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 Gift Ideas Under $25 Yinz are Bound to Love!

I'm switching things up a little bit this Cyber Monday.  Since I know you'll be spending most of today crossing items off of your holiday gift list and taking advantage of all of those online deals, I wanted to inspire your shopping a little.  My love for Pittsburgh is no joke and no secret.  Because I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a few black and gold items in their possession, I scoured Etsy for the best in Pittsburgh gift ideas!  Here are my 15 favorite and BONUS! they're all under 25 bucks. From coffee mugs to cute tees to home decor, all of these finds will help you show off your hometown (or new home?) pride.  Yinz better get shopping n'at!

Pittsburgh Gift Ideas Under $25: Pittsburgh Gift Guide from Burgh Brides

  1. Pittsburgh Map Pint Glass $16
  2. Pittsburgh Tote Bag Build Bridges Not Walls $12
  3. Pierogi Coaster Set $20
  4. Home Love Painted Mini Sign $19.99
  5. Dear Pittsburgh I Love You Typewriter Mug $12
  6. Jagoff Pittsburgh Pottery Mug $25
  7. Classic Pittsburgh Pennant $25
  8. Pittsburgh Words Ornament $10
  9. Pittsburgh Bridges Comfy Fit Tee $24.99
  10. Heinz Field Print $11
  11. Home Is Where Yinz Heart Is Papercut $25
  12. Pittsburgh Home Map Print Digital Download $5
  13. Bridges of Pittsburgh Tea Towel $18
  14. Vintage Yinz Pittsburghese Tee $13.98
  15. Pittsburgh Map Print $19.99

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

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!

Burnt Orange & Dark Teal Wedding Inspiration

Future fall brides, this one's for you!  Looking for a way to bring the colors of the season alive on your wedding day without screaming “FALL WEDDING”?  How about this burnt orange and dark teal wedding color palette for ya?  I am obsessed with this dramatic shade of peacock.  It's moody, a little edgy, and reminds me of rich jewel tones.  When you pair it with burnt orange, it's absolutely perfect for fall.  But in order to keep the look far from kitschy, #justsayno to the pumpkins.  As much as I love them, they'll make your wedding look theme-y and no one wants that.  Instead, bring that orange alive with flowers.  Zinias, ranunculus, dahlias, and even spider mums (you know…if you really want fall) all look amazing when paired with succulents, seeded eucalyptus, and even blue thistle for that touch of teal.  Because this combo speaks to a boho vibe, let those florals play centerstage with lush arrangements and dripping bouquets.  Accent your day with metallic detailing in the way of gold foil invitations, vintage brass candle holders, and hammered flatware on the tables.  Want to bring this color to your bridal party?  Think dark teal and black tuxedos for your guys and the same shade of green for your girls.  I may have found a new favorite palette for fall weddings because this one is earthy, autumnal, and oh-so-happy!

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of burnt orange and dark teal!  What do you like about this combo?  Are you using any of these colors in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

A Pop Up Wedding: 6 Ways to Tell if It’s for You

If you’re on the fence about having a pop up wedding, today’s post is for you.  This new, trendy wedding alternative – being brought to you locally by The Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Company – has recently become all the rage among contemporary couples looking for a twist on the old wedding favorites.  What’s a pop up wedding, you ask?. It’s a non-traditional, fun, care-free, stress-free wedding in a theoretical box.  It consists of a 90-minute, all-inclusive ceremony and celebration for a small group of guests, and includes a unique venue location, flowers, photographer, officiant, music, cake, a styled set, etc. etc. etc.. But how to tell if this idea is for you?. Read on, my friends, read on.

1.) If you want to get married but don’t want to spend a million dollars.

One price.  All inclusive.  Wam bam thank you ma’am.  The Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding includes everything from a bouquet to a small cake to the venue to a photographer and even someone to perform the ceremony, all at an affordable price.  The average cost of a wedding has soared to over $35k.  Why go into all of that debt when you can literally spend a fraction of that amount and still have an awesome day?!

2.) If you want to get married but don’t want to do any of the work.

Planning a wedding can be exhaaaaaaausting.  Not to mention totally overwhelming.  Don’t want to spend all of that effort on just one day?  There’s an easy solution – let someone else do it for you.  The Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding arranges e.v.e.r.y.thing.  You literally just need to show up.

3.) If you want to get married but want to keep it small.

Can’t imagine a 300 person wedding?  Me neither.  If you want to keep your day intimate, consider a pop up wedding.  Limited to 20 guests, the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding ensures that you share your wedding with only your nearest and dearest…not those third cousins twice removed whom you haven’t seen in ten years or that creepy family friend whose name you always forget.

4.) If you want to get married and FAST.

Harry Burns said it best with, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”  (Name that movie!)  You’re in love, you’re engaged, why wait?  While the average proposal lasts 12 – 18 months, pop up weddings are planned with only a few weeks or months’ notice.  Whatever your reason for not wanting to wait, the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding could be your answer!

5.) If you want to get married but don’t know where to begin with styling a wedding.

Don’t you worry about a thing, girl!  The Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding takes care of that too.  Conveniently, it’s the sister company of Vintage Alley Rentals, a local biz specializing in antique, boho, and whimsical furniture and décor rental pieces.  They bring their truck full of goodies and make sure that the venue looks picture perfect.  There might even be a surprise or two!

6.) If you want to get married and want do something totally unique!

Long gone are the days of cookie cutter weddings.  Give your family and friends (and yourself!) something to remember by thinking totally outside the box.  Hydrangea centerpieces?  I’ve seen ‘em a million times.  Sparkler exits?  Pretty, but over it.  Ballroom wedding?  They’ll always be popular but I long for a new flavor.  But a pop up wedding?  Now THAT’S unique!

So what do ya say?  If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you might want to consider the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding.  They’ve got two amazing pop ups coming up – the traditional Pop Up Wedding on October 27 at the Pump House and a holiday Pop Up Wedding on December 29 at the Allegheny County Courthouse.  Give them a ring for a free consultation!