Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh

Need some MAJOR help! Ceremony and reception venues

Hi All,

My fiance and I are looking to get married June 2014. We (kind of) like the price and look of the Marriott Airport, and will be having quite a few guests travel from out of town so that venue works very well for us. We also looked into having the ceremony there which could work for us so that nobody has to travel. However, I would REALLY like pictures of the city to be incorporated and if we have the whole thing at the Marriott, then there's really no point in travelling to the city just to do pictures. I should also mention that we are on an extremely limited budget (hopefully well under $15,000) and are cutting costs extremely close in doing it exclusively at the Marriott. 

Basically I guess what I'm trying to research is if there is somewhere in the city that we could use for the ceremony so that our out-of-towners can see the place that we love so much and so that we don't have to have the reception in the city which seems to cost much more. We have a friend who can officiate the ceremony for us and would prefer to use her over a clergy member/pastor/etc. I'm not seeing anything under $750 that will allow for that.

Re: Need some MAJOR help! Ceremony and reception venues

  • My fiance and I are getting married at the marriott next year.  We are doing the ceremony and reception at the same place and our budget is the same as yours.  I am planning on doing pictures in Mt. Washington and possibly around the Point.  We are a non-traditional couple seeing as how we have a 4 year old daughter together and have been living together for the past 3 years.  I am planning on doing pictures before the ceremony so that I dont have to worry about fitting them in between the ceremony and worry about rushing around and having enough time. Hope that helps!
  • awilsonbsmsawilsonbsms member
    10 Comments
    edited February 2013
    There are public locations you can use for free that overlook the city and then you could easily get pictures between ceremony/reception while your guests meander to enjoy the view themselves.

    It just depends on the size of the wedding guest list and your feelings on the necessity of seating.  If you only want seating for the elderly and can supply a few seats and clean up pretty easy, then you've got max flexibility.

    Soooo...ideas:
    -Mt. Washington on one of the lookouts.  There's a couple of spots where the sidewalk lets out into a circular platform.  You could be driven to the end of the aisle by an "usher" and your father would be the doorman and escort you down the aisle.  Just bring chairs for the first rows (parents/grandparents) and any others who may need to sit.
    -North shore/Heinz Field
      -Right off of Gate A is an ampitheatre with seating.  You could be married just in front of the "bridge" and it would look really cool.  The guests would all have seating.  There's a similar working staircase by the Science Center that you could do this with too but it's much smaller.
      -For a much smaller party, there's a beautiful arch that frames the skyline and Mr. Roger's statue that is very, very close to the ampitheatre. But there's not a ton of space around it, so I'd say this would only work for a ceremony location for 30 guests or less standing. But if you opt for a location on the north shore, it's a must have for pictures!

    I've done engagement photos in these locations and they look fantastic.  Also, I know from my own wedding planning that the North Shore locations are the suggestions given by the Gateway Clipper for ceremony locations and they charge (only because they shuttle you & your guests there and keep the boat docked for your reception cruise). Also, if you're looking at North Shore, just double check that there's no concerts at Heinz Field that day as you don't want "tailgating boats" in your pictures.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • How big is your wedding? I wouldnt chance it with trying to just sit ppl in front of Heinz Field or something. What about rain? My cousin got married at Heinz Field and she paid to have her ceremony there so I dont think they want you to just show up for free and try to have a wedding there right quick.

    I would think any city venue is going to cost $$$.

    I think you definitely need to have chairs. People are miserable when they cant sit. Plus what if it rains what would you do?

    I dont know if 15k is enough for a hotel wedding with everything else like DJ, photos, videos, gown, flowers, etc. Are you having a small wedding? I was trying to keep it that low but couldnt. I had to bump up.

    What about having your ceremony in Mellon Park? Thats probably not super expensive, maybe $200. Or Schenley Park?

    Youll have to get chairs, transportation there and back, have the hotel as a backup, and maybe get a microphone for outside in case it's noisy.

  • I agree with pp about that maybe not being enough money. I know that wasn't your question but I'm getting married there in May and my budget was a decent chunk larger than that and I am scrambling now having gone quite a bit over. You of course may be a way better planner than me! I definitely splurged on my cake and a little on flowers but I was pretty conservative on everything else. The actual cost of things through the hotel really added up. Linens, any minor upgrades, etc. it was quite a bit more than I anticipated. I really didnt mean to jump in or sound negative, just trying to be helpful! As far as pictures, someone I know recently got married at the West End overlook. I didn't even know that existed! Anyway, I wasn't there but the pictures were beautiful! Good luck:
  • As for the what if it rains...a lot of people list in their invite a "rain location" to back up to (like the reception location). And as for seating, to each their own.  Personally, I've been to several outdoor weddings that had no seating and I didn't mind because they were short and sweet.  Now, I'd be angsty if it were a Catholic wedding and I had no seat--lol.

    But, moving on...

    Some other ideas that occured to me as well because I know they do receptions and they might do ceremonies, so it can't hurt to ask...
    The Warhol Museum
    The Aviary
    The Children's Museum

    They're all on North Shore and the The Warhol is easily walking distance to the Allegheny River Walk for guests.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Reading your post again I think you should forget about the hotel by the airport. I think its too much money and too far for your guests to go. If your budget is only 15k for everything I would not do a hotel. Why dont you do something like Pittsbugh Opera where the rental is cheaper or one of the other other halls that has outside catering to save $$$. Then pick a ceremony location near there, hopefully a low cost one.
  • CaitlynmkCaitlynmk member
    100 Comments First Anniversary
    edited February 2013
    I am having my wedding reception at the Airport Marriott and there are definitely ways to keep the costs low there. We are cutting out one appetizer during the cocktail hour and one of the courses before the dinner (the package includes 2 courses before the main meal) and that is cutting costs down by $3/person. You could also stick with all of the plain white linens they provide and chairs without chair covers, as well as knock out the champagne toast for another $1 off the per person cost. Those are just some examples.

    We have a lot of OOT guests like you do, and honestly between the older folks who don't like to travel too much and the complaining family members on FI's side, we are LUCKY we picked the Marriott. We would have A LOT less people coming if they all had to drive themselves out to downtown Pittsburgh, an area they are not famliar with and can be confusing for OOTers. I was like you and really wanted guests to feel like they are downtown, but its just not practical if you have a lot of OOT guests unless you offer to shuttle them to and from the ceremony. As a compromise, we are considering taking our wedding party to Mt. Washington for photos because many of them are not from the Burgh, and we also decided that if anyone comes into Pgh on the Thursday before the wedding, we'll carpool and take them to Mt. Washington or downtown for an informal dinner just to help them see the city.

    I wouldn't get discouraged from the other comments about not having a hotel wedding or having it at the Marriott. They may be right that other places are cheaper. but if you have to go through and rent a bunch of things and use a caterer, that will add up and its more complicated. The Marriott has made everything so easy for us, which is great because we are also OOT. Also, the florist that the Marriott recommends (Parkway FLorist) is awesome. She was definitely the best bang for our buck, she is super knowledgable and helpful, and she sticks around the ceremony to help you even after your wedding party is down the aisle.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    Eamiller526
  • cqctcqct member
    10 Comments First Anniversary
    Wow! Thank you all for your responses! I am new to posting and honestly had no idea that any of you had answered haha. Sorry! The reason we decided to go with the Marriott is that they include the cake, champagne toast for all, table linens, some free family rooms for the night of the wedding, and many other little things that I think would add up. I work with a florist  on occasion, so I will be getting some help with that (woohoo!). I do like that they give the option to cut out little things that aren't necessary, because those are the things that really add up. Our wedding will probably end up being around 120 people total, if not less. (Like I said, TONS of OOTs!)

    Originally we were looking for a non-traditional ceremony venue, but we ended up finding a church in the North Side that we love. It was a little more expensive than we would have liked, but we can use our own officiant and feel that we can do the city pictures a little easier that way. It's also a very easy location to get to! We were hoping for $15,000 but I am sure that we will have to go over that with one thing or another! 
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards