Talk about that bridal glow! Jeni was absolutely beaming on her wedding day! If you want to be too, I highly recommend working with The Pittsburgh Stylist. Not only is Tamie bubbly, warm, and super fun to be around, she's also extremely passionate about her work. She loves working with clients on skin care, facial treatments, and, of course, makeup application for their big day. Her knowledge and skills coupled with your vision mean you'll look and feel like yourself, only a little bit extra special. Because who doesn't want to feel extra special on their wedding day? If you're still on the hunt for the perfect wedding makeup artist, head on over to the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide to see more work from The Pittsburgh Stylist.
Really want your guests' jaws to drop when they walk into your reception space? Lighting. Want to totally transform the ambiance of your venue? Lighting. Want to up the decor ante but don't have a million dollars to spend? Lighting. The answer is always lighting, my friends! And I'm so thrilled to introduce you to one of the best providers in the city – EF Lighting. This newest member of the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide has decades of know-how under her belt and she's got a passion for wowing her clients. From the oh-so-popular bistro lights to custom gobos and spots, EF does it all. If you have wedding day lighting dreams, check out EF Lighting in the Vendor Guide. They'll help make them come true!
When you think of “wedding vendors”, please don't forget about the stationery designer! While they may not physically be present on the day you get married, they still work just as hard as those other pros who will be. In reality, your stationery designer is a very essential part of your wedding day. Without the save the date and invitation, how would your guests know when and where to show up?! It might seem silly but from consultation to conception to design to the proofing and printing process, stationery designers are true artists who care about your wedding day as much as you do. Get a behind the scenes look at a designer in action as Kimberly of Purple Wagon Designs shares her process with us!
While wedding stationers like myself are certainly considered wedding “vendors,” we’re different than most of your vendors because we aren’t AT the big event! All of our work happens BEFORE the wedding…but that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, without invitations, no one would show up to the wedding!
To give you a little insight about what goes into creating the perfect wedding stationery for someone’s big day, I’ll be giving you the play-by-play with my recent bride, Clare, and our journey to create her dream invitations!
Thursday, February 16, 7:36 p.m.
Five months prior to Clare’s wedding, she contacts me to inquire about invitations and we schedule an in-person consultation.
Friday, February 17, 9 a.m.
I meet with Clare to discuss the details of her July 8th wedding: the overall feel of her wedding – traditional ceremony with a casual and relaxed cocktail reception; the locations – St. Bernard Church and The Mansions on Fifth; and the color scheme – pine and blush.
Also during our initial consultation, Clare picks out the shape and structure of her invitation. She chooses a modern and functional pocket card in dark sage, a beautiful paper patterned with pink magnolias, and a lovely natural linen stock. I’m IN LOVE with her choices!
Tuesday, February 21, 1:34 p.m.
I put together the proposal and contract for Clare’s wedding stationery and email it to her for review.
Tuesday, February 28, 9:03 p.m.
Receive email from Clare stating that “We are go for launch!!!!” and asking what the next steps are. Reply, share her excitement, and ask her to mail out the signed contract and deposit so we can get started.
Monday, March 6, 12:15 p.m.
Find Clare’s contract and deposit mixed in amongst the junk mail.
Order all the necessary paper and envelopes for Clare’s invitations, along with that of three other couples with summer weddings.
Thursday, March 9, 2:30 p.m.
Begin working on the initial design of Clare’s wedding invitations. I also have a few deliveries for other clients today, so I don’t get as far as I’d like.
Friday, March 10, 11 a.m.
Arrive back home following my daughter’s field trip to the Mt. Lebanon police station (so cool!) and put the finishing touches on Clare’s initial design. Send it off and hope she likes it!
Receive an email from Clare with feedback. She LOVES it! I do a little happy dance then quickly make her minor changes and send back to her.
Thursday, March 16, 1:25 p.m.
PAPER DELIVERY DAY!! I haul two massive boxes into my office (paper is HEAVY!) and check that everything is accounted for. I also let my kids make a huge mess playing in the packing peanuts 🙂
Tuesday, March 23, 1:06 p.m.
Finish up the initial design of all the inserts for Clare’s invitations and send off for review.
Friday, April 7, 4:30 p.m.
After some back and forth with Clare making sure the wording, details, and designs are absolutely perfect on every part of her invitation, I send the artwork to print.
Monday, April 10, 12:52 p.m.
Receive a message that Clare’s invitations are ready to be picked up from the printer – in record time. It’s always so exciting to open the box and see the printed versions for the first time! They turned out exactly as I had hoped!
Tuesday – Saturday
Print the envelopes for Clare’s invitations and work on assembly. Unlike the designing which is done during the day in my office, the assembly part of my work happens in my cozy basement in the evening while watching TV, so it’s a bit more relaxed.
Sunday, April 16, 10:35 p.m.
Assembly on Clare’s invitations is complete and they’re packaged up and ready to go!
Wednesday, April 19, 8:15 p.m.
Meet with Clare to deliver her invitations – she loves them! Seeing the look on a bride’s face when she sees her invitations for the first time is an incredible feeling!
“DAY OF” STATIONERY
Friday, May 12, 6:25 p.m.
Time to get started on Part Two of Clare’s wedding stationery! In addition to the invitations, I will also be creating her ceremony programs and thank you notes. I send her some examples of ceremony programs that she can use as a guide.
Thursday, May 25, 2:29 p.m.
I use the information Clare sent for her program and put together the initial designs for that and the thank you notes using the same theme and design that was used on her invitations.
Tuesday, June 6, 10:33 a.m.
After a little back-and-forth on the content of the program, both pieces are approved so I send them off to print!
Monday, June 19, 10:15 a.m.
Pick up Clare’s wedding day stationery from the printer and package it up.
Tuesday, June 20, 2 p.m.
Meet with Clare one last time to deliver her programs and thank you notes. She is as happy with these items as she was with her invitations, and that makes the whole process totally worth it!
As you can see, a whole lot of behind-the-scenes time and effort goes into designing and creating the stationery for a wedding, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I consider it an honor to work with each of my couples on such an important element of their wedding!
While you can't be there in person, Kimberly, I know you're there in spirit, cheering on each and every client on her big day. Thanks for peeling back the curtain for us!
If you have some catching up to do, check out a wedding day in the lives of Traveling Heart Productions, Sapphire and Lace Design and La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans. I've still got a few more up my sleeve so keep your eyes peeled.
You can also revisit some of my favorite posts from this series in the past!
Community Flower Shop said it best with “Our ideal client is someone who wants something unique, creative, and anything but ordinary.” Those words perfectly describe the work coming out of the latest Pittsburgh wedding florist to join the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide. I've never seen the same arrangement or bouquet from them twice. Patrick and his team are artistic designers who push the limits with out-of-the-box combinations of lines, texture, and color. The results are floral magic. Go meet them and see more of their work in the Vendor Guide!
Swoon-worthy and a bit atypical, the work of Steven Dray Images is downright delicious. It'll leave you with all the heart eyes. Don't believe me? Head on over to the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide to see more work from the latest photographer to join the pack. He's got talent to spare, a super cool perspective, and he's just awesome to be around. What more do you want in a wedding photographer?
Want to work with Steve AND save some dough? Mention Burgh Brides for $250 off any package!
What is it like to be behind the camera on a wedding day? In this case, I mean video camera, of course. Today, Christina of Traveling Heart Productions is here to answer the question for us! In the next edition of “A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of” series, Christina is sharing what a day (actually what a FEW days) in her life looks like. A lot (and I mean a lot a lot) of work goes into making a video – there's prep time, schedule creation, location scouting, consulting with the other vendors, backing up all of the footage (usually to multiple places), and hours and hours of editing…not to mention actually being there on the wedding day to film it! But why am I telling you all of this? You can just read the first hand account from Christina instead!
Hey all! My name is Christina, and I’m the owner and lead videographer at Traveling Heart Productions! I’m so excited to provide you with a behind the scenes look at my life as a wedding videographer! I love filming weddings, and I’m always so honored and excited to capture such an amazing and important day. The wedding day preparations begin several days prior to the wedding, starting on Thursday. Here’s the rundown of a wedding my second shooter, Brandon, and I filmed a few weekends ago:
Time to charge batteries and double check my equipment. I have lots of batteries on me during the wedding day, and I need them all to be ready to go. I also look over my equipment and make sure everything is here and in working order. Tripod and monopod plates? Check. Shoulder mounts? Check. Just making sure I’m not missing anything important!
Time to format cards, organize my camera and equipment bags, and look over the timeline and questionnaire. I prepare my second shooter’s bag as well, so she’s ready to film groom preparations right away. Once our bags are packed and organized, I start preparing what I want to wear. I’m usually either in black pants and a blouse/cardigan combo, or a maxi dress with a cardigan. Layers are my friend, since it often goes from being 85 degrees outside to super chilly in the reception space. For tomorrow’s wedding, I’ll be in a maxi dress that I love to wear.
Saturday (Wedding Day!)
Time to get up! I get showered and dressed. Time to move my two camera bags and my equipment bag into the car.
Today’s wedding is in Johnstown, PA, so we have a little bit of a drive this morning. Brandon and I will be driving together, as we do for most weddings, because she lives down the street from me. I swing by her house and pick her up. We stop at Panera to grab bagels and coffee for breakfast. Panera = life.
Still driving! It’s a relaxing morning so far.
We arrive in Johnstown. We aren’t supposed to be on location until 11 a.m., so we spend a little time scouting where we need to be later in the day. I run through the itinerary again, and give Brandon a copy.
Arrived at the bride’s house, where she will be getting ready! I grab my camera bag and my monopod from the trunk. Brandon types in the address for the groom’s location (his parent’s house — just down the street) and she departs.
Ring the doorbell, and I’m here! Time to start filming preparations. I introduce myself to everyone, quickly set up my camera, and I’m filming! I say hello to Leeann, today’s photographer. I'm really excited about that because I really enjoy working with her. I mostly focus on details, hair/makeup, the bride getting into her dress, and the overall interactions between her family and friends. It’s a super relaxed and happy atmosphere.
Time for us to travel to the groom’s location, where the couple will be doing a first look. Woohoo, I love first looks! I grab a ride with Leeann, since my second shooter has my car and off we go!
It’s pouring down rain when we arrive, but it quickly dissipates. The couple has a super cute first look and now they have some free time to take portraits. I hang around to grab some portrait footage and then Brandon and I are off to the church to set up!
Arrive at St. Mary's Byzantine Church after inhaling a turkey sandwich in the car. We bring in our cameras and equipment and set up our three cameras. It’s so hot out, and I’m really glad the church is air conditioned. Once the groom arrives, I put a mic on him to record clear audio from the vows. I coordinate with Leeann to make sure she’s okay with my anticipated locations during the ceremony (so we’re not in each other’s shots) and now I’m ready to film!
Ceremony begins! This church is so gorgeous and there are lots of beautiful spots to capture the ceremony. Brandon is split between two cameras on tripods — one in the balcony and one on the far right hand side of the church capturing the bride’s face. I am on a monopod next to Leeann during the processional and then I’m off to the left hand side for vows and ring exchange, capturing the groom’s face. During the rest of the ceremony, I quietly walk around and get other shots from interesting vantage points. I’m back on the left hand side for the kiss! Yay, they’re officially married!
Bubble exit outside! So cute! The ceremony has ended, and it’s time for Brandon and I to break down our equipment and most of our cameras. I remove the mic from the groom so he can take formal portraits in the church. While formal portraits are happening (I don’t film the formal family portraits), I grab some interior shots of the church. Once I have everything I need, I pack up my camera and let Brandon know where to go for the reception. I send her there early so she can grab detail shots before the guests arrive. She loads the car back up with our equipment (I really need to buy a bag with wheels for us). I ride with Leeann again — and we’re off to bridal party portraits!
Bridal portraits are at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown’s campus, and I’m excited to grab some pretty footage! I always have fun filming couples interacting with their bridal party and with each other in a creative way.
We travel to the reception site (Johnstown Masonic Temple) and I grab some more footage of the couple before going into the reception hall to set up with Brandon. She has already filmed lots of pretty detail/hall footage. We coordinate where we will most likely be during the reception. I introduce myself to the DJ and plug into his equipment so I can record the toasts for the video.
The reception begins! The order today is: Introductions, First Dance, Cake Cutting, Toasts, Blessing and then…
Dinner! Time to take a break and eat. Feels good to sit down.
We’re back at it, and ready to film the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances. The floor opens up for dancing. Party time!
The sun is setting and it’s a perfect time for some outdoor evening portraits. Leeann and I both head up to the roof (!!) where we can get some gorgeous shots in beautiful light.
Ceremony ends. We say goodbye and thank you to everyone! Brandon and I break down our equipment and load everything back into the car. Tonight is a bit of a longer drive home (two hours) since we’re in Johnstown. I drop Brandon off at her house.
I’m home! Time to copy all of my footage onto my computer. I have nine camera cards full of wedding gorgeousness, and I love scrolling through everything as I copy it over. Once it’s all on my computer’s hard drive, I back it up onto an external hard drive, and then I also upload it to cloud storage. I also will not wipe my camera cards until the wedding has been delivered to the couple. I take a lot of precautions with my footage; media management is important! While this is happening, I’m usually eating a snack, drinking water, and watching Parks and Rec, because it’s the best. I’m a night owl, so being up late is no issue for me, and I sleep better knowing I have everything backed up.
Whew, I’m tired! Time for bed (I’m asleep in 10 minutes).
That’s my entire day! The next few days I spend working on the teaser trailer. Once I deliver that to the couple, I begin editing their full highlight film. I usually spend about 40 – 50 hours of editing on each wedding that I film. Thanks for following along with me!
And what better way to see a wedding videographer in action than with a behind the scenes video? Duh! Enjoy this little snippet that Christina put together! She's the absolute best for sharing her day with us and I hope she definitely took Tom Haverford's advice and treated herself after this!
If you missed the beginning half of this summer series, you can see what wedding days in the life of Sapphire and Lace Design and La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans look like. Be sure to stay tuned as I share more in the coming weeks.
You can also revisit some of my favorite posts from this series in the past!
- Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers
- Post Script Films
- Jeremy Ganss Productions
- The Blue Daisy Floral Designs
- Soiree by Souleret
Ryan Zarichnak Photography is one of the BEST wedding photographers in Pittsburgh and he's the newest member of the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide! Ryan is real, down to earth, and a super cool guy…which is why his tagline “honest photography” is so fitting. He aims to capture a wedding day (and all your special moments) in a way that is organic and truthful. And dang if Ryan's work isn't downright stunning! Go see more of it in the Vendor Guide!
You’ve seen the work of Whitling Photography plastered all over Burgh Brides. That’s because I love them. Like I loooooooooove them. I love them in a way that borders on obsessive. It’s probably because every bride/groom/person in any one of their photos looks like the cool kid I always wanted (still want?) to be. You know the person I’m talking about…the one who wakes up and is beautiful without even trying, the one who looks hip and chic doing just about anything, the one who marches to the beat of their own drum but makes others wish they marched to it as well. What I wouldn’t give to have my photograph taken by Stephanie and Brett.
Have you found yourself feeling the same way? Considering Whitling as your wedding photographer? How about a quick test?! Here are 6 easy ways to tell if they’re the one for you!
Do you roll with the punches?
If you’re cool as a cucumber and take whatever life throws at you, then you’ll love the Whitlings. Their laid back, fun loving personalities will bring an extra level of comfort to your special occasion. You’ll feel relaxed in front of their cameras and you’ll look natural and like your sweet self in the frames they capture.
People > things, right?
Will all of the humans at your wedding be more important than all of the “stuff”? While Stephanie and Brett will happily document your accessories, flowers, and tablescapes, they put a strong emphasis on people. If you agree that relationships and emotions matter more than bouquets and favors, then you’ll get along just fine.
Does nature give you all the feels?
Raise your hand if the outdoors is your happy place! Whitling Photography describes windy days and the forest as “life”. If you’re up for exploring all that Mother Nature has to offer, they’ll be right there alongside you, cameras in tow.
Are you ok with taking risks, being silly, and maybe even getting a little dirty?
When it comes to their work, Stephanie and Brett aren’t afraid to go outside the box or be atypical, and they’ll push you to do the same. Hike a mountain in your wedding dress, go barefoot in the mud, stand in front of a gritty graffiti wall because the light is casting a super cool shadow…no matter the instructions, I guarantee the end result will be magic.
Agree that life is messy but pretty darn awesome?
The Whitlings are committed to capturing truth, whether it's beautiful or not. They focus on honesty, raw emotions, and unplanned moments. Documenting real love is what inspires them the most. If you’re up for being a little bit vulnerable and open, I promise it will be worth it!
Do you trust the intuition of artists?
Are you comfortable letting your photographer take the creative lead? These two are pure geniuses and if you let them, they’ll bring beauty to life in the form of a photograph. Couples who allow artists to flex their creativity muscles are totally Stephanie and Brett’s kind of people.
Did you answer yes to one or more of these questions? Then it sounds like you + Whitling Photography just might = a match made in wedding heaven.
Still need more convincing? Visit them in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide to see more of their work!
Next up in the A (Wedding) Day In The Life of series is Sapphire & Lace Design! Bethany and Julie, the sister team behind all of the pretty blooms created, are vivacious, crazy talented, and sweet as pie. I've known them both for years and I seriously consider them friends, not just friendors. Their passion about their work and their commitment to delivering innovative, thoughtful designs has always impressed me. But when I saw just how much time, energy, and love go into a wedding day, I was blown away. If you thought your wedding florist just played with pretty flowers all day, you were sorely mistaken. Their job is tough! Don't take my word for it though. Here are B and Julie with the full scoop!
After months of dreaming, planning, organizing, and ordering, wedding week is here! The Sapphire & Lace Design cottage is a buzz. Lists are flying and we’re so excited for our couple!
Pull all hard goods (votives, table numbers, compotes, high centerpiece stands, etc.) for quality check and packing.
Prep and clean containers.
Candles are counted (wicks up!) and our week-of questionnaire is sent over to our bride for confirmation of final details!
FLOWERS ARE HERE!!!!!!!
Everything is being counted, processed, and then organized in the cooler (Post-Its everywhere!).
This takes us most of the day but we have a little time left to reach out to our setup/teardown crew and confirm the schedules for wedding day!
Recipes are written on our chalkboard wall to make Friday designing run smoothly.
We pull the bouquet flowers, carefully selecting the best of the best for our bride and her favorite ladies.
We start with bouquets then work our way to centerpieces (not for a particular reason; we’re just usually too excited to make that gorgeous bridal bouquet!).
After everything is designed to perfection, we re-label and re-organize the cooler for an easy load out on Saturday!
After a good night's sleep, we wake up ready to tackle all the beauty of the day!
Pick up the van.
Pick up bagels and coffee….because…bagels and coffee.
We’re ready to design body flowers. Boutonnieres and corsages must be done day of to ensure they’re fresh for the day! They get wrapped in ribbon and labeled with a hand-lettered tag. We pull the perfect tray to display the boutonnieres for a finishing touch and great photo op!
LOAD OUT! It wouldn’t be complete without our cart and ALL the zip ties. Since we packed up everything earlier in the week and labeled all the flowers, loading up the van is pretty quick. We can’t leave without snapping a quick picture of the bride’s bouquet!
We arrive at the bride’s parents' home to deliver the bouquets. (She loves them! Yay!) We instruct her and her girls how to properly carry their flowers for the best photos and we’re off!
Arrive at church. Altar pieces are placed with care and pew bows are tied off. The wonderful ladies at the church will be pinning on the personal flowers so it’s time for us to head to the reception!
Arrive at reception and unload. (Did we mention we love our cart??)
Take a couple of before-pictures and get to work. We have one crew member on candle duty, another on table numbers and signage, and we get right to work placing arrangements, making sure every last detail is perfect.
We’re making great time! Everything is almost set and we have a few extra blooms to play with (our favorite part). What can we do to make the reception room look better? Where could we add extra these flowers for the greatest impact? How can we make the bride and groom feel special when they sit down to their table? Just a few of the questions we ask ourselves before wrapping up!
Back to the cottage and unloading buckets, garbage, and anything we won’t be needed for tear down. Time to put our feet up for a bit!
Back in the van armed with empty boxes and garbage bags. To tear down we go!
Waiting for those last few guests to trickle out so we can blow the candles out and start repacking.
It’s always sad to take down the beautiful decor, but we finished quickly and we’re so ready for bed!
Back at the cottage, unloading (again), and filling up the gas tank on the van so we can return it tonight and have Sunday all to ourselves 🙂
Ohhhhhh child, I am tired just reading this! Like so many other vendors, florists have such a physically grueling day that requires a long time commitment. Bethany and Julie, you totally deserved those bagels and that coffee and I hope you got to relax on Sunday. Thanks for sharing all of your hard work and for creating such beauty in the world!
If you missed it, catch up on A (Wedding) Day In The Life Of La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans and watch as I share more behind the scenes posts in the coming months.
You can also revisit some of my favorite posts from this series in the past!
What is my favorite thing about Jeannine Bonadio Photography? The fact that she combines classic, vibrant wedding photography with an awesome client experience. With Jeannine, you get the works! I don't want to spoil any surprises so you should just head on over to the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide to see more from her!
Plus, if you mention Burgh Brides when booking, you'll save $200 on a wedding package! Valid until November 1.