Wedding Planning Pittsburgh

Think About Your Guests

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Photo by Zack Wilson Photography
Picture Perfect Entry! Photo by Zack Wilson Photography

Aunt Claire and Uncle Jim are coming from New York. Cousins Sue and Nick are arriving from North Carolina. Your old college friend Maddie can’t wait to get here.

It’s your daughter’s wedding. Guests are arriving from all over the country to celebrate the big day. You’ve booked the Hyatt, made Pittsburgh gift baskets for their rooms, planned the rehearsal dinner to include them all. Now what?

Recently, a good friend of mine told me how she and her husband traveled miles to attend a wedding. She bought a new dress, shopped for the bride and groom’s present, and booked a hotel room.

Upon arriving at the wedding, there was no one to greet them. Then a young twelve year old girl welcomed them and told them where to sit. During the ceremony (I kid you not), the fire alarm for the building went off. Everyone went outside. After a while, it was the little girl who told everyone when to go back into the building.

I said “Where was the coordinator?” My friend said, “There wasn’t one.”

As I continue to work with brides and their families, it becomes more and more apparent to me that brides who want a coordinator do so for a couple of reasons. First, they want to enjoy their own day without worrying about every little detail. They want someone else (and not a family member) to watch over things, keep to the timeline for the day as best they can, and make sure any emergencies (like that fire alarm) are tended to.

Photo by Zack Wilson Photography
Lots of Happy Guests! Photo by Zack Wilson Photography

Second, they want their guests to have a good time. When it is obvious there is a coordinator, people will notice and take questions to that coordinator, instead of bothering the family. A coordinator is added insurance for a contented day, sort of like a big warm blanket for the entire wedding.

I think of myself as a warm blanket because I bring on smiles and soothe the nervous. Your guests are going to have questions at the ceremony and the reception. And they don’t want to bother you. They want to know where the bathrooms are, where to put their card, when it’s ok to raid the cookie table. They may get to the reception a tad bit late and want to know if they should wait in the foyer while the maid of honor gives her toast, or go and find their table? (answer: WAIT) Even the vendors have questions like when is dinner, when do I start the music for the buffet, etc etc etc.

Ah, I answer their questions. I am the go to person. I don’t bother the bride and groom or the family unless absolutely necessary. And then I keep it brief and non dramatic. Your guests will have a good time, I promise. And so will you.

Photo by Zack Wilson Photography
I love this picture! Thank you to Zack Wilson Photography

Think of your guests. Call us at 412-498-1607 and let us help you on your special day!

Please share and pass this post along to friends who are having a wedding. Thank you!

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Cat + Josh

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Cat and Josh, August 16, 2014
Cat and Josh, August 16, 2014

The first time I drove up the driveway to Cat’s home, I think I was a bit star struck. It was a beautiful house, on top of a hill, with a gorgeous yard and in ground pool.

Cat’s mom, Susan, showed me around. She and Cat had already envisioned where the tents, tables and chairs would go. Their request? They didn’t want to have to worry about anything on the big day. I asked if they wanted me at the church. No. They wanted me at the house, to watch over things there, to greet the guests as they arrived.

Blue tablecloths, White chairs and napkins. Mint and White paper lanterns!
Blue tablecloths, White chairs and napkins. Mint and White paper lanterns!

So I watched over the house and set the outdoor tablescape. I placed all the linens, decorated the tables with centerpieces and favors. They needed bartenders so I had hired two. The gift/sign in table was stylized and so was the memory table.

Cool Idea! Jenga blocks were how the guests sign in!
Cool Idea! Jenga blocks were how the guests signed in!

I coordinated with the DJ, a family relative, and he announced the arrival of the bride and groom, and the call to dinner with perfection. His (or the bride and groom’s) choice of music for the day was an eclectic mix of old and new. It kept the guests moving all through the evening.

Cat and her mom thought of the young ones as well. There was a basket with blankets to lay on the ground, perfect for babies to bask in the warm summer day. There were corn row games and a washer toss that kept the kids busy.

Love the t-shirt! Cookie Table Security!
Love the t-shirt! Cookie Table Security!

I loved Cat’s paper bouquet. Though I’d read about them, I never had the chance to see one up close. It was stunning, just like Cat.

Wow, Stunning!
Wow, Stunning!

The family hugged me throughout the day and thanked me. They said they couldn’t have done it without me. I’m not so sure about that but I am humbled that I could be of service to such a beautiful family. It’s my goal to take the stress off of loving couples who simply want to enjoy their wedding day and not burden their families.

I think my team and I accomplished that!

December 15, 2014- Here’s the review Cat submitted on our Facebook page: “We used Katherine’s daughter for our wedding. Joanne was able to create a space where we felt completely at ease! Our ceremony was at a church and while we were away, Joanne was able to set up the reception without instruction and made it an oasis! We had the best day of our lives (so far)!! It was beautiful and COMPLETELY stress free! My mother, bridesmaids, myself, and my wonderful groom were able to enjoy our day as Joanne managed the day of the wedding details. She worked amazingly with the caterer, and our cousin (who was the DJ) HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended!”


Vendors already chosen by the family:

Ambassador Tent Rental

Juliano’s Catering

Sweet Bites Bakery

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Jessica + Jason, September 20, 2014

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JessAndJason

You have to love a couple that is as warm and friendly as Jessica and Jason. The first time I met them, they smiled from ear to ear and gave me a big hug. They already had a wedding website and these are the words from their lovely welcome page: “Jason and Jess met in the winter of 1998 at Penn State – University Park.  They met through mutual friends and first faced off on the field of battle…..an epic snow covered game of King of the Hill (if memory serves, Jessica won)…..

Their lives took them on separate paths after college and in Februrary 2013, Jason reached out to Jess via Facebook as he was reconnecting with old friends.  They met up for a casual beer at the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh… and have been pretty much inseparable ever since….and plan on keeping it that way.” I love it!

Jessica is a well organized bride. She had her thoughts down on paper. Here’s what she wrote- “Goal for having a Wedding Coordinator: I think Jason and I are pretty comfortable with the arrangements that have been made so far. Our biggest goal for having a wedding coordinator is to make sure our families can enjoy the day as much as possible without having to worry about little details.”

It is a great act of love on the part of a bride and groom to want their families to enjoy the day. And I view that as my goal- to take the “day of” details off their plates so they can live in the moment of their wedding day.

Out of respect for their privacy, I am not disclosing the wedding location but it is a beautiful, rustic setting amid trees and nature. The ceremony will be outdoors and the reception in a large hall nearby. A campfire and s’mores will wrap up the evening!

Follow this blog for more details on Jessica and Jason’s wedding! Sign up for our free newsletter (see sidebar) and receive great tips on special event and wedding planning!

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What Inspires You?

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Mango Tables 2Inspiration can come in many shapes and forms. For some, it is a quote or saying. For others it is something more tangible.

Laura's PillowFor my latest client, a pillow was her inspiration for a color scheme. Yes, a pillow. Laura loved the colors on her eclectic throw pillow and we used them to create an event that was WOW!

Laura and I utilized these colors by having a big white tent, orange overlays on the tables, orange gerbera daisy centerpieces, and paper lanterns in turquoise, orange, lime green and white. This provided a stunning palate of color among the trees and beautiful backyard of Laura’s house.

Wait staff from White Glove Host Services passed delicious appetizers created by Sean Conley of Tallulah’s Catering. (I especially loved the wild mushroom and goat cheese strudel!) The guests dined on chicken with olives and lemon, salmon with tomato and chipotle, grilled vegetables, and roasted fingerling potatoes.

Many small touches were provided by the couple, such as air plants in glass balls, situated at every place setting. Chilled champagne awaited when you returned from the buffet line.

Mango Tables 3

The delicious white, chocolate and raspberry filled cake was provided by Oakmont Bakery. Sweet Bites provided the delicious cookies in shapes of hearts and compasses.

Cake by Oakmont Bakery
Cake by Oakmont Bakery

Here’s what Laura had to say about our service:  My life partner and I decided to get married within a week and throw a reception just 6 weeks later. Joanne helped us move quickly to pull together an exceptional event on a very tight schedule. She contacted and coordinated all the moving parts into a synchronized event. It was great peace of mind to know that she was there to handle everything so we could spend time with our guests and enjoy our special day!

Let us help you create the event of your dreams!

 

 

 

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Make Your Busy Life Easier!

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Planning a wedding, graduation party, bridal or baby shower in the near future? We know some very talented people who are available to assist! For your next special occasion, consider hiring a great planner (like Katherine’s Daughter!) to help you with any or all phases of your happy day!

For instance, we know a great cookie baker:Photo courtesy of Sweet BitesPhoto courtesy of Sweet Bites

And a talented cake baker:Photo Courtesy of Cuttings Flower and GardenPhoto Courtesy of Cuttings Flower and Garden

And a gorgeous florist: Courtesy of Cuttings Flower and GardenPhoto Courtesy of Cuttings Flower and Garden

We can bring it all together and help you plan an event to remember!

Give us a call at 412-498-1607 or click on the contact tab above and enter your information! Let us help you enjoy your own event!

 

 

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A Perfect Day for a Wedding!

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Riding in the Model T
Shaina and Rob – Riding in the Model T! Photo by Zack Wilson

It’s been one week since Shaina and Rob’s wedding and I am still in awe of what a beautiful day it was! Everything was perfect! From the gorgeous flowers by Cuttings, to the delicious food and the cookie table, to the wonderful details in so much of the day. I am waiting for Zack Wilson, the photographer to send me more pictures, but here’s a few great shots that my daughter Michelene and Zack captured that day! Let me know if I can assist YOU in your special day!

Welcome to the Reception! Photo by Michelene
Welcome to the Reception! Photo by Michelene
Their own special coaster! Photo by Michelene
Their own special coaster! Photo by Michelene
They were all gone by 8pm! Delicious cookies! Photo by Michelene
Delicious cookies! Photo by Michelene
Beautiful mercury glass vases filled with flowers! Photo by Michelene
Beautiful mercury glass vases filled with flowers! Photo by Michelene
Delicious cake by Ligo Cakes! Photo by Michelene
Delicious cake by Ligo Cakes! Photo by Michelene
Delicious Cheeses for the Cocktail Reception! Photo by Michelene
Delicious Cheeses for the Cocktail Reception! Photo by Michelene
Table Assignments flow in the breeze- Photo by Michelene
Table Assignments flow in the breeze- Photo by Michelene
Amazing Peonies from Cuttings! Photo by Michelene
Amazing Peonies and Hydrangeas from Cuttings! Photo by Michelene

 

The magnificent venue! Call me for the details! Photo by Cuttings
The magnificent venue! Call me for the details! Photo by Cuttings

 

Photo by Zack Wilson
Photo by Zack Wilson
All married and celebrating with lavender!
All married and celebrating with lavender! Photo by Zack Wilson

 

 

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Choosing Your Wedding Venue

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Lewis Family Farms barn 2(1)

Picking a site for your wedding or special event is almost as important as the event itself. The venue you choose will say much about you so it should reflect your tastes and what you wish to experience on your big day!

I am going to focus on wedding sites for this post, but these suggestions can be applied to any special event like a landmark birthday party, non profit fundraiser, or anniversary celebration.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. In what time (or season) of the year do I want to be married?

2. What is my budget?

3. How many guests do I want to invite?

4. How much time do I have to devote to planning and managing my wedding?

5. What are my personal tastes and preferences?

The time of year you want to get married in is significant if you are thinking about an outdoor venue, such as a botanical garden or barn. There are challenges to hosting an event in those locations, especially in early spring (rain!) or early fall (brrr!). When the sun goes down at the end of the day, your choice of venue will need to have heat ready to go, even if it is just portable gas lanterns. I’ve worked outdoor weddings where many guests left early simply because it got too cold! Indoor locations have no worries about the weather but you can definitely have an outdoor event that is comfortable if you do your homework. Having a wedding planner is crucial when choosing a rustic venue so that all the bases can be covered!

Your budget will definitely have an impact on the venue you choose. Do some research on the locations of your choice and see where they fall with pricing. Hotel or country club weddings can run upwards of $100 per person, especially with an open bar. You can tailor a smaller venue, such as a boutique bed and breakfast or consider a (nice) church banquet hall to bring pricing more in line. Most venues will require you to use their food and beverage services. The exception to this may be barn venues which are sometimes more open to you bringing a favorite caterer.

Table at Cuttings

The guest count is important to your locale choice. Too many people squashed into a venue is no fun. There needs to be room for dancing and a good time. Alternately, you don’t want TOO big, because you want the room to be cozy. And remember, count on 15%-20% of your guest list to decline because no date is good for everyone! (Remember to send those SAVE THE DATE postcards at least six months in advance!)

How busy are you? Do you have time to devote to researching and creating your own decorations or flowers? Do you want to be at the venue the morning of your wedding or the night before hanging your own colorful pinwheels or laying tablecloths? I would rather see a bride who has a smaller wedding, thus affording herself availability of services that would do the decorating or any other readying for her. The bride and her family should have a morning of carefree serenity rather than dealing with the stress of managing or handling any last minute decorating or emergency issues.

What are your tastes? Do you love modern, traditional, or rustic? Based on your budget and how you answered the previous questions, a clear choice should emerge. Think calmly and patiently about your day. Envision yourself in your dress, with your groom, among your surroundings. What is your dream? List your options, the positive and the negative of each venue you’re thinking of. Make your choice and engage a planner to help you through all the details.

A wedding planner who is thoroughly knowledgeable about the indoor and outdoor venue options of your city or area is an asset and well worth the investment. Saving you countless hours of research and exhausting leg work, I can help you focus on what’s important and at what location those wishes can become a reality.

Michelene on Staircase

 Give me a call and let’s talk about your big day! 412-498-1607

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A Magical Evening!

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Michelene at Cuttings

Something magical was in the air at Cuttings Flower and Garden on Friday night! The rain graciously stepped aside to allow us a few hours of uninterrupted tranquility. Many guests came, some stunned into silence as they witnessed Michelene’s beautiful vintage dress and Nicole’s contemporary gown from Glitter and Grit.

Nicole at CuttingsCuttings was a show stopper! Adorned in a bountiful abundance of tulips, cherry blossoms and pastel roses (to name a few!), Jim Price’s vintage house was aglow in magnificent splendor. Many guests stopped in to AHHH over the visual feast and sample wedding cake, food and wine and walk among the brides and one lucky groom!

My mother Katherine, the namesake for my events planning business, was there as well as many members of my wonderful circle of family and friends. Many thanks to the businesses that were a part of this event!

Cuttings Flower and Garden for Amazing floral and Artistic talents

Papier  for elegant menu and place cards

Glitter and Grit for sassy dresses!

Faces by Danina for fabulous talent with make up

Joe Indovina Photography and Jessica Lubert Photography for stunning photography

The Ultimate Pastry Shop for delicious wedding cake

Mosaic for dazzling linens

All Occasions Party Rental for spectacular place settings

Vivo Kitchen for yummy appetizers

The Winery at Wilcox for their wedding white

And many hugs and kisses to my models- Michelene, Nicole and of course the groom- Michael!

 

Michael The Reception Michelene on Staircase Michelene In Alley Smaller Table at Cuttings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Reception- An Artistic Expression of the Bride and Groom

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Photo by Christina Shields
Photo by Christina Shields

I am so excited to present an upcoming event- The Reception- An Artistic Expression of the Bride & Groom, to be held at Cuttings, 524 Locust Place, Sewickley, Pennsylvania on Friday, April 4 from 6-8 pm!

Nearly twenty years ago, I was the owner of Cappuccino City, a gourmet coffee shop in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. I met Jim Price, the owner of Cuttings Flower and Garden Mart, when we became active on the board of the Sewickley Chamber of Commerce.

Jim and I worked together on numerous events for the Chamber and stayed in touch, even after I sold my coffee shop in 2001. When I launched Katherine’s Daughter Events this past August, I had a vision for an evening event to promote both my business and the other wedding-related businesses in Sewickley. The first person I approached was Jim at Cuttings. Jim was so receptive to the idea and his staff took the veil (so to speak!) and ran with it! They created the idea of a wedding reception right within the cozy and beautiful walls of the vintage house where Cuttings resides!

The Reception | An Artistic Expression of the Bride and Groom will be held on the evening of Sewickley’s Gallery Walk, Friday, April 4, 2014 from 6-8PM at Cuttings (524 Locust Place, Sewickley). Numerous wedding services will be featured including Cuttings beautiful floral arrangements and bouquets, catering by Vivo Kitchen, stationery by Papier, wedding cake by The Ultimate Pastry Shop, make up by artist Danina DeBattista, wine sampling by the Winery at Wilcox, gowns by Glitter and Grit, and photography by Joe Indovina and Jessica Lubert.

Photo by Jessica Lubert
Photo by Jessica Lubert

There will be several brides featured at The Reception on April 4th.  My daughter, Michelene, will model her grandmother Katherine’s (yes, the namesake of my event business!) vintage wedding dress from 1953, modeled after Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding dress. Three generations will be represented that evening, as Katherine will also be there for the unveiling! The dress, with its heavy satin underling, long sleeves and empire waist, has layers of beautiful antique lace. Also featured will be a Lindee Daniel bridal gown from Glitter and Grit. (see photo, top)

Please click HERE for the Reception link and click “JOIN” to rsvp for this event!

Please direct any inquiries to joannejamiscain@gmail.com or call 412.498.1607.

 

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Shaina + Rob

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Photo by Zack Wilson Photography
Photo by Zack Wilson Photography

Meet Shaina and Rob! Their wedding date is June 7, 2014 and yours truly is blessed beyond measure to be their wedding planner.

Out of respect for their privacy, I am keeping their location a secret. But rest assured, it is a venue that goes right along with Shaina’s beautiful, traditional style.

By Confetti Direct
By Confetti Direct

The wedding colors are plum and a kiwi which I think is a striking combination. Shaina’s gown is a soft ivory. At the church, guests will do a lavender toss from paper cones made of pages from old books. I love this idea!

A strolling violin will serenade guests as they enjoy their wedding dinner. Everyone will dance underneath the stars in a lovely outdoor setting.

I am thrilled to be part of Shaina and Rob’s exciting day. Stay tuned for more details as we follow this couple down the wedding aisle!

 

Photo by Zack Wilson
Photo by Zack Wilson

 

 

 

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