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Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh

Heinz History Center Brides

So my fiancé is dead set on our reception being at Heinz history center. We are both from Pgh (I live in VA for now, he is deployed overseas, then we will both be going to FLA for his next duty station). I love the place and am really looking forward to meeting with the planner this weekend. 

Can anyone give me any hints, tips, etc! Is Common Plea worth the money? 

Im planing from a distance, so its all in the air! :) 

Thanks! 

Re: Heinz History Center Brides

  • My brother and his wife had their wedding reception there and it was so beautiful! We loved how unique it was and the food was delicious. It is on the expensive side and they do try to up-sell on a lot of things, so stick to your guns, if you dont want to upgrade the bar/food/etc.
  • I am having my ceremony there in early 2015. Joy Balentine is wonderful to work with. She is very enthusiastic and willing to help with pretty much anything. They gave me a great list of recommended vendors even though I wasn't having my entire wedding there. She has checked up on me since I booked (September) and wanted to know how my planning was coming along and if I needed suggestions or anything. Very helpful!
  • I just had my wedding there in the Great Hall in October. I also planned from a distance in MI. Here are my reviews: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1001749/vendor-reviews-10-26 

    Martin from the Common Plea provided a great experience. I originally had Lori as my planner, then she retired and I was given to Maura and Cara. My first meeting with both of them was a month before my wedding, and that's when I started being displeased with the HHC. They were late to the meeting (which was also with Martin) and Martin's professionalism went down a bit and showed that this wasn't the first time this has occurred. It was at that meeting, with 16 months of planning with Lori a bunch of things changed that were promised. All because a second wedding had booked the upstairs space ($$$$$$$) and while that means the entrance way plans changed, I also felt bumped to the side. Martin and my DJ actually were the ones that made sure that the things I had wanted got achieved. Also, I guess Cara was new because she was planning on leaving on all of the hall lights the entire evening, but she eventually figured out how to turn them off without turning off the rope lights on the pillars. I had a fantastic wedding though all in all. My guests are still making comments about the great time they had and I received multiple christmas cards this year with my wedding in the background, lol.

    As for Common Plea, my MIL dealt with them for payment and everything like that, and didn't think they had the best organization. We had a ton of kids (~35) and their kids meal situation isn't the greatest, and MIL made changed to that until about a week before. In the end though, she loved everything that they did. I loved all of my entrees, and we calculated out that stations are the best prices. They were very accommodating to our large Mormon crowd and didn't charge us the bar prices for those adults, but I guess with us buying other refreshments they got their money. We also saved money by not using their desserts or having a full cocktail hour with appetizers, and no one cared. I do hope though that they got their linen company situation in hand because it was not fun getting a surprise linen bill demanding for full payment a week before the wedding. 
  • I would love to hear any pointers or details you've learned about Heinz History or Common Plea, throughout your research!  I'm also smitten with the aesthetic of the venue, though am cautious of what I've heard about the pricing.  From what I can gather, Common Plea uses a by-the-item sort of pricing system rather than comprehensive packages of places like Parkhurst.  It seems like this system looks cheap at first, but really adds up quick.  Have you received any budget quotes that you're willing to share?  
  • If you're interested in my costs, I had 151 people, had 3 stations, the lowest bar package, some extra non alcoholic drinks, and my total for everything was $14k-15k. And that's pre tip which my MIL took care of. We did not use their desserts.
    [Deleted User]deec13
  • We had our hearts set on a later number. When we got the cost for a sit down (we were told stations would not work in the downstairs space due to our number of people), booze, non alcoholic drinks and the venue fees we were looking at 40k. This didnt include rentals, linens, chairs, etc. 
  • My linen bill was ~1200. That included 170 napkins, 18 navy striped tablecloths, and like 10 regular navy tablecloths for all of the food and dj tables. Tables and chairs were included in the History Center fee, and I did not upgrade my chairs. The place settings I had were $7pp. 

    I'm interested in your number, because I know that the downstairs has a limit of 180, and I will say that our 151 made it a bit tight with stations but not actually that noticeable.
  • Wow, this is incredibly helpful information!  I'm meeting with their staff in a few weeks, so it is great to know your experiences ahead of time.
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