Sapphire & Lace Design: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of

Next up in the A (Wedding) Day In The Life of series is Sapphire & Lace Design!  Bethany and Julie, the sister team behind all of the pretty blooms created, are vivacious, crazy talented, and sweet as pie.  I've known them both for years and I seriously consider them friends, not just friendors.  Their passion about their work and their commitment to delivering innovative, thoughtful designs has always impressed me.  But when I saw just how much time, energy, and love go into a wedding day, I was blown away.  If you thought your wedding florist just played with pretty flowers all day, you were sorely mistaken.  Their job is tough!  Don't take my word for it though.  Here are B and Julie with the full scoop!

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

Bethany and Julie doing what they do best…flower-ing!

After months of dreaming, planning, organizing, and ordering, wedding week is here!  The Sapphire & Lace Design cottage is a buzz.  Lists are flying and we’re so excited for our couple!


Pull all hard goods (votives, table numbers, compotes, high centerpiece stands, etc.) for quality check and packing.

Prep and clean containers.

Candles are counted (wicks up!) and our week-of questionnaire is sent over to our bride for confirmation of final details!



Everything is being counted, processed, and then organized in the cooler (Post-Its everywhere!).

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

This takes us most of the day but we have a little time left to reach out to our setup/teardown crew and confirm the schedules for wedding day!


Recipes are written on our chalkboard wall to make Friday designing run smoothly.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

We pull the bouquet flowers, carefully selecting the best of the best for our bride and her favorite ladies.



We start with bouquets then work our way to centerpieces (not for a particular reason; we’re just usually too excited to make that gorgeous bridal bouquet!).

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

After everything is designed to perfection, we re-label and re-organize the cooler for an easy load out on Saturday!



After a good night's sleep, we wake up ready to tackle all the beauty of the day!

9 a.m.

Pick up the van.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

9:15 a.m.

Pick up bagels and coffee….because…bagels and coffee.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

9:30 a.m.

We’re ready to design body flowers.  Boutonnieres and corsages must be done day of to ensure they’re fresh for the day!  They get wrapped in ribbon and labeled with a hand-lettered tag.  We pull the perfect tray to display the boutonnieres for a finishing touch and great photo op!

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

10:30 a.m.

LOAD OUT!  It wouldn’t be complete without our cart and ALL the zip ties.  Since we packed up everything earlier in the week and labeled all the flowers, loading up the van is pretty quick.  We can’t leave without snapping a quick picture of the bride’s bouquet!

11 a.m.

We arrive at the bride’s parents' home to deliver the bouquets.  (She loves them!  Yay!)  We instruct her and her girls how to properly carry their flowers for the best photos and we’re off!

11:30 a.m.

Arrive at church.  Altar pieces are placed with care and pew bows are tied off.  The wonderful ladies at the church will be pinning on the personal flowers so it’s time for us to head to the reception!

12 p.m.

Arrive at reception and unload.  (Did we mention we love our cart??)

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

Take a couple of before-pictures and get to work.  We have one crew member on candle duty, another on table numbers and signage, and we get right to work placing arrangements, making sure every last detail is perfect.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

3 p.m.

We’re making great time!  Everything is almost set and we have a few extra blooms to play with (our favorite part).  What can we do to make the reception room look better?  Where could we add extra these flowers for the greatest impact?  How can we make the bride and groom feel special when they sit down to their table?  Just a few of the questions we ask ourselves before wrapping up!

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with Sapphire & Lace Design

3:30 p.m.

Back to the cottage and unloading buckets, garbage, and anything we won’t be needed for tear down. Time to put our feet up for a bit!

9:30 p.m.

Back in the van armed with empty boxes and garbage bags.  To tear down we go!

10:15 p.m.

Waiting for those last few guests to trickle out so we can blow the candles out and start repacking.

11 p.m.

It’s always sad to take down the beautiful decor, but we finished quickly and we’re so ready for bed!

11:30 p.m.

Back at the cottage, unloading (again), and filling up the gas tank on the van so we can return it tonight and have Sunday all to ourselves 🙂

Ohhhhhh child, I am tired just reading this!  Like so many other vendors, florists have such a physically grueling day that requires a long time commitment.  Bethany and Julie, you totally deserved those bagels and that coffee and I hope you got to relax on Sunday.  Thanks for sharing all of your hard work and for creating such beauty in the world!

If you missed it, catch up on A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans and watch as I share more behind the scenes posts in the coming months.

You can also revisit some of my favorite posts from this series in the past!

Introducing Jeannine Bonadio Photography & A Special Offer!

What is my favorite thing about Jeannine Bonadio Photography?  The fact that she combines classic, vibrant wedding photography with an awesome client experience.  With Jeannine, you get the works!  I don't want to spoil any surprises so you should just head on over to the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide to see more from her!

Plus, if you mention Burgh Brides when booking, you'll save $200 on a wedding package!  Valid until November 1.

Burgh Brides Vendor Guide Member & Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer Jeannine Bonadio Photogrpahy


La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans: A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of

Listen up Burgh Brides, those wedding vendors work hard for you.  Like realllllly hard.  Just how hard?  Well, let me introduce you to my new summer series…a behind the scenes look at the life of a wedding professional on an actual wedding day (and in many cases, the weeks or months prior…because we all  know the work isn't just done on the wedding day).  Over the next few months, you'll get just a small glimpse into all of the blood, sweat, and tears your wedding vendors put in just to make sure you have the special day of your dreams!  Who is up first?  Kristen, the owner and getting-gorgeous guru behind La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans.  If you thought your hair and makeup artist just showed up on the morning of your wedding, used some tools, and that was it, think again.  Just wait until you read about ALL that they do!

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans

Meet Kristen! Isn't she gorg?

As many vendors will attest, our prep for the wedding day begins months before.  In the case of our bride Jackie, we were lucky that she had been a client already for years.  Her haircut and color were taken care of routinely by our stylist Amy, and our esthetician Bonnie had her brows and skin under expert care.  I first met Jackie at our bridal consult the October before her wedding.  We went through her inspiration pics and decided on her trial date.  In the meantime, she continued her Aveda skin care routine, monthly brow waxes, and haircuts until the bridal trial.

Bridal Trial: April, 2 months prior to wedding
Kelly did a lovely job with the makeup and Jackie and I decided on a classic low updo.  I did recommend a highlighting close to the wedding day.  I encourage all brides to even try subtle highlights for the wedding day.  They always look amazing in photos.


9:45 a.m.
Kelly, Spencer, and I arrive at the Renaissance.  We head to the 14th floor….only to ride the elevator back down for a key…so we can get to the 14th floor!  Kelly will be doing the makeup, and Spencer will be doing both makeup and prep work for a couple updos I will be finishing.  We have a bridal party of six awaiting.

10 a.m.
We set up in the suite, which is a dream location spot.  The windows are huge and the natural light is awesome for makeup application.  Kelly and Spencer set up makeup, which includes primarily Aveda and a few filler brands.  I proceed to plug in my tools.  I use the Sam Villa texture iron for most updos.  It adds the perfect amount of body, so less teasing is needed and less frizz happens.  I also heat up my 1” curling iron.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans

11 a.m.
Makeup for the moms and the bridesmaids is under way with Kelly.  Spencer is prepping hair with Aveda thickening tonic, adding volume to the crown with the texture iron, and setting the hair all over with the curling iron.  I am pulling the updos together.  Jackie's mom has a beautiful comb that I add to her hair.

11:30 a.m.
I begin Jackie's hair.  And just like 70% of my brides, she has a few changes she'd like to make to her hair.  Honestly, after 25 years of bridal hair, nothing phases me.  Most brides look at the pictures of their trial run, dissect the look, and change something.  And what I conclude is this – the trial is for the TRUST factor.  If we hit the mark, awesome…but most importantly, we establish a calm relationship for the wedding day.

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors: Behind the Scenes with La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans

12:30 p.m.
We finish up Jackie's makeup and do final sprays and last minute pinning for the bridal party.  Truly, 2.5 hours of prep is what I try to give every wedding party.  I try to staff the day so we aren't rushed and the bride or members of her party are not ready too early.  It helps everyone look and feel fresh and beautiful for the aisle.

1 p.m.
We hand our beautiful bride Jackie and her lovely family and friends over to the talented Alison Mish, who was sweet enough to give us some final pics and BTS shots too!

Kristen, thanks for giving us a look at a wedding day in the life of a hair and makeup artist!  You're a total boss and your brides always look amazing!

Keep your eyes peeled all summer as I reveal more behind the scenes looks.  Until then, revisit some of my favorite posts from this series in the past!

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You’ll Absolutely Love Working With Her

If there ever was a wedding photographer that perfectly captured what romance and beauty look like, it’s Madeline Jane.  This girl has a very special talent for documenting love.  She does so in a way that is classic and sophisticated, yet contemporary and casual.  From engagement sessions to weddings, family shoots and everything in between, Madeline believes in loving big, laughing hard, and preserving those sweet moments that make living life so darn awesome.  If you’re still on the hunt for someone to capture your special day, here are 6 reasons I think you’ll love working with her!

1.) Her timeless way of photographing means your images will always be in style. In 30+ years, you want to look back on your wedding photos and smile, not cringe.  While certain photography and editing styles might be super trendy now, light, airy, and romantic will never go out of fashion.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

2.) She’s got your wedding planning back. Need help with that wedding day timeline?  Want a few reasons why you should consider a first look?  Looking for some tips and tricks to make the planning process nice and easy?  All of Madeline’s client’s receive an immensely helpful wedding planning guide written and designed by her!  I’ve seen this thing…it’s amazing!  She could put me out of business with it.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

3.) Her super sweet disposition mean she's a dream to engage with. If a ball of sunshine could mix with funfetti cake and take on a human form, I’m convinced it would be Madeline.  She’s amazingly cheerful and a joy to be around.  You’ll be so glad she’s there on your big day!

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

Meet Madeline! Isn't she a doll?

4.) She'll be as obsessed with your wedding day as you are. Madeline loves love and she’ll be all about making sure this once-in-a-lifetime experience is a good one for you.  From brainstorming details to offering photo advice to just listening to the story of how you met, she’s all ears and ready to help where she can.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

5.) Details and portraits…she's got them both covered. While Madeline is a wizard with bridal portraits, don’t think for one second she’ll forget to document all those tiny details you spent months agonizing over.  A shot of the bride and groom sharing an intimate moment while a gorgeous sun sets behind them or your something blue, dress, bouquet, tablescape, or those diamond earrings your grandmother wore on her wedding day, Madeline will make sure they’re ALL well documented.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

6.) Authenticity is where it's at and she'll capture your true self. While her editing is classic, her style is far from old-fashioned.  The laid back vibe she exudes will allow you to relax, which in turn will allow your personality to shine bright.  No stiff posing or fake smiles here.  It’s all about honest, real love and whatever that means to you.

Madeline Jane Photography: 6 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love Working with Her

If all of this isn’t enough to convince you that Madeline is a rock star photographer and just a super cool chic, head on over to the Vendor Guide where you’ll find more from her, including a special offer for Burgh Brides!

Introducing Eventioneers!

Need a tent for your wedding?  How about everything that does under that tent?  Tables, chairs, lounge furniture, place settings?  Eventioneers can help you with allllll of that and more.  And they'll do it all in style.  Not only does this rental company have an impressive collection of goods to make your event flawless, but their dedication to great customer service is unmatched.  Go see more of them in the Vendor Guide!

Burgh Brides Vendor Guide Member Eventioneers

Introducing Scott Elliott, Professional Guitarist!

Nothing makes an event more special quite like a live musician, and a live guitarist is one of my favorites.  That's why I think you're going to love Scott Elliott.  A talented musician, an accomplished performer, and even an instructor at two universities, Scott and his artistry will bring class and sophistication to your wedding day.  Go meet him and see a video of him performing in the Vendor Guide!

Introducing Pittsburgh Officiants!

You can't get married without someone to perform the ceremony, right?  It seems like a silly question, but it's one detail some people might forget about.  If you aren't getting married in a church or just want something a little different, Pittsburgh Officiants can help.  If you want a religious, silly, or even modern ceremony, their team of celebrants can perform the I Do's in way that totally reflects you as a couple.  Head on over to the Vendor Guide to meet them!



Introducing Square Cafe!

If you're a fan of Square Cafe's breakfast or lunch, you're going to love their catering services.  Using local ingredients whenever possible and absolutely always made with love, dishes from Square Cafe appeal to a wide variety of palettes, diets, and food styles.  Cocktail parties, day-after brunches, and even wedding receptions, they're equipped to handle it all and they're ready to cater your next shindig.  Go say hi to them in the Vendor Guide!

Burgh Brides Vendor Guide Square Cafe



Introducing Tyler Norman Photography & A Special Offer!

Every time I look at a gallery from Tyler Norman Photography, I do nothing but smile.  That's because the couples always exude pure happiness and giddy laughter and it's totally infectious.  He's a fun guy and one heck of a photographer.  It's a winning combination if you ask me.  If you're still photographer shopping (or even if you're not and just want to look at some awesome pics), go meet him in the Vendor Guide!

Plus, he's offering an AMAZING deal for all of you lucky readers out there – if you book before July 1 and mention Burgh Brides, you'll save 10% off the package price!

Burgh Brides Vendor Guide Member Tyler Norman Photography



Introducing Penn Rustics Rentals & A Special Offer!

What are a few things that are all the rage at wedding receptions these days?  Long farm tables, wooden elements, and a handmade vibe.  You can get all three of those trends with Penn Rustics Rentals.  Tables, benches, chairs, cake stands, lawn games, and everything in between, this craftsman offers wooden rental pieces that are made with love right here in the Burgh.  Check out more of their incredible work in the Vendor Guide!

And, they're offering a nice little deal just for Burgh Brides readers – mention the blog when booking and receive free delivery within 50 miles of Pittsburgh.  Over 50 miles?  No problem!  Receive $100 off the delivery fee!

Burgh Brides Vendor Guide Member Penn Rustics Rentals