Win Tickets to Rocked! A Couture Bridal Event from Pittsburgh Magazine

Have you marked your calendar for Rocked!?  This couture bridal event is being brought to you by Pittsburgh Magazine and it's all going down at the Rivers Club on August 17.  Think styled vignettes, the best of the city's wedding professionals, cocktails, light bites, and an evening of wedding planning with your favorite pals.  Sounds like a blast right?

Now's your chance to attend for FREE!  I've teamed up with Pittsburgh Magazine to give away a pack of five tickets to TWO lucky readers!  Keep scrolling to enter and then save the date for this wedding event that bound to be epic!

Rocked! A Couture Bridal Event from Pittsburgh Magazine

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Rocked! Tickets Giveaway Ts & Cs

  • Prize: Two 5-pack tickets to Rocked!  A Couture Bridal Event from Pittsburgh Magazine on 8/17/17.  No cash value.
  • Giveaway Dates: 8/8/17 3 p.m. EST – 8/11/17 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Use the Rafflecopter widget above to enter.
  • Two winners will be randomly drawn using Rafflecopter and announced via this blog post Burgh on 8/12/17.  The winners will also be notified via email.
  • Winners have 72 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Giveaway is open to the public.  All persons are eligible to enter and win. 

Black & Gold Wedding Inspiration

A wedding isn't a Pittsburgh wedding unless it's a black & gold wedding, right?  But trust me when I say this…there is a right way to do black and gold, and there is a (very) wrong way to do it.  What's the right way?  THIS.  First, choose metallic gold over yellow gold.  That will lead to a chic, not kitschy, color combo.  Then, choose another shade to be your accent color.  Emerald, raspberry, blush, it doesn't really matter because black and gold are pretty much neutrals.  You can even throw in a little Kate Spade inspo with stripes, polka dots, or other geometric pattern.  Keep things sophisticated with LBDs for bridesmaids dresses, traditional tuxedos for the gents, monochromatic white florals, and lots of sparkle.  No Steelers, Penguins, or Pirates motifs here…this black and white wedding inspiration is nothing but class.  Pittsburgh done right, my friends.

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of black and gold!  What do you like about these colors?  Are you using any of them in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

Berry, Blush, & Emerald Wedding Inspiration

Ohmyword.  I may have found my new favorite wedding color combo.  Berry, blush, & emerald is IN.CRED.IBLE.  It's bold, vibrant, feminine, and vivacious.  Faint of heart brides need not apply.  This palette is for those who aren't afraid to make a statement.  That's exactly why I think you need to just go for it if you're using these shades.  Start off with an emerald invitation suite that embraces the richness of this color while adding pops of metallic gold.  Save the full scheme for the actual wedding day, dressing your maids in beautiful berry dresses that flatter all skin tones while you don a blush wedding dress since that trend seems like it's never going out of style.  Imagine the floral magic that will be your bouquets and centerpieces…peonies, garden roses, snapdragons, ranunculus, dahlias, magnolia leaves, even protea…I'm already dying just thinking about it.  I like the idea of this palette mixed with a few boho vibes…geode “escort cards” or table numbers with gold calligraphy, hammered gold flatware, and even gold trimmed terrariums to add an earthy touch.  Serve up a sparkling rose cocktail garnished with fresh raspberries and even your taste buds will be embracing these colors.  However you spin it, I am head over heels for the drama of this mix and I'm certain you will be too.

Berry, Blush, & Emerald Wedding Inspiration from Burgh Brides

Clockwise from top left: The Calm Collective via Every Last Detail; Minted; Kelsea Holder via Wonderful DIY; Candace Jeffrey Photography; Loft Calligraphy; center via Pinterest

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of berry, blush, and emerald!  What do you like about these colors?  Are you using any of them in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

A Wedding Stationery Timeline from Blush Paper Co.

Wedding stationery can be a very confusing topic.  There are a million paper options, guidelines about what fonts should be paired together, and even rules about you should and shouldn't include on your invitations.  Where is a bride to even begin making sense of all of that?  Easy.  Let's start at the beginning.  And the beginning is knowing WHEN to send all of those pretty mailings and print your day-of materials.  Blush Paper Co. to the rescue with this wedding stationery timeline that will keep you on schedule!

A Wedding Stationery Timeline from Blush Paper Co. featured on Burgh Brides

From Jen of Blush Paper Co…

I created the timeline in response to the #1 question I am asked at consultations:  How are we on time?  How long will this process take?

It's incredibly helpful to have a breakdown of timelines and deadlines.  When brides book with me, we will also create a calendar together to further create deadlines, so they know exactly when to expect proofs and revisions.  It's tailored to their specific needs, so no two calendars are alike.  But in general, this guide is a great resource.  It's so helpful to know when to start the custom stationery process!   Since you're working with a live designer and having your stationery professionally printed, the timeline is a bit different than ordering from a big-box store.

AMEN!  I dare you to try and find this kind of customer service or tailoring at an online stationery printer.  While those sites have their advantages, absolutely nothing beats working with an independent stationer to design and print your wedding day paper goodies.  So check your calendar, make sure your on time with creating your paper suite, and then head on over to the Vendor Guide when you can find more from Blush Paper Co.!

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Ask Burgh Brides: To Veil or Not to Veil

This edition of Ask Burgh Brides is dedicated to what is quite possibly the most asked question by brides to be…

Ask Burgh Brides: To Veil or Not to Veil

Bride M writes…

I am getting married beach-side in Newport, RI.  So here is my burning (and somewhat trivial) question for you: veil or no veil?  I realize this is a preference but I keep going back and forth.  We are getting married outside on a beach, so when I purchased my dress I said no to buying a veil.  Then, the more I thought about it, the more I was like, “When in my life will I ever be able to wear a veil again??  Never.”  So, then I got on the band wagon and started looking at veils.  Turns out, like most wedding details, they are pricey.  So is a veil going to just be in the way, blowing my maid of honor in the face or, worse, hitting my groom while we say “I do?”  Or, is it a necessity because you only marry once and it really makes you feel like a bride?

Hey M!  Thanks for writing, and for addressing a question that I think SO many brides struggle with.  But let's get one thing straight first…wearing a veil doesn't make you a bride.  Or make you not a bride.  You're getting married.  Therefore, you're a bride.  Nothing is a necessity and you don't have to do anything, including wearing a veil.  The best weddings are those that are personalized and reflective of the couple and where the couple is totally comfortable and happy.  So if wearing a veil doesn't make you comfortable or happy, don't do it!

However, back to your original question…to veil or not to veil.  Personally?  I love veils.  I think they're demure and feminine and they can really add something to your bridal look.  Plus, like you said, when in your life will you ever have another opportunity to wear a veil?  Likely never.  So I'm all about seizing that opportunity.  However, it's a totally personal choice and if you don't think a veil is for you, it won't make you any less of a bride.

There are some veil choices for those brides like you who might be on the fence.  Because let's face it, not everyone can rock a cathedral length, and I tend to think they get in the way more than anything else.  Think bird cage or finger tip length.  You could also opt for a hip hair piece or fascinator instead (how very Kate Middleton of you!).  Either way, you'll be absolutely beautiful and 100% a bride!

What about you readers out there?  Will you be sporting a veil?  Why or why not?  Comment below and help a fellow Burgh Bride out!

Planning a wedding and need some help?  You’ve come to the right place!  Submit your question and you could see it answered right here on the blog.

Some Recent Ask Burgh Brides Q&As!

Yellow & Lavender Wedding Inspiration

Soft and charming, a yellow and lavender wedding color palette is perfect for any spring or summer affair.  I love the feminine and youthful quality this combo has and it's easy to bring it alive for your big day.  To really make these shades work well together, keep the yellow pale and go for a unique mix of rustic, organic, and whimsical.  Opt for a barn or outdoor reception where the other colors of nature can act as built-in accents.  Wooden tables, cross-back chairs, bistro lights, and paper lanterns create a magical ambiance and light fabrics like linen, chiffon, and cotton keep things breezy.  Your floral selections are pretty much endless.  I like fresh or dried lavender obviously, but you also can't go wrong with daises, lisianthus, tulips, and even white peonies or garden roses for a bridal touch.  Don't forget the food and drink; a spiked lavender lemonade would make a delicious signature drink while lavender can be incorporated into a variety of sweet and savory dishes.  However you use it, this palette is amazing for a low-key, casual party that focuses on fun, family, and friends!

Yellow & Lavender Wedding Inspiration from Burgh Brides

Clockwise from top left: Invitations by Sarah McCay and Photo by Stephen Johnson via Martha Stewart Weddings; Dress from Morning Lavender; Care Studios via Every Last Detail; via Pinterest; Becky Young Photography via Ruffled; tPoz Photography via Style Me Pretty

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of yellow and lavender!  What do you like about these colors?  Are you using any of them in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

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Wedding Day Emergency Kit: What to Include in Yours

News Flash: Something WILL go wrong on your wedding day!  I'll pause for a minute so that can sink into your head.

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Ok, now that you've been warned and have accepted that Murphy's Law will always win, there is some good news.  You CAN be prepared so that snafus stay minor.  Arm yourself with an emergency kit that will equip you to fend off any wedding day challenge with ease.  Pack a duffle bag, go pro with an organized tackle box of sorts, or opt for a throwback with your Caboodle from eighth grade…it doesn't matter what you put these items in.  Just make sure you have them handy on the big day!  Here are my must have items for your wedding day emergency kit!

What to Include in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit from Burgh Brides

  • Hairspray (duh)
  • Lotion
  • Q-tips (solver of a variety of problems)
  • Oil blotting sheets (because a pile of makeup on your face is no good)
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins
  • Nail file
  • Clear nail polish
  • A hand-held mirror
  • Pain reliever of choice (Advil, Tylenol, etc.)
  • Eye drops
  • Floss
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Tums or Pepto
  • Hand sanitizer (gross surfaces are everywhere)
  • Band-Aids (I guarantee one of your ladies will get a blister on their feet)
  • Deodorant
  • Razor
  • Kleenex (for your happy tears)
  • Scissors (you'll be shocked at how often you'll reach for these)
  • Tape (regular, double sided, and fabric/hem)
  • Gum, mouth wash, and/or mints
  • Tampons
  • Baby powder (it helps to keep you cool in the summer!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lint roller
  • Downy Wrinkle Releaser
  • Bottled water
  • Soda or Gatorade (in case of low blood sugar)
  • Drinking straws (don't want to ruin that pretty lipstick)
  • Granola bars/snacks (no one likes a hangry bride)
  • Safety pins
  • Floral pins (for the boutonniere that goes askew)
  • Static Guard
  • Shout Wipes or Tide to Go Pen
  • Sewing kit (because those tuxedo buttons weren't meant to stay on forever)
  • Super glue (life's universal problem solver)

You don't need to spend a lot of money to build this kit!  Raid your own bathroom and linen closet and then hit up the travel section at Target, where you can find most of these goodies for around a buck a piece.

Note that this kit is different than the basket of toiletries you usually see in the restroom.  The above list is for you and your bridal party to have with you while getting ready and when out and about taking pictures.  Ask your maid of honor to be in charge of keeping it safe and close by. You'll be able to handle any wedding day emergency like a ninja!

BONUS! – If you've hired a wedding coordinator, she'll likely have all of these items on hand and at your disposal.

Any other ideas or items that might be useful?  Former Burgh Brides, what item did you wish you had with you on your wedding day?  Comment below!

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Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless)

Wedding family portraits…ugh.  I bet you're dreading them already, aren't you?  Not because you don't love your crazy (in a good way) family, but because this part of a wedding day can be STRESSFUL!  Trying to corral a dozen or so people and snap a million photos in 15 minutes flat when everyone is hugging you and your nephew is stepping on your train and your niece is screaming her head off and all you want to do is kiss your new spouse and celebrate with a glass of champagne…whew, even the calmest of brides is bound to start sweating a little bit.  But with a little planning before the wedding, the family portrait session doesn't have to be painful.  In fact, it can be totally amazing!  My friend (and one of my favorite wedding photographers) Christina Montemurro is sharing her five ways to do just that!

1.) Prior to the wedding, create a list of the group shots you want.
Those few moments right after your ceremony are so euphoric and joyful.  You don’t want to spend them deciding whether want your sister’s kind-of serious boyfriend in your family photo.  Should you do a photo with your grandparents and parents together, or separately?  These decisions should be made ahead of time.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

2.) Don't forget to tell everyone on the list that they’re on the list!
Otherwise, they are likely to leave.  Even if your ceremony and reception are in the same place, guests start to wander off toward food and drink.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

3.) Smaller groups > larger groups.
Larger groups take longer to organize.  It can be a little bit of a game of Tetris to make sure we can see everyone’s faces in a large group.  Four groups of 12 will likely take longer to arrange than 12 groups of four.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

4.) More people = smaller faces
The more people you squeeze into a photo, the smaller their faces are. It can be fun to have a “big family photo,” but keep in mind as you add people, their faces will take up less and less of the frame.  Unless you’re planning on an enlarged print, consider breaking those big family photos into smaller groups (also, see above!).

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

5.) Know how much time you're working with.
Some churches, especially the busy churches in Oakland like St. Paul’s Cathedral and Heinz Memorial Chapel, have very tight time limitations.  Even without a time limit, think about how you want to spend the time on your wedding day.  If you also have a large bridal party, or if you really want to go to more than one destination for photos, try to limit the number of family groupings.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

BB here…

Your photographer can help with all of this!  He or she can look at your list and let you know if you have enough time for all that you have planned.  Plus, they'll help herd everyone into the shot, letting you just stand up straight and smile.  So fear family portrait time no longer, Burgh Brides!  While you won't often see this type of photo on a wedding blog, it's actually the very type that you're bound to cherish for years and even generations to come.  Some of my favorite images from our wedding are those that include my grandfather who is no longer with us.

Thanks so much for all of the great advice, Christina!  Be sure to check out more of her work in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide!

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Win a Copy of Weddings in Color from Sandrachile!

One of the earliest wedding planning decisions you'll make is to choose a color palette.  (But don't forget to read the 5 things to consider when choosing wedding colors first!)  And if you're still finding yourself in need of a little inspiration, there is no better resource than the Weddings in Color book.  This rainbow-come-to-life guide presents all kinds of modern day wedding inspiration in the prettiest of palettes.  According to the online reviews, “Lusciously designed and bursting with vivid photography, Weddings in Color has everything brides need to design a stunningly colorful affair.”  Lucky for you, Pittsburgh's most colorful photographer – Sandrachile – is giving away a copy to one reader!  Keep on scrolling for full details and to submit your entries!

P.S. How cute is Sandra?

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Weddings in Color Book Giveaway Ts & Cs

  • Prize: One copy of Weddings in Color.  No cash value.
  • Giveaway Dates: 3/28/17 8:15 a.m. EST – 3/31/17 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Use the Rafflecopter widget above to enter.
  • One winner will be randomly drawn using Rafflecopter and announced on this page and via Burgh Brides social media channels on 4/1/17.  The winner will also be notified via email.
  • Winner has 72 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • All readers and social media followers of Burgh Brides and Sandrachile are eligible to enter and win.

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Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours

Sending wedding save the dates is one of the first things you’ll cross off your planning to do list.  But before you can do that, there are a few things you have to know!  You're probably asking yourself, “What is there to know?”  I mean, it seems easy enough, right?  Well, it is a bit more complicated than just selecting an engagement photo, picking a design, and slapping some stamps on them.  In order to avoid a total save the date faux pas, read these 7 tips from my favorite local stationery designers.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

Blush Paper Co.

 1.) Don't send them too early, but don't send them too late.
We recommend sending your save the dates out about six months before your wedding date, unless you're getting married abroad.  Then, you'll want to give your guests a generous 10 – 12 months time to prepare travel arrangements.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

2.) Choose the right photo.
It's important to choose the right photo for your announcements.  Not all photos work with every save the date layout!  You won't want to submit a vertical photo for a horizontal layout.  Your photographer will likely take photos of you with white space, allowing your designer room to place with text around you, and a trained designer will be able to make most photos work!

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

Fresh Cut Prints

3.) Plan ahead.  
You don’t want to offend someone by sending a save the date, but then deciding later that you really don’t have room to invite them to the wedding.  You’ll need to plan your invite list well in advance to avoid this faux pas!  It’s also best to be clear as early as possible who you’re inviting to the wedding – think plus ones and kids.  Addressing the save the date correctly can reinforce exactly who is invited to your wedding, and will help avoid any sticky situations later.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

4.) Include the right information. 
What info should you include on your save the date?  The date, location (city and state), and a wedding website (if you have one).  You’ll also want to include a mention of “formal invitation to follow” somewhere on the save the date.  You do not need to include specific times and venues at this point; you can save that for the invitation.  Also, please do NOT include your registry information!  Instead, include extra details like this on your website.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

Purple Wagon Designs

5.) Be cohesive.
It's great to have an overlying theme for your wedding stationery – from the save the date to the invitation straight through to the “day of” items, like ceremony programs and place cards, and even all the way to the thank you notes.  They can have different levels of formality, but you should incorporate elements that tie them all together, such as the same fonts or colors.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

6.) Save the dates don't have to break the bank.
Postcard save the dates are a good way to keep your costs down.  You don't have the added cost of the envelope and you save on postage, too!

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

And here is one final tip that ALL of the designers agree on…

7.) Make them personal!
Blush Paper Co. – Your save the date is the first glimpse your friends and family will have of your wedding.  You'll probably still be undecided on a color scheme, so don't stress too much about making sure they match your wedding stationery.  Pick a fun, memorable design that captures who you are as a couple.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

Fresh Cut Prints – Save the Dates are generally less formal than your wedding invitations.  It's a great place to incorporate some of your personality!  Use photos, fun illustrations, and more casual wording than on your invitations.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

Purple Wagon Designs – Let your personality shine!  Save-the-dates can be casual, fun, and should be infused with your personality.  Don’t feel like your save the dates need to be too matchy-matchy with your wedding suite.  Instead, let the invitation design be dictated by the style of the wedding, and let loose with the save the dates!  Anything goes – photos, text, or beautiful artwork are a great way to infuse some personality.

Wedding Save the Dates: 7 Tips for Totally Nailing Yours from Burgh Brides

Now go get your save the dating on!  But before you do that, be sure to check out more work from Blush Paper Co., Fresh Cut Prints, and Purple Wagon Designs in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide!

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