Carefree Woodsy Engagement Session: Evelyn & Bryce

Mother Nature has never taken my breath away quite like she did during my first visit to a redwood forest.  Muir Woods in San Francisco is absolutely incredible.  I've never felt so small yet so inspired.  Today's featured engagement photos give me a similar feeling.

Evelyn absolutely loves photos taken in the woods.  In fact, her dream wedding would be in a redwood forest.  But since we don't really have those around these parts, she settled for a close second best – an e-session with Cara Rufenacht Creative in a few of our state parks.  The threesome traveled to Linn Run State Park and Laurel Summit State Park to capture Evelyn and Bryce's love story while being completely surrounded by the beauty of nature.  A simple flower crown of baby's breath and an off-the-shoulder maxi dress were the perfect attire for the carefree vibe.  The goal was to let the magnificent trees, the abundant foliage, and the gorgeous sunlight play a major role in these images, and I think they did just that.  I don't know what's more beautiful…the incredible landscape or the sweet and genuine love these two share for each other.  You be the judge.

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

Carefree Woodsy Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Cara Rufenacht Creative Featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

When Evelyn sent me her idea for this session I was so excited because I knew these images were going to be meaningful for them.  She told me that she loves pictures in the woods; her dream wedding would be in a redwood forest.  “Seriously, I cried the first time I saw a redwood forest,” Evelyn told me.

We don't have redwoods here in Pittsburgh, but we do have lots of beautiful state parks.  We visited Linn Run State Park and Laurel Summit State Park during their session.  My favorite part of this session is how the images capture both the magic of the environment and the casual and relaxed personalities of Evelyn and Bryce.  They were a dream to work with.

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Elegant Black & White Wedding at the Carnegie Museum: Maggie & Sean

Is there anything more elegant than a black and white wedding?  It's the quintessential wedding color palette.  Couple it with clean lines and a gorgeous venue like the Carnegie Museum and you've got yourself one classy and chic day.  When Maggie and Sean tied the knot, that's the exact look they were going for.  The museum's Hall of Sculpture provided a stately setting for the bride and groom to exchange vows, and the majestic Music Hall Foyer was the perfect space to celebrate the occasion with dinner and dancing.  But while the pair wanted a wedding that was timeless and effortless beautiful, they also wanted to throw a giant party for all of their family and friends.  Some noteworthy details of Maggie and Sean's formal yet fun day, include:

  • Those flowers!  Since Maggie's favorite blooms are anything white, selecting the bouquets and elevated centerpieces was kind of easy.  To bring color to the spaces, Mocha Rose incorporated boxwood hedges and topiaries, both of which played double duty.  First, they flanked the ceremony spot and then they served as the backdrop to the bar and as a frame for the reception band's stage.
  • A whopper of a wedding cake.  Seriously, this one was stunning!  Five tiers of naked cake separated by buttercream and white roses…I mean, come on!  Cake is my weakness but even I might refrain from eating this one because it's so beautiful.
  • Elite Show Band brought the party to this wedding!  Instead of having guests take their seats following the cocktail hour, the band played a short set first.  Talk about starting things off on the right foot!  Folks were even dancing between dinner courses!  Wait until you see the photos…it looks like it was a real par-tay!
  • Rather than having a cookie table, Maggie and Sean switched things up a bit.  Waiters passed vanilla, caramel, and marzipan macarons alongside vanilla and chocolate milkshake shooters.  Yum-o.
  • Also worth mentioning is this bride and groom's attire.  Maggie was a vision of elegance and grace in an Anne Barge beaded bodice number.  Her hair, makeup, and jewelry were kept simple.  Sean also looked very GQ in a white coat tuxedo.

Elizabeth Craig Photography was there to capture every last chic detail.  And boy are there a lot of them.  So bit back, relax, and enjoy.  Things are about to get really pretty.

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

 

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

 

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Elegant Black & White Pittsburgh Wedding at the Carnegie Museum from Elizabeth Craig Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Sean and I met while living in Washington, DC.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Sean proposed when we were in Pittsburgh visiting my parents over Memorial Day weekend.  As soon as we got to Pittsburgh, he wanted to go for a walk down by The Point.  I thought it was a little odd to leave my parents as soon as we arrived, but I went with it.  I wanted to walk one way around the park, but he insisted we go the other way, knowing my parents were there.  When we got to the fountain, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I was so happy he included my parents.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
In grade school, I took art classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art and I always thought it would be the perfect venue to get married.  Thankfully, Sean felt the same way.

Our goal was to combine a formal wedding with an awesome party for our family and friends.  Elite Show Band definitely brought the party.  Not once throughout the night was the dance floor empty.  Guests were even on the dance floor between dinner courses.

What inspired your vision?
Both the Music Hall Foyer and Hall of Sculpture are beautiful rooms on their own, so we didn't feel we needed to do a lot to them.  To accent the Hall of Sculpture, we brought in color with boxwood hedges and topiaries.  We later moved them into the Music Hall Foyer to serve as a backdrop for the bar and to frame the stage.  White flowers are my favorite, which made it an easy choice when picking arrangements and bouquets.  We wanted a classic, timeless wedding, so we kept to a black, white and cream color palette.

What made your wedding unique?
Instead of having a cookie table, we had waiters passing little towers with caramel, vanilla and marzipan macarons and vanilla and chocolate milkshake shooters.  Following the cocktail hour, we had the band play a few songs to get people moving, instead of having our guests take their seats.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day was when we had some quiet time to ourselves after the ceremony.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
You will hear this a lot, but enjoy the day and don't stress.  What will happen will happen and there isn't any point in worrying about it.  Keep everything well organized.  I ended up creating a folder for each vendor in my email and on my computer.  If you have a specific vision, find pictures that you can show your vendors.  What you see in your mind and how your vendor interprets your vision can be very different.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Have your hair stylist/makeup artist come to wherever you are getting ready.  It will save time and allow all your girls to spend more time together.  I had two cars: one to take Sean and his parents to the museum and one to take me and my parents there   With everything going on, it was nice to have some quiet time with them to reflect on the day.

Vendors
Band: The Elite Showband | Bride's Dress: Anne Barge | Bride's Accessories: David Yurman | Bride's Shoes: J. Crew | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Calligrapher: Deborah Nadel | Caterer: Parkhurst Event Catering | Celebrant: Weddings Without Worries | Ceremony Location: Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculpture | Dessert: Parkhurst Event Catering & Gaby et Jules | Flowers: Mocha Rose | Hair & Makeup: Beauty Justified | Linens: All Occasions Party Rental | Photographer: Elizabeth Craig Photography | Reception Venue: Carnegie Music Hall Foyer, Carnegie Museum | Stationery: Needle in a Haystack | Transportation: Lenzner | Wedding Planner: Natalie Berger

 

Linens: All Occasions Party Rental

 

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Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms: Ashley & Stefan

Today's bride and groom love the outdoors.  They feel right at home on a back country road, truck windows down, wind whipping through their hair, country music blasting on the radio.  And since a wedding day should reflect what you love the most, a good ol' fashioned rustic wedding made perfect sense.  Ashley and Stefan wanted their big day to be casual, fun, and what the bride called a “come as you are, join us as you drive through a cornfield in the middle of the country to watch us say I do, spend the evening in a barn eating nothing but BBQ food, and enjoy your beverage out of a mason jar” kind of wedding.  With that vibe in mind, the details were simple – mason jars, burlap, lace, antiques, fishing rods (a nod to a favorite pastime of theirs), lawn games, and DIY touches.  But don't think for one second that there wasn't plenty to love.  Keep your eyes peeled for…

  • His and her cowboy boots worn by the bride and groom.  But there is one catch!  Ashley and Stefan wrote a sweet message to each other on the bottom of the soles of the other person's pair and exchanged boots the morning of the wedding.  Aaaaand my heart is bursting!
  • A touching tribute.  To honor their late fathers, Ashley and Stefan both pinned a small photo of their dad over their heart that day.  What a sweet way to make sure both of them were honored and present in their own way!  (Looking for other ways to honor lost loved ones?  Check out this post!)
  • A KILLER ceremony location!  The pair exchanged vows literally in the middle of the woods at Horizon View Farms and I'm totally dying over these photos.  Some wooden benches, a floral arbor, a forest floor, and a canopy of trees…no church will EVER top this!
  • Incredible portraits!  Dawn Derbyshire Photography knocked it out of the park with these images.  To be fair though, she did have an insanely gorgeous backdrop to work with.  Just want until you see those trees and that golden sunshine!  Damn, nature is beautiful.

A laid back, barn wedding full of outdoor fun, BBQ, and rustic elements?  Somebody sign me up.  Keep scrolling and I bet you'll want to put your name down too.

Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Rustic Barn Wedding at Horizon View Farms from Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides 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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
We both met at Dormont Pool through mutual friends.  After meeting each other, we became really good friends and for the next year, we became nearly inseparable.  A year later we made it official.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Stefan played a video of him asking our families for approval for my hand in marriage.  This man has done a lot of sweet things for me in the last few years, but this topped it!  Hearing his dad's reaction, “Welcome aboard, Ashley,” I felt tears instantly rolling down my face.  His father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer so the thought of him being there the day of our wedding meant a lot to the both of us.  That video meant a lot to me that day and, with his dad's passing, means more to me now.  It's truly the little things in life that mean the most…the important, significant moments in your life that are captured by video or photography.  I cherish that amazing, thoughtful gesture he created for us.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
We are both very outdoorsy people so our wedding was nothing short of a country, rustic, casual, barn wedding

What inspired your vision?
Our lifestyle.  We are constantly driving far out of the city to get away from this style of living.  Both of our hearts are in the country side.

What made your wedding unique?
I think our wedding was unique because it was very casual.  It was a “come as you are, join us as you drive through a cornfield in the middle of the country to watch us say I do, spend the evening in a barn eating nothing but BBQ food, and enjoy your beverage out of a mason jar” kind of wedding.

(From the photographer…I felt like Ashley and Stefan's wedding was unique because of how intimate and emotional it was.  Their personalities seeped into every moment of the day, from the sweet notes they wrote each other on the bottoms of their boots to the small details they incorporated to honor their fathers.  Everything was special, from some vintage cameras [Ashley is a photographer], fishing rods, and nods to their love of hunting and the outdoors, their wedding really showcased their life together and what they love.)

What was your favorite moment of the day?
Riding an ATV in my wedding dress.  I couldn't stay clean for long!

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Honestly, let the little things go.  Don't worry so much about the details that you lose sight of what you are celebrating.  So many people can get lost in “over spending” because it's their “dream wedding”.  Just have fun!  Know why you're there and that you don't need to over do it for your wedding day to be special.  If you have a budget, it's possible to stick to it!  Also, take in every second you can.  When they say it goes by so fast, they truly mean it.  The day flies by, and before you know it…you're married and on a plane to your honeymoon.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Trust your vendors.  Know their style.  Know that you can trust them!  I had the world's faith in Dawn Derbyshire so I knew my wedding day photos would be amazing.  Get to know your photographer!  If they do a good job, send them a thank you card and a nice gift!

(From the photographer…Ashley and Stefan seriously were the best.  A few weeks after delivering their images, I walked out my front door to a giant “Thank You” gift basket filled with my favorite thing [candy], beer, wine, and an AMAZING handmade photo album!)

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Allure Bridals at MB Bride | Bride's Accessories: Handmade by the bride | Bridesmaids Dresses: MB Bride | Cake: Signature Desserts | Caterer: Uncle Ken's BBQ | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Horizon View Farms | DJ: DJ Book | Flowers: DIY by the bride | Hair: Kelly Baumgart at Studio E | Linens & Rentals: Windswept | Makeup: Adrienne Pace | Menswear: American Commodore Tuxedo | Photographer: Dawn Derbyshire Photography | Stationery: DIY by the bride | Videography: ShoFilms

Photographer: Dawn Derbyshire Photography

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Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding: Pazia & Tony

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The stuff dreams are made of.  That's what this garden chic wedding is.  When planning their big day, Pazia and Tony quickly realized that the “production” of the event wasn't for them and instead, they wanted a wedding that was special, stress-free, and comfortable.  A little bit like coming home.  That's why after a traditional church ceremony, Pazia and Tony celebrated becoming Mr. and Mrs. in the same backyard that Pazia grew up in.  The tree she once climbed as a little girl (and coincidentally the tree under which Tony proposed) later became a focal point in her wedding day, serving as a gorgeous backdrop to the head table.  Against a color palette of blush, ivory, sage, and silver accents, this wedding was filled to the brim with other thoughtful, beautiful, and family-focused details.  Just a few of my favorites include:

  • A blend of organic and glamorous decor.  Crystal chandeliers, vintage windows and candelabras (borrowed from friends and family), wooden tables, cross-back chairs, a laser cut cake topper, lace overlays, and mercury glass came together beautifully to create a dichotomous vibe that was both romantic and modern.
  • Those florals!  Textural and lush, the centerpieces and bouquets were a highlight of the wedding day and incorporated blooms like seeded eucalyptus, scabiosa, astible, dahlias, and anemones.  These arrangements were essential to bringing the garden chic look to life!
  • That at-home feel.  An active grill where dinner was prepared, a canine guest (complete with flower collar), self-serve beer stations, and a traditional Pittsburgh cookie table (thanks to the baking skills of family and friends) put everyone at ease despite the elegant setting.  Comfortable and familial is my favorite wedding day vibe!

Captured in the most beautiful way by Ashley Giffin Photography and styled and executed perfectly by Shayla Hawkins Events, Pazia and Tony's nuptials will have your heart beating and your head day dreaming in no time at all.

Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding from Ashley Giffin Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Who says blind dates never work?  Our love story started out as two strangers, who had just moved to the DC area and who didn’t know a soul.  Never in a million years did either of us imagine we’d even entertain the idea of meeting a complete stranger – but in the interest of making friends, we met.  And at first we were fast friends, but we quickly realized that our shared love of adventure and senses of humor made us a perfect fit to be paired up forever.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
I would have been so uncomfortable with a group or public proposal, and Tony knew that, so he planned a low-key proposal while we were visiting my family in Ellwood City.  Absolutely nothing went as planned.  I was clueless to his subtle nudges to get ready for the day, go for a walk…basically to do anything.  I insisted on relaxing and laying in the hammock to pass the day.  Eventually he resigned to the reality that I may never make his plans possible and decided to just pop the question right there on the hammock.  It was just right and left me shocked, excited, and over-the-moon happy.  The day turned out perfectly because we had a sweet and private moment and then were able to celebrate with family into the evening.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
We made it a point to remind each other that the reason for this very extravagant party (our wedding) was our marriage, and our fortune to have found one another.  It’s easier said than done, but I have to say I think we succeeded, and in turn, we ended up with the most special and stress-free wedding day we could have hoped for.

Our dream wedding was never about creating the most impressive display, but about creating a feel-good environment for our most loved family and friends to share our happiness.  We both felt strongly about having at least the reception portion of our wedding day outdoors with a comfortable feel for our guests.  We started venue shopping, and while we found some beautiful properties (and nearly signed a contract for one), something about them didn’t feel quite right.  The idea of the wedding “production”, as it started to feel, made us a bit uncomfortable.  Our biggest wish for the day was that we felt like us, and that our guests felt comfortable, happy, and were able to relax and enjoy our very special moment.  So we opted for a wedding at home – in the very yard where I climbed trees as a young girl and got engaged to the man of my dreams a short year earlier.

What inspired your vision?
If a single image could capture the vision of our wedding, it would be a big old tree serving as the backdrop for the head table with an elegant chandelier hanging above from the branches.  This mix of natural elements and glitz would strike the perfect balance we were trying to achieve, and represent the rooted view we took of this extravagant gathering.  But being outside – and in Pennsylvania – means you have to have a rain plan, so the open air dining had to be tweaked.  We opted for a large tent instead to provide shade and protection from the elements as insurance.  Fortunately, we were able to leave the sides of the tent open to allow for views and that chandelier made an appearance hanging from a tree in the yard, creating a unique welcome area that incorporated family pieces and modern touches.

The setting really is special, and my parents were so excited and dove in head first to make sure everything was perfect – from spending months caring for the lawn, planting flowers, and even building a new dock on the water.  With a beautiful natural setting already in place, we opted for a soft and muted palette, choosing a gradient of blushes from taupe to lavender undertones and silver accents on the tables.

What made your wedding unique?
Sentimental pieces helped to pull it all together.  Windows from a family friend’s cottage were used to display seating assignments, an old family wooden table housed cards and gifts, candelabras and candlesticks from grandmothers, friends, and family helped create a unified but unique look for each table.  Throughout the reception, we repurposed these sentimental family pieces and mixed them with more modern elements found along the way.  A variety of  linen textures and rich wood tables offered a nod to both the natural beauty of the setting and the elegant details that make it a special occasion.

The flowers were a highlight and a perfect medium to achieve garden chic – incorporating more traditional selections, like seeded eucalyptus, with more garden variety blooms like scabiosa and astilbe.  Invitations were designed by a friend, who incorporated elements of our florals and a special feature at the reception site – an abandoned railroad trestle which was lit up for the evening across the water.

The mix of elegance and comfort continued throughout the evening with traditional elements, like a tiered buttercream cake and heartfelt toasts, and a spin on the expected, like a live grill at dinner, a canine wedding guest, self-serve beer stations, and a Pittsburgh cookie table featuring hundreds of dozens of handmade cookies from friends and family.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
We were able to share a special and private moment later in the evening as we set off in a rowboat for a wish lantern send-off and fireworks display over the water.  Our guests helped us cap off the night by dancing into the wee hours of the morning, and we left feeling relaxing, content, and lucky in love.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
It's easy to get carried away and lose sight of your vision, but don't get caught up in bigger, better, more expensive.  My favorite things about our day were the sentimental touches that didn't cost a thing.

Any must haves, must dos, or cant live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Whatever makes you happy!  Everyone told me not to splurge on the flowers, but that was the most exciting detail to me.  I didn't listen and I'm so glad – the flowers made me so happy and I still smile every time I look back at the pictures of my bouquet and centerpieces.

The point is, everyone's must-have is different, so go for the special touches that mean the most to you and your fiance.  I wouldn't change a thing about our day.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Glitter & Grit | Bride's Accessories: Kata Banko Couture | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN and Weddington Way | Cake: Kretchmar's Bakery | Caterer: Medure's Catering | Ceremony Location: St. Kilian Chapel | DJ: 2nd II None Productions | Flowers: Posies by Patti | Hair: Hair Symmetry | Lighting: All Occasions Party Rentals | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Shelby Dines Makeup | Menswear: Ralph Lauren | Photography: Ashley Giffin Photography | Reception Venue: Family home in Ellwood City | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rentals | Stationery: Designed by a friend of the bride and printed by Minted | Transportation: TDF Limousine | Videography: Nathan Hamblin Productions | Wedding Planner: Shayla Hawkins Events

Vendor-Credit-Shout-OutBride's Accessories: Kata Banko Couture | Lighting: All Occasions Party Rentals | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rentals |

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Earthy Boho Wedding at CrossKeys Vineyards: Alexa & Jason

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Inspired by the mountainous, earthiness of the West, this boho wedding is sure to stun.  Jason is from California, so he and Alexa (of Alexa Conner Photography, one of the newest pros to the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide) drew motivation from his roots when planning their big day last September.  While the pair calls Pittsburgh home, they opted to say I Do at CrossKeys Vineyards in Virginia.  And once you see the photos, it'll become clear why – the backdrop is truly epic.  The natural splendor of the Shenandoah Valley was the perfect fit for this wedding's wild and carefree vibe while a color palette of navy, taupe, and evergreen complimented the scenery beautifully.  Beyond the pretty setting, look for these other swoon-worthy details:

  • Alexa's dress.  She found the lace Jovani number at consignment shop.  No joke.  And it's perfect.  The keyhole back and the illusion lace plunging neckline make it interesting from every angle.  Thrift store find FTW!
  • DIY florals.  Alexa handmade her and her ladies' bouquets and flower crowns, as well as all of other arrangements.  No colorful posies at this wedding.  Instead, it was all greenery, all the time.  And can I make a confession?  I didn't miss the traditional flowers one bit.
  • A Thursday celebration.  Alexa and Jason bucked tradition with a mid-week wedding day.  Hey, why not?!  If you're having a low key affair or are looking to save a little bit of money, a weekday wedding might a good fit for you too.

Honestly, everything about this wedding is effortless perfection, including the images from Lindsey Zern Photography.  Here is proof that a wedding inspired by nature is always a good idea.

Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Earthy Boho Wedding from Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Jason and I met a few years ago at BFCAT, a local coffee shop near a college.  It was a cold October night and the porch was filled with friends and laughter.  They closed down the coffee shop, our friends left, and we were still there.  He and I, together and finally alone.  We spent hours talking, nervously laughing, and falling in love.  After that night, we talked everyday, and eventually started dating.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
SOOOO, I was supposed to meet my sister and Jason at the park for a shoot.  Jason was going to take a picture of my sister and I so that we could give it as a gift to my dad for Valentine's Day.  As we got there, Jason was waiting for us and he seemed a little off.  My sister's necklace broke and she told us to go pick out a good spot and that she would catch up.  Jason and I started walking, arms linked, and I saw a lit lantern and he said, “I think someone left this for us”.  He guided me across a bridge and there it was – a picnic at sunset with our favorite blanket, BFCAT coffee, romantic music, candles, and big white sheets he tacked to a tree to form a tee-pee.  I knew what was coming…a few minutes later he said, “Alexa, I have something to ask you”.  He got on one knee and asked me to be his wife.  I guess I was so surprised that I said, “I think I'm going to throw up.” and he replied, “I'll take that as a yes.”  Then the tears came as he placed the ring on my finger.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
The wedding feel was earthy and elegant.  Our colors were navy blue, taupe, and evergreens.  The style was very boho rustic.

What inspired your vision?
Our wedding was so us (as it should be).  I had a flower crown; he smoked a cigar with his men.  We were ourselves and we wanted our personalities to be portrayed in every aspect.  I was inspired by all of the weddings we would see out west with the mountains and neutral colors; after all Jason is from CA and I loved it.

What made your wedding unique?
I think what made our wedding so unique is that mostly everything was so non-traditional.  My dress was from a consignment store and I made the bouquets and flower crowns.  My mom and my dad walked me down the aisle.  Our wedding was on a Thursday.  We stepped out of the norm, and it worked.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Weddings are expensive but don't give up that easily.  Get creative, use greenery from your backyard, look at second-hand items, put your mind to it, and make things happen.  Don't skimp on the details.  They are important and people notice and appreciate them.  Remember, this is YOUR day.  Plan accordingly.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Real flowers are a must.  IT JUST ADD SO MUCH.  Photography is so important and a must have. Book someone you love; don't settle.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Consigned Jovani | Bride's Shoes: Target | Bridesmaids Dresses: Macy's | Cake: Heritage Bakery & Cafe | Caterer: CrossKeys Vineyards | Ceremony Location: CrossKeys Vineyards | DJ: Tucker MacDonald | Flowers: DIY | Hair & Makeup: Kara Burnell | Menswear: Macy's | Photographer: Lindsey Zern Photography | Reception Venue: CrossKeys Vineyards | Stationery: Vistaprint

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Photographer: Lindsey Zern Photography

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Vintage Engagement Session: Christina & Garrett

Since Christina and Garrett were going to have a super chic wedding at the Carnegie Museum, they knew they wanted a little something different for their vintage engagement session with Kelly Lester Photography.  Beside this adorable bride and groom of course, the Priscilla antique settee from Vintage Alley Rentals was the other star of the show.  Its infamous blue hue shone beautifully against the greens and browns of the field that hosted the shoot.  Afterwards, the crew headed to Oakland to take in some of Christina and Garrett's favorite hot spots.  The doors of St. Paul's Cathedral and Heinz Chapel give this engagement session a classic Pittsburgh feel, while keeping with the vintage vibe.  And what is a good e-session without an appearance from a furry friend?  The couple's pup, Lexi, is about as cute as can be.  And so are all of these photos.  Happy scrolling!

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

 

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Vintage Pittsburgh Engagement Session from Kelly Lester Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals

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Delightfully Simple Wedding at the Grand Concourse: Jeni & Paul

This summer affair is proof that a subtle, simple wedding can be just as lovely as a styled, detailed one.  Jeni and Paul opted to focus on their love, marriage, and family, rather than all of the stuff.  Details are fun to plan and they're pretty to look at, but they aren't what matter most on a wedding day.  Instead, the architecture and ambiance of the Grand Concourse, the reception venue, inspired a 1920s vibe that was very quietly woven into different elements.  Beaded mint bridesmaids dresses with a fish scale pattern, metallic gold accents, and an art deco wedding cake are all it took to give this wedding some pizazz.  This bride and groom chose to keep their wedding grounded and highlight their nearest and dearest.  And do you want to know something?  I am in love with this feature as much as I have been all of the others.  Some of my favorites?

  • Jeni's bold lip.  Just because this bride kept things simple doesn't mean she didn't look totally show-stopping.  Her delicate lace gown was off-set by a bright coral lip, courtesy of The Pittsburgh Stylist.  Very first kiss ready!
  • Charitable favors.  In lieu of thank you gifts, Jeni and Paul made a donation to CORE in honor of Jeni's father.  To make it even more heartfelt, Jeni was walked down the aisle by the man who received her father's heart after he passed away years ago.  So very sweet and emotional.
  • Those portraits.  Happiness and pure adoration are just exuding from Jeni and Paul, as evident in the images captured by Lauren Renee Designs.  It's so clear this was literally the happiest day of their lives.  Adorable!

Although subtle and delicate, this wedding is still sure to inspire!  Simplicity is beauty, friends.

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Paul and I met online, but there's more to the story than that.  I believe in “everything happens for a reason”, and the summer of 2013, there was a special reason why Paul was still in town, still on the dating site, and still looking for love: his orders to deploy to Djibouti had been canceled.  He was going to Germany instead, and his deployment had been postponed six months (he had originally been scheduled to leave at the end of May; we met in July).  We went on our first date to a Thai restaurant in Old Town, Alexandria, VA and spent the rest of the summer and early fall exploring DC while we prepared for Paul to head to Germany at the end of October.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Paul and I went to a friend's wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of Virginia the night before the day we got engaged.  I had no inkling that it was going to happen.  Paul insisted on telling me all about these nearby pumpkin patches where we could go out into the field and pick our own pumpkins.  I knew I wanted a “Cinderella” (squashed) pumpkin, and he insisted we could find one there.  It had been raining the entire week, so we went on a very muddy trek through the hilly patch, looking at pumpkin after pumpkin.  I was covered in mud, but that didn't matter to Paul – because right after he cut my pumpkin off the vine, he said “make sure to inspect it!”  While I did that, Paul got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!  I don't even remember what I said exactly, but it was a definite YES!

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
Lauren captured the most amazing photos of Paul and I giving each other very sweet, meaningful looks throughout the photo session before our reception.  I look at those pictures and I just melt inside.  These are the types of photographs you can show your grandchildren someday, that they will be able to show their children and grandchildren, that will let them realize how deep your love was, and how it feels to have someone in your life that encapsulates that love.  Of course, Lauren happily obliged our every wish, and everyone looks so happy and had so much fun!  We took pictures on the bridge above the Grand Concourse, and those turned out AMAZING.  Lauren has that touch!

What inspired your vision?
As soon as I found THE DRESS (which was so opposite of what I went into the boutique to try on!), I knew what I wanted – a very subtle 1920s theme, which The Grand Concourse in Station Square is more than perfect for.  The bridesmaid dresses are by Adrianna Papell – drop waist and completely beaded.  We kept everything really simple and subtle.  I didn't spend much on extras, and nobody missed them or noticed!  I wanted my dress and the venue to be the main details everyone saw!

What was your favorite moment of the day?
This question is so loaded!  There were so many amazing moments.  I was blessed with such a flawless day.  Paul is my favorite moment of every day, if we are being completely honest.  I was so excited to see him that I wanted to run down the aisle.  My heart is so full thinking of the best little parts of the day I had: I got to pray with one of my bridesmaids after the ceremony, my new brother-to-be called me that morning just to say hi, my uncle forgot his prescription glasses but remembered his sunglasses so he danced in those all night long, my friends made a blow up picture of my head and kept dancing with it all night long…the list goes on and on!

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Try and incorporate a piece of the city that you love into your big day.  I knew going back to my hometown of Swissvale was a non-negotiable.  I wanted to share that with the people I love, and to get married in the church where my parents did.  Definitely use as many locally owned, family businesses as you can!  Try SGR Cookie – my friend from kindergarten is the owner, and she made the MOST intricate personalized cookies I've ever seen.  If you can't find it locally, do small business – we had the best experience with Leccaire Lollipops, who I found on Etsy.  She's based out of Georgia, and did our favors.  TO DIE FOR!  Also, make sure that you and your new spouse get some time ALONE before the reception.  We previewed the Grand Concourse before they let in our guests.  We also spent time with just our bridal party on the balcony watching everyone arrive and having a private cocktail hour.  Make those memories and be dear to one another.  I made as many memories with as many people as I could.  Absolutely do not accept it when someone says “something is going to go wrong!”  Even if something minor does happen, keep yourself focused on having the absolute best day of your life!  It goes by in an instant.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
My day was everything I could have imagined and MORE.  Everything worked out perfectly – definitely a wedding gift from my dad, who couldn't be with us.  The Regatta was in town and the Pirates were playing as well, but we hit no traffic and had no mishaps.  But I always suggest looking at a calendar of events happening in the town that weekend – it can help or hinder your timing and plans!  The cookie table is a MUST HAVE.  That was the biggest hit, and not everyone knew of the Pittsburgh tradition!  (My in-laws are mostly from Baltimore!)  A must is booking a hotel that is convenient for your wedding guests.  We had superb service at the Sheraton.  I also suggest booking your bridal party separately from guests the night before the wedding…we had more privacy, especially for the night of the wedding.  Make sure you have a dollar dance and play the Pittsburgh Polka.  I don't remember laughing so hard and having so much fun in my recent memory.  Remember to have someone else bring your purse with your necessities.  We almost left without mine!!  I didn't bring my cell phone with me that day and it was the best decision EVER.  I would say that would be on my must do list.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Rue de Siene from Lovely Bride | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Cake: Gluuteny Bakery | Desserts: SGR Cookie | Caterer: Grand Concourse | Ceremony Location: St. Anselm Catholic Church | DJ: DJ Garry of Easy DJ Productions| Favors: Leccare Lollipops | Flowers: Blumengarten | Getting Ready Attire: Plum Pretty Sugar | Getting Ready Location: Omni William Penn | Hair: Simply Captivating Styling | Makeup: The Pittsburgh Stylist | Menswear: Brooks Brothers | Photographer: Lauren Renee Designs | Reception Venue: Grand Concourse | Stationery: Minted

Photographer: Lauren Renee Designs

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Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot

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Looking for some colorful wedding inspiration?  Look no further than this bright and festive styled shoot from some of Pittsburgh's most creative wedding vendors, including Kristen Wynn Photography and Burgh Brides Vendor Ciel Cosmetics!  A palette of pinks, corals, yellows, and peaches come together for a look that is fun, fun, fun, while a mix of stripes, dots, and geometrics prove that you can mix patterns tastefully.  Real lemons and peaches provided an organic touch and paper fans, striped straws, and a pennant banner added something whimsical.  What I love most about this shoot is that the vendors aimed to inspire a color scheme that could be woven into all of your wedding events – from engagement to bridal shower to reception.  Start off with a casual, friendly vibe and work your way up to a more sophisticated use of shades.  However you style it, coral and yellow just might be a my new favorite color combo.  Talk about a party!

Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides Casual & Colorful Wedding Inspiration from Kristen Wynn Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

We were delighted to partner with so many vendors, both local and national for this shoot.  We are showing how a couple can take a color palette all the way through – from engagement party to bridal shower to wedding reception!  The setting was colorful and includes an in-home bridal shower styled set as well as a white walled wedding set.  The models are a real life married couple!

Vendors
Dresses: Glitter & Grit and Rent The Runway | Flowers: Posy Floral + Event Styling | Hair: Elisha Evans Styling | Makeup: Ciel Cosmetics and Elisha Evans Styling | Photography:  Kristen Wynn Photography with assistance from Custom Portraits by Charlene | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Stylist: The Virginia Lynn Co. | Venue: Studio of Merritt Lee Photography

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Makeup: Ciel Cosmetics

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Glamorous Ivory & Gold Wedding at the Omni: Dina & Brad

Dripping in dazzling details and oozing hard core romance, this ivory and gold wedding is straight up gorgeous.  After a very heart-string-tugging proposal (full story below), Dina and Brad designed a wedding day that was reminiscent of the one she had always dreamed about as a little girl – one that was luscious and had this chic color palette.  Mission accomplished, you guys.  The opulent ballroom of the Omni William Penn hotel was a picture perfect backdrop for an affair that included lush roses and hydrangeas, hanging and eleveated florals, textured linens, and the most amount of candlelight I've seen in a single space.  Ever.  And it was STUNNING!  The entire balcony of the ballroom was lined with ivory pillar candles of varying heights, creating a glowing halo around the entire room.  So incredibly romantic.  It doesn't stop there though.  There were plenty of other details that you should keep your eyes open for:

  • Custom monogrammed handkerchiefs at the ceremony.  Guests at St. Stanislaus Kostka church were greeted with a way to catch their happy tears that was adorned with a gold crest featuring the bride and groom's initials.  I love when couples don't forget to style their I Do's too!
  • A cake worthy of a Pinterest board.  The five-tiered sweet treat was encrusted with edible pearls and glitter and a metallic fondant.  It was then made even grander by three layers of fresh flowers in between.  This one should totally be pinned to your “Dream Wedding” board.
  • The wind.  Ok, ok, I know this may seem like a strange favorite detail.  BUT it literally made these portraits!  Whitling Photography knocked it out of the park by incorporating some classic Pittsburgh locations and by snapping the shutter at just the right time when gusts lifted Dina's cathedral length veil and sent it flying.  It was magical.

Elegant, glamorous, and timeless, this feature is one you won't soon forget.  So.much.goodness.

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You're also going to want to dedicate a few minutes to Dina and Brad's highlight video from Traveling Heart Productions.  Trust me on this one!

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
On July 23, 2011, there were a large group of girls starting at my house to eat, drink, and have fun for a friend's bachelorette party.  We made our way down to Station Square.  The large group of girls were hard to miss as we went from location to location.  We ended up at a club called Whim.  The girls and I were dancing and having a great time when out of the corner of our eyes we saw a handsome man standing along the edge of the dance floor.  Well, it did not take even five minutes for my best friend to go over to him with a sly pick up line.  She saw that he had a large college ring on, so she said, “I love your class ring.”  He, of course, politely (and probably confused) said, “Thank you.”  She then said, “Oh by the way, this is my friend Dr. Dina.”  As she pulled me over (since I was not upfront and forward when I was single), a conversation started between Brad and me that continued into the wee hours.  We danced and had a wonderful time.  This was the start to something great!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
On February 12, 2016, Brad and I were getting off work and thinking of somewhere to grab a bite to eat.  Since we are living healthy, he said “Let's go to Hello Bistro.”  I agreed with resistance but agreed.  I headed home from work to pick up Brad and was waiting for him in the turn-around of The Cork Factory.  He jumped in the car and quickly said we should stop at the Idaline Street house (our rental property) to finalize the paint and floor since the carpenter was coming the next day.  During the past few weeks, we had been renovating my mother's rental house, which happened to be the house that my mom and I lived in when I was a little girl.  We hopped over to the rental unit quickly and looked at the first floor for paint and floor colors and were going to head out to Hello Bistro and Lowes.  Brad stopped and said we should check out the second floor really quickly to make sure that nothing needed painted.  I, of course afraid of my own shadow, did not like to go upstairs due to it being dark.  Brad went upstairs first and I followed him.  He went into the room where my mom and I slept when I was little (I slept next to her until about 15 years old).  He was looking in the closets finding a few things the last tenant left.  He opened one closet and said, “I do not know what to make of this.”  I almost ran from the room thinking it was a dead animal or some random scary thing.  He abruptly said, “No, no come look.”  He opened the doors and there was a flickering glare and rose petals everywhere.  I knew what was happening but at the same time was just in a total state of shock.  Inside the closet was over 200 roses, candles, and 100 pictures of us throughout our whole relationship.  I stared for a very long time and turned around to see Brad.  Brad said so sweetly, “I know that you have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were a little girl in this exact room, and I want to start that journey with you in that same place.” (or something like that but much better said).  And then he said much more that is so special to me!  Of course I was bawling and said, “Yes!!!”  Wow, what a surprise.  The beautiful ring was hanging from a red ribbon.  Brad took it down and placed the ring on my left hand.  Oh my, did it sparkle.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
Elegant, romantic, but yet glamorous.  Full of passion.  A beautiful mix of ivory and gold with a pinch of champagne.  Very classy Pittsburgh.

What inspired your vision?
My vision was inspired by the dreams I had of a luscious ivory and gold wedding since I was a little girl.  The combo of roses and hydrangeas mixed with accents of gold just have a way of stating elegance.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
The opening of the doors at St. Stanislaus Kostka church to see each other for the first time in front of 260+ guests.  The second favorite memory was the rose petals coming out of the ceiling of the church when we walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.

Vendors
Band: City Heat | Bride's Dress: Ysa Makino from Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Accessories: Lisa Marie Kotchey Designs | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Dresses: The Exquisite Bride | Broach Bouquets: DelPizzo Designs | Cake: DelPizzo Designs | Candy Bar: DelPizzo Designs | Caterer: Omni William Penn Hotel | Ceremony Location: St. Stanislaus Kostka Church | Cookies: Margaret Sammel | Decor: DelPizza Designs | Desserts: Oakmont Bakery | Flowers: Primrose Flower Shop | Hair: Izzazu | Lighting: SoundWaves Event Group | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Valarie Panei | Menswear: Jack's Tuxedos | Photobooth: SoundWaves Event Group | Photographer: Whitling Photography | Popcorn Bar: Pittsburgh Popcorn Company | Reception Venue: Omni William Penn Hotel | Rentals: VaseSource | Stationery: Arabella Papers | Transportation: Elite Coach Transportation | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions | Wedding Planner: Dolly Kust

Photographer: Whitling Photography | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

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Enchanting Garden Engagement Session: Sarah & Kevin

This garden engagement session will sweep you off your feet.  Sarah and Kevin were the lucky winners of a Burgh Brides + Jenni Grace Photography giveaway a little while ago and these photos are the result.  And oh my are they gorgeous!  Sarah dressed in a flowy, pale blue maxi dress that looked so serene against the blooming florals and lush foliage of Mellon Park.  The park is one of my favorite e-shoot locales because it reminds me of some magical place you'd find in a fairy tale – it's gorgeous, full of unique textures and backgrounds, and simply oozes romance.  As for Sarah and Kevin – you'd never know these were the first professional photos they had taken together.  They both look so at ease and in love.  The session finished up with some shots on the Clemente Bridge – because when you win an engagement shoot from Burgh Brides, it's pretty much mandatory 😉

JK!  But what I'm not kidding about is this – you're going to LOVE this feature!  I dare you to prove me wrong.

Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides Enchanting Garden Engagement Session from Jenni Grace Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

Sarah and Kevin were an absolute joy.  Despite dating for several years, they didn't have any professional photos together, so this session held such special meaning to them.  They had won a contest hosted by a Burgh Brides and myself for a free engagement session and they couldn't have been more deserving. Mellon Park is an absolute hidden gem in Pittsburgh.  I feel like I am stepping into a secret garden every time that I am able to shoot there, and the scenery is just breathtaking.  Sarah chose the most perfect blue dress for their photos and it complimented the lush greens so well.  They are both teachers and work so very hard to positively influence the next generation and needed some time to really enjoy themselves together.Vendor-Credit-Shout-OutPhotographer: Jenni Grace Photography

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