I feel like I say it every time I interview someone for the blog - but wow am I amazed by the fabulous women I have been able to connect with since starting, Yes, Wear That!. Victoria, creator of the wildly popular Burgh Brides, is no exception. I actually first met Victoria years ago when we were both event coordinators for the same event planning company here in Pittsburgh. Even back then, I can still remember Victoria's passion for weddings as something that was truly infectious. Like all of the amazing girl bosses I have interviewed, Victoria had some huge dreams and one day decided to take the leap to turn those dreams into reality (and all future Burgh Brides are thanking her). In under a year, Victoria has created a gorgeous blog that is quickly becoming the first stop for any newly engaged Pittsburgh gal. She's working on a comprehensive vendor guide that will connect brides and vendors like never before and she already has merchandise online and in local stores! (Did I mention she's accomplished all of this while working a full-time event planning job?!). I am truly inspired by Victoria and the success that she has had over this past year. Let's all give her a friendly welcome and be sure to stop over to Burgh Brides today and say Hello!
1. Share with us the all the details around the history of Burgh Brides - how did you get the idea? When did it launch? etc!
Burgh Brides launched in December 2014 and I’m excited to celebrate my first birthday soon! I first came up with the idea a few years ago. I noticed the Pittsburgh weddings didn’t get a lot of attention on the popular national blogs, like Style Me Pretty and Wedding Chicks. From my days as a wedding planner, I have seen some really incredible things – weddings styled to near perfection, gorgeous brides donning gorgeous gowns, crazy talented vendors who bring visions to life like no other, and all right here in the Burgh. I wanted to create a platform where all of these could be shown off. Judging by the response the blog has received, I think both Pittsburgh brides and vendors were yearning for something like this as well. Now that I’m approaching a year in business, I’m starting to think about what’s next. I’m excited to make Burgh Brides bigger and better!
2. What kind of content / posts can we find on Burgh Brides?
I feature real Pittsburgh wedding and engagement sessions, vendor recommendations, planning tips and tricks, ideas and inspiration, DIY tutorials, and much more! Of course, the real wedding and engagement features are the most popular. I think brides really like the ability to be inspired by others who were married in the same venue or who hired the same vendors or whose wedding has the same style as theirs.
3. In your opinion, what makes a “Burgh Bride” unique?
Of course, I think Burgh Brides are the best kind of brides. But maybe I’m a little bias? Pittsburgh girls are unique in that there are two sides to us. On one hand, we’re the sweet girl-next-door who will watch a Steelers game with an IC Light in one hand and a Primanti’s sandwich in the other. On the flip side, we also love a good night out on the town, sipping wine, eating good sushi, being pampered, and good sales at Ross Park Mall. We are multi-faceted and dynamic. I love seeing those different sides of personalities infused into a wedding day. It’s always great when a classic bride does something a little unexpected. Or when a bohemian bride opts to include one or two bridal traditions in her big day. We love our city and we love paying homage to it on the most important day in our lives. Cookie tables, waving Terrible Towels to the Pitt fight song during the introductions, Pittsburgh Popcorn favors, or naming your tables after your favorite Shadyside streets – all of these are ways couples display their hometown pride. In what other city do you see such a connection to and so much loyalty to a city?!
4. What do you think makes Pittsburgh a great place to host your wedding?
There are so many reasons why Pittsburgh is a great city to get married in! My friends at Modern Era Weddings did a blog post on this very subject not too long ago. From the sweeping views of the city and the many great photos ops to the lower costs and unique traditions (hello, cookie tables!), Pittsburgh is an excellent choice for any couple planning their big day.
5. If you could give a Burgh Bride one piece of advice, what would it be?
Chill out! Really. Yes, it’s your wedding, a day you have probably been dreaming about since you were a little girl. But is someone really going to notice if the napkin color doesn’t match the flowers exactly? Highly doubtful. Remember that while all of the details and the bells and whistles are totally fun, they aren’t the most important thing. Maintain perspective. You are marrying the love of your life!!! Everything else is just icing on the proverbial wedding cake!
6. We know that you just launched a product line…tell us what kind of products you are offering and how can we shop?
I currently offer tees, tanks, sweatshirts, mugs, and tumblers, all geared toward Pittsburgh brides. I recently added metallic gold Team Burgh Bride temporary tattoos! My merchandise lets you celebrate being a bride all while showing your love for the Steel City. You can currently shop right from my shop’s homepage.
7. We know you are also working on a Vendor Guide – can you give us any early details?
Well, I don’t want to reveal too much just yet but I will say this…it’s going to be awesome! I plan on changing the way Pittsburgh brides and wedding vendors connect. Brides can expect an organized guide full of vetted, respected vendors; vendors can expect opportunities to show off their experience and expertise in new and exciting ways!
8. What do you see as the big wedding trends on the horizon?
Next year, I think we’ll see a big movement toward an organic style. Think lush greens and florals, light, feminine colors and airy fabrics, minimalist or mix-and-match vintage décor, natural elements, and fresh, simple hair and makeup. It’s a beautifully, simple, effortless look and one that I really think is going to become popular.
Meet Victoria: Entrepreneur, Girl Boss,& Lover of All Things Wedding:
1. Obviously you love weddings, where did this passion come from?
I’m not sure where it came from exactly but it’s been around for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, my younger cousin, my little sister, and I would play “wedding”. We’d dress up in my great grandmother’s lace scarves, gloves, and costume jewelry, grab some flowers from her front yard, and sing “Here Comes the Bride” as one of us walked down the hallway/makeshift aisle. Those are some of my favorite memories of being a kid. I guess you can say I have my great grandmother to thank for my obsession with weddings.
2. How do you juggle a full-time job with running Burgh Brides (some people don’t want to answer this if you want to just focus on Burgh Brides – so also totally fine!)
A lot of coffee! And sometimes wine! Ok, just kidding (not really). But it does get tough sometimes. I work 8.5 hours a day, come home, and usually put in at least 2 more. On the weekends, I’m up before my husband to write or edit so that we can hang out during the day. Sunday mornings are usually spent queuing everything up for the next week. But you know what…I love it. I really do. Because there was a time when Burgh Brides was just a dream…and now it’s real! It’s happening! I’m doing it! So no matter how hard it gets sometimes, I try to remain thankful for the struggle. Find something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, right?
3. I know you were recently a “Burgh Bride” – I’m sure it’s hard to pick one thing, but looking back on your day, what really stood out or what are you glad you incorporated into the day?
Hands down, our first look session! It was THE BEST part of the entire day! My then fiancé was initially opposed to the idea – some silly idea about breaking tradition and it being bad luck ;) But he eventually gave me. I’m so glad he did. That moment was so special. We were both so nervous that when we saw each other, we both immediately starting crying. Meanwhile cars were beeping their horns and our friends were cheering from across the street. It was such an emotional, exciting few moments that I’ll forever cherish. Plus, the photos are awesome!
4. For all the newly married couples in the city, what do you and your husband enjoy doing? What would be an ideal date night in the Burgh?
Most Saturday nights, we can be found binge-watching Netflix after binge-eating tacos at Mad Mex (I swear we’re there once a week…who can say no to guac?). On the rare occasion that we do go out, we love trying new restaurants or visiting some of the new craft breweries that have popped up in the Burgh. We also have our own unconventional date ideas, like taking our Cane Corso for a hike in Frick Park, catching a matinee on a Saturday morning, cooking dinner together (Ok, he’s mostly cooking; I’m mostly yelling because he’s making a mess) or working side-by-side on our deck. What can I say? We’re old and I love it.
5. What advice would you give to other women thinking about taking that leap and starting a business?
Do it. Just do it. It’s scary and it’s hard and there are days when I miss having more free time and there are moments when I ask myself if it’s all going to be worth it one day. But I already know the answer. Take one tiny step to make your dream come alive. And then take another. And another. And another. And before you know it, you’re making it happen. And it’s better than you had ever imagined. Life is too short to not do something that makes you feel totally and utterly alive. Do more of what fires you up!
6. What has been the biggest success / thing you are most proud of so far with Burgh Brides?
I’m most proud of trying! I’m happy and thankful that Burgh Brides even exists! For so long, it was just a dream of mine, an idea I sat on for years because I kept coming up with excuse after excuse as to why I couldn’t make it happen. I had let the fear of failure paralyze me for so long but then I realized that I would never fail if I didn’t try, right? So what if I failed? The world wouldn’t end. I finally gave in to what I knew I was being called to do…and it’s been amazing! I can truly say that if something crazy happens and Burgh Brides is only something for a short time, I’ll be happy knowing that I TRIED! Oh, and hearing how helpful a bride finds your blog and seeing your products in store front window are pretty cool feelings too!
Headshots - Beth Insalaco Photography / Product Photos - Lauren Renee Designs
Where to find Victoria and Burgh Brides: