by Mikaela Longo

We’re going to be making additions to our Wedding Ideas Binder right up until the big day. We’re pretty much obsessed with the plethora of unique themes, divine decorations, and creative menu ideas offered to us by a collection of Western Pennsylvania’s top wedding planners. Here, they lend some of their most original pointers and noteworthy tips. Trust us — there’s more where this came from! Start planning!

Bring an eclectic look and feel to your big day by giving your bridesmaids some stylistic freedom.

“Let the bridesmaids select their own accessories — shoes, purses, jewelry, etc. This will make them comfortable and everyone will be stylish!”

Ansley Esterline, Bliss Events Ltd.

Hire a caricature artist for an extra element of fun.

“This is a great alternative to a photo booth and a unique keepsake
for guests!”— Jodi Colella, Accents Unlimited

Put some hometown flair into your wedding
with treats from that famous Pittsburgh sandwich chain.

“Welcome guests to Pittsburgh with a Primanti Bros. style sandwich. Offer it as a late-night snack an hour before the end of the reception. People love this, especially those from out of town!”— Ansley Esterline, Bliss Events Ltd.

Tie together your personalities and theme, while saving dough on your liquor bill.

“The drink can show off their style, wedding colors, and can hint at the location of their wedding.” — Jodi Colella, Accents Unlimited

A peacock design-scape adds regal colors to your wedding. Feathers are a huge fashion trend right now.

“This detailed cake was designed with a touch of blue. The heart-shaped cookie feathers trailing down the tail brought to life the peacock-themed wedding.” — Katherine Shaw, Trends to Traditions

Create a bar set-up that is specific to your theme, and is a good use of space.

“This bar was created as a four-sided structure that guests could access on two sides. It wrapped through two sets of double doors that connected the outside patio and the inside lobby of the country club for cocktails.”
Shari Zatman, Perfectly Planned by Shari

Your guests are there to celebrate YOU. Serve your favorite foods.

“I just did a wedding where the groom was obsessed with chocolate milk, so they served chocolate milk shooters with the cake. Their guests loved this idea!” — Ansley Esterline, Bliss Events Ltd.

Monogrammed Robes It takes time to get ready on the big day. Put all your bridesmaids at ease with robes they can wear and keep as a token of your appreciation.

“This is a great gift for the bride to give to her bridesmaids. They will always remember this day with their personalized robes.”— Natalie Berger, Natalie’s Bridal Consultant & Party Planner

Use your favorite city (ours is Pittsburgh, of course!) as inspiration for all decorations — especially if your ballroom is without windows.

“The candy table is framed by a city skyline. The ice sculpture mimics the exact cityscape in the background. For centerpieces, it’s all about city chic with elegance: white and pink roses in a black polka dot hat box.”
Katherine Shaw, Trends to Traditions

Consider the extras already available at the venue, and improve upon them!

“It is always nice to use a facility that has tables, chairs etc. — you’ll save a fortune on rentals. In both weddings, the clubs provided the white under linens so we just went with toppers on some tables and we used chair covers that improved on the dated chairs the facilities have.”
— Vickie Violi, Events by Vickie Violi

Make your entrance fun, and give your guests a great gift they can keep forever.

“When I have family that are huge Steelers fans, I suggest these for gifts — in the color scheme of the wedding. We put these towels on the back of the chairs and as the bride and groom make their entrance, everyone waves them, cheering them on.”— Natalie Berger, Natalie’s Bridal Consultant & Party Planner

Extend the theme beyond the wedding and reception like Bonnie Walker of Bonnie Walker Events. Walker did so by handing leopard pashmina scarves to guests as they entered the rooftop party and arranging them, along with chocolates, on the hotel beds for out-of-town guests.

“It’s all about the couple, and this was about taking their dreams one step further to create a buzz and give them something to walk away and remember.” — Bonnie Walker, Bonnie Walker Events

Working with a wedding planner makes the entire day run more smoothly.

“The ease at which a wedding planner can work with a couple and the relationship that is formed between them, coupled with a creative photographer, can capture both the fun, passion, and true essence of their love for each other.” — Earla Marshall, EFM Image Consultants

A funky, fun lounge can bring creativity to your wedding.

“Vignettes of furniture, adorned with monogrammed pillows and pashminas, and lit bars can incorporate the couple’s color scheme and personalities into the décor.”  — Sheila Weiner, The Event Group

To save space when decorating tables, use a unique under-glass design to create an inspired look.

“Gorgeous floral under glass can be used for escort card tables that can later be turned into tables containing wonderful gifts for guests as they depart. Using under-glass gardens for guests’ dining tables and coffee tables also provides a stunning effect.” — Sheila Weiner, The Event Group

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