Honeymoon Must Haves Every Newlywed Will Love!

Whether you're headed to a relaxing tropical resort or busy European adventure, these honeymoon must haves are perfect for any newlywed!  Celebrate your “just married” status by treating yourself to one of these adorable Etsy finds.  From a cute tee that will let your fellow airplane passengers know exactly what you're celebrating to a travel scrapbook for documenting all of the fun you're bound to have, these items are sure to make your trip extra fun.  Head to my Etsy page for even more honeymoon must haves and my favorite take-along pieces for this vacation of a lifetime!

Honeymoon Must Haves Every Newlywed Will Love from Burgh Brides

  1. World Map Travel Scrapbook $30+
  2. Mrs. Custom Floppy Hat $28
  3. Honeymoonin' Tank $19
  4. Mr. & Mrs. Passport Holder $25
  5. Wifey Life Shirt $18.95
  6. Wifey Beach Cover Up $29.99
  7. Married AF Tee $16.99
  8. Personalized Honeymoon Beach Towel $38+
  9. Pair of Personalized Luggage Tags $19.99
  10. Travel Savings Shadow Box $28.74

Check out some of my other shopping guides!

Modern Minimalist Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

A minimalist inspired wedding doesn't need much to make it beautiful, and the same goes for this styled shoot designed by JPC Event Group and shot by Dawn Derbyshire Photography.  To show off their new up-and-coming event space, Riverfront Weddings, the team put together a look that was simultaneously glamorous and streamlined.  The covered outdoor venue boasts crisp white walls, a ton of natural light, clean lines, and an industrial vibe with views overlooking the Allegheny River.  To bring some color to the space, the stylists choose a palette of steely blues, teals, orange, and mixed metallics for a striking, modern look.  Long tables were surrounded by crystal ghost chairs and adorned with a coordinated mix of linens and tableware.  Hammered bronze flatware and geometric accents brought a glistening touch, while hand lettered marble table numbers and asymmetrical floral arrangements of white orchids and greenery gave a sophisticated feel.  Deep blue glassware and single orange rose buds at place settings were colorful and eye-catching, while the sweetheart table covered in a sparkly sequin linen and flanked by large pedestals was certainly a focal point.  Not only does this styled shoot show off the blank canvas that is Riverfront Weddings, but it's also proof that you don't need much to make a venue absolutely gorgeous.

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From the photographer…

To showcase their amazing new event space, Riverfront Weddings in Aspinwall, Jody Wimer and the magical team behind JPC Event Group put together this gorgeous styled shoot.  The Riverfront is a spacious blank canvas for weddings, and the branding for the space inspired the color palette for the shoot, incorporating mixed metallics, shades of blue, and white.  The openness of the building filled the space with gorgeous light, creating a bright, minimalistic look that helped drive the direction of the shoot.  The indoor space along the river, perfect for cocktail hour, was kept minimal, with tall candles accenting the greenery wrapped fireplace.  When walking upstairs into the reception space, long tables created a path to the sweetheart table.  Geometric accents were abundant to help create a modern feel, including a backdrop for the sweetheart table and copper wire cultures displayed on large pedestals flanking the table.  On the reception tables, the floral elements from the sweetheart table were carried throughout the space, mixing in marble accents against the steely blues of the linens, working perfectly with the dark blues of the glassware and bronze flatware.  The floral pieces throughout the space brought the copper tones from the color palette into the primarily white and green pieces with gorgeous roses, and were accented by the orchids wrapping through the arrangements.

For the two bridal looks, there were two different bouquets.  For the chic look with a long, minimalistic high necked dress with ruffle accents, Garnish created a larger, more textured and less structured bouquet.  The fun lace reception dress was aired with a tighter, structured bouquet with minimal greenery and a more modern, streamlined look.

As a photographer, I was so excited to be involved.  I feel like the landscape of the wedding industry in Pittsburgh is shifting, especially when it comes to venues.  While farms, barns, and outdoor spaces still rule, industrial and glam elements are starting to get incorporated into those spaces, and Riverfront is a beautiful meeting of lush nature elements with a modern, clean, minimal industrial feeling space.  The building is a blank canvas, and has so much potential to fit a wide variety of looks for a wedding.  It’s such a unique addition to the venues around the city.

Vendors

Photography: Dawn Derbyshire Photography | Designer: JPC Event Group | Shoot Location: Riverfront Weddings | Decor: JPC Event Group | Dresses: BHLDN | Flowers: JPC Event Group | Hair: The Wright Place | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: The Wright Place | Model: Alexandra Ayers | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Shoes: Steve Madden

Photography: Dawn Derbyshire Photography | Shoot Location: Riverfront Weddings | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental

Pastel Antique Inspired Wedding: Kate & Christian

This antique inspired wedding is vintage meets rustic meets shabby chic.  Kate and Christian met while attending college and when it came time to plan their big day, the couple stayed close to home.  Rather than renting a reception venue, the bride's dad's garage was transformed into an soiree-worthy space!  It's incredible!  Just wait until you see it!  A color palette of pink, peach, turquoise, baby blue, and lavender kept things light and bright, while gorgeous antique oil lamps and blown glass vases adorned each table.  But my most favorite detail was the head table backdrop.  Behind Kate and Christian hung a hand-painted tapestry showcasing the bride and groom's initials.  It's just about the most darling thing ever.  To dress up the garage's exposed duct work, the bride and her florist, Julie James Design, dangled rustic wreaths decorated with fresh florals.  It created the cutest whimsical vibe.  Every picture perfect detail of Kate and Christian's charming affair was documented by Jenna Hidinger Photography.  You're really going to love this one!

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From the photographer…

When and how did the bride and groom meet?

They met at Grove City College while obtaining their undergraduate degrees!

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

The wedding was absolutely beautiful!  It was an intimate affair on the bride's parents' property.  You'd never guess it, but the reception took place in the father of the bride's garage (which is very fitting, since her dad is the owner of Tom Henry Chevrolet!)!

There were so many unique and personal details incorporated into the wedding day.  We started off at Kate's childhood home, photographing all of the gorgeous bridal details, incorporating an antique family heirloom silver serving tray.  While the ladies were putting on their final touches, Brianna (Matron of Honor) and Kate shared a special moment together – Brianna, who was a few months pregnant at the time, gave Kate a colored garter to reveal the gender of Brianna's baby.  And as you'll see from the photos, it's a boy!  Such an exciting (and precious) moment to witness!

What was your favorite moment of the day?

My favorite moment was definitely the garter reveal.  Such a unique gift to incorporate into the day!

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Carlisle's of Pittsburgh | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Cake: The groom's sister! | Caterer: The Pines Tavern | Ceremony Location: Memorial Park Church | Desserts: The Pines Tavern | DJ: Wilson's DJ Service | Flowers: Julie James Design | Hair: Salon Rena | Makeup: The bride! | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank | Photographer: Jenna Hidinger Photography | Reception Venue: Bride's Parents' Home | Videography: Brandon Jones & Tara Skinner

 

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How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding!

Because I somehow didn't get invited to Harry and Meghan's wedding (shocking, I know), Jessica Garda Events and I decided to host a Royal Wedding Watch Party instead!  The event was a smashing success fit for a prince and princess, and I'm so excited to share these photos from Low-Key Love with you!  If you weren't one of the lucky ones that snagged a ticket to this sold out event, here's what you missed!

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

Me and my always fabulous and wonderful-to-work with co-host, Jessica

While Harry and Meghan said I Do at Windsor Castle , we toasted to the newlyweds with 65 other royal-obsessed guests at the Mansions on Fifth.  The ornate, refined venue featuring stone architecture, stained glass, and a grand staircase was the perfect fit for our regal celebration.

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

Prettier than Windsor Castle!

The early start time did not stop anyone from getting decked out!  Party dresses, fancy hats, fascinators, and the like could be spotted on just about everyone.  One gentleman even wore a top hat!

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

Even I was lucky enough to wear a stunning mixed metallic brocade Jovani dress from Bridal Beginning.  In true Fairy Godmother fashion, the boutique styled me from head to toe!  Haute Bride earrings, Benjamin Adams shoes, and satin gloves completed my look.  I felt like a true princess!

Once inside, guests were greeted by an ornate gilded mirror from Vintage Alley Rentals that had been beautifully scripted with a welcome message by Judith Browne Calligraphy.

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

Before finding their seats, many guests stopped to take photos at our selfie station, which featured velvet settees, antique trunks, and vintage decor pieces from Vintage Alley Rentals.  A touch of cheeky fun was added by custom photo booth props from LUX Photo Booth, including Harry and Meghan masks, glittery crowns, and Union Jack flags.

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

Excited to get the party started, guests made their way to the library and Oak Room of the Mansions.  Table were set with tiered displays of yummy breakfast pastries and were decorated with Vintage Alley's array of antique tea cups and saucers.

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

There wasn't much time until the ceremony started.  So once guests hit the coffee station and settled in, eyes were glued to one of five screens that were streaming the live TV coverage.

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

The rooms were buzzing with excitement, but 65 voices came to a quiet hush the minute Meghan Markle's car pulled up and her dress was revealed.  It was really something to witness 130 eyes all fixed in the same direction with no one making a peep!  We watched the entire ceremony as a group and toasted to the newlyweds after Harry and Meghan were announced husband and wife!

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

Then, thanks to the Priory Fine Pastries, we celebrated with lemon elderflower cupcakes, the same flavor the newlyweds featured at their lunch reception.

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

Undoubtedly, the biggest hit of our party was the Make-Your-Own Flower Hat/Fascinator station manned by Jimmy, Rose, and the talent of greenSinner.  These floral geniuses taught our guests how to make a headpiece fit for any British wedding using fresh flowers, simple supplies, and creative juices.  French veiling donated by Clarissa Boutique kicked things up a notch!

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

The results were FANTASTIC!  Small and sleek or go-big-or-go-home, our guests did not disappoint when it came to crafting a fascinator even the Queen would be proud of!

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

To round out our event, we played a few games like Harry and Meghan trivia and royal wedding bingo.  A few lucky guests walked away with awesome prices, like a 4-piece beauty pack from Ciel Cosmetics, a free blowout from Glow Blotique, commemorative Harry and Meghan coffee mugs, and mini bottles of champagne, to name just a few.

And because no wedding is complete without some type of favor, we treated our guests to take-home bags full of goodies from La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans, Jeremy Ganss Productions, Glow Blotique, Vintage Alley Rentals, Priory Fine Pastries, and of course, Jessica Garda Events and Burgh Brides.

How We Celebrated the Royal Wedding! Burgh Brides & Jessica Garda Events Royal Wedding Watch Party

With coverage from WTAE, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, KDKA, and The Incline, our Royal Wedding Watch Party was one of the most talked about in town!  A special thanks to everyone who made it possible, and an even bigger thanks to those ladies and gents who joined us!  Now if only we could do this every year…

Why Meghan Markle’s Wedding Dress Could Have More Meaning than You Think

After month's of anticipation, we FINALLY got to see it yesterday – Meghan Markle's wedding dress!  The long-awaited reveal came as the now-Duchess of Sussex stepped out of a vintage burgundy Rolls Royce in front of St. George's chapel.  Proving every single speculation wrong, the bride chose a rather simple, structural, double bonded silk cady haute couture gown designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givency.  It featured a bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves, and just six seams.  She adorned it with a sweeping 16′ embroidered veil, dainty stud earrings, a diamond bracelet, and Queen Mary's 1932 tiara.

Why Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress Could Have More Meaning than You Think

Many predicted a princess ballgown.  Many thought it would resemble the looks of Grace Kelly or Kate Middleton, both of whom chose lace and a figure-hugging fit.  Designer predictions ranged from Ralph & Russo to Stella McCartney (who did design the bride's reception dress).  It was thought that Meghan would incorporate some of her fashion-forward nature, or that the dress would mimic modern bridal fashion trends.

It was none of these.  And at the same time, it was absolute perfection.

Why Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress Could Have More Meaning than You Think

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9685436as)
Meghan Markle
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Ceremony, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, UK – 19 May 2018

Approximately two BILLION people worldwide tuned in to the live streaming of the couple's union, making it the fourth most watched royal wedding ever.  Being on a worldwide stage of that magnitude doesn't come free, however.  The price is being subject to scrutiny of global proportions.  As I spent most of yesterday watching footage, reading articles, and poring over photographs and comments, I found myself becoming irrationally angry at those who were trashing Meghan's look.  For as many people who appreciated the chic simplicity of the bygone look, there were an equal number who felt underwhelmed, unimpressed, and uninspired.  There were complaints about everything from the fit to the hair to the lack of embellishments.  Because we as humans can never waste an opportunity to tear someone down.

I know Meghan doesn't need me to come to her defense.  After all, it's not like I know her in real life.  Plus, I'm no fashionista myself and am admittedly wearing my crummiest t-shirt and yoga pants as I write this.  However, I felt compelled to call out the haters and even took to Facebook to challenge the nay-sayers' thinking.

If working in the marketing and events industry for almost 11 years has taught me anything, it's that nothing is done on accident.  As brand strategists, event planners, and even designers, literally everything we do has a meaning.  After all, our jobs are to make people feel/think/do something very specific.  If we didn't control seemingly trivial, mundane elements like typography, color, texture, symmetry, etc. etc. etc., we'd be leaving things up to the interpretation of the consumer, which is the antithesis of our intentions.  Every move we make is done with purpose.  Perhaps why I appreciated the Royal Wedding so much and felt it was one of the most beautiful celebrations I've witnessed is because it was packed to the brim with symbolism.

There was the fact that Meghan chose to walk down the nave of St. George's chapel alone, before being escorted the rest of the way to the altar by Prince Charles.  Her veil featured 53 embroidered flowers, one for each of the countries in the commonwealth, plus an additional flower native to California, her home state.  No one can forget the sermon performed by an African American preacher or the “Stand By Me” a capella performance by a London gospel choir.  The couple purposely changed their otherwise traditional vows from “love, honor, and obey” to “love, honor, and protect”.  After the romantic I do's, Harry and Meghan were pronounced as “husband and wife,” not “man and wife.”  Harry is wearing a wedding ring for crying out loud.  See what I mean about purpose and meaning?

I'm willing to bet that intentionality didn't stop there.  Perhaps a deeper meaning can be found within the bride's look that everyone was so quick to judge.

Why Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress Could Have More Meaning than You Think

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9685436gt)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Ceremony, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, UK – 19 May 2018

For starters, Meghan could have chosen any designer in the world.  Literally, fashion houses were begging for the chance to style the bride.  But she chose Clare Waight Keller, a British designer who was on no one's radar but who recently became the first female artistic director of French-designer Givenchy.  Meghan has long been a self-proclaimed feminist and her decision to work with Keller could have been a calculated girl-power move.  Additionally, Keller is a working single mother who may have reminded Meghan of her own mom in some ways.

Being that Keller has worked as a designer for 20+ years, I'm sure she knows a bit more about fashion than the rest of us do.  Like, how clothes are supposed to fit, for example?  I wish I had a dollar for every Internet troll who said Meghan's dress didn't fit her properly (insert many eye rolls here).  I think you need to take a good, long, hard look in a full-length mirror BTW.  To those folks, I would say…

Have you stopped to think that there is no way in the world that world-renowned Givenchy would have let Meghan Markle walk down the aisle in an ill-fitting dress?

There are rounds and rounds of fittings, and the dress even has to be shown to the Queen in advance of the wedding.  Don't you think someone would have pointed out any problem areas?  Trust me…that dress fit her exactly how it was supposed to 😉

I like to think that maybe, just maybe, the fit was part of Meghan's message.  Knowing that millions and millions of little girls look up to her and would be watching that day, perhaps she wanted to say something with her dress.

Your clothes don't need to be skin tight to look good on you.  You don't need to show tons of skin to make an impression.  Looking like a princess isn't reserved for only those with a tiny waist or perfect proportions.  Your worth is made up of more than what you wear.

Or maybe the girl just wanted to be able to dance?!

It takes a beautiful woman to make a dress that simple look that good.  And that is coming from a girl who loves me some sparkle.

As if trashing her dress weren't enough, people took to Meghan's hair and makeup choices.  Some felt her face was too plain, too ordinary, not done up enough.  Maybe were annoyed by her updo that resembled the messy bun for which she's become so famous.

Why Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress Could Have More Meaning than You Think

Meghan looked like Meghan.  Why do we pressure brides into looking like someone other than themselves on their wedding day?  Perfection is a hard look to achieve and perhaps Meghan was also sending a message with her beauty choices.

You don't need to be caked in makeup to be beautiful.  That bridal glow should radiate from within.  The day is about more than how you look.  You are gorgeous just the way you are.  Even a princesses has hair in her face sometimes.

I haven't read any of this anywhere and these are just my opinions.  But to quote the title of my favorite Royal Wedding article thus far, Meghan Markle's wedding dress was made for a person, not a princess.  I could be totally off-base with these thoughts.  However, Meghan knows how to use her voice and has never been silenced before.  Why would she stop on her wedding day?  I think she sent a powerful message without uttering a word.

In our overly filtered world of Kardashian fever and Internet fame, we’ve lost the power of being ok with imperfections.  Maybe Meghan gave that back to us yesterday.

If thinking Meghan Markle just made herself a role model to girls and women everywhere is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Why Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress Could Have More Meaning than You Think

Wedding Planning Stress: 6 Ways to Deal with It

If you’re nerves are shot and you’re looking for a few ways to deal with wedding planning stress, you’ve come to the right place today.  I’ve said it many times before…weddings don’t have to be stressful.  They really don’t.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t.  I’ll be the first to admit that I wanted to rip my own hair out on several occasions when planning our big day.  And I knew what I was doing for the most part!  If you’ve never planned a wedding before, it can be totally overwhelming.  No wonder you’re stressed out!  But you’ve got to find ways to deal with all of those nerves and pressure.  Here are a few of my favorites!   

6 Ways to Deal with Wedding Planning Stress from Burgh Brides

1.) A No-Wedding-Talk Date Night 

Your fiancé might thank you for this one too.  Plan a special night for just the two of you.  It can be a fancy new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try or even a night in sweats with plenty of wine, take out, and Netflix to go around.  Whatever it is, just make sure the topic of your wedding doesn’t come up.  Make it a wedding-talk free zone and I guarantee you’ll feel better in a few hours. 

2.) Step Away from Instagram

I love Instagram.  I really do.  I think it can be really helpful to brides at times.  But dang it if it can’t just confuse the heck out of you too.  After all, comparison is the thief of joy, right?  All of that scrolling may be leaving you with unrealistic expectations of your own wedding and stressing you out way more than you realize.  So step away from social media and just do what is in your heart. 

3.) Get Out of Your Own Head 

I’m an overthinker.  BIG time.  I analyze and I reanalyze and then I consult someone and then I analyze some more.  If you’re like me, STOP IT!  No, for real.  Worrying will get you nowhere and it’s probably part of the reason you’re so stressed out.  Make a decision and move on!  I guarantee the nitty gritty details that you’re agonizing over most likely won’t even be noticed by your guests. 

4.) Sleep On It 

Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, right?  Wrong!  When Justin and I get in an argument, sometimes it’s best to just go to sleep.  I used to want to stay up and fight until the issue was resolved.  But he taught me that usually if we just go to bed, we both waking up having realized how silly we were being.  The same can be said for something that is stressing you out.  Sometimes the best thing you can do it just walk away and come back to it later.  You’ll feel refreshed and your head will be clear. 

5.) Work It Out 

Running, yoga, cross fit, whatever…just get those endorphins flowing.  Working out makes you feel better because you’re forced to focus on something else (like breathing, form, or generally just not dying because you are like me and work out once every 87 days).  Move your body and your stress levels are bound to go down! 

6.) Take Care of Yourself 

Girl, you can’t forget about numero uno!  Stress can wreak havoc on your health.  So make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating properly, and drinking a boat load of water.  Take a nap, read a book, go get a massage, or treat yo’ self to a new pair of kick ass heels.  Wedding planning is not worth risking your health!  So make sure your brain and body stay in tip top shape!     

What other ways can one deal with the stress of wedding planning?  How do you combat it?  Comment below! 

Romantic Summer Engagement Session: Lauren & Jesse

Even though they opted for a destination wedding in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, Lauren and Jesse still wanted a Pittsburgh engagement session.  Being a photographer herself (of Lauren Renee Designs fame), Lauren knows some of the most beautiful shoot locations in the city, and Mellon Park is one of her favorites.  It's for good reason too; the park's stone architecture, blooming florals, and secret-like gardens give off a romantic, whimsical vibe.  The pair headed there with Anna Laero Photography for a light and airy session that is screams summer.  A sage green dress (that matched their wedding palette), a glowing sunset, sweet kisses, and cozy cuddles make this shoot an absolute dream!  Pretty doesn't even begin to describe it!

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From the bride…

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

We have been together for seven years now!  Crazy how time really flies!  Jesse and I met at a costume party, and we were introduced by a mutual friend.  Jesse was very persistent and after rescheduling on him several times, I finally agreed to a date!  We had a lot of mutual friends, so it was surprising that our paths had never crossed before.  I was supposed to study abroad the summer we met, so I was really not interested in anything serious, but Jesse had a different idea.  When I ended up staying in Pittsburgh because of a change in plans (it was just meant to be!), we fell in love, became inseparable, and I guess you can say the rest is history!

Jesse proposed at home just the two of us, and it was perfect.  He then planned a surprise engagement party that evening and all of our friends and family showed up to celebrate with us!  It's a good thing I said yes! 😉

Describe the engagement session and what inspired the shoot.  What was unique about it?

Being a photographer myself, I wanted a beautiful backdrop for our shoot, and one my favorite locations is Mellon Park.  The sage green dress was a color from our wedding palette, so it was perfect!

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Jesse and I have been together for so long and engaged for half the time we have been together (three years…I know!).  When it finally came time for our engagement photos and wedding, we really wanted it to be special and about us as a couple.  I wanted the session to be fun, relaxed, and about our love, and it was such a fun afternoon taking pictures with my best friend and now-husband!

Introducing Kelli Burns Entertainment!

Just like the intro to this video says, you have one chance to do it right.  “It” being your wedding music, and Kelli Burns Entertainment will definitely get it right.  This team of talented DJs is known for their professionalism, signature bridal party introductions, and going above and beyond to make sure the music and entertainment are perfect.  Managed by one of the few female DJs in the local industry, KBE is a new member of the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide and I can't wait for you to meet them!  Go say hi and learn more!

Elegant Blush & Gold Wedding at the Omni Bedford Springs: Brittany & Chris

I'm pretty sure that the ballroom of the Omni Bedford Springs was just made for a blush & gold wedding, don't you think?  The grand fireplace, brocade wallpaper, ornate sconces, heavy pink curtains, and overall architecture ooze romance, as does this modern day color palette.  Put them both together and it's a match made in wedding heaven.  Not only that, but the venue holds a special place in Brittany's heart and she had dreamed of getting married there for years.  So when she and Chris got engaged, it was a total no-brainer as their reception venue.  Pulling inspiration from the space, the couple went with an elegant, soft theme that combined a classic look with feminine touches, personal tributes, and vintage vibes.  Antique skeleton key escort cards lead guests to their tables where they found fragrant floral arrangements set in gold footed containers, floating candles and rose petals, or lush greenery runners.  To welcome the groom's family, who traveled all the way from Italy, Brittany's family made over 140 dozen goodies for the traditional Pittsburgh cookie table.  A donation to their favorite dog rescue and a bridal bouquet wrapped in her mother's lace and pearls were just a few of the heartfelt ways Brittany and Chris made the day theirs.  As romance and timeless as it gets, this swoon-worthy day was beautifully captured by Annie O'Neill Photography.

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Cut to one of my favorite wedding songs, Brittany and Chris's film from Entwined Cinema shows off both the romance and fun of their day in a wonderful way!

From the bride…

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

Chris and I both swiped right!  That's correct, we met on Tinder 😉  We dated for a little under a year and got engaged in Capri, Italy overlooking a beautiful sunset.

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

Chris and I were married in the charming town of Bedford, Pennsylvania at Bedford Presbyterian Church.  Our reception took place at Omni Bedford Springs Resort, a venue that holds a special place in my heart.  I moved to Northern Virginia in August 2010, leaving behind my family in Pittsburgh.  Each fall, my mom and I met at the Omni for a weekend of relaxation and fun together.  Since our first stay at the historic hotel, I've dreamt of hosting my wedding reception in the Colonnade Ballroom.  Upon getting engaged, my fiancé and I toured the venue together and he fell equally in love.  The rest was history!

Right away, I knew I wanted to go with a soft, romantic theme.  I chose blush and gold as my colors, which drove the majority of my decisions.  My bridesmaids all wore different blush or gold gowns (a decision that I was slightly hesitant about at the time, but my vision came together PERFECTLY).  My gown featured beautiful scalloped, ivory lace which paired perfectly with my blush and ivory bouquet (wrapped in my mother's lace and pearls).

Our reception included a stunning King's Table set for 25 people.  A 14-foot floral garland ran across the table, along with mercury glass candles and several bouquets.  Our other centerpieces included blush and ivory arrangements in gold footed bowls and floating candle cylinders on mirrored trays with blush rose petals.  A major highlight of the reception was, of course, The Pittsburgh Cookie Table with over 140 dozen homemade cookies.

Our DJ, Andy Booth did an amazing job of keeping the dance floor full.  We danced the night away until midnight, pausing only briefly for a few sunset photos with Annie O’Neill.

In lieu of a favor, we donated money to the animal shelter where we rescued our dog!  We notified guests of this decision by printing a few sentences on the back of our menu cards, along with a special thank you message.  We received great feedback from our family and friends and it felt good knowing that the money went toward a cause near and dear to our hearts!

My husband was born and raised in Italy and much of his family still lives there.  Many of our guests (including his parents, sister and family, and grandmother) traveled from there to be with us on our wedding day! 🙂

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Gosh, my day was such a blur!  With that said, Chris and I made it a point to stop a few times and really “take it all in”.  During our first dance, we paused for a moment and looked around our ballroom.  The most important people in our lives were all there, standing and watching us dance with smiles that exceeded the width of their faces.  That was the point in which I realized that my blood, sweat, and tears had paid off.  To see so many loved ones in the same place at the same time…all for YOU…is truly an indescribable experience.  It is something I will never, ever forget!

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

I was an extremely detail-oriented bride.  During the entire planning process, everyone told me not to worry about the details…that “no one would notice anyway”.  I could not disagree more!  Attention to detail is something I take pride in and it really paid off in the end.  We had countless compliments on everything from our vintage key escort cards to our Pittsburgh Cookie Table to the 14-foot floral garland running across our King's Table.  I couldn't have imagined it any other way!  So I guess my advice would be…PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL!  It will really take your wedding to the next level and make it unique to you as a couple.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Allure from Sorelle Bridal | Bride's Jewelry: Sorelle Bridal | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN, Adrianna Papell, Dessy, and Allure | Cake: Omni Bedford Springs | Caterer: Omni Bedford Springs | Ceremony Location: Bedford Presbyterian Church | DJ: Andy Booth of Jeremy Ganss Productions | Flowers: Peterman's Florist | Hair: PR at Partners | Makeup: Nicole Mitsos | Menswear: Menguin | Photography: Annie O'Neil Photography | Reception Venue: Omni Bedford Springs | Stationery: Cardinal and Straw | Transportation: McIlwain Charter & Tours | Videography: Rachel Wagner of Entwined Cinema

DJ: Andy Booth of Jeremy Ganss Productions

5 Tips for Giving a Killer Wedding Toast

Are you a best man, maid of honor, or even father of the bride?  Then listen up!  You have a BIG responsibility at the wedding…giving a toast.  Some people cringe at the thought of speaking in public, but it’s part of the job for these important wedding players.  In front of all of the couple’s family and friends, you have to honor them and acknowledge the significance of that special day.  It seems daunting (and downright terrifying for some).  But lucky for you, I’m dishing out my five best tips for giving a killer wedding toast! 

Don’t wing it.

Do some prep work.  You don’t need to write your toast out word for word (and if you do, please don’t read it that way from paper at the reception).  But you should at least have a general idea of what you want to say.  An outline or even a few bullet points are the way to go.  You have a very important job.  Don’t leave it to the last minute, going with whatever pops into your head in the moment! 

Keep it brief.

Seriously.  2 – 3 minutes MAX!  No one wants to listen to you go on and on…and on…and on.  Sorry, but it's the truth.  When I was a wedding planner, I had to sit through some painfully long speeches.  In fact, our own day-of coordinator told my dad he had 3 minutes for his toast, during which he said that he had paid for more than 3 minutes.  Everyone got a good laugh at his joke, but I could see some of our friends start to lose focus at about minute ten.  Sorry, Dad, I love you but far too long.  If you want to keep people’s attention, be concise! 

Be funny.

It’s ok to be funny when giving a toast.  Actually, it’s much more entertaining!  Crack a few jokes or one-liners and you’ll be a hit with the crowd.   

But limit the inside jokes.

The above bullet point has a caveat.  Tell jokes…but make sure the jokes will be understood by most in attendance.  Inside jokes are only funny to a few people; that’s what makes them inside jokes.  You may get a few laughs from those in the know, but the rest of the guests will be left wondering what’s so funny.  Leave the cool kid jokes for another time. 

Remember: It’s a toast, not a roast.

This is not your opportunity to embarrass the newlyweds!  Keep it clean.  Leave exes out of it, no dirty jokes, and don’t do or say anything that a.) you will regret later or b.) will upset the happy couple.  Instead, think good thoughts, speak to the future, and celebrate the love and accomplishments of the couples. 

BONUS TIP: Don’t drink too much beforehand.

I know it seems like a few glasses of wine could loosen the nerves, especially if you’re already dreading speaking.  But alcohol could have some other side effects.  Slurred speech or even a case of the giggles could ruin your toast and make it memorable for the wrong reasons (ask me about the best man speech at my wedding…).  Keep it light at the cocktail hour; you can party hard when you hand the mic back to the DJ. 

Any other tips?  Have you ever given a toast at a wedding?  What helpful advice did you receive, or what should others learn from your experience?  Comment below!