Post # 1
Hi there, this is my first post! I’m not yet egaged but the bf and I have been talking and planning for a wedding next year around late May in Pittsburgh (his family is all from there). Not being from Pittsburgh myself, I’m a bit overwhelmed by trying to find a venue. Are there any locations that don’t have a list of required caterers? I’m totally blown away by how expensive catering is!
Post # 3
Wait, you’re not engaged yet but you’re planning a wedding for May 2012? Or May 2013?
Either way – venues in DOWNTOWN Pittsburgh are pretty much all going to require that you use one of their preferred caterers, except for The Mattress Factory (you have to pay an additional deposit if you don’t use one of their preferred caterers). I had also looked at the Society for Contemporary Craft which is in the Strip District, and they allowed you to use whoever as your caterer as well, BUT the venue is pretty small.
If you’re interested in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, pretty much any hotel is good to look into, because there won’t be a cost to rent the venue AND the cost for the caterer – so you get a lot more bang for your buck with either a hotel or restaurant wedding. Hartwood Acres doesn’t have caterers that you have to use, but you do have to be out of their by 6pm or 7pm or something like that, so you’d need an early wedding. There is also the Mayernik Center, which is great when you’re on a budget, but I’m pretty sure that’s going to be booked for May 2012 already.
But it just depends what you’re looking for – if you want rustic, there are plenty of barn/farm type places. If you want something more traditional, there are more than enough nice hotels around.
Post # 4
What type of venue are you looking for? I just got married in Pittsburgh in April and did a TON of research on every major venue.
Post # 5
Thanks so much for the replies! I am so new to this that I thought I would get the responses in my email and since I hadn’t, I figured noone had replied, oops!
Anyway, yes, in essence we are engaged, we know we want to get married next spring/summer, the only thing that is holding us back on the “official” front is the ring. But since much of my family and friends of family will be flying in from overseas and I already know that a few of them are planning on being in the States this coming May/June, we figure that will be the best time for our guests so considering that it’s becoming a time crunch, I’m feeling okay with doing a bit of planning a little bit early.
My bf and I have done some online research and have ended up with a few front-runners: History Center, August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh Athletic Assoc, and the Children’s Museum. (We had been talking about Hartwood Acres for like 2 years now! But that whole out by 6pm thing is waay too early for us!)
@Rachel7491, do you have any thoughts on any of those locations? We’re really looking for something within budget, unique in feel and look, I’m a bit more rustic, he’s a bit more modern. We’re going to be doing a church ceremony so just a reception location. Thanks so much for the feedback everyone!
Post # 6
Hmm – rustic and modern? That’s a tough one. Did you consider anythign outside of Pittsburgh but closeby? The Barn at Fallingwater is supposed to be beautiful but it is about an hour or so away.
I looked at the History Center and the PAA. The History Center is nice because it has an outdoor terrace with a great view, but other than that it’s kind of a blank canvas. I think you also have to use their caterer so you don’t have options to shop around.
The PAA is convenient since it’s right in Oakland, but I thought it was kind of old and worn looking. The outside of the building is beautiful though.
How many guests are you having?
Post # 7
what is your budget? Those places you listed are very nice, but could get really expensive depending on how many people you’re having
Post # 8
Have you looked at springwood conference center? it is in the burbs and has a slightly rustic feel, very pretty!
Post # 9
Some things to also keep in mind:
If you are planning for this May a lot of places will already be booked. Pittsburgh books fast, especially the summer months as they are popular ( May is one of the busiest wedding months).
Also, the venues you listed above do not let you bring your own catering. I know the history center makes you go with the common plea catering + the cost of renting the space.
Also, you mentioned you have a lot of Out of town guests? So will you need a venue that is close to hotels ( or a hotel) to accomadate everyone?
Do you feel comfortable sharing your budget so we can help you more?
Hope that helps!
Post # 10
The aviary might work for you—there are various catering options (you can’t bring your own but they have a few different choices) and you can bring your own alchohol.
You can kinda pick and choose what you want. They use the big burrito group for their catering ( same company as mad mex)
Post # 11
I was initially pretty excited about the Aviary or the Zoo, but the zoo is booked solid and I’ve since learned of some friends’ phobias of birds, haha! Good to know that the PAA looked a bit worn down, pretty sure that won’t fly with the bf and yes, it would be preferable that we be in some kind of proximity to hotels and would prefer not to force everyone to have to rent cars. The budget is somewhere around the $25,000 range and we’re looking to have around 130-150 or so guests. I hadn’t heard of Springwood, I’ll definitely have to take a look. I’m pretty sure for the rehearsal dinner we’re planning on renting a pavilion at North Park and invite anyone who wants to come and participate in a really simple burgers, hot dogs, and kegs kind of event with bocce and other games, kind of a meet and greet. Basically his whole family is in Pittsburgh, but mine and all of our friends will be traveling to get there, so we wanted to be able to provide a weekend, rather than just an afternoon/evening. Thanks so much!
Also, slightly unrelated, but if anyone knows of any vendors that rent items for a Korean Paebaek ceremony for weddings in the Pittsburgh area, definitely send that info my way. Google has failed me and I’m hoping that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there. thanks!