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BELLA SERA WEDDING BLOG

By Erin Levers 16 Jan, 2018

Winter might be the coldest season, but these winter wedding trends are hot! Keep your new spouse and guests warm with these exciting winter wedding ideas.

Neon Sign

Winter is dark, but neon signs light up the party. To purchase a custom-made neon sign for your reception, contact a local sign maker. Match the color of the sign to your wedding colors. If you're not sure what type of message to convey, use a combination of your initials or a favorite quote.

Second Outfit for Groom

Brides  change their clothes between the ceremony and the reception. Why not the groom? After all, grooms like to get casual and comfy just as much as brides, so a second outfit for the groom can make the party even more exciting. If you're not sure what type of outfit to choose, try thick woolen dress pants with a velvet sports coat or something else warm, comfortable and wintery.

Leather Jacket

The bride won't be chilly in her wedding dress when she’s wearing a warm, white leather jacket. When choosing the jacket, wear  the dress so you can see the two pieces of clothing together. A puffy white dress under the leather will help draw attention to the style and cut of the jacket while also placing emphasis on the dress itself.

Velvet

Velvet is the ultimate material to use in winter because it's soft, elegant and luxurious. You can use leather with nearly any outfit, from the bridal gown to the groom's suit. Want to use velvet elsewhere in the wedding? Velvet can be found anywhere from wedding invitations to shoes to linens on the table. Look for exciting colors like blue, green and red to spice up your winter wedding.

Giant Wreath

Wreaths are a symbol of unending time and infinity. This makes a giant wreath a powerful symbol at a winter wedding. You can opt for using a wreath at your  reception, or even during the ceremony. You can also use it  as an interesting backdrop for your wedding pictures.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, there are many fun winter wedding trends that you can use to make your winter wedding a more enjoyable and memorable event. At Bella Sera, it was difficult coming up with our favorites because there were so many good ideas! We'd like to give an honorable mention to:

  • Hot cocoa bar . Help your guests stay toasty warm with hot drinks! Let them pick their own toppings like marshmallows, crushed candy canes and chocolate candies.
  • Blankets. Use his-and-her woolen blankets for the bride, groom and guests at the reception.. Blankets can help keep chairs comfy and make the party more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Faux fur . Use faux fur to dress up the wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. In addition to looking beautiful, faux fur helps keep people warm!

Planning a Winter Wedding? Contact Bella Sera Today

If you're getting married this winter, these trendy, fun wedding ideas will help fill your wedding day with fun, beauty and magic for everyone. At Bella Sera, we can help you get your wedding off the ground and soar to new heights! To get started,  contact us today  at (724) 745-5575.


By Erin Levers 09 Jan, 2018

If you're from Pittsburgh, it's likely that you’ll show some sort of yinzer in your your wedding. What are some of the must-haves for your Pittsburgh wedding? Where will you show off your love for your hometown?

Cookie Table

cookie table  is a Pittsburgh working-class tradition that goes back generations. It goes back to when  new immigrant families could not afford to pay for large, extravagant wedding cakes. So relatives of the bride and groom would bake for hours in the days or weeks prior to the wedding, making hundreds of beautiful and delicious cookies for guests to savor and enjoy.

However, in modern times, the cookie table has become a little less thrifty and a little more professional, as many Pittsburgh couples give their favorite recipes to local bakeries to have their cookies professionally made. This takes some of the burden off of family members while ensuring that guests have plenty of cookies to eat and bring home.  

Bridal Dance

The bridal dance differs from one culture to the next. here are many different versions of the bridal dance in Pittsburgh– some involving pinning dollars to the bride's dress to pay for a dance at the reception. In other versions, the money is collected by a bridesmaid or simply placed in a shoe.

No matter what your background is or where your family comes from, bridal dances are still very popular in Pittsburgh. If you're not sure what kind of bridal dance your family traditionally performs, talk to your older relatives, and also look through old pictures.

Pittsburgh-Themed Engagement Photos

Think about it: Where is your favorite place in Pittsburgh? Is it a comic book store? A pizza parlor? What about a park or an intersection? Pick out some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh, then visit them with your photographer and your fiance.

To make your photography session extra special, visit meaningful places around the city where you and your fiance have somewhat of a history. Revisit the site of your first kiss, first date, the place where you met. Your photographer will have some good ideas,, but it's vitally important to capture the images that are meaningful to you and your spouse-to-be. Most of all, have fun with these pictures; you'll have them forever!

Steelers Paraphernalia

If you're a native of Pittsburgh, you likely have strong feelings for the Steelers. Typically, it's no surprise  that many Pittsburgh natives like to place Steelers paraphernalia on their wedding cake, in their decorations and even on their wedding clothes. Don't want a Steelers logo on your tie or wedding dress? That’s fine. Try making your Steelers references more subtle by choosing yellow and black wedding colors. Your guests will get it. These funky shades make a strong statement while also adding a little fun to your ceremony.

Contact Bella Sera to Plan Your Wedding

At Bella Sera, we help Pittsburgh couples plan their perfect wedding. Our beautiful grounds make the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and reception. To get started planning your wedding in 2018,  contact us today  for an appointment and consultation.

By Erin Levers 02 Jan, 2018

Are you planning to get married in 2018?  Now is the time to set the date! Wedding venues, photographers and caterers can get booked up fast. There are many factors to consider when trying to pick a wedding date. Availability, expense and seasonal events can all affect what time of year is right for marriage. In this post, we'll explore those factors more in-depth to help you make the decision.

Date Popularity

Date popularity will have the biggest impact on how much you pay for your venue, so if budget is a concern, pick your wedding date carefully. Weekends in summer are the most popular time to get married. Wedding venues, photographers, caterers and other vendors typically  charge more for services during these times and book up fast. So if you're planning to be married in summer, start planning early. And if you're planning  a winter, fall or spring wedding,, you'll have more flexibility.  

Availability of Friends and Family

If having close friends and family at your wedding is important to you, their availability might have an influence on the date you pick. Run the date past your best man, maid of honor, groomsmen, bridesmaids and parents first.

Work Schedule

If you and your spouse-to-be  work full time, your work schedules will have a big influence on your stress levels when the wedding date arrives. Choose a time of year when your workload is expected to be low. This will help keep you “in the moment” by relieving your stress  so you can truly enjoy your big day.

Weather

Weather and the beauty of the landscape can impact  a wedding, especially if it is to held outdoors. Ultimately, all seasons have positive qualities, so you'll have to decide what's best for you. Do you want to see flowers in bloom? Are colorful leaves important to you? Do you prefer  a chill in the air? Do you dream of a snowy wedding?

If you're planning an outdoor event, work with your venue to ensure that your guests will be comfortable no matter what the season. Tents, shade cover and heaters can help make your wedding or reception comfortable no matter what time of year.

Holidays and Symbolic Dates

Holidays and symbolic dates are special times for couples to get married. Many couples choose Christmas, Valentine's Day or on the anniversary of  the day they met. When choosing a holiday or symbolic date to get married, consider all the factors and keep these things in mind:

  • Will the date you choose interfere with your guest's normal work or family obligations?  

  • What might  the weather be like on that date?

  • What will be happening at work on that date?

Considering these factors can help you select a smart date for your wedding and prevent scheduling problems.

Contact Bella Sera

At Bella Sera, we're happy to help you plan your wedding no matter what time of year it is.  Contact us  for a consultation and we'll show you our grounds and discuss your plans. Call today at (724) 745-5575.


By Erin Levers 12 Dec, 2017

By far, summer is the most popular time of year to get married, but did you know there are tons of reasons to get married in winter? From seasonal decorations to beloved holiday music, winter is a wonderfully special time to get married.  

Play Christmas Music

Not sure what kind of music to play at your reception? What about everyone's favorite Christmas carols? Whether you're bopping to the jingle bell rock, or having a blue, blue Christmas, there are a million and one famous and well-loved Christmas songs that can make dancing at your reception unique and special.

Enjoy Free Decor

Most wedding venues put up Christmas decor around the holidays to make their spaces seem more festive and joyful. Guess what? Your wedding party can take full advantage of this decor and use it as a backdrop for your perfect day! Holiday decor can cut back your decorating expenses, which allows you to dedicate more money to other resources, like food, dress or the honeymoon.

Wrap Up in Beautiful Winter Shawls

Nothing compares to the cozy beauty of a winter shawl over a wedding dress. Whether you're looking for something fur-lined or cable-knit, winter clothes allow brides to accessorize in attractive seasonal ways.

Choose Christmas Colors

Christmas colors can be beautiful wedding colors. Decorate your reception and ceremony with rich red flowers and berries, evergreen branches, and flowers in shades of white. You'll forever remember your wedding when you see Christmas colors at the holidays.

Use Fake Snow, or Enjoy the Real Thing!

Snow isn't predictable, even in the middle of winter, unless you're planning to be married in a mountainous area. Even without real precipitation, you can still use artificial snow to remind everyone of the beautiful time of year. Artificial snow creates a shimmery, magical environment for your wedding reception.

Enjoy Safe Conditions On Your Honeymoon

Hurricane season coincides perfectly with the summer wedding season, so many new married couples risk traveling to Caribbean islands for their summer honeymoon. You can avoid these problems and worries by planning your honeymoon in winter, when the weather is mild and safe.  

Decorate with Lanterns and Candles

Lanterns and candles are very  romantic, making them the perfect decor for a winter wedding. Plan to use artificial or real candles, depending on the location and size of your wedding. If you're planning to use real candles, talk to your wedding venue about their fire safety policies and what you can do to keep your guests safe.

Serve Hot Drinks

Hot drinks are the best! Hot chocolate, Irish coffee and other tasty beverages are best served in winter. On a related note, many wedding couples will package the ingredients for hot cocoa  and give them away as wedding favors. These attractive gifts are practical and fun to use. Sending your guests home with a hot drink mix is a great way to say thank you!

Contact Bella Sera

No matter what time of year, couples in Pittsburgh come to Bella Sera to plan the perfect wedding. With beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces for weddings and receptions, we can help you plan a lovely and memorable event. To make an appointment for a consultation and to see our wedding spaces,  contact us  at (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 14 Nov, 2017

By tradition, weddings are usually held in one location and the reception afterward is in another location. Although this type of wedding does work for many couples, there are numerous advantages to holding your wedding and reception all in one spot. Known as an on-site wedding, these celebrations are simpler, cheaper and easier for the spouses-to-be and their guests.

Save Money

Money savings is one of the biggest bonuses for couples holding their wedding on-site. Whereas holding the wedding and reception in two different locations often requires couples to rent double the equipment and pay double the fees, holding everything in one location allows couples to limit the expense and control costs. Some wedding venues may even offer discounts for on-site weddings because they're more efficient to organize and easier to plan.

No Worry About Other Parties

With a three-hour time slot in one location and a five-hour time slot in another, your party could be just one of many events at each venue on your wedding day. This means that members of other parties could show up at unexpected times, causing stress and confusion. Reserving one venue for the entire day can easily make this problem a non-issue.

No Travel Time

It's difficult to schlep from one end of town to the other. For your guests, getting oriented in multiple locations can sap energy and enthusiasm. For the wedding party, moving the guest book, gifts, makeup, flowers and other accessories from one location to another can be a pain. Traveling across town in the middle of the day opens up potential problems to everyone involved.

Having your entire wedding in one location just makes things easier, so you and your guests can enjoy a less stressful, more enjoyable event.

Less Troubleshooting At The Site

You never quite know what issues you're going to run into at each site where your wedding takes place. Orienting yourself to each location takes time, and that can slow you down. With only one site to work with, you'll spend less time figuring out where the bathrooms are and more time enjoying yourself.

Your Photographer's Job Gets Easier

Snapping photos of the ceremony and the reception becomes  a lot easier when no one is traveling from one location to another. This makes for more natural, less stressful photography sessions and can result in more satisfying pictures.

Contact Bella Sera To Get Started

At Bella Sera, we have space enough for a wedding ceremony and reception on-site. Our venue includes beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces for your big day. If you and your spouse-to-be are searching for a single location for your wedding and reception, contact us  at (724) 745-5575. We'll be happy to show you our location and discuss the particulars of your upcoming ceremony.

By Erin Levers 17 Oct, 2017

Can you have a great wedding party without an open bar? Of course! Some couples offer a limited bar, others look for alcohol-free alternatives; and all of these options can be fun.

Mocktails

Mocktails are attractive, thirst-quenching, and can be just as delicious as their cocktail counterparts! When trying to decide what drinks to put on your mocktail menu, we recommend getting creative and cute.

  • Pick color themes. Select drinks that correspond to your wedding's color themes. Not only will your guests have a great drink menu to choose from, but your wedding reception will be more beautiful as a result.

  • Name some of your drinks something cute. Making up a cute or funny name for some of your mocktails can add a sense of playful fun to your reception. When picking cute names, try to tie the drinks back to your wedding. For example, you might name a drink something that combines your name with your spouse's name.

  • Pick a few exotic beverages that your relatives may not have tried in the past. Virgin mojitos, anyone? Your older relatives will go wild for some of the fun, flavorful drinks that have become popular in bars and restaurants in recent years.

Seasonal Beverages

Serving mulled cider in fall, wassail in winter, and lemonade and fruit juice in summer can help set a mood at your reception. Supporting these choices with seasonal decorations can help reinforce the theme and can keep guests in the mood for a party.

Beer and Wine Only

Instead of a completely open bar, many couples choose to serve beer and wine only, or beer, wine and a signature drink. Doing this can help control costs while giving your guests a modest range of choices.

Signature Drink

To help control costs, offering complimentary signature alcoholic drinks and a cash bar cuts back on the type of alcohol being offered at your reception. Some couples, hoping to give their guests more choices, will offer his and her signature drinks.

Signature drinks can be anything. Many couples like to attach a story to their signature drink. Consider offering a drink that you enjoyed on your first date, or a drink that you both enjoy together at your favorite restaurant. This can help keep the signature drink meaningful while also tying the party back to your relationship.

Tickets

Some couples, hoping to offer drink choices without a completely open bar, will provide a limited number of drink tickets to each family member. This is a good option for small weddings. At larger weddings, the tickets can become confusing. Distributing tickets to large numbers of guests can be challenging. Having a clear plan in place for this option helps to ensure that everyone gets their share of the tickets.

Work With Your Wedding Venue

Working closely with representatives from the wedding venue can help you plan the wedding you've always wanted. At Bella Sera, we help couples plan a truly fun and enjoyable wedding. For your convenience, our caterers offer a range of drink and menu choices. To get started with your wedding planning,  contact us today  to make an appointment at (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 19 Sep, 2017

Tech free weddings are a relatively new concept. In a tech free wedding, also known as an "unplugged wedding," guests are asked not to take pictures or use their cell phone during all or part of the event. Cell phones are kept on silent and pictures are not taken.

Couples who choose to have a tech free wedding are often happy with the results, with a few caveats. Knowing why a couple might choose to make this dramatic choice, and what challenges they face when they do, can help you decide whether or not you'd like to have a tech free wedding yourself.

Why Go Tech Free?

There are many reasons that couples choose to go tech free! Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Your guests will be present in the moment. Nothing is more distracting or less romantic than an audience of wedding goers who can't get their eyes off their cell phones. Forcing guests to put their cell phones down for a minute helps them to be present in the moment. It's your big day; your ceremony should be the focus!
  • It would be a shame if all the guests were looking down in your official wedding photos. Imagine getting your wedding photos back from the photographer and seeing nothing but heads looking down and all devices out. Making your wedding tech free can help ensure that your guests will be looking up at you and your spouse to be throughout the duration of the ceremony.
  • Flash photography can ruin the mood.Flash photography in particular can be invasive and distracting. Asking guests to put away their phones can help ensure that no flash photography will be used during your wedding ceremony.

Reasons Not To Go Tech Free?

Although there are many reasons to go tech free at your wedding, there may be just as many reasons not to go tech free.

  • Some guests may become upset when they're asked to leave behind their favorite piece of electronic equipment. Presentation is important  when asking guests to leave their phones at home or turned off during the event. Be tactful and kind, and explain your reasoning gently so guests will understand and appreciate your logic.
  • If you go tech free you'll need to enforce it. Many guests will forget or just choose to use technology anyway, so you'll need to have someone on point who can ask cell phone users to hide them in their purse or pocket.
  • You'll have to share your wedding photos with everyone. People take cell pictures of the wedding because they want the memories. Couples who ask their guests to put away their phones should be prepared to share some of their wedding photos with everyone who attended. Getting these pictures out there can be logistically challenging and kind of a hassle.  

Work With Your Wedding Venue

Some couples ask their guests to keep cell phones put away through the ceremony and reception. Others ask guests to keep cell phones put away through the ceremony only. Whatever the logistical challenges you face as a result, your wedding venue can help. Putting up tasteful signs and making other small accommodations for the photographer can help ensure that your tech free wedding goes smoothly. At Bella Sera, we help couples put on the wedding they've always wanted. To get started with your wedding planning and to find out more about tech free weddings, call us today  for a consultation at (724) 745-5575.


By Erin Levers 12 Sep, 2017

A typical wedding day is full of surprises. At Bella Sera, we've helped hundreds of couples make the journey into marriage, and we know what happens on the big day. If you're getting married soon, knowing these little details can help you prepare for the emotional adventure you're about to undergo.  

It Won't All Go According to Plan

It doesn't matter how much you've prepped for the big day. A wedding is such a big production, with so many moving parts, that It's very rare for the entire event to go exactly as planned from start to finish. The best way to avoid problems is to vet all your vendors ahead of time. Read online reviews, check up on references and use tried and true businesses to keep your wedding going as planned.

You'll Need More Help Than You Expected

When problems occur on your wedding day, friends, family and capable professionals will be there by your side to keep things moving. Don't try to handle everything yourself; task things out to the nearest capable wedding venue professional or even a loved one. This can help you keep your wedding on track and the way the event was meant to be.

You Won't Get To Visit With Everyone

You're not a superhero. Unless your wedding is very intimate and small, it will probably be impossible to spend time talking to everybody who shows up at your wedding. You can forgive yourself for not having long conversations with every guest. Remember they've come because they love you and they understand that you're busy.

You Might Not Get to Eat Anything

Lots of couples get too nervous on their wedding day to eat much or eat anything at all. This can leave you feeling a little queasy. To keep your stomach from rumbling, have a small snack on hand in the dressing room. Don't forget to have lunch delivered, and if necessary, take some quiet time during the reception to eat a small plate of food. You'll be glad you did.

Drinking Might Also Be Out Of the Question

You'll be exhausted by the time the reception begins, so drinking any more than a glass of champagne may just sound like too much. Keep a water bottle on hand to stay hydrated, or you could start to feel sick by the end of the day.

...And Parts of It Will Still  Be A Blur

Your wedding day will be so busy and will go by so quickly that you'll have a hard time remembering the small details when it's over. That's why it's so important to have a good photographer  and videographer  at the event!

You'll Be Amazed By the Warm Happiness You Feel

Right up until the day that your wedding happens, you'll feel a range of emotions. Pleasure, excitement, nervousness, anticipation and even a little dread. What you may not realize is that all that hard work and emotional output is leading up to a great feeling of warmth, happiness, and love. On the day that you're surrounded by your friends and family, you'll be amazed at the happiness you feel inside.

Contact Bella Sera

At Bella Sera, we know how it feels on your wedding day, we know what goes into the planning for a wedding, and we want you to have the best! To get started with a wedding vendor that really understands, call us today  (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 05 Sep, 2017

The best wedding photographs will capture the true spirit of the day and the small moments that make your wedding perfect. These 11 must-have wedding photographs are quintessential images that you'll definitely want to capture.

The Rings

Your wedding rings are the true symbol of your love for one another, so they deserve their own picture. Photographers can get very creative when they take this picture by applying creative backgrounds and lighting. Talk to your photographer in advance about your aesthetic style and your preferences before taking this picture, so your photographer will know how you'd like to capture this classic image.

Invitations

Typically, the invitation suite shows a few invitations, envelopes and RSVP cards, arranged in a nice formation against a flat backdrop. Some couples like to see the invitations surrounded by roses, petals, glitter or pearls. Others like to combine the invitation shot with the rings to capture both at once.

Makeup Moment

Pictures of the bride putting on makeup before the wedding can show the excitement and anticipation that she feels before the ceremony. Some women may do their own makeup on the morning of the wedding, others might have help. Either way, be careful to position yourself in such a way that the photographer can get a good glimpse of the process.

Best Friends

Of course you need a shot with bridesmaids and groomsmen! Shots of the bride, groom and their best friends before the wedding begins helps to show the support that the lucky couple feels from their closest friends.

Pre-Wedding Chaos

No collection of wedding photos is complete without a shot of the bride or groom getting ready in a hectic dressing room, surrounded by family and friends. The more people and action in these photos the better.

First Look

The "first look" photograph is a classic image of the couple when they see one another for the first time before the ceremony. These pictures are usually cute and sweet, or intimate and romantic.

The Vows

This tender moment is one of the most important parts of the ceremony. Work with your photographer to ensure that he or she has the best angle possible to capture you, your spouse to be and the background, so you'll always remember the moment when you said, "I do."

The Kiss

Whether dramatic and long or short and sweet, the kiss at the end of the ceremony is the moment that you and your significant other can finally say that you're married. You'll probably come back to this moment and look at this picture for years to come. This may be the most important photograph of your entire wedding.

First Dance

The first dance shot is a classic image of the couple dancing for the first time in their marriage. It's the first of many happy dances together.

Tables Before, Tables After

Let your photographer into the reception area before and after the wedding to capture pictures of the centerpieces, tables, flowers and seats where your guests spend their time after the ceremony.

Party Departure

The departure from the party before you leave on your honeymoon should be a fun shot, filled with smiles, confetti, glitter and light. Live it up!

Contact Bella Sera

Finding the  right photographer  for your wedding is important. At Bella Sera we help couples find the right photographer, videographer and other professionals who can help the wedding go without a hitch. To view our facilities, talk to us about photographers and plan your upcoming wedding,  contact us for an appointment  at (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 29 Aug, 2017

Winter is coming quickly! For couples planning a winter wedding, now is the time to make tough choices about wedding colors. From navy to Champaign, couples find that there's a rainbow of possibilities to choose from. Below are our favorites. These winter wedding color suggestions are elegant, sophisticated and rich in romance.

Pewter and Sage Green

These colors incorporate the soft, subtle tones seen in nature during the coldest months of winter. Pewter has the moody romantic look of storm clouds on a winter day, while sage reminds us that even during the coldest times of year, life goes on. To incorporate pewter and sage green into a ceremony, look to natural decorations like twigs, log furniture and sprigs from evergreen plants. Drape the tables in garlands made of natural greenery to fill the room with the scents of the forest. A bridal gown or bridesmaids gowns decorated in gray pearls will help add to the effect.

Shining Gold and Red Wine

Gold is a glamorous, energetic color that can be symbolic of wealth, riches and comfort. Meanwhile, red wine is deep, gentle and rich, standing in direct contrast with the shine of gold. These colors are a favorite in night weddings, because they contribute to the rich ambience and deep romance of the occasion. Couples thinking about using these colors may consider a small, intimate wedding beside a fire, with a long dinner to follow. For flowers, traditional roses are best.

Champagne and Eggplant

Champaign is a romantic neutral that can be paired with just about anything, and we find that Champagne bridesmaid gowns are especially elegant against a snowy winter backdrop. Paired with eggplant colored shawls, flowers, lipstick and bow ties, these winter colors can be flattering for everyone in the wedding party.

When picking Champagne and eggplant colored decorations, keep the accessories simple. Think: soft, satiny table cloths in a soft neutral shade, deep purple roses and decorative dishes filled with colored pieces of glass. Pay attention to the small details. Scattering the reception table with colored jewels and loose petals from fresh flowers is a good way to reinforce your theme.

White and Navy

White is a daring wedding color, especially in winter when everything is coated in white, fluffy snow. We recommend these colors for couples seeking to have their ceremony outdoors in a winter wonderland. White berries, white flowers and white pearls are the perfect accessories for these lovely wedding colors. To incorporate blue into the mix, look for bridesmaid dresses made of thick blue velvet, and consider giving guests small blue blankets to drape over their laps during the ceremony.

Contact Bella Sera

Planning a wedding can be a challenge. At  Bella Sera , we work with couples to help them make tough decisions about their wedding ceremony and reception. If you're struggling to plan your winter wedding and are seeking good ideas, make an appointment to see our site. Take a tour of our wedding grounds and view  pictures from our portfolio  to help you decide which look is best for your upcoming ceremony.

By Erin Levers 22 Aug, 2017

Couples planning a winter wedding are switching into high gear as the end of summer approaches. At Bella Sera, we've been monitoring the latest winter wedding trends and we're here to report back! No matter what the size of your wedding or the number of people attending, these six fabulous wedding trends can make your upcoming winter wedding a day to remember.

Berries, Berries Everywhere

Seasonal berries add subtle beauty to your wedding ceremony! For example:

  • In the bouquet: Talk to your florist to find out how you can incorporate red or white winter berries in to your bouquet. Don't forget to request non-toxic berries, to ensure that any children who encounter your bouquet at the wedding will be safe.
  • On the wedding cake: Edible berries make a nice decoration on top of any wedding cake while also adding seasonal color to your white icing. Consult with your baker to find a configuration and a berry color that works for your needs.
  • On your lips: Berry-colored lipstick is popular on brides and bridesmaids in the winter. Dark red lipstick and other bold, berry-colored makeup can help your lips stand out for photographs and during the ceremony.

Nature Inspired Decor

People like to bring elements of the outdoors to their winter weddings. Some common elements that you'll see in this winter's weddings include:

  • Wreaths made from real pine boughs, twigs, leaves or holly.
  • Garlands made from real pine, interlaced with ribbon.
  • Local winter blooming flowers.
  • Pinecone motif.
  • Acorn motif.

If you're seeking more ideas for nature-inspired decor, we recommend talking to your florist or wedding planner. You can also call us at Bella Sera; we have a range of ideas from previous winter weddings.

Long Sleeves

Wedding dresses with long sleeves show off the long, elegant lines of the bride's arms while also keeping her warm and comfortable throughout the ceremony. Long sleeves will also make an appearance on bridesmaid dresses this winter, because long sleeves help keep the whole wedding party comfortable.

Faux Fur

Fur looks warm, feels soft and adds an element of luxury to the wedding gown. While real fur is controversial and expensive, faux fur is more affordable and animal-friendly. Like long sleeves, faux fur can keep the bride and bridesmaids comfortable throughout the event, so we recommend it for everyone.

Jewels and Sequins

Something about jewels and sequins is very winter-esque; perhaps because the sparkle reminds us of ice and snow. While jewels are common on the bride's gown, at Bella Sera we're predicting we'll see more jewels and sequins on bridesmaid gowns, and more sequins on table cloths, napkins and other forms of decor.

Flower Crown

A flower crown on a bride helps to show that she's the queen of the procession, as well as the center of attention. A winter flower crown may include white roses, berries, or evergreen boughs, to match the season and give the bride a more natural look.

Contact Bella Sera to Plan Your Winter Wedding

At Bella Sera, we work with couples to ensure that their wedding is as fabulous and fun as they dreamed it would be. Our flexible event space can make your winter wedding the event of the year. To find out more about having your wedding at Bella Sera,  contact us today  at (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 15 Aug, 2017

Winter is a great time of year to have a wedding! From sparkling icicles to snow-crusted streets, winter is a time of year when everything is white, pure and gorgeous. This makes the perfect setting for a romantic, sweet wedding ceremony. In this post, we'll discuss some of the reasons that winter is one of the best times of year to get married.

You Get the Best Deals

People hibernate when the cold weather comes, which means demand goes down and everything is cheaper in winter. Wedding venues, photographers and videographers all tend to charge less during this quiet season. Travel deals are easier to find and airfare tends to be cheaper (perhaps with the exception of the holidays).

Couples who want to go far, far away on a romantic honeymoon may find it easier to get a deal at a luxury resort, in a cabin on the beach or in a European bed and breakfast. No matter what your plans, you'll be sure to find affordable options.

Snow is Completely Romantic!

Sparkling snow is the perfect backdrop for pictures of you, your spouse to be and your loved one. Because the landscape is so white and pristine in winter, we recommend selecting bridesmaid dresses and flowers in bold colors to stand out for photographs. Deep reds, navys, dark greens and royal purples are some of the perfect wedding colors for a winter wedding.  

Winter Can Be Intimate and Cozy

Imagine you, your spouse to be, and your guests, celebrating your marriage in a room with lowlights, grand music, Champaign and a fireplace. This is a typical winter wedding. It's sure to leave you feeling cozy and happy!

Hoping for An Outdoor Wedding? No Problem!

Outdoor weddings are possible even in winter. We recommend holding your ceremony under a clear tent with outdoor heaters to keep you and your guests comfortable. Afterwards, plan to crack open the wine to warm the guests and celebrate the beautiful day.

Black Ties Are Way More Comfortable

Grooms always shy away from black tie events in summer because those tuxedos can be brutally hot. Winter weddings make tuxedos comfortable. Your groom will look and feel great all day and night as the party goes on.

Wedding Venues Decorate for the Holidays

Many wedding venues decorate when the holidays are near. If your wedding is properly timed, you may be able to take advantage of the free holiday decor.

Less Wedding Fatigue for Guests

Summer is a time when many, many people get married. By the end of the summer, some guests get tired of weddings. Wedding fatigue is a real thing that can lead to low attendance and a less spirited celebration. Winter weddings rarely ever have this problem, and guests show up to the wedding feeling refreshed and excited to celebrate the start of your new life together.

Makeup is Less Likely to Run

Brides rarely sweat for photographs in winter weddings, which means their makeup always looks pristine. In fact, cheeks take on a natural pink glow in the cold, which makes the photography even better.

The Accessories are So Cute!

Between polar bears, penguins, snowmen and snowflakes, winter accessories are adorable and fun. You'll have plenty of fun accessories to choose from when picking your theme and decorations.

Work With Bella Sera

At Bella Sera, we help couples plan the perfect wedding on our grounds. We have a beautiful fireplace, outdoor spaces and a variety of rooms where you and your loved one can start your life together. To make an appointment to see our venue,  call us today  at (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 08 Aug, 2017

If you've ever been to a wedding in Pittsburgh, chances are that you know what a cookie table is. The cookie table is a time-honored tradition that makes Pittsburgh weddings truly unique and special. If you're not familiar with cookie tables and you're planning a wedding in Pittsburgh, this post will cover everything you need to know!

What Is A Cookie Table?

A cookie table is exactly what it sounds like: it's a table filled to the brim with cookies. Cookie tables can vary in size. Some wedding receptions include one large cookie table, others will disperse cookie tables around the room to keep guests moving. Some weddings reveal the cookie table after the reception dinner, others set out the cookie table from the start of the reception.

No one is certain where the cookie table tradition originated, though some claim that  Eastern European or Italian immigrants  may be responsible. It's thought that cookie tables began as an alternative to the more expensive and elaborate wedding cakes traditionally served at weddings.  

A traditional cookie table will have homemade cookies, produced en masse by grandmothers, aunts and family friends. For months leading up to the wedding, cookies are baked and frozen. On the wedding day, these cookies are hauled in plastic containers to the wedding reception venue, where they are proudly displayed among the wedding decorations and professional catering.  

Cookie tables can be loaded up with thousands of cookies for wedding guests. To ensure that all of the cookies are gone when the wedding reception is over, guests are provided with take-home containers.

Are the Cookies Always Homemade?

Although tradition demands that the cookies must be homemade, many modern families order their cookies from professional bakers. To make the cookies as authentic as possible, many bakeries in and around Pittsburgh will bake straight from traditional family recipes supplied by the client.

Cookie Table Planning Tips

If you're planning to have a cookie table at your upcoming wedding, these tips will help!

  • Stay organized. Coordinate with the wedding venue ahead of time to ensure they know how many cookies you plan to display on your cookie table, and where you would like to the cookie table to be located.

  • Take guest health into account. Guests with allergies may need to know the ingredients in certain recipes. Put out small labels on each cookie type, and list ingredients whenever possible and appropriate.

  • Recruit bakers early into the process. Depending on how many cookies you need to order, you may not be able to get all of the cookies from a single baker. Finding the baker or bakers in advance will help ensure that you'll have as many cookies as you want on the day of your wedding. If you're not sure which bakers in the area can bake your wedding cookies, ask your wedding venue for recommendations and advice.

Does Your Wedding Include A Cookie Table? Work With Your Wedding Venue!

At Bella Sera, we work with couples to help them plan the wedding of a lifetime. If you're getting married in Pittsburgh and you'd like to talk to a professional wedding venue about cookie tables and other logistical concerns, we can help! To schedule a tour,  contact our Wedding Coordinator  Lauren at (724) 745-5575 (ext. 101).

By Erin Levers 01 Aug, 2017

The wedding venue is critical for ensuring a fun and happy wedding. A good wedding venue will provide variety, comfort and style to ensure that the wedding is beautiful and memorable for the guests. If you're planning a wedding a searching for a venue, knowing what to look for can help you decide which space is right for you.

Indoor and Outdoor Space

Weddings are long events that take place in many locations from beginning to end. From the preparation rooms to the alter to the party room afterwards, the wedding moves several times throughout the course of the day. Variety is important for keeping the party going and making the ceremony more meaningful.

Indoor space is good at night when it's chilly, but in times of good weather, many modern ceremonies are held outdoors under a natural archway made from wood and greenery. Look for a venue that provides indoor and outdoor spaces to ensure variety from start to finish.

Scenic Backdrops

Scenic backdrops are important for taking interesting pictures before the ceremony begins. Many couples like having a variety of backdrop options, from urban settings to natural outdoor spaces. It's not always possible to find this in one location, but couples tend to look for as much variety as possible to get the best pictures for their event.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is flattering, simple and inexpensive. While a sun-bathed bride commands oohs and ahhs from the crowd, a groom in soft morning daylight is romantic and makes for good memories. Venues that have big windows and lightly covered outdoor spaces are best for ensuring that the wedding ceremony is lit with natural daylight.

Rustic Decor

Rustic decor is very popular in modern weddings. Think: ball jars with votive candles inside. Twine holding together a bouquet of farm-grown roses. Antique lace. Branches with tiny bells dangling in the wind. These little touches give the wedding a timeless, simple quality that many couples strive to capture on their special day.

Rustic and vintage decor can all be brought to the wedding venue, but talk to the venue planner for good ideas to make your wedding decor standout.

Customizable Spaces

Venues that provide movable walls, multi-purpose rooms, a variety of dressing spaces and multiple kitchen areas is important for ensuring that your wedding venue meets your party's many needs. When viewing a venue for the first time, ask questions like:

  • How will all my guests fit in this space?
  • What will the table and chair configuration look like?
  • How many people from the party will be able to get ready in this one room?
  • Where will the guests lounge during the reception?

Asking questions like this can help you decide if the venue is right for your needs.

Host Bar

A host bar is one of the latest trends in modern weddings. There are a variety of ways that a host bar can be provided at affordable rates. Some venues provide packages that cover beer and wine only, others will allow the couple to provide guests with drink vouchers good up to a certain number of beverages. Talk to your venue about the different bar packages available to decide which one will fit into your budget.

Contact Your Wedding Venue

If you're getting married soon, now is the time to find your venue. At Bella Sera, we provide flexible bar options, indoor outdoor spaces, customizable spaces and beautiful backdrops for wedding photography. To view our venue,  contact us today  at (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 11 Jul, 2017

The centerpieces you use at your wedding can make a big difference at your wedding reception. Using the right centerpieces can help set the tone of the event while also making your wedding day more magical. There's a lot to consider when choosing your centerpiece, from budget, to appearance, to the comfort and happiness of your guests.

Tie the Centerpieces Into Your Theme

Centerpieces, like every other aspect of the wedding, are an excellent opportunity to tie into the theme and keep your guests engaged. Is summer your theme? Why not sprinkle summer flower petals on the table around the centerpieces? Use sunflowers as your centerpieces, and place them in sky-blue colored vases, to mimic the beauty and elegance of the sky on a hot summer day.

Consider Your Budget

Even couples on a budget can buy beautiful, engaging centerpieces for their wedding. With a little smart shopping and creative thinking, the tables at your wedding reception can be charming, elegant, and inexpensive.

  • Buy inexpensive flowers in bulk. Gerbera daisies, carnations and mums are commonly sold inexpensively from florists. Best of all, these flowers come in a wide range of colors to match with any wedding ceremony. While you may not be in the market for high-end exotic floral arrangements, you can still impress your guests with the sheer quantity of your flowers.

  • Look for in-season, local varieties. Flowers get less expensive and easier to find when they're in season. Contacting florists that carry local flowers from local markets can help you find more affordable flowers for your wedding reception.  

  • Shop around. You'll get the best deals by looking well in advance and by consulting with a variety of different florists before making your final decision.

  • Avoid flowers altogether. Who says you need flowers to make a beautiful centerpiece? Candles, strands of lights, garland, lanterns, feathers, seashells, beads and other magical looking objects can all make beautiful centerpieces.

Go Eclectic for a Big Wedding

If you're having a very large wedding with many tables, consider using a wide variety of centerpieces, of varying sizes and made from different materials. For example, divide your centerpieces into three groups. The first group, large bouquets, will have bountiful floral arrangements with a huge variety of flowers. The second group, small bouquets, will consist of smaller bouquets made from smaller flower types. The third group will be a non-flower arrangement (using lights or candles, for example). Varying your centerpieces in this way could help liven up the space, adding visual interest to your reception.

Think of Your Guests

The beauty of the centerpieces is not the only thing you should consider when choosing centerpieces. The comfort and preferences of your guests should be considered just as much as the aesthetics. After all, your guests may spend hours at the table, talking to other guests and relaxing at your party. Choosing the right centerpieces will help make this experience more enjoyable for all.  

  • Keep the size to a minimum. Tall, wide centerpieces can make it hard to see the dance floor, the happy couple and the people across the table. Using short centerpieces that guests can see over helps keep the wedding entertaining and fun for everyone.

  • Use unscented flowers for people with allergies. Flowers that smell beautiful can certainly add a nice aroma to the air. Unfortunately, these lovely scents could force guests with allergies to leave early. Work with your florist to find flowers that have minimal scent.  

Contact Bella Sera for Your Wedding and Reception

At Bella Sera, we work with couples to plan their wedding at our venue. With first rate catering and elegant facilities, we take pride in providing the best venue for your wedding that we possibly can. To make an appointment,  contact us today  at (724) 745-5575.

By Erin Levers 18 Jul, 2017

Your wedding may last only one day, but the photographs will last a lifetime. Picking the right photographer is the best way to ensure that your wedding photos will accurately represent your special day.

Know What You Want

Wedding photographs come in a variety of styles.

Photojournalistic pieces capture candid images with figures in action. Photojournalistic photographs may include shots of the bride interacting with bridesmaids, the groom interacting with parents and caterers setting up for the reception. These shots capture the essence of the wedding day from start to finish.

Portrait style photographs are posed and planned, capturing little or no action but all the beauty and splendor of the wedding ceremony.

Fine art style photographs capture images from strange angles and creative perspectives. The photographer may focus on a flower girl while the bride stands out of focus in the background, or may focus on balloons over a wedding table as the bride and groom dance to the side. These photographs can be fun and whimsical, magical and serene or edgy and full of drama.  

Many photographers will shoot a combination of these different types of photography, however, if you desire one type of photograph over another, it helps to find a photographer who is strong in that type of photography.  

Browse ALL the Listings

Knowing the different photographers in your area can help you pick the right photographer for your wedding. You should take a long time to find the right photographer, going through many options before you land on the right one.

Don't Look for a "Good Deal"

Focus less on the cost of the photographs and more on finding the right photographer for your event. A good quality photographer might be more costly, but the trade off will be the years of enjoyment that you'll get out of your wedding photographs.

Search Through Portfolios

One of the best ways to tell if a photographer is right for you is by looking at the photographer's portfolio. Most photographers will keep their portfolios online. After looking through a few portfolios, some photographers may start to blend together. Take careful notes on each photographer, their specialties and your feeling about each photographer's portfolio.

Get Referrals

Your recently married friends may be able to refer you to their wedding photographers. When asking your friends for references, ask them if they found their photographer to be reliable, personable and if they were pleased with the finished product. This will help you find a photographer who is likely to meet his or her obligations and produce photographs that you can enjoy.  

Schedule an Appointment

Once you've narrowed your search to a few candidates, meet with each potential photographer before making your final choice. Remember that your photographer will spend many hours with you on your wedding day, so the photographer you choose should be someone who you enjoy talking to and who understands your priorities.

When meeting with potential photographers, do your best to describe the look and feel of the photographs you're seeking. Ask the photographer how he or she achieves the type of photographs that you want, and ask the photographer to show you examples of work that match the style you seek. This will help you narrow your search.

At Bella Sera, we recommend  Redford Photography  for clients seeking flexible, personable photographers who can take photographs in a variety of styles. To make an appointment with Bella Sera,  contact us  today at (724) 745-5575, or  contact our photographer  at Redford photography at 724-743-5700.


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By Erin Levers 16 Jan, 2018

Winter might be the coldest season, but these winter wedding trends are hot! Keep your new spouse and guests warm with these exciting winter wedding ideas.

Neon Sign

Winter is dark, but neon signs light up the party. To purchase a custom-made neon sign for your reception, contact a local sign maker. Match the color of the sign to your wedding colors. If you're not sure what type of message to convey, use a combination of your initials or a favorite quote.

Second Outfit for Groom

Brides  change their clothes between the ceremony and the reception. Why not the groom? After all, grooms like to get casual and comfy just as much as brides, so a second outfit for the groom can make the party even more exciting. If you're not sure what type of outfit to choose, try thick woolen dress pants with a velvet sports coat or something else warm, comfortable and wintery.

Leather Jacket

The bride won't be chilly in her wedding dress when she’s wearing a warm, white leather jacket. When choosing the jacket, wear  the dress so you can see the two pieces of clothing together. A puffy white dress under the leather will help draw attention to the style and cut of the jacket while also placing emphasis on the dress itself.

Velvet

Velvet is the ultimate material to use in winter because it's soft, elegant and luxurious. You can use leather with nearly any outfit, from the bridal gown to the groom's suit. Want to use velvet elsewhere in the wedding? Velvet can be found anywhere from wedding invitations to shoes to linens on the table. Look for exciting colors like blue, green and red to spice up your winter wedding.

Giant Wreath

Wreaths are a symbol of unending time and infinity. This makes a giant wreath a powerful symbol at a winter wedding. You can opt for using a wreath at your  reception, or even during the ceremony. You can also use it  as an interesting backdrop for your wedding pictures.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, there are many fun winter wedding trends that you can use to make your winter wedding a more enjoyable and memorable event. At Bella Sera, it was difficult coming up with our favorites because there were so many good ideas! We'd like to give an honorable mention to:

  • Hot cocoa bar . Help your guests stay toasty warm with hot drinks! Let them pick their own toppings like marshmallows, crushed candy canes and chocolate candies.
  • Blankets. Use his-and-her woolen blankets for the bride, groom and guests at the reception.. Blankets can help keep chairs comfy and make the party more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Faux fur . Use faux fur to dress up the wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. In addition to looking beautiful, faux fur helps keep people warm!

Planning a Winter Wedding? Contact Bella Sera Today

If you're getting married this winter, these trendy, fun wedding ideas will help fill your wedding day with fun, beauty and magic for everyone. At Bella Sera, we can help you get your wedding off the ground and soar to new heights! To get started,  contact us today  at (724) 745-5575.


By Erin Levers 09 Jan, 2018

If you're from Pittsburgh, it's likely that you’ll show some sort of yinzer in your your wedding. What are some of the must-haves for your Pittsburgh wedding? Where will you show off your love for your hometown?

Cookie Table

cookie table  is a Pittsburgh working-class tradition that goes back generations. It goes back to when  new immigrant families could not afford to pay for large, extravagant wedding cakes. So relatives of the bride and groom would bake for hours in the days or weeks prior to the wedding, making hundreds of beautiful and delicious cookies for guests to savor and enjoy.

However, in modern times, the cookie table has become a little less thrifty and a little more professional, as many Pittsburgh couples give their favorite recipes to local bakeries to have their cookies professionally made. This takes some of the burden off of family members while ensuring that guests have plenty of cookies to eat and bring home.  

Bridal Dance

The bridal dance differs from one culture to the next. here are many different versions of the bridal dance in Pittsburgh– some involving pinning dollars to the bride's dress to pay for a dance at the reception. In other versions, the money is collected by a bridesmaid or simply placed in a shoe.

No matter what your background is or where your family comes from, bridal dances are still very popular in Pittsburgh. If you're not sure what kind of bridal dance your family traditionally performs, talk to your older relatives, and also look through old pictures.

Pittsburgh-Themed Engagement Photos

Think about it: Where is your favorite place in Pittsburgh? Is it a comic book store? A pizza parlor? What about a park or an intersection? Pick out some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh, then visit them with your photographer and your fiance.

To make your photography session extra special, visit meaningful places around the city where you and your fiance have somewhat of a history. Revisit the site of your first kiss, first date, the place where you met. Your photographer will have some good ideas,, but it's vitally important to capture the images that are meaningful to you and your spouse-to-be. Most of all, have fun with these pictures; you'll have them forever!

Steelers Paraphernalia

If you're a native of Pittsburgh, you likely have strong feelings for the Steelers. Typically, it's no surprise  that many Pittsburgh natives like to place Steelers paraphernalia on their wedding cake, in their decorations and even on their wedding clothes. Don't want a Steelers logo on your tie or wedding dress? That’s fine. Try making your Steelers references more subtle by choosing yellow and black wedding colors. Your guests will get it. These funky shades make a strong statement while also adding a little fun to your ceremony.

Contact Bella Sera to Plan Your Wedding

At Bella Sera, we help Pittsburgh couples plan their perfect wedding. Our beautiful grounds make the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and reception. To get started planning your wedding in 2018,  contact us today  for an appointment and consultation.

By Erin Levers 02 Jan, 2018

Are you planning to get married in 2018?  Now is the time to set the date! Wedding venues, photographers and caterers can get booked up fast. There are many factors to consider when trying to pick a wedding date. Availability, expense and seasonal events can all affect what time of year is right for marriage. In this post, we'll explore those factors more in-depth to help you make the decision.

Date Popularity

Date popularity will have the biggest impact on how much you pay for your venue, so if budget is a concern, pick your wedding date carefully. Weekends in summer are the most popular time to get married. Wedding venues, photographers, caterers and other vendors typically  charge more for services during these times and book up fast. So if you're planning to be married in summer, start planning early. And if you're planning  a winter, fall or spring wedding,, you'll have more flexibility.  

Availability of Friends and Family

If having close friends and family at your wedding is important to you, their availability might have an influence on the date you pick. Run the date past your best man, maid of honor, groomsmen, bridesmaids and parents first.

Work Schedule

If you and your spouse-to-be  work full time, your work schedules will have a big influence on your stress levels when the wedding date arrives. Choose a time of year when your workload is expected to be low. This will help keep you “in the moment” by relieving your stress  so you can truly enjoy your big day.

Weather

Weather and the beauty of the landscape can impact  a wedding, especially if it is to held outdoors. Ultimately, all seasons have positive qualities, so you'll have to decide what's best for you. Do you want to see flowers in bloom? Are colorful leaves important to you? Do you prefer  a chill in the air? Do you dream of a snowy wedding?

If you're planning an outdoor event, work with your venue to ensure that your guests will be comfortable no matter what the season. Tents, shade cover and heaters can help make your wedding or reception comfortable no matter what time of year.

Holidays and Symbolic Dates

Holidays and symbolic dates are special times for couples to get married. Many couples choose Christmas, Valentine's Day or on the anniversary of  the day they met. When choosing a holiday or symbolic date to get married, consider all the factors and keep these things in mind:

  • Will the date you choose interfere with your guest's normal work or family obligations?  

  • What might  the weather be like on that date?

  • What will be happening at work on that date?

Considering these factors can help you select a smart date for your wedding and prevent scheduling problems.

Contact Bella Sera

At Bella Sera, we're happy to help you plan your wedding no matter what time of year it is.  Contact us  for a consultation and we'll show you our grounds and discuss your plans. Call today at (724) 745-5575.


By Erin Levers 28 Dec, 2017

New Years Eve weddings really are the best! Knowing what to anticipate on New Years Eve will help you plan the wedding event of a lifetime.

Go Glamorous!

There's no night of the year that is more glamorous than New Year's Eve. Maybe that's why silver and gold are such common colors for New Year’s Eve wedding events. Shiny gold goblets, silver and gold cake and gold and silver decorations are all an expected part of the scene at a New Year’s Eve wedding ceremony.

Pass Out Fun New Years Favors

Noise makers, funny hats, silver and gold glasses and fistfuls of confetti are all typical decorations and accessories that you might encounter at a New Year's party. Of course, all of these accessories make great favors and decorations. You and your guests will have a fabulous time waving and playing with decorations as you party toward the countdown.

Never Forget Your Anniversary

One of the greatest advantages to having your wedding on New Year's Eve is that you'll never forget your anniversary! In fact, you can plan a huge get-together with friends, or an intimate night with just the two of you for every New Year's Eve to come. Think of this night as your special night, forever.

Plan Well In Advance

Planning well in advance is important for a New Year's wedding. After all, your party won't be the only one in town. Make reservations at your venue and with photographers, caterers and other professionals months in advance of the actual event. Of course, the great advantage to having your reception on the year's biggest party night is that everyone will be in a celebratory mood. Your guests will have a great time partying the night (and the year) away.  

Go Late Into the Night

Your wedding reception may go on for hours past midnight, if you're getting married on New Year’s Eve. To ensure that you're able to party until the last person leaves, talk to your venue about making your reservations go late into the night.

Bring a Change of Clothes

To be sure that you're in proper dress for a party, bring a change of clothes to your reception. Or, if you want to stay in your wedding dress, buy one that's short-sleeved to ensure you won't get hot on the dance floor.

Contact Bella Sera

At Bella Sera, we help couples plan New Year's Eve and holiday weddings. We have everything you need, including great food and a beautiful venue for the greatest New Year's Eve party of your life. To see our grounds and talk about your wedding plans, contact us today for a consultation. We're happy to help you get started with your exciting wedding plans! Call us at (724) 745-5575.
By Erin Levers 19 Dec, 2017

Christmas is an incredibly romantic time of year to get married! Whether you're getting married outside in the snow or inside by a crackling fire, Christmas makes weddings beautiful.  Enjoy your Christmas-themed wedding with creative decorations, seasonal formal wear and hot, yummy beverages.

White, Green or Red Cape

To keep your arms and body warm, wear a luxurious floor-length cape made of satin, velvet or faux fur. White is the traditional color for brides, but red and green are the colors of the season. Pick your favorite color and have fun wearing your cape through the ceremony and reception.

Hanging Mistletoe

To make your wedding merry, hang mistletoe over the archway where you give your vows, and in an entrance to your reception area. You'll have a great time kissing your loved one with this seasonal plant hanging overhead.

Hot Drinks

Hot drinks make everyone feel warm, cheerful and loved at the holidays. To give your guests a tasty treat, serve mulled cider, wassail or Irish coffee at your reception. Make the experience even more exciting by serving drinks in golden goblets.  

Pine Table Runner

Pine is the perfect table decoration at this time of year. Not only is it beautiful greenery, but it's also scented! Collect fresh pine branches from outside, then bind them together with pieces of twine or string. Form the pine into a long table runner, then intersperse red berries or roses. If you're expecting children at your holiday reception, avoid using toxic Christmas berries like holly.

Scarves

Scarves are the perfect accessory for keeping grooms, groomsmen and bridesmaids warm! For the most attractive results, choose scarves that match outfits and wedding colors.

Candlelight Ceremony and Reception

Candlelight is so romantic and beautiful! You can place your lighted candles on your altar during the ceremony or on the reception table with the food. Be extra careful to prevent fire danger. If small children will be at your reception, use artificial candles. And of course, check with the wedding venue before lighting wicks at either event.

Christmas-Themed White Sangria

White sangria makes every reception more enjoyable. At Christmastime, the best white sangrias to use will have cranberries and sprigs of rosemary for a little something green and a little something red. Want to add a little sparkle to your splash? Include star-shaped apple slices in the mix. This makes a wonderful signature drink for your event!

Horse-drawn Sleigh

Oh, what fun it is to ride in a horse drawn sleigh! Make your grand entrance  at your wedding in a sleigh or in a majestic horse-drawn carriage. You'll never forget the ride to your ceremony or the departure. And neither will anyone else.

Oversized Wreath

Dress up bare walls using oversized Christmas wreaths made from natural pine. This will help your reception area smell (and feel) more like Christmas.

Sparkling Twinkle Lights

White twinkle lights will make your wedding and reception sparkly and festive. Hang them from the ceiling, use them to decorate the reception table or run them around the tree at your reception.  

Contact Bella Sera

At Bella Sera, we help couples plan their holiday wedding. To get started with your upcoming wedding,  contact us today  at (724) 745-5575 to view our grounds and discuss your plans.

By Erin Levers 12 Dec, 2017

By far, summer is the most popular time of year to get married, but did you know there are tons of reasons to get married in winter? From seasonal decorations to beloved holiday music, winter is a wonderfully special time to get married.  

Play Christmas Music

Not sure what kind of music to play at your reception? What about everyone's favorite Christmas carols? Whether you're bopping to the jingle bell rock, or having a blue, blue Christmas, there are a million and one famous and well-loved Christmas songs that can make dancing at your reception unique and special.

Enjoy Free Decor

Most wedding venues put up Christmas decor around the holidays to make their spaces seem more festive and joyful. Guess what? Your wedding party can take full advantage of this decor and use it as a backdrop for your perfect day! Holiday decor can cut back your decorating expenses, which allows you to dedicate more money to other resources, like food, dress or the honeymoon.

Wrap Up in Beautiful Winter Shawls

Nothing compares to the cozy beauty of a winter shawl over a wedding dress. Whether you're looking for something fur-lined or cable-knit, winter clothes allow brides to accessorize in attractive seasonal ways.

Choose Christmas Colors

Christmas colors can be beautiful wedding colors. Decorate your reception and ceremony with rich red flowers and berries, evergreen branches, and flowers in shades of white. You'll forever remember your wedding when you see Christmas colors at the holidays.

Use Fake Snow, or Enjoy the Real Thing!

Snow isn't predictable, even in the middle of winter, unless you're planning to be married in a mountainous area. Even without real precipitation, you can still use artificial snow to remind everyone of the beautiful time of year. Artificial snow creates a shimmery, magical environment for your wedding reception.

Enjoy Safe Conditions On Your Honeymoon

Hurricane season coincides perfectly with the summer wedding season, so many new married couples risk traveling to Caribbean islands for their summer honeymoon. You can avoid these problems and worries by planning your honeymoon in winter, when the weather is mild and safe.  

Decorate with Lanterns and Candles

Lanterns and candles are very  romantic, making them the perfect decor for a winter wedding. Plan to use artificial or real candles, depending on the location and size of your wedding. If you're planning to use real candles, talk to your wedding venue about their fire safety policies and what you can do to keep your guests safe.

Serve Hot Drinks

Hot drinks are the best! Hot chocolate, Irish coffee and other tasty beverages are best served in winter. On a related note, many wedding couples will package the ingredients for hot cocoa  and give them away as wedding favors. These attractive gifts are practical and fun to use. Sending your guests home with a hot drink mix is a great way to say thank you!

Contact Bella Sera

No matter what time of year, couples in Pittsburgh come to Bella Sera to plan the perfect wedding. With beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces for weddings and receptions, we can help you plan a lovely and memorable event. To make an appointment for a consultation and to see our wedding spaces,  contact us  at (724) 745-5575.

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