Post # 1
Hello! I’m brand new to weddingbee! My boyfriend and I aren’t yet engaged, but i know the proposal is coming soon! 😀 I can’t wait! We currently live in Philly but we are wanting to get married in Pittsburgh. He is an Alumni of University of Pitt and it’s a beautiful city! Our first choice was Heinz Chapel with a reception to follow at St. Nicholas Greek church right around the corner. It seemed perfect to us then we added all of the costs up. $925 for 2 hrs at the chapel, $800 for a small hall at the church for reception, $55/hr for a pitt cop to supervise the event (ridiculous!) $17/head for alchohol, $25/head for catering (aprox 100 people). I’m brand new at planning a wedding, i’m sort of lost! We are paying for the wedding ourselves and currently have no savings. We are starting to plan now so that we can start saving! Our aprox date is Oct 2013 so we have over a year to save. What is a realistic budget for a simple yet elegant wedding with less than 100 guests? I would like to keep it as cheap as possible, I want to be a DIY bride to keep costs down. I just don’t know where to start! any advice would be sooo appreciated!! Thank you everyone! Happy wedding planning! 😀
Post # 3
@BrittanyAllyce: Welcome to the bee! 🙂
I’m brand-new to wedding planning, too (we’re also getting married in October 2013 with a guest list of about 100 people), but here’s one lesson I can share with you that Fiance and I learned pretty quickly in regards to budget.
We sat down and looked at all kinds of information online and dreamed up this gorgeous wedding and then realized it would cost us at least $25k to pull it off. We SO do not have that kind of money. So the first lesson we learned was: set your budget first, and THEN decide what you can afford within that budget.
We can afford about $15k, so now we know that whatever decisions we make in regard to venue, vendors, etc. has to fit into that $15k budget. My advice to you would be to sit down with your Fiance and, if possible, your families (if they are contributing any money) and figure out what everyone can afford to give for the wedding. Once you have that number, THEN you will be able to figure out exactly what kind of wedding you can have.
See, we did it backwards: tried to plan the wedding first and figure out the money afterward. It really needs to be the other way around: figure out the money and then plan around that number. Now that we know what we can spend, we already know what venues/vendors are too expensive for us and aren’t worth our time to consider. It really helps narrow down your decisions and choices when you set your budget first.
It’s pretty overwhelming at first, but don’t worry! I found so much help here on WeddingBee. It is a great site. Do a search for budget wedding ideas, there are lots of bees here who planned beautiful, inexpensive weddings. Maybe you can get some ideas from them, too 🙂
Post # 4
October in Pittsburgh books so fast. I myself got married in Pittsburgh and I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t already booking now.
To be honest, $25/person on catering is an excellent, excellent price. I don’t know if you can do much better than that.
What is your approximate budget?
Post # 5
@HeyKaraoke: Thank you for all of your advice! We have set a budget and now it is making things so much easier! 😀
Post # 6
@kwynn: Our budget is LESS than 10K! We don’t want to take out a loan and are saving every penny we can! We have looked into the Pittsburgh Opera House and The Union Project which are pretty reasonable. My fiance wants to have bbq for our dinner so we found Pittsburgh bbq Company which is roughly $15/head which i think is excellent! I spoke with a DJ from Steel City DJ’s and they charge $200/hour. I just don’t know what to expect with prices! lol I would like to pay no more than $1k for a photographer, It looks like we are going to be able to stay well under our budget if I keep bargain hunting!
Post # 7
@BrittanyAllyce: Congrats, girlfriend! We’re getting married May of next year here in Pittsburgh and we actually looked at both places you mentioned, too. We’re planning and paying for the entire thing ourselves, so I totally understand budget constraints. Please, please, please check out The Fez – it’s outside of the city, near the airport, but they are SO wonderful and helpful. Plus, it’s an all-in-one deal (catering, cake, decorations, hall, bar, etc.). Debby is so incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.
PM me if you want to chat about details or anything else – I’m a super OCD bride so I have everything pretty nailed down, and it’s all Pittsburgh-based. 🙂
Post # 8
Are you looking to do super formal and fancy? If not, I have a few good ideas. (our wedding is Sept. 2013 and we’re going to be pretty laid back).
* our reception will be at the Broughton Fire Hall in South Park (about 30 minutes south of the city). It’s $1400 for 5 hours which is a teensy bit more than we wanted to spend but it includes clean up, set up, ice, pop (soda lol), mixers, and bartenders. The place is HUGE and looks more like a hotel than a fire hall. It’s very clean and very new. The parking lot is huge, you can use any caterer, DJ, band, decor, etc you want. You can even bring your own alcohol. It’s very, very popular and reputable so if you’re interested I’d look into it now.
* if you’re open to an outside wedding, try looking into a park. There are a TON of them in Allegheny county. Here’s the site:
* Woody’s Catering in McKeesport has a very good reputation. There are a ton of different packages starting at $17/person. The owner’s mother is, like, 90 and still cooks for them! They have a list of venues they frequently work with on their website:
Post # 9
I am getting married in October with a budget under 10,000. Let me know if you need help!!
Post # 10
I am recently engaged and just joined Wedding Bee! We will be getting married north of Pittsburgh, likely in May of 2014. Definitely a small budget and I really have no idea what I am doing!! I started looking into barn locations in the area and the first price I got back for rental was $4500 which completely blew my mind…that much for just renting the place not including catering or anything?? In your experience is this an average cost? We are looking at likely over 200 guests and I just can’t imagine paying for all of them on top of that!
Thanks for any advice 🙂
Post # 11
@graceteg: What area are you looking for? and what type of venue do you have in mind?
North there is Succop Conservancy. They are a pretty affordable rustic option. Most of the bigger barns are VERY expensive.
The Pittsburgh Opera house is another afforable option but it’s more of an industrial look and A LOT of DIY.
Post # 12
@m33: Definitely interested in barn-type wedding, my fiance is a farmer 🙂 We live near Wexford right now but are hoping to have the reception up where the farms are near Prospect/Butler area.
I was just so surprised to see how much it would be, but unfortuntaly we have a pretty big guest list going tooI haven’t looked too much into Succop but have heard a lot about it, I will have to check them out!
Post # 13
@graceteg: You should check out Mayernik Center in Avonworth. It’s not a barn, but it is a big log cabin. It’s middling as far as price.
Post # 14
The Rose Barn at North Park is inexpensive (I’m not sure how many it holds).
Post # 15
Hi Bees! i’m new but i wanted to add to this because i am IN LOVE with barn weddings and of coarse..everybody else is so these people that own them figure they are going to milk it for all it’s worth…but i did look into the mayernik center and it is beautiful but it’s still $2,000 just to rent…just too pricey for me because then on top of that i have 200 guests…so i’m looking into other routes…
Post # 16
My husband and I got married at Five Pines Barn in Irwin this past September and it was absolutely perfect! You can choose all of your vendors so that helps with the savings. All in all I think we spent right around $12,000 and it was everything I could have asked for!
Good luck 🙂