2018 - A Year in Review

2018 was my first full year as the Owner & Lead Planner of Jessica Garda Events and an absolute dream! I had the pleasure of celebrating the marriage of some truly amazing couples. Thank you to each and everyone of them who trusted me to bring their visions to life! I’m also fortunate to have worked with some of the best Pittsburgh Weddings Vendors.

This year, I’m starting a new tradition with a Year in Review. Enjoy!


I kicked off the year by playing in the snow with a few of my “friendors” to pull together an impromptu styled shoot at Heaven Sent Farms. This Snowy Pastel Winter Wedding was featured on Burgh Brides.


March saw two more styled shoots. The first was a collaboration with Maria from Palermo Photography and the lovely ladies at GLOW Blotique to styled a feminine and flirty girl’s day out. Out Blowouts, Bubbly, and Brunch inspiration was featured on Burgh Brides and you can see more pictures from this fun project here.

The next shoot was something completely different - a Graffiti Inspired Vow Renewal in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Strip District complete with upcycled florals, 80s hairstyles, and that coolest bridal party bomber jackets. The “models” were good friends of Jenn’s from Jenn Marie Photography and used this as a chance to renew their vows! It was featured on So This Is Love and I shared more about the shoot here.


My first wedding of the year was at  River City Restaurant & Banquets in Wheeling, West Virginia. Kacy & Tommy celebrated their marriage with 350 friends and family members. Not only was their reception a blast, but they had the most epic of cookie tables, beautiful centerpieces, and one of the most gorgeous sweetheart tables you’ll ever see! You can see more from their awesome day here.


How is it that the Royal Wedding seems like ages ago?!? To celebrate, Victoria Deardorff of Burgh Brides and I hosted a Royal Wedding Watch Party at Mansions on Fifth . Waking up at the ungodly hour of 4:30am is never something I do by choice, but it was definitely worth it to watch Megan Markle & Prince Harry say “I Do” alongside 65 fellow anglophiles. Read more about this once-in-a-lifetime celebration here.

Photo by   Low-Key Love

Photo by Low-Key Love

After we wrapped up the Royal Wedding Watch Party, I was off to SNPJ Recreation Center in Enon Valley, PA to celebrate another dream couple. Hannah & Chris’s beautiful lakeside wedding was brimming with personal touches. Their self-uniting ceremony brought everyone to tears - including myself. And although it rained on and off, Ashley Giffin Photography managed to take some incredible pictures. You can read more about their wedding here.


My final styled shoot of the year took me back to Heaven Sent Farms as part of a bridal showcase they hosted. This one is probably my favorite to date because I was able to partner with vendors who love color and whimsy as much as I do! Out Bold & Colorful Al Fresco Wedding with a Bohemian Flair was featured on Intimate Weddings and The Budget Savvy Bride. I share all sorts of amazing pictures here.

Next we celebrated Amanda & John with a ceremony at Amplify Church and a reception at LeMont. If you’re looking for a reception venue with an absolutely gorgeous view of the city, you have to check out LeMont! Amanda & John were incredible hosts to their friends and families and after meeting their parents, it was obvious where their generosity and hospitality came from. I’ve never taken so much time to sit and talk with the family and those conversation are memories I’ll hold onto for a lifetime!


A week later, I managed Annie & Ben’s laid-back wedding, held on the grounds of Winchester Thurston’s North Campus (where they both attended and now work). Annie & Ben’s weren’t shy about doing away with traditions and expectations that don’t fit them. The ceremony and reception featured “storytellers'“ instead of readers or toast givers. A parade of children escorted Annie down the aisle. There was no seating chart and the menu featured wings from their favorite bar and Burgh Bites food truck!


We had a fortunate break in the heat just in time for Megan & Ben’s wedding at Lewis Family Farms. Their wedding was jam-packed with colorful, DIY elements and thier guest had a blast dancing into the night.

Photo by   Annie-Beth Photo

August was also me last styled shoot. This one was at the Mansion at Butler and featured a brilliant team of vendors. Be on the lookout for a feature next year, but until then, here’s a little sneak peek!


October took me to one of my favorite venues, HIP at the Flashlight Factory. Jess & Mike treated their guests to an incredible sit-down dinner from Bistro To Go and awesome music. Jessica spent hours creating and sourcing everything from the table numbers to the escort cards to hundreds of vintage candlesticks for the perfect industrial glam vibe. Be on the lookout in the new year for it to be featured!

Photo by  Kristi Telnov

Photo by Kristi Telnov

Next year is already promising to be even better - with amazing clients, new business opportunities, and (most importantly) Baby #2 coming in January!!!

But before I say goodbye to 2018, I’d like to send a big hug to everyone who made this such an incredible year for Jessica Garda Events.

To all of my couples, thank you for trusting me with one of the most important days of your lives. I’m constantly in awe of the beauty, love, and creative shown by each and everyone of you!

To all the INCREDIBLE vendors I worked with this year - you make this job fun and that much easier. Thank you for blowing me away time and time again with your talent and professionalism!

To Pittsburgh’s welcoming community of wedding planners and vendors - I’ve never felt so instantly at home in a community. Thank you for your support, advice, guidance, and cheering on the sidelines as I work towards my dreams!

To my husband, Brant, who has helped made this crazy idea a reality and has been an amazing partner as we raise our beautiful daughter and get ready to welcome a second into this world - I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you. Thank you for your never-ending patience through all the ups and downs and for lending your insightful advice as I learn the ropes of owning a business.

Here’s to the next part of our journey in 2019! Happy New Year!!


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