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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.

Makeover time!

November 30th, 2011

Any newlywed bride knows that when the wedding planning is over, you go through a little bit of withdrawal. You have all this free time that you just don’t know what to do with. And of course there is the slow… ok, rapid decline of your body because of course you don’t quite stop yourself when those french fries are staring you in the face because you no longer have that dress to fit into.

Now, I am lucky enough to have gotten my wonderful job at the Mansion because now I can help plan other weddings. But the other part, well I am completely guilty. Add that on top of the faded tan and grown out hair that I haven’t cut in almost 3 months and I was in a rut. I’d wake up, shower up and do my make-up. Then I’d still feel icky.

So I scheduled myself a hair appointment. I have been seeing the same stylist for 3 or 4 years now. I love her. You know how you get attached to people, well she is no exception. Katy from La Pomponnee in Mt. Lebanon is a pretty stellar hair stylist. I trust her opinion and know she would never steer me wrong. I think this whole thing actually came about because I was an awful client and completely forgot about my appointment and had to wait an additional 2 weeks to get in to see her. By this point, I was so fed up with my hair that I was ready for something drastic.

I started doing research and found this picture of Reese Witherspoon on

I haven’t had bangs since the third grade. So I was hesitant to do something as drastic as that. But I couldn’t get that picture out of my head. So I took it to Katy and said, “What do you think?” I could tell she was hesitant, so I just asked her to do what she thought was best.

I also set up an appointment with the wonderful and fabulous Julie Marckisotto, owner of Pittsburgh Makeup, who did my makeup on my wedding day. You can also read the blog featuring an interview with her here. I was never a little girl obsessed with makeup and dolls growing up. I was more interested in playing with Tonka trucks. So it is no surprise that I never really learned how to do makeup.

Enlisting Julie to teach me how to  do my makeup was the best decision I ever made. She helped me go through my makeup bag and picked out the pieces that actually do work and the ones that are slightly (meaning VERY) old and needed thrown out. Then, it was on to teaching me some techniques so I am able to recreate the look again in the future. That’s why the lessons are so great! Sure, she can do my makeup for me, but it only lasts one day. With the lesson, I can do it over and over again.

We started with a day look, which of course, I didn’t get an pictures of. I forgot. Ugh. But then Julie showed me how to vamp it up a little and create a night look by just adding a little bit here and there.

I can’t believe I am about to do this, but I am showing you a before and after. The before is a little embarrassing because I am completely makeup-less and my hair is kind of all over the place. To be honest, it’s not like I go out in public looking quite THAT bad. But I was on my way to the hair stylist and didn’t really do much to myself since I knew they would do everything for me :) So here goes nothing.



Now I know it might look like it, but I did not cut the length of my hair. It was a self portrait, so it is just the angle. The bangs aren’t quite the same as Reese’s, but I trusted Katy.

So? Tell me what you think!!!



Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 21

November 29th, 2011

Ok, now these are some bridal shoes if I ever saw them. These Glint ‘Devyn’ Sandals (which can be found at Nordstrom!) are the perfect shoes to show off your personality. Because if you like these, you truly value the power of bling like me. Nothing can make you feel better than a good pair of shoes. Your wedding day is no different. Did I say that before? Whoa, deja vu. Anyway… another great thing is that they are reasonably priced!



Back me up here!

November 28th, 2011

I have seen a TON of dresses lately with open backs. I am absolutely loving this trend. There is part of me that wants to think these dresses are a little riske, but the other part is saying “Oh la la!” I am definitely one who thinks that leaving it all out there is not flattering on anyone. I mean, keep it classy ladies! However, there is something about an open back that says classy and sexy all in one. Here are a few I found that are favorites of mine from Kleinfeld Bridal.






















































Friday Finds 11.25.11

November 25th, 2011

Well, how many of you went out this morning into the crazy world of shopping? I did NOT. I rather like sitting behind my computer purchasing things for the same great discount. I only enjoy watching the news on Black Friday so that I can see the ridiculousness that is happening across the country. I mean, really. Is it really worth pushing some lady around just to get that sandwich maker for cousin Larry?

So for those of you who stayed in, like me (well, technically, I am at work!), and are doing your shopping online, I have the perfect site for you to check out. Dress Rush is an awesome site for brides looking for dresses, accessories, place cards, etc. All of which are listed at a reduced rate for a certain period of time. Think Groupon, but for brides. They even have some FREE deals. Who doesn’t love free?!?!

Oh and a little added bonus, yours truly is going to be helping them to write some of their info pages. So be sure to check them out once they are up and published!




Because we love you…

November 23rd, 2011

We love brides. And grooms. We truly do. With the holiday season upon us, we’ve decided to give a little something to those who love us back.

How does 10% off sound? For anyone who “likes” our Facebook page or follows us on Twitter and books a 2012 or 2013 wedding at the Mansion between Black Friday and December 31st, youwill get 10% off your reception package.

It gets better. For anyone who “likes” our Facebook page AND follows us on Twitter, you will get 15% off your reception package!!!

Yeah, it’s a pretty awesome deal. Besides, you want to follow us anyway. I am full of wedding tips, ideas and advice. Things you NEED to know!

So follow and like and get a discount. Pretty easy! Oh and call (412.427.2877)or email me ( to set up your tour so we can get to planning!! 



Pittsburgh Chevy Sonic Sweets Tour

November 23rd, 2011

I bet you read that title and thought, “What the heck?” I did too. Earlier this fall, I worked with Jamie Dray of the Pittsburgh favorite WeddObsessed. We became fast friends and as she says, “Us bloggers have to stick together.” So she, being the sweet thing she is, passed along my information for an invite to the Pittsburgh Chevy Sonic Sweets Tour. 

I know, I know. You still don’t quite get what this means. So let me tell you. A bunch of us bloggers here in Pittsburgh met up in Dormont for an afternoon of driving and eating. Driving the new Chevy Sonic and eating yummy delicious treats across Pittsburgh from three locally owned bakeries- Sugar Cafe , Dozen Bake Shop, and Gluuteny. Being that I blog for all you brides out there, I knew it was my duty to venture all over the city to taste test items from each bakery. After all, bakeries are a very important part of weddings. Eating these delicious treats all afternoon was torture. It was torture, I tell you. Pure torture…

We took a few minutes at the beginning of the tour to talk about the new Chevy Sonic, which I later got to drive. It was a hatchback and is considered one of their small cars. This car did not feel cramped and drove really nice! I was pleasantly surprised. You know that feeling you get when you are driving a car you are not familiar with? The one that you just feel completely out of sorts? I really didn’t get that feeling with this one… other than the fact that I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the windshield wipers and it was raining. I am used to driving a 6-cylinder, so it took a little getting used to since this was a 4-cylinder. But overall, it was a nice car. We were discussing on the ride that it would be the perfect car for young professionals.

Now… on to the good stuff! Our first stop was Sugar Cafe in Dormont, where we tasted lemon pound cake, vanilla bean macaroons, and Irish Carbomb mini cupcakes. Yum.

I have to say that this was probably my favorite stop of the day, but it was tough competition! I, personally, am just more a fan of fruity desserts. The lemon pound cake was phenomenal! The vanilla bean macaroon was placed on top of a delicious raspberry sauce that really just made it stand out to me. It was also the only place where I ate every bite and did not take home a doggie-bag :(

Next stop, Dozen Bake Shop in Lawrenceville. This shop was recently opened under new ownership. They have closed a few of the shops throughout the city, but the Lawrenceville and Oakland shops remain. I wish I had gotten a photo of the adorable chandeliers, but I was too busy tasting to take too many photos.

We tasted cupcake push-pops, pumpkin gobs, apple “pop-tarts,” and mini cupcakes. This is also where my sugar shock started to kick in, so I had a bite of everything and then packed up my leftovers in a to-go box so I could share with my hubby.

My favorite here was the pumpkin gob. It was not overwhelmingly sweet and was melt-in-your-mouth moist. Mmmm…

Our last stop was Gluuteny in Squirrel Hill. I thought this was an interesting choice because all of their goods are gluten- and casein-free. In many cases, people who have gluten allergies are also allergic to a number of other things including dairy and oats.

Now, I am not allergic to any foods (thankfully!!) and was a little nervous to taste these goodies because I had no clue what they would taste like. I had recently tasted some non-dairy chocolate chip cookies made by a friend who’s baby has a milk protein allergy. They were surprisingly good and I really couldn’t taste the difference. I made sure to pick up some pizza dough mix for her while I was here. See, her husband makes some of the BEST pepperoni rolls I have ever tasted and while we enjoyed, she just sat there and drooled. Anyway, back to the tasting!

The first treat was a pumpkin cupcake. As I mentioned, the sweets had started to get to me, so I mostly stuck to eating the cupcake itself with minimal icing. This was the only one I got photos of too. I think it is because everyone was hesitant to jump in. However, once they tasted these, the rest disappeared pretty quickly. We also had their brownies and a raspberry almond cake. Which brings me to a great tip for all of my brides out there…

Each and every one of these bakeries does make wedding cakes. Yep! You heard right. Now there is a wedding cake out there for every bride. Whether you are like me and can eat anything or whether you have dietary restrictions, you can find a cake for you. And if you do have dietary restrictions, no one else will even know they are eating gluten-free cake. I promise. I didn’t!



Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 20

November 22nd, 2011

Oh Valentino… How I love you. You honestly cannot go wrong with anything Valentino, but take a peak at these glamorous d’Orsays! Nothing like a little glam for your wedding day. Swoon!

Want them? Nordstrom. Now go. Buy. Love.



Inspiration: Emerald City… the rustic version

November 21st, 2011

One of the reasons why I love fall is that I get to wear boots. That and that jewel tones are HUGE. One of the colors I like best is emerald. It’s my birthstone. So when I was creating this inspiration board for one of our brides, I just fell in love with the idea of an emerald green fall wedding. It is DIFFERENT than your typical orange fall weddings. After all, just because you love fall and want a fall wedding, doesn’t mean you are pigeon-holed into using brown and orange as your colors. This inspiration board also brings in a hint of rustic, vintage flair for those brides who love the outdoors as well. This is also perfect for this time of year because it is that weird stage between fall and winter (yes, I know it is technically not winter until December).

Credits (clockwise from top): 1. Mantel Decor, Web Guru   2. Centerpiece, The Knot   3. Wishing Tree, Wedding Wire   4. Cake, Rebecca Thuss   5. Caramel Apples, CA Event Planning   6. Moss Letters, Sweet Chic Events   7. Burlap Bags, Wedding Bee   8. Bridesmaids gown, Alfred Sung   9. Escort Cards, Wedding Bee   10. Table Numbers, Wedding Bee




Friday Finds 11.18.11

November 18th, 2011

Just a few weeks ago I posted a great gift option for your groomsman from Etsy. This week, I am featuring an amazing gift option for your fathers or even your groom. I fell in love with this pocket watch by ArtinspiredGifts (also on Etsy!). The workmanship is incredible. I really think the photos will speak for themselves. And if you are itching to buy one, like me (I just need to think of someone to give it to for Christmas!), you can purchase it on Etsy at ArtinspiredGifts.







Real Wedding: Metra & Al 9.24.11

November 16th, 2011

Al & Metra were married on September 24, 2011. Technically, that is fall, which means that in Pittsburgh you never know what is going to happen weather-wise. Metra & Al did not want to take any chances with rain… or anything for that matter. They had their dream wedding. It was gorgeous. As I said, they did not want to take chances on the rain. They decided to bring in another tent for the ceremony. Look at the amazing aisle runner created by Bill Chisnell Productions! Quite whimsical!

The main tent was where dinner was served. In this space they really created an extension of the Mansion by draping the entire tent and putting in pink carpeting. They had pink and green floral chandeliers throughout the dinner space.

Later, the ceremony tent was transformed into a lounge area where dessert and drinks were served.


Venue: The Mansion at Maple Heights (of course!)

Event and Floral Production: Bill Chisnell Productions

Linens: Mosaic

Party Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental

Catering: big Catering

Wedding Planner: Tim Komen of TK Events

DJ: DJ Nate Da Phat Barber

Singer: Chrisette Michelle

While all of the photos on this site were taken by our staff here at the Mansion, Joe Appel was the photographer for the event. You can see some of his photos from their wedding here.

Until next time,