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 7.8.11

July 8th, 2011

I swear, these last few weeks have gone by so quickly. As my wedding quickly approaches and I am remembering little DIY projects I said I was going to do for the big day, I think “how can I ever get it all done?” I love crafting and DIY projects. I get such a sense of accomplishment when I am finished. As I was searching for a cute idea for pew decorations at my church, I came across this DIY Tutorial by Project Wedding.

It looks so easy and inexpensive, I might just have to give it a go! I will be sure to post pictures when they are done!


Friday Finds 3.18.11

March 18th, 2011

So this find is courtesy of my recent marriage class and meeting at my church for a Q&A session. I know we were completely lost on where to start when looking for ceremony readings. It was suggested that we look at Together for Life by Joseph Champlin. This is a short little 96-page book that gives readings and even a little guide to help you plan out your wedding ceremony. I just got mine in the mail last week, so I have it on hand for my brides… and for myself of course!


Thank you, Jesus!

March 14th, 2011

As I mentioned in my late Friday Finds post, Joey and I had a jam-packed weekend which included our marriage class. Since our schedules are so packed, we decided that the best thing for us would be to pick one that was only one or two days and squeeze it in. We found a perfect one that was Friday evening and all day Saturday at Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township. I was nervous as heck going into this class. I had heard so many horror stories about them. The topics include faith, finances, parenthood, natural family planning, and sex. Yep, you heard it right. Sex. I was not extremely excited about the prospect of talking about sex with a priest. I mean, how awkward can it get?!

I was surprised when we got there on Friday night. There were about 25 engaged couples. It couldn’t be too invasive with that large of a group there. In reality, the weekend was really nice. We had beer and wine on Friday night, an awesome breakfast and lunch provided on Saturday and it wasn’t intrusive at all. We discussed generalized questions within each topic with our small table of people and the married couple serving as the leader of the discussion.

Just because I am converting to Catholicism, doesn’t mean I push it or any religion on anyone. I do however, think that Joey and I benefited a lot from this weekend. Let me tell you why. Joey and I were forced to talk about certain topics such as communication, adjustment to marriage/living together, finances, parenthood, faith and sex. As we went through the questions asked during the small group discussions, I realized the importance of each topic.

Finances can be the main source of stress and divorce in the first years of marriage. Sit down and discuss how you can combine your financial techniques to make both of you happy. Parenthood is another topic that is extremely important to discuss prior to marriage. Despite what you would think, there are way too many people out there who have not discussed whether or not they want children. I am well aware of Joey’s plans to sell any little girls we have so we can be sure to have only boys. Just kidding :)

I don’t think I really need to go into more depth on the sex topic and luckily they sent us to a private spot to discuss this one on one rather than having to do it as part of a group. But the key was to make sure you have similar ideas on sex. Discuss it when you are not about to hop into bed. You’ll both have clearer minds.

Many couples are now considered inter-faith. Does it mean that you shouldn’t be together? Definitely not. It just means that you need to discuss how each other feels about their faith (or lack thereof) and be supportive of each other no matter what the differences. If one of you is Jewish and the other is Christian, find a way to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas together. And if you don’t know much about the other’s religion, take time to learn about it. You’ll have a better understanding of where the other stands.

When I look back at the discussions during this two-day experience, I can see the one topic that was recurring through any discussion. Communication. That really is the key to any successful marriage. If you can’t communicate with each other, you will never be able to truly resolve your problems.

The whole point of this post was not to tell you that you should or need to take part in a marriage class. It was to simply tell you that these are important topics and whether you do it in a class or sitting on your couch at home, you should discuss them. Let’s get that divorce rate down!


All the days of our lives…

February 21st, 2011

Lately, I have been thinking about whether or not write our own wedding vows. I love the idea of writing down our thoughts and feelings and sharing them with everyone. However, I know me. I am going to be a nervous wreck that day. This would not be the time for me to go off script and start my nervous babbling, which I do. ALL. THE. TIME. Before making this big decision, I thought I would do some research to help make an educated decision.

The first step should be to ask your future intended what his/her thoughts are about this. If they are completely opposed, then the answer is no. Don’t argue it or push it. You want your FI to be happy and carefree on your big day.

Once you have both agreed, you should discuss what type of vows you want to write. Together. Do you want sentimental, cute, comedic? You want to make sure you are both on the same page. If you prepare something very sentimental and he prepares something funny, one of you is bound to be upset and the other will just be embarrassed. So make sure you are both on the same page.

When you begin to write, sit down and think about why you are marrying this person. Why do you love them? How did you know you loved them? What is your favorite quality of your FI? This is the time to put it all out there. Does he make you laugh even when you are ready to cry? Does he give the best hugs? Do his habits of putting socks on the floor instead of in the hamper drive you crazy, but you love him anyway? Tell him!!

If you are having more trouble with writing them than you thought, do your own research. Find a quote that reminds you of your relationship. Pick a movie that describes you two perfectly and explain why. This is not something that you should throw together last-minute. You should spend time thinking and reflecting. There are a ton of books out there that can help when writing your own vows. You can even do some light reading to help get you inspired by reading The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time by David Lowenherz.

Lastly, you want to write it out word for word. Write exactly how you want to say it. Chances are you will rely on your written vows more than you think. Once you have done that – practice, practice, practice!! You do not want to stumble over your words. Maybe you won’t even have to refer to your written notes.

Whatever you do, write from the heart. Do what feels right. After all, that is how you got into this situation in the first place.


Sorry! I’ve been snowed in!

February 16th, 2010

You’d think that would mean that I would have all the time in the world to blog, blog, blog. However, after being stuck in the house for almost a week the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer. Also, two of the appointments I had scheduled were cancelled because there was no power in the area. I guess that was a good enough reason to have to cancel! Besides, we were not able to get out of the 2 feet of snow packed in around our house until Monday morning anyway. Today, they were both rescheduled for this coming weekend. At least that part is back on track.

So what else have I been trying to do while I have been snowed in? Well, I have been trying to get an appointment with the priest of the church where we hope to get married. This has been quite the process because we were not members at any particular church prior to this. So what is so difficult about this? Well let me tell you. I am Methodist. Joe is Catholic. The church ceremony is very important to Joe. While I wanted an outside ceremony, I know this is something that means a lot to him. We started going to churches in the area and found one close to our house that we both love. I called to find out how to register Joe as a member. We also found out that Catholic churches will not accept you as a member unless you are within their parish limits unless permission is obtained from the parish whose limits you do live within.

After learning that, we contacted the church closest to us to get permission. He had to speak directly to the priest of that parish and explain why he wanted to join another church. They then would send a letter to the church we wish to join. Once that and the registration form was received by the church we wanted to marry in, we had to call to give some basic info to the coordinator who would then forward our info to one of the priests. We are waiting for the priest to get back to us now. As if that wasn’t enough to go through, I found out that the church was a very popular church for weddings, making me nervous that there may not be any available dates. Believe me, I have had numerous headaches and sleepless nights stressing about this. I know we are in the final steps, but I just have no idea if or when we can get married in that church.

Again, I feel like I should offer tips when choosing a church and how to avoid this type of situation.

1. If you think you might someday want to get married in a church, make sure that you join as soon as you can. I know it may seem presumptuous to join a church solely for the potential of a wedding, but you will not have to wait 3 weeks just to get the proper paper work through in order to speak to someone about a date. If you decide to wait, be prepared to have all your other planning held up until you can set a date at the church.
2. Do your research. If your church isn’t one that is always booked up for weddings, you may have a little more leeway. You might be able to consider looking for your reception site first.
3. If you want to get married at a church you do not usually attend, make sure you go to a few masses. Try to go to them at different times too. You will notice that the music can be different at each services. I know I have seen a regular organist, a full band, a children’s choir, and an adult choir. Unless you already plan on getting an outside musician, you will want to hear all of the options before choosing. This is also a good idea if the church has multiple priests. You will want to try to see mass with each of the priests before choosing who will do your service or if you really do like the church enough to book your wedding there.
4. Be persistent! It took numerous phone calls to actually get to this point. If you have to do all of these things before you can meet with the priest, they are not going to call you to see if they can help.