Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

If you can't get married in Italy, the next best thing is this Tuscan inspired wedding styled shoot.  An edgy color palette of berry tones and black combine romantically with details reminiscent of the Italian countryside.  Gold calligraphy and antique-inspired stationery invite guests to an al fresco courtyard set-up where red taper candles, matte black place settings and gold flatware from All Occasions Party Rentals adorned the tablescape.  Rich red napkins, teal velvet ribbon, and jewel tone floral arrangements popped against cool light gray linens.  Even the cake, which was created by Mediterra Bakehouse and featured naked chocolate layers, fresh figs, and berries, reminded me of the old world.  What really makes this shoot striking though is a untraditional black and taupe dress that was paired with locally-made mixed metallic jewelry, deep ruby satin heels, and smokey makeup and hair done by GLOW Blotique.  Combining a modern, avant garde vibe with classic Tuscan warmth and romance, this inspiring shoot was styled by A & L Events and captured by Wanderlust Images and Traveling Heart Productions.  That's amore.

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Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Black Wedding Dress: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Ruby Gold Wedding Engagement Ring: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Berry Velvet Monogrammed Embroidered Ring Box: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Tablescape Design with Matte Black China: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Purple and Red Wedding Flowers Bridal Bouquet: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Fruit Cake Topper: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Fresh and Natural Wedding Day Makeup for Bride: 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Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Tablescape with Red and Purple Flowers: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Berry Velvet Monogrammed Embroidered Ring Box: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Black Wedding Dress: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Red Satin Wedding Shoes for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Hand Lettered Gold Calligraphy Vintage Inspired Wedding 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From the stylist…

Our Tuscan Twilight Styled Shoot draws inspiration from the rich autumnal hues, seasonal fruits, and a hint of unconventional edge, paired with the romance of Tuscany's charming countryside.  Our bride is found in an intimate Italian courtyard in Pennsylvania, flooded with the ambience of subtle, yet enticing, candlelight.  She sits stunningly in her untraditional black and taupe gown paired with unique mixed metal jewelry awaiting the marriage ceremony, while admiring the details of the enchanting evening.  As she awaits, she is serenaded by the strumming of acoustic guitar and twirls to the soft music.  Behind her, a decadent Mediterranean spread is flourishly displayed for when guests arrive to celebrate this one-of-a-kind love.  The vibrant and lush floral palette brings the bold tablescape to life, contrasting the clean elegance of the noir matte dinner plates and textured gold flatware against the cool gray linen and touch of greenery.  A colorful cake design comprised of striking old world elements and the modern composition of the watercolor stationery with foiled gold accents provide this styled shoot with dynamic elements sure to delight the eye.  This Tuscan Twilight Styled Shoot was created to provoke feelings of warmth, endearment, intimacy, and avant-garde glamour attracting the romantic yet untraditional bride.

Vendors

Photography: Wanderlust Images | Stylist: A & L Events | Shoot Location: Morning Glory Inn | Cake: Mediterra Bakehouse | Dress: Ashlee Brooks Collection | Food & Drink: Fish Hawk Acres | Flowers: Posies by Patti | Hair: GLOW Blotique | Jewelry & Accessories: Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design | Linens: All Occasions Party Rental | Live Musician: Jason Kendall Productions | Makeup: GLOW Blotique | Model: Lillian Theresa of Theiroff Agency | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Shoes: Nina | Stationery: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Cake: Mediterra Bakehouse | Hair: GLOW Blotique | Linens: All Occasions Party Rental | Makeup: GLOW Blotique | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

 

Dazzling Pink & Gold Wedding at the History Center: Amie & Ben

This pink & gold wedding is going to knock your socks off!  Fox Petal Floral Design hit the nail on the head when she described Amie and Ben's big day as “pink champagne bubbles at a black-tie wedding”!  I mean the color of the bride's Bridal Beginning dress was officially called “moscato”.  Does it get any more perfect than that?!  Actually, yes.  Yes, it does.  And these photos from Aaron Varga Photography are proof.  After a fairy tale proposal, the pair chose the Heinz History Center as the venue for their black tie-optional wedding.  A color palette of blush, ivory, gold, and rose gold coupled with lots of sparkly details and a few unique twists on tradition helped to create pure wedding magic.  Amie and Ben's formal affair was sophisticated, feminine, and styled to damn near perfection.  This wedding blogger's heart is all aflutter.  I'm sure yours will be too.

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We were actually set up!  My dear friend Brad, whom I've known since high school, and his brother Marc, who recruited Ben and brought him to Pittsburgh for a job, thought that we would make a good match.  The two of them had actually tried to get us to meet for almost a year but we kept missing each other!

The first time I was supposed to meet Ben was at Brad's annual Halloween party back in 2009.  Ben was a no show.  Then, a few months later, Marc invited us both to his annual St. Patty's Day party, but I never ended up making it there.  Finally, in July, Brad and Marc set up a specific happy hour for Ben and me to meet at Yo Rita in the Southside.  After two margaritas, still no Ben.  I told Brad and Marc that I was giving this guy 10 more minutes and then we're calling this a failure and moving on.  Little did I know that Ben's flight had been delayed.  Fifteen minutes later, Ben walked in (yeah, I gave him an extra five minutes).  We hit it off, and the rest, they say, was history. 🙂

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

Ben grew up in upstate NY, but had never been to NYC.  What?!?  I couldn't believe it.  So, a few months after we had started dating, I surprised him on his 25th birthday with a road trip to New York City to see the Yankees (his team) play the Red Sox (my team) at Yankee Stadium.  Despite the Red Sox winning (sorry, Ben), it was an amazing trip, and NYC soon became one of our favorite weekend getaways.  We try to visit a few times each year.

Fast forward to spring 2015.  Ben and I had both been traveling like crazy for work.  We were literally two ships passing in the night, and one day Ben said, “Clear your schedule Mother's Day weekend.  I planned something fun for us, since we haven't seen each other in a few weeks.”

That Friday morning, I had arrived back in Pittsburgh after taking the red eye from LA.  When I pulled into our driveway, Ben was just leaving for work.  He told me he had made me breakfast and there was a note that would explain our weekend plans.  He left for work and I headed straight to the kitchen.  He prepared a beautiful breakfast, complete with a note telling me to pack a bag and be ready to leave at 4 p.m.

I finished my breakfast and went upstairs to go to bed, and there was another note beside a suitcase on our bed.  It detailed the type of outfits I would need (a nice dinner, comfy shoes, etc.), as well as the temperature of this mysterious place we were heading to.  Of course, I immediately went to weather.com and tried to find cities that matched the forecast.  NYC was in the running, but so were a few others, so I still wasn't sure.

I took my nap, packed my bags, and at 4 p.m. on the dot a limo pulled up to my door to pick me up.  The chauffeur grabbed my bag, and we were off to the airport.  As we pulled up to the terminal, Ben texted me a link.  It was to Billy Joel's New York State of Mind.  Yep, we were off to NYC!!

Ben was waiting for me at the airport.  He had a bag of “goodies” waiting for me, including all of my favorite travel snacks.  We flew first class to NYC and headed straight to the hotel – the Hilton on 6th Avenue – to check in and get ready for dinner.

In the hotel room, I came out of the bathroom, ready to go and there was one final card sitting on the bed.  The card was a hand-written proposal (that I'll have forever) and Ben down on one-knee with the most gorgeous diamond ring.  I immediately said yes and we headed to a fancy dinner at Buddakan to celebrate!

The rest of the weekend was just magical.  We hit all of our favorite spots and just enjoyed the first few days of the engagement together.  The ring was a little big, so I literally walked around NYC the entire weekend with a clenched fist.  It was my 2nd favorite weekend of my life (after the wedding, of course). 🙂

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

Ben and I are what you would call “wedding guest professionals”.  Over the 5+ years that we dated, we probably went to at least 8-10 weddings every year, which was both fun and educational (lol).  We got to see a wide range of themes from chic, rustic affairs, to beachy destination weddings to black tie NYE extravaganzas.  So when it came time for us to plan our big day, we had pretty much seen it all, and had made lots of mental notes along the way of things we really liked and things we didn't love.  We wanted our guests to enjoy our special day as much as we did, and we set out to create a truly memorable event.

Our first decision, which ultimately determined the entire direction of the day, was a venue.  We determined that our guest list would be around 150 people and decided that Pittsburgh had to play a major role.  Not only was it the place that we met, but it was also the place where we made a home and so many memories.  Ben grew up outside of Saratoga Springs, NY, so many of his family had never been to Pittsburgh or had only been a handful of times.  We wanted to show it off and to celebrate our wedding in the city.

We selected the Heinz History Center as our venue, and decided that since a wedding was kind of a big deal, we wanted to make it fancy affair.  We decided on a 6 p.m., black-tie optional ceremony that was held in the Great Hall, followed by a cocktail reception in the same room and a reception in the Mueller Center.

As for other elements of the wedding that Ben and I loved:

  • Our ceremony.  I'm Catholic, but Ben isn't religious, so we decided to host the ceremony at the History Center.  Our friend Brad, who introduced us, was our officiant and made the ceremony so personal and special.
  • The flowers.  Kelly Bishop of Fox Petal Floral is one of my closest friends (lucky me!).  She is amazing.  I gave her a budget, a gold and blush color scheme, and told her I wanted a variety of arrangements.  She somehow got inside my head and created these mood boards of exactly what I had envisioned.  The flowers were definitely a showstopper at the wedding.  They were beautiful!
  • The food.  I have had severe food allergies my entire life.  No dairy.  So when it came time to pick the menu, I was overly sensitive to making sure that there were items for every dietary need: dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan.  You name it, we had it.  I didn't want anyone to have to eat before they came, like I had done at so many receptions.  We decided to have three stations so that people could pick what they wanted to eat – and the amount that they wanted to eat.  The Common Plea was an amazing partner in helping us make sure that the food could accommodate everyone, and it was delicious!!  We also worked with Gluuteny Bakery to create our small wedding cake and our BIG dessert table.  We expanded the traditional cookie table to more of an all-encompassing dessert table, complete with a variety of cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, candy, etc.  It was incredible!
  • A first look.  Because the ceremony started later, Ben and I decided to do a first look and take our photos earlier in the day, so that we could enjoy as much time with our guests as possible.  Aaron Varga, our photographer, was awesome.  He hearded all of us cats and we cranked out amazingly beautiful photos in the 90+ degree heat.  This way Ben and I could enjoy our cocktail reception and dance the night away to Eric Schiemer's awesome tunes.

What inspired your vision?

We wanted our wedding to be classic, formal, and rich in our personality.  Kelly, our florist, hit the nail on the head when she described our wedding as being like “pink champagne bubbles at a black-tie wedding.”

What what your favorite moment of the day?

The entire day was perfect.  But I would have to say that my most memorable and favorite moment of the day is when I was actually walking down the aisle with my dad.  It was such an intimate space that I could see all of my friends and family as I made my way up to Ben.  It was a little surreal and overwhelming, but I will never forget that moment.

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

1.) If people ask to help take them up on it.  I’m definitely a Type A personality, so this was a hard one for me.  I know it’s your day and you want it to be perfect, but guess what?  Your friends and family want that day to be just as awesome for you.  Delegate and let people help you with some of the little details.

2.) Get your fiancé involved.  Not just to nod at the decisions that you’ve already made, but really let him own some of the planning.  It’s both of your special days, after all!  Ben created the menu (ok, with a little help from me), figured out the marriage license situation, helped with the wedding invitations, managed the budget tracker, and planned the entire honeymoon.  It was AMAZING!

3.) Excel is your friend.  Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without it.  I had tabs for budgets, guest lists, vendor contact information, registry lists, to-do’s, etc.

4.) Talk to your married friends.  These ladies have been through it, so they are going to have great advice and watch-outs.  They will also save you a ton of time researching vendors.  I’m pretty sure our DJ has played at at least 3 of our friends’ weddings.

5.) Carve out “wedding planning” time.  Yes, weekends.  But for me, I put a few half days on the calendar well in advance.  These afternoons were filled with meetings with the caterers, florists, linens, hotels, and the event space coordinators.  It was nice to be able to completely focus on wrapping up a ton of little to-do’s in one day.

6.) Enjoy your day.  Everyone tells you that your wedding day flies by, and that's the truth.  It's the best day of your life, so make sure to take a moment, take a step back, and take it all in.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Hair Piece: Clarissa Boutique | Bride's Shoes: Halogen | Bridesmaids Dresses: Sorella Vita from Bridal Beginning | Cake & Desserts: Gluuteny Bakery | Caterer: The Common Plea | Ceremony Location: Heinz History Center | DJ: Schiemer Entertainment | Flowers: Fox Petal Floral Design | Hair: Geno Levi Salon | Lighting: Schiemer Entertainment | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Makeup by Kourtney | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: Aaron Varga Photography | Reception Venue: Heinz History Center

Vendor-Credit-Shout-Out

Bride's Dress: Bridal Beginning | Bride's Hair Piece: Clarissa Boutique | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridal Beginning

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At Home Engagement Session: Lindsay & Joe

Nothing is cozier and more intimate than an at home engagement session.  At the suggestion of their photographer – Rachel Rowland – Lindsay and Joe opted to take their pre-wedding pics in their South Side loft, which is uniquely decorated with nods to Joe's home town of Pittsburgh.  Seeing the joy and flirty nature of Lindsay and Joe's relationship come alive in their very own home is really something.  From smooching in the hallway to cuddling on the sofa to jumping on the bed, this shoot is comfy and oh-so-natural.  Just the way I like it.  Afterwards, the group took off for the Primanti Brothers restaurant where Lindsay and Joe first met.  And in true Pittsburgh girl fashion, this bride-to-be even stuck her diamond engagement ring into a sandwich for some super cool shots!  To round out the session, Lindsay and Joe took some playful photos on top of a parking garage overlooking the city.  If I had a dollar for every time Joe made Lindsay laugh, I could retire a happy woman.  I'm pretty sure this feature is going to make you smile too.  Every engagement shoot should be this good.

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At Home Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides

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From the bride…

Our photographer Rachel Rowland suggested the at home engagement shoot after seeing our apartment in the historic Print Shop Lofts in the South Side.  You can find details of Joe's hometown throughout the apartment – in the Pirates bobblehead dolls on the bar cart, to the hand made Primanti Brothers sign on the wall, to Joe's T-shirt commemorating Club Laga.

We also suggested taking photos in the Primanti Brothers where we first met, as well as around Oakland.  At Primantis, the employees laughed and cheered on the photoshoot, especially when Rachel put my engagement ring INSIDE a sandwich!

More photos were also taken on a dock off the Three Rivers Heritage trail, where we go on long runs together, as well as on the roof of a South Side Works parking garage to capture the beautiful sunset and cityscape.

The photo shoot was natural, energy-filled, and incredibly fun. We instantly felt comfortable with Rachel and we couldn't stop laughing the whole time.  The photos truly capture the juxtaposition of passion and silliness in our relationship.

Lavish City Wedding at Hotel Monaco: Christina & Adam

A city wedding that combines rooftop portraits, lavish details, lush florals, and an abundance of romance?  Um, YES PLEASE.  You're going to absolutely fall in love with Christina and Adam's big day.  A girly combo of black, white, gold, and blush pink was a chic and sophisticated color palette, and it went perfectly with Hotel Monaco – the venue of choice.  Thanks to GreenSinner, the space was filled to the brim with orchids, roses, and hydrangeas arranged in elevated centerpieces dripping with beads or cascading down crystal candelabras.  Soft uplights, a custom gobo bearing the couple's initials, an abundance of candles, and touches of gold just about everywhere gave the room a lovely glow.  Gorgeous doesn't even begin to describe it.  Planned by Poppy Events and captured by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers, Christina and Adam's wedding is sure to become a new favorite!

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From the bride…

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

In true self-professed nerd fashion, we met while we were both attending law school.  Though it would be several years after meeting before we would start dating, our connection and chemistry were instantaneous.  We spent the next few years building an incredible friendship, bonding over our mutual, deep love of family and passion for dogs (especially our dogs – Jake and Lucy!).  Eventually Adam's persistence paid off and we went out on our first date.  From that moment on, we were inseparable.  Then in mid-November 2016, after almost 3 years of dating, we spent a beautiful fall day sightseeing in Washington D.C., ending with Adam popping the question!  As it turned out, Adam had the loose ring in his pants pocket all day (no box because he didn't want me to see it) and was just waiting for the right moment.  No wonder he seemed a bit nervous that day!  Luckily, he was able to keep the ring safe and sound until putting it on my finger that evening.  He never ceases to amaze and impress me.

Describe the wedding and what inspired it.  What was unique about it?

The color scheme for our wedding was black and white with gold and blush accents.  Our vision was to have a lavish city wedding that combined timeless elegance with modern flair, and then add some personal touches to make it truly, uniquely us.  For example, I wore on my right hand the engagement and wedding rings of my maternal grandmother, who passed away when my mom was a child, to ensure she was part of the day too.  Adam and I had the lyrics of our favorite song (“Betray My Heart”) read in poem-like fashion during our ceremony in lieu of a more traditional reading.  We let each bridesmaid choose her own dress (no store, designer, fabric limitations or anything) because I'm a firm believer that a woman looks most beautiful when she feels comfortable and confident.  We love the traditional sound of string instruments; but to make it match our vision more, we opted to have our string trio play exclusively more modern songs from the last 50 years.  Since we are both Pittsburgh natives, to incorporate a little Pittsburgh into the wedding (aside from just the must-have cookie table), we chose to have Pittsburgh Popcorn Company popcorn as our favors.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Because we had a winter wedding (with limited daylight hours for photos), Adam and I considered doing a first look.  But ultimately we decided against it, and for us, we are so happy with that decision.  Seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day as I walked down the aisle to one of our favorite songs that so perfectly describes our relationship (Etta James's “At Last”) was our favorite moment of the day.  It was a magical moment that we will both cherish forever.

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

Do your research and choose your venue and vendors wisely – and then trust them!!  We spent a lot of time in the beginning of the planning process researching to make sure everything and everyone we chose were the right fit for our special day.  Then, we trusted and relied on their expertise and experience to take our inspiration and vision and execute it.  And boy did they!  We ended up with a wedding that matched what we had envisioned, but was a million times better than we could have dreamed.  So our best advice to couples planning their big day is to let your vendors be creative and do their thing – it's why you hired them and you won't regret it.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Cake: Signature Desserts | Caterer: Hotel Monaco | Ceremony Location: Hotel Monaco | Ceremony Musicians: Hot Metal Strings | DJ: DJ Selecta from Modern Era Weddings | Favors: Pittsburgh Popcorn Company | Flowers: GreenSinner | Groom's Attire: Ted Baker | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Hair: Simply Captivating Styling | Lighting: Modern Era Weddings | Makeup: Valarie Panei | Photography: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers | Reception Venue: Hotel Monaco | Stationery: Angela Pro Design | Wedding Planner: Poppy Events

Bride's Dress: Bridal Beginning | DJ: DJ Selecta from Modern Era Weddings | Flowers: GreenSinner | Lighting: Modern Era Weddings | Photography: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers | Wedding Planner: Poppy Events

Luxurious Industrial Chic Wedding at the Pittsburgh Opera: Brianne & Eric

This wedding.  I.can't.even.

I should have expected nothing less than style perfection when {SHE} teamed up with Brianne, the owner of the hip Lawrenceville boutique No. 14.  When she wed Eric, all the stops were brought out.  Brianne's style is girly and chic, but she wanted the wedding to contrast that and to also reflect her new hubby (it was his day too, after all).  They pair opted for the Pittsburgh Opera (one of my FAVORITE locales) because of it's raw canvas-ness and an old warehouse in the middle of the Strip District was the perfect representation of the city they love.  To juxtapose the grit and industrial vibe of the venue, Brianne and Eric brought luxury to life.  Crystal chandeliers and strands of bistro lights hung from exposed duct work.  A black and white checkered dance floor looked sharp against exposed brick walls.  Soft pink, white, and green floral arrangements – including an epic runner trailing all the way to the floor – brought an airiness to the space.  In a word – it was incredible.  My favorite details:

  • Brianne's dress.  O.M.G.  I won't spoil the surprise but the Anne Barge gown from Anne Gregory for the Bride is literally show-stopping.
  • That cake.  Bella Christie knocked it out of the park with the black and floral, three-tiered confection.  Can a cake be sexy?  Because this one totally is.
  • Custom branded set pieces.  A DJ booth displaying their first names and a bar announcing “The Kordenbrocks” were focal points.  All Occasions even worked the look of Brianne and Eric's floral scheme into it.  THIS is how you wow your guests!

The fact that Bri and Eric have been together since their early teens make this day, which was captured by Hot Metal Studio, even sweeter.  Brace yourself.  This one is a total doozy.

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You absolutely have to watch Brianne and Eric's highlight video from Evermark Studios.  It will literally give you goosebumps.

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

I was 14; Eric was 15.  Eric was invited to my best friend Kara's 15th birthday party at her house.  He was coming to meet Kara because a friend thought they would hit it off.  Instead, we ended up talking and never stopped.  Kara is still my best friend in the entire world and was my maid of honor.

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

I opened No. 14, a contemporary clothing store located in Lawrenceville, on October 14, 2014.  On October 15th, 2015, No. 14 was throwing a huge first birthday bash.  A bunch of our friends came into town for it.  In the middle of the party, Eric's little sister pulled me aside to ask me about sizing of a skirt.  She walked away in the middle of me talking to her; Eric stepped in and asked me to be his wife.  I was never the type of girl who was super insane about my proposal or my wedding but I did have one request – I wanted my entire family there.  All of my family is local with the exception for one of my brothers, Quinn, who lives in Denver.  Eric and my parents arranged for Quinn and his girlfriend (now fiancé!) to fly in and surprise me right after it happened.  It was one of the best nights surrounded by all of our favorite people.  No. 14 is named after a lot of life milestones for both me and Eric.  More than anything, it is because his college football number was 14 and so much of our time in college was spent on the football field.  I loved how the original No. 14 proposed at No. 14.

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

The Pittsburgh Opera is a very raw, blank canvas.  The exposed brick warehouse-feel in the middle of the Strip District is so Pittsburgh.  This city is underrated, and I'm so proud to live here.  We wanted all of our friends from out of town to see where we spend so much of our time and why we love Pittsburgh the way we do.  I wanted to keep the space raw, but bring the luxurious feel to it.  We added the black and white dance floor, custom bar, and giant farm style tables.  We added some plush chairs and had our head table (a whopping 47 people) at a high top in the middle.  Our flowers were out of control!  Lauren from The Farmers Daughter is so talented.  Two of our tables had a flower runner that went all the way to the floor, and the others had incredible arrangements on them. The florals were all whites, greens, and dusty blush, to tie in my dress.

What inspired your vision?

If you have been to No. 14, you know it is very girly.  Pink, metallic, light and airy.  It is the most inspiring place to work everyday, and I adore it.  I think a lot of people expected my wedding to look exactly like No.14 and to have that same exact feel.  I wanted to counteract that aesthetic.  We kept using words like: classy, sexy, sharp, and crisp.  Weddings get so caught up in “the bride” but it was Eric's day too!  I wanted it to resemble both of us.

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

Enjoy it and don't sweat the small stuff; at the end of the day, it is just a party.  On your wedding day, take a step back and soak it in.  Understand that all the people in that room are there for you and your new husband.  How special is it to have all of the people you love in one room, celebrating you and your new life together?

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

I truly loved every single one of our vendors.  Everything went off without a hitch.  I think it is all thanks to Shayla, our wedding planner.  She knew us, she knew our vision, and she knew exactly which vendors would work for us.  I had the vision, but no knowledge of how to make it come to fruition.  Shayla knew the perfect vendors to make it all come to life.  We couldn't have done it without her.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Anne Barge from Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Accessories: J. Crew and her grandma's diamond bracelet | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew | Cake: Bella Christie | Caterer: Big Burrito | Ceremony Location: Sts. John & Paul Roman Catholic Parish | DJ: DJ Digital Dave | Flowers: The Farmer's Daughter | Hair: Brooke Rockwell Hair Designs | Lighting: Gray Phoenix | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Carly Tuscano of Fluhme Glam Bar | Menswear: Jack's Tuxedo | Photographer: Hot Metal Studio | Reception Venue: The Pittsburgh Opera | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Videography: Evermark Studios | Wedding Planner: {SHE} Shayla Hawkins Events

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Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental

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Snowy Pastel Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot

The pale pinks and blues of a gorgeous winter sunset inspired this styled shoot that will make all pastel wedding lovers go gaga!  The light shades are a feminine contrast against the white snow of the season.  Taking place on Heaven Sent Farms, stylist Jessica Garda Events set up a sweetheart table dressed with airy fabrics, pink taper candles, and simple bud vases.  Two light blue high back vintage chairs save the place for the “bride and groom” – a real life couple who just got engaged!  My favorite feature though?  The V-neck icy blue dress with a lace bodice and tulle skirt worn by the model.  While a non-white wedding dress isn't for the faint of heart, this gorgeous spin on tradition will win the hearts of even the most classic bride.  The dress paired beautifully with the lush bouquet created by Allison Brooks Events, which incorporated color, texture, and whimsical vibes.  Soft hair by Glam to Go and natural makeup by Dominika Bronner completed the look.  Captured by Dawn Derbyshire Photography, this styled shoot is sweet, girly, and a winter dream come true!

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From the stylist…

The inspiration for this shoot came about on a Monday evening after a winter storm.  The sunset that night was a beautiful combination of pale blues and pinks that made me think of spring.  Typically with winter shoots, you see the use of bold colors to contrast the white snow.  But I thought the pairing of this pastel palette with the winter environment would make for a sweet and whimsical take on a winter wedding.

On Tuesday, with still just the start of an idea, I put out a message on Facebook to see who would want to do a spur-of-the-moment shoot that weekend.  The result was an amazing team of wedding professionals who came together (most of them meeting for the first time!) to make some magic.  We all had a blast collaborating on this project – each one of us throwing out ideas when inspiration struck.  Even our models – a real couple who were recently engaged – chimed in with ideas and helped with set-up!  This whole experience was a prime example of the spirit of “community over competition” that makes Pittsburgh's wedding industry so special!

Vendors

Photography: Dawn Derbyshire Photography | Stylist: Jessica Garda Events | Shoot Location: Heaven Sent Farms | Desserts: Bartram House Bakery | Dresses: ASOS | Flowers: Allison Brooks Events | Hair: Glam to Go | Makeup: Dominika Bronner | Models: Alexis Zmijowski and Ryan Lemerich | Rentals: Copper & Sage Event Design & Vintage Rentals

Photography: Dawn Derbyshire Photography | Stylist: Jessica Garda Events | Hair: Glam to Go

Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children’s Museum: Kimberly & Ronald

I dare you to spot something more fun than this polka dot wedding.  (See what I did there?)  Kimberly and Ronald took a classic wedding day palette – black, white, and red – and added some pizzazz by incorporating whimsical spots and wide stripes.  The invites, Ronald's tie, ceremony programs, the seating chart, linens, even the ribbons hanging from Kimberly's bouquet – all of these details showcased a little pop of pattern which infused a youthful, casual vibe into the entire day.  Couple this with numerous personalized elements – like the venue of the Children's Museum and the fact that Kimberly used to teach in the classrooms there, wine from Chautauqua where the couple got engaged, and a dessert course that featured both the bride and groom's favorites – and you've got a recipe for a winning wedding.  Traditional yet totally fun, this perfectly patterned day was captured by Ryan Zarichnak Photography.  Get your peepers ready for lots of Pinterest worthy inspo!

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Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald Super Fun Polka Dot Wedding at the Children's Museum: Kimberly & Ronald

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We both work for Pittsburgh Public Schools, though in totally different departments.  Our paths had crossed briefly over the years, but it wasn’t until after some “convincing” by our co-workers that we finally went on our first date in the spring of 2014.  Since then, we have been pretty much inseparable!

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

Once the school year ended in June of 2016, we decided we needed a nice, relaxing weekend away so we went up to Lake Chautauqua for a few days.  While there, we stayed at a cute B&B and Ron surprised me by proposing with the most beautiful ring ever!  We kept the engagement to ourselves for the day while enjoying wine tasting with big smiles and then we told my family in person and Ron’s family over the phone once we returned to Pittsburgh.

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

We wanted our wedding to be fun, yet classy, so we chose classic black and white and then added the pops of red and sparkle for some fun.  I loves all things polka dot, so we fit the dots and stripes in to add some jazz to plain black and white.

What inspired the vision?

I had dreamed of my wedding since I was a little girl, and luckily Ron was flexible about wedding decor and style, so I was able to make all of my Pinterest wedding board dreams come true!

What made the wedding unique?

We chose The Children's Museum for our wedding because it's a very special place to me.  I used to teach in one of Pittsburgh Public School's classrooms within the building.  Throughout the years I taught there, I had seen the amazing things that could be done there with a little creativity.  Also, many of our friends and family have small children, so the location seemed perfect.  Ron selected the food for the stations from the extensive Big Catering menu, including sushi, sliders, and a pasta bar.  My favorite dessert is Prantl's burnt almond torte and Ron's is ice cream, so we decided to have both.  Many other wedding items had personal meaning to us, including wine from Chautauqua where we got engaged and beer from Draai Laag Brewing Co., where we have become friends with the owners.  The candles used for the ceremony were also made by a friend of mine and one of the district secretaries was the officiant for the ceremony.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

My favorite moment of the day was the short bit of time after the ceremony, but before the reception, where it was just the wedding party and immediate family around hugging and congratulating us.  It was very happy, very private, and very special (and luckily Ryan got some great photos of these moments).

Ron's favorite moment of the day was the amazing Draai Laag beer and the huge sushi bar 🙂

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

Pittsburgh has some great local things that can make your day wonderful without breaking your bank… take advantage of it!  Etsy is also great for getting personalized items that you and your wedding party will keep forever.

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

Must have: a great photographer and great DJ

Must have: a detailed agenda for the day so everyone working on your wedding knows what's supposed to happen and when, so you don't get asked a million questions when you're trying to enjoy your day

Would do differently: start earlier in the day – everything seemed to go so fast!

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Morilee by Madeline Gardner from The Winner | Bride's Belt & Headpiece: Ingenue B | Bride's Jewelry: Trinity Jewelers | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Belts: Ingenue B | Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal | Cake: Prantl's | Caterer: Big Catering | Ceremony Location: The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh | DJ: North Pittsburgh Music | Dessert: Leona's Ice Cream Sandwiches | Flasks: Etsy | Flowers: Bloom Brigade | Hair: Above All Grand Salon & Spa | Hangers: Mile High Gifts | Linens: Mosaic Linens | Makeup: Above All Grand Salon & Spa | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photo Booth: The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh | Photo Booth Album: Pink Fish Shop | Photo Booth Props: Oriental Trading | Photographer: Ryan Zarichnak Photography | Reception Venue: The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh | Rentals: All Occasion Party Rental | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Transportation: Roenigk Transportation

Photographer: Ryan Zarichnak Photography | Rentals: All Occasion Party Rental

Surprise Strip District Proposal: Maura & Jim

I love a good surprise proposal caught on camera.  But when it takes place in my favorite Pittsburgh neighborhood – the Strip District – I'm all about it.  Jim planned to pop the question to Maura over his birthday weekend, and he secretly enlisted the help of Kathryn Hyslop Photography to get it all on film.  Good man.  After dinner and a quick stop for drinks at Primanti's, Jim walked Maura to the middle of Smallman Street.  In the quintessential Strip District location with the Pittsburgh skyline behind them, he got down on one knee.  Maura's reaction is totally priceless!  After saying YES, the pair headed off with Kathryn for an impromptu photo shoot around the block.  Damn near everything about it is totally darling.  This feature is bound to have you grinning from ear to ear.  Enjoy!

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From the photographer…

Jim planned the proposal for months.  He secretly saved up for the ring, while putting off her engagement hints.  About two months before the day of the proposal, he started coordinating with me to capture the big moment.

He had it planned for his birthday weekend.  He and Maura were a long distance couple, so he knew she'd be coming in to celebrate his birthday, and she wouldn't question him choosing the restaurant for dinner.  After all, it was his birthday 😉

The plan was to go out to dinner, then stop at Primanti Bros. for a drink afterwards (the authentic Pittsburgh experience).  However, the plan was off by a half-hour when Maura decided she neeeeeeded to get fries as well!  Poor Jim had to anxiously wait on her to eat, while he snuck away to the bathroom to text me about the delay.

Finally, they walked out of the restaurant and across the street.  Once they were right in the middle – Jim stopped traffic and got down on one knee.  Maura's face was the perfect mixture of excitement, shock, and happiness.  And the answer (of course), was yes.

We finished the evening with a short photoshoot around the Strip District to celebrate, and Jim planned a surprise engagement party with all their friends and family afterwards. <3

Blue & Gold Literary Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

Taking a page out of Shakespeare's book, this literary inspired wedding styled shoot imagines a new ending for Romeo and Juliet.  Rather than star-crossed lovers, the pair wind up magnificently in love in this adaptation from Exhale Events and Kaitlin Powell Photography.  They imagined what the couple's wedding celebration might have looked like.  Pairing varying shades of blue with gold and fields of greens and taking inspiration from medieval Italian styles, a stellar vendor team – including Burgh Brides own Mediterra Bakehouse, Vintage Alley Rentals, Community Flower Shop, and All Occasions Party Rental – created an ethereal display.  Ornate stationery complete with gorgeous gold calligraphy and wax seals, brocade linens, and brass candlesticks brought a vintage vibe to the tablescape while Mediterranean-inspired place settings and dramatic navy napkins offered a touch of modernity.  Blue thistle, seeded eucalyptus, and even fresh berries brought the color palette to life while white ranunculus and silver brunia balls introduced complimentary shades.  In what would have been typical Shakespearean fashion, a feast of bread, pudding, and other old-age inspired foods graced the table and dessert display.  Thanks to hanging bistro lights, a multi-dimensional star display, and a circular canopy of florals, a heavenly ambiance exuded from every angle.  Even the bride looked like an angel in a beaded Anna Campell gown from Blanc de Blanc which made her look like a walking constellation.  Dreamy doesn't even begin to describe it!

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Watch it all come to life with this highlight clip from Danielle Durbin Film & Photo.

From the stylists…

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and wanted to write a new ending for it? (You and I both know there was plenty of room for Jack on that door, Rose…)  Well that’s exactly what the design team for Exhale Events aimed to do with Shakespeare’s tragic romance of Romeo & Juliet.

In this literary inspired shoot, we decided to re-imagine what it would’ve looked liked if the family feud between Montague and Capulet had come to an end, allowing the star-crossed lovers to live happily ever after.  Influences of medieval Verona can be identified throughout, with the floral selections being indigenous to that region of Italy as well as a dessert table adorned with fresh baked breads and puddings, which suited that time era.  The reception is a display of the stars finally aligning for the couple with an elegant and intimate table overlooking the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh, PA.  This is the ending, or quite possibly the beginning, we had envisioned for this infamous tale.

Vendors

Banner: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Calligraphy: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Cake & Desserts: Mediterra Bakehouse | Decor: Vintage Alley Rentals | Design & Styling: Exhale Events | Dress: Sydney by Anna Campbell from Blanc de Blanc | Food: Mediterra Bakehouse | Flowers: Community Flower Shop | Hair: Bon Giorno Bella | Hair Piece: Blanc de Blanc | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Bon Giono Bella | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Models: Bonnie Chun & Curry Dewhirst | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Photography: Kaitlin Powell Photography | Shoes: Blue by Betsy Johnson | Shoot Location: Hotel Monaco | Stationery: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Videography: Danielle Durbin Film & Photo

Cake & Desserts: Mediterra Bakehouse | Decor: Vintage Alley Rentals | Design & Styling: Exhale Events | Food: Mediterra Bakehouse | Flowers: Community Flower Shop | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Photography: Kaitlin Powell Photography

Timeless Gold & White Wedding at the Fairmont: Steph & Andy

For Steph and Andy, getting dressed up and going to nice dinners is a go-to date idea.  When it came time to get married, they aimed to recreate that feeling of a special night.  A romantic dinner, lots of candlelight, and a good ol' fashioned party is all it took to bring their vibe to life.  The Fairmont Hotel and the downtown area hold special places in Steph and Andy's hearts, so it was a natural fit to host their big day.  Once the venue was nailed down, the rest of the details were easy to figure out – timeless, neutral, and a hint of glam.  From the gold foil laser cut invitations to Steph's long lace sleeved Tara Keely sheath gown to the oh-so-bridal bouquet of white peonies, lilies, and hydrangeas (The Blue Daisy Floral Designs outdid herself this time), this day was as classic as it gets.  After a Heinz Chapel ceremony, guests entered the hotel ballroom to find even more chic-meets-glitz details like sheer ivory linens embroidered with gold satin ribbons, a gold painted wedding cake, and lit candles just about everywhere they turned.  What a special night indeed.  And it was all expertly captured by none other than Steven Dray Images.  This one's got me like whoa.

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?  What was the proposal like?  All the juicy details!

Andy and I are in the same industry.  At one point, we were doing the same job (title attorneys) for competing companies.  He works for EQT and I work for Consol Energy.  We met at a Young Professionals in Energy happy hour at Olive or Twist.  He overheard me tell my friend I was hungry and immediately asked me to dinner with him.  I awkwardly said yes.  We walked over to Six Penn Kitchen and had our first date.

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

Candlelit dinner, romantic setting, neutral ivory tones with hints of gold.  We love getting all dressed up and going to nice dinners, so we wanted to capture that feeling and atmosphere.  We knew from the beginning we wanted a traditional, classic, and timeless wedding.

We really wanted photos of our grandparents, who could not physically be there to share in our day.  So we blew up photos of them and had them displayed in the foyer.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Steph

Aside from marrying the man of my dreams, my favorite memory is more of a feeling.  It was when we got in the limo after our ceremony.  It started to hit me – we just got married!  We were there with the people we loved the most, holding hands, smiling, laughing, and of course jamming to our favorite music.  It was the happiest moment of my life!

Andy

We did a first look.  I really liked seeing Stephanie before the rest of our guests and not waiting until she was walking down the aisle.  She looked so beautiful and  happy.  I was just staring at her until she finally said “Come here” and gave me a hug and kiss.  It's easy to get caught up in the regimented nature of the day, so having that moment of just us together and feeling the excitement and happiness we both had was a great start to the big day.  It calmed a lot of nerves.   It also meant we could spend more time together instead of just waiting until the ceremony.  It extended our celebration because we were together longer and enjoying more of the day as a couple.

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

No matter how much planning or time you put into it, something is going to go wrong the day-of.  You need to focus on the big picture, your feelings, and your partner and not let it ruin your day.  No one notices except you and if you choose not to let it bother you, then you can fully appreciate and take in each moment.

We both are really glad we did the first look.  It calmed both of us down and we were able to spend more time together throughout the day.  It felt more like a celebration of us since we are experiencing more of it together.

Set aside time for just you and your spouse.  It sounds like common sense but the day is full of you waiting for the next task, the next thing on your day-of schedule.  It's really easy to get lost in the mix and not live in the moment.  Try to sneak away or meet on the dance floor and enjoy each other, take in the venue, and the people around you.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Tara Keely | Bride's Shoes: Badgely Mischka | Caterer: Fairmont Pittsburgh | Ceremony Location: Heinz Chapel | DJ: Bryan Hoover of Pittsburgh All Stars Event Services | Flowers: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs | Hair: Simply Captivating Styling | Makeup: Jae Lee Paredes of JL Makeup Studio & Beauty Boutique | Officiant: Rev. David M. Anderson, Jr. | Photographer: Steven Dray Images | Reception Venue: Fairmont Pittsburgh | Stationery: More than Words | Videographer: Michael A. McKown of The Pros | Violinist: Devin Arrington

Flowers: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs | Makeup: Jae Lee Paredes of JL Makeup Studio & Beauty Boutique | Photographer: Steven Dray Images