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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.

Bridal Boot Camp: Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

December 23rd, 2013

These are seriously one of my favorite snacks EVER! I love to make these because they are so incredibly easy. They are from one of my favorite clean eating sites, The Gracious Pantry. She truly has some awesome recipes that will make eating healthy so easy for you. You’ll wonder why you haven’t done it sooner!

The cinnamon chocolate chip protein bars make me feel like I am cheating on my diet.



Photo by The Gracious Pantry

You really need to head on over to her website and get the full recipe and make these. If you are a late night snacker, then these are the perfect thing to snack on after dinner to curb your sweet tooth craving and keep you full until the morning!


Friday Finds 12.20.13

December 20th, 2013

I absolutely LOVE this gown! I was browsing around on Etsy and knew it would be the perfect thing to feature on today’s blog! This gown from Retro Vintage Wedding is stunning and perfect for the bride looking for that vintage flair. And let’s just be honest, how amazing is the back of this dress?!?!







The Three V’s

December 19th, 2013

I hear the same lines all the time. You only get one wedding. It’s one day for the rest of your life. Your wedding day should be perfect. But how do you make that happen? How to you ensure that your wedding day will be perfect and one that your guests will talk about for years to come?

If you’ve never planned a wedding before, then you are probably feeling pretty lost. Most brides plan their big day for just around one year. There are a ton of things to think about whether you plan for 5 years or 2 months. It really boils down to the three V’s – vision, vendors and venue.


How do you picture your wedding day? You may or may not know what you want your wedding to look like before the planning process begins. Some brides wait to see what strikes them as they are planning. Others have planned this day for years. However, when I say vision, I don’t necessarily mean the pretty stuff. It is also very important to think about the kind of music will be played, the food that will be served, the wedding party’s apparel, and where everything will take place. Sure, Pinterest is a great tool in figuring out how you want the wedding to look, but it won’t help you when planning your music or food.


Photographers, DJs, wedding coordinators, florists, bakeries, videographers, and the list goes on. Now that you have the perfect wedding in mind, these are the people you should trust to make this happen. Key word here is TRUST. Weddings are expensive. You only have one day to get it right. Chances are you won’t have a re-do. If you hire someone who doesn’t quite fit into your vision or cannot give you what you want, then you are just setting your day up for failure. Most wedding vendors do this every single weekend. If you hire someone, trust them to do their job. You shouldn’t have to micromanage their every move. If you feel like you need to do that, then you’ve hired the wrong person.

And while I am on the topic, please, please, please remember that you get what you pay for. I understand that you may be trying to pinch pennies where possible, but if you skimp too much you will be very disappointed. It may be worth it to splurge on your photographer whose photos you swoon over. I’ve seen some really bad vendors. It is never surprising when I find out how much was paid for their services. It goes hand in hand. Generally speaking, cost is associated with not only value but level of service. Make sure you know what you are getting when booking your vendors.


You may be thinking that I am biased by mentioning venue, but the venue will play a huge role in your planning process. You will want to look at everything they have to offer. Does the overall look of the venue fit in with your vision? If you are hoping to have a rustic/vintage wedding, a venue with a contemporary vibe will keep you from achieving that. If you are picturing a more intimate feel, a huge ballroom isn’t going to make you feel very close to your guests. If you know you want hot pink as your color, a venue with bright red carpeting will clash. Check out a few venues. Pittsburgh brides are very lucky because there is a nice range of options. If what one place has to offer doesn’t fit into your vision, then choose a different place. After all, this is YOUR day. Your one and only wedding. The venue is going to house probably the largest and most expensive party you will ever throw. Make sure you have no regrets.

While there is much more that goes into planning a wedding. There are lots of final decisions to make, but if you start with this basic outline you will have a very good start to the planning process. After that, let your vendors guide you. Our goals and jobs are to make your day perfect. Let us do that for you!


Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 83

December 17th, 2013

Ahhh… I am so glad to be back to window shopping. Honestly, after having a baby, I have barely looked at anything online besides baby stuff. Love my little guy, but this mama needs some me time! One of my best friends is getting married on December 28 this year. I am lucky enough to have been asked to be a a bridesmaid. I would do anything for her and to be asked to be such a huge part of her big day is such an honor. We have these gorgeous Dessy bridesmaids dresses in black:

Dessy Style 2882


Since her colors are black, white and silver, she has asked us to wear silver shoes. I found a couple of really cute pairs from Zappos and can’t decide. What do you think?

Type Z Tasia

Joe's Jeans Jacey

Betsey Johnson Altar

Caparros Baldwin



Let the voting begin!!


Bueller, Bueller…

November 15th, 2013

That must have been what you felt like with me missing for so long. Well I am back and working on some really great things to share with you. Real weddings, Tuesday Shoesday, Friday Finds, Bridal Bootcamp… the list goes on!

So why have I neglected you? Well, there has been a lot going on around here. Our 2013 wedding season is over. I can’t even believe that myself. If you are getting married in 2014, look out because it will be here before you know it! Not only that, but I also happened to have a baby at the beginning of May. Jordan Joseph decided to come a month early and surprise us all. He was only 3lbs 2oz. Little but completely healthy. And because I am a mom now, I have to share pictures of the little guy! These first two were when he was just two months old and taken by Jen McKen.


And don’t worry, my pooches are getting along with him just fine.


 And this is him now at a whopping 15lbs 5 oz and 6 months old. I think the shirt days it all, but I might be biased.

2013-11-12 07.57.57

Stay tuned!


Friday Finds 4.26.13

April 26th, 2013

Who says mother of the bride dresses have to look old and matronly? I know that was the first thing my mom wanted to avoid when I was getting married. I happened to be checking out BHLDN‘s website and came across a few mother of the bride dresses and knew I had to share. Mom’s deserve to look good too! After all, if it wasn’t for her, you wouldn’t be here!



I love this one in particular because I think it is so fun and perfect for a mom who will break it down with the rest of the bridal party. And of course, it is one that she may actually wear again!! So it is a win-win!!


Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 82

April 23rd, 2013

Yesterday, I had the privilege of heading out to grab a quick bite to eat and to Walnut Street for a quick stop at Ten Toes. I had a pretty full day of appointments, but had a small gap between and wanted to get out and enjoy a bit of the weather. I have been meaning to stop at Ten Toes for awhile now and am so glad I finally did! This shop is absolutely adorable and they are extremely accommodating and helpful from the moment you walk in. There is something about good customer service.

Now, on to the good stuff… the shoes! They have an awesome selection. I saw numerous pairs that I wanted for my collection and it took everything I had to hold back and not grab a few pairs up. They focus on getting in shoes that places like Macy’s and Nordstrom do not carry and nothing is over $100. So not only are they great to work with, but they are reasonably priced too!! If you are looking for a more traditional shoe or a dyeable shoe for your big day, they have a ton of styles to choose from. I can guarantee you won’t regret stopping by and checking it out! Here are two pictures that I stole from their Facebook page. These are adorable, right??

Ten Toes 1


Ten Toes 2


Friday Finds 4.19.13

April 19th, 2013

Today, I am featuring a piece from a friend of mine, Lucy at Bel Monili. I love this piece because I think it gives a little nod to the 1920s era.



I can imagine this on a few of my brides. And if that one doesn’t work for you, she has a TON more and can do something custom for you as well! I LOVE her work!!!


Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 81

April 16th, 2013

These shoes are just FIERCE. Seriously. I am pretty sure if you wore these you’d walk around feeling like the goddess that you are.

GuiseppeThese Guiseppi Zanotti sandals are absolutely amazing!! Pair these with a hot little black dress and you are set for the bachelorette party. No one will be guessing who the Queen for the night is in these!!



Friday Finds 4.12.13

April 12th, 2013

Well I’ve been a busy little bee today! It seems like today flew by. People calling in to book their weddings and gearing up for the wedding next weekend had me almost forget today was actually Friday! But have no fear, I still have a good find for you.

I have a lot of brides ask if they should have their wedding makeup done professionally or if they should just do it themselves to ensure that they actually “look like themselves.” My advice is ALWAYS to have it done professionally. The key is to do a trial run before to make sure that you feel and look like yourself. You can always make changes to your look then and s/he will take notes to make the day of a bit easier on both of you. The other thing I always recommend is having your foundation airbrushed and go with a little more makeup than your every day look. After all, this is not just some ordinary average day, is it? Besides, the camera loves a little more makeup and we know you will be in front of one almost every second of your big day.

I came across these “20 Great Makeup Tips” on The Knot and figured this would be a good share for the day.

Here’s a shot of me getting my makeup done on my wedding day by Julie Markisotto of Pittsburgh Makeup. She is AMAZING!! Gosh, it seems like forever ago…

ORDER 0002

Photo by Erica Hilliard Photography