Wedding Flowers: Best of 2017

Raise your hand if wedding flowers are one of your favorite details to drool over!  Same here.  Now imagine if I take all of the best blooms to grace Burgh Brides in the past year and put them into a single blog post.  Sounds like heaven, right?  Your wish is my command.  Prepare your eyes for some pretty in this latest edition of Best of 2017.  If only your computer had smell-o-vision…

Vintage Romance Inspired Wedding at Longvue Club: Robin & Justin

Inspired by a trio of pink mercury glass votive holders, the flowers for Robin and Justin's wedding day were the epitome of pretty in pink.  Using the candlesticks as containers for the arrangements, Julie James Designs brought a unique look to the centerpieces.  Throw in elevated florals and a swoon worthy bouquet and you've got a recipe for beauty!

Modern Blush Pink & Black Wedding at Hotel Monaco: Christine & Frank

Anemones, ranunculus, and hydrangeas, oh my!  The work of Mocha Rose for Christine and Frank's blush pink and black wedding was OUT OF THIS WORLD.  The bouquets, arrangements, and even the epic garland that covered the sweetheart table fit right into the day's color palette.  I expect nothing less from a wedding planner's own big day!

Navy Blue Wedding at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden: Monica & Conrad

Texture and volume reigned supreme at this affair inspired by bringing the outdoors inside.  Succulents and lots of greenery matched the navy and deep turquoise seen throughout the day, while pops of peach and white brought a light surprise.  Community Flower Shop nailed everything from the centerpieces to the boutonnieres, but they especially killed it with the hanging floral chandelier over the sweetheart table!

Summer Teal Wedding at Destiny Hill Farm: Joelle & Justin

When the son of the owners of Destiny Hill Farm get married, you know the flowers are bound to be amazing.  Peach, coral, and marsala blooms popped beautifully against the wedding's main color of turquoise.  Elevated and cascading arrangements were mixed among the tables while a flower-covered arbor set the stage for ceremony perfection.

Glamorous Garden Chic Wedding: Pazia & Tony

Dahlias, eucalyptus, lavender, and astilbe were essential in making the garden chic vibe of Pazia and Tony's wedding come to life.  Greenery table runners, large centerpieces accented with bud vases, a floral crown for the “ring bearer” (i.e. the couple's dog), and even floral tie backs for tent draping, the blooms at this wedding were sweet and sophisticated.  A job well done by Posies by Patti!

Rustic Sage & White Wedding: Zia & Dave

Floral chandeliers, greenery table runners, sweeping bouquets, and even fresh herbs at each place setting…the flowers from Zia and Dave's reception still leave me breathless to this day.  Sapphire & Lace Design hit it out of the park with creations that fit in beautifully with the rustic, low key atmosphere of the groom's family barn.  Simply incredible!!!

Sunflower Wedding at The White Barn: Reina & Kyle

The bride's favorite flower was the star of this show.  Thanks to The Farmer's Daughter, sunflowers made an appearance in centerpieces and a gorgeous ceremony arbor, and they were paired with everything from blue bells to caspedia to amaranthus to thistle.  The mix of color and texture was everything!!!!

Traditional Black, White, & Red Wedding at the Priory: Cristena & Ryan

Like many of the other pieces of Cristena and Ryan's big day, the flowers were timeless and sophisticated.  I absolutely adore the way Kohler's Florist mixed classic white hydrangeas and roses with red hypericum berries and Peruvian lilies to bring the color palette alive.  The centerpieces popped against white linens and black table runners, while the bouquets looked gorgeous against the red-clad bridesmaids!

Decadent Purple & Gold Wedding at the Omni: Christine & Ray

“Wow” doesn't even begin to describe the florals at this decadent Omni wedding.  The enormous, fluffy elevated arrangements and the sweetheart table swag from Mocha Rose still make my jaw drop.  Purple is my all-time favorite color and there was plenty of it in Christine and Ray's feature.  Love love love!

Absolutely Gorgeous Fall Wedding at Greystone Fields: Caris & Sean

If I had awards for “Most Luscious Bouquet” and “Best Ceremony Decor,” they'd both go to Caris and Sean.  Fall inspiration utterly came alive in the in.cred.ib.le. bouquets from Julie James Design.  And if you love pumpkins, you're going to flip over the backdrop to the couple's vows.  Did I mention all of those pumpkins were grown on the groom's uncle's farm?  The absolute coolest.

Glittery White & Silver Wedding at the Willow Room: Corrine & Brandon

I can't finish this post without reviving the oh-so-pretty flowers carried by Corrine and her bridesmaids.  With the white and silver color palette in mind, Barton's Flower & Bake Shop put together white lilies, silver brunia, white roses, and dusty miller.  The bouquets looked striking against the ladies' silver and gunmetal dresses!

Which flowers were your favorite?  Why did you love them so much!  Have they influenced your own wedding flowers? Comment below!

Don’t miss my other Best of 2017 picks!

Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: Best of 2017

Woodsy, whimsical, urban, playful, and downright romantic…Burgh Brides had the pleasure of featuring some of the dreamiest Pittsburgh engagement sessions in 2017!  While I love each and every last one of them, here are the shoots that were my absolute favorites!

Picturesque Winter Engagement Session: Lyndsay & Justin

Winter in the middle of the woods?  Um, yes please.  This couple opted for a little something different and took off to find the best of nature.  They found that and much more.  These romantic photos from Jenna Hidinger Photography will go down in history!  Also, get a load of Lyndsay's gorgeous dress!

Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017

Coffee Shop Engagement Session: Ashley & Rory

I LOVE bright, colorful photos, so choosing Ashley and Rory's as some of my favorites was a no brainer.  After hitting up their favorite coffee shop, they explored Carnegie with Jenni Grace Photography.  Vibrant walls, fun murals, and even a few street benches…these pics will leave you anything but blue!

Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017

Summer in the City Engagement Session: Liz & Greg

Light and airy, this session from Kayla Bri Photography was a late summer favorite.  It's sunshine-y, flirty, and playful…a winning combination if you ask me.  Plus, Liz and Greg are totally adorable together.  It's not wonder this shoot stuck out to me.

Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017

Gaming Inspired Strip District Engagement Session: Sharon & Quinn

Speaking of sticking out, I love when a couple isn't afraid to go against the grain.  This couple, who fell in love over a shared interest in online gaming, went for a Strip District shoot with a subtle gaming theme.  The results were quirky, cute, and totally THEM.  Sandrachile totally rocked this one!

Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017

Cool AF City Engagement Session: Sara & Tate

Pizza break in the middle of taking photos?  It doesn't get better than this.  Effortlessly cool and so down-to-earth it hurts, these images of Sara and Tate are hard core engagement session goals.  Requiem Images went to town shooting the impromptu snack break and ended up with the most EPIC photos everrrrrr.

Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017

Cozy & Playful Engagement Session: Emily & Aaron

Beyonce who?  Emily looks like a straight up superstar in front of a wind machine in these pics from Tyler Norman Photography.  A cold and SUPER windy day didn't stop this pair from snuggling up and embracing the crisp weather.  Because of that, their photos are some of the coziest I saw all year!

Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017

Adorable Rainy Engagement Session: Danielle & Zach

Another couple who embraced less than ideal weather was Danielle and Zach.  Rainy skies didn't ruin their e-shoot with Palermo Photography.  Throw in a umbrella built for two and some super fun jumping-in-the-puddles shots and you'll have no trouble figuring out why these pics were some of my favorites!

Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017 Engagement Photo Ideas: Pittsburgh Engagement Sessions: The Best of 2017

Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session: Pamela & Domenic

I'm not even going to pretend that I won't wish I looked like Pamela.  This blond beauty looked ravishing in her and Domenic's engagement shoot with Ann Louise Photography.  Shades of blue (their wedding color!), golden light, and Mellon Park made these images extra delicious.  I'm still obsessed.

Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session from Ann Louise Photography featured on Burgh Brides Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session from Ann Louise Photography featured on Burgh Brides Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session from Ann Louise Photography featured on Burgh Brides Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session from Ann Louise Photography featured on Burgh Brides Absolutely Gorgeous Engagement Session from Ann Louise Photography featured on Burgh Brides

Which engagement session was your favorite?  Why did you love it so much?  Comment below!

Don’t miss my other Best of 2017 picks!

Wedding Dresses: Best of 2017

If you're as obsessed with wedding dresses as I am, you're going to love today's post.  From classic and chic to boho and flowy and everything in between, this year has brought us the loveliest of gowns.  Before we head into 2018, let's take a look back at some of my recent favorites!

Corrine's Beaded Sheath Wedding Dress

This Rosa Clara smooth satin sheath dress was decked out with bling around the waist, shoulders, and back.  And let me tell you…it was STUNNING!  Corrine accented it with a white faux fur wrap for her January wedding, perfectly playing the part of a gorgeous winter bride.  Obsessed doesn't even begin to describe it.

Bonnie's Dainty Lace Bodice and Tiered Skirt Wedding Dress

Bonnie created the dress of her dreams with this two piece mix and match number.  The WToo sweetheart neck lace bodice paired beautifully with a tiered ruffled skirt from Martina Liana.  The silhouette is the stuff dreams are made of.

Mara's Long Lace Sleeved Wedding Dress

The long lace sleeves, the deep V front, the low cut back…Mara looked like a boho wedding princess in her dress.  It went perfectly with the eclectic, relaxed vibe of her and Matthew's farm affair.

Michelle's Ruched Ruffle Skirt Wedding Dress

Michelle's ruched bodice and ruffled skirting reminds me so much of my own wedding dress.  Perhaps that's why I love it so much.  But more likely, it's because Michelle looked like a modern day princess in the Maggie Sottero number.  Just look at those layers!

Ashley's Boho Off the Shoulder Wedding Dress

This Daughters of Simone dress will stop you in your tracks.  It's antique lace and off-the-shoulder necklace is still leaving me swooning.  It was literally perfect for Ashley and David's carefree, woodsy wedding.

Lisa's Beaded Art Deco Wedding Dress

The beading on this Christina Wu gown is mesmerizing, and the art deco inspired pattern brought vintage vibes to this otherwise modern wedding.  Lisa shocked people when she decided to cut the train off, but the rest of the gown is so beautiful, I didn't miss it one bit.

Kelsey's Blush Pink Wedding Dress

I hope the blush pink wedding dress trend never goes out of style.  Kelsey looked so on point when she donned this Lazaro number.  Adding a beaded belt and drop crystal earrings, this bride looked feminine and fierce all at the same time.

Emmy's Sage Green Wedding Dress

Another bride that opted for color was Emmy.  Her sage green and ivory BHLDN dress featured a lace top and chiffon skirting.  Worn with ivory TOMS, it fit in amazingly with the rest of this muted, low key farm wedding.

Natalie's Blingy Hayley Paige Wedding Dress

Hayley Paige does it again with Natalie's encrusted spaghetti strapped gown.  A criss-cross back and airy skirt, coupled with the serious bling on the bodice, make this dress an easy pick for one of my favorites!

Jeni's Delicate Lace Wedding Dress

Sweet and dainty, Jeni's Rue de Siene dress featured feminine lace and girly patterns.  The most unique feature though was the pointed train that gave a different look to the back of this dress.  I'm still dreaming of this one!

Zia's 3D Lace Floral Wedding Dress

I've saved the best for last.  Hands down, Zia's Nicole Miller dress was my absolute favorite.  3D lace flowers, thick straps, and a V neck…let's just all bow down to the queen.  I've never seen anything like this!!!

Which wedding dress was your favorite?  Why did you love it so much!  Comment below, and then keep your eyes peeled the rest of this month as I reveal more of my favorites from 2017!

Engagement Gift Ideas from My Favorite Pittsburgh Shops!

Proposal season is upon us and I'm willing to bet you know someone who just got engaged!  Or maybe you received a shiny new ring yourself!  Either way, saying “Yes” is definitely worth celebrating.  It's easy to do with these engagement gift ideas…all of which are made or sold by local Pittsburgh friends.  So say “Congrats”, toast to the soon-to-be newlyweds, and shop small at the same time!

Heart Shaped Glass Dish

Is there anything more perfect for a couple in love than something in the shape of a heart?  I think not.  Pop into Shadyside's or Squirrel Hill's Glassworks and see their collection of chic Annieglass pieces.  Ranging from 5 to 8 inches and rimmed in gold or platinum, these special works are great as ring dishes or even just a decorative addition to the newlywed's home.

Heart Shaped Glass Dish: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides Heart Shaped Glass Dish: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

52 Reasons Why I Love You Cards

Know someone who recently got engaged? You'll want to double down on this customizable deck of cards that's the perfect gift for the bride- or groom-to-be in your life.  Modeled after playing cards, this gift from theBird+theBeard provides 52 reasons (and up to 52 photos) that lets the intended know just how much they are loved.

52 Reasons Why I Love You Cards: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Beauty Treatments for the Bride and Groom

Everyone is going to want to take a photo of the happy couple.  Help the bride and groom to be look their best with a few beauty treatments from La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans.  This Aveda salon with two locations will have her feeling extra glamorous with makeup application and a blowout.  Meanwhile, he'll feel fresh to death with a hot shave and haircut from Mec, La Pomponnee's own barber shop.  Perfect right before their engagement party, holiday party, engagement photos, or even just a fancy date night!

Beauty Treatments for the Bride and Groom: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Custom Return Address Stamp

I bet even the couple who has everything doesn't have a personalized return address stamp.  Between the engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding, they are going to be writing out A LOT of thank you cards.  Make their job a little bit easier by gifting them a quick and easy solution to the upper left hand corner (or envelope flap!).  From cursive to contemporary, bold to basic, these beauties are customized with love by Blush Paper Co.

Custom Return Address Stamp: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Canvas Bride Tote

Something just for the lady, this canvas bride tote will come in handy for carting around that wedding planner binder, vendor contracts, and all of the necessary “stuff” that comes along with planning that big day.  Plus, what better way to scream from the rooftops that you're engaged than with a cute little bag that does it for you.  This and a variety of other tote styles are also designed by Blush Paper Co.

Bride Tote Bag: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Monogram Cosmetics Case

Why wait until the wedding day to start using that new last name?  Surprise the new bride-to-be in your life with a fun custom cosmetics case with her initials (make sure she's changing her name first!).  Blush Paper Co. offers these beauties in natural, white, and black, all with a silk lining and a variety of color options for the monogram.  They're great for holding makeup, jewelry, or little accessories.  Knowing me, I'd probably use it to hold snacks.

Custom Monogram Makeup Case: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Library Borrower's Card Thank You Notes

This note set from theBird+theBeard is the perfect gift for the newly engaged bookworm!  No ones makes it to their big day without a lot of help – that equals a lot of thank you notes.  Your bookish bride’s personality will shine through when she sends a library-themed note to those who’ve helped along the way.

Library Borrower's Card Thank You Notes: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

A Custom Painted Canvas

Really want to wow your favorite newly-engaged couple?  Surprise them with a custom painted canvas from Erin Art Design.  Available in any color combo that suits your fancy (and just about any size imaginable), these pieces are true works of art.  Ethereal, galactic, geometric, or any other style you can dream up (Erin is THAT talented), a canvas like this would make a perfect gift for a newlywed's new home.

Custom Painted Canvas : Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Personalized Scented Candle

Pittsburgh's brewery scene is hopping.  If the soon-to-be newlyweds love pints and pubs, a custom gift from Brewed 2 Burn just might be a great gift for them.  Available in classic crystal jars or upcycled amber bottles, these scents get their inspiration from your favorite pours.  The label can even be customized to celebrate the couple and their engagement date!

Fun Personalized Scented Candle: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Custom Corn Hole Board Game Set

If the couple loves lawn games, especially the kind that involves some drinks, what better than a personalized corn hole board game set that commemorates their engagement or wedding date?  These wooden pieces are hand made by Penn Rustics Rentals and can be customized with any message you like.  They make a great addition to any casual wedding reception or just a summer backyard barbecue!

Custom Corn Hole Board Game Set: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Fun Gifts for the Bride to Be

Looking for a variety of ring dishes, cute tees, wine glasses, and mugs, just to name a few things?  Then head to Clarissa Boutique for the cutest selection of all kinds of great gift ideas!  Spoiler alert: you just might see some items from yours truly!

Fun Gifts for the Bride to Be: Engagement Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

Will you be purchasing an engagement gift for someone in your life?  Comment below and tell me what you'll be getting him or her!

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors Offering Thanksgiving Weekend Savings!

Start your wedding planning a little early (and save some money at the same time!) by taking advantage of these Pittsburgh wedding vendors offering Black Friday or Small Business Saturday deals!  Your wallet can thank me later!  Now I'm gonna go eat some pie…I'll see ya with some new content on Monday.

Christina Montemurro Photography

Save $200 off any wedding package booked by December 2!  Be sure to mention Burgh Brides to get the discount!

Syncopated Pictures

Save $200 off any 2018 Wedding booked by December 2!  Be sure to mention Burgh Brides to get the discount!

Sandrachile

Ready to pop the bling?  Then make sure you document the experience with professional pictures of the epic moment.  If you are planning to propose in December, this deal is for you!  Normally $350, but if you purchase NOW you'll save one hundred bucks.  Hurry!  Limited availability!  *Includes hand warmers to make sure your hands don't look purple in pictures. #JokingNotJoking

La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans

Celebrate Small Business Saturday at La Pomponnee with their Customer Sip and Shop event on Saturday, November 25.  Enjoy 20% off $100+ gift cards, champagne, sweets, and prizes!

Blush Paper Co.

They're kicking off the biggest sale of the weekend with 25% off all lifestyle goods in the Blush Paper Co. online shop! Use code BLACKFRIDAY25 to save on address stamps, mugs, make up bags and totes!  Plus, save even more by joining their email list!

 

Modern Era Weddings

Book the award-winning Tim Harris as your wedding DJ between now and December 31 and save $200!  Modern Era is also offering $300 off any videography package until December 10!  Their sister company, the Pittsburgh Circus Arts Collaborative, is also offering $200 off any show with three or more performers!

Clarissa Boutique

Save 15% off all in-store merchandise on Small Business Saturday!

Tyler Norman Photography

Now through Cyber Monday, save 15% off any photo service with Tyler Norman Photography INCLUDING WEDDING PACKAGES!

Kristin Ryan Weddings

Save half off the standard ceremony fee!  The normal price is $250, but the deal price is $125!!  Deal runs through November 27 (Cyber Monday); couple must have made initial contact before midnight (local Pittsburgh time) on November 27, 2017 and have signed electronic contract before midnight (local Pittsburgh time) on December 2, 2017 to deal.  Contact Kristin to book!

Fresh Cut Prints

There's nothing more fun than sending holiday cards featuring your engagement or wedding photos.  In an unprecedented sale, Fresh Cut Prints is so excited to offer 25% off photo Christmas cards from November 23 – 27.  That means you could be getting completely unique and custom designs for as low as $1.65 per card!  Now that's something to be excited about!  Use the promo code BRIGHT17 at checkout to receive the discount.

Not ready with your photo yet?  Simply purchase now and send your photo when you're ready (through December 13)!

Oakwood Photo + Video

Book both photography and videography with Oakwood Photo + Video by December 8, 2017 and mention the promo code “Burgh Brides” to receive $300 off your total and a set of gift prints! Visit their website for info and to schedule your consultation!

Hello Rachel Creative

Hello Rachel Creative is currently offering 15% off your entire project if you book before November 30th!  This offer includes any save the dates, invitations, and day of paper goods you may want. It's never too early to think about your wedding stationery, especially with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season going on. Visit the website or email Rachel to get started!  Be sure to mention this offer!

Olive & Rose Events

Save 10% off any planning package PLUS choose one add-on service for free:

  • Up to 8 hours of Rehearsal Dinner Assistance
  • Up to 8 hours of Bridal Shower Assistance
  • Hotel Guest Bag Idea Generation and Delivery

Call or email and mention Burgh Brides.  Black Friday promotion expires February 28, 2018.

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel

Book your wedding at Pittsburgh's Wyndham Grand Hotel and earn 75,000 points WORTH A FREE 5 NIGHT STAY!!!  Points can be used worldwide at any Wyndham property and are perfect towards that honeymoon trip!

Heaven Sent Farms

Heaven Sent Farms is offering $500 off available dates June-August 2018 if you book before the New Year and mention Burgh Brides!  Please visit their website and contact them to schedule a tour!

Kaitlin Powell Photography

Receive *$300 off your wedding package when you book by December 31, 2017!

*Does not apply to engagement/portrait sessions.

Erin Art Design

All custom art work pieces – including canvases for your new home, hand-painted clutches to match your bridesmaids dresses, and even cool favors for your guests – are 20% off the entire month of November.  But Burgh Brides readers can save an extra 10%!

Jenni Grace Photography

Save 15% off all wedding day packages PLUS an extra $500 in product credit for weddings booked before December 15!  Also, save 20% off all destination weddings and portrait sessions booked before December 31.  And!  Save $200 off all Full Portrait Sessions booked before December 31!  Allllllll the savings.

Oh Joyful Day

Stock up on these cozy ceramic camp fire mugs from Oh Joyful Day for just $15 plus FREE shipping!  Perfect for shipping hot cocoa while snuggled up next to your love, or a great favor idea for fall weddings!!!

Leight Up Life Photography

Save $150 off any wedding package booked now through December!  Mention the “Thankful for Love” promo when booking!

Brewed 2 Burn

Use code GLOW at checkout to receive a free silver/gold 10 oz.holiday candle in their signature Winterberry Scent with the purchase of two Brewed 2 Burn Candles.  These hand-poured, all natural soy candles make for a fun wedding favor, a great way to “pop the question” to your bridal party, or just the perfect gift for the beer lover in your life!

Jessica Garda Events

Save 25% off Wedding Management Services for your 2018 wedding if you book before December 15!

Wedding Management Services include:

  • An initial meeting to go over every detail of your wedding
  • Creation and distribution of a detailed timeline for you, your party, your family, and your vendors
  • Communication with your vendors starting two weeks out
  • Rehearsal supervision and coordination
  • Delivery and set-up supervision
  • On-site supervision and coordination on your wedding day – ceremony and reception
  • Ensure wedding gifts are transported to their final destination and payments and gratuities are delivered to vendors

PLUS – Wedding Management clients will receive access to their Aisle Planner software, which includes a personalized, detailed checklist to help you along the way!

Who will be checking some things off their wedding vendor shopping list this weekend?!  Comment below and let me know which deal you'll be taking advantage of!

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Weddings that give back will always be cool.  Whether it's partnering with a sustainable caterer, hosting your celebration at a venue with green practices, sourcing everything locally, or even asking that guests not wrap their gifts, there are lots of ways your wedding can help to change the world for the better.  But because I love Pittsburgh so much, my favorite is when couples find ways to give back to their own community.  There are countless locally based non-profit organizations who would absolutely love to partner with you  Here are four of my favorites!

412 Food Rescue

According to 412 Food Rescue's website, forty percent of the food produced globally goes to waste.  This sickening statistic doesn't have to include your wedding menu though.  With 1 in 7 people going hungry, 412 Food Rescue aims to end food waste while simultaneously ending hunger.  Among other programs, the group works with local restaurants, groceries, and other retailers to collect surplus food and deliver it to nonprofits who serve those who are food insecure.  Rather than ending up in the landfill, this perfectly good food can go to people who need it instead.  After appetizers has been passed, dinner has been served, and the cookie table has been raided, the leftover food from your wedding can help to fill up some bellies, while your generosity can help to fill up some hearts.

Brides/grooms can decide to donate their extra food, providing it has been prepared in a commercial kitchen.  It is best for couples to contact us as early as possible so we can connect with caterers to maximize the amount of leftovers that is appropriate for a donation.  We will provide signage for wedding festivities so guests know that the couple is promoting sustainability and the end of hunger as part of their celebration.  Additionally, rather than using completely floral centerpieces or decorations, some couples opt for edible, seasonable decorations that include fruit, gourds, nuts, or herbs.  Guests can be encouraged to bring a healthy nonperishable pantry item like rice, broth, beans, flour, or spices (which are very difficult to obtain for many food insecure families).  Lastly, monetary donations directly support our operational and programmatic efforts to #endhunger and #endfoodwaste in Pittsburgh.

If brides and grooms believe that all people deserve direct access to fresh and healthy food, then they should partner with 412 Food Rescue.  As new couples begin their journey together, we encourage them to start giving back to their communities and support neighbors in need, who may be families that struggle with food insecurity.  Furthermore, many of our Food Rescue Heroes are young families who seek to instill these community-centered values within their children and themselves.

– Becca Sufrin, 412 Food Rescue

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Mercedes, one of the 412 Food Rescue Heroes, and her daughter

Centerpieces 4 Seniors

Ever wonder what happens to the flowers and centerpieces after a wedding?  Sadly, they usually end up in the trash.  Upon realizing this, Kelli Burns and Rose Davidson started Centerpieces 4 Seniors in 2015.  Their pair collects leftover floral arrangements, repurposes them, and then delivers the blooms to local nursing homes and senior care facilities.  The impact is two fold: the flowers get a second life and the lives of seniors are brightened by this simple act of kindness.  Burns and Davidson work out of Davidson's Mt. Lebanon garage, rearranging centerpieces and getting them ready for a new home the day after the wedding.  With the help of many volunteers, as many as 125 new arrangements are created in any given weekend.  That's 125 smiles on faces.  And if that doesn't put one on yours, I don't know what will.

We are now in our third year of making a difference in seniors' lives.  The repurposed centerpieces are delivered to local nursing homes to bring happiness and cheer to the residents and caregivers.  We share small details of the fun event and residents begin to connect with pleasurable memories from their past.  Seeing seniors smile as they talk about the centerpieces and enjoy their dining tables keeps the party going!


  
Let us know if you have an event and are willing to join us in brightening the lives of seniors.  Donated centerpieces will be picked up from your event and delivered by friends of Centerpieces 4 Seniors!

– Kelli Burns, Centerpieces 4 Seniors

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Kelli Burns (left) is also a local wedding DJ (and a great one at that)!

Beverly's Birthdays

Weddings are a celebration, and each anniversary can be thought of as a “birthday” of the big day!  Sadly, not everyone gets to experience the child-like joy of celebrating a birthday though.  Beverly's Birthdays was started when a young girl shared with the organization's founder the fact that she had never had her own birthday party or had a piece of her own birthday cake.  Over six years later, the nonprofit has created over 25,000 birthday celebrations for children experiencing homelessness and families in need.  No child should ever feel forgotten on their birthday, and this group works to ensure that through gifts, parties, and even their Classroom Cheer Program, which supports teachers working with at-risk youth populations.  While your wedding might be your own special day, you can use it to spread some birthday cheer and guarantee local kids have their own special day too.

Living with the chronic stress that comes from a housing crisis can be crippling, but your gift will be a break from that stress to just smile, laugh, and create family memories that will last a lifetime.  People can get involved by visiting our website and signing up to volunteer.  Another idea that a few brides and grooms have done is to make a donation to Beverly's Birthdays in lieu of wedding favors.  Additionally, couples could collect birthday presents, which would then be gifted to the children we work with.  The couples that get into it have done amazing jobs!

– Josh Whiteside, Beverly's Birthdays

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Some of the smiles created thanks to the celebrations hosted by Beverly's Birthdays

Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Rescue

As the dog mom to a 150 lb Cane Corso mastiff, this organization is near and dear to my very own heart.  Gentle Ben's is dedicated to rescuing, fostering, and placing large breed dogs, such as Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, and Mastiffs.  As the NPO's name would suggest, these pups are giant – but gentle.  However, given their sheer size and the responsibility that comes along with it, they likely wouldn't be adopted if they were in a typical shelter.  Noreen Kohl and her late husband made it their mission to ensure these dogs are not forgotten; that they get the socialization, training, and medical treatment they need; and ultimately that they find their forever home.  If you love dogs (especially big ones) as much as I do, you'll feel so good about helping them out.

Brides/grooms can work with us in many ways!  They can ask their guests to bring an item which can be donated to Gentle Ben's.  We can always use leashes, collars, toys, beds, etc.  Monetary donations go towards vetting, food, and especially the very expensive surgeries some of the dogs require.  One of our current rescues – Harley, a fourth month old mastiff – was very sick when he came to us and spent several days in the hospital.  He will also require a life-saving surgery in a few months, which will be thousands of dollars.  We have helped so many families who need to find a new home for their dog for one reason or another, many times at no fault of their own.  When we take in their dog, they become part of our family.  I will keep their original family updated with photos and emails.  This gives them peace of mind so that they can focus on getting their lives back in order.

– Noreen Kohl, Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Rescue

Weddings That Give Back: 4 Pittsburgh Nonprofits You Can Help with Your Big Day

Some of the many dogs at the Kohl's Zelienople home, which doubles as Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Rescue

Do you have a local NPO that is special to you?  Are you giving back to them through your wedding festivities?  Comment below and tell me about the organization and how you're helping!

Burgh Brides Bash is Goin’ Down November 30!

Have you heard the good news?  The annual Burgh Brides Bash is taking place on November 30 and you're all invited!

Join us for an evening of sips, snacks, sweets, and socializing with fellow Pittsburgh wedding lovers.  We'll toast to the past year and say “Cheers!” to whatever 2018 has in store for us.  It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!

Get full details and ticket information!

A HUGE special thanks to our sponsors! 

3 Rivers Events

Golden Hour Candle Company

Innovative Mobile Catering

Nizhoni Bakery

Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt

Modern Era Weddings

ShutterBooth

GreenSinner

The Pittsburgh Stylist

Purple Wagon Designs

Dawn Derbyshire Photography

EF Lighting

Poppy Events

Eventioneers

Vintage Alley Rentals

Versatile Vintage Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

While vintage rentals aren't new to the wedding world, this styled shoot will have you thinking about them a little bit differently.  In order to showcase the versatility of antiques and old world pieces, Leight Up Life and her team of vendors designed three vignettes using the same vintage finds: a screen, a card catalog, and barrels, all from Copper & Sage.  From a stunning ceremony set up to a lively cocktail reception to a whimsical dessert display, each piece made an appearance in each scenario and was styled to perfection.  Colorful and dramatic florals from Leafhopper Designs accented each display while watercolor hand-lettered stationery courtesy of Oh Joyful Day added a personal touch.  Mixed with Loved added her special touch to the dessert display with yummy looking cupcakes and a multi-tiered confection.  While each vignette was unique in it's own way, they all fit in perfectly with the surroundings at Pinehall Farms, the shoot's location.  A little bit rustic, a little bit antique chic, and a little bit playful, this styled shoot will inspire you to weave a vintage vibe throughout all aspects of your big day!

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If you thought that was fun, wait until you see the moving footage from Traveling Heart Productions of how everything came together!

From the photographer…

Nowadays vintage goods are making a comeback in a new, fun way.  It's so amazing to see them placed at a wedding day!  This styled shoot was based around three unique vintage pieces: a screen, a card catalog, and barrels.

The options are truly endless with them and we wanted to offer some fun inspiration on how they can be utilized throughout the day.  With each piece, we have styled them specifically for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception by using all of the same simple details.

Bringing in the rustic colors was really important as our inspiration behind this styled shoot was our great location at Pinehall Farms and it's vintage rustic red barn.

We felt like we put three different weddings together in one day!  It was a true labor of love and life.  Most styled shoots feature a couple or models and we really wanted to focus on the details to bring couples a unique perspective, one that they could truly implement into their own special day.  We hope you feel inspired to create something all your own with these three vintage pieces!

Vendors

Decor & Rentals: Copper & Sage Vintage Rental Co. | Desserts: Mixed with Love Cake & Cookie Co. | Flowers: Leafhopper Designs | Photography: Leight Up Life | Shoot Location: Pinehall Farms | Stationery: Oh Joyful Day | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Favorite Wedding Favor Ideas: Unique Ways to Thank Your Guests

Since November is the month of giving thanks, I was inspired to share some of my favorite wedding favor ideas!  If I'm being perfectly honest with you, I have a love/hate relationship with favors.  While I do think it's very important to acknowledge and publicly thank your friends and family for attending and celebrating your marriage, unless they're done right, wedding favors can be a total waste.  The trick is to go with something edible, useful, charitable, or otherwise super unique.  Skip the dumb tchotchkes that no one will remember (and that will likely be left on the table at the end of the night) and go with one of these ideas instead!

A Donation

Rather than giving people more “stuff”, do some good with your wedding favor dollars.  If there is a non-profit that is near and dear to your heart, make a donation in the name of your guests.  Animal welfare, disease research, or even your local women's shelter…it doesn't matter the cause; just find one that resonates the most with you.  Because weddings that give back will NEVER go out of style.

A Double Duty Escort Card/Favor

Why spend more money than you have to?  Opt for something that can play double duty as both an escort card AND a wedding favor!  Pick it up open arrival, take it home at the end of the night…and get more mileage out of your wedding budget at the same time.  I love the idea of choosing your drinking glass for the evening and then adding it to your own at-home collection, as done by a recent couple at PointBreezeway.

The best take I've seen on this double duty idea is when guests were invited to “Please Be Seeded” with a packet of seeds to plan in their own garden!

Home Brew

If you're the type who makes their own brewski, bottle up a big batch for your guests!  They'll love the homemade nature of this and you can personalize it even more with a custom label.  Nick and Lisa – the duo behind So Fresh Films – did this at their wedding a few years ago!  Hey, if it's good enough for a wedding vendor (who has literally seen it all), it's good enough for you too!

Anything Edible

If your guests are anything like me, they love to eat.  I'd never turn down a free treat, so get some to-go containers and let that Pittsburgh cookie table serve as your favor.

Or infuse some hometown flavor into your day by gifting a treat from your favorite local food maker or provider!  Either way, you'll guests' taste buds will thank you.

Or Drinkable!

Beer isn't the only kind of beverage that can act as a wedding favor.  Pass out some grounds of your favorite coffee to brew up some love at your reception.

Coffee not really your thing?  Individual cans of tea leaves make for a great giveaway too!

Something Useful

If you are going for a tangible favor, make sure it's at least something people are going to actually use.  From all of the weddings I've attended in the past, the only favor that you'll still find in my cupboards to this day are pint glasses.  Why?  Because I break them often and always seem to need one.

Another idea is the mini cast iron skillets given out at this classic but unique wedding.  Perfect for making all sorts of things!

Something that Speaks to Your Heritage

Infuse your history into your wedding day with a favor that speaks to your heritage.  The groom of this wedding was from Kazakhstan, where the yurt is a common type of housing.  As a subtle nod to his background, guests were treated to tiny, colorful yurts which were filled with chocolates.  Blend modern day with old world with a unique idea reflecting your own background!

Plants or Flowers

Say thank you and help the environment at the same time by gifting something that will grow on long after the wedding day.  Tree seedlings (like those given out at Whitling Photography's own wedding), fresh herbs, or even a Build-Your-Own Floral Bouquet bar all make excellent, earth-friendly favor ideas!

Something from the Heart

The ultimate wedding favor idea is something from the heart.  If you're crafty or are down with making something with your hands, set out to create something special for each of your guests.  It can be as simple as coasters made from old vinyls, or homemade soy candles.

Or it can be something much more elaborate.  These beautiful mugs were hand-thrown by the bride and added an artistic DIY touch to the day.

When jewelry-maker Heather wedded Jeremy Ganss, ladies were treated to earrings and men to engraved money clips, both made by the bride herself!  Absolutely LOVE ideas like these!

How will you be thanking your guests?  Are you going with a tangible favor or some other idea?  Comment below!

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List

Forget Napa.  A Sonoma wine country honeymoon is the way to go.  Very much the road less traveled, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Sonoma.  Less touristy, less expensive, and slower-paced than Napa, Sonoma is peaceful and serene yet it can still provide that full wine country experience.  Romantic tastings, adventurous activities, and world class luxury with a small town feel, there is something for everyone in Sonoma.  So I say head there instead!  Take a look at my ultimate Sonoma wine country honeymoon bucket list and start planning your post-wedding getaway!

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Skip the Chain Hotel

With a plethora of bed and breakfasts ranging from quaint to luxurious, I say shop small when it comes to accommodations.  Staying at a B&B comes with so many more perks – you’ll feel more pampered while still getting that privacy you’re longing for.  Plus, hello home cooked breakfast!  And because you’re in wine country, most feature a tasting and/or cheese pairing reception nightly.  My personal favorite home-away-from-home is Camellia Inn.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

What was once the first hospital in Healdsburg is now a small but mighty B&B within walking distance of many attractions.  Owner Lucy is a sweet-as-pie innkeeper who treats each guest like family.  However, it was the bed and sheets that made my stay worthy of penny.  BEST.  NIGHT'S.  SLEEP.  OF.  MY.  LIFE.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Purchase a Wine Pass

Available through The Wine Road, this $30 pass will allow you a free tasting at any of 60+ wineries.  It’s a great way to check out many of Sonoma county’s delicious sips while saving a buck.  If you were to go at it on your own, most tastings range from $8 to as high as $55.  It doesn’t take a math genius to realize the wine pass will easily pay for itself.  And don’t think that it only includes sub-par wineries either.  You’ll find such recognizable names as Clos du Bois, Kendell-Jackson, and Korbel, to name just a few.  Make your rounds on Sonoma County with this tasting pass to a sampler’s paradise!

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Hire a Driver

All those wine tastings can take a toll on your sobriety, and a DUI is never worth it.  Stay safe and hire a driver for the day.  The expense will not only ensure that you don’t break the law, but it will also allow you to sit back and enjoy the day.  While someone else navigates the road, you can relax and revel in the beauty outside your window.  And if you want a driver who is knowledgeable, helpful, and always up for an adventure, I recommend Aaron of Healdsburg Vino Tours.  Dude knows his way around the vineyards.  Oh, and if you’re thinking you’ll just call a Uber….yeah….ummm, not likely.  Not only are there not many drivers in the area, but you likely won’t get services in the valley either.  That’s where having a personal driver comes in the most handy!

Treat Yo Self

After the craziness of the wedding, you’ll be in desperate need of some personal TLC.  Relieve some of that stress and work off those post-wedding blues with a few spa treatments.  The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg offers head to toe services that will have you feeling like a new person in no time.  Try the oxygenating facial to keep that bridal glow long after the honeymoon, or a side-by-side Himalayan salt stone massage in the couple’s suite.  Afterwards, take advantage of their outdoor pool and jacuzzi, complete with water-side beverage service.  Because nothing says luxury quite like a glass of prosecco while basking in the California sunshine.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Hit the Skies

If you thought the area was pretty from the ground, just wait until you see it from the air.  Wake up early and face your fear of heights with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Sonoma wine country courtesy of Up & Away Ballooning.  You’ll soar over lush vineyards, rolling foothills, and skyscraping redwoods.  Talk about breathtaking.  In that basket sipping champagne in the sky, you’ll feel like you’re in your own little world of two.  I can’t think of anything more romantic post wedding day.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

Take a Romantic Stroll

If you blink while driving through “downtown” Healdsburg (the keystone town of Sonoma wine country), you’ll miss it.  It’s small but this little wine town has a lot to offer.  It is very much a walking town and the main drag is full of cute boutiques, inviting tasting rooms, and yummy cafes.  Spend a few lazy hours meandering through the adorable streets and you’ll find yourself plenty entertained.  Whether its window shopping, wine sipping or even restaurant hopping, spend some quiet time together, holding hands and taking in all Healdsburg has to offer.

Eat More Sugar

Now that the wedding is over, you don’t need to worry about fitting into that dress, which means you can go back to indulging in delicious treats.  Moustache Baked Goods can help you overcome that sugar craving.  Cupcakes (try the banana brown butter chocolate!), macarons, whoopie pies and more grace their display cases, making choosing just one very difficult.  If cold desserts are more your thing, visit their close-by sister shop Noble Folk.  Featuring locally sourced ice cream, it’s a great way to beat the California heat.  For an even bigger treat, try their homemade pies.  Or go all crazy and opt for an a la mode slice to combine the best of both worlds.

Spend Some Time with Nature

You can’t go to northern California and not partake in some outdoor activities.  Whether it’s heading to a near by national forest to be impressed by the redwoods, renting a canoe and hitting the water, or riding bikes and taking in the scenery of the valley, make some time for nature during your stay.  There is an outdoor adventure for everyone and every skill level.  The weather is gorgeous pretty much all year round and you’ll be in awe at how beautiful this earth really is.  Plus, you’ll need to do something to work off all of those wine calories.

The Ultimate Sonoma Wine Country Honeymoon Bucket List from Burgh Brides

So what do you say…have I totally sold you on a Sonoma wine country honeymoon yet?  Comment below and tell me if you've ever been there and what you loved most about it!  I'm already planning our return trip!!!

While this post was sponsored by The Wine Road, all opinions, insight, and recommendations are my own.

Want to read what others are saying?  Check out these posts from my friends at Apple Brides and United with Love!