Sophisticated, Neutral Wedding at the Priory: Chrissy & Josh

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

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From the bride…

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

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

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

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

What inspired the vision?

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

What made the wedding unique?

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

What was your favorite moment of the day?

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

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

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

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

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

Vendors

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

Flowers: GreenSinner | Photography: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Playful Zelienople Engagement Session: Joie & John

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

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From the photographer…

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

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A Schenley Plaza Wedding: ReVeal Pittsburgh

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryan Zarichnak Photography

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Vendors

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

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

Dark & Enchanting Wedding at Phipps: Nina & Freddie

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

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

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

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

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

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

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

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

Dark, dreamy, eerie, enchanted, romantic.

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

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

What inspired your vision?

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

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

What made your wedding unique?

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

What was your favorite moment of the day?

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

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

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

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

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

Vendors

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

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

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

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

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

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

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

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

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

What inspired the vision?

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

What made the wedding unique?

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

What was your favorite moment of the day?

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

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

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

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

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

Amazing shoes!!  Ha!!

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

Vendors

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

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

Cozy Fall Coffee Shop Engagement Session: Jillian & Kieran

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

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

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

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

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

Describe the engagement session.

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

Absolutely Gorgeous Fall Wedding at Greystone Fields: Caris & Sean

There isn't anything quite like a fall wedding, amiright?  The season is such a gorgeous one, especially in southwestern PA.  In not too many other places can you experience the colors, sights, smells, and feelings of autumn quite like we get to here.  It's my favorite time of the year.  So when it's the theme of my other favorite thing – weddings – I'm all over it.  Caris and Sean embraced their October wedding date and made the season come to life.  Dramatic jewel tones combined with authentically autumn colors made the palette rich and warm.  A old, abandoned church provided a quaint backdrop for the ceremony, which was decorated with over 200 pumpkins grown on the bride's uncle's farm just for this special occasion.  At the reception at Greystone Fields, guests enjoyed tastes of the season thanks to a cider bar and caramel apples.  Here's what's really going to knock your socks off though…

  • The bridesmaids dresses.  Caris gave her girls a fall shade and let them go to town.  Emerald lace, burnt orange with a deep v, and a floral print that needs to be in my closet STAT…the result was mismatched perfection!
  • Those florals.  Julie James Designs (who is also Caris's sister in law!) worked her magic and came up with a ceremony backdrop that will leave you speechless.  If that isn't enough flower flawless-ness for you, wait until you see those bouquets.  Oak leaves, craspedia, hydrangeas, garden roses, and amaranthus…the color and texture are out of this world!
  • A family affair.  In addition to Caris's aunt and sister in law contributing to the big day, other family members played a big role too.  The bride's aunt made the wedding cake, family friends baked the cookies, cousins made up the bridal party, and her uncle was the videographer.  Sticking to family was important to this couple and I loved seeing everyone come together to make sure their wedding was magical.

Caryn Azure Photography captured every gorgeous detail of this picture perfect affair.  It's no wonder the fall is now the most popular time of the year to get married!  You're going to love this one!

Absolutely Gorgeous Fall Wedding from Caryn Azure Photography featured on Burgh Brides

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

Sean and I met for the first time at a local coffee shop in my hometown after connecting online.  He made me laugh and I knew he was special.

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

Sean and I were exploring at McConnell's Mill.  Sean etched our initials into a large boulder and we sat reminiscing and laughing in the middle of the woods.  He pulled a ring box out of his bag and asked me to marry him.

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

I wanted to embrace the fact that it was late October.  I included a cider bar, caramel apples for favors, tons of pumpkins, and a fall color palette for my bridesmaids dresses.  I assigned each girl a fall color and let them pick whichever fit and flare dress they wanted.  I knew that the look would be pulled together with my incredible florist's scheme.  She incorporated all the colors of the dresses in addition to oak leaves, pepper berries, and antique hydrangeas, which were more indicative of the season.

The ceremony took place at a small abandoned church in Renfrew, PA, where I grew up.  My uncle, who runs McElhinny Farm in Evans City, agreed to grow 200 pumpkins in his field to add to the decor.  Julie used them in the arch scene at the church and all around Greystone Fields for the reception.

What inspired your vision?

The time of the year.  Western PA is gorgeous in the fall and I wanted to embrace the colors of the season.

What made your wedding unique?

Family.  My aunt made my cake, my uncle grew my pumpkins, my sister-in-law (my maid of honor) was my florist, my mom's best friend made the cookies for the cookie table, my bridesmaids were my closest cousins, and my uncle was my videographer.  Western PA is well known for sticking to family values and keeping close to your roots.  I share that sentiment, which made the day all the more special.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Celebrating!  Seeing so many people who are close to me come together to celebrate such a special time in my life meant the world to me.  Friends came from across the country to join us in celebration, dance with us, and wish us well.

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

Trust your vendors!  Let them take the reigns and keep in mind that they have your best interest at heart.  They want to perfect your look.  They have done this more times than you and can give you great advice.  They know what it takes to make it the best day it can be.

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

You must have an extra pair of shoes to dance in.  It doesn't matter how comfortable your shoes are, you will be happy to have a different pair of shoes.

Have ample time to get ready.  You will be so much more relaxed if you don't have to rush to get ready.  I cherish the memories I have of us girls taking our time to get ready.

You also need breathable shape wear.  I bought a Squeem from Koda Bridal and it gave me great shape, but I was comfortable in it all day.

Vendors

Band: In the Mood | Bride's Dress: Moonlight Bridal from Koda Bridal | Bride's Shoes: Vince Camuto | Bridesmaids Dresses: Nordstrom and Rent the Runway | Cake: The bride's aunt, Kelly Hixon | Caterer: Stephen's Kitchen and Catering | Ceremony Location: North Union Church | Favors: Soergel Orchards | Flowers: Julie James Design | Hair: Mindy Willliams | Photographer: Caryn Azure Photography | Reception Venue: Greystone Fields | Stationery: Nota Bene | Videography: James Gang Productions

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Luxurious & Rustic Fall Wedding at Harmony Opera Hall: Emily & Jeff

The groom's classic style and the bride's affinity for the vintage, worn-in vibe were combined flawless in this luxurious but rustic fall wedding.  Emily and Jeff celebrated with 80 of their closest family and friends during a day that was both elegant and personal.  To fuse their styles, the couple mixed metallic details like sequin linens and mercury glass with wooden elements.  A chic and feminine color palette of ivory, gold, and rose gold was combined with hints of burgundy and orange to create warmth, while subtle fall touches – like painted mini pumpkins and a picture perfect ceremony arbor – brought the season to life.  The couple's go-to beer and a dinner of comfort food made everyone feel right at home.  That cozy, close, homemade feeling is just what the bride and groom were going for, so I'd say mission accomplished.  A few things I loved the most?

  • Emily's shoes.  Talk about glamorous!  The gold BHLDN heels featured a bedazzled toe that is straight up sparkle.  I need them in my closet STAT.
  • Instead of traditional bouquets, the bridesmaids carried matching rose gold Kate Spade clutches.  This spin on the status quo is cute and I am certain those clutches will be carried for many seasons to come!
  • An antique car that added character to the entire day.  From Emily and her dad arriving at the ceremony in it to it making an appearance in her and Jeff's portraits, this rented vintage ride was soooo cool.

Kelsey Kradel Photography snapped all of the swoon-worthy pics.  Prepare yourself to be inspired!

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

In 2010, we met on a popular dating site.  Jeff IM'ed me, “So, are you going to be my girlfriend or what?” After a week or so of chatting online, we finally agreed to meet.  And as the story often goes, the rest is history.  It was truly love at first sight.

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

On Christmas morning 2014, Jeff called me into the living room to start opening presents.  When I walked in, he was down on one knee under our Christmas tree with the most beautiful diamond ring.  We spent a few hours with this big secret all to ourselves, eating Christmas cookies, and drinking endless mugs of coffee before we told our families.

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

We wanted everything to look worn-in and comfortable, but elegant.  Jeff has classic taste and I have a bit of a vintage/rustic side to my style.  By dressing the bridal party in classic black apparel and pairing that with warm, ivory linens, shades of gold and rose gold, and hints of burgundy and orange in the flowers, our wedding was warm, comfy, and as elegant as we had hoped.  We were able to mix bottles of Yuengling and pot roast with pan gravy with black tie and gold pumpkins to create an ambiance we could all be comfortable with.

What inspired your vision?

We wanted everything to feel homemade, personal, and close.  We had a guest list of only 80 and incorporated rustic wooden decor items mixed with metallics to achieve a warm, cozy feeling to the entire night.

What made your wedding unique?

We had an amazing vintage car rental that drove me and my dad into the ceremony space.  It made the perfect addition to our photos around Harmony.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Seeing Jeff at the end of the aisle made the chaos of the day melt away.  It started pouring rain about 5 – 10 minutes before our outdoor ceremony, but everyone made it work.  Once I saw his face, I warmed up and have never felt more sure about anything in my life.

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

Stay true to yourself.  If someone tells you they don't like your colors, they want you to choose a different day, or they prefer fish over chicken – just smile, nod, and choose what YOU want to do.  The day goes by too quickly for you to please others.

Also, I highly recommend having a sweetheart table separated a bit from the rest of the room.  Ours was on a stage, and we were able to eat our meals in peace for a few minutes.  It was so nice to look out on all of our guests and soak in a few minutes alone.

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

Must haves: Hire a great glam squad and a day-of coordinator.  I tried so hard not to hire a coordinator, but it was well worth the cost.  She dealt with the issue of rain while I got my makeup done.  The only anxiety I felt was about what I should have been anxious about – getting married to my soulmate!

And yes, it rained on our special day.  But we still got married!  I woke up the morning of my wedding completely at peace and decided to get married in the park as planned, rain or shine.  We rented a tent, and our day-of coordinator handled the rest.  There are some things you just can't plan for, such as the fact that it hadn't rained in Harmony on September 30th in over 10 years!

Also, have you ever tried to do your makeup while you're nervous?  Don't even try to do it on your own for your wedding.  If you can't hire a professional, at least ask a friend to help you.  Eyeliner is so hard when your hands are shaking from nerves!

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Anais Anette from Glitter & Grit | Bride's Accessories: Jewelry from both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom; pearl stud earrings from the groom on the day of the wedding | Bride's Shoes: BHLDN | Bridesmaids Clutches: Kate Spade | Cake: Tin Man Sweets Bake Shoppe | Cake Topper: Etsy | Caterer: Bistro To Go | Ceremony Location: Wood Street Park | Day of Coordinator: Denise from Eventioneers | DJ: DJ Loyal Martinez | Flowers: The Farmer's Daughter | Groom's Suit: Saks Fifth Avenue | Hair: Simply Captivating Styling | Linens: Linen Tablecloth | Makeup: Ryan Reed Makeup | Photographer: Kelsey Kradel Photography | Pumpkins: Soergel Orchards | Reception Venue: The Center of Harmony Opera Hall | Rentals: Eventioneers | Stationery: Bliss Paper Boutique | Transportation: BMZ Classics Antique Car Rental | Violinist: Steven Vance Violin & DJ Music | Welcome Sign: DIY by the maid of honor

Rentals: Eventioneers | Violinist: Steven Vance Violin & DJ Music

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Romantic & Fancy Wedding at the Twentieth Century Club: Lauren & Ben

Two styles came together beautifully in this romantic yet fancy wedding.  When Lauren married Ben, she wanted something timeless and glamorous.  Mismatched bridesmaids dresses in various styles of grey met floral shades of soft peaches, pinks, and white to give off that swoon-worthy vibe.  Meanwhile, lots of gold accents in the reception decor allowed for the blended look this bride was going for.  Even the striking sage green of the Twentieth Century Club – the location of both the ceremony and reception – fit in with the day's look.  From Lauren's lace V-neck Bridal Beginning wedding dress with cap sleeves and beaded belt to large floral welcome sign set in a gilded gold frame to the wedding cake featuring mixed metallic fondant confetti, this day was sparkly, classic, and downright lovely.  You're going to love these photos from Breanna Elizabeth Photography!

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Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh 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Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides Romantic & Fancy Wedding from Breanna Elizabeth Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We actually met online using OkCupid!  I decided to try online dating just shy of my twenty-fifth birthday, and almost gave up without meeting Ben.  I signed in to deactivate my account, when I noticed a picture with a warm, caring smile that I couldn't resist among messages that had gone unread.  It was Ben.  I thought to myself “Ok, I'll give it one last shot,” and messaged him back.  Hours later, we began exchanging messages, and soon after we exchanged phone numbers.  After our first date, we were inseparable.

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

September 18, 2015 started out as a typical Friday and turned into the day that we would never forget.  After purchasing the ring only four days before, Ben received a phone call from the jeweler letting him know the ring was done, beautiful, and ready to be taken home.  So he dropped everything for the rest of the day and planned his proposal.  Fortuitously, it was date night.  We had planned to go to a fantastic restaurant, and round out the evening with drinks at one of our favorite bars in our old neighborhood, Tender.  As we walked out the door, Ben grabbed a coat, despite the warm weather, and little did I know, a beautiful surprise was waiting in the pocket for me.  After dinner we took an Uber to Tender, and the driver asked us if we were married, to which I replied “not yet,” still with no idea what was to come.  The Uber driver told us his wonderful love story, and encouraged us not to wait because once you've found the one you love, why wait.  Ben was sitting in the front seat hiding his grin.  When we arrived at Tender, Ben excused himself to the restroom while I got seats at the bar.  When he returned, he held up his phone and said “It’s been a great night, we should take a picture!”  Angling the phone to take the perfect selfie, Ben placed the ring over my shoulder so I would see it on the screen on his phone.  Once I realized the moment I had been dreaming of was finally happening, Ben got down on one knee in the middle of the bar and asked me to marry him.  Through tears, I shouted a yes, and now here we are!

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

The look and style I was going for was “romantic glam,” which to me meant lots of lace, softness, and just the right amount of bling.  I chose grey for my bridesmaids and had them pick whatever dress they liked.  It came together beautifully, some having beaded dresses and some having chic and simple dresses.  Ben's crew kept it simple and classy with black suits.  I used lots of gold decor to bring the glam, and my florist did an amazing job making everything look super romantic.  I think the roses and eucalyptus added the perfect amount of femininity and romance to balance the glam.

What inspired the vision?

Once I found our venue, I knew our wedding was going to be a fancy affair!  But, it was truly my dress that inspired my vision.  I fell in love with this gorgeous, lacy, romantic dress, and it just set the tone for everything I wanted for my wedding.  I did a lot of Pinterest-ing, but it can get overwhelming with all of the ideas out there…just let those ideas guide you and trust in your vendors to make your vision come to life.

What made the wedding unique?

Our ceremony made our wedding really unique.  My husband is Jewish, and I was raised Christian, so we combined our traditions in a very special way to reflect both families.  Our ceremony was extremely personal and heartfelt, both in our words to one another but also in our families' involvement.  We are also huge music lovers and made sure to incorporate songs from our own love story in the ceremony.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

I had so many!!  I think my absolute favorite moment was the second the doors opened to the ceremony room and I saw everyone I loved all in one room there to support us in our marriage.  I'm extremely close with my dad, so that was a moment we had been looking forward to for a long time.  I couldn't wait to get to the end of the aisle to Ben though.  It was such a special moment with the two most important men in my life.

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

Do your research on your vendors, don't let the little details stress you out, and remember that the love you share with your partner is the most important detail of the whole experience.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Justin Alexander from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Belt: Debby Hoffman Bridal | Bride's Bracelet: Kate Spade | Bride's Comb: Debby Hoffman Bridal | Bride's Earrings: Giavan | Bride's Shoes: Dyebles | Cake: Bella Christie | Caterer: The Twentieth Century Club | Ceremony Location: The Twentieth Century Club | Ceremony Programs: Marry Makings | DJ: Rob Browell Macky from Macky-Sasser DJ Services | Flowers: The Blooming Dahlia | Hair: Barbie Palermo | His & Her Vow Books: Jotters and Journals | Linens: The Twentieth Century Club | Makeup: Pittsburgh Makeup by Julie Marckisotto | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: Breanna Elizabeth Photography | Reception Venue: The Twentieth Century Club | Stationery: Invitations by Dawn | Table Numbers: Simply Fetching Paper | Transportation: Lenzner Coach Lines |  Welcome Signs: Nella Designs

Cool AF City Engagement Session: Sara & Tate

This city engagement session is cool AF.  No, seriously.  It doesn't get much more epic than this.  Sara and Tate opted for a hip, urban shoot with Requiem Images prior to their big day.  At sunset, the pair took off for downtown.  Taking in the impeding twilight sky and all of the glistening lights of the city, Sara and Tate traipsed across busy streets, past gritty backdrops, and even hit up the roof of a parking garage.  That's not what makes this session so sick though.  It was the fact that Tate got hungry in the middle of picture-taking and stopped for a pizza.  Smart move, my friend, because Kat, their photographer decided to roll with it.  The couple shared some slices on the corner of Liberty Avenue and looked like two total bad asses while doing it.  Nothing says Pittsburgh girl quite like a gorgeous blond in a sexy ruby red lace dress enjoying pizza while taking her engagement photos.  This right here is couple goals.

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From the photographer…

When Sara and Tate came to me for their engagement photos, they were hoping for an amazing city engagement session…and boy, did they get it!  Outfitted in stunning attire, Tate HAD to have pizza right in the middle of the session and we ended up with some of the most fun, personality-filled engagement session ever.