9 of the Best Wedding Planning Tech Tools for Brides

Who is still using a good old fashion three ring binder to keep their wedding planning organized?  Hey, there is nothing wrong with a modern day Trapper Keeper!  But in this day and age, technology makes it easier than ever for Type A personalities (like mine) to stay on top of tasks, especially when it comes to wedding planning.  If you prefer nerding out instead of traditional pen and paper, here is a list of the 9 best wedding planning tech tools for brides!

9 of the Best Wedding Planning Tech Tools for Brides from Burgh Brides

1.) Google Docs
Now you can keep track of RSVPs in Sheets, make sure your bridal party has the most up-to-date information with live Docs, and even embed a song request form on your wedding website thanks to geniuses at Google.  Sounds similar to Microsoft programs, right?  But can you access Word or Excel on your phone or iPad?   Google Docs let you manage your wedding planning documents from anywhere.  The best part is that you don’t ever have to worry about “saving” anything again; all of the docs are live and updated in real time.

2.) TripIt
Don’t forget about your honeymoon!  This free travel planning app lets you keep all of your flight numbers, reservations, confirmation numbers, and other travel details in one handy place.  It syncs with your calendar and email so you don’t need to spend extra time inputting information.  You can create itineraries to keep track of all those can’t miss-sites.  And because mom and dad will still worry about you even after you’re married, you can even share your trip information with loved ones back home.  You’ll never print out travel docs again.

3.) Flower Wheel
Head to your floral consultations and look like you know what you’re talking about even if you actually don’t.  For $2.99, Flower Wheel allows you to scroll through a library full of hundreds of floral options.  Search by color, by month, or just read the description attached to each image.  You can even save favorites to show to your florist later.  Make their job a little easier by sending yourself to bloom boot camp.  Plus, this app is just pretty to look at.

4.) Pocket Planner
This app, brought to you by Social Tables, helps with event calculations, including number of beverages, appetizers, waiters, even trash cans based on your total guest count.  Nothing is worse than not having enough of something at an event, be it beer, hors d’oeuvres, or dance floor space.  Running out shows poor planning and no one wants to look like they don’t know what they are doing.  Let this free tool help you with the right calculations from the start!

5.) Sunrise Sunset
Is there anything more beautiful than sunset photos?  Make sure yours are perfectly timed with Sunrise Sunset.  Linked to your GPS, this app gives you the exact sunrise and sunset times based on where you are down to the minute!  You can get some beautiful night time photos, or even catch that romantic sunrise you’ve been meaning to witness your whole life.

6.) Dark Sky
Another app that uses your GPS location, Dark Sky will predict the weather down to the very minute based on where you are. Worried about that rain cloud above your outdoor ceremony?  Use Dark Sky to determine exactly when that storm is going to hit.  You may have just enough time to sneak in vows or bridal portraits before those clouds open up!

7.) IFTTT
Known as If This Then That, this free app has a world of uses but can basically make your life a million times easier by connecting your favorite apps.  For example, you can sync up your Instagram with your Twitter so that a photo posted to IG automatically also gets tweeted.  I use several “recipes”, as they are called, just to keep the blog up and running each day.  How could this be useful to brides?  Using a wedding hashtag?  Create a recipe that saves all photos using your specific hashtag to a Dropbox folder.  Collect your friends’ and family’s snaps in one fell swoop.  You can then set those same photos to be shared on Facebook.  Want a reminder email two weeks before your wedding anniversary every year?  IFTTT can do all of this, plus more.  All automatic so you can set it and literally forget it!

8.) Spotify
Looking for the perfect father/daughter dance song?  How about something to get the party started as you and your bridal party are introduced into the reception?  Let Spotify help with this.  Search through literally millions of tracks to put together the perfect playlist for your big day.  You won’t be able to download and save music to any devices, but you’ll at least be able to hand off a kick butt list of tracks to your DJ.

9.) RoomScan
Measuring tapes are so last decade.  RoomScan is to go to tool for room dimensions.  Draw up a quick diagram by tapping your phone on each wall of the room.  It works much the same as a laser measuring tape and it draws up a quick diagram.  You can even add doors, pillars, and other obstacles to create the most accurate look at available floor space, which is crucial for determining just how many guests you can squeeze into your backyard or that old school venue that can’t provide a floor plan.

Any other brides opting for a little help from technology?  What apps or programs are you using?  Comment below and fill us in on some other helpful tech tools!

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6 Steps to Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer

One of the most important wedding planning decisions you'll make is finding the perfect wedding photographer.  I mean that.  Your wedding photos will be one of the only living memories of the most important day of your life, so they need to be good!  Plus, between the engagement sessions, getting ready shots, the first look, the I Do's, and your first kiss as husband and wife, you'll be spending A LOT of up-close-and-personal time with your photographer.  So choose wisely!  My gal pal Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers is guest posting today with her six tips to do just that!

From Leeann…

You're engaged!  Now on to the wedding planning – where to even start when it comes to finding the perfect photographer for you?  As a wedding photographer, I know that nothing really comes close to being invited into such a personal event in someone’s life and having the opportunity to photograph your lifelong memories.  That's kind of a huge deal!

As a bride, having somebody you trust to capture all the moments that will become keepsakes to pass down for generations is kind of important – after all, you want a photographer dedicated to getting your best side, right?  So, that’s why it’s so, so important to take your time and find the right one for you.  I put together these steps to help you on your way!

1.) GET REFERRALS FROM FRIENDS & MAKE A GOOD LIST

6 Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer from Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers and Burgh Brides

Asking people who know you well and trust can be a great resource for finding a wedding photographer.  I personally love getting my couples on referral because I know that if I had a great working relationship with a bride, there’s a pretty good chance that her friends are pretty wonderful to shoot too.  If my first bride is awesome – you're probably awesome too!

On the flip side of this, you'll want to know if your friends had any bad experiences that you may not have anticipated based on the photographer's online presentation.  Perhaps their photographer was actually too hands-on…Or hands-off.  Or late.  Or disorganized.  Who knows – but ask your friends about their true experience, good and bad.  If they rave, you'll know you're on the right path!

2.) CHECK THEM OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

6 Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer from Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers and Burgh Brides

Checking out websites should be your first order of business when determining if your referral might be the one.  Read the bios, the blogs, and all the other information on the website to get a sense of whether you might connect with them personally.  Is this someone you could imagine having a chat with over coffee (or a glass of wine :))?  Is their lifestyle something you love?  Do you feel like you connect with their online presence, and are they showcasing their business in a professional manner?

You can get a really great feel for how a photographer views their business by searching through their social media a bit: What kind of photos do they focus on – couples, details, moments, wide-angle, tight-shots, color, black & white?  Is this what resonates with you?  What do they talk about?  Are they positive or negative in the way that they speak?  Are they actively posting their recent work?

3.) CHOOSE A SHORT LIST TO CONTACT

6 Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer from Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers and Burgh Brides

After you’ve spent some time looking over websites and images, you may start to see that you're drawn to a specific style.  At this point, narrow down what you like, and reach out to the small number (maybe two or three) of photographers whose work really spoke to you.  Don’t get hung up on trying to figure out pricing just yet!  At this point, it’s all about discovering the photographer who makes the best impression on you and whose work inspires you.

An important thing to remember – Pittsburgh wedding photographers are people.  And we're all pretty nice!  So reach out to us and be personal.  Tell us what you love, what you're looking for, what inspires you.  Even if your first pick of photographer doesn't work out due to budget or availability, we'll likely help to point you in the right direction!

4.) COMPARE YOUR EXPERIENCE

6 Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer from Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers and Burgh Brides

Once you’ve contacted a few photographers, use their responses to judge how professional they are.  Their responses will go a long way to giving you a feel for how they’ll work with you.  You’ll know you’re on the right track if they get back to you right away, are friendly with you, and send along all the information you need to know.

When it comes to meeting with photographers, everyone has their preference.  I typically find that I can answer all of my brides' questions via a phone call or Skype, since I put so much of myself on the internet.  It's easy to find out what I look like… 🙂  I even think that it's harder to make a connection via a phone call sometimes, so if we can chat on the phone to each other, we'll definitely mesh well throughout the course of wedding planning!

When you chat with your potential photographer, think above and beyond the photos.  How organized are they?  How do they speak?  What's the vision for your wedding day coverage?  You'll be spending all day with this person, so make sure.

5.) GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELINGS

6 Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer from Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers and Burgh Brides

So, now that you’ve gotten a good feeling for a photographer, look through their full galleries from different weddings.  Looking through their entire body of work is a great way to gauge how a photographer will work in different types of venues and how they shoot large and small weddings too.  And then, when it’s time to book, take all these things into account and hire the one that feels best to you and your fiance.

Another point to remember: all of your wedding vendors work on a first-to-contract basis, so once you've decided, ask for that contract!  I've had couples lose out on their wedding date on my calendar because they just took too long.  It always makes me sad, but that's the way it is out of fairness to everyone.

6.) KEEP IN TOUCH THROUGHOUT THE PLANNING PROCESS

6 Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer from Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers and Burgh Brides

Take time to really get to know your photographer so that you can feel comfortable with each other and truly understand how you want the wedding day to go.  I personally like to call my clients and keep in touch on the regular, but if your photographer hasn’t called you yet, reach out and make some time to chat.  Engagement sessions are also a great time to get to know each other better, and as your wedding date nears your photographer will be able to answer your timeline questions.

Happy planning!  🙂

BB here…

Be sure to check out more of Leeann's work in the Vendor Guide!

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Cranberry & Dusty Blue Wedding Inspiration

Hey newly engaged ladies…how about a cranberry and dusty blue wedding?  If you're in the color selection stage of wedding planning, this month's idea is downright beautiful, if I do say so myself.  Dusty blue is a bit gray, a bit chambray, and a 100% lovely.  It's modern but still girly.  And when it's paired with a deep, rich shade like cranberry red, it's utterly show-stopping.  Think Parisian influence meets woodsy chic.  Hello, I'm in love.  I say keep the whole look organic with tons of fresh flowers.  And you're in luck because many of my favorites – peonies, tulips, celosia, amaranthus, and even orchids – come in shades that would match perfectly.  Let your florals be the focal point and opt for long farm tables dressed with dusty blue table runners in spun silk or another sheer, light fabric.  Incorporate cranberries or pomegranates into the menu to bring these colors to your taste buds.  A beaded dusty blue wedding dress is sure to wow and cranberry bridesmaids dresses flatter just about every skin tone.  However you make cranberry and dusty blue come to life, I guarantee it's going to be gorgeous!

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of cranberry and dusty blue!  What do you like about these colors?  Are you using any of them in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

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10 Save the Dates from Minted That I’m Totally Obsessed With

Affiliate-LinkYou got the fiance, the venue, and the date.  Now you just need to announce all of that to your family and friends.  Minted will help you do that in style with their selection of artisan save the dates.  Beautifully designed, expertly printed, and customizable in all sorts of ways, Minted's save the dates will have your guests counting down the days until your wedding.  From floral to minimalist to traditional, here are 10 that I'm currently loving.

1.) Agate Inspired
Pressed with real foil and about as pretty as can be, this agate inspired save the date is 1000% YES!

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

2.) I'm Here For the Cake
I know Pittsburghers are all about those cookie tables, but this wedding cake save the date is the clear winner in my book.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

3.) Black & White All Over
This chic, modern save the date is anything but boring.  I am loving the large numbers and the minimalist approach.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

4.) Foil Flowers
Lush garden roses and real gold foil make this floral save the date perfect for a spring or summer wedding.  Plus, it's so pretty, I'd keep it hanging on my fridge long after the wedding day.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

5.) Cue the Confetti
You know I love a little sparkle and this confetti save the date is a party in postcard form.  The real foil adds a little bit of extra pizzazz.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

6.) Fancy Fonts
A little vintage-y and a little whimsical, this hand lettered save the date will help set the tone for one hell of a party.  It reminds me of an old school carnival billboard!

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

7.) Museum Worthy
As if Monet himself painted it, this brush stroke watercolor save the date is a work of art in and of itself.  Hey, I'd frame it.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

8.) Fresh Floral
Bright colors and fun stripes make this floral save the date feminine and flirty.  It's Kate Spade meets garden chic.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

9.) When You Can't Pick Just One
I love that this photo save the date allows you to choose not one, not two, not even three, but four of your favorite engagement pics.  Because let's be honest…you know you love them all.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

10.) Rustic Charm
With the craft paper look, stamp-like fonts, and even the wheat stalks, this rustic save the date will set to tone for your farm wedding.

10 Save the Dates from Minted that I'm Totally Obsessed With

Which one is your favorite?  Comment below and then head over to Minted to see their endless save the date selection!  You're bound to find so many that you love that narrowing it down to just one might be kind of difficult.

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Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot

Embracing the dramatic blues and grays of a Pittsburgh winter, this styled shoot is sure to inspire and delight!  Combining natural and barren backgrounds with deep colors and lush fabrics, Garnish Event Designs' concept was one of contrast, yet they pulled inspiration from the very season and settings.  Mirrored displays, beaded accessories, and metallic place settings look strikingly sparkly against the starkness of the dead trees.  Fluffy white snow led to cotton candy cocktails, velvet linens, and tulle skirts.  Oversized, textural floral arrangements dripping with variety bring color and life to the otherwise lifeless park.  With the help of other members of the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide – Event Source, Clarissa Boutique, and the catering division of JPC Event Group – Garnish's vision was brought to life with a little camera magic from Rachel Rowland Photography.  And goodness, what a beautiful vision it was!  This styled shoot is proof that a winter wedding can be really gorgeous.  Take that summer.

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Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Dramatic Blue & Gray Winter Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Garnish Event Design & Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From Jody Wimer of JPC Event Group…

My favorite things about this shoot include:

The Flowers
This was my first time making such a large statement piece of a floral headpiece and we ALL loved it!  I also used a lot of neat things in the florals – raspberries on the branch, pheasant feathers, baby burgundy artichokes, astrantia, mint, jasmine vine, sweet pea in the most lush purple, pieres japonica, etc.

Gray, Gray, Gray
….. against the white snow.  I love the gray velvet couch, the gray velvet table linen, and the gray fur of the jacket.

The Model's Eyes
They were so blue with the anemone and the privet berries of the head wreath!

The Food
The chefs had fun with a seasonally appropriate wild game type menu – venison, duck – then ethereal fluffy things for winter snow – cotton candy cocktails, toasted marshmellow tarts with silky chocolate ganache inside….it was really nice.

The Snow
We had to be very mindful of where we stepped and walked to avoid marking up the beautiful bed of snow we worked in everywhere.  We had a broom handy at all times for snow fluffing.

NATURE!
The water and snow covered trees in the background, the sparse juxtaposition of bare trees across the pond against the luxury of the fabrics and beauty of the clothes, and the setting of snow and trees with the clear napoleon chairs and the sumptuous sweetheart table.  I just really liked this shoot more than almost any we have done before or after it.

Vendors
China, Place Settings, & Ghost Napoleon Chairs: Event Source | Crystal Headpiece: Clarissa Boutique | Culinary Concepts: Chefs of JPC Event Group | Design Concept: Garnish Event Design | Gray Tulle Dress: DIY by Garnish Event Design | Florals: Garnish Event Design | Fur Coat: Forever 21 | Furniture: JPC Event Group | Hair: Ashley Scuilli | Lace Dress with Blue Velvet Waistline: Glitter & Grit | Locations: JPC Event Group office, Hell's Hollow Bridge, & Moraine State Park | Makeup: Ashley Scuilli | Menu Design: Caitlyn Wimer of JPC Event Group | Peacock Bow Tie: Brackish | Photographer: Rachel Rowland Photography | Sparkly Belt: Clarissa Boutique | Velvet Linen & Gray Table Runner: Nuage Designs | Veil: Clarissa Boutique
Vendor-Credit-Shout-Out
China, Place Settings, & Ghost Napoleon Chairs: Event Source | Crystal Headpiece: Clarissa Boutique | Culinary Concepts: Chefs of JPC Event Group | Design Concept: Garnish Event Design | Gray Tulle Dress: DIY by Garnish Event Design | Florals: Garnish Event Design | Furniture: JPC Event Group | Menu Design: Caitlyn Wimer of Garnish Event Design | Sparkly Belt: Clarissa Boutique | Veil: Clarissa Boutique

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Ask Burgh Brides: A Cocktail Style Wedding Reception & Guest Seating

A cocktail style wedding reception can be comfortable, hip, and super fun.  But how do you handle seats for guests, particularly older ones?  Read on, my friend, read on.

Ask Burgh Brides: Do We Need to Provide Seating for Everyone at Our Cocktail Style Wedding Reception?

Bride A writes…

What's your advice for a non-sit down wedding?  I've attended two that had food stations for 2 – 3 hours and music the whole time, so it was a little less traditional.  I love the idea and my venue will work with me to design it.  The problem I'm dealing with is seating.  My fiancé and I only want tables for about 50-60% of the people and some extra high top tables to encourage people to stay up and dance.  We'd still have seats for older people.  But my mom insists on seats for 100% guest list. What are your thoughts?

Hey A!  First of all, kudos to you for thinking outside the box!  Cocktail style receptions are relaxed, modern, and memorable; I personally love the idea of one!  I would just set expectations and state that it is a cocktail style reception on your wedding invitation or website.  Think of any cocktail reception that you've been to – there certainly isn't enough seating for every single person.  The point of a reception in the true sense of the word is to mingle, mix, and work the room.  As long as you provide some seating for elderly guests or those who don't want to dance, you'll be golden.  I would definitely set up lots of high cocktail tables for leaning, setting drinks on, etc. too!  If you want more chairs without more tables, add some extra seating against the wall along the perimeter of the room or set up some amazing vignettes with rented vintage settees or modern lounge furniture.

Does anyone have any other ideas?  Have you been to a cocktail style wedding reception?  Was there seating for everyone?  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.

 

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7 Perks of a Winter Wedding

You may not think January and a wedding go hand-in-hand, but who says you can’t getting married during this time of the year?  There are so many perks to getting married in the winter months.  Here are just a few!

It could save you money.  Everything is cheaper in the off-season, and that goes for weddings too.  If you get married anytime between November and March, and especially in January or February, you could actually save money.  Many vendors run specials to fill up the downtime during winter and you could reap those benefits.  One such vendor is Burgh Brides Vendor Guide member Chestnut Ridge Resort.  Here's what they have to say about it:

A winter wedding on a golf resort in the mountains is unique, breathtakingly scenic, and allows your guests a dose of peaceful relaxation among the flurry of wedding weekend activities.  Specifically at Chestnut Ridge, hosting a wedding from November through March has a host of perks – free suite for the bride and groom,  free champagne toast during your wedding, discounts on your room rental fee, bonus HHonors travel points that you can use toward your honeymoon if you wish, $200 off appetizers for your guests, and more.  January and February often see even more perks including fully inclusive wedding packages.

It’s cozy and romantic.  Who doesn’t love winter?  Sure, it’s freezing but that’s all the more reason to snuggle up next to someone you love.  A fireside ceremony, hot drinks, and cozy fabrics can create an ambiance that is warm and inviting for your guests.

You could have absolutely breathtaking photos.  Although it may seem stark, there is nothing more beautiful than a white wedding dress against crisp snow.  It’s even better when there are some some snow covered pine trees and even a grayish sky in the background.  If you opt for a winter wedding and the weather cooperates just right, your portraits could be totally out of this world.

You can embrace a dark or rich color palette.  I’m all about those jewel tones and dramatic shades.  They don’t always work for a summer wedding, but they are 100% perfect for a winter affair.  A color combo that embraces berry, navy, emerald, pewter, black, marsala, plum, bronze, or the like will look downright ravishing.

Your favorite vendors are probably available.  Wedding pros book up FAST!  But things are a little slower in the off-season.  Your #1 pick for a venue, photographer, florist, and others might have a bit more availability in the winter months.

It might mean a bigger party!  Summer weddings often compete with vacations, sports schedules, and other commitments.  People aren’t too busy in January and February.  This could mean that more of your family and friends can attend to celebrate this momentous occasion in person.

It’s completely outside the box.  EVERYONE gets married in May, June, September, or October.  Literally.  Those are the most popular months for weddings!  Don’t be like everyone else.  Go for something totally unique and memorable instead!

Would you ever consider a winter wedding?  If you’re planning one, why did you decide to get married during this time of the year?  Comment below!

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Bridesmaids Dresses: What’s HOT in 2017 from Bella Bridesmaids

What are the hottest trends when it comes to bridesmaids dresses?  Fresh off their trip to New York Bridal Fashion Week back in October, here are my pals at Bella Bridesmaids to dish on what to dress your ladies in this year.  I'll just be over here obsessing over all of these gorgeous looks!  Hey, if you're ever looking for an extra bridesmaid, I'm always available…(only half joking; please someone give me an excuse to buy one of these amazing gowns!)

From Bella…

Hello ladies!  Bella Bridesmaids here coming at ya on Burgh Brides with the latest and greatest in bridesmaids fashion.  We’re positively giddy over these new collections, so take a seat, grab a champagne, and feast your eyes on what you’ll find waiting for you in our Pittsburgh showroom.

Mauve?  Yes, Mauve.
A color that loved the 1980’s and also might be on your grandmother’s couch.  It’s back!  And it’s better.  With blush being so 2016 (and 2015, and 2014), brides are moving on to a little more color, but still pink.  Mauve is the light and airy version of all the sparkly rose golds we saw and are still seeing in bridesmaid collections.  LA-based Joanna August, known for her boho look, introduced several new colors and she nailed mauve with a shade called Bohemian Rhapsody.  Nouvelle Amsale also just introduced a color aptly named Mauve.  And Monique Lhuillier, whose palette of romantic, neutral shades has been spot on, can give you ombre mauve with shades like Shell, Blush, Rose, and Cerise.  Bonus points for mauve: it is lovely with Pantone’s Color of the Year, greenery.  Mauve bridesmaids dresses, greenery bouquets?  Now that’s a breath of fresh air.

Bridesmaids Dresses: What's HOT in 2017 from Bella Bridesmaids

Left: Jenny Yoo; Right: Amsale

Separates Style
Separates are a great way to make a fashion statement with your bridal party.  Nearly all of our designers opted to introduce separates this season, and we couldn’t be more excited about the options!  Jenny Yoo has added more florals as well as lace and sequin separates options in both her namesake lines and her JY Jenny Yoo for Dessy collection, perfect to mix and match in with just about anything.  For more sequin separates fun, look at these Theia beauties, tailor made for any bridesmaid who wants to stand out from the crowd.  For a dreamy look that still says romance, look no further than Watters sequin and chiffon separates.  And for all things bling, Adrianna Papell introduced sequin and tulle separates.  The best thing about separates?  After the wedding, style them with different pieces from your closet to wear them again and again.

Floral Romance
Nothing says romance quite like floral prints, and our designers really wowed us this season with new patterns and colors that can be worked into any bridal vision.  Amsale joined the party with print additions to her most popular Amsale tulle and Nouvelle Amsale chiffon styles, and their new sequined lace collection brings a little sparkle to the floral look, perfect for mixing and matching together.  Jenny Yoo, the queen of floral prints, added more styles and separates to her floral offering and added five (5!) new print options, all of which can be mixed and matched with her classic chiffon and tulle styles.  She also introduced the Julianna and the Claire, both made of embroidered tulle called Enchanted Floral Lace.  So don’t be afraid of the floral print – it’s a modern bride’s best friend.

Bling for Days
Sparkle is definitely here to stay, thanks to the mixed metallic trend that really wowed us last wedding season.  Our favorite part about bringing the bling is that you can really bring it with a fully beaded gown, or just hint at it with dresses that glimmer in the light but don’t overwhelm you with shine.  For a more subtle approach, look no further than Donna Morgan, Hayley Paige, and Monique Lhuillier.  Donna Morgan’s newest, Carla and Kyle, are glamorous takes on some of their best-selling styles.  Monique Lhuillier introduced metallic chiffon, and Hayley Paige, always fashion forward, added four styles in new Caviar Lace.  Yum!

If Academy Awards sparkle is what you’re looking for, we’ve got that too!  Adrianna Papell, who really started this whole sequin bridesmaid trend, added a new color way (champagne gold!) and a new bead pattern to the classic taupe/pink blouson style.  Theia, Watters and Jenny Yoo also introduced new styles to their sequin offering.  And as you can see, rose gold is still all the rage, but look for new colors like deep reds as well as softer hues this season.

Bridesmaids Dresses: What's HOT in 2017 from Bella Bridesmaids

Left: Watters; Right: Jenny Yoo

Work it, Bridesmaid!
So long, frumpy – say hello to sexy.  Long gone are the days where bridesmaids were buried under yards of fabric.  There are no rules anymore so if you dare to bare, we’ve got you covered – or actually, uncovered!  One of our most anticipated new collections is from designer Katie May, who builds her gowns to accentuate the female form, and that she does!  These sleek, sexy, and form fitting beauties are true showstoppers.  If it’s both sexy and sequin that you’re looking for, Theia offers both fitted sequin dresses and separates that leave little to the imagination.  So go on, girl – if fitted and fabulous is what you want, put your bridesmaids in these jaw-dropping stunners.

2017 is shaping up to be an unforgettable year for bridesmaids.  To see all of these beauties and more, visit our website to schedule your appointment.  See you soon!

xoxo,
The Bella Girls

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Modern Art Deco Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Burgh Brides Vendors

If you're planning an art deco wedding, all of your inspiration dreams are about to come true.

That's because this styled shoot is fit for Jay Gatsby himself.  If Jay Gatsby were a modern gentlemen, that's is.  The vintage vibe of the 1920s and the art deco trend that dominated that era meet modern wedding style and a little bit of edge in this look put together by yours truly, Lindsey Zern Photography, and an exclusive team of Burgh Brides vendors.  Teamwork makes the dream work and this crew made wedding magic happen.  With the sharp contrast of deep ruby red, burgundy, and navy against ivory and gold in mind, the team pieced together a look that was dramatic yet romantic, classic but new.  Cohesive details ran deep, and started with the venue.  A unique history, exposed brick facade, cozy nooks and crannies, and massive showpiece windows made the Union Hall at Bar Marco the perfect backdrop.  Vintage Alley Rentals helped us set the scene with a baroque vintage settee and armchair, while also bringing just a hint of rustic chic with an ornately carved wooden table.  On top was a pop of pink courtesy of Event Source's Antoinette charger plate, which looked fabulous paired with their scallop-edged Duchess dinnerware, brushed gold flatware, and classically shaped Diana glassware.  Metallic gold and burgundy taper candles in Vintage Alley's brass candle sticks added height, while navy blue Nova napkins, also from Event Source, gave the tablescape a dose of dramatic color.  Incorporation of the color palette didn't stop there; Blush Paper Co. wove it into everything from the seating cards to the menu cards to the invitation suite, on which an art deco design brought the intended vibe right to life.  Our table was complete with an assortment of floral arrangements from The Blue Daisy Floral Designs.  Single bud vases, a trio of lush, asymmetrical centerpieces in mercury glass, and one hell of a show-stopping bouquet, complete with peasant feathers and magnolia leaves, will leave even the biggest flower-hater faint of heart.  But that blood will definitely get pumping again when you see the in.cred.ib.le cake and desserts created by Mediterra Bakehouse.  A hand-painted, three-tiered confection, homemade candy apples, and delicate macarons are just a few of the treats adorning our sweets table.  Of course, no styled shoot would be complete without a bride.  While our model Alexa wore her very own wedding dress, her look was completed with dainty and dazzling accessories from Clarissa Boutique – drop earrings, a double bracelet, and a hair piece that looked divine in three different ‘dos whipped up by La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans.  Smoky eyes and a bold lip courtesy of Pure Beauty Makeup Artistry and our modern art deco shoot was complete!

Get your Pin It button ready. You'll want to save more than a few ideas from this shoot to your Dream Wedding board. Then head on over to the Vendor Guide where you can learn more about each member of this talented team (and hire them for your own big day!).

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Bracelet: Clarissa Boutique | Cake: Mediterra Bakehouse | Candlesticks: Vintage Alley Rentals | Desserts: Mediterra Bakehouse | Earrings: Clarissa Boutique | Flatware: Event Source | Florals: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs | Glassware: Event Source | Hair: La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans | Hair Piece: Clarissa Boutique | Invitations: Blush Paper Co. | Makeup: Pure Beauty Makeup Artistry | Photography: Lindsey Zern Photography | Place Settings: Event Source | Stationery: Blush Paper Co. | Vintage Settee & Chair: Vintage Alley Rentals | Venue: The Union Hall at Bar Marco | Wooden Table & Chairs: Vintage Alley Rentals

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Black & White Wedding Inspiration

On the hunt for a color palette that is timeless yet modern?  Then you're going to love today's black & white wedding inspiration.  The look is about as classic as it gets; this color combo will never go out of style.  “Why?”, you ask.  It's chic, sophisticated, and neutral, meaning that if you like a little more splash of color you can incorporate just about any other shade.  My personal favorites?  Pantone's Color of the Year greenery, metallic gold, and berry pink.  It can also be molded to fit almost any wedding and venue style – from traditional ballroom to minimalist arm museum even to whimsical shabby chic.  If it were up to me though, I'd keep it as sleek as I can with clean lines and lots of grown up glam.  Think groomsmen in white tuxedo jackets and black bow ties, a black and white checkered dance floor, and monochromatic flowers.  Anemones are literally perfect for this palette, but I also love ranunculus, tulips, peonies, and magnolias.  If you're confident enough to share the spotlight, surprise your guests by dressing your ladies in white or white and black bridesmaids dresses, even adding in a stripe or polka dot pattern for flair.  However you style it, you can't go wrong.  That's the beauty of a black and white wedding!

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of black and white!  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!

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