Low Key Wedding with a Super Cool Vibe: Marissa & Adam

The low key wedding trend is in full force and I'm all about it.  Marissa and Adam were too.  Rather than making their special day a big production, they opted to keep things casual.  Thirty friends and family joined under a massive tree in the middle of Frick Park to take in the sunny day and the couple's vows.  Despite the woodsy setting, Marissa still looked ravishing in a figure flattering off-the-shoulder sheath wedding dress from none other than JCPenney.  After the unconventional yet heartfelt ceremony, Marissa and Adam joined their guests for a family style feast at their favorite local restaurant – Legume.  The party didn't stop there though.  The crowd enjoyed cake and dancing at the oh-so-inspirational Workshop PGH.  The space, which typically hosts DIY classes and events, gave off the perfect whimsical-meets-industrial vibe with some fun, colorful pennant banners, cool art installations, and eclectic pieces.  Marissa said it best with, “Remember that it's about the people, not the things.”  This wedding is what it's all about folks – love, laughter, and being surrounded by those that mean the most.  Enjoy the beautiful coverage of this intimate day from Whitling Photography.

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From the bride…

Tell me about yourselves!  When and how did you two meet?  How long have you been together?  How did you get engaged?  All the juicy details!

Adam's a kick-ass cancer survivor/recent med school grad who's looking to specialize in Radiation Oncology.  He's also an insanely good cook (in my opinion) and a whiz when it comes to DIY bicycle repair.  I am obsessed with our local farmers market and have recently rekindled my love affair with the Harry Potter series (this time on tape).  We are both voracious readers, love Asian food (of any kind), and most weekends can be found either hiking through the woods, chilling in the park, or eating dumplings.

Adam and I grew up together, but we didn't start dating until our friend circles started mingling the summer before our junior year of high school.  Since then (~11 years?), we've weathered long distance dating, major life changes, multiple moves, med school, and a year-long bout with cancer and chemo (Adam's been cancer-free since June 2015! Woot woot!).

If I could, I would attach a picture of the both of us in our pee wee soccer photo.  We are adorable, but neither of us remember being on the same team.

Describe the look, theme, style, and colors of the wedding.  What inspired it?  What was unique about it?

Our wedding was everything we could have hoped for: intimate, sunny, low-stress, and full of laughter, good food, and music.  We wanted to show our loved ones (most of whom are from out of town) why we fell in love with Pittsburgh, so we got married in the beautiful Frick Park, had dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants (Legume), and partied at a really fun venue near where we live (Workshop PGH).  We didn't want the day to feel like a big production and we wanted to be able to spend time with our guests, so we kept the guest list to about 30 people.  This meant that on our special day, we were surrounded by our nearest and dearest and actually had time to eat!

What was your favorite moment of the day?

We have many, but here's a sample:

  • Exchanging our vows
  • Seeing all of our favorite people having a great time during dinner
  • The impromptu sparkler dance party that happened later that night outside of Workshop PGH
  • The cake!  There is nothing quite like Prantl's burnt almond torte, and we LOVED their red velvet cake.

Is there any advice you would give to other couples planning their big day?

  1. Perfect is the enemy of good.  Your wedding doesn't have to be Instagram worthy; it just needs to make you and your partner happy.
  2. Remember that it's about the people, not the things.
  3. Stick to your budget, but have an emergency fund for unexpected items.
  4. Smile, take deep breaths, and focus on having fun.  Don't sweat the small stuff (see item #1).

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Scarlett from JCPenney | Bride's Bracelet: Charming Charlie | Bride's Earrings: Francesca's | Bride's Flower Crown: Workshop PGH | Bride's Shoes: Forever 21 | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Cake and Dance Party Venue: Workshop PGH | Caterer: Legume | Dinner Venue: Legume | DJ: DJ Hypnotik from Loyalty Entertainment | Flowers: Workshop PGH and Legume | Hair: DIY | Lash Extensions: Luxurious Lashes by Lisa | Lighting: Loyalty Entertainment | Makeup: DIY | Rings: Orr's Jewelers | Menswear: J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Allen Edmonds, and Calvin Klein | Photography: Whitling Photography | Stationery: Walmart | Transportation: Antique Coach Excursions

Photography: Whitling Photography

Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session: Pamela & Domenic

There isn't much to say about this feature other than it is a completely, insanely, out-of-this-world gorgeous engagement session.  Pamela looks like a movie star, Domenic is clearly head over heels in love with her, and that glowing sunset is the only accessory this shoot needed.  Styled in blues and teals to match Pam and Dom's wedding color palette, this session set in Mellon Park is simple but romantic, modern but classic, and just so, so good.  It showcases the couple's love, the varying textures and backgrounds of the park, and the light is downright luscious.  Ann Louise Photography has seriously outdone themselves this time.  I am so obsessed with these photos that there was no way I could narrow it down to just a dozen or so.  But believe me, you'll thank me when you see them.  You're welcome ahead of time.

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We actually met in 2002 during freshman year of high school.  Though we were classmates through the next eight years at Canevin and then Duquesne University, we never dated.  Although, Dom did try to get my number during freshman year.  We're not really sure what happened, as the next part of the story is a little fuzzy.  But Dom ended up with what he thought was my number in his phone.  He called and texted, but never heard back.  Four years go by, and we both graduated from Duquesne, and are coincidentally working on 5th Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.  We both liked to frequent the local sandwich shop The Brown Bag Deli.  As it would happen, the owner would tell Domenic about a beautiful blonde who frequented the deli, trying to set him up (not knowing it was me!).  One day, we bumped into each other in the BBD, the owner winked, we got to talking, and Dom realized that he was ONE digit off from my correct phone number.  And the rest, as they say, is history. 🙂

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

Dom had actually been planning on proposing for a long time…if he had his way, probably a few months after we started dating!  I'm an old soul though, so after five years, we were both ready to “take the next step” in our relationship.  However, I have three brothers.  It just so happened that as Dom was beginning to look at rings and plan the proposal, unbeknownst to me, my brothers were as well.  One by one, they each made their intentions to “pop the question” known…and poor Dom, wanting to give everyone appropriate space and time, was getting more and more frustrated!

Three engagements and six months later, Dom finally popped the question.  We were actually vacationing with my family at the Outer Banks, NC, a special place my family vacations each year and that was meaningful to Dom and me as well.  I was actually in the middle of reading Game of Thrones when Dom asked to go for a walk on the beach (I reluctantly agreed – those sand crabs, yuck!).  However, once we got down to the beach, we walked along the shore, and Dom got down on one knee.  It felt like a dream, and I finally said yes!

Describe the engagement session.

I knew immediately that we wanted to do an engagement shoot, as photography was a big priority for the wedding.  After looking through a few portfolios, I immediately fell in love with Ann Louise Photography.  Their photos are so dreamy, classy, romantic – everything I was looking for!

I wanted to do something whimsical – almost fairy tale-esque, for the engagement shoot.  Jessica and Jillian (the absolute best!) helped us choose the perfect location, the popular Mellon Park Walled Gardens in Shadyside.  I styled our outfits around our wedding colors – navy and dark teal – to coordinate with wedding plans down the road.

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Vintage Glam Wedding at the New Hazlett Theater: Caitlin & Adam

Inspired by the bride's love of vintage glam and incorporating some seriously sweet details, this wedding is bound to leave you with all the feels.  Caitlin and Adam met through an improv comedy theater group and carried a subtle nod to what brought them together throughout their entire wedding day.  The New Hazlett Theater was the perfect backdrop for the nuptials and party, custom signs inspired by movie posters decorated the space, and Chicago style popcorn escort cards let guests know their place for the night.  The cutest theater-inspired element happened when Caitlin and Adam took a bow before the crowd, just after being pronounced husband and wife.  SO CUTE!  Caitlin brought her love of the classic style to the affair with tons of gold details, a va-va-voom wedding dress, and a timeless feel overall.  But here's what I loved the best!

  • I mentioned Caitlin's dress, but her whole look was simply stunning!  A curve hugging satin gown, vintage blue suede pumps from ModCloth, a sapphire statement necklace, and a faux fur wrap to keep the fall chill at bay…I'd swear she stepped right out of the 1940s.
  • Not to be outshone by his bride, Adam was one stellar looking groom.  His blue plaid suit was totally custom made and was oh-so-cool.  Bye bye black and white tuxedos.  Hello modern groomswear.  Who says the bride gets to have all the fashion fun?
  • In a unique twist on tradition and at the suggestion of the groom, Caitlin and Adam wrote each other's vows.  Meaning he wrote the ones she read to him and vice versa.  What started as a joke turned into a really sweet, really heartfelt spin on the I Dos and I'm totally in love with this idea!

Oakwood Photo + Video was on set (see what I did there?) to document every last darling, vintage-y, glamorous detail.  This wedding has quickly become one of my absolute favorites.  I bet it's going to be one of yours too!

Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video featured on Burgh Brides Vintage Glam Wedding from Oakwood Photo + Video 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If all of those gorgeous photos weren't enough, check out the video footage of Caitlin & Adam's big day, also from Oakwood Photo + Video.

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We met in Chicago in the summer of 2011 at the small improv comedy theater that I was running at the time.  Adam came to do a show during which he did a scene where he was from Pittsburgh.  Being from Pittsburgh myself, I knew only a true Pittsburgher could pull off that accent.  I struck up a conversation about our roots and and we quickly became friends.  We were buddies for almost a year when he finally sent me an email to ask me on a date (he didn't have my phone number!).  The rest is history!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

It was a Thursday night in May.  Adam knew I didn't want a public affair, so he planned a night in.  Reminiscent of our first date, he set up a mini bowling alley in our living room and made corn dogs.  He decorated the whole apartment with a banner and candles and he was playing our song, “Baby, I Love Your Way” by Big Mountain.  Unfortunately, unaware of the surprise that awaited me at home, I worked until 7:30 that night and got home extra late.  I entered the apartment and when I saw everything, I froze thinking I had forgotten a special holiday or anniversary.  I wouldn't move away from the front door until Adam got down on one knee.  I said yes, grabbed the ring, and put it on my own finger!  I completely blacked out and only vaguely remember details of how the night went down.  We laughed, we cried, we ate our corn dogs, I drank almost an entire bottle of champagne and we FaceTimed with our families.  It was an all around great night!

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.

Going into the wedding, I wanted a vintage glam feeling, but with a bit of comfort and our own character.  We had a lot of friends and family contribute to our day, which added to the personal feel.  I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed, so inevitably I stressed out like crazy leading up to the day.  Adam's sister did all of the graphic design and she did a great job capturing our essence as a couple as well as celebrating the architecture of the space, which translated to our Save the Dates, invitations, additional signage, labels, and a gigantic poster that welcomed guests.  Adam's mom crafted the “escort cards”, which were made of Chicago mix popcorn in mini bags on which name tags were fastened.  My mom and I wanted to pay homage to the past weddings of our family, so we had our parents' and grandparent's wedding photos blown up and displayed on the bar.  Adam loves Batman, so there was a hint of comic book inspiration in the Save the Dates and welcome poster.  The Batman logo even made an appearance on our cake, as did some of the design elements from our invitations.

What inspired your vision?

I love old Hollywood glam of the 40s and 50s.  It feels classic and timeless to me.  I wanted to show off my curves in an exquisitely tailored dress (shout out to my seamstress, Nancy!) and a cathedral length veil because why not?!  My shoes were blue with ankle straps and reminded me of something my grandmother would have worn when she first met my grandfather.  And then my necklace.  Oh, my necklace.  It was the one accessory I was willing to splurge on because I love a good statement necklace.  Lulu Frost did not fail me.  I loved it so much and am nervous to wear it in plain clothes.  Underneath my dress, my mother had made my garter out of one of my late father's old shirts.

Adam was also very into his suit.  It was very cool how into he was.  His sister had a friend in Chicago whose husband designs suits.  I never went to any of the fittings, but I heard all about the process and how he got to pick everything from the fabric to the buttons.  Adam and I agreed we wouldn't see each other's outfits until the actual ceremony, so the first time I saw the suit was when he saw me in my dress for the first time as I walked out for the ceremony.

What made your wedding unique?

A few things.  Our venue for sure.  The New Hazlett Theater is an amazing space.  You don't have to do much to it because its architecture speaks for itself.  There's so much history in the building and the fact that they only do about seven weddings a year makes it that much more special.  And because we met in a theater, getting married in one was very cool.

Having so many friends involved in the wedding made it so personal.  Our friend Rob officiated the wedding.  Our friend Alex did the music.  And we made our entire wedding party plus my brothers give speeches.  Yep, that's eight speeches.  Because we have so many performer friends, their speeches were all so spot on.  But having our non-performer friends and family members speak was equally special.  Everyone put so much thought into their speeches that I could have listened to them all night long.  So much love!

And because my father had passed away five years ago, my mom and I danced together.  We danced to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac.  Not a dry eye in the house.  It was a really wonderful moment.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

There were two moments – both very different.  The first was while we were getting ready.  The girls were all crammed into the green room backstage.  Because both my mom and I were getting our hair/makeup done at the same time, my mother-in-law was assigned to veil steaming duty.  None of us ever noticed, but the steamer was set up directly under the smoke detector.  Naturally, the steamer set off the fire alarms in the entire theater.  There was a minute of confusion and panic, but when we all realized, it was a good laugh.  The fire department showed up and took pictures with all of us.  They were great sports.  My mother-in-law has sworn off steamers!

The second moment was our vows.  What started as a joke became a reality about two months out from the wedding.  Adam had suggested that we write each other's vows (I would write the vows Adam would read to me and he would write the vows that I would read to him).  People were skeptical.  I, frankly, was skeptical.  It was a total reversal of cliches.  Adam had finished his vows over a week before the wedding.  I wrote mine at 2 a.m. the day before the rehearsal dinner.  I couldn't sleep and my mom and I had this great moment on the couch in our living room where we cried about the wedding being real now.  And then I sat up after she went to bed and wrote the vows on the List app on my phone.  The first time we saw the vows was during the ceremony.  I read what he wrote first and I could barely get through them.  They were so similar it was unreal.  Adam got choked up while reading the ones I wrote for him, too (This is unheard of.  The dude does not cry.).  Afterward, I had friends come up to me who swore we must have shared the vows before the wedding because they were that similar.  It was awesome.

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

Know what details are important to the day and know what ones are only important to you.  Know that those details are not worth the tears.  Know that it is your day, but also know it is everyone else's day too.  Your soon to be husband, your mom, and your soon to be family get to have a say too because they want to celebrate you.  People will have opinions and will think things are more important than you think they are.  So know which things you don't care about and which things you are willing to give to other people to own.  They want to help and be a part of your day too – not because they are selfish, but because they love you.

And most importantly, know yourself!  Know what pushes your buttons and avoid those things.  And know that if you have to write a three page itinerary broken down to the minute to feel relaxed on the day of, then darn it, you make a three page itinerary broken down to the minute and pass it out to the 20+ people involved in your day so they can follow it (or not!), but girl doesn't it feel good to let go!?

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?

Google Docs and Google Sheets!  I love a good spreadsheet and Google Drive kept me so organized.  I could quickly access things on my phone and computer and share things among vendors and the wedding party.

Planning a wedding out of town is hard work!  I'm not just saying this because I'm on the site, but honestly the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide helped me out tremendously.  I had no idea where to start so the Vendor Guide was a great jumping off point.

Anything I would do differently?  Probably try not to get as stressed out and have a melt down with my mom in the middle of my street in front of the roofers and lawn care guys two days before the wedding, but then again I know me and that melt down would have happened no matter what.  So must do's: have your meltdown and then go and get a mani/pedi and do those at-home masks from Sephora while drinking a glass of wine.  It will all be okay!

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Carlisle's of Pittsburgh | Bride's Accessories: Lulu Frost | Bride's Shoes: ModCloth | Cake: Oakmont Bakery | Caterer: Robert Maravalli | Ceremony Location: New Hazlett Theater | Cocktail Napkins: For Your Party | DJ: Alex Kliner | Getting Ready Snacks: Burgh Bites Food Truck | Groom's Attire: BLVDier | Groomsmen Attire: Topman | Flowers: Sapphire & Lace Design | Hair: Hannah Conard Beauty | Decor: Sapphire & Lace Design | Linens: Sapphire & Lace Design | Makeup: Hannah Conard Beauty | Matches: For Your Party | Photography: Oakwood Photo + Video | Popcorn Escort Cards: Kernel's Gourmet Popcorn & More | Reception Venue: New Hazlett Theater | Rentals: Sapphire & Lace Design | Stationery: Bethany Schreck | Videography: Oakwood Photo + Video

Flowers, Decor, Linens, & Rentals: Sapphire & Lace Design | Photographer: Oakwood Photo + Video | Videography: Oakwood Photo + Video

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Versatile Vintage Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

While vintage rentals aren't new to the wedding world, this styled shoot will have you thinking about them a little bit differently.  In order to showcase the versatility of antiques and old world pieces, Leight Up Life and her team of vendors designed three vignettes using the same vintage finds: a screen, a card catalog, and barrels, all from Copper & Sage.  From a stunning ceremony set up to a lively cocktail reception to a whimsical dessert display, each piece made an appearance in each scenario and was styled to perfection.  Colorful and dramatic florals from Leafhopper Designs accented each display while watercolor hand-lettered stationery courtesy of Oh Joyful Day added a personal touch.  Mixed with Loved added her special touch to the dessert display with yummy looking cupcakes and a multi-tiered confection.  While each vignette was unique in it's own way, they all fit in perfectly with the surroundings at Pinehall Farms, the shoot's location.  A little bit rustic, a little bit antique chic, and a little bit playful, this styled shoot will inspire you to weave a vintage vibe throughout all aspects of your big day!

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If you thought that was fun, wait until you see the moving footage from Traveling Heart Productions of how everything came together!

From the photographer…

Nowadays vintage goods are making a comeback in a new, fun way.  It's so amazing to see them placed at a wedding day!  This styled shoot was based around three unique vintage pieces: a screen, a card catalog, and barrels.

The options are truly endless with them and we wanted to offer some fun inspiration on how they can be utilized throughout the day.  With each piece, we have styled them specifically for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception by using all of the same simple details.

Bringing in the rustic colors was really important as our inspiration behind this styled shoot was our great location at Pinehall Farms and it's vintage rustic red barn.

We felt like we put three different weddings together in one day!  It was a true labor of love and life.  Most styled shoots feature a couple or models and we really wanted to focus on the details to bring couples a unique perspective, one that they could truly implement into their own special day.  We hope you feel inspired to create something all your own with these three vintage pieces!

Vendors

Decor & Rentals: Copper & Sage Vintage Rental Co. | Desserts: Mixed with Love Cake & Cookie Co. | Flowers: Leafhopper Designs | Photography: Leight Up Life | Shoot Location: Pinehall Farms | Stationery: Oh Joyful Day | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Sophisticated, Neutral Wedding at the Priory: Chrissy & Josh

A little bit of glam meets a little bit of sophistication in this affair with a neutral color palette.  Chrissy and Josh's Priory wedding combined classic elements with contemporary trends, all while being picture perfect.  Timeless taupe and ivory met modern day mixed metallics of gold, silver, and rose gold for a look that was chic and simple.  GreenSinner used lush greenery in the form of table runners, abundant bouquets, and a variety of centerpieces to add a element of natural, earthy goodness to the day.  Throw in some crystals, mercury glass, and a healthy dose of beading on Chrissy's Allure Bridals wedding dress (not to mention those peep toe Jimmy Choos!) and you've got a recipe for a dream wedding.  When planning her big day, Chrissy wanted to create something warm, soft, and romantic.  I'd say mission accomplished, Chrissy.  Enjoy all of the sparkly, fresh details captured by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers!

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From the bride…

Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?

It was a total surprise!  Josh and I rode bikes a lot but somewhere throughout the summer it got away from us.  The week of the proposal, he asked me at the beginning of the week if I wanted to ride bikes on Saturday morning.  I thought nothing of it.  (I also thought nothing of the cargo shorts he chose to wear instead of gym shorts but hey, where else would he keep the ring?)  We went to the Riverfront Trail and stopped for a break around the Alcoa building (where we met at work) and that's where he popped the question!!  I never thought we would get engaged on bikes, in gym clothes, at 10 a.m. but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Describe the look, theme, style, and colors of the wedding.

The wedding was romantic, sophisticated, and warm.  The color palate was neutral, blush, and gold.  The bridesmaids dresses were the perfect mix of being glamorous and natural.  The overall floral look was a soft palette including greenery, birch trees, and romantic lighting, which provided the exact ambiance we were looking for.  The entire design team understood our vision, and the wedding was executed to perfection.

What inspired the vision?

I was really into the romantic, soft, wintery feel.  Google and Pinterest quickly became my best friends.  After seeing so many weddings, I knew what I wanted and this helped with my vision a lot.  Looking back, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

What made the wedding unique?

The obvious answer is that the wedding was planned in six months and took place in February.  What made the wedding unique for us was the overwhelming joy and love we felt from start to finish.  Josh and I are incredibly fortunate to have the love and support from our family and friends, and it was very evident on our wedding day.  The genuine response of people wanting to be involved, whether it was offering relationship advice, giving honeymoon tips, or volunteering to make dozens of cookies, meant the world to us.  We made it a point to take the day slow, look around, and take mental pictures as we knew this day would be one we would never forget.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

There were so many moments we wouldn’t change and will remember forever.  Two specific things that stick out to both of us would be the father of the bride toast and our final dance with all of our loved ones.  My father and I have a very special relationship.  To marry a man I knew he approved of was important to me.  Not only did that happen but they have grown to have their own love and respect for each other.  His genuine words of support, love, and happiness will be ones we will both never forget.  Finishing off the night dancing and singing “Piano Man” as we were hand-in-hand looking around and being able to take it all in was so special to us.  This will forever be one of “our songs” and a memory we will share with our children.

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

Cherish the moments.  From my engagement, wedding shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and big day, I made a conscious effort to look around and be present.  The events and timeline will go so quickly and you will never get it back.  Things will happen you can’t control and most of the time no one will ever know about.  These are the things that aren’t important.  Remember who was there, how special you felt, and that this is your day.

Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?

A must have is definitely either a wedding planner or a strong team behind you.  Our wedding was planned in six months and without the support and decisiveness of my family and friends it couldn’t have happened.  So if you aren’t someone who can be assertive or make decisions easily, my must have would definitely be a wedding planner.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Allure Bridals from Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Jewelry: Borrowed from bridesmaid | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo and Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids | Cake: Grand Hall at the Priory | Ceremony Location: Grand Hall at the Priory | Chair Covers & Bands: Pittsburgh Chair Covers | DJ: Flipside DJs | Flowers: GreenSinner | Hair: Lyndsay Clark from Studio Booth (bride, mother of the bride, and bridesmaids) and Hannah Conard Beauty (bridesmaids) | Harpist: Sound of Elegance Harpist |  Makeup: Hannah Conard Beauty | Photography: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers | Reception Venue: Grand Hall at the Priory | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Videography: Just Hitched Films

Flowers: GreenSinner | Photography: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Playful Zelienople Engagement Session: Joie & John

Joie and John hit up some of their favorite local spots for their Zelienople engagement session with Jenna Hidinger Photography.  These two are self-proclaimed foodies.  What better spot than your go-to bar and grill for some pre-wedding pics, right?  The owner of Fisher's let the couple and their photographer have complete reign over the restaurant on a day it is typically closed, and the results are totally adorable!  Kissing at the bar, snuggling in a corner booth, and even holding hands over a few beers…one shot is better than the last.  Afterwards, Joie and John and their sweet pup took to a quiet farm for some “family” photos.  A cute dog, Joie's killer thousand watt smile, and an obvious love between two people that is downright infections…honestly, what more could you ask for in an engagement session?!

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From the photographer…

When I first met with Joie and John, they told me they were “self-proclaimed foodies”.  So, as we began discussing options for engagement photo locations, we used their love of food and drink as a primary source of inspiration.  I encouraged them to think of locations outside of the box, possibly a place where they spend a lot of time together.  We talked about the possibility of using a local restaurant and/or bar for some shots, and since Joie and John are fans of Fisher's Bar & Grill in the quaint town of Zelienople, we decided to have the shoot there.  We were able to use the entire space on a day where the restaurant was closed – one of the managers came and opened up shop just for us!

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A Schenley Plaza Wedding: ReVeal Pittsburgh

You all know how much I love giving you a sneak peek into the lives of wedding vendors.  Throughout the summer, we were lucky enough to see what a (wedding) day in the life of La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans, Sapphire & Lace Design, Purple Wagon Designs, and Traveling Heart Productions looked like, and I've interviewed several other vendors for this fun series over the years.  No matter how many times I publish posts like this, I'm always wowed at the hard work these professionals put in for each and every one of their clients.  However, I am not sure I am doing adequate justice to their dedication and passion with just my blog posts.  Are my words really conveying every.single.thing that goes into giving you the wedding of your dreams?  Maybe not.  Maybe you just have to see it in action!

Those who attended ReVeal Pittsburgh back in April were treated to just that.  This modern take on an old fashioned bridal show was the brain child of Devoted to You Events and Soiree by Souleret.  Showcasing a whole team of vendors, ReVeal allowed attendees to see a wedding set up and execution right before their very eyes, as well as the chance to mix and mingle with the pros that put it on.  The best part about it was that a real ceremony took place!  Yep, Heather and Brain, a lucky local couple who won the wedding of a lifetime, said I Do in front of their closest friends and family, ReVeal attendees, and Schenley Park gatherers.  It was spontaneous, heartwarming, and inspiring.

After the ceremony, Schenley Plaza was transformed into a wedding reception space where urban grit met garden elements.  With the help of vendors and event guests, tables were rolled out, chairs were placed, plates were set, flowers were hung, and candles were lit.  It was a transformation right before the very eyes of everyone there and proof that it really does take a village.  As Heather and Brian celebrated the traditional elements of a wedding reception, like the cake cutting and first dance, event attendees got to see potential vendors in action and talk with others who helped make to create the magic.  Not only did guests leave inspired, but hopefully a little more educated and appreciative of their vendors too!

This highlight clip will reveal just what I mean (see what I did there?)!  Be sure to keep scrolling to see all of the pics from Heather and Brian's unique wedding too!

If this event isn't the epitome of #communityovercompetition, I don't know what is.  I love this city.

Now enjoy seeing the afternoon unfold from the differing perspective of two amazingly talented local photographers.

Ryan Zarichnak Photography

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Vendors

Bride's Dress: This Magic Moment Bridal Studio | Cake & Desserts: Mediterra Bakehouse | Caterer: The Porch at Schenley Plaza | Ceremony Exit Props: Divinity Braid by A Simple Vow | Ceremony Officiant: A Simple Vow | DJ: Schiemer Entertainment | Flowers: Community Flower Shop and Fox Petal Floral Design Studio | Hair: Bridal Art by Marissa Julin | Lighting: EF Lighting | Linens: Lendable Linens | Live Musician: Steven Vance Violin & DJ Music | Makeup: Bridal Art by Marissa Julin | Menswear: The Black Tux | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental and Marbella Event Furniture & Decor Rental | Photobooth: LUX Photobooth | Photographers: Ryan Zarichnak Photography and Weddings by Alisa | Stationery: Evolutionare | Transportation: Tortorice Limousine | Venue: Schenley Plaza of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy | Videographer: All Heart Photo & Video | Wedding Planners & Event Designers: Devoted to You Events and Soiree by Souleret

Cake & Desserts: Mediterra Bakehouse | Flowers: Community Flower Shop | Lighting: EF Lighting | Live Musician: Steven Vance Violin & DJ Music | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental and Marbella Event Furniture & Decor Rental | Photobooth: LUX Photobooth | Photographer: Ryan Zarichnak Photography | Videographer: All Heart Photo & Video | Wedding Planner & Event Designer: Soiree by Souleret

Dark & Enchanting Wedding at Phipps: Nina & Freddie

When your inspiration is the likes of Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, and the unique beauty found in the darkness, you end up with an eerie, enchanting wedding just like this one.  Nina and Freddie totally win the “Most Unique Wedding” Award!  An October wedding day and the impending Halloween holiday didn't impact the couple's wedding day style too much, but they did want to throw a subtle nod to it while also paying homage to some of their favorite artists.  They did this with a dark and muted color palette of eggplant, deep purple, dusty lavender, black, and gray.  With the help of an all star vendor team, they seamlessly merged this with metallic and mirrored details, ornate finishings, and a romantic ambiance.  The result was magical, innovative, and truly reflective of their personal styles.  A triple threat if you ask me.   Keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Incredible florals and decor.  Hens and Chicks' creations will wow you.  Large Victorian style candelabras, climbing vines, mercury glass, hanging flowers and candles, reflective vases…oh.my.word.  It's amazing.
  • A DIY'd Corpse Bride replica.  Nina and Freddie often heard that they were a real life Victor and Emily.  So to celebrate the connection and bring a little bit of Tim Burton to the day, the bride handcrafted a replica of the movie couple to display on the dessert table.  So cute.
  • Musical performances.  Both Nina and Freddie are professional musicians and treated their guests to a mini private concert.  Also, Nina did a special rendition of “I Put A Spell On You”, Hocus Pocus Bette Milder style!  Talk about a special treat!

Tara Bennett Photography captured the dreamy, dark, actually-quite-beautiful wedding day.  I just know you're going to love it!

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We are both professional musicians.  I was attending a benefit show that Freddie was performing in.  He was covering Queen (one of my late father's favorite bands) and I knew I had to meet him.  A mutual friend introduced us backstage.  We had an INSTANT connection, and haven't left each other's side since.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

When Freddie's mom passed away last October, we decided to plan a wedding so that his dad could be present for it.  His dad suddenly passed away a few weeks later, so with only one parent left between us (my mom), we knew we had to get moving.  We picked out an antique style ring from Marlene Harris Collection and he gave it to me the night before Christmas Eve.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.

Dark, dreamy, eerie, enchanted, romantic.

Dark flowers, purples, eggplants, dusty amnesia roses, sage colored leaves – nothing super vibrant but rather monochromatic – plus hanging globes and climbing vines along the two large family tables.

We wanted to create a mysterious atmosphere with mostly candlelight and large black Victorian style candelabras on the round tables.

What inspired your vision?

Growing up as an artist and child prodigy on the piano, I have always connected with Tim Burton films and Danny Elfman's scores.  I wanted something dark, dreamy, eerie, and enchanting all while still being romantic and classic.  I absolutely did not want a “fall wedding” but wanted to capture the darkness that autumn represents, especially as we drew closer to Halloween.  When we got engaged, people started to tease us that we look like Victor and Emily from Corpse Bride.  I have never really seen the movie, but the resemblance is uncanny.  So I handcrafted a centerpiece for the dessert table of the characters getting married in a graveyard.  Even my dress ended up looking like hers (unintentionally)!

The maid of honor is renowned artist Adrienne Rozzi of Poison Apple Printshop.  She hand drew all of the save the dates, invitations, and stationery.  I worked with Hens and Chicks to create a vision for the room – dark flowers, hanging globes, climbing vines, enormous black candelabras.  When the doors opened for the first time, the theme to Edward Scissorhands was playing and my guests are still talking about how magical it was!  We also danced to Ice Dance from the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack, which is one of my favorite pieces.

What made your wedding unique?

While planning, I would describe it to people and they would say, “Weddings aren't supposed to be dark; they are supposed to be light.”  But we find a lot of beauty in darkness.  I've seen a lot of Tim Burton/Halloween themed weddings that are cheesy and over the top, and I definitely didn't want that.  I wanted it to be a subtle nod to him, because he was my inspiration, but I still wanted to make it completely my own.  Creating this moment was almost like writing and recording an album!  It was very similar and took the same amount of creative energy.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Toward the end of the night, I sang “I Put A Spell On You” from Hocus Pocus, Bette Midler style!  It was a serious nostalgia moment for all of my childhood friends and cousins who grew up loving that movie.

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

Stay true to yourself.  Try to incorporate pieces of your life into every aspect of the day so that it feels uniquely YOU.  It could be things that only you notice, maybe a flower, color, or a song that means something to you, but it will make it that much more special for your guests.  Energy is everything – they will feel your magic in every detail!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?

Do the work ahead of time so that when that day comes, you can stay in the moment and enjoy the people around you.  I absolutely would not do anything differently.  It was perfect in every way.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Marisa Bridals from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Ring: Marlene Harris Collection | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Cake: Bella Christie | Caterer: Phipps Conservatory | Ceremony Location: Broderie Room at Phipps Conservatory | Decor: Hens and Chicks | Desserts: Bella Christie | DJ: Joel Lindsey Entertainment | Flowers: Hens and Chicks | Hair: Hair by Bri | Lighting: Joel Lindsey Entertainment | Linens: Lendable Linens | Makeup: Jodie Lynn Skrinjar |Musician: Joel Lindsey Entertainment | Officiant: Amy Lindsey | Photographer: Tara Bennett Photography | Reception Venue: Phipps Conservatory | Stationery: Poison Apple Printshop

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Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding at Hotel Monaco: Christine & Frank

When you cross the modern vibe of Hotel Monaco with a blush pink and black wedding, you know pure magic is about to happen.  When it happens to be the wedding of one of the city's best and most talented wedding planners?  Let's just say you should be prepared to have your socks knocked off.  As owner of Poppy Events, Christine normally spends her weekends sending brides down the aisle, but last March, it was her turn to take that walk.  All of the stops were pulled out for this affair that brought together classic, art deco, and contemporary styles.  Blush pink, black, and white were met with the venue's eclectic decor, whose bold bursts of emerald green and funky floral and hounds tooth patterns added some unexpected twists.  Textured linens, crystal charger plates, geometric menu cards, and floating candles played major roles in the tablescapes, but the florals by Mocha Rose played center stage.  Anemones, ranunculus, hydrangeas, snap dragons, and roses were beautifully arranged into a variety of centerpieces and one very handsome sweetheart table runner that cascaded all the way to the floor.  A blush pink sheath wedding dress from Glitter & Grit and four – count 'em FOUR – cakes from Frosted Envy, all in the color scheme of the day, rounded out the palette.  I knew this wedding planner's big day was going to be good but DAMN.  It was all captured by Amber Marie Photography and it's all below for your viewing pleasure.  Let the drooling commence.

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Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie Photography featured on Burgh Brides Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding from Amber Marie 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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We were set up on a blind date!  Frank attended a wedding I was planning for one of his close friends and neighbors.  After the wedding and all of the planning was over, the mother of the bride called me to tell me that she wanted to connect the two of us because she felt we would be perfect together.  Our first date was at Market Square in October 2013 and we have not left each other's sides since.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

Frank planned an amazing staged proposal in the courtyard of the old St. Patrick's Church in the Strip District.  I was told we were meeting his mom for brunch that Saturday afternoon but instead was lead into a beautiful sanctuary staged perfectly for his proposal.  Their was a photographer hiding in the garden to capture it all and my best friends was waiting down the street to celebrate with us.  It was perfect!

Describe the look, theme, style, colors of the wedding.

Classic black and white with unexpected pops of color.  Blush, gold, and bold greens were used to bring warmth to the space.  Small hints of hounds tooth were mixed in for modern fun.

What inspired the vision?

Clean geometric shapes along with Hotel Monaco's sleek and modern space.  Anemones were a must and a huge source of inspiration for the florals and centerpieces.

What made the wedding unique?

Our children were involved and family was the focus.  My 13 year old son walked me down the aisle and read a scripture reading during the ceremony.  Our bridal party was a mix of our children and nieces and nephews ranging from ages 4 – 13.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

The ceremony!  It was so personal, intimate, and full of love.  It was more than just becoming husband and wife; we were celebrating becoming a family…all 5 of us!!!

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

Small bumps WILL happen on your wedding day, no matter how flawless your planning is.  The important thing is to not over-react.  Do not allow any small mistake or flaw to take away your joy or keep you from celebrating with the love of your life.

Take the time to really get to know your vendors and choose the right professionals.  Wedding vendors are in the business for one reason….they love weddings!!!  Allow them the creative freedom to do what they love to do and you will not be disappointed.  Hiring true professionals will also allow you to relax the day of your wedding while they take care of all of the details behind the scenes.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?

Amazing shoes!!  Ha!!

Our first look was everything for me.  I was so nervous about the ceremony.  Seeing Frank for just 10 minutes prior calmed me and brought peace and clarity to the situation.  It was so emotional and private; I completely forgot that the photographers were there.  I love looking back at the pictures.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal from Glitter & Grit | Bride's Accessories: Camilla Christine | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Cakes: Frosted Envy | Caterer: Hotel Monaco | Ceremony Location: First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh | DJ: Jeremy Ganss Productions | Flowers: Mocha Rose | Hair: Elisha Evans Style | Lighting: PSAV | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Mock Makeup | Menswear: Hugo Boss | Photographer: Amber Marie Photography | Reception Venue: Hotel Monaco | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Stationery: Blush Paper Co. | Transportation: Elite Transportation | Wedding Planner: Poppy Events

DJ: Jeremy Ganss Productions | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Stationery: Blush Paper Co. | Wedding Planner: Poppy Events

Cozy Fall Coffee Shop Engagement Session: Jillian & Kieran

A coffee shop engagement session was the perfect idea for this couple who spends their weekend mornings hanging out at local beaneries.  Jillian and Kieran wanted something cozy, intimate, and casual.  So the pair headed to their favorite “watering hole” with Sky's the Limit Photography for a session that was romantic and sweet.  Add in a couple of cups of joe and I'm totally smitten.  After their latte-fueled pics, Jillian and Kieran took in some colors and sights of the season.  Gorgeous yellow leaves paired with a marsala colored wrapped dress that fit Jillian like a glove and the second half of this shoot will give you all the heart eyes.  If their November 25th wedding day is as gorgeous as their engagement photos, we're all in for a real doozy.

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

My friends and I headed to Rumfish Grille in Bridgeville in the summer of 2014 for a girls' night out.  As fate would have it, Kieran and his friends also headed to Rumfish that night.  One of the guys approached me and delivered a ridiculously cheesy pickup line, which broke the ice and got our two groups to start talking.  I noticed that Kieran was a bit more reserved than the other guys, and I was instantly intrigued by him.  We began our own conversation that was so natural it seemed like we'd known each other forever.  With butterflies in our bellies and huge smiles on our faces, we parted ways that night knowing that something very special had just happened.  We became official a few months later, and it didn't take long for us to realize we would be together forever.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

On May 22, 2016, while we were on a weekend trip together, Kieran devised a clever plan to propose to me at the hotel we were staying at.  My room key suddenly stopped working, so I went down to the front desk to get it reactivated.  After fixing my room key, the hotel manager said, “Don't leave just yet, Jillian – there's something here for you.”  He handed me an envelope with my full name on it, and I was beyond confused.  I hesitantly opened the envelope and saw that it was a love letter written in Kieran's handwriting.  When the hotel manager said, “He's waiting for you upstairs,” with a huge smile on his face, I knew exactly what was about to happen.  I immediately started crying in the middle of the hotel lobby and thanked him for his help.  I continued to read the love letter through my tears as I walked back to our room.  My room key worked this time, and I opened the door to find Kieran inside surrounded by dozens of candles and roses.  It looked like something out of a movie!  Kieran promised to love me forever, got down on one knee, and popped the big question.  With tears streaming down my face and without hesitation, I said YES.  Turns out Kieran and the hotel manager had planned the entire thing (even the part where my room key stopped working!), and I had absolutely no idea!

Describe the engagement session.

Kieran and I definitely wanted to take some formal, traditional engagement photos in a beautiful outdoor location, but we also loved the idea of taking some relaxed, casual photos in a more unique setting that felt more personal to us.  We saw that Krystle from Sweet Juniper Photography had taken another couple's engagement photos in a coffee shop, and we loved how intimate and romantic the photos turned out.  We also love spending our weekend mornings in neighborhood coffee shops, so it seemed like a coffee shop would be the perfect unique setting to make our engagement session feel very “us.” Krystle was totally on board, and she turned our dreams into a reality!