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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.

Real Wedding: Lauren & Bill 5.12.12

May 30th, 2012

Well, the start of our 2012 wedding season came quicker than any of us could imagine. But it was not soon enough for me! I couldn’t wait to get our first couple of the year in here and get them married! They felt the same way.

Lauren and Bill are the cutest couple ever. The love they share is undeniable. I am pretty sure he would do absolutely any- and everything to make her happy. This is the stuff that happy marriages are built on. With that said, here are a few shots from their wedding.

Check out this gorgeous arch made of birch wood and topped off with a bit of floral accent created by Bill Chisnell productions. Super cute, right?

Lauren and Bill did a love letter ceremony. I have not seen this before and thought it was adorable. This is how it works: Prior to the wedding day, the bride and groom write love letters to each other. During the ceremony, the officiant explains the ceremony and then the two love letters are placed in the box along with a bottle of wine. The letters are unopened and the box is locked at the ceremony until an anniversary of the bride and groom’s choosing. On that anniversary, the box is opened, letters are read and wine is drank. What a great way to remind yourselves of how you felt the day of your wedding!!

Ok, seriously. How adorable is the flower girl’s tutu?! I mean, eat her up adorable!

They look just a little bit happy to finally be married, don’t they? Just a bit…

Announcing Mr. & Mrs. Petty! Her gown is gorg!!

I had to show this shot because I am a HUGE fan of stations. I think the versatility in food and the ability to eat as little or as much as you want are awesome. Not only that, but you see that chef in the shot? He’s also one of our grooms, Phil, who is getting married here next June! I promise he’s not working off his debt. He’s an awesome chef for big Burrito Catering.

I love mother-daughter dances. Who says dad should have all the fun?

Congrats Lauren & Bill!! We wish you all the happiness in the world!!

Photos by Julianna Zito


Real Wedding: Kara & Jepthah 9.17.11

March 2nd, 2012

With the recent feature in Whirl magazine, I thought this was worth a re-post… so enjoy!

I first met Kara and Jepthah at their 30 day meeting at the Mansion. With just about a month to go, we always meet with our couples to finalize things and make sure everyone is on the same page. I could tell they fit together like peas and carrots. She was excited and had a ton of questions as most brides do a month out from their big day. He was the calm one who reminded her when they already had the answer written down. That balance is so incredibly important when wedding planning, you cannot even imagine.

Of course, their wedding day came and went without a hitch. She was absolutely stunning. And he wasn’t looking too shabby either :)

I had the chance to ask a few questions to our lovely newlywed, Kara, on her return to the mainland after her romantic honeymoon to Hawaii.
On the proposal… “It was a very simple proposal, but it was perfect!  I am not one for public displays – and Jepthah knows that, so he picked me up from work on a weekday and as soon as we pulled into our garage, he asked me go into the glove box for something…and there it was!  After I said “YES!”, Jepthah told me we could go anywhere I wanted to for dinner to celebrate and we both decided that after a long day at work, all we wanted was to go out for pizza and beer, so that’s exactly what we did!”
On her favorite part of the day… “I couldn’t name just one thing!  Our entire experience at The Mansion was incredible!  It was wonderful waking up at The Mansion the morning of the wedding, having an awesome breakfast by Chef Winston, and then having my hair and make-up done at The Mansion (the bathroom in the Bridal Suite is amazing!!! – it was my personal spa for the day).  I felt like I was able to really enjoy the whole day instead of rushing around to different places.  Also, having “First Glance” photos taken before the wedding by our photographers (Cyndi and Tony Araujo of Araujo Photography) was one of the best decisions we made – It was such a special moment that I will never forget – I can’t wait to see their photos!  I know its a break in tradition, but seeing each other before the wedding helped relieve any nervousness that we were feeling and allowed us to spend more time together on our special day.  The ceremony and reception were beautiful – and we had a blast dancing outside under the tent!”
On the one thing she could not live without… “We planned our wedding in under 4 months!!!  So, I could not have lived without all the help from the staff at The Mansion and The Mansion Network vendors – Allegra from Bill Chisnell Productions (our florist) and Amanda from Big Catering were amazing!!!  They really went above and beyond to make our wedding day perfect!”

On her color scheme…  “I was definitely not the typical bride with a color palette, flowers, and every last detail planned out in my head before the planning had even begun, so with only 4 months to plan – I just picked things that I liked and hoped for the best!  Allegra from Bill Chisnell Productions really helped me along with the design aspect and made some great suggestions to tie everything together.”
On the things she would change… “NOT ONE THING!!!”
Welcome to the Mansion family, Kara and Jepthah!! We wish you all the happiness in the world!
Venue: The Mansion at Maple Heights
Catering: big Catering
Florist/Event Production: Bill Chisnell Productions
Linens: Mosaic, Inc.
Party Rentals: All Occasions
Cake: Cioppino

Real Wedding: Jen & Jordan 10.8.11

January 16th, 2012

Jen and Jordan were married on a gorgeous October afternoon. It was really a beautiful day. Their ceremony decorations were simple and whimsical. Their reception decor was awesome. And the people at the reception? Well, let’s just say they were a blast! Don’t believe me? Just check out the video.

*Disclaimer: I am a wedding planner, not a photographer. Don’t hate because I have some fuzzy shots. I’ll get better. I promise. Especially after Jen McKen gives me lessons! Don’t worry, I’ll document that process. It’s coming in a blog near you. That should be entertaining…*

Untitled from Nicole Pope on Vimeo.


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,



Real Wedding: Nicole & Joe 7.16.11

October 5th, 2011

I loved every aspect of my day. Everything went so smoothly and was incredibly easy. Since it would be odd to interview myself, I am going to use this post to feature my amazing vendors. I could not have had such a perfect day without them. This post may get a little long because I have to talk about each and every person. Plus I have so many photos to share!! Just warning you now…

I absolutely loved my hair! Brooke from Brooke Rockwell Hair Design is one of those people who is just downright impossible to dislike. She is as sweet as pie and darn good at what she does. As I mentioned I do have naturally curly hair. I was so concerned with those pesky little hairs along my forehead because I did not want them to do their curly weird thing that they tend to do when it is humid. As you know, this summer was a humid one. I don’t know what she did, but I never once had that problem.

See the woman in the background sizing up her blank slate? That, my friends, is Julie Marckisotto owner of Pittsburgh Makeup. I am not a girl who spends a ton of money or time doing my makeup. I like to do a little more for fun nights out, but not for my day to day. So when I went in for my trial run with Julie, I just told her that she could have her way with me. One thing I knew I wanted was air-brushed foundation. I used to HATE my freckles and curly hair, but as I grew older I learned to accept them as part of me and actually embrace both. I love the sun-kissed look I have in the summer when my freckles stand out just a little more than in the winter. I knew that I did not want so much foundation on my face that they were invisible. Julie did such a wonderful job with my makeup and I truly feel like I was just a more beautiful version of myself the day of my wedding. It was light and airy and I never felt like my face was going to melt off despite the 85-90 degree temperature that day.

Ok now lets move on to apparel. My dress is from David’s Bridal. But this is no stock dress. I found my dress and fell in love. I had that moment that everyone talks about when you just know. I really wanted to have some earrings that made a statement (which are from YJDesigns on Etsy) paired with a funky bracelet (from Jurgita Handmade also on Etsy). But the problem was that I wanted some bling! My gown had no bling :( It had gorgeous beading, but no shiny stuff. When I met Beteena Milacci owner of Beteena’s in Bridgeville, I knew my problems were over. Not only did she add gem stone details to my dress, but she made my gorgeous veil and the flower for my hair too. Oh and she altered my gown while she was at it. I kept her VERY busy!

The bakery appointment was one of the few that Joey insisted on being present. Of course, he wanted to taste the cake! We went to Signature Desserts because they have an awesome dessert package. Neither one of us are big cake people, so we wanted people to have an option. In fact, we did not even get enough cake for everyone to have a piece. Our desserts were set up as a buffet rather than served. The cookies were thoughtfully made by our friends and family. Of course we couldn’t skip the traditional cookie table! In fact, I am pretty sure I have enough frozen cookies, pies, cheesecakes, etc. to eat something every day for the next year.

Now let’s talk flowers… Bill Chisnell Productions is AMAZING! I honestly could have never imagined how wonderful my centerpieces, bouquets and boutonierres turned out. Bill and Allegra were so great to work with and so talented. I had an idea of what I wanted my centerpieces to look like, but they took them to a whole other level. Knowing that it would be difficult to find flowers that would go with my Tiffany blue and black theme, I knew I had to choose a third color to help the flowers pop. I saw a photo online of red with Tiffany blue and knew immediately that was my third color. Looking at these photos, I know I did not make a wrong decision. And tell me those Tiffany lamour linens from Mosaic don’t make all the difference?! I mean, they fell perfectly into my vision.

Now these are just the people who we have photos to prove their work. There was also Mr. Shannon Ritter of Power House Entertainment who provided our 80s Rock mix cocktail hour and dinner music. We didn’t want to go with the typical Frank and Dean for our dinner music, so we were happy when he obliged our request for 80s rock. He did a pretty great job of providing all our favorites. We also had Justin Yeckley of Iron City Productions behind the video camera documenting our day so I can force Joey to watch our ceremony every year on our anniversary :)

None of this would have been possible without the staff at the Mansion at Maple Heights. The best part is that I can say this without sounding conceited because I wasn’t technically a part of the staff yet. They know how grateful I am for everything…

Then of course the woman behind all of these gorgeous photos, Miss Erica Hilliard. She has such a great eye and is able to really create art. There are quite a few photos that I want to hang on my wall, not because they are my wedding photos, but because they really look like something you would buy in a gallery.