Wedding Websites: What to Include on Yours

I’ve already made my case on why wedding websites are so important.  Sites like Minted, Zola, and even The Knot have made it super easy to have your own little space on the world wide web with simple-to-use templates.  But what kind of information should you included on your website and how should you organize it?  Today, I’m breaking down for ya!  Make your wedding website a one-stop-shop for big day details and your guests will be thanking you for keeping them well-informed.  Here are a few key pieces of info yours should include!

What to Include on Your Wedding Website from Burgh Brides

The Scoop on the Two of You! 

  • Tell the story of how you met and what made you fall in love with each other.  Have your spouse-to-be write their own version of the story, in addition to yours, for extra brownie points.   
  • Give all of the proposal details…how, when, where, whether you cried, who you called first, etc.  People want to know!   
  • Don’t forget photos!  They don’t have to be engagement or even professional photos!  Pics from your vacation, their birthday, or just a random date night are a-ok!   
  • Include some fun stuff, like a random list of your favorite things, little known facts, or even mildly embarrassing stories about each other just for kicks.   

Ceremony and Reception Information 

  • Provide the address for both the ceremony and reception sites. 
  • List the start time of all events, including the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.   
  • You can also include the suggested attire here. 
  • A list of bridal party members 
  • Go the extra mile and include a photo, a short description of who they are, and what makes them so special to you.  Don’t forget flower girls and ring bearers!   

Honeymoon Information 

  • Let guests know when and where you’ll be honeymooning!   

Registry 

  • It’s a major faux pas to include your registries on your wedding invitations!  It is much better suited for your website.  But be sure to link to your personal registry and not just the store’s general site!  Save your guests the trouble of having to search for your wish list.   

Hotel Information 

  • Provide the address, phone number, and website of the hotel.   
  • If you’re negotiated a discounted rate, make sure to include that and instructions on how guests can receive that rate.  For example, some hotels provide you a code that can be used with online booking; others prefer reservations are made over the phone.   

Transportation Information 

  • Driving directions from the hotel to the ceremony, from the ceremony to the reception, and from the reception back to the hotel.  Don’t assume everyone has an iPhone (my grandparents sure don't) or knows where they are going! 
  • Shuttle departure times and locations, if you are providing this service 
  • Phone numbers or websites for local rental car companies and taxi services 

Visitor Information 

  • Out of town guests will likely make a mini vacation out of your wedding weekend.  Give them plenty of entertainment options by providing a list of your favorite attractions, restaurants, and other not-to-be missed spots.   

A Guest Book 

  • Create a section where friends and family, particularly those who cannot attend, can leave well-wishes.   

Song Requests 

  • To ensure your guests will be keeping the dance floor full all night, give them to opportunity to request songs that get them up on their feet! 

RSVPs 

  • For some couples, collecting RSVPs online is the way to go.  Personally, I still like to see a response card in an invitation suite, but I think websites are a great place to gather RSVPs for your rehearsal dinner, farewell brunch, or even your bridal shower! 

Some other tips to make your wedding website extra awesome: 

  • Post any last minute changes on the homepage.  This will ensure guests see it!  You don’t want them to have to dig through pages of information to find an important update.   
  • Make it fun!  People like to laugh so tell funny stories, act a little goofy, and just be yourself in your writing.  Reading it should feel like your guests are speaking right to you.   
  • Keep it clean.  Make your information easy to find with clear page names, lists of bullet points, and short paragraphs.   
  • Have a basic skeleton of your website ready when you send your Save the Dates.  That way you can include the URL (the web address) on them.  Post basic information that you know at that time, such as date and location, and let guests know that more details will be posted as they’re finalized.   
  • And last but not least, don’t put your phone number on your website!  You DO NOT want people calling you with questions on the day of your wedding!!!  Trust meeeee! 

Any other information you like to see on a wedding website?  What did you include on yours?  Do you think your guests find it helpful?   

Fun Science Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

Bright and fun, this styled shoot has all of the trappings for a science inspired wedding!  And what better spot for a class in wedding-ology than the Carnegie Science Center!  This North Shore staple features multiple non-traditional event spaces and this shoot shows them off beautifully.  Starting with the Buhl Planetarium, a ceremony under a starry night sky was staged, complete with a robot officiant.  GreenSinner was inspired by the science fiction genre and brought in a forest of lush greenery and towering trees.  The same theme was carried into the Works Theater, where even more science-y particles came to life.  Wine glasses featuring organic chemistry compositions, vintage space travel posters, chemistry lab glassware serving as centerpieces, and a rainbow of lighting by EF Lighting all added to the vibe.  The Carnegie Science Center even added a hands-on demonstration of liquid nitrogen with flash frozen root beer floats and an ice cream sundae bar.  You don't need to be a science geek to get married at the Science Center.  But if you are, there's no better place to do it, and these images from Weddings by Alisa are proof!

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From the designer…

The Carnegie Science Center has so many non-traditional spaces that people don’t know about!  Our Buhl Planetarium is a great way to have an outdoor ceremony without the risk of rain.  You can create any location in the Buhl with our projection system –  a canopy of stars that are aligned to mimic the night sky where you met; you can get married on another planet; the possibilities are limitless.  We took the theme of bringing the outdoors inside and went with it.

The planetarium was transformed into a forest with a lush landscape and towering trees.  GreenSinner created this ingenious, science-fiction type setting, complete with Quasi, the robot, as the officiant.  We carried that science fiction motif into the reception space by adding a palette inspired by vintage space travel posters.

I’ve always loved our Works Theater and it has so much potential for a cocktail style reception.  Whereas the planetarium is a blank slate, the Works has a definite style.  We wanted to complement the vintage, industrial undertones there.  The botanical choices and containers combined with the lighting elements to create the sense of an overgrown lab full of wild and weird colors, textures, and silhouettes.  It’s also a really fun space, so we brought in our favorite science demonstrations and just played.  You can see the sheer delight on CJ and Jon’s faces as they play with the Boo Bubbles and liquid nitrogen creations.

Vendors

Designer: Tamra Birchfield, Director of Special Events at the Carnegie Science Center | Food: Culinaire Catering | Floral Design: GreenSinner | Lighting: EF Lighting | Photography: Weddings by Alisa | Shoot Location: Carnegie Science Center | Rentals: Eventioneers | Wine Glasses: Sorcery Science

Designer: Tamra Birchfield, Director of Special Events at the Carnegie Science Center | Floral Design: GreenSinner | Lighting: EF Lighting | Photography: Weddings by Alisa | Shoot Location: Carnegie Science Center | Rentals: Eventioneers

Oh-So-Cute Kate Spade Bridal Shower

Attention lovers of bows, stripes, and all things black, white, and pink!  You're going to DIE over this oh-so-cute Kate Spade bridal shower!  The soon-to-be Mrs. is a fan of all things preppy and girly…and she just also happens to be the sister of a wedding planner.  How lucky, right?  Shayne of Soiree of Souleret went to town bringing the guest of honor's go-to vibes to life with a chic but feminine color palette, bold patterns, and gold accents.  An outdoor tent was adorned with bistro lights, a marquee bar sign, elevated centerpieces, and a fresh floral monogram, which also served as a fun photo backdrop.  Striped linens, seat cushions, and charger plates jazzed up tablescapes while gold flatware added a dose of glam to each guest's hand.  And what Kate Spade bridal shower is complete without bow shaped napkins?  Peach mimosas, custom cocktail stirrers, and fun Mr. and Mrs. balloons rounded out the thoughtful, personal touches.  Going from Miss to Mrs. has never looked so good, thanks to these photos from Lauren Renee Designs!

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From the planner and designer (also the sister of the bride!)…

As a wedding planner, I'd been thinking about my little sister's bridal shower just as long as I had thought about planning my own wedding day!  What better way to express my love and appreciation for all of her years of support and friendship than gifting her an amazing day with those she holds most dear!?!  Caught between her love of both Kate Spade and preppy Parisian styles, I paired the two together for a shower complete with bold stripes, abundant florals (including a floral monogram), and tiny personal touches.

To honor her elementary teaching career, each guest was gifted a pencil with a cheeky saying on it and hand sanitizer wrapped in blush tissue paper.  To honor Pittsburgh roots, cookies made an appearance on the dessert table, and to honor her new Georgian home, guests sipped on peach mimosas.  No Kate-Spade-inspired shower would be complete without bow-tied napkins and actual Kate Spade cocktail stirrers.  One special stirrer held the place for the guest of honor, reading “Future Mrs. Herd.”  Guests enjoyed learning more about the bride and groom by guessing ages from baby photos placed around the tent.  Each maid pitched in by taking on a task, including the groom's sister who handmade a beautiful welcome sign with paper flowers.

My favorite moment of the day was escorting the bride-to-be up to the tent to see how the big surprise come together!

Vendors

Calligraphy: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Cake & Sugar Flowers: Cakes by Colby | Caterer: DiAnoia's Eatery | Cookies & Cupcakes: Tasty Bakery | Custom Cocktail Stirrer: Z Create Design | Flowers: Fragile Paradise | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Linens: Mosaic | Photography: Lauren Renee Designs | Planner & Designer: Soiree by Souleret | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental

Photography: Lauren Renee Designs | Planner & Designer: Soiree by Souleret | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental

Bridesmaids Gift Ideas Your Girls are Going to LOVE!

Looking for the perfect way to thank the ladies in your bridal party?  Look no further than these cute and affordable bridesmaids gift ideas from Etsy!  I scoured the site and found my faves, ranging from makeup bags, tumblers, jewelry, and more!  Show your appreciation for all of the time and energy your gal pals are putting into your big day by gifting them something symbolic of your gratitude.  These something on this list to fit just about any taste, but if you still need some inspiration, check out other bridesmaids gift ideas from Etsy!

Bridesmaids Gift Ideas from Burgh Brides

  1. Custom Wine Cup or Tumbler $15
  2. Homemade Sugar Scrub $9
  3. Personalized Ring Dish $12
  4. Bridesmaid Hanger with Name $8.25
  5. Floral Tumbler $16
  6. Personalized Leather Keychain $16.45
  7. Personalized Makeup Bag $16.95
  8. Dainty Monogram Necklace $35
  9. Sideways Initial Necklace $26
  10. Personalized Glass Box $45

Glamorous Black, White, & Gold Wedding with a Pittsburgh Theme: Ali & Tom

For this self-proclaimed Pittsburgh-obsessed couple, a black, white, & gold wedding only made sense,  as did one that incorporated the city they both love so much.  Enter Ali and Tom's big day!  To start off the 412-themed affair, the invitations from Fresh Cut Prints featured the Pittsburgh skyline.  Then, the couple said their vows at The Clemente Museum before partying the night away at the Heinz History Center.  Our city's colors came together in a sophisticated, glamorous way via sequin linens, chic stripes, metallic place settings, mercury glass, gold-backed chairs, and lots of gilded frames.  For a pop of fun, Ali sprinkled in hints of bright red with her killer Badgley Mischka peep toe heels and a ribbon-laden bridal bouquet from Community Flower Shop.  Ali and Tom even acknowledged their shared love of the Buccos with a custom jersey bearing their last name, which also served as their guest book.  Oh, and wait until you see that cake!  The three tiered confection from Tasty Bakery featured a Pittsburgh staple – a bridge!  Now THIS is how you show a little hometown pride!  Enjoy all of the city-inspired snaps from Sky's the Limit Photography!

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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 met at Baldwin High School, when I was a student and Tom was a teacher!  Haha.  Tom was never my teacher but after I graduated I helped him coach powderpuff football.  Several years later, we stayed in contact and we started dating.  Even after a few break ups, we learned one thing – love wasn't who you could live with forever; it was who you could not live without.  After realizing we couldn't be without each other, and five years into dating, Tom finally proposed in the house we bought together two years prior!  We were playing Uno and while I thought he pulled out an old score card, the paper actually read “Will you marry me?”

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

Pittsburgh is our thing, but so is baseball.  When Tom and I discussed that we didn't want to get married in a church, we decided that the Roberto Clemente Museum would be perfect.  A winery in the basement, so many people had never been here before, and it was so “us”.  While we got engagement photos at PNC Park, we very much realized we had a slight Pittsburgh obsession!  However, I'm classy and really wanted to stick to black and white stripes.  I added the gold touches since it's super chic and pretty but glam.  I added the touches of red (like Heinz ketchup) because it seemed to fit the reception venue.  I also love me a good deep red heel, and I even got to add a hint of red into my flowers!  It was unique because I added my own small Pittsburgh touches in a tasteful and classy way.  I was super pleased with how elegant it turned out to be!

Also, our “cocktail hour” was a hot dog cart on the street between venues!  So fun!!!

What was your favorite moment of the day?

My favorite moment was definitely walking down the aisle.  I had waited so long to show off my dress, the venue, the gorgeous small touches, and the Roberto Clemente museum.  I was MOST anxious and excited to run down that aisle to Tom, and finally show off all my hard work to my family and friends.  It was so enchanting and I had chills the whole time.

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

Hire a day-of coordinator!  Even if you don't need help with all your plans, having someone to lean on all day is really helpful and stress free.  I don't just say that cause I love doing it for a living.  I truly think my Wanderlust girls perfected my day-of vision and I cannot thank them enough!!!

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Allure from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Accessories: Macy's | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Dresses: Christina Wu from Bridal Beginning | Cake: Tasty Bakery | Cupcakes: Le Cupcake Shoppe | Donuts: Peace, Love, and Little Donuts | Calligraphy: Oh Joyful Day | Caricature Artist: The Pittsburgh Caricature Company | Caterer: Common Plea Catering | Ceremony Location: The Clemente Museum | DJ: DJ Scott Alexander | Flowers: Community Flower Shop | Hair: Kayla Willkomm Scanlon from DeStefino Beauty Bar | Linens: Linen Hero | Makeup: Evelyn Rose Beauty | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photography: Sky's the Limit Photography | Reception Venue: Heinz History Center | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals, Wanderlust Weddings and Events, and All Occasions Party Rentals | Stationery: Fresh Cut Prints | Videography: Bre + Jon Harris | Wedding Planner: Wanderlust Weddings and Events

Bride's Dress: Bridal Beginning | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridal Beginning | Flowers: Community Flower Shop | Photography: Sky's the Limit Photography | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals and All Occasions Party Rental | Stationery: Fresh Cut Prints

Hunter Green, Black, & Ivory Wedding Inspiration

What's bold, fresh, and modern all over?  This hunter green, black, & ivory wedding inspiration.  This color combo is fit for any contemporary couple looking to bring a sleek vibe to their big day.  Black and white is a forever classic, but choosing ivory instead of white is a subtle yet impactful twist.  The duo is given a punch of freshness by the darkened version of emerald green.  Together, the trio is sophisticated and chic.  To make this palette work, I love sticking with a minimalist look.  Think clean lines, stone or marble details, and lots of botanical inspiration.  All greenery bouquets against little black dresses on your bridesmaids and gents in black tuxedo pants with ivory jackets trimmed in black will bring the color scheme to your wedding fashion.  Meanwhile, accent your reception with a black and white checkered dance floor, black and white striped napkins, and a cake adorned with rich green magnolia leaves.  No matter the season, these wedding colors will look absolutely perfect all year round.  It's just one thing that makes hunter green, black, and ivory such a winning combination!

Hunter Green, Black, & Ivory Wedding Inspiration from Burgh Brides

Clockwise L to R: Pinterest; Kristin Sweeting via Southern Weddings; Hazelwood Photography via Green Wedding Shoes; Pinterest; Pinterest; De Alma e Coracao; David Jenkins Photography via Love My Dress

For even more hunter green, black, & ivory wedding ideas, visit my Pinterest board!  And then tell me what you think of this palette!  What do you like about it?  Are you using any of these colors in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

Getting Ready Attire for Brides & Bridesmaids!

The morning of the wedding just isn't complete without some cute getting ready attire for brides and bridesmaids.  Add some mimosas, party music, and a major pampering session courtesy of your hair and makeup artists, and you've got yourself a recipe for a few hours of fun with your gal pals.  Make sure you're all dressed the part with some festive getting ready wear fit for the occasion.  Whether it's a robe or pajama set, romper or  button up shirt, there are lots of ways you can be comfy and cute at the same time.  You can go twinsies or keep it mismatched, personalize it with a monogramed or sassy wedding saying.  Either way, you and your ladies will look good while getting wedding-ready!  For even more finds, check out more of my favorite getting ready attire from Etsy!

Favorite Getting Ready Attire for Brides & Bridesmaids from Burgh Brides

  1. Lace Wedding Robe $59.50
  2. Monogrammed Oversized Shirts $29.99
  3. Monogrammed Pajamas $36
  4. Floral Bride & Bridesmaids Robe $39.70
  5. Monogrammed Denim Shirt $28
  6. Floral Bride Romper $32.99
  7. Lace Bridal Robe $21.99
  8. Satin & Lace Bride Robe $20
  9. Off the Shoulder Bridal Romper $55
  10. Bridesmaid Romper $53

Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

If you can't get married in Italy, the next best thing is this Tuscan inspired wedding styled shoot.  An edgy color palette of berry tones and black combine romantically with details reminiscent of the Italian countryside.  Gold calligraphy and antique-inspired stationery invite guests to an al fresco courtyard set-up where red taper candles, matte black place settings and gold flatware from All Occasions Party Rentals adorned the tablescape.  Rich red napkins, teal velvet ribbon, and jewel tone floral arrangements popped against cool light gray linens.  Even the cake, which was created by Mediterra Bakehouse and featured naked chocolate layers, fresh figs, and berries, reminded me of the old world.  What really makes this shoot striking though is a untraditional black and taupe dress that was paired with locally-made mixed metallic jewelry, deep ruby satin heels, and smokey makeup and hair done by GLOW Blotique.  Combining a modern, avant garde vibe with classic Tuscan warmth and romance, this inspiring shoot was styled by A & L Events and captured by Wanderlust Images and Traveling Heart Productions.  That's amore.

Berry Velvet Ring Box: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Black Wedding Dress: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Hand Lettered Gold Calligraphy Vintage Inspired Wedding Invitations: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Tablescape Design: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Fresh Fruit Atop A Naked Wedding Cake: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Red Velvet Wedding Shoes for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Hand Lettered Gold Calligraphy Vintage Inspired Wedding Escort Cards: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Black Wedding Dress: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Ruby Gold Wedding Engagement Ring: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Berry Velvet Monogrammed Embroidered Ring Box: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Tablescape Design with Matte Black China: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Purple and Red Wedding Flowers Bridal Bouquet: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Fruit Cake Topper: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Fresh and Natural Wedding Day Makeup for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Red Satin Wedding Day Shoes for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Fresh and Natural Wedding Day Makeup for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Black Wedding Dress: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Reception Tablescape with Red Taper Candles: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Hand Lettered Gold Calligraphy Vintage Inspired Wedding Invitations: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Red and Purple Wedding Bouquet for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Tablescape with Red and Purple Flowers: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Berry Velvet Monogrammed Embroidered Ring Box: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Black Wedding Dress: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Red Satin Wedding Shoes for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Hand Lettered Gold Calligraphy Vintage Inspired Wedding Escort Cards: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Black Wedding Dress with Red and Purple Bridal Bouquet: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Fresh and Natural Wedding Day Makeup for Bride: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Tablescape with Red and Purple Flowers: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Moody Wedding Tablescape with Red and Purple Flowers: Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides Tuscan Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot from A&L Events and Wanderlust Images featured on Burgh Brides

From the stylist…

Our Tuscan Twilight Styled Shoot draws inspiration from the rich autumnal hues, seasonal fruits, and a hint of unconventional edge, paired with the romance of Tuscany's charming countryside.  Our bride is found in an intimate Italian courtyard in Pennsylvania, flooded with the ambience of subtle, yet enticing, candlelight.  She sits stunningly in her untraditional black and taupe gown paired with unique mixed metal jewelry awaiting the marriage ceremony, while admiring the details of the enchanting evening.  As she awaits, she is serenaded by the strumming of acoustic guitar and twirls to the soft music.  Behind her, a decadent Mediterranean spread is flourishly displayed for when guests arrive to celebrate this one-of-a-kind love.  The vibrant and lush floral palette brings the bold tablescape to life, contrasting the clean elegance of the noir matte dinner plates and textured gold flatware against the cool gray linen and touch of greenery.  A colorful cake design comprised of striking old world elements and the modern composition of the watercolor stationery with foiled gold accents provide this styled shoot with dynamic elements sure to delight the eye.  This Tuscan Twilight Styled Shoot was created to provoke feelings of warmth, endearment, intimacy, and avant-garde glamour attracting the romantic yet untraditional bride.

Vendors

Photography: Wanderlust Images | Stylist: A & L Events | Shoot Location: Morning Glory Inn | Cake: Mediterra Bakehouse | Dress: Ashlee Brooks Collection | Food & Drink: Fish Hawk Acres | Flowers: Posies by Patti | Hair: GLOW Blotique | Jewelry & Accessories: Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design | Linens: All Occasions Party Rental | Live Musician: Jason Kendall Productions | Makeup: GLOW Blotique | Model: Lillian Theresa of Theiroff Agency | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Shoes: Nina | Stationery: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

Cake: Mediterra Bakehouse | Hair: GLOW Blotique | Linens: All Occasions Party Rental | Makeup: GLOW Blotique | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Videography: Traveling Heart Productions

 

Wedding Photographers: 5 Steps to Finding the Best One for YOU!

There are dozens and dozens of wedding photographers in Pittsburgh.  Let's not even get into all of the ones around the world.  With that many to choose from, how do you go about finding the best one for you?  I went straight to the source and sought some advice from an expert in the industry!  Lauren Renee Designs is one of the best fine art wedding photographers in the city and her images are gorgeous and romantic.  More than that, she's super knowledgable and loves helping not just her clients but all couples plan the perfect wedding day.  That's why she's so excited to share her fives best tips for finding your perfect wedding photographer!

Wedding Photographers: 5 Steps for Finding the Perfect One for YOU from Lauren Renee Designs and Burgh Brides

From Lauren…

With engagement season at its peak, many couples are searching for all of the amazing vendors that will come together to bring their wedding day vision to life.  To make that process a little easier, I'd love to share some of my own tips on how to search for and choose the photographer that will best capture your special day.  In my humble opinion, I feel that photography is one of the biggest decisions you will make when planning your wedding, and it can also be a confusing and overwhelming process!  After the dancing is over, the cake is cut, and the guests are gone, all you are left with are the photos from your beautiful day!  Investing in photography is really something that you won't regret, and that is why my first tip is….⠀

1.) Think about the future and sharing your legacy when it comes to your wedding photos. ⠀

I describe my photography as timeless and classic with a romantic feel.  Of course, every couple has their own style and taste, but I truly try to create images that won't look dated 10, 20, or even 30 years from now.  I want you to look back at your wedding photos with your grandchildren and love them as much as you did the day you said “I do.”

Wedding Photographers: 5 Steps for Finding the Perfect One for YOU from Lauren Renee Designs and Burgh Brides

Now that you are thinking about your wedding photos as timeless memories, my next tip on your search for finding your wedding photographer is…

2.) Decide what style of photography you want.

In your endless searches on Instagram, Facebook, Google, and even Burgh Brides, you might be overwhelmed with all of the different options that are available to you.  There is no right or wrong answer, but it helps to narrow down your selections.  If you are following along with my work, you will notice that my photos are light, bright, and rich with color.  I am a fine art wedding photographer, using both film and digital mediums to tell your love story.  If this is something you fancy, then great; let's chat!  If that's not your jam, it's totally ok and I know you will find an awesome photographer with a look that may be “dark and moody,” “modern,” or “photojournalistic.”  These are all great styles as well!  You just need to decide what will be the best fit for you!  Do yourself a favor and focus on style first, before price points.

Wedding Photographers: 5 Steps for Finding the Perfect One for YOU from Lauren Renee Designs and Burgh Brides

Now that you have hopefully narrowed down your photography style, you can figure out what to budget for a good photographer, which brings me to tip number three…

3.) Photography should be a priority, but understand our prices are non-negotiable.

Statistically, the average wedding costs around $35,000, and 10 – 20% should be budgeted for photography, meaning you should expect to pay between $3,500 and 7,000.  To give you an idea of price points, my collections start at $3,800.  To reiterate what I said above – and I know I may sound biased – but at the end of the day, your wedding photographs are all you are left with.  Don't skimp out on what will be family heirlooms for generations to come!

Also, please realize that this is my livelihood, passion, and full-time job.  To keep everything running smoothly, I have both business and living expenses (including taxes…UGHH) that are all calculated into my packages.  I also only take on a certain number of weddings per year, as I can serve my clients best when I am able to focus more attention on them and the details of their day.  Most photographers are happy to chat with you about creating a custom package that may fit your budget by removing items or hours of coverage.  But please don't ask us to discount our prices right off the bat!

Wedding Photographers: 5 Steps for Finding the Perfect One for YOU from Lauren Renee Designs and Burgh Brides

Once you have decided on your photography style and budget and have narrowed it down to a few photographers, my next tip is…

4.) Contact the photographer to set up a phone consultation and ask to see a few full wedding gallery.

I always want to book couples who are as excited to work with me as I am to work with them!  It is really important that you connect with your photographer, as they are spending THE MOST amount of time with you, before, during, and after your wedding.  From the planning stages and engagement session up to the wedding, I put in a lot of time with my couples, getting to know them and making sure their special day runs as smoothly as possible.  After the wedding, our job is not done!  We edit all your photos, design albums, and help you with print orders.  If you don't like the person behind the camera, you are not going to have a good time, which is the opposite of what you want on such an important day!

Also, keep in mind that photographers only want to share their best work, which are the curated images you see on social media and in their portfolio.  Whether they are from real weddings or styled shoots, those images were chosen to show to you for a reason.  When looking at galleries, take note of how they shoot the ceremony and reception as well.  A good wedding photographer is flexible and able to capture any part of your wedding day, handle any lighting situation, and is also consistent in their editing across the board.

Wedding Photographers: 5 Steps for Finding the Perfect One for YOU from Lauren Renee Designs and Burgh Brides

Now that you have gotten to know your photographer, seen their galleries, and have made a decision, the next tip (or more of a request) is…

5.) Get that contract signed and deposit in ASAP!

Most photographers will not hold your date and instead work on a first come, first serve basis.  If you know you love a photographer and have connected with them and their work, don't hesitate to book them for your wedding!  On the other side of the coin, please let us know if you have decided to move on with another photographer.  When you inquire with us and take the time to set up a phone consult, we invest time with you and are already envisioning how your wedding day will unfold.  If you fall off the face of the earth and don't get back to us, it is more disappointing than getting a nice email saying you have chosen someone else.  We get these emails all the time, and we move on!  Just do the right thing and take the time to write a quick note to let them know what you have decided to do – whether it's a photographer, videographer, DJ, or florist.  We can then move on with no hard feelings and won't feel bad about giving away your date to other inquiries.

Wedding Photographers: 5 Steps for Finding the Perfect One for YOU from Lauren Renee Designs and Burgh Brides

I hope this has been helpful and insightful!  I was recently a bride and know what you are going through!  Finding your wedding vendors can be a daunting task and whether you choose to book me or another photographer, we all have one thing in common…we want what is best for our clients!  With that being said, do your research, choose your style, educate yourself on the costs of hiring good wedding vendors, and make an informed decision.  The saying “you get what you pay for” still rings true!  Just remember to enjoy the planning process and know that your search began because two wonderful people decided to spend the rest of their lives together, which is a beautiful thing <3

Go see more work from Lauren Renee Designs in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide!

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks

Whether it’s going to be wild and crazy at your favorite local watering hole or more subdued with spa services and lots of wine, there are some bachelorette party must haves you simply can’t forget about!  For fun gifts for the ladies’ night, pieces to use beyond the wedding, and everything in between, Cheeks is the go-to boutique!  The sister store to Glassworks Pittsburgh, this shop features the best in lingerie, sleepwear, and hosiery.  With brands like Natori, Hanky Panky, Chantelle, Spanx, and On Gossamer, you’ll find luxury and quality.  In addition to great every day pieces, Cheeks also has a ton of items perfect for any soon-to-be Mrs.!  Before her bachelorette party, stop in and pick up one of my favorite gift ideas for the bride to be!

Wrap Up by VP Romantique Long Robe

Getting wedding ready has never looked more gorgeous.  This long pink and white patterned robe is light weight and cozy yet chic.  Let the bride spend the morning of the wedding in style, while also making the hair and makeup artists’ lives easier!

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

Eberjey Colette Chemise

Tres chic, no?  The soft but sexy Eberjey Colette Chemise is perfect for the wedding, honeymoon, and beyond.  Unique enough for a special night but comfy enough for every day, this lovely lace number is versatile and sophisticated.

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

Bride Lace Cheeky Hipster

While the wedding dress is SUPER important, you can’t forget what goes underneath of it.  Let the bride celebrate the road to a new relationship status with these lace cheeky hipster bottoms from Hanky Panky that spell out Bride is baby blue rhinestones.

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

Mr. & Mrs. Ring Dish

Make sure the bride-to-be has a secure place to keep her ring whenever she takes it off.  This dainty, porcelain heart-shaped Mr. & Mrs. ring dish is perfect for safe-keeping.  It even comes in a cute box for easy gifting!

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

Hanky Panky Roslyn Garter

A teeny tiny bow on this Hanky Panky Roslyn Garter makes for the perfect something blue.  The pretty lace just might make her forgo the traditional garter toss.  Who wouldn’t want to keep this beauty forever?!

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

PJ Salvage Eye Mask

No girl wants to wake up to dark circles and bags under her eyes.  Give the gift of a good night’s sleep with a fun and flirty PJ Salvage Eye Mask.  Available in a variety of cheeky sayings, these satin masks with an elastic band really are a girl’s best friend.

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

Commando Matchsticks

Avoid a major wardrobe malfunction with these small but mighty adhesive strips.  Perfect for strappy dresses, low necklines, or even a fallen hem, there isn’t any fashion faux pas these babies can’t fix in a jif!

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

Bridesmaid Low Rise Thong

Hey, BFFs do A LOT for each other!  Show your girl gang a little gratitude with a fun thank you gift.  This cute Bridesmaid low rise thong from Hanky Panky can be worn during the bachelorette weekend or even on the wedding day!

Bachelorette Party Must Haves: 8 Great Gifts from Cheeks featured on Burgh Brides

Shop all of these finds on the Cheeks website, or stop in their Shadyside or Squirrel Hill locations for even more selection!

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