Tag Archives: Katherine Shaw

Winter Wedding: Less-Expensive, Unique Option

By William Loeffler, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Sunday, January 31, 2010

“Wedding planner Katherine Shaw, who is organizing the couple’s reception, relishes the creative potential of a winter wedding. Shaw, who owns Trends to Traditions in Cranberry, married husband Conan at a Christmas-themed wedding in St. Louis.”

To see the latest winter wedding planned by Trends To Traditions, click below:

Bachelors, beware: it may indeed be a cold day when you finally say “I do.”

When planning the big day, many couples are opting to walk down the aisle in January or February.

A winter wedding can be considerably cheaper. It also provides the opportunity to pull off the kind of singular event that will stand out from the endless parade of June nuptials.

Winter’s frigid temperatures also can be a blessing in disguise, Peluso says. “People don’t like to get dressed up in the summer for formal affairs. It’s actually a plus to have it cooler.”

That motivated Shannon Jordan and Vernon Botts of Highland Park to set Feb. 20 as their wedding day.

“We sort of looked at the pros and cons,” says Jordan, 25. “Neither of us like the heat. He doesn’t want to be worried about sweating in his tux. You’re already worked up anyway. The last thing you want to worry about is wiping sweat off.”

She also chose that particular day because it was close to the anniversary of their first date.

Jordan says it will take a cold day indeed to dissuade her from having photos of the wedding party taken outside. She’s ready to deploy black faux-fur wraps or coats to go with the bridesmaids’ silver-and-raspberry dresses, and a white wrap for herself.

“I would say that probably 85 percent of people think it’s a great idea,” says Jordan of Highland Park. “A lot of people have never been to a winter wedding. They’re excited because it’s one less wedding they have to deal with in the spring and the summer.”

They’ll marry at Heinz Chapel on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Oakland. Their reception, whose theme is 1940s Hollywood, will take place at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association. It’s across the street, which means guests won’t have to drive in the event of inclement weather.

Wedding planner Katherine Shaw, who is organizing the couple’s reception, relishes the creative potential of a winter wedding. Shaw, who owns Trends to Traditions in Cranberry, married husband Conan at a Christmas-themed wedding in St. Louis.

“February’s always a good time especially because of Valentine’s Day,” she says. “It’s a very romantic month.”

Carnegie Museum’s Hall of Architecture

Sweet Satisfaction

WHIRL Wedding Guide, Volume I

Sweet Satisfaction
Dig into our gallery of the region’s most gorgeous wedding cakes.
By Victoria Bradley

Ornaments are out (skip the statues and frills), and fondant is in (that creamy confection used to coat cakes to look extra smooth). But the best bakers can achieve the expensive look of this extremely even finish with delicious (and cheap!) butter cream. We search high and low, meet the city’s real live cake bosses, and find the sweetest cakes to cut on your wedding day.

Jessica Leuthold & Joshua Young
Photography by Kimberly Reed Photography

This Bethel Bakery creation is an egg-white cake with butter cream icing. A layer of mango filling and a layer of raspberry filling satisfied Jessica and Joshua’s favorite flavors, respectively. Black ribbon adds color contrast and lots of little jewels make this bling-y dessert “bedazzled,” says the bride. Michael Jacobs from Blooms Florist added the flowers, including calla lilies and roses.

The couple, who wed and celebrated at Duquesne University, made a pact to only dab a tiny bit of icing on each other’s noses, which their wedding planner, Katherine Shaw of Trends To Traditions, says is “for good luck.”

Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2010

Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania – January 23, 2010 – Wedding Wire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, just announced Trends To Traditions has been selected to receive the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™ for Wedding and Event Planning!

The annual Bride’s Choice Awards recognizes and celebrates excellence in quality and service within the wedding industry, as determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 500,000 newlyweds.

Trends To Traditions is among the top five percent of all vendors in the website’s community, which includes over 100,000 wedding professionals across the US and Canada. Awards were given to winners across 19 different service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers.

“We are excited to recognize and honor the success of the top wedding professionals” said Timothy Chi, Chief Executive Officer. “The annual Bride’s Choice Awards program has given us the unique opportunity to highlight the best wedding professionals in each region as reviewed by brides and grooms who have utilized their services in the past year.”

We are happy to announce that Trends To Traditions is among the very best in Wedding and Event Planning. We would like to thank our past newlyweds for nominating us for the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards.

Pittsburgh Theme Weddings

0683 (2)

European Themed Wedding

Are you planning a wedding and wondering how to make the guests talk about your day for years to come? To do this, you must do something different and something unique. I hate to say “Theme” as I don’t want Star Wars or Balloons to come to mind. However, planning a theme wedding is the greatest way to make your wedding sparkle. If the word scares you, think “Element” or “Style”.

 To venture toward a theme, start by thinking about your passions. What is important to you? What do you love? What are your hobbies? What do you love to do together? How did you meet? How did he propose? Where are you going on your honeymoon? Where will you live? What are your favorite colors, sounds, foods, textures, and smells? There are multitudes of ways to come up with your own personal style.


Theatre Themed Wedding

Contrary to what you might think, planning your wedding around a theme, will actually make wedding planning easier and give everything you do, each step of the way, more meaning and direction. There is a catch though, you must do it right. Do it all of the way or not at all. You want the theme to be obvious to your guests. If you just insert haphazard pieces here and there, your element will be lost. This does not mean that every little detail has to relate to the theme (although that is best). It just means that you want to incorporate the element into enough aspects so your guests are not confused. Yes, it is difficult to host a truly spectacular theme wedding on a small budget. However, the average cost of a wedding today is $30,000. And for that…it can be done elegantly and efficiently.

Speaking of elegant, keep this at the forefront. Stay away from “cheese”. Remember, it’s a wedding, not a birthday party. A few years ago we coordinated a wedding for the pitcher of the Pittsburgh Pirates. When we asked the bride about a theme, baseball did not seem like the appropriate title for her wedding day, although it is what they both loved. When we asked her what else made her happy, her answer was “Chocolate”. Thus, her theme was set. With this theme, we could definitely portray elegance.


Summer Themed Wedding

Don’t shy away from a theme as it can truly be the best gift you give to yourselves and all the loved ones you invite. Most everyone has gone to a wedding. Many people go to weddings over and over again. After a while, they come to expect the same old thing. Once they eat dinner they look at their watches to see how much longer they have to stay to seem respectable. To many people, weddings tend to become boring. The trick-bring them to an event! Give them an experience. Entertain them and surprise them. Make it personal. Stimulate their senses and make it a night they will never forget.

City Wedding Theme in Pittsburgh

cal 084This week, I will describe the specific elements we used to create “A City Theme”.

Our company had the pleasure of working with a delightful couple who decided upon a “City” Theme. They wanted to feature their favorite cities. These consisted of New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Key West, and Pittsburgh.

 They held their reception at the Sheraton Station Square Train Station hotel. The reception site itself set the tone as “the train takes you from one city to the next”. The guest accommodations and room block was also reserved at this “Train Station” Hotel.

Welcome bags placed in the guests’ hotel rooms were filled with items relating to Pittsburgh, one of the featured cities, and the couple’s home town.

cal 052We carried the city theme into the food by placing little table tents (cards) on the butler trays as hors d’oeuvres were passed. For example, we had “mini egg rolls from New York’s Chinatown”, “Crabmeat Mushroom Caps from San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf”, and “Papaya Mango Phyllo Cups from Key West”.

The DJ played “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis to represent the famous Las Vegas “midnight buffet” as the couple’s own late night buffet came out to replenish the guests. He also played various selections of tropical music to highlight Key West, a few polkas to represent the Pittsburgh traditions, and other music relating to the various cities. A live duo performed during the cocktail hour singing tunes such as “New York New York”, “I left my Heart in San Francisco”, “Viva Las Vegas”, etc. etc.

A caricaturist was stationed in the “San Francisco area” (as San Francisco is famous for their artists). He drew the guests in “their own favorite city”. This was a huge crowd pleaser and a great conversation piece. We designed the floor plan so that every 5-6 groupings of tables were featured as a different city.

Tables were named after their favorite places in each city and escort cards were made into pretty luggage tags.tag3

 A cardboard box was turned into a beautiful antiquey suitcase to match the theme of traveling from city to city and to complement the escort cards/”luggage tags”. The servers in the different city areas wore black caps that were hot stamped with the logo of that city.

cal 092Each city was represented by a different bar serving drinks unique to that area. In the Key West corner, we served frozen strawberry and lime margaritas.In the New York City corner we set up a Martini Bar featuring the Big Appletini, the Cosmopolitan, and the Manhattan. In the San Francisco area we treated guests to an Espresso Bar. In the Las Vegas pod, we served Amaretto and Whiskey Sours along with  mixed drinks commonly given out at the casinos. Finally, in Pittsburgh we offered a variety of Beers including the famous I C Light.

cal 104The entire length and height of the back wall was accented by a prop master who built a “Pittsburgh Skyline” that was lit with b-lites from the back. He also created special street signs that were embellished by an artistic photograph of the skyline of each city. These were placed by each city’s bar.

cal 050Custom Skylines of each city were turned into gobos (a lighting term) and shone on the walls surrounding the dining tables. The lighting technician also created a gobo out of the couple’s custom logo and monogram-their names in front of the Pittsburgh skyline. This was cast onto the dance floor.

Chocolate coins engraved with the logo of each section’s designated city were placed upon each plate.Cocktail cal 067napkins, cake and cookie boxes, invitation seals, program covers, and water bottles were embellished by the custom Ann & Sean Pittsburgh skyline logo. Guests sat down for interviews with an outgoing “VJ” and were asked questions pertaining to Ann and Sean’s Trips to the various cities. This was a volunteer activity and everyone who participated had a blast giving additional roasts and good wishes to the couple. To further represent San Francisco, the guests were shuttled in a San Francisco style Trolley. To further represent New York, York Peppermint Patties were wrapped in pink organza bags and placed on each seat.

An ice sculpture was carved into an intricate Pittsburgh skyline. We placed the sculpture directly in front of a window and the real Pittsburgh skyline was present in the background. cal 098

A sculpture of blown sugar was featured as the centerpiece of an awe inspiring candy table. The artist created an abstract design of their Pittsburgh skyline logo from this blown sugar.

The candy table itself consisted of candies inspired by the city theme.

Candy Table

cal 079Each was labeled with a tiny table tent. There were Jelly Belly’s (discovered in San Francisco), Ghirardelli Chocolates (also from San Francisco), Clark Bars (Pittsburgh), Baby Ruth’s and York Peppermint Patties (New York), 5th Avenue bars (to represent large cities in general, Saltwater Taffy (Key West), and many others.

The cookie table also offered cookies reflecting the various cities. A few of these included Pizzelles (Pittsburgh), New York mini cheesecakes, and Fortune Cookies (San Francisco’s Chinatown).