Color Palette Idea: Shades of Purple

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Because it's my anniversary month, I'm choosing to highlight my favorite color in the entire world (and the color that was the main inspiration for our wedding)…purple!  Lavender, wisteria, plum eggplant, and every hue in between, I love them all.  Which is why I think a wedding color palette that combines the entire spectrum of purple would be simply stunning.

If you are going for a light, organic vibe, choose a softer shade to take center stage.  Use darker tones of purple and even other colors like white or sage green as accents.  Add rustic elements such as raffia, dried lavender, and wooden pieces to keep things natural.  You could even use fresh fruit or vegetables (plums, grapes, and ornamental purple cabbage!) in your decor.  A look like this would be phenomenal at a spring or summer wedding in one of the area's many gorgeous barn venues.

Burgh Brides Color Palette Inspiration - Shades of Purple

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

Orrrrr you could be like me and go for something a little more glam!  Purple is so versatile like that!

Let royal purple play the starring role of your color palette and highlight it with mid-range tones, metallic silver or gold, and even bright pink.  Keep things sparkly with things like crystal chandeliers, sequin linens, and mirrored pieces.  This color combo, along with some glitzy decor, would look ah-maz-ing in a modern venue, but is also insanely gorgeous in an industrial one!  The contrast of grit and glamour is TO DIE FOR!

Burgh Brides Color Palette Inspiration - Shades of Purple

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

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

 

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Ask Burgh Brides: August

When I saw this one in my inbox, I thought, “Wow, what a great question!”  Seriously.  How has no one asked this yet?

Ask Burgh Brides: What are some fun wedding-morning activities for guys?

Let's be honest…while it takes hoooourrrrsss for the bride and her ladies to get wedding-ready, the gents can be dressed and out the door in under 30.  This means they usually have a lot of time to kill the morning of the the wedding.  Susan Stefko recently had a client ask her for some suggestions on what the guys can do to entertain themselves until it's go time and she brought the question to me.  An obvious answer is a golf game…but this groom isn't into the sport (plus it takes forever).   So what else is there?  I came up with a few fun options!

  • Head to the Strip District for a tour of the Wigle Whiskey Distillery (includes tasting!)
  • While you're in the Strip, grab a big brunch at Pamela's and then hit up one of the many flower markets for some fresh blooms for your bride.  Have the best man deliver them to her hotel room in your honor.  Brownie.  Points.
  • Go from lumbersexual to smooth as a baby's bottom with a straight razor shave.  This throwback isn't offered at too many places, but The Cultural's Elite, a downtown salon and barber shop, is one of them.
  • Find the nearest field and square off against your groomsmen in a friendly game of football.
  • Try to win some honeymoon spending money by hitting the slots or table games at Rivers Casino.
  • Enjoy one of Pittsburgh's best features…the rivers!  Rent some kayaks from Kayak Pittsburgh on the North Shore.  If you prefer to stay dry, pay Golden Triangle Bike Rentals a visit and enjoy the rivers from one of the many trails that run along the shores.
  • Test your marksmanship with some clay shooting.  Seven Springs and Nemacolin Woodlands both offer ranges, as do some other local clubs.
  • Speaking of shooting, how about a paintball match at one of the many places around the city?  The first man out buys the first round of drinks.
  • For a bird's eye view of North Park, try the Go Ape tree top adventure course, which includes zip lining, obstacles, and more.
  • If you like to enjoy a good stogie every now and again, head to one of Pittsburgh's cigar bars – Cioppino, The Cigar Den, or Leaf & Bean, to name a few.

Any other suggestions?  What will your guy and his buddies be doing the morning of your wedding?

Second Anniversary Gift Ideas

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

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

Second Anniversary Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Downtown Bridal Portraits Styled Shoot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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.

Color Palette Idea: White & Blue Gray

Soft but preppy, this combination of white and blue gray reminds me of a my favorite worn-in denim.  The tones are muted but still feminine and classic – perfect for a spring or summer wedding.  For a nautical or rustic feel, incorporate seersucker, jute, and driftwood.  Add pops of navy blue, pale yellow, or peach to incorporate some color.  How about bridesmaids in white tulle skirts and chambray button downs for a casual but girly look?  Blue thistle, anemone, dusty miller, and even succulents are the perfect compliments to your floral arrangements.

Burgh Brides Color Palette Inspiration - White and Blue Gray

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.

How To Be a Gracious Bride

Every engaged gal fears being called the B-word.  You know which one I’m talking about.  The one that insinuates that you’re being selfish, controlling, and/or unrealistic.  I’ll be honest – when you’re planning your wedding and things aren’t going quite as you had thought they would, it’s actually not all that difficult to slip into the role of a bridezilla.  We’ve all been there a time or two and it’s not pretty.  I get that planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful.  Really, I do!  But that doesn’t give you the right to be a crazy person.  Instead, follow these few tips and be a kind, gracious, glowing bride who is beautiful both inside and out.

Burgh Brides Tips On How To Be A Gracious Bride

Say “thank you.”  A lot.  Be grateful.  To your fiance, your bridal party, your family, and your vendors. They are helping you; don’t forget that.  Acknowledge the time, money, or effort that someone has given up all in the name of your big day.  So overuse the words “thank you.”  They’re simple, they’re free, but they go a really long way.

Be nice to your vendors.  I can’t stress this one enough.  You will totally reap what you sow when it comes to relationships with your vendors.  If you’re kind and gracious to them, I guarantee they’ll work extra hard to make your day spectacular.  Be considerate of the fact that your wedding likely isn’t the only one they’re working on.  Cut them some slack when it comes to responding to emails or phone calls.  And please, for the love of Pete, feed the ones who will be working all day.  A real meal.  It doesn’t need to be the filet and lobster tail your guests will be eating, but something substantial that will keep them fueled and focused.  Back in my wedding planner days, I had numerous clients ask if they had to provide meals for their vendors.  Yes, yes, yes, 1000% yes.  This is not the place to save a few dollars.

Diversify your conversations.  By all means, be excited about your wedding!  It’s an exciting time! But try to not talk about it 24/7.  Your friends and family are happy for you, but they don’t want to hear about your wedding alllll the time.  If someone asks you a question about the wedding, go right ahead and answer them.  But be sure to follow up with a question about them.  Ask about what they’ve got going on and be genuinely interested in their answers.  Take the same approach with your fiance too.  Make a rule to routinely do non-wedding related activities together and have a weekly “Absolutely No Wedding Talk Allowed” evening.

Remember it’s not just “your” day.  As a matter of fact, vow to never let the words “It’s my wedding!” cross your lips.  Sure, you’re the bride and you’ll undoubtedly be the center of attention, both during planning and on the wedding day.  But the celebration belongs to other people besides yourself, such as your fiance and your parents.  Let them share the excitement and joy with you.  Involve them, take their opinions into thoughtful consideration, and pick and choose your battles wisely.  Often it’s better to concede on something small than it is to deal with the hurt feelings later.

Don’t expect too much from your bridesmaids.  They are not your actual maids.  Don’t treat them as such.  You want to be friends with these girls after the wedding is over.  So don’t make demands on their time; ask for their help instead.  And if they can’t help with or attend something, be understanding.  Keep them involved but don’t expect them to run errands or do things that aren’t wedding related.  Also, be thoughtful of how much money you are asking them to spend.  A dress, shoes, jewelry, bridal shower, bachelorette party, gifts…the costs add up quickly and can be exorbitant.  Have an honest discussion with them early in the planning process to get an idea of how much they are comfortable spending and then try your best to stick to that.

Roll with the punches.  Some things will go wrong, both during the planning process and on your wedding day.  It’s just Murphy’s law.  Maybe your favorite photographer will already be booked, maybe the flowers you were dying to have are just too expensive, maybe it will rain on your wedding day, or maybe the DJ will play the wrong intro music.  Whatever it is, in the grand scheme of things, are any of those really a big deal?  You’ll still be married to your sweetheart at the end of it all.  Have a Plan B for everything.  Accept that minor obstacles or mishaps will happen, let them roll off your back, and move on.  When it comes to snafus on the big day, keep in mind that you are likely the only one who knows how things were “supposed to” be or go.  Guests are typically none the wiser when something goes awry. I guarantee they won’t even notice. Don’t stress about it too much and get back to partying.

Because Burgh Brides are the best kind of bride, I'm sure you knew all of this already.  But a friendly reminder never hurt anyone.  What other advice would you give for being a gracious bride?

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot

After a long, cold, gray winter, I get really excited when I first see a pop of spring.  Some green leaves, a pretty flower blooming, and even bright colors in my wardrobe all make me very happy.  This colorful styled session from Krystle Castillo Photography and other talented vendors is all of those things that let you know spring is here, wrapped up into one photo shoot.  The vintage decor, the natural background, and dresses, hair, and makeup give these photos a soft look.  But the colors of the florals, not to mention the AMAZING BLUE SHADE of the sofa, brighten everything up beautifully.  Let these images inspire your own spring or summer wedding, or just enjoy how happy these colors are bound to make you.

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Spring Inspired Styled Shoot from Krystle Castille Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

Describe the styled shoot.
It was my first inspired styled shoot!  I wanted to aim for springy and bright to shine through the pop of green that had just recently appeared.  I wanted to keep it close to nature and give it a bohemian look, but while keeping it fun!

What inspired your vision?
My inspiration was Mt. Lebanon Florals.  While checking out some floral crowns, I came across a really pretty one that I knew Carmel, from Mt. Lebanon Florals, would blow out of the water!  I messaged her to coordinate with me.  As the green grass started to grow and the flowers started to spring, I wanted to bring color to my photos while keeping the very smooth and bohemian, natural look.  Soft and serene yet fun!  I wanted to let brides know that spring weddings are always beautiful and I wanted to kick off the wedding season with pops of color in all sorts of ways!

The couch from Vintage Alley Rentals really gave us a boost of energy.  Its vibrant blue on the sunny beautiful day in the green grass kept us all happy-go-lucky.  I also enjoyed working with all of the vendors.  Mt. Lebanon Florals really blew us away with her vibrant, unique, and impressive bouquets and head pieces.

Vendors
Dresses: Celia Grace | Flowers: Mt. Lebanon Floral | Hair: Hair by Briana Rasicci | Decor & Furniture: Vintage Alley Rentals | Makeup: Jae Lee Paredes | Models: Mary Gibson, Alicia Marie, & Nikki Rhianna | Photographer: Krystle Castillo Photography

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