Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Announcement!

By Shayla

I am SOOOOOO excited to announce that we are getting a complete makeover as well as adding more to our services!!! When I left my corporate job and started this venture three years ago, I did not know what to expect really. I didn't know if Pittsburgh was too traditional and didn't really care for a modern, stylish perspective. I didn't know if the market was too saturated with seasoned planners. All I knew was I loved planning and designing and if I could do it everyday (and get paid for it) I would be the happiest girl in the world. I took a chance and words cannot expressed how grateful I am for the clients that support and embrace my services, personality, and style of planning. Each year, I've pretty much doubled the number of weddings from the previous year. I've connected with amazing vendors, been able to bring on two fabulous planners to help with the work flow, and each season hire a team of fabulous interns who want to learn the ropes.

So with that said I feel like {she} has grown up and my vision for the company has evolved too. We are revamping with fresh, new branding {logo, colors, website, blog}. We've listened to our clients and see what's available in the market so we are also adding unique event and wedding rentals at boutique prices to our services. Moreover, we are opening a small office space, Style Studio by {she}, for clients to come and talk all things planning/design with products we offer and as well as products from vendors we love to make their dream day come to life! TONS going on in the midst of kicking off what I know will best wedding season yet. Who needs sleep, right?.....Hoping to unveil everything in June. Stay tuned :-)))


Monday, April 23, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | What if rains on my wedding day?

By Shayla

Happy Rainy Monday! On a wet, dreary day like today you could only ponder and get nervous about what the weather will be like on your wedding day. We just had to share this oh-so-appropriate blog posted today from one of our favorite and fabulous Pittsburgh wedding photographers, Craig Photography. Check out Elizabeth's suggestions on what to do if it rains on your wedding day.

{Via Craig Photography...}
Hmmmm….if you’re from the ‘Burgh this is quite a relevant question. Did you know that we rival every year with Seattle for which city gets the most rain in one calendar year?? Yes. That’s true. Pittsburgh is a very wet city so as you can imagine, we get the “What if it rains on my wedding day?” question alllllllll the time. And it’s a good one.
Ultimately photographers cannot control the weather. If we could we would make sure to have a mostly cloudy day with bright blue skies peeking out from those clouds. Bright sun causes horrible shadowing and we can compensate for that in a variety of ways but a blue sky with lots of gigantic, white puffy clouds is what we really want. But Mother Nature isn’t into taking orders for the day so we take what we can get. And this is why you want to seek out the best photographer you can for your wedding day. You are not only hiring us for our eye and creativity but you are also hiring us for our problem-solving capabilities.

So, what do you do when it rains on your wedding day? I was just presented with this question at the very last minute on Saturday because it was one of those typical Pittsburgh days where it just drizzled all day long. No breaks. So here is a small list of options I came up with that just might help you all out if Mother Nature decides to throw you a curve ball on your wedding day.

~Buy umbrellas. I don’t know if you have really looked into some of the new styles of umbrellas out there today but some of them are just gorgeous. From ruffled to double-layered, from simple to pagoda….you can really add some incredibly creative flavor to your photos with some of these. Just try to keep them mostly white because that makes a great reflector of light. If you choose solid colors then that is the color that will fall onto your skin in the photos. You don’t want chartreuse skin. And you can keep the tags on these with the receipt. So if it doesn’t rain you can return them. Make sure to have enough for the whole wedding party.

~Mellon Pillars. This is what we opted to do on Saturday. Yes, this location has been done time and time again but it’s a classic. The architecture is beautiful and we can pull off some really lovely shots in this location no matter what the weather is. The stone porch offers coverage from the rain so it’s a win/win.

~Allegheny County Courthouse. This one is on Grant St. downtown and it has a fabulous tiled ceiling on the stone porch. There are a lot of creative things you can do on this porch and it’s covered so there you go. Also–you can get a permit to shoot inside the courthouse. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the inside but it’s quite beautiful. If you don’t have a permit the guards there can *usually* be sweet-talked into allowing you to come in

~Carnegie Museum of Art. This is an awesome location with a lot of freedom for a minimal price. The museum allows you to go anywhere you want that all patrons are permitted to occupy and take as many photos as you want freely, just for the price of admission.

~Union Station Rotunda at the Pennsylvanian. This is a lovely location but it’s very expensive and very limiting. Everyone loves to get this iconic shot and you can do some really creative photography here….for the price tag of about $500. And I believe that gives you 2 hours (which is really about 1 hour and 15 minutes more than you need) and that only gives you admission to the exterior, not the interior and they must not already have another wedding scheduled that day.

Some people think spending the extra money on your wedding day is a bit extreme but if you plan ahead and have a “rainy day” fund it won’t hit the purse hard the day of your wedding. Also–what’s the point of paying for that fancy shmancy photographer if you can’t squeeze every penny out of them? Make sure you get all the big bang for your buck that you can. And consider this: how much smoother and more enjoyable do you think your wedding day will be if you plan ahead for a typical ‘Burgh day? Scrambling, worrying or getting wet is just wasting valuable time on your wedding day, which if you know anything about weddings, there is very little time to spare on your day. With a little planning ahead you can make sure your day is smooth, fun and completely uninterrupted.

Photo Credit: Craig Photography

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Footwork Friday

By Shayla

Every bride wants to feel like a million bucks. It's only right to literally put your best foot forward on probably the biggest day of your life! Most girls dream of dressing up in their favorite designer dress, shoes, jewelry, and accessories! Since we LOVE helping our brides with all things fashion, shoes, makeup, and accessories, we are starting a new Friday series for inspiration on fabulous footwear because in our opinion, it is the second most important piece to your ensemble. First up, these fabulous Manolo Blahnik Jeweled Pumps. You may remember these timeless beauties on Carrie from Sex & the City in the 'Something Blue' color when she married her Mr. Big. Well Mr. Blahnik decided to give us more colors and boy did he do a good thing! You can find this pair of heaven on heels at retailers such as Nordstrom and Saks. Be inspired.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Wedding Guest Book Ideas

By Shayla

I'll have to admit, I am not a fan nor do I understand the purpose of a traditional guest book at the ceremony. I get that it gives a record of everyone who attended; However, when will you ever want to sit down and look at a book of signatures??? Save the attic space {haha}. A guest book does not have to be in the form of a book and instead of  an illegible "John A. Smith" wouldn't it make you smile to see a sweet note from John. Here are some cute guest book ideas that you will want to look at and read over and over. Be inspired!

The typewriter guest book will never go out of style.

Transform a store-bought album into a guest book that has a handmade feel. Super cute.

Who wouldn't want to return home from their honeymoon to a mailbox full of postcards from their guests with well-wishes? LOVE this.

Who knew fingerprints could look so cool together?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | DIY Ceremony Programs

By Shayla

How many 8x11.5 half-fold  programs have you received? {insert yawn} We totally understand that the ceremony is a small portion of the day {typically 30 minutes to an hour} so most couples do not want to break the bank here and just keep it simple. If you don't want to go over the top with altar arrangements, pew decor, aisle markers, and aisle designs, have some fun with the very first thing your guest receives on your big day: the program! Check out these super cute yet super inexpensive ideas to jazz up your programs via Martha Stewart Weddings. Be inspired.

{Ceremony Programs with Confetti}
Rather than handing out a separate something to toss for the recessional, attach packets of paper confetti to your programs with double-sided tape.  ClearBags glassine envelopes G7 works great!
Ceremony Programs with Confetti

{Accordion Ceremony Program}
Divide your program into four sections with this fun accordion fold.

{Program Pockets}
Set the tone right from the start by greeting guests at the ceremony with colorful programs suspended from every seat.

{Program with Tissue}
Guests prone to waterworks at weddings could use one of these: a ceremony program that doubles as a tissue cache.
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Here Comes the Bride

By Shayla

A picture says a thousand words. Check out how these adorable signage segues to the bridal entrance. Be inspired :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Yellow & Gray Inspiration

By Shayla

Happy Monday! Yellow and gray is an amazingly versatile color palette. Couples who choose a yellow and gray color palette can be preppy, modern, casual, elegant, rustic, vintage, or handmade. Something so fresh, clean, and joyful about these hues together. The possibilities are seriously endless. Depending on how light or dark you go with either shade, this palette can work in during any season. However, spring and summer are our personal fav. Especially with all the flower options you will have at that time of the year! Be inspired.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

Happy Friday!!! So after a year of planning, emotional rollercoasters, bridezilla moments, and tons of fun, you have to find something fab for your bridesmaids as a token of your appreciation. It should really be thoughtful and personalized. Of course budgets will vary based on how much a bride can spend which depends on how many girls they have. A good budget is anywhere from $50 and up. It's about quality and thoughtfulness. Please give something you know they will use. Do not waste your money! You can give them all the same gift or they can be unique to each girl. Do they like wine? Jewelry? Books? Scents? Spa Days? Movies? Sports? Music? Cooking? Travel? So many cute ideas to come up with. Fab Finds + Personalization + Affordability=ETSY! Check out these sweet keepsake ideas for your ladies! Click on pictures to visit Etsy store for more info :-)

Fabulous Friends' Hand Painted & Personalized Wine Glass by My3Graces

6 Bridesmaid Gift Rings - Personalized Initials

Wedding Party Special 8 Bridesmaids Gift Flasks and 1 Bridal Flask All with Rhinestone Initials KR2D 5137

Bridesmaids Custom Purses Bags Party Bag Bridesmaid  - Bridesmaid Purse - Bridesmaid Gifts - Handbags - Bag- Clutches by Lolis Creations

Bridesmaids Custom Purses Bags Party Bag Bridesmaid  - Bridesmaid Purse - Bridesmaid Gifts - Handbags - Bag- Clutches by Lolis Creations

Bridesmaid gift package - 3 gold filled tiny initial heart necklaces (Made to order)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | What do bridesmaids pay for?

Ross Oscar Knight Photography

So back to important information and expectations when it comes to all things bridesmaids. The big question that needs to be answered and communicated upfront is "how much is all this going to cost?" The Knot shared these basic and general guidelines in a Q & A of what bridesmaids should expect financially when saying yes to being in the bridal party. There are exceptions to every rule. The key theme is just to communicate your expectations as early as possible to avoid turmoil down the line.

Wedding Day Attire
Bridesmaids are generally expected to pay for their own wedding-day ensemble (shoes and jewelry included). Talk to your bridesmaids individually about any financial concerns, and tactfully work out a solution that suits both of you -- maybe you will pay for half or all of the cost, or you can set up a payment plan. Above all, try to choose a dress that's reasonably priced, or consider letting your maids choose their own gown. If you are open to them finding their own dress, give some color/style requirements (i.e., black and ankle length), and ask them to show you the dress for final approval.

Hair, Nails & Makeup
Tradition dictates that bridesmaid’s pay for their own personal pampering but you have to let them know this. Do you want their makeup professionally done? Can they wear their hair and nails any way they choose? Sometimes bride takes her bridesmaids to the salon together to get their hair done together the morning of the wedding – her treat. While this is an exception to the rule, it just shows that these things need to be discussed at the beginning of the planning process.

Travel Accommodations
Let's face it. These days friends and family are scattered all across the country so travel is another cost incurred when participating in a wedding. The attendants are responsible for paying their own way, just like they pay for what they'll wear to your wedding and for getting there. And usually, if you have out-of-towners in for your wedding, you'll be able to reserve a block of rooms at a discount, which ought to help them save cash. Going halvesies is perfectly fine, but know that you and your family shouldn't be expected to pay.

Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Festivities
Often times it is expected for the bridemaids to throw the bridal shower and bachelorette party. However, it is more common for the mother of the bride and groom to offer to help with this. Sometimes the bride even chips in if her expectations (out-of-town trips, lavish design) are more than what her girls can manage.
Photo Credit: Ross Oscar Knight

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Style Me Pretty Feature

So we have to digress from our bridesmaids series because we are squealing with excitement! Check us out today on Style Me Pretty. We teamed up with the fabulous Craig Photography to style and design an engagement session for cutie patooties, Rachel and Dan. The pictures are amazing!!! Special thanks to Anna Malie Designs and Lilli Maeg for helping bring our vision to life! Our fav, MUA, Justine from Beauty Justified gave Rachel a very fresh yet stunning look. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Bridesmaid Duties

For some reason, the guys get off easier than the girls throughout the whole wedding planning process. The dynamic between the groom and his guys seems more 'laissez faire' and casual than all the organization and planning the bride and her bridesmaids do together. The Knot, posted the perfect outline on the role and responsibilities of your supporting cast of ladies. These expectations should be communicated upfront. Alot of times bridesmaids don't know how much money it will cost them, how much time they need to alot for different related-events, and how often they need to make themselves emotionally available to you so that they can just be an ear at times. The bridesmaid is an integral part of any wedding. Remember, the day is all about the bride and groom. Here's a cheat sheet on what to expect in this supporting role.

-Offer to help with pre-wedding tasks. Try to be specific when you volunteer. For example, say, "Would you like me to help you shop for bridesmaid dresses/stuff invitations/pack for the honeymoon?" instead of just, "What can I do?"

-Scout out bridesmaid dresses, shoes, jewelry, and other wedding accessories. Pay for the entire ensemble. (Break in your shoes before the wedding day -- that will minimize slipping, blisters, and aching tootsies.)

-Help to plan, cohost, and pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party with other bridesmaids.

-If the maid/matron of honor isn't already handling this task, keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and bridal showers (so that the bride/couple can write thank-you notes); maintain RSVP lists.

-Attend the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. (Keep abreast of all prewedding parties, and go to as many as possible.)

-Run last-minute errands. On the day of the wedding, be on hand to confirm flower delivery times, meet and greet the ceremony officiant, or satisfy junk food cravings.

-Stand in the receiving line at the bride's request.

-Serve as auxiliary hostess at the reception by introducing guests, making sure they know where the bar is located, and inviting them to sign the guest book.

-Hit the dance floor when the music kicks in. Dance with groomsmen during the formal first-dance sequence. Also, be on the lookout for toe-tapping guests who might need encouragement and/or a dance partner.

-Give the matron/maid of honor a break by helping to carry the bride's wedding gown train whenever necessary. Bustle the train before dancing begins, and be ready to help fix it if it comes unhooked. Accompany the bride on visits to the restroom, if asked.

-Purchase a wedding present perhaps with one or several of the other bridesmaids. This provides more buying power, and two heads are better than one when it comes to wedding gift ideas. Sometimes the entire bridesmaid troupe pitches in for one knock-her-socks-off wedding gift.

-Be a trooper, no matter how stressful the ordeal becomes. Try not to complain about the bridesmaid dress -- even if the color is horrendous. Be gracious and tactful.

-Provide plenty of emotional support during the planning and on the wedding day.

Stylish Regards,

Photo Credit: Belle Magazine

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Will you be my bridesmaid?

Happy Monday! This week we are going to do a series on bridesmaids. Lots and lots of things to consider when asking your closest friends and family to be a part of your big day. Let's face it. It's not the most simple task to manage a group of women who are also balancing work, life, and even finances. So we want to dedicate this week to those haute topics that pop up with your bridesmaids.

The first step is to of course, ask! How do you narrow down your list? You have childhood, middle school, high school, college, and work friends. Then you have your family and his family. This can be overwhelming. It is important to get on the same page with your hubby-to-be. How many people on each side? Are you just asking family? Once you decide these things together, it's just a matter of priority. After you decide who, ask your bridesmaids with a cute, creative twist. This sets the tone and says I want you to be my bridesmaid, I want to it to be a fun process,and I want it to be organized. Check out this super cute DIY project. Go to your local craft/fabric store. Find cute boxes. Paint/decorate them. And inside put all the key info about the wedding including inspiration pics for your bridesmaid look and paint chips of your color palette.

Photo Credit: Wedding Chicks 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Easter/Spring Inspiration

As we head into the holiday weekend, gotta share a little spring inspiration of with softer hues of yellow, lilac, pink, green, and blue. There is something so charmful and sweet about pastels. If you're a spring bride, these colors are definitely for you, minus the egg details :-) My family is pretty big and they have big plans for me. I'm preparing for and planning (by default) a big Easter egg hunt with all of the kiddos. Should be fun! Happy Easter everyone!

Photo Credit: WedShare

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pittsburgh Wedding Planner | Jewel Tone Wedding Inspiration

Jewel tones are another haute trend we'll see this wedding season . Brides and grooms are opting for bold colors and want their wedding to "sparkle" like a piece of jewelry. Matching bold colors like raspberry, garnet, and magenta with muted tones of vintage gold and platinum is simply stunning. Such a rich and vibrant color palette exudes glamour and luxury. Check out this gorgeous jewel tone garden affair by Evantine Design. Be inspired.


Stylish Regards,
Photo Credit: Laura Novak