Sequin linens, a sea of candlelight, and a bride with a thousand watt smile can instantly warm up any cold January day. And that’s exactly what I’m bringing you today. Julie and Tim met, went on their first date, AND got engaged in the winter. So naturally, they felt it was only right to have a winter wedding! However, Julie knew from the get go that she wanted to be different than the typical January bride. Staying away from black, blue, and white (the unofficial colors of a winter wedding), she instead opted for a mix of champagne, gold, ivory, and plum, which provided the right amount of drama. The rest of the day was designed to be relaxed and romantic. I’ve never met a winter wedding I didn’t like and this one is no exception. Some of the best details?
- A custom-made Lea-Ann Belter blush ball gown WITH POCKETS! Why does a wedding dress need pockets, you ask?! Oh, I don’t know…lip gloss, cell phone, snacks, key to the city…who cares?! It has POCKETS and I’m IN LOVE! As if that isn’t enough, wait until you get a load of Julie’s faux fur wrap. No winter bride is complete without one!
- The fact that Julie nixed her original wedding shoes (4.5 inch wedges) two weeks before the wedding (meaning MAJOR last minute alterations) in exchange for sequin Kate Spade Keds. Comfy AND stylish kicks? Yes, please!!!
- A mix of various bridesmaids dress styles all in the same fabric and shade adds a nice variety while still looking uniform. This is a great way to ensure your ladies are comfortable and look their absolute best!
- Speaking of bridesmaids, keep your eyes peeled for the adorable monogrammed clutch that Julie gifted to them. A personal gift that I’m sure will get a ton of use (and compliments!)!
- A hotel ballroom can easily be boring but Julie and Tim totally transformed the one at the Crowne Plaza! With a little help from rich purple lighting, gorgeous candlelight, and sparkly decor, the once-barren space quickly went from snoozeville to stunning!
In a way that only they could do, the ladies of Ann Louise Photography perfectly captured Julie and Tim’s glamorous day. Who says weddings are meant for summer? I say winter FTW.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
Tim and I met through a mutual friend that I attended college with and who was one of Tim’s best friends from high school. We both celebrated New Years Eve 2009 in Station Square and we hit it off, sharing a kiss at midnight! The following weekend, Tim and I went out in the South Side with all of our friends, getting to know each other more. On January 10, 2010, he took me on our first date to McCormick & Schmick’s in the South Side Works. We’ve been together ever since!
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Tim and I decided to have a date night and were planning to have dinner at the Grand Concourse. Of course, when Tim got home from work I wasn’t ready. In fact, I commented that I really wasn’t in the mood to go haha! Tim coaxed me into getting ready and we were on our way. Dinner was delish and we decided to take a walk over to Bar Louie for a drink. We were going to the Kenny Chesney concert the next day so we didn’t want to be out too late.
As we were walking over to Bar Louie, Tim stopped right near the fountain and told me how much our relationship meant to him and that he knew he wanted to spend the right of his life with me. He got down on one knee and popped the question, “Will you marry me?” I am pretty sure I didn’t respond right away because I was so overwhelmed with excitement…I think I said, “OMG!” at first, but that was quickly followed with a “YES! Absolutely!” Tim held the ring in a beautiful handkerchief, which I later found out was my grandmother’s, and he then put the stunning ring on my finger. I have to laugh because as this was happening, a couple passed us and the man yelled, “Get a room!” (naturally, we were hugging and kissing!). A few minutes later, he came over to apologize because he then realized it was a proposal!
Then, the next surprise…as I was crying and smiling from shock and excitement, my parents popped out of nowhere. They were there to celebrate the big news!! We all went over to Houlihan’s to have a celebratory drink (Bar Louie was packed!) and we started sending some texts out to our friends and family to share the news!
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
I knew immediately that I wanted a winter wedding, but I also knew that I did not want all of the winter whites and icy blue colors to be the focal point. I wanted a soft yet dramatic, romantic feel, which I believe I captured through the colors of plum, champagne, gold, and ivory.
What made your wedding unique?
Our wedding was unique for so many reasons. First, our wedding date was the same weekend that Tim and I went on our first date (January 15, 2010 and January 10, 2015). To tell you the truth, this was the first date that the Duquesne University chapel was available. Of course, it was meant to be!
It was really important to me that our wedding, both the ceremony and reception, had a relaxed and comfortable feel. We later heard from our family, bridal party, and guests that they “had never attended a wedding that was so relaxed and fun!”
And, my dress was a custom blush Lea-Ann Belter design with pockets!
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Ask as many questions as possible and don’t be afraid that you are being annoying or picky! There are so many details, and quite honestly, I am crazy organized and detailed oriented. And there were still a few things that I missed! If a vendor makes you feel like you are being too specific, picky, needy, or doesn’t offer details or reasonable answers to your questions, then move on – that is NOT the right vendor for you.
Also, always, always, always, include your fiancé in the planning (assuming that they want to be a part of things, even if it is just a little bit). This is his day just as much as it is yours, and men tend to bring a unique and easy-going outlook to the table.
Lastly, speak up. Try not to let your friends and family influence your decisions or make you feel bad or silly for liking/wanting what you like/want. Parents’ opinions are important, especially if they are putting money towards the bill, but other than that, it is want you and your fiancé want the day to be.
Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
Everyone says this but it is so true – you MUST HAVE an amazing photographer. Making a connection with your vendors, specifically your photographer, DJ, and (in our case) wedding coordinator, is incredibly important! It makes the experience so much more relaxed because you feel like you can trust them and they see your vision.
Also, make sure that you are comfortable in your dress, undergarments, and shoes. I had purchased the most adorable David Tutera 4 ½ inch wedges to go with my dress. I wore them at all of my fittings and walked around in them countless times. As the day approached I kept thinking to myself, “I want to be able to jump and dance around, to be comfortable in the snow, of course, and not worry about my feet hurting as I danced the night away. Two weeks before the wedding, I purchased silver sequins Keds by Kate Spade that I saw by chance. I knew that they were the perfect shoes! I had to have my dress drastically re-hemmed (oops!). But it was the best decision that I made and made my night so much more enjoyable!!
If I could do something differently, it would be to have hired a videographer for the entire day.
Bride’s Dress: Lea-Ann Belter Bridal from Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride’s Jewelry: Earrings: Givenchy; Bracelet: Borrowed from the bride’s cousin; Rings: Louis Anthony Jewelers | Bride’s Shoes: Keds by Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Cake: Signature Desserts | Caterer, Lighting, & Reception Location: Crowne Plaza Suites Pittsburgh South | Ceremony Location: Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Duquesne University | DJ: DJ Underdog | Flowers: The Flower Studio | Hair: Diane Zuri at Alberta Modern Hair | Linens: Elegant Chair Cover Designs | Makeup: Allison Roth Studio | Menswear: Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse | Photographer: Ann Louise Photography | Stationery: Hello Beautiful Designs | Transportation: Elite Coach Transportation, Inc. | Welcome Bags, Sparklers, Bell Wands, Custom Handkerchief, and Thank You Banner: Etsy