Featured Vendor: Veronica Varos Photography

Le sigh.  One look at the work of Veronica Varos and I'm instantly overtaken by romance.  I find myself swooning and filled with butterflies.  It's as if her creativity is limitless.  The layering, the angles, and the composition of her photos is quite unique.  But more than that, there is something crazy special about the way she captures unexpected or unplanned moments.  It's almost as if she's a chameleon, blending right into the background.  The bride and groom and others go about their business, not noticing her, not posing or changing their actions, just simply being themselves, making for some of the most real, most genuine, most strikingly beautiful images I've ever seen.

While her work on Jessica and Brian's wedding was featured right here last month, I'm not the only one who thinks Veronica is insanely talented.  Her work has been featured on Brides, Ruffled Blog, Style Me Pretty, and The Today Show, not once, not twice, but three times!  She also just landed the cover of the latest Whirl Wedding Guide.  See what all the (totally deserved) fuss is about!

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From Veronica…

What type of services do you provide?
Wedding, engagement, and boudoir photography

Tell me a little bit about your company!  How long have you been in business?  Is this your full time gig or a part time passion?  What makes your service(s) unique? Why should brides and grooms hire you?
I’m a full time wedding photographer who specializes in creative documentary work.  Prior to weddings, I was exclusively a concert photographer but made the switch to weddings in 2008.  I take pride in the fact that I'm not a cookie-cutter wedding photographer; I'm not a traditional photographer.  My goal is to be a fly on the wall at each wedding I photograph.  I prefer to photograph things as they happy naturally, rather than posing or staging moments.  I absolutely love receiving emails after the fact, saying things like, “I don't even remember you being there for that!”

What is your ideal client like?
My ideal (and luckily – my usual!) client has a strong appreciation for the arts, any type – whether it’s music, poetry, illustration, or photography.  They are looking for something different, something naturally beautiful.  They don’t want to be told what to do, don’t follow traditions.  Their focus is on friends and family and the love surrounding them on their wedding day.  And as a bonus – they love nature and the outdoors just as much as I do.  They want to be photographed as they truly are, in the beauty that surrounds us.

Contact, Like, and Follow!
Email: hello@veronicavaros.com
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Featured Vendor: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

What happens when an actual horticulturist opens their own floral design business?  You get Stephanie and The Blue Daisy Floral Designs.  Stephanie works closely with brides and grooms to make custom-designed pieces that are truly unique and reflective of the couple's style.  This makes “select floral arrangements” not just another item on their wedding to-do list, but instead something in which they are intimately involved and enjoy.  Her inspiration comes from her love of nature, and her passion really shows in her work.  I've seen numerous masterpieces of Stephanie's (including her flower crowns, which are not only insanely GORGEOUS but also one of this year's hottest trends!) and I'm always wowed by their beauty and her knack for weaving in various textures and natural elements to add dimension.  Plus, she's about as nice as pie and who doesn't love pie?

See a few examples of her work below and keep reading for more about The Blue Daisy.

From Stephanie of The Blue Daisy…

What type of services do you provide?
I offer full service and a la carte floral design services.  I can design and install all aspects of the floral decor for your wedding or soiree, or you may choose to have me design the elements you need and they will be packaged and ready for you to pick up and DIY.  The Blue Daisy offers services for weddings, showers, birthday parties, corporate parties, etc.  My focus is on providing high quality, individually designed fresh flowers and a high level of customer service.

I also teach classes – typically five per year in the winter months and private classes as well!

Tell me a bit about your company!  How long have you been in business?  Is this your full time gig or a part time passion?  What makes your services unique?  Why should brides and grooms hire you?
I will celebrate my fourth year of being in business this coming January and am very excited about the big changes that took place this year!  I began working full time in my business last February and opened my North Hills studio space in July.  I have over 10 years experience in floral design and hold a degree in horticulture from Penn State University, which supports my passion for flowers, nature, and design.  My focus is not only on providing beautiful and unique florals for my brides and grooms, but also making it a positive and rewarding experience to work with The Blue Daisy.  Every wedding is custom-designed for the couple based on their style and budget, and I am there every step of the way to offer guidance and advice.  Wedding planning can be stressful and I aim to make at least the flowers easy and fun!

What is your ideal client like?
I love a bride (and groom!) who is willing to be creative and who cares about the flowers during their big day!  I am incredibly passionate about what I do and I want my couples to share my enthusiasm.  Even if the excitement isn't there when we start the consultation, it is my mission to have them leave pumped about their wedding flowers!

Contact, Like, and Follow!
Email: stephanie@thebluedaisyfloraldesigns.com
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P.S. Take a peek at some of the amazing work Stephanie did for the recent You're Invited event.  Hellllllloooo a floral necklace.  What?!?!

Featured Vendor: Ashley Giffin Photography

A few months ago, I stumbled upon Ashley Giffin's Instagram feed and immediately fell in love with her work.  Now it's a daily stop when I'm checking IG.  Little did I know, Ashley had also found my account and was secretly loving me back.  Our reciprocal admiration for each other is out in the open now and I feel better about not having to sneak around anymore.  She can also rock a blond pixie cut like no one's business and I think about it (and get jealous) every time I spend 20 minutes blow drying my frizzy mane.  I digress.

Ashley was born to be a photographer.  Her great grandfather was a photographer so it's literally in her blood.  After starting her business two years ago, things really took off quickly.  She's now one of the hottest up-and-comers in the city.  It's no wonder.  Ashley's work is classic but a bit edgy, modern but still romantic as all get out.  Like me, Ashley appreciates couples who are creative, who aren't afraid to try new things, and who love all of the minute details that, when put together, make a wedding day come alive.

Help yourself to some images of her latest work (and wedding and a styled shoot!) and keep scrolling to see how you can show Ashley some love.

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From Ashley…                                                     

What type of service do you provide?
I started Ashley Giffin Photography about two years ago and have been blessed to have my business grow so fast!  I love working with clients who really love details and really appreciate the photographer’s presence on their wedding days.  Capturing their memories is what I am there for and what I love to do.

What is your ideal client like?
My ideal client would be unique and creative.  I love when couples think outside the box when planning their wedding….an off the beaten path location, a colored dress, live music, art, and details with meaning to the couple would be a dream for me.

Contact, Like, and Follow!
Email: ashley.giffin.photo@gmail.com
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Featured Vendor: Appetite Paper

Based out of Greensburg, Appetite Paper creates just about the prettiest wedding invitations that I ever did see.  Rachael, owner and designer extraordinaire, starts off creating these lovely pieces by hand painting the artwork.  She then digitizes the design so that they can be customized by clients  There are numerous collections to fit any look or style, and something one of a kind can also be created.  More than just invitations, Appetite offers an entire suite of wedding stationery, including Save the Dates, table numbers, programs, escort cards, menu cards, and even cocktail flags.  My favorite product of Rachael's, though, are her insanely gorgeous paper flowers.  You can see for yourself in the images below, but these handmade paper poppies are unique and intricate.  Opt for a bridal bouquet that will last well past your wedding day, lay out dozens along the length of a table for an floral runner, or simply display a sweet arrangement in your home.

If Appetite Paper doesn't seem awesome enough already, Rachael also has a big, generous heart.  The company donates 15% of their profits to a different organization each season.  Currently, they are teamed up with The Daughter Project, an Ohio group home for girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking.  Rachael says, “We don't give to claim the crown of a fun loving, generous company.  In fact, its never easy.  I'll be the first to admit generosity is a learned virtue; it does not come naturally, but when I write that non-profit check, I'm reminded I have a blessed life and most are not so fortunate. Our company gives to stay focused on what's important – taking care of our neighbor and providing love, encouragement, and healing to those hurting and in need. We are truly humbled by the experience of offering up our resources to others and live by a few simple words – use your gifts/talents to bless others.”

What amazing words to live by.  Check out some shots of Rachael's beautiful work and read on for more from the talented artist herself.

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From Rachael of Appetite Paper…

What types of services do you provide?
Our original wedding invitations and paper flowers make for a whimsical, dreamy wedding.  We provide full service customer care from beginning to end.  It's important that you are confident about all aspects of your purchase, from addressing, etiquette, or how you plan to display your paper flowers.  We don’t just press the print button and send you on your merry way.  We are here to brainstorm ideas, help execute, and make a little cost go a long way!

Tell me a little bit about your company!   How long have you been in business?  Is this your full time gig or a part time passion? 
We’ve been designing professionally for almost five years.  I currently work full time as a designer at a local Pittsburgh company and take care of my Appetite Paper clients at night and on the weekends.  If Appetite Paper was not a true passion of mine, I would have exchanged the company for a good night sleep and Gilmore Girls marathons a long time ago 🙂  But the amazing clients and creative possibilities keep my heart on fire!

What makes your services unique?  Why should brides and grooms hire you?
Appetite Paper is just down-right fun, a breath of fresh air from the weight of wedding planning.  Creating wedding invitations and paper florals that are classy, refined, and full of personality.  We are known for our original designs, bright colors, and local Pittsburgh printing.  Our premium, dense paper and European envelopes come standard with every order, and I'm so grateful we can provide that luxury to each client at an obtainable price.

As our invitations fly off the press, I've found most clients are intimidated by their limited budget.  So our favorite part of working with our clients is using their resources in a creative way, whether their budget is big or small.  For instance, maybe calligraphy didn’t make it to the top of the must have list;  after all, your guests have to eat!  Trust me, you’re not alone.  We simply find another option together…so grab your friends, pretty gold pens, popcorn, and Netflix (the recommended essentials) as you enjoy our self-addressing envelope options, complete with step-by-step instructions from Appetite Paper!  All the bells & whistles and pretty envelopes a girl could ask for, that simply come in a different package.

Appetite Paper is a present reminder that the heart of your wedding day does not lie in the money you spend, but in the truth and love behind the celebration.  A bit cliche, I know, but your engagement is something to be enjoyed.  Time to let go of all the stress because your wedding day will be grand simply because it's uniquely you.

What is your ideal client like?
All my clients have proven beyond ideal.  They are always so enthusiastic and full of original ideas; they add so much to the design process!  They are confident in who they are and the love they have found.  What has impressed me the most is how they never worry about what people may think or push beyond their budget just to impress.  They have a vision of their wedding day and stick to it.  It's incredibly admirable as I've witnessed each of our brides plan their day with such grace.  I admire how they keep it all in perspective, focusing on why they are celebrating in the first place – they are marrying their best friend and the love of their life!

Contact, Like, and Follow!
Email: rachael@appetitepaper.com
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Featured Vendor: PointBreezeway

Talk about hidden gems.  Tucked into the quiet, cute Point Breeze neighborhood, PointBreezeway is a charming, home-turned-event-space that is perfect for intimate gatherings.  Every nook and cranny is filled with extra special touches that  make this venue feel inviting and lived-in, like a home away from home.  The house is already equipped to host small weddings and other events, such as bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, or cocktail style receptions, but Lauren, owner, has big plans for the future.  For now though, PointBreezeway is the perfect venue if you're looking to create a familial, cozy ambiance in a space that has a ton of character.

Check out these photos from Kristy Wilson Photography, read more about PointBreezeway below, and keep your eyes peeled for a styled shoot in January!

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What type of services do you provide?
PointBreezeway is a unique event venue located in the heart of Point Breeze.  In the warm months, when the patio is able to be used, we are ideally suited for cocktail style events of 50-60 or fewer guests.  This would be the type of event with mixed, casual seating and mingling.  If a sit-down dinner was to be served, you’re looking at about 20-25 inside and 20-25 outside.   When we move into the cooler months, the capacity switches to 30-35 cocktail style and 20-25 sit-down.  However, there are times we are able to tent and heat the patio to provide extra mingle room.  From my experience, the space works at its best when used for cocktail style events, with the caterer displaying the food across the farm table.  Our rates include a mix of tables and chairs, wireless speakers, and use of both the studio and courtyard.

Tell me a little bit about your company!  How long have you been in business?  What makes your services unique?  Why should brides and grooms hire you?
PointBreezeway is so near and dear to my heart; it's my childhood home.  Every nook and cranny was designed with love and pride.  My dad, Dennis, has been hosting events in our space for years but we opened as the new PointBreezeway in July!  The thought behind PointBreezeway is simple: to create an inviting space that feels good…a place where people can gather, celebrate, and remember fondly…a place that offers culture, convenience and cottage comfort.  We are family-owned and operated.  Every guest is treated with old-fashioned hospitality.  PointBreezeway was once a utility barn, a speakeasy, a confectionary, and a tea room.  It has a long history of gatherings and you can feel it as soon as you walk it…it's the best place in the world.

What is your ideal client like?
Our ideal clients are the folks who love DIY, low-key celebrators, and most of all, those who appreciate the special place that PointBreezeway truly is.

Contact, Like, and Follow!
Email: pointbreezeway@gmail.com
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