Tag Archive | parkway florist pittsburgh

Our Fall 2019 End of the Year Review

September through December always seem to bring crazy busy times here at Parkway Florist. We’ve been producing flowers for so many weddings that we often don’t take the time necessary to show you the finished work. Here are a two trends we noticed in 2019…

Cascades are back!

 

Brides are loving a more organic, greenery, flowing aesthetic!

If you’re getting married in 2020, we would love to speak with you about your wedding flowers. Call us soon to schedule a free consultation – (412) 937-1100.

It really does take a Village…

“Love recognizes no barriers,

It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls

to arrive at its destination full of Hope.”

(Maya Angelou)

(As we area ready to “Leap” in to 2020,  and we are receiving so many calls about wedding flowers, I thought it might be helpful to translate 35+ years of advice into a  roadmap for our newly engaged couples.  If there is anything you need, or any questions that we can help answer, please feel free to call me.)

Planning a wedding ceremony and  reception these days really can become a daunting task. It is a task that many  people have little experience in, and are  reluctant to ask for help or advice.  It is not that anyone is “dumb,”  it is a matter of not knowing what questions to ask.  Hillary Rodham Clinton stated that: “It takes a Village to raise a Child.”  Today, it takes a Village to Plan and Execute a wedding!

Many times today, a wedding planner or a Day-of Event Coordinator, is hired near the beginning of the process.  Sometimes the “chief planner” role  falls to the Mother of the Bride, or Groom or the Big Sister or the helpful Aunt to shepherd things along, and keep  everything on track.  Sometimes,  the wedding couple is almost entirely on their own…..and need to rely on the words of wisdom given to them by many knowledgeable vendors & friends.

So, in planning a wedding, where do you start?

Step one: Start by compiling a rough guest list. Approximately how many people do  you  want to share your wedding day with? Knowing roughly how many people might be invited or attending helps to narrow the choices of ceremony and reception sites.     Moms and Dads will have input as well. Finances and budgets will be discussed extensively at this point and agreed upon.  (Remember that not everyone who is invited will be able to attend your wedding).

Develop a “guideline budget” for each item or service that you  will need to purchase. You may not know the exact cost yet, but you need to at least have a “goal number” in mind. This is not cast in stone, and may  change as the process evolves…. but it is a place to start.

If you are employing the services of a wedding planner, this would be the point that the wedding planner is hired. They will guide you through all the many next steps, including being realistic about each budget item.

Step Two: What is the vision that you see for your day? Are you planning on a wedding inside a church, or a barn or another type of all inclusive facility?  Do you want to be married in a meadow, or in a grand Cathedral?

Step Three:  What time of year would  you like to get married? Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?  Each one of the seasons has its advantages and disadvantages. There are often financial incentives offered for winter weddings. Special Holiday weekends, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day can mean that certain items (such as flowers or  food)  will  be more costly.

Step Four:  Now that you have answers to 1, 2, and 3, you can begin visiting churches and reception venues and hopefully book something that will accommodate your tentative plans. Book and get under contract the ceremony & reception site  that best fits your needs. Deposits or retainers will be required for both, and are generally NON-REFUNDABLE…………choose wisely, and read the contract before you sign on the dotted line.

Step Five:  Now that you have a date, church and/or venue booked, begin shopping for Dresses. Your bridal dress should be the first priority, with bridesmaids dresses second.  It’s your day. You get to pick! Have fun shopping! Be sure to ask for color swatches, and take lots of pictures for the florist and other vendors to see. Your shopping should also include veil or headpiece, shoes and the appropriate undergarments needed for your dresses.

Step Six:  Now begin booking your other vendors.  All require a  retainer/deposit to book their services.  Needed vendors  may include: caterer (if not part of your venue package),  photographer, ceremony musicians, DJ or band, florist, make-up artist, hair salon or hair stylist, transportation, videographer,  photo booth,  bakery, minister or officiant (if you are not getting married in a church.) Your venue can often give you a list of preferred or referred vendors. These are vendors that have proven to be reliable and trustworthy.

All of these vendors generally have information available online about their services. Pricing is often customized to fit your requests and timing. Many will require face-to-face meetings or Skype or similar to make sure that they understand what you want each of them to provide.  (This is not a “shop online” process.  You really do need to talk with the vendors in person, and interact with them.)

The Photographer may offer you an engagement session;  The florist may need to meet with you one or two times;  The bakery needs you to taste the flavors of their cakes and pick one; there will be food tastings, and many other decisions to make along the way. Our advice is to make the decision on each item — check that item off  the list and  move on to the next item.  If you agonize over the decisions, or  are  indecisive, then you will make you, your fiance and everyone else working with you a basket case.  You want to enjoy planning your wedding…..and not find it distasteful for years to come!

This is usually the point where some of your earlier choices may begin to have a positive  impact your budget. For instance, if everything is taking place at Rosemary’s Long Lost Sunny Acres Barn (ceremony & reception), you will generally not need a limo or a bus to get everyone there. Family members can drive the bridal party to the event,  or they can drive themselves.  If you are at one location,  your DJ may be able to handle the ceremony as well as the reception music. (Translation:  Savings on transportation and ceremony musicians).

Your florist may offer items that can be used both for ceremony as well as reception decorations. Again,  potential savings for  you.

Your “venue package” may include:  cake, linens, up lighting, flower centerpieces for your tables.  Try to use everything that  comes with your package. Often you will not get a deduction from your venue price  if you do not elect to have a wedding cake, for instance. (However, you may be able to change the cake to cupcakes, instead).

There are a couple of things that you do not want to skimp on:  Food,  Liquor and DJ (or music). It is quite the norm these days to serve only beer & wine at a wedding reception.  However, if you are planning a non-alcoholic reception, please be sure to make that known to your wedding guests on your wedding invitations.

Step Seven:  Invitations need selected, printed, and mailed approximately 8 weeks prior to your  wedding date, with a reply deadline of at least 3 weeks prior to your wedding date. Email invitations are not generally appropriate for weddings. You need to spend the money, address and stamp the invites and actually mail them via snail mail. If you have not received a response from someone when the response deadline is passed, plan  to call or text them to get their response. (Assuming that someone is not coming could mean that your guest shows up, with no place to sit and no food to eat.)  It has become OK to set up a wedding website & have the guests RSVP on the website.  Very easy for them to do, and actually brings in a higher response rate.

Step Eight:  The bridesmaids, friends, etc plan your bridal shower.  You should not plan your shower…  They can check the date with you, and ask what type of affair you would like to have. (Informal, picnic, formal, etc.) They are in charge; you are the guest of honor!

Step Nine:  The Bachelor and Bachelorette parties are planned;  The guys and girls give you and your fiance a nice night out on the town.  ‘Nough said.

Step Ten:  Arrange the seating of your guests with your reception site co-ordinator, including the placement of cookie tables, buffet tables, etc. Think of “traffic flow” at this point.  Try to avoid creating bottlenecks that will delay the start of cocktail hour or serving dinner.

Step Eleven:  About 1 to 2 weeks prior to your wedding, finalize your ceremony with your officiant and church or venue. Confirm delivery and set-up times with all of your vendors. Supply all items that you need to drop off, such as place cards, favors and cookies, when they are requested.

Step Twelve Finally,   Show up on your wedding day with a smile on your face, and a sunny disposition.  If something happens that was not as you planned, deal with it after your wedding day is over.  Do not allow a small hiccup to ruin your day. Enjoy your day, and the beginning of a lifetime of happiness together.  And afterward, be sure to thank the Village that helped you plan this most beautiful day!

Happy Planning!!

Cheryl @ Parkway Florist

 

 

 

Marriage License Types

Congratulations, you’re getting married!   Now what?

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Well, for starters, no couple can get married in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania without a valid marriage license. There are two types to choose from.  We’re here to break it down for you so that you are prepared for the application process and all that comes with it.

The two types of marriage licenses issued in Pennsylvania are:
-A Traditional License
-A Self-Uniting License

A traditional marriage license is what most people think of. It requires an officiant to solemnize the marriage as defined under Pennsylvania law.  

Your Officiant must be licensed in the Commonwealth  of Pennsylvania in order to perform your ceremony.  After your ceremony, your Officiant will usually sign the marriage license and handle the recording with the Marriage License Bureau for you.

A self-uniting license is more uncommon, but growing in popularity.   It has been around historically since the time of Quakers in Pennsylvania and does not require an officiant. The couple generally recites vows to each other, that they have written, uniting  in marriage on their own, either as part of a self guided ceremony or privately if they wish.  After the couple have recited their vows to each other, two witnesses who are present at the ceremony sign the license.  The couple is then responsible for mailing the license to the Marriage License Bureau for recording.

In Pennsylvania, there is a mandatory three day waiting period for all couples from the time that they apply for their license to when it is granted.  It is best to apply for a marriage license two to three weeks prior to your scheduled wedding ceremony. Once the license is granted,  it is valid for up to sixty days.

Allegheny County Courthouse Grand Staircase

To apply for a marriage license, both applicants must complete the application (either online or in person) and both must appear in person at the Marriage License Bureau to complete the application process. Once your application is accepted, the applicants must wait the mandatory 3 days until their marriage license is available for pickup (or it can be mailed.)  (There are some exceptions that can apply in certain cases, such as a medical issue.  Please check with the County Marriage License Bureau for further guidance).

The information above applies to all counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The cost of a marriage license can vary from county to county, however.  Please check each county’s website for costs and hours of operation for the Marriage License Bureau in that county.

And Good Luck to all!!

Allegheny County Courthouse Weddings

In the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Courthouse boasts a grand facade, historic significance, and stunning architecture. Luckily, for those who wish, this could also be the wedding venue of your fairy tale dreams.

The courthouse’s grand staircase and gallery, located on the first floor of the building, make a stunning backdrop for wedding ceremonies. At the center of the building, is a beautiful courtyard, perfect for a wedding reception or cocktail hour. The landscaped gardens and dramatic fountain create the most romantic ambiance.

Allegheny County Courthouse Grand Staircase.jpg

More information regarding courthouse rentals can be found by clicking here.  In all cases,  a bride and groom  MUST contact Alexandria, the  Wedding Coordinator for the Allegheny County Courthouse.   (She will advise you of availability for even the smallest of ceremonies and picture opportunities).    (Her contact information is shown in the link above).

If you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or elopement, judges are permitted to perform these ceremonies in their chambers and are often happy to do so. For a list of judges click here.

For those who don’t choose to have their weddings at the courthouse, be sure to check out its “Romanesque Revival” style architecture when you visit to apply for your marriage license. In Pennsylvania, marriage licenses are valid for 60 days and there is a mandatory 3 day waiting period between when you apply for a license  and when your license is ready.

Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard.jpg

The Allegheny County Courthouse, as a wedding venue, comes with a few cool perks too. For example, the bride and groom may choose the color scheme of the LED lights that are affixed to the the Grant Street facade and bell tower of the Courthouse during their event.  So your special color can glow over the stone building.

To read reviews of what previous brides and grooms thought and to see more pictures, click here to view the Allegheny County Courthouse on Wedding Wire.

We hope that this has been helpful in your search for a wedding venue. Happy planning!

2018 Wedding Trend Alert!

The month of January in a flower shop is about reflecting, planning, preparing, brainstorming, and of course, meeting with our new & prospective  brides. This quieter time allows us to prepare for a busy wedding season, so that all things  go smoothly and according to plan.   It also gives us an opportunity to research  new and evolving  trends.  Out with the old, in with the new!   Here is what we have observed and expect to be  seeing lots of in  the 2018 wedding season:

1.) Lots of Greenery
Flowing greenery provides organic texture, romantic atmosphere, and a natural tone. There are so many varieties of greens to choose from that any look & feel can be achieved.

2.) Hanging Florals & Swags
This is the “Wow!” factor. Eye-catching arrangements make a statement that greats your guests and demands their attention. Elaborate designs require many flowers and provide a luxurious, upscale look to any ceremony or reception.

3.) Navy – is the New Black!
Less harsh than black, navy makes for a perfect neutral to pair with a wide array of colors. Whether it be tuxedos, bridesmaids dresses, or an accent color, navy is in!

4.) Floral Wreaths – to Carry
This creative take on traditional bouquets brings a natural contemporary feel to bridesmaid flowers. Complimenting the hanging florals trend, this look could be the special touch you’re looking for.

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5.) Woodsy Decor
Beautiful greens, branches, wildflowers, disbursed sunlight peaking through the trees, woodsy is a romantic route to go. The forest of beautiful textures leave us with endless possibilities.

6.) Pantone’s Ultra Violet
The 2018 Pantone color of the Year is called Ultra Violet. This moody hue is sure to be seen across the wedding industry. Following purple’s slow growing popularity as a wedding color, we can’t wait to see all of the creative ways that our brides will incorporate this color trend in their decor. (Just keep in mind that purple and lavender are receding colors, so things will tend to be dull looking when used with pastels.  If purple or lavender are paired with a bright color, both will shine).

So, since we  are still very early in the year, and wedding planning is now  in full swing for 2018 weddings, we hope these trends provide some food for thought  and consideration in your wedding planning process.  Should you like to discuss these ideas with us, please call us at 412-937-1100, and we will be happy to schedule a free cosultation with you.  Happy Planning!!

One Last Hooray!

As 2017 drew to a close, we were somewhat nostalgic, yet very happy for our year end brides.

Our 12/29/17 bride chose a very full but traditional look to compliment her long sleeved lace dress. Sahara roses, Patience garden roses, Vendella roses, red hypericum berries, and gold eucalyptus accents came together nicely into a loose round shape.

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Andrea, our Saturday bride carried some of the same flowers but also included pink mini callas, maroon amaranthus , and dark mums. Rose Gold was the accent color which displayed nicely in the pink accented ballroom.

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One of our New Year’s Eve brides chose to be married under our brass arch with similar flowers. After the ceremony concluded and pictures were finished, the flowers were transferred to the head table.

Brass Arch 12-31-2017

So, as 2017 drew to a close, we gather one last time to wish all of our 2017 brides and grooms a heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for your new lives ahead. Thank you all for allowing Parkway Florist to be part of your special day.    And we look forward to what 2018 has in store for us as well!

The Cold is Brewing but Love is Still Blooming | 11.18.17.

Nov 18th saw two weddings and two receptions with the use of similar flowers, but totally different results!

Andrea was a Heinz Memorial Chapel bride, very formal with lots of flowers and extra touches.

Heinz Memorial Chapel Ceremony 2017-11-18

Her ballroom was decorated with large, high and short, low centerpieces. The guests were greeted by a coordinating place card table arrangement.

Julie & Chris exchanged their vows in a hotel ballroom. Large flower urns flanked our black sofa table, which was used for the sand ceremony display.

Indoor Ceremony Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel

All of the centerpieces for this wedding were low and displayed nicely against the beautiful navy overlay table linens.

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Our best wishes for a very happy life to both of these couples. Thank you for allowing Parkway Florist to be part of your special days.

One Centerpiece, Two Looks

Set the mood lighting, change out the linens, light the candles…. voila!

Planning a wedding is a lot of work, we know! You have to make so many decisions that you don’t get to see until the day of. Imagining how all of the elements will work together can be quite difficult. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

When you’re picking centerpiece flowers, it is important to think about the ballroom. A few changes can make a big difference in the look and feel of the room. Coordinating your flowers to your wedding theme or colors can be a tremendous help in creating a cohesive style on your big day.

Here we have the same centerpiece styled in two completely different fashions:

The photo on the left show our centerpiece in a black and white themed ballroom. The romantic candle light adds ambiance. Accent roses placed in square votive holders setup on a square mirror give a contemporary and stylish look.

The photo on the right features our centerpiece in a classic gold styled ballroom. Crisp white table linens with gold sashes and gold mercury glass votive candle holders create a classy and intimate feel.

On the left, the black and white ballroom has a cooler, sleeker feeling. The white chiavari chairs create clean lines, and the black accents bring the look together.

The same ballroom, styled in gold, on the right has a warmer color palette. The gold chair covers and sashes bring a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere to the room.

I was so fun to see this ballroom transform from one look to the other. Each time the centerpiece took on a new personality. With each bride we help, we love to see their personality and unique style shine through. This goes to show that the same ballroom can be styled an endless number of times for a unique and individualized look each and every time. We can’t wait to see many more looks at one of our favorite venues.

Another Great Hidden Gem in Beaver County

On July 28th we ventured to The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake in Darlington PA for Samantha & Andy’s wedding.

The beautiful lake house was the perfect place for our bride and her bridesmaids to get ready for the outdoor ceremony and reception.

The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake House

This is where we brought Samantha’s bridal bouquet and her bridesmaids’ flowers while they were having their hair and makeup done in the cool air conditioned log cabin style house.

Guests were invited to “take a seat, not a side” at the beautiful lakeside gazebo, where the ceremony was set to take place. With the lake as their backdrop, Samantha and Andy said “I Do” in the fresh, green wilderness surrounded by those they love.

The open air pavilion provided shelter as well as terrific atmosphere for the reception.

The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake Reception

While The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake may be a little off the beaten path, it provides another beautiful setting in the Western PA area for weddings and events.

The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake Reception Space

As always, congratulations and many thanks to Samantha & Andy for allowing us to be a part of your day.

Tiffany & Patrick | June 3rd, 2017

St Peter Catholic Church in Steubenville, OH was the beginning of our Saturday adventures!

This beautiful basilica styled church is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is quite a site to see.

“The present church is the result of three major remodeling projects, but still retains the 1907 stained glass windows, made in Munich, Germany, as well as the marble altars, statues, and Communion rail imported from Italy. The 15 major stained glass windows are very rare, depicting the mysteries of the Rosary.  The dome rises 95 feet from the marble mosaic floor, and the center aisle is 75 feet long.  The overall design of St. Peters is of the French Renaissance style of architecture, cruciform in shape. It was designed by Emil Ulrich of Cleveland, Ohio, and features two towers rising 145 feet.  The exterior was built of Amherst and stone, and the structural parts of the roof, towers, and dome are of steel which was made in the area.  In 1993 a one million-dollar renovation took place under the direction of Msgr. Lucianna, to restore the roof, dome, towers, and exterior stone.” (For more information please visit the church’s website by clicking here.)

Our bride, Tiffany, was all about pink. She carried a big fluffy bouquet of light pink peonies, and her 12 bridesmaids carried more of the fluffy pink peonies with white roses and eucalyptus.

Tiffany & Patrick’s adorable flower girl wore a beautiful halo of baby’s breath and pink spray roses. Her hair had been adorned with lovely pearl pins that accented the halo perfectly.

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The reception was held at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott in the grand ballroom. A graceful, tall pink blooming tree greeted guests as they entered the reception.

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Both high and low centerpieces were utilized to give the ballroom interest. The centerpieces included blush pink roses, hydrangeas, gold tipped eucalyptus, and the same fluffy pink peonies as the bridal party flowers.

Gold chiavari chairs completed the very elegant look.

PAM Grand 2017-06-03

To our new Mr & Mrs, we wish you many years of happiness!