't new but I don't think it ever got the attention it deserved.  It's all things lovey-dovey and mushy.  So basically it's perfect for your wedding day.  Play it while walking down the aisle to make a sweet entrance.  Favorite lyrics?

“There was a time when I would have believed them
If they told me you could not come true
Just love's illusion
But then you found me and everything changed
And I believe in something again
My whole heart will be yours forever
This is a beautiful start to a lifelong love letter”
 
More tissues, please.

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
This song on repeat.  All day long.  When it comes on, I all of a sudden turn into a dancing machine and have gotten several strange looks from other drivers as I boogy in my car.  Let the epic dance circle battles commence.  Favorite lyrics?

Forget the lyrics.  This one is all about the beat.

What songs are you jamming to these days and how are you planning to play them on your wedding day?

Iconic Pittsburgh Photo Ops

A local engagement or wedding photo session just isn’t complete without at least one shot taken in one of these iconic Pittsburgh photo ops locations.  This city has so many perfect spots for unforgettable photos and incorporating some easily recognizable Pittsburgh features or buildings is a great way to show your hometown pride.  Here are a few of my favorites!

City Skyline
The Pittsburgh skyline is one of the many things that make this city so pretty.  Besides Mount Washington, there are lots of other places to capture the likes of the PPG, Highmark, and US Steel buildings in the background.  Try the path that runs along the North Shore, the West End overlook, Station Square, or even inside PNC Park for some cityscape views that are totally killer.

Heinz Chapel
Those.  Red.  Doors.  I bet you’re picturing them in your head right now; that’s how well-known they are.  This brightly colored background will add a great pop to your photos.  Plus, taking your picture in front of them in a whole lot easier than actually getting married in the chapel.

Strip District
Hands down, this is my favorite section of the city.  It always seems alive and buzzing with excitement.  Plus, I love eating and there is something yummy to devour on every corner.  With sites such as the gritty loading docks of the old produce terminal or the railroad tracks, the vintage ice cream parlor that is Klavon’s, or the busyness of the Penn Avenue markets, there is sure to be one that fits the vibe of your photos.

A Bridge
Any bridge.  Take a photo on any bridge and it screams Pittsburgh.  The Roberto Clemente bridge is closed to traffic during every home Pirates game.  Time your photos just right and you can have the whole bridge to yourself (well, and tons of Buccos fans).  The Smithfield Street and Hot Metal Bridges, among many others, have pedestrian paths where you can take some photos without having to worry about dodging oncoming traffic.

Mexican War Streets
The streets of this North Side neighborhood are lined with old-fashioned brownstones, colorful murals, and lots of great little nooks and crannies that can really make your photos come alive.  Be adventurous and let your photographer pose you in front of the many different textures that can be found in this section of the city.

Iconic Pittsburgh Photo Ops from Burgh Brides

Iconic Pittsburgh Photo Ops from Burgh Brides

Both photos above from Steven Dray Images

Cathedral of Learning
The architecture of this incredible tower is beautiful and the structure as a whole makes for a pretty unique feature in your photos. The fountain and double staircase along the Bigelow Boulevard entrance makes for the perfect spot for wedding party photos.

Mellon Institute
Most people don’t know this but the Oakland building with the big columns actually belongs to Carnegie Mellon University and houses some of their natural science departments.  Another little known fact – both the interior and exterior was used for numerous scenes in The Dark Knight Rises.  My day job afforded me the opportunity to be on set during filming.  I was this close to Christian Bale.  So cool.  But I digress!  The huge columns provide a wonderfully interesting feature in the background of photos, and the big staircase is perfect for group shots.

Kennywood or Idlewild
Channel your inner child and take some super fun shots while riding a coaster, eating cotton candy, and playing games.  These classic Pittsburgh amusement parks are the perfect setting for relaxed engagement photos where you two can be comfortable and show your fun side.

The Pennsylvanian Rotunda
This grand, brick rotunda is simply breathtaking.  The Pennsylvanian is an old train station turned event space and luxury apartment building.  The rotunda contains a ton of history and architectural features that throw nods to the important role it played in the past.  Head on over there at night, when it’s all lit up, for some real stunner shots.

Where will you be taking your engagement or wedding photos?  Will you be incorporating any of these (or others) into the background?  What is your favorite location for an iconic Pittsburgh photo?  Comment below!

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