Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator: 7 Big Differences

Fewer sentences makes this wedding-planner-turned-wedding-blogger cringe more than:  

  • “We’re having a cash bar.” 
  • “Do we have to feed our wedding vendors?”
  • “I don’t need a wedding planner.  My venue has one.” 

(Insert all of the sad crying face emojis here.) 

Listen, I don’t believe in telling brides and grooms that they NEED to do anything.  I say it’s your wedding; you can do whatever the hell you want!  There are no rules, especially none that states you have to have a wedding planner.  BUT before you totally commit to not hiring one because you think your venue coordinator is basically the same thing as a wedding planner, read this. 

Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator: 7 Big Differences from Burgh Brides

1.) Sales vs. Logistical Planning

A Wedding Planner is…

  • A logistics and creative wizard.  They are hired by YOU to work their magic.  Planners specialize in coordination, execution, and design and can help you with everything from budget tracking and contract negotiation, to finding that perfect shade of blush pink.  They’re in it for you and you alone. 

A Venue Coordinator is…

  • In sales, most likely.  While they may have experience in coordinating and executing events, their job falls within the sales industry.  They have quotas and sales goals to meet and their ultimate responsibility is to serve the venue.  While they might have your best interests at heart, they weren’t HIRED by you and therefore don’t work for YOU. 

2.) Wedding Budget

A Wedding Planner will…

  • Save you money in the long run.  Planners do all that they can to help you stick to your wedding budget and possibly even save you money.  Many planners work with vendors to offer discounts or upgrades to their clients, but more importantly, wedding planners know all the tricks of the trade that will leave your money in your pocket after the wedding day is over. 

A Venue Coordinator will…

  • Be motivated by sales incentives and bonuses.  That might mean they’ll try to push you over your anticipating budget.  They are in sales, after all.  It’s their job, so you can’t really blame them.  Just be aware. 

3.) Vendor Recommendations

A Wedding Planner will…

  • Suggest the best vendors for you based on your wedding style and budget.  They will likely already have worked with those vendors in the past, which means they’ll have a great rapport…which could mean an easy experience for you too!  Additionally, many planners will attend meetings with those vendors with you to ensure that it’s a perfect fit and everyone has all the information they need. 

A Venue Coordinator might…

  • Only suggest those vendors that are on the venue’s preferred list.  The venue may be getting a kick back from these vendors, or that list may be very outdated.  Even if the venue doesn’t have a preferred (or worse, exclusive) list, the venue coordinator might only suggest those vendors who have worked at that venue, which is a disservice to you and all of that other talent out there.   

4.) Ideas & Inspiration

A Wedding Planner will…

  • Make creative design suggestions for every aspect of your wedding, like how to display your escort cards in an eye-catching way to which hair accessory will go best with your wedding dress style.  Wedding planners loooooove details and they will offer their design expertise so that every last one of them at your wedding is styled to perfection. 

A Venue Coordinator might…

  • Offer up some design ideas.  Or they might not.  It all depends on how involved they want to be in your creative process.  But if they do, those suggestions will likely revolve solely around the venue, not the entire wedding as a whole. 

5.) Vendor Management

A Wedding Planner will…

  • Work with ALL of your vendors throughout the planning process.  They’ll negotiate contracts on your behalf, they’ll make sure your wishes are being carried out, and they’ll make sure everyone knows what time to arrive and what to do when they get there. 

A Venue Coordinator will…

  • Likely only work with those vendors that impact the venue…the linen company, florist, DJ, caterer, etc.  But what about everyone else, like your makeup artist, hair stylist, or the limo?  The jobs of these vendors are usually done before getting to the venue, so the coordinator there likely won’t ever contact them. 

6.) The Ceremony & Rehearsal

A Wedding Planner will…

  • Conduct the ceremony and rehearsal no matter its location.  Church, synagogue, local park, your own backyard, the random street block that you’ve shut down just so you can say I Do…it doesn’t matter.  Your wedding planner will be there to make sure your walk down the aisle is totally flawless. 

A Venue Coordinator will…

  • Conduct the rehearsal only if your ceremony is also taking place at your reception venue.  They won’t travel to another location to make sure the best man has the rings or that there is a lighter next to the unity candle.   

7.) On Your Wedding Day

A Wedding Planner will…

  • Likely be the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at the end of the night.  The person you spent months working with to make sure your wedding day is exactly what you’ve imagined will physically be there to carry out on those wishes and make your dreams come true! 

A Venue Coordinator will…

  • Probably leave after dinner is served.  That isn’t to say you’ll be totally on your own!  It’s just that after the meal, usually a banquet captain is put in charge to make sure the rest of the night goes smoothly, in terms of catering anyways.  Your DJ and photographer will likely have to jump in to make sure other events like the cake cutting, garter toss, and sparkler exit are executed according to plan.  BUT that also means your DJ and photographer are then paying less attention to what THEY were hired to do. 

Hey, I’m not knocking venue coordinators!  I know many of them and they are all very hard working and dedicated, and the impact they can have on your wedding day even varies from venue to venue.  But I like being honest with you; it’s one reason people love Burgh Brides so much.  And if I’m being totally honest, there are some big differences between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator.  Maybe you need a planner, maybe you don’t.  But at least now you can hopefully make a better informed decision! 

What do you think?  Did your venue have a coordinator?  What did he or she do?  Did you hire a wedding planner?  Why or why not?  Comment below! 

Planning Your Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon with The Wine Road

So all of my posts have convinced you to take a Sonoma wine country honeymoon, huh?  Good for you!  You will NOT regret it!  There is no other place that combines romance, relaxation, and adventure quite like Sonoma, CA.  But where to begin with all of that planning?  Half of the battle of a planning a honeymoon is actually planning a honeymoon.  The researching and Googling and looking at photos hoping they’re actually accurate and you don’t end up in a total dump of a hotel…ugh, it’s exhausting.  To ease all of that honeymoon planning stress, check out The Wine Road.  Here’s just how they can help you plan the post-wedding trip of your dreams!

Planning Your Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon with The Wine Road featured on Burgh Brides

The Wine Road is a unique organization comprised of the best wineries, bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, and other accommodations in Sonoma county.

Their mission is not only to enhance the area through tourism, but also to make sure guests don’t miss one single bit of wonder the valley has to offer.  Their website offers a comprehensive list of must sees, dos, drinks, and eats, making trip planning a breeze.

But to make it even easier, try the Wine Road's concierge service.

For absolutely no fee whatsoever, a real live person will discover your accommodation, activity, and budget preferences and will create custom recommendations tailored just for you.  A complete itinerary of wine tours, tastings, recreations, restaurants, even transportation and lodging, and all you have to do is answer a few questions.  It’s like having your own personal Sonoma county travel agent and there’s seriously no cost.  Did I mention it’s totally free?

Planning Your Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon with The Wine Road featured on Burgh Brides

Stayed in the adorable Camellia Inn, thanks to The Wine Road!

Planning Your Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon with The Wine Road featured on Burgh Brides

Hot air ballooning on your honeymoon bucket list? The Wine Road can make some great recs, like Up & Away Ballooning!

If you like the idea of planning your trip or if you prefer to explore Sonoma on your own, get the Wine Road tasting pass.

Planning Your Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon with The Wine Road featured on Burgh Brides

Tasting “darn fine barn wine” at J. Rickards Winery

Thirty bucks gets you free wine flights at over 60 wineries, allowing you to sample as you go or check them all out.  But if you’re like me and don’t really know the difference between a pinot noir and a cabernet, the Wine Road can help with that too.  Their website features a whole section full of wine tasting tips and even a glossary of wine terms.  You’ll be sippin’ like a pro in no time.

Planning Your Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon with The Wine Road featured on Burgh Brides

Zialena means Aunt Lena in Italian. The logo even features the family ravioli stamp!

After you’ve arrive in Sonoma, the Wine Road can help you on the ground too.

Their comprehensive maps of Sonoma wineries (yes, a printed, hard copy, physical map that folds up…remember those?) comes in super hand when you’re in the valley and can’t pull up Google maps on your phone (no service!).  This baby will get you from point A to point B, although I’d highly recommend just hiring a driver for the day.  The Wine Road can help with that too!

Planning Your Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon with The Wine Road featured on Burgh Brides

From social media to their podcast to their blog and even an app, it’s easy to stay connected with the Wine Road.

I highly suggest giving them a follow to see if they’re a good fit for your honeymoon plans.  And if so, then holler at them for the trip of a lifetime!

While this post was sponsored by The Wine Road, all opinions, insight, and recommendations are my own.

Thinking of honeymooning in northern CA?  Don't miss my Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List and my Guide to Sonoma County Wineries!

Want to read what others are saying?  Check out these posts from my friends at Apple Brides and United with Love!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas You’re Bound to LOVE

Calling all sweethearts!  These Valentine's Day gift ideas will help you celebrate February 14th in style.  Ranging from inexpensive and heartfelt trinkets to always romantic jewelry to sentimental home decor, these Etsy finds are sure to put you in the mood for love.  While you don't technically need a mid-winter, likely-invented-by-retail-companies-holiday to express your feelings, being a little extra romantic and thoughtful on V-Day never hurt anyone.  So go ahead and get your shopping on!

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

  1. Home is Wherever I'm with You Print $10
  2. XOXO Tic Tac Toe Necklace $54
  3. 52 Reasons Why I Love You Custom Deck of Cards $65
  4. 14k Gold Stacking Rings $185
  5. All You Need is Love Print $4.99
  6. Love Journal Notebook $28
  7. Sassy Periodic Table of Elements Valentine's Day Card $5
  8. Valentine's Day Pencil Pack $10
  9. Red Heart French Knot Embroidery Art $30.15
  10. Boho Red Heart Ornament $15
  11. You're My Favorite Person Mug $13.99
  12. Husband To Be Card $5.72
  13. Personalized Song Lyric Pillow $28
  14. Couples Infinity Pillow $29.50
  15. Date Night Ideas $17.75

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs!

While you're busy planning that wedding, don't forget about life after the big day.  Making a home with someone can be fun, stressful, and difficult all at the same time.  Whether you're just moving in together or have cohabited for quite some time, I'm sure you can agree that merging two lives isn't always the easiest thing to do.  While you're arguing over whose furniture to keep and whose artwork to hang on the walls, remember that you absolutely need to agree one thing – a mattress!  Think about it…it's the one thing that you'll both use every.single.night.  A good night's sleep is literally the best thing you can do for your body and mood, so selecting the right mattress is crucial.  Lucky for you, I've found it and I'm so excited to tell you all about this bed in a box from Tomorrow Sleep!

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

Touting itself as “the most comfortable hybrid mattress,” Tomorrow Sleep uniquely combines memory foam support with coil springs.  They also have an entire line of pillows, sheets, and other bedroom must haves that work in conjunction with the mattress for an overall sleep experience.  Sold exclusively on Tomorrow's website, these products get rave reviews and score lightyears ahead of comparable brands.  So when Tomorrow Sleep offered to send me a mattress to try out, I jumped at the chance.

Prior to this, my husband and I had a traditional queen sized mattress that we topped with a memory foam pad.  I usually slept well but always felt a little tired during the day, but I just assumed it was because I work 87 hours every day (joking).  After about a month of using our new Tomorrow Sleep mattress and their sleep tracking device, I can see how wrong I was.  Now, I'm literally obsessed with our bed and can't wait to hit the hay at the end of the day.  Here are just a few reasons why!

Easy Unpacking

I have never ordered a mattress online before, but I just assumed it would come in an enormous box.  I was a bit worried because our house is old and the staircase is pretty narrow; I had no idea how my husband and I were going to get a queen size mattress up to our bedroom.  Imagine my delight when our Tomorrow Sleep arrived in a box smaller than I am (20” X 20” X 42”)!  It weighed about 100 lbs, but we hauled it upstairs with minimal effort and opened it up.

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

This literal mattress in a box was vacuumed packed and folded, but we cut open the packaging using a cute, handy dandy branded letter opener that was included.  Our new mattress was laying flat on our boxspring in a matter of minutes, and I couldn't wait to lie down!

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

Cool Comfort

Like I mentioned, Tomorrow's mattresses consist of a memory foam/coil hybrid.  This unique combination allows your body to be supported but also cool.  There is nothing I hate more than being too hot in the middle of the night; I'd rather be too cold than too hot!  Traditional mattresses can be dense, trapping heat and causing you to sweat (gross).  Tomorrow's memory foam allows air to circulate, keeping your body temp regulated.  The coils flex individually, meaning pressure isn't dispersed throughout the entire mattress.  So every time my husband moves or gets up for a midnight snack (which he often does), I am not woken up.  I love my husband but sharing a bed isn't always the most fun thing (don't mess with me and my sleep).  Our new mattress is a very close second to actually having my own bed again!

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

A Built In Brain

Not all sleep is the same.  To get more insight on what kind of sleep we were getting, Tomorrow also sent us a pair of Sleeptracker Monitors.  About the size of a credit card, this device is little but mighty.  It works in conjunction with the mattress to track heart rate, breathing rate, body temp, amount of light sleep, length of REM cycles, and body movements.  It then provides a daily analysis and “sleep score” via their mobile app.  I can even answer questions about that day's exercise, stress level, and screen time.  Why is this info important?  Over time, you can find a correlation between these numbers and your sleep quality.  Then you can adjust things like your bed time, bedroom temperature, and even your night time eating habits to improve your shut eye.  As Tomorrow puts it, they believe “the better you understand what you do while you sleep, the more you can improve how you feel when you step out of bed.”

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

Complete Sleep System

More than a mattress company, Tomorrow offers products to enhance your overall sleeping experience.  With memory foam and plush pillows, 500 thread count sheet sets, an all-season comforter, a mattress protector, and even blackout drapes, Tomorrow can improve the time spent in your bedroom one accessory at a time.  I've used a memory foam pillow for years but admittedly, mine has seen better days.  I can't wait to add one of Tomorrow's to my nightly routine!

The Bedroom Must Have Every Newlywed Home Needs from Burgh Brides: A Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

100 Night Trial

Nervous about buying a mattress online?  I don't blame you.  But Tomorrow's 100 Nights Risk-Free guarantee, coupled with their free 2-3 day shipping and returns, they  make it pretty hard to say no.  If you don't love your new mattress after 100 days, they'll take it back; no questions asked and no matter the condition it's in.  They'll even send someone to pick it up so you don't have to worry about shipping it back.  A policy like that speaks to just how much they believe you're going to enjoy it.  You really have nothing to lose.

Save $100 NOW!

Have I convinced you yet?  No?  How about I sweeten the deal even further?

Use the code BURGH100 and get $100 off any $500 purchase through March, 31, 2018!

Then come back here and let me know what you think of your new mattress!  I just know you're going to love it!

Want to know what others are saying about Tomorrow Sleep?  Read these posts from my blogger friends!

While this post was sponsored by Tomorrow Sleep, all opinions, insight, and recommendations are my own.

Ice Blue & Silver Wedding Inspiration Perfect for a Winter Day!

For a frosty and fabulous color palette, consider an ice blue & silver wedding.  When done right, this combo can be amazingly beautiful.  Go for a muted, almost gray shade of blue and avoid anything that reminds you of something you'd see on Frozen.  When mixed with metallic silver, it's a stunning backdrop for a winter wedding.  To make it work in a way that wows, I say skip the white wedding dress.  Gasp!  I know, I know.  But trust me on this one…you will turn heads in the BEST way possible.  Go for a bridal look that embraces the trendy ice blue dress and you'll be a modern day Cinderella.  Dress your maids in a silver sequins and your gents in modern navy tuxedos.  I say keep your flowers monochromatic white but add bits of blue thistle, silver brunia, and even dusty miller to bring subtle color to the arrangements.  Silver rimmed charger plates, mercury glass, an embellished cake, and other crystal details and you've got a healthy dose of glam.  Ice blue and silver is a modern take on the classic princess wedding palette.  It's a new favorite of mine for sure!

For even more ice blue & silver wedding ideas, visit my Pinterest board!  And then tell me what you think of this palette!  What do you like about it?  Are you using any of these colors in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

A Carnegie Science Center Wedding: 6 Reasons Why It’s a Really Good Idea

If you’re looking for a venue that combines quirky fun with that traditional wedding feel, a Carnegie Science Center wedding just might be for you.  This city space offers it all.  From unique ceremony spots to say I Do, to funky backdrops for portraits, to cozy exhibit spaces for cocktail hour, to multiple rooms for the main event, there is room for all of your big day’s moments at the Science Center.  When you combine the child-like wonder of a science museum with the traditional elements of a wedding, you get an experience you and your guests won’t soon forget.  If this sounds like something you’re looking for, here are 6 reasons why hosting your wedding at the Carnegie Science Center might be a really good idea!

There’s a BRAND NEW space!

A Carnegie Science Center Wedding: 6 Reasons It's a Really Good Idea from Burgh Brides

In just a few short months, the Science Center will open its brand-spankin’ new PointView Hall.  This flexible event space will hold up to 400 guests for a banquet style reception, but it can be divided if your party isn’t quite that large.  Decked in a neutral color scheme with contemporary features, the hall will be well-suited for just about any wedding style and palette.  But PointView Hall’s best feature is undoubtedly the open terrace space overlooking the Point.  Talk about breathtaking views!  Can you just imagine a cocktail hour here, or evening portraits as the sun is setting?  GOR-GEOUS.  Trust me when I say this – PointView Hall is bound to be the new IT venue in Pittsburgh!  Get in while the gettin’s good!

There’s something for everyone!

If PointView Hall doesn’t fit your vision, fear not.  The museum boasts several other event spaces that are perfect for the couple who is looking for something a little more unique.  From exhibit spaces to the Buhl Planetarium to the Works Theater and more, the Science Center can accommodate small AND large crowds while providing as much of (or as little of) a science-infused environment as you want.

They team up with some talented vendors!

Your guests’ taste buds will be treated to amazing cuisine from Culinaire, the Science Center’s exclusive caterer.  From hors d’oeuvres to a 5-course dinner, everything cooked up by these talented chefs looks Instagram-worthy and tastes even better.  Want to incorporate a little science-inspiration into your menu too?  Wow your family and friends with Culinaire’s liquid-nitrogen cocktails or smoothies!  While they are the sole food and beverage provider at the museum, you’re free to hire any other vendor that you like, allowing you to shop around for the best fit and price!

It’s convenient, and there are tons of amenities!

Located on the North Shore, the Carnegie Science Center is easy to get to from just about any direction.  Your guests who are prone to getting lost will thank you.  Plus, the museum’s on-site parking lots will make their trip even easier.  For those out-of-towners who need a place to crash for the weekend, several hotels are located just up the street, near the stadiums.  Don’t want your night to end after the DJ plays the last song?  An after-party at the Rivers Casino next door or at one of the many North Shore bars sounds like a great idea!

There are lots of great photo ops!

Ever dream of having your picture taken in a space ship?  How about in a planetarium under the stars?  Or next to a robot?  All of these – and more – can happen at the Science Center because the museum is chock full of cool spots for portraits.  I love when couples infuse a little personality into their wedding day photos, and what better place to do so than a venue that is whimsical, interactive, and out-of-this-world (quite literally)?  Do you just have.to.have a wedding day photo with a bridge in the background because it’s SO PITTSBURGH?  Done and done, thanks to the PointView Hall’s patio space that overlooks the river, Point State Park, and several bridges.

It’s an unforgettable experience!

At what other venue can you find in-house entertainment?  When you host your wedding at the Carnegie Science Center, you have the option of letting your guests explore the museum while they’re there!  Jaws will drop and smiles will grow as play and engaging with the exhibits is encouraged.  Kick things up a notch with a hands-on cocktail hour experience, or just let the guests who tire of dancing traipse about the museum at night.  Either way, I am certain they’ll be talking about what a fun and memorable wedding you hosted for many years to come!

If you’re still venue shopping, I encourage you to check out the Carnegie Science Center.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find a space that is as creative and memorable!

Glassworks Pittsburgh: 6 Reasons to Create a Wedding Registry at this Local Boutique!

If you frequent Shadyside or Squirrel Hill, you’re familiar with the beautiful boutique that is Glassworks Pittsburgh.  A purveyor of chic and modern table top finds, Glassworks offers a plethora of gift ideas and treat-yo-self splurges.  From fine china, tableware accessories, and stemware to every day dinnerware and serving pieces, there’s something for every occasion and style, making it an excellent option for wedding registries!  If you’re looking for some unique pieces to start your new life together, here are 6 reasons why Glassworks is THE place to shop!

Shopping small and local is cool.

Glassworks Pittsburgh: 6 Reasons to Create a Wedding Registry at this Local Boutique from Burgh Brides!

Forget Target, Macy’s, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  Hit up your neighborhood mom and pop shop instead.  When you shop small, you support an entrepreneur and their dream and help to keep a neighborhood vibrant.  Your support means more to them than you probably realize.  It’s the reason you’ll be treated like a friend instead of “customer.”

You’ll see some familiar names.

Glassworks Pittsburgh: 6 Reasons to Create a Wedding Registry at this Local Boutique from Burgh Brides!

Oneida, Missoni, Reidel, MacKenzie Childs, Michael Aram, Vietri, Baccarat, Nambe, Mariposa, William Yeoward.  These are just a few of the recognizable brands you’ll find at Glassworks.  In fact, they carry many of the same lines that you’ll find in your favorite national department store.  While the store itself may be boutique and your shopping experience customized, you won’t have any trouble finding the household names you know and love.

You’ll find lots of unique items.

Glassworks Pittsburgh: 6 Reasons to Create a Wedding Registry at this Local Boutique from Burgh Brides!

A wedding and a marriage are worth celebrating with something extra special.  I love when couples splurge for that one item that will remind them of their big day, and guests love giving memorable gifts too.  Whether it’s an engraved sterling silver frame, a gold-rimmed ruffle crystal cake stand, or a keepsake platter customized with your names and wedding date, there are lots of unique pieces that make for an unforgettable gift.

It’s where classic style meets the modern couple.

Glassworks Pittsburgh: 6 Reasons to Create a Wedding Registry at this Local Boutique from Burgh Brides!

Let’s face it.  Lifestyles are becoming more casual and fluid.  Not too many people still register for silver flatware and bone china.  But if that is your thing, Glassworks has it!  Fancy place settings and crystal champagne flutes are just some of the higher end items they carry.  On the other hand, if you’re more of the everyday couple, Glassworks has plenty for you too.  This shop is on the forefront of trends and modern day living, while also still offering the timeless pieces that will never go out of style

It’s convenient for you and your gift-givers.

With two locations – Walnut Street in Shadyside and Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill – it’s easy to get to a Glassworks no matter what side of town you live on.  Creating your registry in person can easily be done on a weeknight or Saturday afternoon, while your local family and friends can pop by and pick up their gift of choice at any time.  Prefer to do everything online?  No problem.  The Glassworks website is fully stocked with their in-store selection and you can create a registry with a few clicks of the mouse.  They handle gift wrapping, packaging, and shipping like a boss too, making shopping simple for out-of-towners!

You’ll be treated to a personalized registry and shopping experience.

When you shop at Glassworks boutique, you’ll get just that – a boutique experience.  Highly focused and intimate, the Glassworks registry creation process is all about getting to know your style and needs.  The knowledgeable and helpful staff will walk you through the steps, making sure that every room in your new home is covered and that the selections match your lifestyle.  When purchasing their gifts, your friends and family are extended the same pampering.  You simply don’t receive treatment like this is a big box store.

Swing by Shadyside Glassworks location to start your registry or visit their website to check out their selection.  I guarantee you’ll find all sorts of goodies that will be great as you start this new chapter of your life!

Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco: Jess & Jacob

When it comes to proposals, some guys like to go big or go home.  When Jacob decided to pop the question to Jess, he wanted something uber romantic.  To help with all of the details, he enlisted the help of Exhale Events, who then had 48 hours to put together a team of A+ vendors, design the perfect proposal set up, and execute it flawlessly for the couple.  Hotel Monaco's Rialto Suite rooftop provided a backdrop of the city while Jacob dropped to one knee under a floral arch made of vintage ladders from Vintage Alley Rentals, fresh greenery and flowers from Sapphire & Lace Design, calligraphy wooden signs, and twinkling candlelight.  After saying YES and a mini photo shoot with Abbie Tyler Photography, the couple celebrated with their family and friends.  If this isn't the most romantic way to start an engagement, I don't know what is.  Congrats to the bride and groom to be!

Sweetheart Table Ideas: Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Wedding Signs: Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Proposal Ideas: Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Wedding Ceremony Ideas: Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides Surprise Rooftop Proposal at Hotel Monaco from Exhale Events and Abbie Tyler Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the proposal planner…

According to Jacob, this modern day romance began when the pair matched on Tinder.  He was finishing his residency in Pittsburgh and getting ready to make a move to South Carolina, so he was a bit apprehensive to reach out, knowing he had to leave soon.  However, something told him that he had to meet her, so he decided to throw all caution to the wind.  After dating Jessica for a few weeks, Jacob decided to cancel his move to remain in Pittsburgh.  As he recalls, “one of my friends said that if you meet a girl from Pittsburgh and fall in love, you’re likely to never leave the Burgh.”

For the proposal, Jacob wanted something very romantic, but the details were up to us given the 48 hour time frame we had to work with.  His only real request was that he wanted “Crash into Me” by Dave Matthews Band playing when he proposed.  We were able to catch a bit of the proposal from our hiding spot and it brought a little tear to our eyes. You can tell how much Jacob loves her just from the way he looks at her.

After the couple got engaged and did a mini photo shoot with Abbie, Jacob had a private dinner prepared for Jessica.  Little did she know, she was in for one more surprise.  All of their closest friends came to celebrate that evening in the hotel suite.  There was champagne flowing and appetizers shared on that gorgeous summer night.  A perfect cap to a romantic evening.

Vendors

Catering & Desserts: Hotel Monaco | Flowers: Sapphire & Lace Design | Lighting: Pittsburgh Wedding Rentals | Location: Hotel Monaco | Photography: Abbie Tyler Photography | Proposal Planner: Exhale Events | Signs: Twenty Sixth and Sketch | Vintage Ladder Arch: Vintage Alley Rentals

Flowers: Sapphire & Lace Design | Proposal Planner: Exhale Events | Vintage Ladder Arch: Vintage Alley Rentals

10 Wedding Planning Mistakes Not to Make!

If you have never planned a wedding before (and really…who, besides a wedding planner, has?), you may not know where to start, what to expect, what to do, or more importantly, what not to do.  For those that don’t know any better, the walk down the aisle is littered with missteps.  To save you from experiencing wedding regret, I put together a list of 10 wedding planning mistakes brides and grooms commonly make.  Consider yourself warned (and adjust accordingly if there is still time!).   

10 Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid from Burgh Brides

1.) Assuming DIY is cheaper

It isn’t always!  By the time you buy the materials and tools needed, a project may end up costing you just as much, or perhaps even more, than a professional would have.  Also, ask yourself what your time is worth.  If you spend 30 hours DIYing something in order to save $50, is it really time well spent?  Me thinks not.   

2.) Or DIYing too much

Hey, I love a good DIY wedding as much as anyone.  But like all good things, DIY is best in moderation.  Doing it yourself can be stressful, expensive (see above), and it doesn’t always turn out as planned.  Pick and choose your DIY projects carefully so as to not totally stress yourself out.  Then, leave the rest to the pros. 

3.) Not hiring a day-of coordinator

I know some people will disagree with me.  That’s fine.  But I will politely argue that a day-of wedding coordinator is worth every.single.penny.  You don’t want to spend the morning of your big day putting the proverbial icing on your wedding cake (that’s a metaphor, people).  You want to be relaxing with your ladies, getting pampered, and soaking in every moment…not decorating tables, worrying about whether the DJ has shown up yet, or Googling “How to pin on a boutonniere”.  Hiring a coordinator actually lets you be a bride!  A full coordinator can even help you with the design process, mapping out the day’s timeline, and perhaps even save money!   

4.) Not allotting enough time for getting ready, receiving line, family photos, etc.

These things take waaaaaay longer than you think.  Putting on your dress, shoes, jewelry, garter, and other pieces can easily take 30 minutes – even longer if you have a corset or button back.  A receiving line for 150 people is another 30 – 45 minutes (literally everyone will want to hug you!)  And family photos really can’t be accomplished in 5 minutes unless your photographer is a wizard.  Running over on one aspect pushes the entire day back or will force you to shorten others.  Ask your vendors how much time to allot for the big moments and then keep a watch handy (sounds like a good job for the best man)!   

5.) Allowing your day to become someone else’s day (i.e. not setting boundaries).

A wedding day never belongs to just the engaged couple.  It's also a special day for the parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.  It's really fantastic when those other folks want to be heavily involved in the planning process, but you have to know where to draw the line.  Don't allow yourself to be pressured into making decisions that don't reflect you and your fiance.  At times, you might need to stand your ground and be firm, but it's better than feeling like your wedding is no longer under your control.

6.) Not being flexible with dates, vendor selection, etc.

If you have your heart set on a certain date, venue, or photographer, act fast.  Otherwise, you could be disappointed when your favorites are already booked.  With that being said, try to also be flexible.  Is there another date you could choose?  There are so many talented vendors in this area that you’re bound to find another that you love just as much.  Be flexible and go with the flow.  Which brings me to my next point… 

7.) Expecting perfection

I hate to break it to you but it’s not going to happen.  Something will go wrong.  Maybe it will be something small or maybe it will be kind of a big deal.  But it’s how you react to it that matters.  In the end, you’ll still be married to the love of your life!  NOTHING will change that…not even mismatched napkins, no-show guests, or a little rain.  Take this minute to accept the fact that there will be some hiccups.  Now move on!   

8.) Not creating cohesion

Your wedding should have common threads woven through all aspects of it.  This is usually what people mean when they refer to your wedding theme or style.  Haphazardly pieced-together elements can leave your guests wondering what look you were going for.  Settle on a style that best matches your personality and your venue and stick with it.  Don’t overload your guests (and your photos) with too many different looks no matter what becomes popular on Pinterest! 

9.) Not doing your research

Do your homework, people.  Those of you who have never planned a wedding will likely be floored at what some things cost.  I’m not saying things are overpriced but that’s just the reality of the industry.  Knowing the average cost of a caterer, florist, DJ, photographer, etc. will help you determine an appropriate budget and save you from experiencing sticker shock later.   

10.) Not being nice

In my opinion, the number one, worst mistake you can make is not being a kind, gracious, glowing bride.  No one wants to deal with a crazy person.  Don’t be that girl!  Revisit my tips on how to be the best bride you can be!   

Any former Burgh Brides out there willing to admit some of the mistakes they made?  What lessons did you learn while planning your wedding?  Anything you wish you would have known ahead of time or done differently?  Comment below! 

10 Things You’ll Learn When You Get Engaged

Believe it or not, there are a few things you'll learn when you get engaged.  Whether you’ve been engaged for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years, I’m sure that preparing for marriage and planning a wedding have taught you a few lessons.  Who knew an engagement ring came along with such a learning curve?  Prepared to be schooled because here are 10 things you’ll learn when you say YES!

Whether or not it was the proposal you thought it was going to be, it was perfect in its own way.

Maybe you dreamed of a big, public proposal with all of the bells and whistles but instead got a quiet, heartfelt moment at home.  Maybe something crazy happened, the ring was dropped, and you had to look for it on your hands and knees.  However your proposal went down, I’m willing to bet good money that it was still pretty awesome.

The questions start the minute you get engaged.  And they don’t ever stop.

When’s the big day?  What are your colors?  What kind of dress are you going to wear?  WHEN ARE YOU HAVING KIDS?  Omg the interrogations.  Meanwhile you’ve been engaged for a hot minute and literally haven’t thought of any of this yet.  People mean well but it can be sooooo annoying.  Just smile, bite your tongue, try to be polite, and then scream internally.

People can be rude.

Hellooooo the question about having kids!  Remember that opinions are like belly buttons; everyone has one.  And unfortunately, some people feel it’s ok to voice theirs when it comes to your engagement.  You’ll hear all kinds of thoughts on the proposal, your ring size, hell probably even your fiancé.  They’ll ask if they’ll be invited to the wedding, if they can bring a date, and if they have to bring a gift.  Again, just smile and nod and be a gracious bride.  Then hit the gym to work out some of that pent up anger.

But mostly everyone will be really happy for you!

I mean who doesn’t love a wedding?  An engagement just makes people feel good because it gives me them hope and, if they’re already married, reminds them of their own special time.  So know that for every person who does have a snarky comment about your proposal (see above), there are dozens of others who are genuinely excited for you!

You’ll catch yourself staring at your engagement ring.  Like all the time.

It’s one of those things that you’ll start doing subconsciously and before you know it, it’s been five minutes and you can’t take your eyes off your finger.  I’ve been married for over four years and I still catch myself doing this.  The novelty never wears off 😉

You don’t HAVE to start planning your wedding right away.

As a matter of fact, I would advise that you NOT.  Being engaged is SUCH a special time; there’s literally no other period in your life like it.  I say ENJOY IT.  Take your time, revel in the new relationship status, and just relax.  Once the wedding day is here, the engagement period is over.  So I say milk it for all it’s worth!

Planning a wedding can be really hard.

It’s seriously no easy task.  There are dozens of vendors to hire, thousands of dollars to spend, and a million decisions to make.  No wonder so many couples find it overwhelming.  While all of the pretty details might seem fun to coordinate, know that you have a really big task ahead of you.  It doesn’t have to be super stressful, but it will be a lot of work!

And making a guest list can be even harder.

Friends and family members add up quickly!  While you might want every single person in your life present on your big day, your budget likely won’t allow it.  Don’t forget that your fiancé will have his or her own guest list as well!  Plus, the parents will likely have input.  Ahhhhh where do you cut it off?  I can’t answer that for you.  Just know that it will take quite a bit of time…and quite a bit of wine…to nail down!

It’s your day!  But it’s also not.

The wedding doesn’t just belong to the couple.  It’s also a special day for parents, grandparents, siblings, and really close family members.  So while you and your fiancé might be the center of attention, there will be others that you’ll need to take into consideration when making wedding decisions.  I am a firm believer that your wedding should be reflective of YOU, but you’ll need to strike a fine balance between that and keeping the peace among family members.

Setting expectations early on can really help you in the long run.

With the above being said, I do think there are some things you can do to make sure the wedding stays under your control.  Managing expectations from the very beginning can pay dividends.  If you’re always dreamed of an intimate beach wedding, tell your family members up front about the plan to keep things small.  Hate the thought of having a bridal party?  The sooner you let everyone know it’ll just be you and your fiancé, the better.  Stick to your guns on the things that are most important to you.  Not everyone will agree but hopefully they’ll respect your wishes.

If you just got engaged, have you experienced any of these things yet?  What were some things you learned after you said Yes?  How did you deal with them?  Comment below!