Color Palette Idea: Pale Pink & Pale Blue

I know that you’re thinking these colors scream “baby shower.”  But I promise, if combined correctly, they’ll look stylish and ethereal.  Stick with the palest of the shades, use sheer, airy fabrics, and accent with white, gray, or a metallic.  This color combination looks fantastic when combined with vintage pieces, such as mix and match china, lace, antique furniture, and Depression or milk glass.  Choose blooms such as garden roses, dahlias, peonies, and ranunculus, all of which can be found in the prettiest shades of pale pink or milky white.

Pale Pink and Pale Blue Wedding

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

If you’re really daring, opt for an ice blue (one of this year's hottest bridal fashion trends!) or blush pink wedding gown, like this stunner worn by Burgh Bride Christina when she wed Andy in May 2012.

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

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop Recap

Last week, I teamed up with the super talented ladies of Sapphire & Lace Event Design, Jack+Bean Event Stationery, Mosaic Linens, and Found + Made to teach (what I'm pretty sure was) Pittsburgh's first wedding design and styling workshop!  We took over the ballroom of the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel and hosted an evening of inspiration and education for local brides.  If you weren't there, you missed a good time!  But lucky for you, Dawn Derbyshire Photography was in place to document all of the pretty details and I'm giving you a full recap today.

The event started off with a the simple, and probably obvious, question – “What is design?”

Ladies, listen up!  Are you paying attention?  This is really important! 

Wedding design is sooooo (o x 9863958) much more than just your color scheme!  Creating a cohesive, impactful look for your wedding day means a whole heck of a lot more than just picking out pretty bouquets to match the bridesmaids' dresses.  Instead, it means determining a style, look, or even theme and weaving commons threads of that style/look/theme into every single aspect of your wedding day.  From the invitations to the favors, and everything in between, all aspects of your wedding should be cohesive and look like they belong together.  There is a fluidity between the big aspects, such as your venue and even your dress, and all of the details, like the menu cards and cocktail napkins.  Don't just stop at picking out a few colors!  Find something that inspires you – a piece of art, a book, architecture, a flower, a hobby, whatever! – and determine what style it lends itself to.  Then, let everything else flow from there!

To give our guests a visual representation of what we meant, the team came up with three different concepts and created tablescapes to go with each of those.  Mood boards showed guests what inspired the looks and they were able to see, touch, and explore all of the elements that brought that look to life.  From nailing down a style to selecting all of the various pieces, we explained the thought process behind each and every decision.  I think this really helped our guests understand more clearly what “creating a cohesive” look really means.  Plus, it was so fun to see all of the pieces come together!

Our first concept was bohemican chic.  Think jewel tones, natural elements like antlers and feathers, bright flowers and succulents, brass candlesticks, amber glass, and even birdcages.  Our tablescape was absolutely breathtaking!  We also created a lounge area to inspire unique seating vignettes for cocktail hours, after parties, or even quiet spaces during dancing.  Colorful and a bit anything goes, this look was flawless!

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Boho Chic Inspiration

The second style was modern.  Minimalistic but bold, this look was inspired by black and white stripes and lots of greenery.  In contrast to the boho chic look, you won't find much color here.  But it still packed a mighty punch.  The linen grabbed your attention and kept it, since the other details are subtle.  We also worked up a styled cocktail table.  Your cocktail reception is a great place to have a little fun with specialty linens, unique centerpieces, or even cute signs with your wedding hashtag or fun facts about the bride and groom.  This look was sleek and stylish in a quiet way, but it definitely made a statement!

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Modern Inspiration

The final concept was classic and sparkly.  We were inspired by lots of candlelight, mixed metallics (yes, it is ok to mix gold and silver!), and monochromatic florals.  This style is perfect for the traditional bride or the one who wants a pretty, feminine look.  The navy blue linen was rich but was softened by the white and ivory flowers, pastel blue napkins, and menu card with its subtle punch of coral. Gold beaded chargers, lots of mercury glass, and candles galore completed this tablescape.  We also created an escort card table that had a big wow factor!  A large display of various candles set a romantic tone and the sequin linen was just gorgeous.  The entire look was soft, glowing, and romantic!

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Classic Inspiration

After exploring the three tablescapes, it was time for my favorite part of the evening…the Design Bar!  We had various shaped tables in place and lots of extra linens, centerpieces, table numbers, menu cards, candles, and other accessories and guests were encouraged to play and create their own beautiful tablescapes.  The team was there to spark creativity and help guests think outside the box.  It was like playing dress up!  So fun!

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

Wedding Design & Styling Workshop - Design Bar

We even spent a little time getting to know our guests, learning about their wedding looks and helping them come up with ways to bring those to life.  The ladies asked great questions and I hope that they found the night to be fun, educational, and inspirational.  We're already looking forward to bigger and better workshops!  If you're in the midst of wedding planning, let us what you would like to see at the next one!

And a HUGE thank you to the amazing vendors who helped me bring this idea to fruition!  Bethany, Julie, Molly, Jen, Laura, Dawn, and Katy – you gals are the best!  Thank you from the bottom of my wedding detail-loving heart!

Europe Recap: Venice

If there ever was a city unlike any other in the entire world, it would be Venice.  It is absolutely unreal.  From the moment we stepped off the boat, my mouth hit the ground and I think it stayed there the entire two and a half days we were in town.  One look at Venice, the Grand Canal, and all of the smaller canals that wind their way through the city, and you’re hooked.  You almost can’t believe what you’re looking at – a footbridge at every turn, tiny waterways that run between buildings, narrow streets that empty into huge courtyards, buildings that are in some form of aging disrepair but that are still wildly cool.  You feel like you’re on a movie set, like there is no way this is real life.  But it is.  And it’s glorious.  Unique and absolutely breathtaking, especially at night, Venice immediately became my favorite city in the world.  I know, I know – I haven’t been to a ton of places.  But I have a very hard time believing any other city is ever going to top this place.  Plan a trip and see for yourself.  While you’re there, check off the things on my…

Top Ten Must Eat/See/Do List – Venice Edition

1.) St. Mark’s Square – The hub of Venice is certainly this piazza.  With the basilica (see #3 below) on one end, the Museo Correr on the other, and Doge’s Palace (see #5 below), the campanile, and the lagoon close by, it’s tourist central but it’s a must see.  Stop for an espresso at one of the square’s many cafes (Café Florian claims to be the first one in the world!), sit outside, and just watch the people go by.  I’ll warn you though – the square is rife with pigeons.  If you’re afraid of birds like I am, stick to the perimeter.

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

2.) Antico Forno – There are approximately 1 million pizza joints in Venice but this one is by far the best.  I can say that because we ate a ton of pizza while in town…at one point for three meals in a row.  Don’t judge me.  Thin crust is more traditional (and more delicious) and whoever thought to put prosciutto on pizza was a genius.

3.) St. Mark’s Basilica – Church number two of our tour, St. Mark’s Basilica is the epitome of Byzantine architecture and art.  Glistening, golden domes and a mosaic marble floor that plays tricks on your eyes, the basilica is the crown jewel of Venice and a must see for any visitor!  The church itself is free to tour, although the line to get in apparently gets crazy long.  We lucked out and walked right in.  I read that the treasury tour is worth the admission fee but we opted to skip that.

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

4.) Bacareto de Lele – This tiny (and I mean realllly tiny) corner sandwich shop is a hidden gem.  You know a place is good when there is a line out the door.  But it’s totally worth the wait.  Their homemade wine and the simple but amazing sandwiches of speck, mortadella, and prosciutto cannot be beat.  It’s grab and go, so take your grub and sit on the steps to the canal for a dining experience unlike any other.  Also, we split four glasses of wine and six slider-sized sandwiches for around nine euros (~$10). SO CHEAP BUT SOOOOO GOOD!

5.) Doge’s Palace – This building from the 14th century was once home to Venice’s governing council.  While some sections are opulent and impressive, others are small, dark, and modest.  In addition to the chambers of the Great Council, the palace also contains Venice’s ancient courtrooms, which were linked to the prisons by the infamous Bridge of Sighs.  Incredibly, most of the structure is still original.  We sprung for the Secret Itineraries Tour, which is guided and takes you into rooms and chambers not open to general guests.  I highly suggest it but book online in advance to avoid a long wait for tickets!

6.) Gelato – Every ice cream cone I eat from here on out will pale in comparison to the gelato I ate in Venice.  The traditional flavors are made with real fruit or nut purees.  Gelato also generally has fewer calories and less fat and sugar than ice cream.  So I'd say technically gelato is good for you!  Note to self: Replace vegetables with gelato.

7.) Get lost – No map, no GPS, just walk around.  It’s an island so how lost can you really get?  Venice is full of amazing treasures and there is something unique and exciting at every turn.  But you won’t find most of them on a map.  So just head out and go where the tiny alleys take you.  You’ll be surprised by all of the beauty that you find.

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

8.) Rialto Market and Pescaria – Similar to La Boqueria in Barcelona, the Rialto Market is the place for fruit and vegetables, spices, nuts, and other various fresh foods.  Not far away you’ll find the fish mongers of the Pescaria with their fresh octopus, spider crabs, cuttlefish, squid, and other staples from the sea.  It’s a sight to behold and a great way to get a look at how the locals live.

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

9.) Ponte dei Tre Ponti – This bridge is located just steps from Piazzale Roma, and it’s where three bridges from various directions collide to make one.  Actually, the name means “Bridge of Three Bridges” in Italian.  And apparently you can see 21 other bridges from this vantage point.  No, I didn’t count; I just took the guide book’s word for it.  Regardless, it’s still a pretty cool site!

10.) Gondola ride – Ok, I know it’s a super touristy thing to do but where else can you ride in a gondola?!  So when in Rome, right?  Or in this case, Venice.  A half hour gondola ride will run you 60 euros during the day, or 80 euros at night.  Although it was more expensive, we waited until dusk.  SO! WORTH! IT!  The sunset reflecting off of the water is absolutely breathtaking and we were able to see sides of Venice we never could have seen on foot.  80 euros still too steep for you?  Find some friends to split the cost with – it’s per ride, not per person or couple!

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

Recap: Venice

Our view from a gondola at sunset. My favorite photo from the entire trip. Is this real life?

Oh Venice, no other city will ever compare to you!  Without question, it was my favorite out of the three we visited.  There is literally nothing else like it.  Stay tuned for a recap of the final city…Paris!

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Engagement Photo Tips

Taking engagement photos is one of the most fun things you’ll get to do as a couple.  It’s like your wedding day, but without all of the pressure.  Just the two of you, beaming, and a crew of paparazzi following behind.  You’ll feel like rock stars.  Here are some of my best tips on how to make the most of your e-session, as well as some extra insight from a few of Pittsburgh’s finest wedding photographers!

Get to know your photographer.  The best way to guarantee you’ll feel comfortable in front of the camera is to befriend the one working it.  Make sure your personalities jive and that you can truly be yourself around them.  It’s magic when this happens and it really shines through in your images!

PRO TIP from Ashley Giffin Photography – “I love getting to know my clients.  I highly recommend taking the time to talk to each other, ask questions, laugh, and just have fun.  It not only helps with knowing how to work it in front of the camera but it also helps the photographer know what you are comfortable with and how to direct you.”

Select a location (or theme) that is meaningful.  One of the spots where you take photos should be a place that is special to the two of you – where you met, the restaurant where you had your first date, your favorite bench in the park, or even your own home.  Share a favorite hobby or a love of something?  How about some photos of you two enjoying whatever that is together.  Those are the images that will mean a little extra something to you.

PRO TIP from Eva Lin Photography – “When picking a location or theme, find something that is special to you as a couple.  One of my favorite engagement shoots was when the groom played his family heirloom accordion and the bride danced along the street (their idea!).  And since music was such a huge part of their relationship, they also dressed up and pretended to play in a rock band with amps, guitar, mics, the whole nine yards!  Your favorite date spot could also be a wonderful place for some intimate candid moments.  You will rarely get an opportunity to do a shoot however you choose, so I always recommend being a little creative.”

Or go completely rogue!  Think totally outside the box and head to a spot where no one has ever gone before.  Photos with the Pittsburgh skyline will always be beautiful but there are soooo many other cool spots for your session too!  Be creative!

PRO TIP from Veronica Varos Photography – “This session is a great opportunity to visit somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.  Are you and your fiancé utterly obsessed with photos of Yosemite or Ireland?  Buy yourself a couple of round trip tickets and turn your session into an adventure.”

Choose clothing carefully.  Make sure you’re comfortable in whatever you select.  You’ll be moving around a lot and you don’t want to be fidgeting with your outfit.  For our engagement photos, I wore a dress with a cut out back.  However, I was constantly worried about my bra strap peeking out.  In hindsight, I wish I would have chosen something that allowed me to be a bit more mobile and relaxed.  Coordinate, but don’t match, your attire with your fiance's.  You don’t want to look like twins but you also don’t want to clash with each other either.

PRO TIP from Steven Dray Images: “Ask your photographer for tips on what to wear.  You should wear something that is comfortable and reflects you as a person and as a couple.  Pick up a copy of the latest fashion magazine and draw inspiration from it.  And dress appropriately for the weather!“

Treat Yo Self!  Ladies, get your hair and makeup professionally done.  Ok, you don’t really have to do this but you’ll feel fabulous.  Guys, splurge on some new clothes or brush the dust off that three piece suit.  Always love the theatre but never get a chance to go?  How about some photos at the Benedum Center?  Your engagement session is a rare opportunity for you to do something you don’t usually get to do so take advantage of it!

PRO TIP from Michael Will Photography – “I’ve found the best photos happen when couples think outside the box and go big with either unique locations or wardrobe or both.  Make it fancy!”

Be yourself.  If you are forcing a pose or a facial expression, it’s going to show.  Don’t worry so much about trying to “pose” or look like a model.  Instead, just relax.  Act as if the camera isn’t even there and just do what you would normally do.  I know it’s probably more easily said than done but this is why the first tip above is so important!

PRO TIP from Beth Insalaco Photography – “The best pictures come when you are relaxed and having fun!  Truly be yourselves and help each other loosen up.  You know each other best and seriously, you can’t do anything wrong in front of the camera.  My job is to create great photos by directing, posing, and catching the real and perfect moments.”

Don’t copy.  Pinterest is a great way to gain inspiration but if an idea or pose looks like one that me and a thousand other people have pinned, you’re doing something wrong, IMHO.  An idea is only original the first time it’s done; after that it’s just a replication.  Be unique.  Don’t ask your photographer to duplicate a pose or a shot you saw online. It’s insulting to their creativity…which brings me to my next point…

Let your photographer take the lead.  Artistically speaking, your photographer is going to know what is best.  Don’t be afraid to try something new that he or she suggests.  They may ask you to pose in front of seemingly strange backgrounds or in an odd way but the outcomes could be amazing.  Be open to their suggestions and let their artistic eye be the guide.

Don’t over style.  Incorporate some props or signs but try not to go overboard.  All good things in moderation.  The best images are when the focus is on you and your sweetie, not all of the other “stuff”. Likewise, don’t get too caught up in a specific background.  What’s in the foreground (i.e. YOU!) is way more important!

PRO TIP from Elizabeth Craig Photography – “Too many couples want over-the-top sessions or very specific backdrops.  They don’t realize until much later that 1.) it didn’t play nearly the role they thought it would and 2.) it actually took away from the main focus of the photo.  The most important thing is an e-session is the couple – their connection, their energy, and their ability to be romantic, sweet, funny, and at ease.”

Last but not least, have fun!  It’s not every day that you get to bask in the glow of being engaged and have a talented photographer snap pics of you doing it.  Enjoy it!  Soak in every moment and let your happiness shine through. The results will be incredible.

PRO TIP from Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers – “It’s ok to feel silly!  I believe that giving my couples the ok to feel silly instantly relaxes them.  They then know there is no pressure to be a ‘professional model’ and that we’re all working together.  The permission to feel silly produces a connection between couple and photographer.”

Will you be taking engagement photos soon?  What do you think of these tips?  If you've already had your e-session, what advice do you have for others prepping for theirs?

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Color Palette Idea: Black, White, Gold, and Emerald

Classy and sophisticated, but modern and decadent, this is one of my favorite color schemes.  Black and white are always in style but the richness of emerald green and the sparkle of gold kick this combo up a notch.  This palette also looks fantastic when used with patterns.  Go contemporary and bold with a wide stripe or polka dots.  Use bright accent colors, such as magenta, to add a Kate Spade inspired element.  On the other hand, channel the 1920s and 30s with scales or another art deco design.  Add crystals, feathers, and lace into your decor for a look that is nothing short of amazing.

Black, White, Gold, and Emerald

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

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

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Exciting New Program for Burgh Brides!

Happy Bonus Post Friday!  I’m in a crazy good mood for a few reasons: 1.) It’s Friday!  2.) Today is the first day of spring!  3.) Fish fry dinner tonight!  And 4.) I have a crazy BIG announcement to make!  Drum roll please…

I’m partnering with the my most favorite downtown venue, the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, along with the talent behind Sapphire & Lace Event Design, Mosaic Linens, Jack + Bean, and Found + Made, to bring you Pittsburgh’s FIRST EVER WEDDING DESIGN WORKSHOP!

(Cue the applause. Pop the champagne.)

You guyssss!  I’m so excited about this I can barely stand it!  You see, I’ve had this idea for a little while now – a different kind of wedding event.  The city already has so many bridal shows where you can meet vendors and find great deals.  But, I never thought that those were the areas local brides needed the most help.  What I DO think brides often need help with is wedding design and styling.  Let’s face it…designing a wedding can be stressful and a lot of hard work, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be creative.  Can you really take all of your Pinterest boards, mesh them together, and create a cohesive look?  How do you bring to life all of the ideas swimming around your head?  What about making sure the style of your wedding is carried throughout the entire day (and even before that)?  So many questions, right?!  We’re packaging up the answers, plus providing a ton more information and inspiration at our workshop on April 22!  I don’t want to give away too many secrets so I’ll just say this – mark your calendars now!  If you’re in the midst of wedding planning, you do not want to miss this event!

I went to my friends at The Renaissance with the idea, hoping they want to be on board as well.  Things exploded from there.  The idea for this wedding style and design how-to session eventually became a part of a larger program recently implemented by The Renaissance.  It’s called Bridal Boot Camp, it’s amazing, it’s FREE, and it’s open to ALL local brides-to-be who want a little help preparing for their big day!

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Here is my good friend and fellow wedding lover Katy, catering sales manager at The Renaissance, to explain more.

What is the Bridal Boot Camp?
The Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel is inviting all future brides to complete a complimentary 8-week Bridal Boot Camp program featuring various physical and wedding-themed informational sessions.  Brides are encouraged to bring their bridesmaids or a fellow bride-to-be to weekly sessions featuring either PiYo classes and running hours or scheduled workshops focused on hair and makeup, healthy detox and diets, and reception design from various Pittsburgh-based vendors.  In celebration of the completion of the program, participants will be treated to a cocktail party at the hotel!

Where did the idea for this program come from?
Our social media committee meets every week and we were throwing around ideas for our RLife events, which are events each Renaissance Hotel provides to their guests during their stay at the hotels.  We wanted to tie in our brides, and as a result the workshop ideas starting rolling.   It turned into its own program, which we are now opening up to ANY bride, not just the Renaissance Bride.

What can brides expect?
The Bridal Boot Camp program offers an exclusive experience that is not offered elsewhere.  The program was designed to feature basic wedding topics that may be overlooked or under-considered during the wedding planning process.  By merging various educational segments with physical activity, Pittsburgh’s brides will be encouraged to put their minds and bodies to the test before saying “I do”.

Eeeeeeek doesn’t this sound so fabulous?!  Not only will this program help whip you into shape, but it will also help immensely with planning your big day!  Although the program is already a few weeks in, there are still plenty of excellent sessions on the horizon.  View the complete Bridal Boot Camp program calendar or see more details on the Burgh Brides event calendar.

So, how do you sign up?  Call 412.992.2042 and ask to be put on the email list.  You’ll receive a reminder before each session. You don’t have to go to every session; just RSVP for those you’re interested in attending.

Just sayin' though…you’ll DEFINITELY want to RSVP for our design and styling workshop on April 22!  I’ll be there, we have lots of information to share, and a few surprises in store.  It’s going to be EPIC!

Songs I’m Currently Loving II

Welcome to the second installment of the quarterly series I've aptly named “Songs I'm Currently Loving”.  Here are the songs I'm jamming to lately and some ideas on how you can add them to your wedding day!

Meghan Trainor – Dear Future Husband
If you're sticking with the seemingly antiquated bouquet toss, play this song to make the tradition a bit more modern.  Favorite line?  The last one.

“Future husband, better love me right.”

Preach.

Safety Suit – Never Stop (Wedding Version)
Was there ever a more beautiful song written?  I was planning my own wedding when I first heard this one and I bawled like a baby.  It's literally perfect for your wedding day…processional, bridal entrance, first dance, anything.  But make sure it's the wedding version and not the original, which is very much less wedding-like (unless you're into that sort of thing)!  Favorite lyrics?  The entire chorus.

“I will never stop trying.
I will never stop watching as you leave.
I will never stop loosing my breath
every time I see you looking back at me.
I will never stop holding your hand.
I will never stop opening your door.
I will never stop choosing you babe.
I will never get used to you.”

Wow.

Cossbysweater – Never Gonna Give You Up
Yes, that Never Gonna Give You Up.  I love a good cover and this one is excellent.  In fact, I love it so much I walked down the aisle to its chorus.  For a while there, my husband thought it was really funny to rickroll people.  Let's be honest – it's still pretty funny.  But he did it to me all.the.time.  So I pulled the ultimate bait and switch when I rickrolled him on our wedding day.  He thought I chose some romantic ballad to make my entrance but I went with the chorus of this Rick Astley cover.  Favorite lyrics?

Duh, all of them.

Ironically enough, the assistant videographer at our wedding looked EXACTLY like Rick Astley.

Chris Brown – Forever
Despite my dislike for Chris Brown, this hit of his will always be wedding day-perfect.  We can thank Jim and Pam for that.  Play this during the bridal party entrance or just add it to your dance play list.  Favorite lyrics?

Who cares.  It's just a fun beat.

What's on your playlist these days?

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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