412.427.2877 | 5516 Maple Heights Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
« go home

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.

Friday Finds 4.15.11

April 15th, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot about prints. I think it is more in how you apply the print and rather than the print itself. I found this dress and absolutely love it. I love everything about it!!! Style, print, fit. Everything! The Dessy Group recently released it’s new Spring 2011 line. This is only one of the many amazing dresses in the line.

What do you think?


Now THIS is how brides should be treated!

March 1st, 2011

Well, I officially have the greatest, most thoughtful bridesmaids ever. They all know how much stress I have been under lately. Now I am not trying to make all you other bridesmaids out there look bad, but when I walked into work today and found these, I was reminded of just how great they truly are.

And what better way to give a shout out to them than to post it on here :) Thanks Jenn, Steph, Jan, Jen, Nikki and Gina <3

Now, I want to hear if your bridesmaids can top that. Tell me your stories!!


How to be a good bridesmaid, let me count the ways…

September 23rd, 2010

In the last year, I was in 3 weddings – two of which I was the Maid of Honor (MOH) and the other a bridesmaid who guided the MOH since she had never been one before. I just got a message from someone who is returning the favor as MOH in her best friend’s upcoming wedding. She said that the future bride was such a wonderful MOH that she wanted to make sure she did anything and everything to make her big day as special as her own. She asked me for tips and that got me thinking. So here are some tips for bridesmaids and MOHs to keep your brides happy:

1. Do unto others. You have all heard this before. Treat others as you want to be treated. This is not the easiest thing to do because you may not be the needy type or as laid back as your bride. The thing is that you are in the wedding because you are one of the closest friends she has. I would assume that you know her pretty well and know what she would want. So maybe I should say “do unto others as you think they would want.”

2. Have a sturdy shoulder. This is a very stressful time for brides. They want everything to be perfect. No doubt, something is bound to go wrong. But don’t tell her that! Your job is to reassure her that everything is going to be beautiful and flawless. If something does come up, take care of it – especially on the wedding day. If at all possible, make it so that she never knows anything ever happened. Sometimes things are out of your control and you may need to inform the bride. But if it is something simple like the photographer needing help rounding up the bridal party for photos, step up and help. When she is in the planning mode and is crying because the flowers aren’t the exact shade of pink that she wanted, be there for her. It may seem silly to you at the time, but to her it is a big deal. She has been envisioning how her wedding will be and when that is altered, it can be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It may not even be about the flowers. The point is, just be there for her. After all, you are one of her closest friends and that’s what friends are for.

3. Community Service. Offer to help with anything and everything – frequently. Even if you hate crafts, offer to help with the handmade favors. Even if you have only 1 free hour in an entire weekend and you could really use a nap, offer your help. If she hasn’t already, she will be in your wedding someday. You’d want the offer too. On the same page, ask how the planning is going. Make it a point to ask her when you talk to her. She’ll appreciate the fact that you are thinking about her even if you have to write it down to remind yourself.

4. Ask about dresses before you go shopping. Imagine going into a bridal shop to look for bridesmaids dresses and the bride pulling out a gown that is awful. Your immediate response might be to laugh and say, “Yeah, that would be a good one” in that sarcastic tone. But this is the very same dress she has had plastered all over her wedding binder for months because she absolutely loves it. This is why it is good to ask what she has in mind before beginning the search. If she wants a certain color that you know makes you look so pale you might as well have been hibernating in a cave for the last 3 years, suck it up. It is her wedding. You can always go to a tanning bed or get a spray tan if you are that concerned about it. Now, if she is not set on a specific color, you can politely suggest another color that may be more flattering to everyone. But be careful of wording because it isn’t about you.

5. Party!! Throw her the bridal shower and bachelorette party of her dreams. If you know she loves tea parties, throw a traditional tea party brunch for her shower. If she loves to dance, take her to a dance club to boogie down all night for her bachelorette party. Again, this is not about you and what you want. This is for her. Again, she’ll most likely do the same (if she hasn’t already) for you. I would definitely ask the bride what she has in mind for those two parties. While you are planning it, she may prefer something more casual to a fancy brunch for her shower. Don’t hire strippers without checking on the “policies” for the bachelorette and bachelor parties. If she has said no exotic dancers (I should probably use the PC term. After all I don’t discriminate, make that money!), then her future husband may be a little upset if she has men shaking their thingies in her face.

If you haven’t gotten the gist of this whole post, I will reiterate. Do what you think she wants you to do. If you are not sure, ask. And overall, just be a good friend. Don’t over think it. She’ll most likely ask for help if she needs it, but be there for her. The day is going to come and go just as fast for you as it does her. So enjoy it and be honored that they asked you to be there for them on their big day.


Bridesmaid Dress Woes

June 3rd, 2010

I was just in another wedding. Yep, that is 3 within the last 10 months. Luckily, that is the last one I am in for a while. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE being a part of my friends’ special day. I am truly honored that I would be chosen as a bridesmaid. However, my wallet is definitely hurting after being in 3 in a row. This post is more of a venting session than anything.

Despite my tendency to get things done early, I procrastinated on getting the alterations for my last bridesmaids dress, which was super cute by the way. A cute little black, halter that hit right below the knee. It was perfect for the 80 degree weather we had. When I was getting fitted for the dress, I knew what size I wanted to order before they actually measured me. I had tried on another dress by the same designer when we were dress hunting. This dress fit me perfectly. So I tracked down that dress and checked the size. When they compared my measurements to the chart, they wanted me to order a dress that was 4 sizes larger than that one! I argued and they said that the dresses tend to come in smaller. Since I had been in 2 other weddings and had ordered the same size for both of them, I knew what size I wanted. I ended up going with a dress that was one size bigger than what I wanted to order.

When the dress came in, it was waaay too big. Now granted, I did lose some weight. But not that much! I literally had 2 inches taken in around the chest and 5 1/2 from the hem at the bottom (sometimes the bottom hem can’t be avoided because they are standard lengths, but that is something to ask about). If they had let me order the dress size I had wanted and had fit me at the time, my alterations may not have come out to cost $90.

So to all you brides and bridesmaids out there: When you are purchasing bridesmaids dresses, try to find a dress by the same designer that fits you and order that size. I know some stores only carry the “common” sizes – 6-12. The dresses do run slightly smaller when ordered because the sample dresses are a little stretched out from tons of people trying them on, so keep that in mind. But if you are able to find one that fits, you can save yourself a lot of money in alterations. Another tip: Even if you do plan on having the bridal shop do the alterations, tell them you have someone else to do it. They won’t push as hard to get you to order a larger size.


I’ve been busy…

January 18th, 2010

This past weekend I had to take some time off from imagining and dreaming about my own wedding. My friend, Jenn, is getting married at the end of February. So it was bridal shower time!!! Her sister and I share the maid of honor title, so we had planned a Mad Hatter Tea Party theme for her shower. Jenn’s mom started collecting tea pots from antique stores in November, which we ended up “raffling” off to the guests. We found lots of items to use for decorations like a glass chess board and picture frames with Queen of Hearts playing cards. We decided on using lots of bright colors. I found these really cute plum colored tea pots online which I was able to purchase wholesale at a discounted price. I had intentions of using these as the vases for the centerpieces. However, the night before the shower when putting together the multi-colored Gerbera daisy centerpieces, I found these were not going to work. The opening at the top was too wide and the tea pots were not  deep enough to make the flowers stand up the way they should. I found trumpeted, clear, glass vases to replace the tea pots. This ended up looking great! We also placed one of the antique teapots on each table. The favors were organza bags stuffed with 3 different flavors of tea. We placed “Drink Me” tags on each favor bag. Rather than having a cake, we chose cupcakes which were both chocolate and vanilla with vanilla icing and multi-colored sprinkles on each. The shower was at the Crowne Plaza on Fort Couch Road. They really were wonderful and the food was excellent. The staff was very attentive and even brought out a few different colored linens to help decorate the food table and the table where the bride, bridal party, and mothers were sitting. We asked each woman to wear their craziest hat. We had a great time and everyone really enjoyed dressing up with their funniest hat.

We are not big game people, so we chose just 2 games. We decided to break up the gift opening using the games so we wouldn’t lose people. We chose to ask Jenn questions about her groom to see how much she knew about him. With each incorrect answer, she had to chew a piece of Bubble Yum and keep adding with more incorrect answers. The other game we called the candy bar game. Each table had 30 seconds to look at a tray of candy bars and memorize them. They then had to write a story about Jenn and Brian using the names of each candy bar. Then once the gifts were opened and the stories were written, they read the stories out loud. It was very entertaining to hear what people had come up with.

The shower was a great success and everyone had a great time with it. And so did we. But we were also looking forward to the night following the shower. Since Jenn has some people from out of town in her wedding party, we had the bachelorette party the same night. We went to Seviche for a drink and then back to Station Square where we ended the night. We all stayed at the Sheraton in Station Square that night, so we were able to relax and not worry about how we were going to get home. I’ll leave the details to the people who were there. It was a ton of fun and I think Jenn enjoyed her “last” night out as an unmarried woman.