Say 'hello' to the dream (wedding) team
Whether you're envisioning an enormous celebration with hundreds of guests or an intimate to-do of just your nearest and dearest, planning a wedding can feel like a big undertaking. Of course, when you've got an experienced specialist working with you every step of the way to turn your unique vision of the perfect wedding into a reality, the planning process can be a lot more enjoyable. Enter: Erin Rose, Lindsey Yealy, and Sydney Kurywchak, our Wedding Specialists. They've got the expertise, the vendor connections and a passion for all things wedding-related from the big ideas to the littlest details, not to mention they're just fun to work with. Below you can get to know Erin, Lindsey, and Sydney a little with a short Q&A.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the wedding day?
My favorite part is when you're ceremony is on site—I love being the last one to see the happy couple before they walk down the aisle. That moment of quiet and calm before your entrance always gives me goosebumps, and makes our Director of Banquets cry! My least favorite part is also right before the ceremony—getting your entire wedding party lined up and quiet is always a challenge! They are SO excited!
You've hired a hotel team and vendors who will fully plan your day—try to relax! Your morning will start with hair and makeup and photos before the ceremony. Timing planned to the minute! Once you're on site, we take care of you the rest of your evening.
Always ask for a full estimate—including service fees and taxes, this will help ‘uncover’ hidden fees—but it’s also easier to understand package pricing looks with it in front of you!
This is the first time you've planned an event like this—you don't know what you don't know. I take it one step at a time and plan your day based upon what is important to you! The best part about weddings these days, is that there really aren't any standard ‘must do's' anymore. We can customize your evening completely, including the timeline, setup and the food and beverage.
Think about a winter wedding! Not only are the prices more affordable but the entire hotel is really celebrating you. You can make it really easy and have everything on-site, from your rehearsal to your ceremony and reception to your send-off brunch the next morning. With our unique space, we can create a different feel for each of your events!
Really, the only time we would need you on-site is during the tasting! The rest of the planning, from the timeline to diagrams and setup, can all be done virtually—phone, email, Zoom, FaceTime...your choice! We have worked in the area for a long time, we're happy to connect you with our preferred vendors who we select based upon their reliability, quality execution and ease to work with.
Consider a first look. This is such a special time for the two of you to connect before the craziness really starts. It's so special to capture those moments together, alone or with your closest friends and family. It also really helps your timeline throughout the evening, giving you plenty of time for photos so you aren't rushing to get to the reception. You may even be able to join your cocktail hour!
I love all of our nods to Pittsburgh…our partnerships with millie’s and press house coffee. Late night french fries, pretzels or our buffalo chicken spring roll. Our signature cookie table cocktail, think birthday cake ice cream…as a cocktail. Our signature short rib entrée, it’s been on our menu since the hotel opened in 2016! It’s hard to pick one, but that’s why I love working at Hotel Monaco—there’s so much to love!
I love adding a signature drink—it doesn't have to be something over the top, just what you like. Maybe it was something you had on your first date or it's favorite drink to start the weekend. I love doing a bride's drink and a groom's drink and if you use simple ingredients, you can just use the bar package and it doesn't add any cost, just bring a sign for the bars!
Get back to your life—date nights, work, going out with friends and Netflix. And don't put off writing the thank you cards. Do a few a day after your wedding, you'll regret putting it off!
What do you like about planning a wedding?
I truly love working with couples and their loved ones to make the most magical day of their lives happen. By the end of our time together, I feel like we are family. There is so much love and happiness that day, it is impossible not to enjoy yourself. I love meeting with couples to put their ideas and visions to paper and make that dream a reality. It is the most rewarding career I could ever ask for! I simply could not imagine doing anything else.
Yes! While I understand wanting to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle, this special one-on-one time is the only time that day where it will just be the two of you. This first look often ends up being our couple’s favorite part of the day. It is very personal and intimate!
Always ask what is included with the venue. For example, cake cutting and cookie platting and serving. Do not forget about the service fees and taxes! These items can add up quickly if not included. Also ask about tear-down and set-up. The last thing you want is for your family and friends to be setting up everything and breaking it down after a long day!
The tasting! Not only is this the most fun part of the planning process, but this is truly when we will go through all of the details (large and small) for your big day. In my experience, this is the moment our couples seem to enjoy the most from a planning aspect. We cover so much throughout the tasting and this is when our couples often have that “Oh my gosh this really real and this is happening soon!” moment. On a personal note, I like the tasting because we spend the day getting to know one another!
My favorite part of the wedding day is when I sneak the happy couple into the ballroom before dinner begins and guests are seated. At this point- champagne has been poured, candles are lit and the lights are dimmed. I get emotional every single time! I love seeing their reactions and all of their dreams and vision come to life!
One of my favorite photo spots is in our meeting room wing on the famous green couch. The couch is such a fun pop of color! I love this for brides and their bridal party or even for the happy couple—such a fun and unique spot, guaranteed to make you smile.
I think either a champagne toast or wine with dinner can completely change your wedding reception! This is such a small but mighty addition to your tablescape and to your guests’ experience.
I love a mix of both round tables and long rectangular tables! This set-up really helps give the ballroom some dimension and is a nice alternative to setting up with only round tables. This also allows for your florist to get really creative and include some long greenery pieces and candles or tall centerpieces for rounds. The options are truly endless!
I once had a cake delivered to me that was not refrigerated and arrived damaged. The cake was unsalvageable. This was about three hours before the reception doors opened. We called every local bakery we could think of to get a replacement delivered on time. 15 minutes before we opened the doors for guests, the cake arrived! We put the original flowers on the new cake and let out the biggest sigh of relief.