Real Wedding: Lauren & Chris at South Hills Country Club

A sunny day, a perfect mix of sparkle and pastels, and this gorgeous couple come together in today's Real Love feature.  Lauren and Chris's June wedding was inspired by their color palette of silver and shades of purple.  And those two colors come together so nicely.  From the lavender bridesmaids' dresses and the gray tuxedos to the rhinestone and metallic floral containers and the soft, purple uplighting, this look is soft, summery, and romantic.  Lauren also worked her favorite accessory (bows!) into the day in lots of subtle, cute ways.  Ann Louise Photography captured all of the perfectly planned details, such as:

  • Tiffany meets Kate Spade for “something blue” – the bride's sweet bow-inspired heels and clutch
  • A cake that is decorated with the prettiest, most realistic sugar flowers I've ever seen.  It's almost too pretty to eat!  Almost.
  • Table “names” that coincided with significant numbers for the couple.  For example, table 7 = the month that Chris and Lauren started dating.
  • “Meet the girls” and “Meet the guys” photo displays that allowed everyone to get to know the bridal party a bit better
  • A groom's cake that pays homage to one of his favorite past times…golf!

I absolutely love this wedding and isn't Lauren's getting-ready robe the most adorable thing you've ever laid eyes on?  Oh, and I want her hair.  Congrats, you two!

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Girly Purple & Silver Pittsburgh Wedding at South Hills Country Club from Ann Louise Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Chris and I have known each other virtually our entire lives.  We went to school together at St. Elizabeth Elementary and Thomas Jefferson High School.  We began dating our senior year of high school and have been together ever since!

Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Chris proposed at Niagara Falls on November 9, 2012.  We walked along the U.S. side of the falls after fireworks and then Chris got down on one knee and proposed next to the falls!  It was very romantic and it was just the two of us.

Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
For the wedding, we wanted to have purple and silver colors mixed throughout.  The flowers really brought out all the colors that were incorporated, along with the bridesmaids' light purple dresses.  One of my favorite pieces was the purple uplighting in the country club, which gave the whole reception a more romantic feel.  Our guests wore formal attire.  We didn’t have a “theme” necessarily but incorporated small parts of golf (Chris’s groom’s cake and the venue choice), as well as bows (my favorite accessory).

What inspired your vision?
I spent a lot of time researching different elements of what we wanted in the wedding on The Knot, Style Me Pretty, and Pinterest.  Purple was always the color that we thought we wanted and the combination of the girls' light dresses with the guys' dark ties, as well as the flowers, tied everything together perfectly.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I would tell future brides to definitely talk with their fiance and get a clear idea of what they both want for the wedding and reception.  Find a few things that are important to both people and focus on those first.  I would also tell brides to not let the opinions of other people influence how the wedding day will be.  This is your and your fiance’s day and you should plan it together.

Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
A couple musts for me were the dress, shoes, flowers, and uplighting.  The dress and shoes are important because you will always look back on this day; it was very important for me to find something that I would always love and be happy to look back on for the rest of my life.  Flowers and uplighting were also important to me because I really feel that they set the tone of the reception and made everything look so much prettier!  I honestly wouldn’t do anything differently.  I didn’t get everything that I wanted but I focused on the important things and researched different vendors and was completely happy with the result!

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier at Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Accessories: Belt: Watters at Anne Gregory for the Bride; Bracelets: Kate Spade and Bauble Bar; Earrings: Givenchy at Macy's; Purse: Kate Spade; Robe: Love Ophelia | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Cake Knives & Toasting Glasses: Kate Spade | Cake Topper & Mr. & Mrs. Sign: Etsy | Ceremony Location: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish | DJ and Lighting: Rockin' Bob's DJs | Favors: Sarris Candies | Flowers: Bolsinger's Flowers | Hair: Maureen Bianchi | Linens: Exceptional Essentials Plus | Makeup: Susie Katilius of Sephora | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photo Booth: ShutterBooth | Photographer: Ann Louise Photography | Reception Venue & Caterer: South Hills Country Club | Stationery: More than Words | Transportation: Amore Limousine | Videography: Nathan Hamblin Productions

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Real Wedding: Chelsea & Billy at Horizon View Farms

When I asked Chelsea to describe her wedding, she said it was “magical, woodsy, whimsical, rustic, a fairytale wedding!”  A long description but a perfect one!  Chelsea and Billy's October wedding was inspired by many things: Chelsea's love of fairytales, Billy's love of horses, their shared love of everything country, and not to mention their own incredible love story.  Carefully piecing all of these ideas together, the couple ended up with a day that is one part rustic, one part glam, and chock full of DIY, made-with-love touches.  I found myself especially gushing over the:

  • Adorable Betsey Johnson shoes donned by Chelsea that also served as her something blue
  • Collection of chalkboard-inspired signs with their fun fonts and hints of sparkle
  • Garden of tissue paper pom poms-turned-flowers that made for a unique backdrop to the cookie table
  • Night-time bon fire where guests could put those s'more favors to good use
  • Wedding video that is like a segment straight out of a Disney movie!  Just Hitched Wedding Films did a great job at capturing Chelsea and Billy's big day and telling their love story.

Sky's the Limit Photography was on hand to document every fairytale-inspired detail.  And they lived happily ever after <3

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Woodsy Fairytale Inspired Pittsbugh Wedding by Sky's The Limit Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
On May 26, 2013, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, my family was visiting when Billy came out from one of the back rooms with a scrapbook.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE pictures and scrapbooking.  On the front cover of the book was a picture of our house.  As I opened the book, I began looking through a collage of pictures of us and the lyrics to the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips.  Right before I got to the last page, I realized my whole family, as well as Billy’s parents, were crowded around us.  I noticed Billy slowly getting down on one knee as he said the words, “I just have one more thing to ask you.  Chelsea, will you marry me?”  As I stood in complete surprise, the last page of the book had a picture of a beautiful diamond ring and said “Will you marry me?”  With a feeling of complete happiness and excitement, I said yes and jumped in his arms as soon as he placed the ring on my finger.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
Magical, woodsy, whimsical, rustic – a fairytale wedding!

What inspired your vision?
After we chose our wedding date, the first detail (literally) that I chose next was the bridesmaids' dresses.  I stumbled upon the dress in a bridal magazine and instantly knew what I wanted our wedding to look like.  As I tried to explain the vision to Billy and my mom, I couldn't seem to find the right words.  As planning continued and we added more details, I also kept adding more adjectives to describe our wedding, hence the long description above!  I love fairytales and love stories, but at the same time, my husband and I also love the country and we wanted to tie these two themes together. We wanted to combine the rustic look of a farm wedding with the magical touch of a fairytale.

My husband and I had our engagement photos taken on his family farm and we wanted to stick with the theme of a farm wedding.  However, ALL the barn venues within a reasonable driving distance from our hometown and large enough for all of our guests were completely booked.  We both have huge families and could not imagine trimming our guest list, so we had to find a venue large enough for 350 people.  Simultaneously, the planning continued – from handmade glittered mason jars and chalkboard signs to barn beam backdrops and tissue paper flowers.  Although we did not have our dream venue, we still worked to make our wedding as rustic as possible.  Then, one day about three months before our big day, I was browsing online when I stumbled across a new venue near our house.  Could it be true?  A farm available for our wedding?  Although I knew it was highly unlikely that the farm would actually be open and available for our wedding, I sent over a request for information.  I was quite pleasantly surprised when I received a response from the farm saying that they indeed still had our date available.  I stared at the computer screen for at least five minutes and maybe even pinched myself.  Although I knew it was completely crazy and would require a lot of switching around, I still brought the idea up to my parents, in-laws, and husband.  After some convincing and a visit to the beautiful Horizon View Farms, we knew this was the place.  The best part of Horizon View Farms is that you have the freedom to create your own magical, fairytale wedding.  We chose the horse arena for our reception because we already had many handmade decorations accented with horse shoes (for Billy's love of riding horses).  We wanted our day and wedding details to tell our love story and we created a laid-back, country atmosphere for our guests.  We wanted the reception to be filled with things we love and a variety of fun activities for guests.  We rented a photobooth with props and the owner of the farm was nice enough to start a bonfire that night so our guests could use the smore favors!  Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my cookies and milk before bed each night.  Sticking with tradition, many of our aunts, my grandma, and my mother-in-law baked a few thousand cookies for our cookie buffet.  A lot of preparation went into making our details come together, but we are very blessed with many creative and talented family members who were more than willing to help us in any way that we needed.

What made your wedding unique?
Our wedding was unique in the sense that we pretty much were able to design and include details that tell our story.  Horizon View Farms is somewhat new to the wedding scene.  They have a horse arena barn, a tradition red barn, and a pine forest that is near a lake and beautiful fields.  The horse arena is fully functional for horse camps and riding lessons, so we had to work from scratch to create our wedding.  We worked with Windswept on the layout and lighting. My mom and I worked on finding the perfect details and decorations to create a rustic fairytale wedding.  Honestly though, what made our wedding most unique was our ceremony.  We are very goofy and love to laugh.  Although Billy's emotions got the best of him as I walked down the aisle and when we said our vowels, he still managed to make everyone in the church, including our pastor, laugh and joke around, which has ALWAYS been one of my favorite things about him.  It was a ceremony filled with traditions, but also unconventional in the sense that we laughed the whole time.  It really set the tone for a day filled with happiness, fun, and love!

What was your favorite moment of the day?
Our ceremony was by far our most favorite part of the day.  My childhood pastor married us and shared some very heartfelt words about our love story. Billy cried his eyes out while I laughed (I have never been the emotional type, haha), but it made for a ceremony full of laughter and happy tears.

We shared our first dance as husband and wife to “Cross My Heart” by George Strait.  Billy sang this song to me on one of our first dates after he first told me that he loved me.  Since that day, he always sends me audio texts with this song any time he hears it on the radio while he is at work.  One of our favorite memories from the night was dancing to the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips,  with our family and friends circling around us at the end of the night.  This song holds quite a few special memories for us.  First, our proposal was centered around this song.  Secondly, when I went dress shopping with my mom, as I was trying on what would eventually be my wedding gown, this song came on the radio at the store, right as I was walking out of the dressing room.  When I saw myself in this dress, I knew it was the one.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I think that the craziest thing about the wedding day is when you forget about all of the details, the flowers, the photos, the dress, and just focus on marrying your true love.  The day before the wedding, Billy and I spent an hour sitting outside,  just talking about what the weekend would bring and how excited we were to finally become husband and wife.  This really set the tone for our weekend, and I suggest all brides and grooms take time before the wedding, before the hectic getting ready and meeting with guests and celebrating all night, to sit down and reminisce about your first meeting and how far you've come as a couple.  We really enjoyed this moment.

Also, every bride dreams of prefect, sunny skies for her wedding day, but honestly, it is not the weather that makes a wedding beautiful.  It's the love shared between two people and the beauty of family and friends from two different families coming together to celebrate the new life of the happy couple!  So try not to worry too much if it rains on your big day.  We had crazy weather, but I chose to embrace the beauty of the day!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
DEFINITELY hire a great videographer and photographer!  These are two of the most important details!  You'll want to look back and relive the moments of your wedding day.  Even if you're on a tight budget, I strongly recommend not skimping on these areas.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Allure Couture at MB Bride | Bride's Accessories: Hairpiece, Veil, Necklace, & Earrings: MB Bride; Purse: Kate Spade | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Camille La Vie | Cake: Joni's Cakes & Candies | Caterer: St. James Catering | Ceremony Location: Central Fellowship Church | Decor: Made by the bride and Etsy | DJ: R&R Productions | Flowers: The Grasso Greenhouse | Hair: Mirror Mirror Salon | Lighting, Linens, & Rentals: Windswept | Makeup: Beauty by Joy | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer & Photo Booth: Sky's the Limit Photography | Reception Venue: Horizon View Farms | Rings: Joyce's Fine Jewelry | Stationery: Etsy | Transportation: Red Carpet Limousine | Videography: Just Hitched Wedding Films

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Engaged: Cait & Josh

You don't need a lot to make your engagement photos extra special.  Just a pretty day, beautiful, natural settings, and your smiling selves.  Styling and a million props can be cute but usually all you need is love.  Cait and Josh's engagement photos, taken by Vanessa Costantino, are proof that simplicity really is beauty.  A field of bright, colorful flowers, blue skies, and a charming pond provide the background that lets their love be the focus of the photos.  I'm sure these two are busy enjoying Mr. & Mrs. status – they just tied the knot on May 24!  While we wait to see their wedding photos, take a peek back at their sweet, summer engagement session.

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Pittsburgh Summer Engagement Session - Vanessa Costantino Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Josh and I actually graduated from high school together.  We first met during our junior year, in math class.  We remained just friends throughout junior and senior year, but we went to Ocean City together in 2006.  We've been inseparable ever since!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Josh proposed to me on Christmas Day 2012.  He had the ring wrapped as a gift.  As I started to open it, he got down on one knee and poured his heart out!  I loved that it was just the two of us.  It was very romantic and emotional.

Describe the engagement session.
I really wanted to do our engagement session in the summer.  I also wanted it to be very natural and not staged.  Vanessa, our photographer, chose an amazing farm right outside of Pittsburgh.  I think these photos are incredible, and Vanessa did an amazing job capturing the love between us.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Take the time to really map everything out!  Fortunately, Josh and I set a date two and a half years away from when we got engaged, but we started planning immediately.  Start with the small things that aren't so time-consuming.  This way, when you get closer to your date, you won't be overwhelmed with a million things.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Our must have for our wedding was incorporating Josh's Greek culture into the wedding day.  It is pretty awesome that we are combining our two families, so it is important to us to showcase the Greek culture.  We got married in Josh's family's Greek Orthodox church, and we also had a Greek band during parts of the reception!

There isn't anything I would do differently.  Everything came together!

BB here…

Aren't they adorable?  I can't wait to see pics of their big day!

Speaking of pics, don't forget to enter the Whitling Photography GIVEAWAY!!!  You could win a free photo session!

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Real Wedding: Aubrey & Andy at the Circuit Center

It's extra romantic when two high school sweethearts tie the knot!  After dating for nearly a decade, Aubrey and Andy started planning their big day.  The fact that the two opted for an October wedding didn't stop the bride from choosing a pastel color scheme.  The look was soft, classic, and pretty – a winning combination.  Francine Smith of TimeSmart Images was there to document all of the best details, including:

  • A color palette of blush, gold, and ivory that is timeless, romantic, and feminine.  It also looked amazing at the Circuit Center and was complimented nicely by pink uplighting.
  • That dress!  The beaded belt and layered tulle bottom are to die for and it fits Aubrey like a freaking glove!
  • The bride opted for a first look session not with her groom, but instead with both her bridesmaids and her dad.  The looks on their faces when they see her all dolled up are priceless!
  • The cutest flower girls and ring bearer ever!  The little ladies were decked out in tulle tutus and the little guy wore his sunglasses like a rock star!
  • At the reception, the couple used a mix of round and long tables that add variety and dimension to the look of the room.

From the sunny weather to the stunning bridal party to the tearful father/daughter and mother/son dances, Aubrey and Andy had a day full of beautiful details and meaningful moments!  Congrats you two!

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

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Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

Blush Ballroom Pittsburgh Wedding by TimeSmart Images Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Andy and I met in 10th grade, almost 12 years ago!  We were both sophomores at different high schools.  I went to Baldwin and he went to Brentwood.  Only a few miles separated us and we first met each other at a local carnival.  I remember when I saw him – 6'2″, blonde hair, blue eyes, dressed head to toe in a blue Michael Jordan sweat outfit.  I couldn't stop thinking about how cute I thought he was.  We were introduced later on in the night and we connected instantly. It's funny because he told me he remembers seeing me before that night at a Baldwin basketball game but couldn't get the nerve up to talk to me.  We went to our sophomore semi-formals and junior and senior proms together, and we dated through college and new jobs.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
When Andy asked me to marry him, we had been dating for about 10 years.  We decided to book a trip to Riviera Maya with our two best friends, who were going to be celebrating their third wedding anniversary while we were in Mexico.   It was the perfect trip because we ended up getting engaged!  The second day we were there, we all spent the day on the beach.  Late afternoon, I decided I was ready to go back to the room and relax before dinner that night.  We started filling up the jacuzzi on our balcony overlooking the beach when Andy snuck off into the room.  He returned moments later and got down on one knee and said my name.  I turned around and there he was.  Tears!!!  So many tears that I couldn't speak; I was so overwhelmed that he had asked me to marry him.  Of course, I said yes!  We spent the rest of the week celebrating.  It was so amazing to have our best friends there with us to share such a special moment in our lives.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
From the beginning, I knew I wanted everything to be really simple and romantic.  I picked a color palette – blush and gold – that is probably unusual for a fall wedding, but I didn't let the season get in the way of what I wanted.  We had pink uplighting at the Circuit Center, simple, ivory linens, the same white flowers for all of the bridal party, and I topped the bridesmaids' dresses off with a statement earring.  They received so many compliments on their jewelry because it was a bit out of the norm but really sparkled.  The flower girls wore the cutest gold tutus decorated with champagne ribbon.  We had two different centerpieces – tall, skinny vases filled with willow branches that were sprayed gold and had crystals hanging from them and short vases filled with white roses and ranunculus.

What inspired your vision?
I wasn't inspired by anything specific.  I just wanted the feel to be romantic and I thought the pale pinks and soft colors would give off that vibe.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
My advice to other brides is to try to stay calm!  Things are going to happen during the planning.  Our church music director quit days before the wedding, then our honeymoon had to be canceled 10 days before because of a hurricane. We then had to book a new trip even though we couldn't get refunded for the original one for 10 days…and lots of other little things along the way.  Just stay calm and everything will work out!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
My major must haves – 1.) GET A VIDEOGRAPHER!  We got back from our honeymoon and our DVD was ready, so we had our parents over to watch it.  We got over two hours of coverage and it was so amazing and fun to relive it!  Truthfully, the day goes by so quickly, and there are things that you miss.  So it was so much fun to watch it all again!  Of course, you will have your pictures to look back on but with a video, we can hear ourselves exchange our vows years from now. 2.)   GET INSURANCE FOR YOUR HONEYMOON!  It costs a little extra but it is so worth it.  We did, thankfully.  Because of the hurricane that hit Cabo, we would have lost our entire trip had we not purchased the insurance.  Our travel agent helped us find a new destination and we were able to get all of our money back!  There isn't one thing I would change about our wedding.  I can honestly say everything was exactly what I've always dreamed of.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Bridal Beginning | Bride's Accessories: Belt: MillieIcaro; Earrings & Bracelet: Kate Spade | Bride's Shoes: Rampage | Bridesmaids' Makeup: Mac at South Hills Village | Cake: Signature Desserts | Caterer: The Fluted Mushroom | Ceremony Location: St. Elizabeth of Hungary | DJ: Tom Weber of 3-D Sound Productions | Flowers: Posy Flower Design | Hair: A Peace of Eden | Linens and Uplighting: Provided by the Circuit Center | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photo Booth: Photographs by Danelle | Photography: TimeSmart Images | Reception Venue: Circuit Center | Stationery: Jack + Bean | Transportation: Quality Limousine | Videographer: DeAngelis Video Creation

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Real Wedding: Rachel & Reid at a private residence

If there ever was a perfect backyard wedding, this is it.  Rachel and Reid's big day last August simply couldn't have been any prettier.  The duo chose to tie the knot at Rachel's grandfather's house, and the location set the tone for the rest of the affair.  Relaxed, festive, and full of family and love, this wedding is a DIY dream come true.  Rachel, Reid, and their friends and family worked for months to get grandpa's house wedding-ready and to craft all of the unique decorations you'll see below.  Like something straight out of a woodsy, summer fairytale, Rachel and Reid's wedding is certainly one of my favorites.  A few of the highlights include:

  • The bride looked like a boho princess with her lace gown, wavy blond locks, and a colorful floral crown in place of a veil.  What an effortless, breath-of-fresh-air beauty!
  • Bridesmaids were allowed to choose whatever coral dress they liked best and the guys wore their own gray slacks and brown shoes.  This mixed collection of shades, shapes, and fabrics went well with the day's casual vibe.
  • Overlooking a field, Rachel's grandfather's backyard offered up the perfect picturesque ceremony location.  The couple jazzed it up with a dainty carnation flower wall (strung by the bridesmaids the night before the wedding!), garden chairs, and twinkle lights in the trees.
  • From the fabric garland and the marquees to the centerpieces and the hand-lettered wooden signs, this day was chock full of made-with-love touches.  Collectively, all of the one-of-a-kind pieces gave the day the homemade feel the couple had dreamed of.
  • Keeping with the at-home atmosphere, Rachel and Reid opted for an old-fashioned BBQ instead of a traditional meal.  Guests feasted on pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, and mac and cheese, among other goodies.  If you weren't hungry before reading this, I guarantee you are now.

Shayne of Soiree by Souleret was there to coordinate all of the day-of details and Mandy Fierens Photography captured them perfectly.  Rachel and Reid's big day was even featured on The Today Show!  See, I'm not the only one who thinks this wedding was seriously stunning.  Treat your eyes to the images below and I bet you'll agree.

P.S. Rachel is a super awesome photographer herself!  Be sure to check out her work as well!

Backyard DIY Summer Wedding - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

Backyard DIY Summer Pittsburgh Wedding on Burgh Brides - Mandy Fierens Photography

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Reid and I met at an M83 concert held at the Carnegie Library of Homestead.  I worked with his sister and she kept trying to hook us up but we were both hesitant.  Then, by chance we met at that concert and the rest is history!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
It was the day we moved into our new home.  Reid wanted to get a group photo in front of the house with everyone who helped us move.  I was busy unpacking and was like, “That's silly.  It's December and snowing.  Let's do it later!”  But he pushed for it so I was like “Fine, geez!”  (I had NO clue).  Then, his friend taking the picture was actually taking video and Reid got down on one knee and proposed.  I was shocked and asked if it was a joke haha!  It was so special – in front of our parents and close friends.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
As a young girl, I dreamed of getting married at my grandfather's house.  When Reid loved his property as much as I did, we didn't think twice about the location.  We knew what we wanted for our wedding day: relaxed, fun, full of love, and to be surrounded by our family and friends.  It was important to make everything unique to who we are and to reflect our personalities.  We could not have asked for a more perfect August day for this backyard wedding.

What inspired your vision?
Our personalities inspired the vision of our wedding.  Reid is outdoorsy and I loved the simple backyard wedding idea with lights strung up, handmade crafts, marquees, and flowers.  Half of the stuff from the wedding is up in our house now so I guess it really is just our style.

What made your wedding unique?
All of our personal touches…from my husband and father making the cornhole boards and setting everything up to my mom and bridesmaids helping with ALL of the handmade decorations!

I first have to note how amazing my bridesmaids looked.  They each chose their own coral dress to wear.  The different shades, fabrics, textures, and cuts could not have looked better together!  It felt great knowing they all chose something they were comfortable in and could actually wear again.  The groomsmen didn't look too shabby either.  We let them chose any type of gray slacks and brown shoes and the “Motley Crew” really cleaned up nicely 🙂

Upon arrival, guests first made their way up the long gravel driveway, seeing hand-painted signs showing them the way.  These were also placed around the property to let them know where the photo booth, bocce, Jenga, and cornhole  games were.  All hand-painted by yours truly.  While they were time-consuming, I felt like they were a nice touch to help show guests where things were.

When guests reached the patio, they were served peach prosecco punch, lemonade, and sweet tea before the ceremony.  We used the coral color in a lot of decorations so we decided to decorate with peaches!  (I can thank our lovely photographer, Mandy, for this idea!)  What's funny is everyone ate the peaches.  Our day of planner kept having to fill them up throughout the night, haha!  My mother in law is an incredible gardener so she supplied tons of beautiful potted plants that were scattered about.  And my mother made a gorgeous tassel garland that was strung on the balcony and behind the head table.  My mom, soon-to-be sister in law, and I made string globe lights to hang throughout the trees.  Although they were messy and took quite a while, they were a great addition to the decor.  The ceremony site was kept simple.  Carnations were strung on fishing line that hung behind us to create a backdrop.  The bridesmaids made these after the rehearsal on Friday.  The trees framed where we stood and guests were able to sit in garden chairs or stand at high cocktail tables around the pool.  Since we knew we would still have that August heat, we had programs that guests could use as fans.  After a short but sweet ceremony, the guests were able to grab drinks and hors d'oeuvres and play the lawn games while we took photos.  (I do have to give a shout out to my handy husband who made the cornhole boards!)

We decided to go the less traditional route and serve our guests BBQ.  It.  Was.  Delicious.  Each table had milk glass and clear glass vases that we had spent eight months collecting.  The vases had daises, roses, carnations, baby's breath, and hydrangeas in them.  My bridesmaids, mother, and day of coordinator spent the wedding morning arranging flowers and setting tables.  This is another moment where I felt completely grateful knowing this could not have been done without them!  There were kraft bags on every place setting with the menu printed on them, design courtesy of my wonderful mother.  They were stuffed with wet naps, mints, and silverware.  Each guest also had their own drinking glass with their name on it for the evening.  I hand-wrote these with a Sharpie pen and then baked them for 30 minutes.  This was the most time-consuming of the DIY crafts since we had over 250 guests, but it was well worth it!  When it came time for dessert, we had the traditional Pittsburgh cookie table.  Friends and family baked for days to supply these delicious treats (thank you!).  My recent obsession with marquee letters lead to Reid and I collaborating to make a SWEETS marque for the dessert table and a large R&R to be placed at the head table.

A huge part of the decorating came from Carmel at Mt. Lebanon Floral.  She is a genius!  We borrowed two candelabras that sat at the head table with her gorgeous arrangements on them, plus lanterns filled with moss, succulents, and a few other props.  When it came to choosing a florist, Carmel was a no brainer.  I opted for a floral crown instead of a veil and it was absolutely perfect.  I kept it on the entire night.  I was fortunate enough to have my hair dresser as a guest so she was able to give me a quick updo after the ceremony!

All of this could not have been possible without our amazing family and bridal party.  Our hearts are so full from this outpouring of hard work, kindness, and love.  Thank you for making our wedding day something out of a fairytale.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day was marrying my best friend in my grandfather's backyard.  It was so personal with all of our loved ones there in such a unique setting.

Another favorite moment of the day was just looking at everything all together for the first time.  We got engaged in December and had our wedding in August.  It wasn't even until February that we decided on a date so we only had so much time for planning and crafting.  This is where I seriously want to give a shout out to people…my dad, husband, younger brother, and grandfather landscaped their butts off!  They put in a lot of long, summery days to get ready for this and it all would not have looked so perfect without them!  My 80+ year old grandfather was weed wacking the week of the wedding!  He's a total gem and we can't thank him enough for letting us get married at his beautiful home.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Let others help you!  I couldn't have done all the decorating and planning without my mom and bridesmaids.

And don't stress about EVERY detail that day.  As long as you have each other and someone to marry you – everything else could go wrong and that's all that matters!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
One must have is good food!  It doesn't have to be expensive to be delicious.  We had almost 300 people to feed and everyone loved Clem's BBQ.

Another thing I couldn't have done without were the decorations.  They also weren't expensive because we made them but they set the vibe for the whole evening.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Alfred Angelo | Bride's Accessories: Kate Spade | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids' Dresses: All chosen by the bridesmaids | Cake: Patti's Pasticceria | Caterer: Clem's BBQ | Ceremony & Reception Location: The bride's grandfather's home | DJ: Chuck of Sounds 4 Gotten | Flowers: Mt. Lebanon Floral | Hair: Brianne Neil | Linens: Smarty Had a Party | Makeup: Stephanie Kline | Menswear: All chosen by the groomsmen | Photo Booth: The Traveling Photo Booth | Photographer: Mandy Fierens Photography | Rentals: A-1 Rental | Restroom Trailer: Almost Like Home | Stationery: Occasion Creation Designs | Wedding Planner: The bride!  Day-of coordination by Soiree by Souleret

Real Wedding: Kelly & Nate at Longue Vue Club

If I didn't know any better, I'd swear today's bride was moonlighting as a wedding planner.  The thought that went into the details of Kelly and Nate's September wedding makes me so happy!  Knowing that the dress and venue set the tone for a wedding, Kelly went to town planning after nailing down those two aspects.  She drew inspiration from her vintage-style lace gown and the gardens and architecture of the Longue Vue Club, where both the ceremony and reception were held.  From timing the engagement photos and dress fittings with hair and makeup trials to creating a wedding brand and making sure guests had a incredible time at their wedding, Kelly and Nate literally thought of everything.  And it makes my detail-loving heart do a little happy dance!

Beth Insalaco was there to photograph all of the amazingness of the big day.  My favorites?  It was really hard to narrow down and I felt saying “everything” wasn't fair so here goes:

  • A soft, romantic color palette of peach, pink, cream, and lavender made dramatic with touches of eggplant
  • A wedding brand!  Ladies who attended the design and styling workshop, THIS is what I'm talking about!  From their website and invitations to their bar signs, table numbers, and menu cards, Kelly and Nate created a consistent, cohesive look with colors, fonts, and even a “logo” of sorts, all of which coordinated with the overall style and feel of the wedding.  It helps that Nate is a super talented graphic designer and made all of these amazing pieces himself!
  • The most darling recessional ever!  After they were pronounced husband and wife, Kelly and Nate were showered in colorful confetti thrown by their guests!  The photos are so cute I almost can't stand it.
  • Bouquets that are stop-you-in-your-tracks stunning.  Really.  There is something about the softness of the colors and the various textures that has me majorly swooning.
  • A bride and groom who are so obviously in love.  The way Nate looks at Kelly is so adorably sweet.

Oh, and just because her own wedding is over doesn't mean that Kelly is out of the wedding biz.  Shortly after getting married, she began launching Fox Petal, a floral design business that is just getting started in the Burgh.  Kelly was also the talent behind the dramatic but oh-so-romantic flowers for Jaymie and Jonas's epic wedding.  In addition, she and Nate also took care of the styling, logo design, and website for that wedding.  This duo is a creative powerhouse.

Kelly and Nate are just the cutest.  Their wedding wasn't bad either.  See for yourself.

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Pittsburgh_Wedding_Nate_Kelly_LongueVueClub-0654

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding: Nate & Kelly at Longue Vue Club - Beth Insalaco Photography

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
We met through a mutual friend, Kristin.  She and Nate were former roommates and Kristin and I worked together.  She arranged for Nate and I to meet without telling either of us it was a setup.  Lucky for us, we really hit it off and the rest is history.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
We had gone to see a Cirque du Soleil matinee on a surprisingly warm Sunday in April, 2012.  After the show, we decided to take our dog, Lincoln, who we got together as a puppy in 2011, for a walk along the river trail by our house in Lawrenceville.  Nate brought our new camera on the walk, but I thought nothing of it since we often took the camera with us to take photos of our puppy.  Half way down the trail, Nate stopped and had the idea to use the camera’s timer setting to get a picture of all three of us.  He directed me to stand with Lincoln while he got the camera set up on a bench.  He asked if I was ready and then hit the timer button.  As he turned and walked towards me, he pulled out the ring and got down on one knee to propose.  I was completely shocked and overwhelmed with joy.  The best part was the camera snapped a photo of the exact moment capturing the surprised look on my face.  Nate is very into gadgets and cameras so it was a very “Nate” way to propose, which I loved.  It was just the two of us and Lincoln.  It was perfect.  And now we have that beautiful moment captured forever, which is so romantic.

moment

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
We had a 16 month engagement, which seemed long to me at first but ended up being the perfect amount of time for planning.  I also feel like we really got to enjoy being engaged!  For our wedding date, we chose late September because we both love fall in Pittsburgh.  Once we narrowed down the time frame, we started looking at venues.  We wanted to find somewhere different, but also a place that would allow our own style to come through.  When we toured the Longue Vue Club, we fell in love with the venue within the first five minutes.  It’s such a hidden gem in Pittsburgh and it feels like it should be tucked away in an English hillside.  Its sophisticated elegance balanced with a rustic cottage-feel became the inspiration for our wedding theme.  Nate is also a designer, so he designed our custom letterpress invitations, as well as our wedding website.  He also made all the signs by hand and was very involved in the entire creative process.  He designed a whimsical logo with our names and even made a special K+N moniker that we used throughout our wedding pieces.  The fact that he designed everything gave all of our pieces a really personal touch.

We chose eggplant as the bridesmaids' dress color and used cream, peach, and varying shades of purple as accent colors.  We went with eggplant since it was technically a fall wedding, but we used lighter accent colors since the weather still felt like summer.

What inspired your vision?
I think the venue and the dress can really set the tone for a wedding.  Once those two important decisions are made, it can sway you towards a more modern or classic style.  Longue Vue Club is such a beautiful, historic landmark with its unique architectural style and understated elegance.  Longue Vue’s gardens and breathtaking views also provided a gorgeous backdrop for our big day.  The dress I chose was classic but romantic – an ivory lace gown with no beading or embellishments, just a simple sash.  The fabric was a vintage style point d’esprit lace layered over champagne satin.  We also chose soft, romantic florals like lush Juliet garden roses, assorted dahlias, including cafe au lait, dusty miller, and other textural elements.  With our ceremony being outside on the terrace and the ballroom having floor-to-ceiling picture windows overlooking the Allegheny River, we chose to incorporate some nature-inspired elements like curly willow branches and birds.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
If you’re planning to do an engagement shoot, try to schedule your makeup practice run the same day.  The practice run is often the same cost as the real one, so why not get something out of it?  I did this, and it was such a great call.  I got to have beautiful, professionally-done makeup for my engagement photos and I also got to see how it photographed to decide if I needed to tweak anything before the wedding.

Try to schedule your practice hair appointment the same day as one of your dress fittings.  This way you get to see the whole look put together before the big day.

I recommend investing in a good DJ and photographer.  In my opinion, they are two of the most important vendors.  The DJ can make or break a wedding and the photos are what you’ll always have to remember your amazing day.  We’re honestly so glad we splurged on those two things!

When the big day finally arrives, remember to breathe, relax, and enjoy it.  Try to make sure every minute of the day isn’t overly planned so you have time to soak it all in and do some of the unplanned, spontaneous stuff.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
We did a first look before the ceremony and it honestly was the best decision we made.  That would be my “must-do” recommendation to all brides.  We also did all of our bridal party and family photos before the ceremony.  I know it’s a bit non-traditional, but seeing each other before the ceremony was amazing for so many reasons.  It allowed us to have a more intimate first look where we got to shake off the jitters, embrace one another, laugh, cry, and just really absorb all the overwhelming feelings of our special day.  I felt like I could be myself and show all my emotions without worrying about the crowd of guests.  It also gave us so much more time together throughout the day.  You often hear brides talk about how fast their day flew by and how they felt like they barely got to talk to their groom.  By doing our photos first, we got to be together with our bridal party and really enjoy the day.  We both felt like the day was long and that we didn’t miss out on anything.  I also felt much more relaxed when the ceremony time came.  And I can tell you, seeing Nate before the ceremony made walking down the aisle no less special.  I was even more excited and overwhelmed with love.  It was just as special, and I don’t think anything could have changed that moment for us.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Maggie Sottero at Bridal Beginning | Bride's Accessories: Som's Studio | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridemaids' Dresses: Kennedy Blue | Cake & Cupcakes: Vanilla Pastry Studio | Calligraphy: Honey Honey | Ceremony & Reception Location & Catering: Longue Vue Club | Confetti: Pom Love | DJ & Uplighting: Eric Schiemer of Schiemer Entertainment | Favors: Pittsburgh Popcorn Company | Flowers: Bloom Brigade | Hair: Brooke Rockwell Hair Design | Linens: Mosaic Linens | Makeup: Kiss and Makeup | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photo Booth Backdrop & Props: Etsy | Photographer: Beth Insalaco Photography | Stationery: Designed by the groom | Transportation: Elite Transportation

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Real Wedding: Heather & Zach at Soldiers & Sailors

I love a bride and groom who can roll with the punches.  Many of you are probably aware of how difficult it can be to secure Heinz Chapel for your wedding ceremony.  In case you aren't in the know – you can't reserve a date until exactly one year in advance, by the month.  Inquiries are taken by phone and calls are answered in the order they are received.  Ceremonies can be held at one of five times, only two of which are in the afternoon.  It's tough stuff, especially when you're hoping to get married in October.  So what do you do to better your chances of securing your special date?  You snatch up the not-so-popular ceremony time slot of 10:30 a.m. and you have a kick ass brunch wedding.  That's exactly what Heather and Zach did last year, and it was amazing.  Here are my favorite details!

  • Ok, let's go back to this most amazing idea ever…A BRUNCH RECEPTION!  The ceremony was followed by an early afternoon party full of day drinking (the best kind of drinking) and my most favorite food in the entire world.  Donuts, muffins, bagels, waffles, an omelette bar, carving stations, homefries, mimosas, you name it!  The best part is after the reception was over, the couple still had the entire night to celebrate with family and friends!  Seriously, more people need to do this.
  • The ladies wore adorable gray brocade dresses (that they could totally wear again) from BCBG and kept the fall chill at bay with ivory pashminas.  Make sure you check out the cute hangers too!
  • Heather actually had parts of her mom's wedding dress sewn into her own.  How special is that?!  The lace around the bottom was the trim on her mom's dress, and other pieces of lace were blended into the beading on the waist.
  • Cute signs galore but my absolute favorite was the one at the cookie table.  If you aren't from Pittsburgh, you just don't understand this tradition.  A sign explaining the custom and its importance to Pittsburghers (and thanking those talented bakers!) is a great idea!
  • Favors that paid homage to the couple's last name – Jones.  Each guest took home a bottle of Jones Soda to enjoy!

The ladies of the Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers were there to capture all of the fun, fall-inspired elements.  Brunch > everything else.  In life.  Period.  Brunch.  Wedding.  Amazing.  Do it.

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Fall Inspired Brunch Wedding - Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
We met junior year while studying Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.  We had some classes together and were acquaintances, but didn’t hit it off until we were paired up to do a project together in our Communication Skills class that spring semester.  Our friends knew from there on out that we were bound to fall in love.  We both had previously decided to go on the spring break trip organized by the Pitt Program Council to Panama City, Florida.  Our friends actually placed bets on how far into the trip we would realize we were meant to be.  Needless to say, by the end of the trip, we were already falling in love and we went on our first official date a few days after we returned home from Florida.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
We did long distance for a few years after college.  I moved to Washington D.C. and Zach lived in Pittsburgh.  I was home in Pittsburgh for Easter weekend in 2013.  Zach had asked me a few weeks before if I wanted to go on a double date with his sister and her boyfriend, Dan, in the Southside.  They had planned to meet at Zach’s apartment in the Southside before dinner.  I arrived at Zach’s apartment and completely froze as soon as I walked in the door and saw what was waiting for me inside – a romantic setup, complete with flowers and candles throughout the apartment.  Zach was patiently waiting for me at the table in the kitchen.  After a few minutes of silence with me still standing in the doorway (for what felt like an eternity to Zach), he told I that I could come in if I wanted.  I slowly walked into the kitchen and nervously asked Zach if we were still going to dinner with his sister.  Zach replied that we could still go, but he was already preparing dinner for just the two of us.  Finally, I made it into the kitchen where Zach was waiting with an Easter basket, full of chocolates and goodies, but most importantly, a ring box in the middle.  Zach got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I was no longer silent and immediately answered “Yes!”

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
The look of our wedding was very fall and very “Pitt.”  I guess the main theme of our wedding was “brunch” since it’s not your standard wedding these days.  Since Zach and I met at the University of Pittsburgh, we thought a Pitt-themed wedding was very fitting for us.  We had our ceremony at Heinz Chapel, which is reserved for alumni of Pitt and employees of Heinz.  Our reception venue was in the heart of Oakland and was within walking distance from the chapel.  We took pictures all around the campus, and finished our evening with a bar crawl at a few of our favorite spots from college.

We didn’t really have a specific color theme, other than “fall colors”, which is pretty vague.  Some people seemed confused when they asked what my wedding colors were and my response was simply “fall colors.”  Zach really wanted to wear a blue suit and, quite frankly, I have trouble making any type of decision.  When we were ordering bridesmaid dresses, I wasn’t ready to pick a color that would set the tone of the entire wedding, so I went with a neutral color instead – gray.  Our florist was amazing and I had no clear vision for the flower arrangements (since I know nothing about flowers), other than I wanted pretty fall colors.  Since Zach was upset I didn’t invite him to the initial meeting with the florist, he provided input before I went and told me that he liked yellow calla lilies, which became the basis for our floral design.  Our florist did an absolutely incredible job of taking my mish-mash thought of fall colors and yellow calla lilies and miraculously turned them into gorgeous arrangements that completely exceeded my expectations!

Back to the main “brunch” theme – our caterers really did an outstanding job.  They were just as excited about our brunch wedding as we were!  We had a waffle bar complete with toppings, an omelette station, a meat carving station, and lots of other brunch foods on the buffet line – including eggs, bacon, pasta, vegetables and potatoes.  Instead of having baskets of dinner rolls, we had donuts, bagels, and muffins on all of the tables.  My favorite part was the brunch themed drinks at the bar – Irish coffees, bloody marys, mimosas, a fall sangria, and a breakfast stout!

We wanted to add a lot of personal touches, and since I can sometimes be a little bit crazy, I had to do/make everything myself.  Once I had an idea, there was no stopping me until it was complete.  Prior to the wedding, my dad did a photo shoot with us at 30 different places around campus that we used for our table numbers.  On one side was our picture at the place and on the other side was a description of why it was important to us.  I thought this would give the guests, especially those from out of town, some insight into our college days.  We honored lost family members by having a table with candles in vases that had their pictures on them so we had a part of them with us on our wedding day.  We showcased wedding photos of our parents and grandparents, which I always enjoy seeing at weddings.  One of the highlights of our reception was the 12 minute video slideshow that my father made to show during his speech.  It was only slightly embarrassing for me, but so sweet and we absolutely loved it!

What inspired your vision?
I’ve always dreamed of a fall wedding, and since attending Pitt, dreamed of getting married at Heinz Chapel.  If you’re familiar with Pittsburgh wedding venues, then you know that a fall wedding at Heinz Chapel is pretty popular and hard to reserve – there are five wedding time slots at Heinz Chapel every Saturday, and in the fall, they are almost all booked.  You have to book exactly one year in advance by the month.  After looking at some very cool venues all over the city, we decided it made the most sense to have an Oakland inspired wedding in honor of where we met and spent so much of our time during our years at Pitt.  We booked Soldiers & Sailors as our reception venue, and as October 1 was approaching (which is the first day that you can book a wedding for the following October), I started to get a little nervous that we weren’t going to be one of the five lucky couples to get a slot on October 18, or if we were, that we would be stuck with the early/awkward time slots of 10:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.  And then it hit me – what if we decided to take the first time slot (because nobody actually wants the first time slot) and have a brunch wedding instead of a traditional dinner reception?!  We’re in our late 20’s, so weddings and wedding-related events pretty much consume our lives right now, and I thought it would be fun to try something a little different.  First, we love brunch food (who doesn’t?) and second, once the reception is over, you still have the whole night ahead of you to continue partying with all of your friends and family (which is exactly what we did as our bridal party organized a bar crawl through Oakland to all of our favorite college spots)!  The only drawback was that I kind of forced all 10 of my bridesmaids to be up at the crack of dawn (or slightly before dawn) to start primping for the big day. 🙂

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I was constantly stressed out about every detail of the wedding, as I imagine many brides are.  My dad reminded me throughout the wedding planning process to have fun!  It’s a whole lot of planning for just one day and that day sure does come and go pretty quickly.  Always remember to enjoy the time you get to spend with your fiance, family, and friends while planning for the big day and to make sure you have fun while doing it!

Any  must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Add personal touches to make your wedding unique.  It doesn’t have to be anything extreme or over the top, but I think some sort of personal touch is a great way for your guests to remember and enjoy your wedding.

Do research on your wedding vendors and take recommendations from friends and family, if available.  Many of our vendors came as recommendations from others that had previously used that vendor, so we knew ahead of time that we’d be dealing with someone who was reliable.  All of our vendors were great – so pleasant and easy to work with and they not only made our wedding day go smoothly, but they definitely helped to ease the overall planning experience as well!

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Sorelle Bridal Salon | Bride's Jewelry: Nordstrom and a gift from the maid of honor | Bride's Shoes: Benjamin Adams | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBG | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Caterer: All the Best Catering | Ceremony Location: Heinz Chapel | Decor: Decorations and table numbers were made by the bride and bridesmaids | DJ: DJ Crush | Favors: Jones Soda | Flowers: Donna Delestienne | Hair: Jennifer Wechter (bride & mother of the bride) & Brooke Rockwell Hair Design (bridesmaids & mother of the groom) | Lighting: Gray Phoenix | Makeup: Simply Beautiful | Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger at Macy's | Photographer: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers | Reception Venue: Soldiers & Sailors | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas; programs, signs, and seating assignments were made by the bride | Transportation: Molly's Trolleys

 

 

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Real Wedding: Lisa & Adam at the PAA

Lisa and Adam's wedding is a sweet love story come to life.  After meeting a few times through mutual friends, the two continued to run into each other.  Love eventually blossomed and the rest is history.  The pair tied the knot on a sunny July day.  The Pittsburgh Athletic Association (PAA) inspired the vintage-themed wedding, as did a fun Pitt versus Penn State rivalry between the bride and groom.  Guests were asked to pledge their allegiance to their favorite team, and there was a battle of the fight songs during the reception.  The wedding was chock full of other Pittsburgh nods and unique touches, such as:

  • Prior to the ceremony, Adam and his groomsmen made a pit stop at Primanti's.  What better way to kick off a Pittsburgh wedding than with a cap, egg, and cheese?
  • A beautiful ceremony location.  Not only is St. Stanislaus located in my favorite Pittsburgh neighborhood, the Strip District, but it's also one of the most beautiful and history-rich churches in the city.
  • Some stunning group and bridal portraits taken in front of a few of my favorite Pittsburgh photo spots
  • Instead of a slice of cake, each guest got their own individual version of the greatest cake America ever made, Prantl's infamous burnt almond torte.
  • An amazing after-party in the basement bowling alley of the PAA, complete with late night snacks, more dancing, and of course, a little 10 frame competition.

Milla C. Photography captured this picture-perfect day and Syncopated Pictures put it all in motion.  Feast your eyes on the oh-so-pretty photos and the sweet video that is sure to tug on your heart strings.

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

Classic Pittsburgh Wedding with a Bowling After Party - Milla C Photography

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
While pledging Delta Zeta at the University of Pittsburgh, I became great friends with a girl named Jess, whose brother, Keith, attended Penn State University with Adam.  In 2006, while getting ready for the Preakness horse race at a a friend's house in D.C., I was introduced to Adam for the first time.  From then on, I would see Adam at events for our mutual group of friends and think of him as “Keith's friend with the hair.”  After both attending a wedding at Penn State several years later (and taking photos of each other on the Nittany Lion), the two of us kept in touch.  It was during the Steelers versus Jets playoff game in 2011 that Adam and I ran into each other at the Rivers Casino and our feelings for each other changed…but it would be a few more months until we both knew it.  I was thinking about Adam a lot and decided to make up a story about being at the casino and thinking of the time they saw each other.  This spawned a few weeks of phone calls and text messages.  In May 2011, Adam planned a trip to Pittsburgh to cheer on his friend and Keith's wife, Courtney, in the Pittsburgh Marathon…and to see me.  From that weekend on, we were a couple…a long time coming, but worth the wait 🙂

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Adam and I were celebrating our second anniversary of dating.  Adam planned a dinner at The Chart House in Old Town Alexandria, where we went for brunch the very first weekend I visited Adam in D.C.  Unbeknownst to me, Adam was going to propose this night.  After a great dinner at a table with a wonderful view of the Potomac River, Adam and I boarded a boat for a Monument Cruise.  The cruise left Old Town as the sun set, heading toward the Georgetown Waterfront.  As we passed the Kennedy Center, Adam hinted to me that we could go to the rooftop terrace to enjoy a drink.  I had never been to the Kennedy Center and thought that would be a romantic thing to do.  After we arrived at the Georgetown Waterfront, we walked to the Kennedy Center, where we self-toured through the halls and then made our way up to the rooftop terrace.  Adam and I each bought a drink before walking out to the rooftop.  The weather was calling for rain, so the rooftop was completely empty.  Adam walked me to the side of the terrace where it overlooked the monuments of Washington, D.C.  Here is where Adam got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  After a few panicked bursts of “Oh my God,” I finally said YES!

Describe the wedding.  The look, style, theme, colors, etc.
At first, I really thought I wanted to incorporate navy and coral as our wedding color scheme, but once I picked my wedding dress, everything changed!  I quickly switched to a softer, more romantic and vintage feel, and used different shades of blush, gold, and gray in our decor.  It went perfectly with our wedding reception venue as well.

What inspired your vision?
I found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, as well as from the wedding of Eric and Jessie James Decker.

What made your wedding unique?
There has always been a healthy rivalry of our college alma maters, Pitt and Penn State.  With so many college friends planning to be in attendance, we thought it would be fun to incorporate a Pitt versus Penn State cheer off to both school's football fight songs.  As guests walked into the grand ballroom, they were given the choice of navy/gold beads for Pitt or blue/white beads for Penn State.

In lieu of wedding favors, guests were invited to join a bowling after-party in the basement of the PAA.  They enjoyed the retro bowling alley, a bar, homemade pizzas, cookies, and music!

What was your favorite moment of the day?
Our favorite moment of the day was when I walked down the aisle to Adam.  We only focused on each other the entire walk down.

Our second favorite moment was getting our photos taken on the Roberto Clemente Bridge.  It just so happened that the Y108 Jason Aldean concert tailgate was going on, so the entire bridge and street were closed down.  One of the DJs saw us walking over with our bridal party and made a big announcement.  Everyone cheered and congratulated us; some even asked for photos!

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Everyone has their own idea and expectations of how your wedding day will go, but don't forget that at the end of the day, it is all about what you and your husband have planned and dreamed about.  Don't get hung up on small issues or lose sight of the real reason you're having a wedding to begin with – to celebrate the love between you and your husband.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Make sure that both you and your new husband do everything you can to not get separated throughout your wedding day.  Sneak off to a corner of your reception venue, turn around, and take a nice, long look at all of your favorite people in one room together.  It's the only time everyone you love will all be in one place at one time!

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Mori Lee from Bridals by Natalie | Bride's Accessories: Swarovski & Bridals by Natalie | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier, Donna Morgan, & Love Lane from Bella Bridesmaids | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Ceremony Location: St. Stanislaus Kostka Church | Cookies: Family members & relatives of the groom | DJ: Eric Stoner of Nittany Entertainment | Flowers: Lilli-Maeg | Hair & Makeup: Allison Roth Studio | Menswear: Men's Warehouse | Photographer: Milla C. Photography | Reception Venue & Caterer: Pittsburgh Athletic Association | Stationery: Minted, Wedding Paper Divas, & Etsy | Transportation: Elite Transportation | Videographer: Syncopated Pictures

P.S. One more day to take my reader survey for a chance to win a super cool prize!

Real Wedding: Laura & Brandon at Seven Springs

Ok, ok, I know that we'd all do just about anything for spring to finally kick in.  Warmer weather and sunny days are in our near future!  I can feel it!  But until then, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to feature this beautiful winter wedding from Kelsey Kradel Photography.  A snowy Seven Springs provided the perfect venue for Laura and Brandon's December nuptials.  The couple drew inspiration from their love of the winter season and nature, using the existing wooden beams, stone, and other decor of the ski resort to their advantage.  What they ended up with was a day filled to the brim with woodsy, rustic, details, all against an out-of-this-world beautiful backdrop.  What did I love best?  It was hard to choose but…

  • The wedding took place on 12.13.14, exactly one year from the day Brandon proposed to Laura!  It just so happened that this date was a Saturday so the couple went for it.  I love that the date has double meaning.  Too sweet!
  • Laura and her long, flowing blond locks looked like a dream come true.  The deep V neckline of her dress, the ruching, and the faux fur wrap (which was EVERYTHING!) had me seriously swooning.  Not to mention the color of the gown contrasted wonderfully against the pristine snow!
  • Classic white and black tuxedos are my absolute favorite wedding look for guys!  Brandon and his gents nailed the GQ look for sure.
  • These bride and groom portraits are unreal!  I've always thought snow covered trees were pretty, but add a dapper looking bride and groom and all of a sudden I'm head over heels in love with winter.
  • Pine cones, twigs and tree slices, sprigs of pine trees, a mixed metallic color palette, and tons of candlelight all come together beautifully to create an ambiance that is warm, wintery, and natural.

If this wedding doesn't convince you to get married in the “off season”, I don't know what will.  I just wish I could have featured it sooner – you could have been reading this under a cozy blanket, in front of a fire, while sipping hot chocolate.  Who needs summer?

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

Snowy Ski Resort Pittsburgh Wedding - Kelsey Kradel Photography

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
My friend, Crystal (maid of honor), was friends with Brandon's buddy, Craig (best man).  She made plans to hang out with Craig and Brandon on the 4th of July, 2010, and she asked me to come.  They did not know I was coming and there was no intention of setting us up, but it just so happened that we hit it off instantly and literally talked and laughed the entire night…at times forgetting our friends were there.  We were obsessed with each other from then on.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
It just so happened Brandon proposed on December 14, 2013.  We were inspired to have the wedding exactly one year from that actual day, on 12.13.14, which turned out to be a Saturday!

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
We both knew we wanted a winter wedding; we had no interest in doing anything where it would be hot.  We both love the cold winter since it is the most romantic, in our opinion (cuddling by the fire, the Christmas season, and everyone is filled with joy and love)!  The venue we chose was a ski resort so the decor spoke for itself – natural, exposed wooden beams and stone inside, with the backdrop of picturesque evergreens and white glistening snow outside.

What inspired your vision?
I pulled a lot of my inspiration from The Knot, Pinterest, and bridal magazines.  I created multiple Pinterest boards and kept two 3-ring binders with every clipping from magazines that inspired me.  My theme was classic, warm and cozy, rustic, and luxurious with lots of personal touches.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Pronovias | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Eliza J | Caterer & Ceremony & Reception Location: Seven Springs | Flowers: Barron's Floral | Hair & Makeup: Trillium Spa at Seven Springs | Photographer: Kelsey Kradel Photography | Table Numbers: BHLDN | Wedding Planner: Sierra Jack at Seven Springs

Engaged: Laura & Matt

A few weeks ago, Steven Dray asked me to tag along on an engagement session of his.  I was stoked about this and had a whole “Behind the Scenes of an Engagement Photo Shoot” post planned in my head.  Well, the weather had other plans.  This was the particular Saturday morning that Mother Nature decided to dump inches of snow on our heads and give us white-out driving conditions.  I made it half way there before my car got stuck on the Parkway.  I decided heading home was probably the safest decision, but after seeing sneak peeks, I was so sad that I missed this epic winter shoot.

Laura and Matt (and Steve!) braved the freezing cold and never-ending snow and ended up with some amazing images.  The colorful venue that is Randyland, along with a bar and rooftop deck, provided the unique background that helped to bring the artistic side of this couple to life.  It's so exciting when a couple is open to just about anything when it comes to photos.  Hello….Laura sat on a snowy bench…in a dress!  You'll see what I mean below.  Steve was able to capture some truly beautiful and unique moments.  Laura and Matt are about a cute as can be and it's obvious they are head over heels for each other.  I just hope there is a little less snow for their June 20 wedding.  But at least I know they'll roll with the punches if there is another blizzard 🙂

P.S. After checking our her engagement pics, go give some love to eatPGH, the local foodie blog that Laura writes with three of her friends.  Oh, and they've also written two books.  NBD.

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

Snowy, Colorful Pittsburgh Engagement Session - Steven Dray Images

From Steve, the photographer…

Matt and Laura were down to embrace what Pittsburgh truly is!  They called me and asked if I wanted to cancel this shoot due to the severe weather warnings.  I said I was fine if they were fine.  We both got our 4-wheel drive vehicles out and hit the road.  They chose the truly unique spot of Randyland on the North Side.  They are both super artistic people, so obviously we worked well together.  Nothing is better than when a couple trusts your photography work and your style.  You will always get the best images when you work as a team.  The reason Randyland was so special is because this is the first place Matt and Laura said “I love you.”  Believe me when I tell you that they froze for this shoot, but you would never be able to tell.  We hit a few nearby locations, including a personal bar and rooftop deck.  I couldn't get Matt and Laura to pose for more then three seconds because they couldn't keep their hands off each other.  They made my job easy.  Moments matter and that is what we captured that day.