Hello Productions

Pittsburgh Wedding and Event Planners

5 Trendy DIY Projects for Your 2016 Wedding February 10, 2016

For the Classic: Wine Bottle Candles

Saving your wine bottles for centerpieces and décor is the trendiest DIY project of this year. The most popular use of empty wine bottles is for floral arrangements, a beautiful combination of a woman’s favorite things: wine and flowers. For 2016, we’re looking at a new trick that will add some originality and romantic ambiance to your classic wedding. Before the wedding, try to save as many wine bottles as you can (If you’re planning the wedding yourself, we’re sure you’ll have plenty!). Make sure you rinse out each bottle thoroughly, and run the label under warm water for quick and easy removal. Now all you need is some candlesticks, which you may need to cut in half, and superglue to keep the candles from falling out of the bottle. Keep the love burning!

rustic photo
 

For the Casual: Rustic Ceremony Signs

Rustic weddings are seriously trending in 2016. Having a rustic-themed wedding is a great way to inspire romance and whimsy on a low budget. There are many easy DIY projects that will add rustic detail to your wedding. Take advantage of inexpensive materials such as wood, chalkboard, and Mason jar accents. Some of our favorite rustic accents are DIY signs. All you need are a few pieces of wood, a hammer and nails, paint, and an artistic friend with good penmanship! These signs are a great way to welcome your guests and even direct them to the venue with arrows, delicate fonts, and cute phrases. Using white paint on the signs will really make the words pop!

rustic photo 2
 

For the Creative: Drop Top Guest Book

The best parts about the wedding are the memories that stay with you forever. There are many different methods to make sure you hold onto each memory from the special day for the rest of your life. The traditional guestbook is a great way to document your special guests, but if you want to get creative with your guestbook, try making a Drop Top. Each guest writes their name and message on a wooden heart and drops it in a slot at the top of the frame. This project is for the dedicated DIYers out there, the Pinterest-savvy. The best way to create the Drop Top is with a shadow frame. You’ll need to drill holes into the top of the frame to create the slot, and use a file to smooth the sides of the slot. The background of the frame can be decorated anyway you would like! You can paint it with your wedding colors, or even glue on larger hearts with the bride and groom’s names and date of the wedding. The wooden hearts can be found at your local craft store. They are available here for $3.99 per 28 pieces.

guest book
 

For the Colorful: Outdoor Backdrops

For those of us who dream of a charming outdoor Spring or Summer wedding, it may be difficult to find the perfect arrangement to create your altar. What better way to embrace the (hopefully) gorgeous weather than with a hint of color behind the bride and groom as they say their vows? For those who wish to incorporate their wedding colors in a simple and tasteful way, hang some thick colored ribbon over fishing line. For more vibrancy, hang different colored flowers on fishing line to create the appearance of flowers floating in the air, or attach an array of colorful flowers to a sturdy rectangular backdrop. A unique and colorful backdrop will help make the ceremony unforgettable!

backdrops
 

For the Children: Alternative Champagne Toasts

Offering a fun alternative to champagne for the toast is a great way to keep the young ones content on an evening typically crafted for adults. Make them feel like one of grown ups with a tasty toast made specifically for the kids! We suggest a party favorite with a twist: an elegant arrangement of milk and cookies. Putting the milk in plastic champagne cups will make the kids feel extra special. For a more traditional wedding, simple chocolate chip cookies are sure to blend in with classic décor. To complement a nontraditional wedding, add M&M’s to the cookies for some tasteful color!

toast
 
 
 
Celia Photo

Hello Celia Millard!

Spring Intern 2016

 

Celia Millard is a student in her junior year at the University of Pittsburgh working towards a degree in Communication & Rhetoric with a certificate in Public & Professional Writing. In hopes of pursuing a career in public relations or event planning, Celia is excited to join the Hello Productions team as the Spring 2016 intern under Natasha Brody.

 

In her free time, Celia explores new passions in photography and filmmaking. She enjoys capturing the beauty Pittsburgh has to offer with photos of landscapes and everyday life, and also creates candid videography of her friends and family. On the weekends, Celia likes to eat, shop, and see movies with her friends or visit her home in Harrisburg, PA to spend time with her parents, her sister Olivia, and her dogs Charlie and Annabelle.

Advertisements
 

Create Your Own: Fall Festival November 28, 2015

Christmas may seem around the corner but here at Hello Productions, we’re not yet ready to say goodbye to fall! To finish celebrating all the things we love about fall (and relax a little before the holidays), invite over your adult friends and throw a casual, chic get-together! With delightful fall flavored cocktails, a warm comfort-food menu, and fun activities, you can create a one-of-a-kind adult-only event! Here is some inspiration to get your party planning underway:

 

Start with the right cocktails and a little something extra 😉

Clockwise from top left:

1.) Caramel Apple Sangria (via A Night Owl)

2.) Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate (via Minimalist Baker)

3.) And… Candy Corn Jell-O Shots (via That’s So Michelle)

blog pics fall party
 

Now design the right menu…

And consider having a chili cook-off! Make your signature fall or winter chili and ask guests to bring a pot of their own. Tally the votes and enjoy! Other delicious & warm menu items include (from top to bottom):

1.) Baked Mac-n-Cheese Cups with Pork Shoulder Ragu

2.) Fall Squash and Goat Cheese Dip With Garlic Toasts

3.) Sweet Potato Squares With Lemon-Garlic Mayonnaise

blog pics fall party - Copy
 

And for dessert…

A Candy Apple Dessert Bar! Simple, fun and delicious! All you need are a variety of apples, kabob skewers, caramel and any type of toppings you can dream of! (via laurencondrad.com)

fall pics 2
 

Now Let’s Talk Décor:

1.) I found these adorable pumpkin centerpieces (left) at the Freedom Farms Fall Festival, just outside of Pittsburgh. The combination of the rustic wood base, classic fall pumpkin and chic wild-flowers make for festive yet stylish centerpieces. This can be also be done with traditional orange pumpkins and any in-season flowers you desire.

2.) A great idea for décor and entertainment is to have an outdoor black and white movie (right). It can be a scary movie, or just a classic. Hang a white sheet or use the side of your house and scatter blankets and pillows around for people to get cozy while we are enjoying this mild weather!

fall pics 2 - Copy

3.) Remember that chili bar we talked about earlier? Style it with a cute chalkboard, mini hay bales and mini pumpkins. Also, writing your menu on a chalkboard is a cute touch and can be reused over and over again! Find your locally made chalkboard mats Here.

fall pics 2 - Copy (2)
 

Now bring it all together with some ambiance:

Complete the cozy fall ambiance with candles that vary in size in different size and shape glass vases and use either acorns, or corn kernels.

fall pics 3
 

And when the sun goes down, let guests snuggle up with adorable blankets to keep the chill away! Blankets, candles, and candy apples, oh my! What a cozy, delicious and fun evening for you and your friends! Celebrate this great season and use this inspiration to have a fabulous fall soiree.

fall pics 3 - Copy
 
 
 
taylor pic

Hello Taylor Smith!

Fall Intern 2015

 

Taylor is a Pittsburgh native who recently graduated from High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and a minor in Event Management.

 

She discovered her love for event planning while she was the philanthropy chair for her sorority. Her favorite part about event management is watching everyone’s hard work come together to create a magical event. She is, of course, a sucker for a good love story and enjoys traveling, reading and practicing yoga.
We are so excited for Taylor to join the Hello team!

 

Real Life Experiences of Hello Productions’ Intern: Interviewing Pittsburgh’s Wedding Photographers August 29, 2014

Intern Blog Tagline
 

Your wedding photographer is one of the most important vendors that you’ll hire for your big day. A team of vendors will work together to create your vision, but the photographer will capture everything as it comes together and provide you with keepsakes for a lifetime. Each photographer has their own unique style and you should consider several items when selecting a photographer. Are you looking for artsy images or classical shots? Is experience important to you? How large is your budget?

 

We interviewed three of Pittsburgh’s top wedding photographers who we work with regularly. Be sure to visit their websites for more details and photographs.

 

Josh Mariana Photography

joshmarianaphoto.com

 

Q: How long have you been a wedding photographer?
A: I have been photographing weddings professionally for six years.

 

Q: What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
A: My favorite part about doing what I do is the interaction with clients. All of our packages except one include an engagement session, so it’s really great to hang out with them and get to know them outside the wedding environment. By the time their wedding comes along, we’re good friends and we truly get to experience their special day together. And of course make some great images along the way.

 

Q: What kind of training do you have?
A: I learned the very basics of photography shooting film for a high school photography class some 20 years ago. Other than that I am mostly self-taught. There are some great books available that helped with the technical side of things, but the most important aspect of good photography is the interaction. It’s about being genuinely interested in your clients’ stories and helping them feel comfortable. Working with them so that they feel natural and calm in from of the camera. Luckily for me that part just sort of came naturally.

 

Q: Summer is full of weddings, when do you recommend booking a photographer for a summer wedding?
A: Most of our clients book 12-18 months in advance, so the Summer season is usually booked (or close to booked up) by early Fall of the previous year. For example most of the free consults I’m doing at this time (late spring/early summer 2014) are booking for June-October 2015. There are always exceptions however, as I still have a couple of dates for the second half of this year (2014). If couples really want to have their choice of preferred vendors though, it’d be wise to get the ball rolling ~15 months in advance to ensure availability.

 

Q: How long does it take for you to get your photos back to the clients?
A: Quick turnaround is a big deal for me. Most of my wedding clients will have their gallery available within two weeks of their wedding date, many times inside a week and before they return from their honeymoon. We give ourselves a little more time than that in our contracts in case of technical issues/computer failure/etc, but in general wedding photo processing takes top priority over the myriad other responsibilities that come with running a photography business.

 

Q: What kind of photo is your favorite to take at a wedding?
A: I really enjoy the time I get alone with just my couples after the ceremony. We always do the traditional family and bridal parties photos, and those can definitely be fun. However I encourage all of my clients to plan on 30-60 minutes to have just to themselves. While that time is there for us to get creative, modern portraits of the bride and groom, it also serves the double purpose of giving them a chance to relax, to take a breath, to just “be” married for the first time, away from everyone else. Our shooting style is very relaxed so that helps create a more stress-free time before the craziness of the reception starts up!

 

Q: How do you get the word out about your business?
A: I rely mostly on blog interviews. Seriously though, most of my clients come from word-of-mouth referrals, which I think speaks volumes about our service, quality and more than anything, the end results. I also get plenty of leads from some of the bigger wedding website networks we advertise on such as theknot.com (voted Best Of three years running) and
Wedding Wire (Bride’s Choice award both years we’ve advertised there), but as time goes on I rely less and less on those sources due to the number of referrals I get, and I have our amazing roster of previous clients to thank for that!!

 
joshuamariana.3
 
joshuamariana2
 
joshuamariana
 

The Brand Studio

thebrandstudio.com

 

Q: How long have you been a wedding photographer?
A: We have been photographing weddings together since 2006.

 

Q: What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
A: There are many elements of being a wedding photographer that keep us inspired and challenged on a weekly basis, but the most rewarding aspect is hearing back from our couples after they’ve received their photos and album.

 

Q: What kind of training do you have?
A: We both come from a fine arts background, so our training in photography started with film. John Pascarella received his Master of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University. John has taught fine art and photography at West Virginia University, Youngstown State University, and Washington and Jefferson College. Sean Blair received his Master of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University, where he served as an adjunct instructor of art from 2007-2008.

 

Q: Summer is full of weddings, when do you recommend booking a photographer for a summer wedding?
A: The majority of inquires we receive for summer weddings are about 12 months ahead of the wedding date. Getting an earlier start, even by just a few months, makes it more likely that we’ll still be available.

 

Q: How long does it take for you to get your photos back to the clients?
A: In the week following the wedding, we post previews and a slideshow on our blog. For a Saturday wedding, those previews are typically posted on Wednesday, just 4 days after the wedding. On Monday of the following week, we have the initial album design ready, and the complete proof gallery is available that Wednesday. Our couples have full online access to photos in less than two weeks!

 

Q: What kind of photo is your favorite to take at a wedding?
A: Our emphasis is always on creating elegant and timeless images that connect with modern brides. We call it “modern classic” – sophisticated images, rooted in the traditions and history of film photography, updated for a fresh and contemporary style.

 

Q: How do you get the word out about your business?
A: Word of mouth recommendations from our couples and other wedding professionals we’ve worked with account for most of the inquiries we receive. We also maintain listings on the major wedding websites.

 
brandstudio
 
brandstudio2
 
brandstudio3
 

Randi Voss Photography

randivossphotography.com

 

Q: How long have you been a wedding photographer?
A: I started my wedding photography business in 2007. I’m in my seventh year as a wedding photographer.

 

Q: What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
A: I love that there are so many interesting people and events to photograph on a wedding day. A wedding is a very special day in someone’s life, and I work hard to capture important moments, beautiful portraits, overall mood, and candid photos of people having fun.

 

Q: What kind of training do you have?
A: Most of the training that I use today is self-taught or learned from other colleagues in my industry. Formally, I have a minor in “Photography and Digital Imaging” from Carnegie Mellon.

 

Q: Summer is full of weddings, when do you recommend booking a photographer for a summer wedding?
A: I recommend booking as soon as a couple is sure of their wedding date.

 

Q: How long does it take for you to get your photos back to the clients?
A: I show a preview of the images within a week of the wedding and all photos are shared 4-6 weeks after the wedding.

 

Q: What kind of photo is your favorite to take at a wedding?
A: When the couple is walking together for the first time at the end of the ceremony. All smiles!

 

Q: How do you get the word out about your business?
A: My best advertisers are my past clients. A personal recommendation from a happy couple is the best endorsement I could ask for.

 
randivoss
 
randivoss2
 
randivoss3
 

If you’re in need of a photographer for your wedding or event, contact one of these photographers and you won’t be disappointed!

 
 
 
 
 
kirstine

Kristen Elgin

Hello Productions Intern, 2014

 

Kristine Elgin was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and relocated to Pittsburgh last August. She attended Oregon State University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in New Media Communications.

 

She has always loved working events and is excited to continue learning under Colleen Geletko as her summer intern. Her favorite part about working events is seeing all the details come together and how happy everyone is with the outcome.
.

 

Real Life Experiences of Hello Productions’ Intern: Simple Ways to Make Your Fourth of July Stand Out July 1, 2014

Intern Blog Tagline
 

Fourth of July is a fun time to have friends and family over to celebrate, cook out and watch fireworks! Need last minute decorations or a last minute dessert to take to a potluck? Our Hello Productions Intern, Kristine, has the answer for both!

 

DIY Fourth of July Banner

 
CLX0707IDEA06-de

It’s almost that time, Fourth of July and many parties! I know for me each year I always try to think of different decorations I could make or contribute to a friend’s party. Here is an easy craft that won’t take too much time and won’t cost you a lot to make. It is a Rosette Banner and once you complete all the steps it will look great hung up around your other decorations.

 

Make sure to have the following:
– Paper: Newspaper adds a great old-fashioned look with the colors. You will also need crepe paper.
– Pipe cleaners: Try using metallic versions in silver, gold, and red. This will help the banner flow together.
– Ribbon: Red, White, and Blue
– Glue: Use a glue stick or 3M transfer tape.
– Printables: Use any typeface you want to have the letters have. Print or photocopy onto heavy paper.

 

Steps:
1. Take the blue crepe paper and cut a strip 8 inches wide and 20 inches long.
2. Grab the newspaper and cut a narrower strip of paper then glue it on the center of the blue strip. Repeat this step but cut an even narrower strip of red crepe paper then glue it in place.
3. Fan-fold across the narrow width of the strip and fold in half lengthwise as well.
4. Open either side of the center fold you just made to create a circle and glue. Print “Happy Fourth” and cut out around the letters in a circle with pinking shears then glue onto rosettes.
5. Take the 8-inch pipe cleaners and cut them in half. Then use one of them to form a loop and slip through another to form another loop, and so on.
6. Once the chain is made, glue one of the pipe cleaners loop to the back of each rosette by first going through a chain loop and then gluing.

 

Once all those steps are completed, you have accomplished making your very own Fourth of July banner! It helps to look back at the picture while you are doing it so you can get a visual of what the final product will look like. I used this at the last Fourth of July party I attended and it was a hit! It doesn’t take much time out of your day and it feels good to find a cost effective decoration yourself.

 

Source: www.countryliving.com

 
0030841F4_Flag-Cake_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Perfect Fourth of July Flag Cake

 

Having a Fourth of July party and not sure what to make? This flag cake will look just as good as it tastes. All you have to do is put aside an hour and fifteen minutes of your day to make this fan favorite holiday treat.

 

Cake Ingredients:
18 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups of sugar
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 half-pints of blueberries
3 half-pints of raspberries

 
flag steps

Icing Ingredients:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ½ pounds cream cheese at room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and flour an 18 by 13 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
3. Add the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, two at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
4. Stir together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined then pour into the pan.
5. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and afterwards cool to room temperature.
6. For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl until smooth. The pictures below show how to ice the sheet cake.

 

This is a fun and easy cake to make that will look great along with your decorations. You can serve it right from the pan or you can place it on a different plate. The flag cake is a go to for people who love to bake and are in need of a dessert to please everyone. Now get going and start making this patriotic cake for the party!

 

If you would like to read more about this recipe click the following link. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/flag-cake-recipe.html.

 
 
 
 
kirstine

Kristen Elgin

Hello Productions Intern, 2014

 

Kristine Elgin was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and relocated to Pittsburgh last August. She attended Oregon State University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in New Media Communications.

 

She has always loved working events and is excited to continue learning under Colleen Geletko as her summer intern. Her favorite part about working events is seeing all the details come together and how happy everyone is with the outcome.
.

 

Real Life Experiences of Hello Productions’ Intern: Planning a Springtime Wedding April 13, 2014

Intern Blog Tagline
 

Spring is the season of new life, growth, and beginnings. Weddings during this time can celebrate these symbols with details that echo the world outside. ‘Tis the season of abundance! Natural elements such as lush foliage, delicate branches, nests and flower buds fill the ceremony with whimsical, wild beauty. Hues of pale cerulean, light grey, and crisp white are fresh and soft with an air of elegance. Use woodland touches like a moss covered ring bearer’s pillow, wooden placeholders for the table, a cascading, trailing bouquet, and as wedding favors, gift miniature terrariums. Find the perfect botanical garden for your ceremony or reception, and celebrate the beginning of your lives together among the promise of new life flourishing all around you.

 

Here are some of my favorite inspirations for planning a spring wedding!

 
spring wedding coll 1
spring wedding coll 2
spring wedding coll 3
spring wedding coll 4
 
 
 
dean_haley96

Haley graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with degrees in English and Musical Theatre. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University.

 

Through various philanthropic events with her sorority, she gained experience in the areas of event planning and marketing, and plans to explore this interest further as assistant to Event Coordinator, Natasha Brody.

 

Her favorite aspect of the wedding planning process is seeing all of the personal details come together to create a unique event that truly expresses the personality of the couple, and ceremoniously celebrates the beginning of their life together with meaning and individuality. Favorite wedding themes and details include vintage style, romantic rustic elements, and seasonal touches.

 

Real Life Experiences of Hello Productions’ Intern: Planning a Winter Party January 3, 2014

Filed under: Hello Interns — Hello Productions @ 5:06 pm
Tags: ,

Intern Blog Tagline
 

To celebrate the end of a particularly difficult semester and help kick off the holidays, I planned and hosted a small dinner party for a few friends. As a college student, I don’t exactly have expert cooking skills so I kept the food simple, avoiding any elaborate meal ideas, but had tons of fun putting together all the decorations and planning the night!

 

I loved decorating my house for this party and getting into the holiday spirit! I’ve gotten so many ideas from friends and different blogs online so I was excited to have the chance to try some of them out, but I didn’t necessarily want a holiday theme. To create more of a general cozy, winter vibe, I stayed away from the typical red and green and used mostly white and gold colors for decorating. I love glitter and it’s great to use for smaller accent decorations, like the gold glitter garland I used to hang over my mantle.

collage3
 

Probably the most important, and my favorite, part of decorating is the table. I used pinecones with handwritten name cards and I made my own centerpiece for the table using a plain wooden box I had around the house. I also found super inexpensive gold chargers at Michael’s to lay under the place settings, which worked perfectly with the gold-rimmed plates that I was planning to use. I wanted to use some wintery accents without making it too Christmas themed so I filled the wooden box with large candles surrounded by small pine branches and mini pinecones. I also had some pretty stemmed glasses that I wanted to incorporate into the centerpiece so I mixed those in with the large candles and filled them with the same small pine branches, as well as some mini gold balls, helping to match the centerpiece and the place settings to each other.

collage2
 
Carly Haeck

Carly Haeck

Intern 2013-2014

 

Carly Haeck is a Hello Productions 2013-2014 intern working with the Director of Marketing and Events, Colleen Geletko. During her first semester as intern for the company, Carly had the opportunity to work on many different projects ranging from planning multiple weddings to social media updates and marketing tasks for local companies. Carly is currently a junior marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh who loves organizing and creative projects! She is learning a lot from her experience as a Hello Productions intern and hopes to pursue a career in marketing and event planning in the future.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Real Life Experiences of a Hello Productions’ Intern: Murder Mystery & Pirates September 13, 2013

Filed under: Hello Interns — Hello Productions @ 4:44 pm
Tags: , ,

Intern Blog Tagline
 

Is it possible to plan, promote and implement two events in only three weeks? If you’re willing to work hard and guzzle cup after cup of iced coffee, it most surely is possible. How would I know? Well, I pulled it off this summer when I was given the chance to plan two events for the Brentwood Library.

 

The first event that I planned for the library was a murder mystery party for adults. After reading tons of murder mystery game descriptions, I finally selected a western themed mystery kit. I coordinated all of the décor around the theme. Small details like bandana printed lanterns, western hat and cowboy boot picks, bales of hay and sunflower centerpieces served as a cost-effective way to create a fun, western atmosphere. Attendees spent the evening enjoying munchies as they tried to solve the murder mystery.

 
mystery
 

The second event that I organized was a pirate slumber party for children entering grades 3-5. Gold coins, hand-made pirate hat centerpieces and themed food labels brought the pirate theme to life. Some of the night’s activities included going on a book hunt, meeting a pirate, watching themed movies and creating pirate hats. However, I can’t take all of the credit for making the event such a success. It wouldn’t have been possible if Pizza Hut, Bruegger’s Bagels and Panera Bread hadn’t donated tons of delicious food. There’s no doubt that the children’s faces lit up when they saw stacks of pizza at dinner and trays of baked goods and bagels lined up at breakfast.

 
pirates
 

Even though planning both events was stressful and seemed impossible at times, I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to do so. Not only did I get amazing hands-on experience in event planning, but I also had the chance to assist the friendly library staff and encourage the public to get excited about reading.

 
Rachel

Rachel Rodgers
Summer 2013 Intern

 

As our Summer 2013 intern, Rachel worked with Director of Marketing & Events Colleen Geletko. She had the opportunity to work on a marketing campaign and training for a local business, final preparations and coordination of a prom for students with disabilities, social media campaigns, promotion for a bike event, planning for a 2014 wedding, and event planning for a local library, as well as participate in multiple pitch meetings.