Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Positively Pittsburgh Live! Pittsburgh Weddings and Vendors

Pittsburgh Weddings and Vendors

Roger Loughney, Our Wedding App
Tara Darazio, The Willow Room
Mary Beth Kratsas, MBK Photography 

Our Wedding App
Roger and Jessica Loughney both grew up in the Pittsburgh area, Jess in Sewickley and Roger in Edgewood. Jess majored in Elementary education at IUP and spent two years as a para-professional one on one with an autistic child at her alam mater, Quaker Valley, while holding out hope for her own classroom. In the summers she would work for her family's IT consulting company, E-Safe Technologies. When it became clear to Jess that her own classroom wasn't going to come any time soon, she went full time with E-Safe while being on the sub list for local schools. She is still with E-Safe as their marketing manager.

Roger and Jess, Snowcat Skiing in
Silverton, CO
Roger went to Central Catholic and then on to Notre Dame, studying Economics and German. Post graduation, he took the road less traveled that included jobs teaching English at a university and grade school in China, cookie factory assembly line worker at Apple Cookies in Turtle Creek,  whitewater raft guide and also ski instructor. He is also currently an orthopedic surgical consultant, specializing in total hip and knee replacements. As fate would have it, Jess was also a ski instructor at Seven Springs. They met while working for the Tiny Tots Ski School, specializing in 3-7 year old ski instruction.

Jess and Roger on location
 on the Southside Bike Trail
Fast forward 6 years and they were married in May 2011. Jess wanted to highlight some of the things that she had been working on with one of the developers at E-Safe for a mobile application for their wedding.

This mobile app included turn by turn directions to all important wedding sites, transportation information, hotel information, a message board, community photo gallery and the capabilities to play a live slideshow. They finished the app the day before the wedding, and sent out a mass message to everyone to "download our wedding app.” The app proved to be so popular at the wedding, that a few friends and relatives asked where they got it. That got the wheels turning, and they’ve been working ever since on perfecting, distributing and offering other wedding couples such a fun and unique addition to a wedding: "Our Wedding App!” 

Cruising in Style in a Deuce and a Half
Roger and Jess' bridal party transportation
Our Wedding App is available around the world. They have had inquiries from Australia, Germany and Great Britain, as well as brides using it in Hawai'i, N. California, Florida, and Illinois. The app helps guests with all aspects of the wedding, with the most unique part being the fact that they can participate in the wedding by adding real-time photos and messages, that can be played on a slideshow at the reception. For more information, please visit www.OurWeddingApp.com or call 855-OURAPPS.

The Willow Room 
Tara Darazio

Tara Darazio is an independent copywriter, blogger, and social media strategist. She was previously employed by The Willow Room full-time, but after having her son she decided to be a a work-at-home mom and now consults for The Willow Room, and various other clients, on a freelance basis. She provides marketing strategies, ad and material development, coordinates the website and social media efforts, and attends trade shows.

Terrace, Ceremony Space, Grand Foyer,
and Ballroom at The Willow Room
The Willow Room was built in 2004 and is located on the top level of WillowPointe Plaza off of Route 51 in Belle Vernon, PA. It takes up to the whole fourth level of the building and houses panoramic windows in each section of the ballroom with spectacular views.
There is seating for up to 400 guests and the ballroom can be broken down into three parts, for smaller affairs. The crystal chandeliers, neutral chair colors, and artistic d├ęcor make the room a beautiful setting for any type of event.

The Willow Room hosts weddings, showers, birthday parties, reunions, proms, corporate meetings, luncheons, holiday parties, and so much more. They also hold three public events a year: Easter Day Brunch (coming up on April 8th), Mother’s Day Brunch (coming up on May 13th) and Thanksgiving Day Dinner. Reservations are required for public events.

The Willow Room has high-tech AV capabilities with two large projection screens that drop down from the ceiling, an audio system for music, wireless Internet, microphones, and a portable stage.It also has an in-house Executive Chef and kitchen staff that does all of the catering for the events. They pride themselves on offering unique meal choices with complete choice for customization.

The Ballroom at The Willow Room 
The Willow Room has three wedding packages for different budgets. Each package can be added to, or tailored to suit the bride and groom’s needs. Each package includes the entrees, hors d’oeuvres, bar service, cake cutting, customized room layout and design, floor length white linens and white or ivory overlays and napkins, and an invitation for two to a tasting event with our Executive Chef so they can sample meal choices.

The Willow Room adds special touches to their weddings by including a bridal suite in two of the packages, which is a separate room just for the bridal party, complete with its own bathroom. It’s a place they can go to freshen up, take a break, and leave their belongings, plus their very own bridal butler will take care of them all night from pinning a bustle, to bringing a drink. They also take care of all of the set-up for the wedding. No need for the couple to be worrying about placing centerpieces and putting on linens. 

Kim Redman is the sales manager and she can be reached at sales@thewillowroom.com or 724-379-5666. You can call her for a tour today. 

MBK Photography
Mary Beth Kratsas

MBK Photography was established in 2003, starting from Mary Beth’s home as Mere Elegance Portraiture. No one could pronounce or spell the name, so it was changed to MBK in 2009 when she moved her location to Monroeville, PA.

MBK is an award-winning, full service portrait photography studio. Mary Beth photographs destination and in studio portraits, high school seniors, weddings, destination weddings, families, pets, babies, first birthdays, events, boudoir, models and talent, commercial and fine art.

Courtesy of MBK
She organizes workshops both in Pittsburgh, and across the US and abroad. She is preparing right now for a 12 day workshop in Jordan.

Mary Beth specializes in creating your image as a work of art, not just a picture out of a camera. She creates 3D-themed scenes for children's portraits A Day at The Shore, The Enchanted Garden, Father Christmas, Fall Fantasy, babies first birthday,etc., complete with bunnies, sand, sea shells, and many props  within the studio.

Clients are never waiting in long lines, and all photography is creative, not like the "chop shop" photography from studio chains in department stores. You get what you pay for. Right now she is getting ready for her communion and Bar Mitzvah sessions.

Courtesy of MBK
Mary Beth believes that weddings are a blessing and a day to remember and cherish so why not invest in the right photographer and spend your money wisely. Will the flowers or cake last 100 years? 

Courtesy of MBK
She says paying attention to detail and seeing more then just the image is key. She listens to the requests of her clients, knowing that each one will be different. She also says she breaks the rules of photography sometimes. You can contact Mary Beth at www.mbkphotos.com or 412-229-8749.


This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2012 All rights reserved.

Listen to the show here. 

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

1 comment:

kennady said...

The blog post of Positively Pittsburgh Live! Pittsburgh Weddings and Vendors are simply super. I have enjoyed the pictures and information. One of my close has planned the wedding with the help of wedding app and successfully finished his wedding.