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Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding

So my father is visiting from overseas and we need to get married in October. I was going to wait until the boy proposed, but he keeps telling me that he's going to do it on his schedule and I should go ahead and start planning. Since the discussions started in January, I was going to wait. But now that it's April and some of the budget friendly places that are nice are all booked, I'm anxious! Since I'm a few hundred miles away, it adds to the anxiety. His mom said she'll help me. But since he hasn't proposed, I haven't had the option of reaching out to the wives of all his friends.

Do you ladies know any good receptions halls or hotels that are under $45/pp (or so) including alchohol? At this point, it'll have to be a Sunday wedding and I'm hoping he moves quickly on booking a reception so I don't lose my 1st place choice for ceremony. One hotel that I fell in love with told me $55/pp and when I asked the person to put it in writing, she came back with $78/pp. I'm not into games!

I'm also open to the idea of restaurant banquet room since there will be about 100-125 people.

Thank you for your help.

Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding

  • I planned from OOT also and I can tell you that it is definitely a challenge. Make sure you choose vendors who are very good at responding to you via email or phone. That was one of the most frustrating aspects. Also travelling and having to bring everything on a plane is tough so if you have anyone in the Pittsburgh area that can help you collect things like table numbers, etc. that are hard to travel with, send items like that to them.

    As far as a venue, we had our reception at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott and I think ours was $63/person including an open bar.  Make sure you find out if a place has a food and beverage minimum. The main thing I would suggest though for an OOT bride is finding a place that has everything included for you: food, bar, linen and place settings, chairs, etc. That way you have less vendors to worry about and from what I've heard, prices can get a little out of control if you're having to find all separate vendors for those things.

    I wouldn't sign any contracts until your boyfriend gets that ring on your finger though! Guys don't want to be pressured but I would be really weary about planning something for October without a ring, so hopefully he gets on that soon for you :) Also remember October is a popular wedding month in the Burgh so vendors are going to be less likely to negotiate a lower price. Its a good idea you are considering a Sunday wedding, they should give you a little but of a discount for that!
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  • I'm also planning an OOT Pittsburgh wedding.  If you haven't checked them out already, I'd look at the Embassy Suites in Moon Township.  Prices are about $70 pp for a Sunday, but that includes an open bar, the cake, centerpieces, a cocktail hour, a room for you and your fiance, and all taxes and service charges.  Linda is great to work with from OOT...she's extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and organized and responds quickly to emails and phone calls.
  • What part of town are you targeting...I'm assuming close enough to the ceremony?  Where are you hoping to do the ceremony?
  • Honestly, while I understand that you've talked about getting engaged, you SHOULD NOT be planning a wedding unless you are actually engaged. If he's not ready to propose, but told you to go ahead and keep planning a wedding less than a year away, there are some big red flags. You need to sit down with him and talk about this before you put down any deposits or make any big moves. If he isn't ready to propose yet, how can you be sure he will be ready to get married by October? Most deposits are non-refundable, so it's best to get this all sorted out before you start losing money you might not be able to get back.

    That being said, October is an EXTEMELY popular month in Pittsburgh and most vendors are booked up to a year in advance, so you should get things figured out with your boyfriend asap.
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  • In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]Honestly, while I understand that you've talked about getting engaged, you SHOULD NOT be planning a wedding unless you are actually engaged. If he's not ready to propose, but told you to go ahead and keep planning a wedding less than a year away, there are some big red flags. You need to sit down with him and talk about this before you put down any deposits or make any big moves. If he isn't ready to propose yet, how can you be sure he will be ready to get married by October? Most deposits are non-refundable, so it's best to get this all sorted out before you start losing money you might not be able to get back. That being said, October is an EXTEMELY popular month in Pittsburgh and most vendors are booked up to a year in advance, so you should get things figured out with your boyfriend asap.
    Posted by PhotoDerby[/QUOTE]

    Co-signed.
  • Thank you all for the guidance. He'll be the person putting down the deposits. So if there's money lost, that will be his money. Last night, I had a frank discussion with him about doing in next Spring so we have more time to plan and save, etc... and he said he's ok with getting married in October. Persoanlly, I feel rushed and I don't like it either... especially w/ the whole dress shopping aspect of it. Don't worry, I'm not going to spend any money on my end until there's a ring on my finger.
    As for the ceremony, I want this place that's right outside of downtown. The Embassy Suites in Moon Township is a no-go becuase that's were his borther got married in a few months ago. I'm kinda wondering if The Fez would be easier since their package is all inclusive. But maybe we need to revisit our budget per person and consider a hotel wedding since most of them are all inclusive and a lot less headache/stress.
  • I'm glad to hear you're waiting until he proposes before you start shelling out your money.

    I went to a wedding at the Fez a few years ago, and to be honest, I wasn't impressed, particularly with the food. You can still use the same venue as his brother- there's no rule that says you can't use the same venue as another family member, even if it's in the same year.

    You're right that dress shopping will be challenging. My friend is getting married in October and had to have her dress ordered by the end of last month. You can certainly find styles that can be ordered quickly (David's Bridal is particularly good at this, I believe), or you may be able to find a sample dress off the rack. If you have your heart set on a particular style or designer though, you might be in a bit of a pickle.

    If you would feel more comfortable waiting until next spring, then wait until next spring!! Make a few calls and see if any of your potential venues even have dates open in October. I know you said you were looking at a Sunday wedding, but at this point, a lot of venues will already have their Friday & Sunday dates booked because it's such a popular month here.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]Honestly, while I understand that you've talked about getting engaged, you SHOULD NOT be planning a wedding unless you are actually engaged. If he's not ready to propose, but told you to go ahead and keep planning a wedding less than a year away, there are some big red flags. You need to sit down with him and talk about this before you put down any deposits or make any big moves. If he isn't ready to propose yet, how can you be sure he will be ready to get married by October? Most deposits are non-refundable, so it's best to get this all sorted out before you start losing money you might not be able to get back. That being said, October is an EXTEMELY popular month in Pittsburgh and most vendors are booked up to a year in advance, so you should get things figured out with your boyfriend asap.
    Posted by PhotoDerby[/QUOTE]

    Amen.

    You were thinking October of what year?  2013 or 2014?  I hate to pee on your Cheerios, but most of the vendors and venues are going to be booked for
    October 2013, and they are already getting filled up for October 2014 as well. 

    Just to keep it in perspective for you, I met with the Carnegie Museums at the beginning of January this year, and they were completely booked for October 2014 except for one Saturday. . . and by now that is probably filled.  Most venues/vendors here book 1-1.5 years out  for October.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding :  Cmsciulli - are you talking about the Carnegie history muesum in Oakland? We tried to get in there last year for October 2013 and they were booked then until 2014!
    Posted by snippet17[/QUOTE]

    This is why we got married in January! Lol We were dead set on the museum so we booked in July 2012 for January 2013 and got the last January spot and planned every little detail in 6 months.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]Cmsciulli - are you talking about the Carnegie history muesum in Oakland? We tried to get in there last year for October 2013 and they were booked then until 2014!
    Posted by snippet17[/QUOTE]

    Yes Ma'am, the Music Hall Foyer.  Gorgeous, gorgeous venue and they are booked pretty much every weekend from 2013-2014 when we went to see them.  We really like the venue, but did not like Parkhurst's cake cutting and cookie traying fees, which would have been like $800.  I felt that was overboard.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding : This is why we got married in January! Lol We were dead set on the museum so we booked in July 2012 for January 2013 and got the last January spot and planned every little detail in 6 months.
    Posted by manjermj[/QUOTE]

    Oh that's awesome. . . are your pictures online anywhere?  I'd love to see them.  That is truly a spectacular space.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding : Oh that's awesome. . . are your pictures online anywhere?  I'd love to see them.  That is truly a spectacular space.
    Posted by cmsciulli[/QUOTE]

    Yep! here they are!http://prints.bethinsalaco.com/Weddings/TImMeganWed26Jan2013/28021451_vHGd4J#!i=2366433714&k=h3jJLCD
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding : Yep! here they are! http://prints.bethinsalaco.com/Weddings/TImMeganWed26Jan2013/28021451_vHGd4J#!i=2366433714&k=h3jJLCD
    Posted by manjermj[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for sharing!

    Gorgeous :-)  Your dress was awesome.  Love the outside shots- the snow falling was so pretty.  And Marines in dress blues? *swoon* Love the shots of you and DH leaving your ceremony, you both look so happy.

    The Mellon Institute shots are great too. . . FI got his Ph.D there and I worked there for a year, so we will be doing that too.* 

    Submit all of your photos to every bridal magazine out there!

    *Secret confession: I used to get PO'd when I would leave work on a Friday afternoon and accidentally come busting through a couple's wedding shots because no one posts a warning for the employees!  I'd get PO'd because the bride and photographer would inevitably yell at me. . . sorry, but I'm just trying to go home and I had no clue there was a freaking wedding outside! :-P

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • Well, I'm not having a huge wedding and most of the vendors are already taken care of... meaning they are family freinds who will prioritize our wedding and/or who are only doing our wedding since they are super professionals in their field. Meaning, my photographer/videographer is the head of film department for a major university. So again, those aren't my concern. Also, a lot of the places that are booked a year + in advance are way out of my budget any way.

    When doing your research, did you ladies find any restaurants/banquet halls, etc that were wedding friendly and reasonable rate? And as for the Fez, I was there at a wedding too, the food wasn't that great, but most people won't remember the food. Since it's a party of 100-125, I think there are plenty of venues still available. At least they are when I call them, I just find those places that charge $99 / person or $25/per person but with a lot of strings and high maintenance that usually ends up being much more.
  • The banquet hall at Holy Cross in Mt. Lebanon is supposed to be pretty reasonably priced and they have an in-house caterer. You do have to provide your own alcohol, but that's a great way to cut costs. Bell's Banquet's in Mt. Pleasant, PA, is around $56/pp and I believe that includes alcohol.

    Trust us though when we say that just finding a venue at this point for a Sunday in October is going to be challenging, especially when you're trying to stay within a particular price range. We're not trying to be downers, but a lot of us are planning weddings in popular months (either June or October), and we've experienced the budget versus date availability issue. Let us know if you have any other questions, and we'll try to help you.

  • Maybe check out the Great Hall in the North Hills. I have been to  banquets there in the past and it was nice. Or even check out fire halls or VFW's.
  • In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]Maybe check out the Great Hall in the North Hills. I have been to  banquets there in the past and it was nice. Or even check out fire halls or VFW's.
    Posted by 652162375001152[/QUOTE]

    I don't know why that posted under a weird user name but that was me. Lol
  • In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Help! OOT couple on a budget for Pittsburgh wedding : I don't know why that posted under a weird user name but that was me. Lol
    Posted by manjermj[/QUOTE]

    Thank you!
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