Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009

As 2008 ends, we look forward to another amazing year ahead. I have to say that 2008 was a terrific year for us at Simply Perfect Weddings. We had the privilege of working with some amazing couples, got a chance to meet new vendors around the Pittsburgh area, and made some great friends along the way! There are some big things happening for '09 and we can't wait to share our new and improved changes with all of you.

Here is to another happy, healthy, and successful year ahead!

Happy 2009!!! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Engagement Photo Session :: Kelly & Phil

I've been meaning to start a new blog series featuring our client's and their engagement photo sessions for awhile now and since i just received these beautiful photos from Kelly & Phil's session, I thought now would be a perfect time to start! Kelly & Phil are getting married this summer at The Pennsylvanian and trust me when I tell you that their wedding is going to be absolutely breathtaking! Kelly & Phil have some amazing vendors, including their photographer, Pamela Marie. Pamela is a relatively new photographer to the Pittsburgh area (but definitely not new to the industry...before establishing her business here, she was a professional photographer in Los Angeles). Pamela is extremely talented and I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with her on two of my '09 weddings. For more information about Pamela Marie Photography, check out her website and blog.

Photos courtesy of Pamela Marie Photography.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Closed for the Holidays

Our office will be closed from now until Sunday, December 28th so that we may spend time with our families during the holidays. We will re-open on Monday, December 29th. Please be patient as we will return all emails and phone calls promptly on Monday. From all of us at Simply Perfect Weddings, we wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

Photo above is a winter inspired wedding cake and is courtesy of The Knot.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Donating Your Wedding Gown

If you're looking for a way to give back this holiday season, why not donate your wedding gown to a great cause?! After all, most women have their gowns preserved and then the gown is boxed up for the next 30+ years only to be taken out once, maybe twice in their lifetime. So, unless your planning on having a 'Trash the Dress' photo session or passing your gown down to a relative or future generation, then do you really need to hang on to your gown forever?! Probably not! Brides Against Breast Cancer is a charity that helps grant wishes to women suffering from terminal breast cancer. Your gown is sold to another bride-to-be and the proceeds from that sale, go directly to the women and their families. For instructions on how to donate your gown, click here. Your donation, including shipping costs is 100% tax-deductible.

Winter Wonderland Design Inspiration

Planning a winter wedding and need some design + color inspiration? Check out this gorgeous winter themed inspiration board courtesy of Snippet and Ink.

For a larger version of this inspiration board, click on the above image.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Etsy - All Things Handmade

Ok, so you're probably asking yourself "What exactly is Etsy?"...well, I'm here to tell you all about this great website! Etsy is an online store where you can buy and sell all things that are handmade. Everything from holiday decor to items for your name it, and chances are you'll probably find it on Etsy. If you haven't come across this great website already, then you're in for a real treat!

Photo above is courtesy of Etsy and is a personalized monogram isle runner - $60.00

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Wedding Welcome Bags

I am a big fan of using guest welcome bags as opposed to the traditional wedding favors and recently worked with a client on composing her winter welcome bags - here's what we included in them:

Hot chocolate mix
Custom coffee mug
Gingerbread cookies
Granola Bars
Caramel candies
White snowflake candles
Snowflake Christmas ornament
Vanilla scented hand lotion

In addition to these goodies, we included a wedding weekend schedule, directions to and from the ceremony and reception, and postcards that showcased beautiful views of downtown Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of

Gingerbread Snowflakes

With the holidays right around the corner, there's no better time of the year than right now to start your holiday baking. Serve these adorable and delicious snowflake gingerbread cookies at your winter wedding or bridal shower. Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.

{This recipe makes 16 cookies}


6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
Icing - Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling


Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.

Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #7). Pipe designs on snowflakes; immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar. Let stand 5 minutes; tap off excess sugar. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour. Store cookies between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.


Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bride-to-be Gift Idea

How cute is this locket bracelet from Red Envelope?! Any men out there reading this blog - take a hint and purchase this bracelet for your bride-to-be. This locket holds up to four photos and can be engraved with her initials. Fill this with photos from your engagement session and she's sure to remember this gift forever!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Your Average Dollie

Lace is all the rage this fall/winter season, so why not include it in your wedding day decor?! These inexpensive rectangular dollies can be made into beautiful (not to mention creative) candle centerpieces at your reception. Use tea lights or votives inside the dollies for a romantic glow!

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thrifty Holiday Gift Ideas

Looking for unique AND affordable gifts for the holidays this year? Check out these three great gift ideas I found courtesy of Oprah:

1. Gratitude Boxes - Buy an inexpensive decorative box and fill it with messages from the heart (ex: "100 reasons why I love you", "Thank you for....", etc...). Check out this article for more tips on making your own gratitude boxes.

2. Treasure Boxes - Fill a wooden "treasure box" with mementos from the past and organize them in chronological order (ex: fill your box with your child's keepsakes or if your planning a wedding, fill your box with memories from the time you 1st met your fiance through your engagement). Check out this article for more ideas on how to fill your treasure box.

3. 12 Dates of Christmas - Here's something you and your fiance can do together this holiday - during the month of December, plan 12 fun and inexpensive date nights together (ex: ice skating, a walk in the park, staying in for a movie night, etc...). Check out this article for more ideas for your date night.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

From all of us here at Simply Perfect Weddings, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Photo courtesy of The Knot.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake

With Thanksgiving less than a week away now, I wanted to share this delicious pumpkin cheesecake recipe with you from Martha Stewart. This cheesecake recipe is a nice alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie and can even be served as a dessert for your Fall wedding reception or bridal shower.

{This recipe serves 12}



1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the bottom part facing up.

Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.

Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).

Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Unmold before serving.


Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pink + Purple Design Inspiration

The wonderful ladies over at Southern Weddings Magazine have done it again and have recently launched their new blog. The design board pictured above comes straight from them, and I knew when I saw it that I absolutely had to feature it on our blog as well! The details are simply stunning and the use of these bold colors throughout the entire reception is amazing!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Color Inspiration: Cameo Pink + Black

Today I bring you another beautiful creation from Martha Stewart Weddings. I love all things pink and this combination of cameo pink and black is just pure perfection in my mind!

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sumptuous Plum

Beautiful...all I really have to say about this bouquet! Of course, it doesn't hurt that it's purple and it's from none other than Martha Stewart!

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wedding Graffiti

I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled upon this site today, but I was sure glad I did! Wonderful Wedding Graffiti is an online vendor that provides wedding graffiti for all aspects of your big day. Car & window graffiti, dance floor monograms, candy labels, and tented place cards are just a few of the many items that they offer! I spent quite awhile browsing all of this eye candy and am thinking about getting some of my own graffiti from their home collection. Check out their website for more information about this great product!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

White + Khaki Design Inspiration

One of my Fall '09 brides was recently having trouble choosing her wedding colors + overall design theme, but knew she wanted something simple, yet romantic with an all American feel. It just so happened that I was wearing a white dress shirt + khaki pants that day and pointed out that we could design her wedding colors based upon this all American look, but with a romantic twist to it. So, I came home and made this mini design inspiration board for her and she immediately decided these were her colors! This just proves that wedding inspiration doesn't always have to come from wedding magazines and if you take a look around, you just might find what you're looking for!

Photo credits: Top + bottom right photos courtesy of The Knot. Bottom left photo courtesy of

Skip the Favors, Donate to the ACS

Cancer is a subject that I can unfortunately relate to very well...several members of my family have passed away from cancer, including my father-in-law. With that being said, my own father is a cancer survivor which is why I am a big supporter of the American Cancer Society. If you too, can relate to what I am talking about, I encourage you to donate to the ACS in lieu of traditional guest favors. For example, simply take what you would have spent per guest on a favor (is it $1.00 per guest or maybe $5.00 per guest?), multiple by the # of guests attending your wedding, and donate that money to a foundation or charity that is close to your heart. The ACS will even print a personalized message on a stationary item of your choice in honor of a loved one you are remembering. One of my Fall '08 brides actually just did this at her wedding in honor of her father who passed away from cancer. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with this favor...guests can't throw this favor away when they return home and they can't leave it at their table at the end of the night. Check out the ACS's wedding favor website for more information about donating!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crazy about Purple

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love purple...I've loved this color since I was a little girl and am always thrilled when a client chooses to go with purple for their wedding colors! Two of our summer '09 brides chose purple as their primary wedding color, and while searching for some purple floral inspiration this afternoon, I came across this bridal bouquet and boutonniere that I thought were a perfect match for each other. There's something so unique, yet so simple about purple calla lilies that I absolutely go crazy for! :)

Photos courtesy of The Knot and

Friday, November 7, 2008

Inside Sumer's Make Up Bag

Several months back I did a weekly blog segment called "Inside Sumer's Make Up Bag" and after a recent trip to Sephora (for my own mini makeup make over) I decided to bring it back! I am a huge fan of Sephora and can perhaps be called addicted to it! :) Since Fall is all about change and new beginnings, I decided it was time for a whole new make up look, so last weekend I made a trip down to the Ross Park Mall here in Pittsburgh and had a makeup consultation at Sephora. Not only did I change colors, I also changed brands in just about everything (minus the Dior Show mascara I previously blogged about)! Even though it's only been a week, I must say that I absolutely love all of the new products I bought and wanted to share a few with our readers.

Fav Product # 1: Nars Blush

Winner of 'Best of Sephora' 5 years in a row, this blush pulls out all the stops! 25 + shades to choose from, but if you can't narrow down a choice, try their #1 best selling shade 'Orgasm' for a universally flattering glow! Retails at Sephora for $25.

Fav Product # 2: Sephora Professional Flat Blush Brush

What better product to compliment a great blush than a great blush brush! I've used the typical round blush brush for years until now, and I must say that I'll never go back after trying this brush! I love this flat brush because the blush goes exactly where you want it to and no place else. This brush is great for highlighting your cheek bones and is extremely easy to use! Retails at Sephora for $20.

Check back next week for more of my favorite beauty buys!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trend Watch: Wedding Gown Bolero

Another 2009 wedding season trend that I feel will be making it's way to Pittsburgh is the bolero. Now, what may you ask is exactly a bolero? A bolero is a short jacket worn open in the front, and in this case, is worn over your wedding gown. Boleros can be worn anytime of year; however, are best suited for fall and winter weddings. Boleros were all over the runways this past fall and are now making a big splash in bridal retailers all over the country!

Photo Credits: