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Budget Weddings

Affordable reception venue spots in the Pittsburgh area?

I'm all ears on this one. Trying to keep budget low... maybe 10-15K for everything, if possible. I've been engaged for one week and we're hoping to get married in Fall of 2018. I had no idea what all went into planning - and the sticker price shock is real and so discouraging. Unsure where to turn, venue wise.

Re: Affordable reception venue spots in the Pittsburgh area?

  • First, stop looking at bridal magazines and think outside the box to plan the wedding you can afford.  You've been engaged a week, stop, take a breath!  First, your budget is determined by the amount of money you have in the physical bank account.  There are only three things you need to get married, 1) Someone to marry you, 2) A license, 3) Someone to witness.  Everything else is gravy though the second you invite guests they need to be hosted properly for the level and time of day your wedding is.

    Your local VFW/Community Center/Lion's Club/KC Hall is perfectly acceptable as a venue!  Out of that budget does that include rings/attire?  Next, your guest list - do this up including every Tom, Dick, and Harry you intend to invite, if Cousin Jed has four kids and you want to invite all of them, list Jed/SO and each of the four kids by name so you can easily count them up.  Many people say "Oh 150 guests sounds good" only to not write out the guest list to realize that's just aunts/uncles/first cousins on ONE side of the guest list.  It happens on here more frequently than you think!  A guest list of 50 for that $10,000 budget is significantly different than 400 with that $10,000 budget in what your venue options will be.  After you have your guest list, determine your ceremony!  A religious wedding is going to change your search area for your reception.  If you choose to have your ceremony and reception at the same venue, that can also change your search area as it opens up the possibility of a "destination at home" in the general area you live (there are some nice all-inclusive locations in the PA area)..   From there move on to the other details.  Stick to your budget and never be afraid to tell vendors what that budget is, also remember, if you want $1/slice dessert, don't go walking into a bakery expecting this, not even Sam's is that cheap and they've got the buying power of billions - budget to the level of vendor you're working with!  

    You're best to post this to your local boards for more specific location ideas.  (Go up on the right-hand side of the screen where it says "Wedding Boards" you'll get a drop-down, click on "Local Boards" and search your local area and post this there as well.  
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  • You have been engaged for one week, and you are looking at venues?  STOP!!!!!  You are planning your wedding backwards!

    These are the steps to planning a wedding:

    1.  Find out exactly how much money you will have to spend.  Do not count on money from parents unless they offer it, and if they do offer it, know how much and when you will get that money.  We have had many brides assume their parents were giving them money, only to be disappointed when that money did not come through.
    This is your budget.  Stick to it, no matter what.

    2.  Write up a guest list of everyone you want to invite to your wedding.  You need a list from your FI's side, too.  Expect to have to make some cuts.

    3.  If you are Catholic, talk to your priest before doing any planning.  Find out what you need to do to get married in the church if this is what you want.

    4.  Decide what time of day you will have your wedding and reception.  You can save money by having an afternoon ceremony with a light cake and punch reception.  Another idea is a morning ceremony followed by a brunch or luncheon reception.  Evening dinner receptions are the most expensive, and have only become popular relatively recently.

    5.  OK, NOW maybe you can start looking at venues.  It helps to be flexible in your date and time.  Do not do any planning until you have done the first four steps.  Your venue must fit both your budget and your guest list.  Your guests, if you choose to have any, are your first consideration and responsibility.
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  • monniiauddiimonniiauddii member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2016
    Not sure about the PA area, but try to think of beautiful places that aren't traditionally used for weddings, as they will be much cheaper. My wedding was about $7k for everything and my venue was was only $350 (after the $200 deposit was returned). We used our state's garden headquarters house so there were already a lot of flowers and decor already there as well (and for the rest of our flowers, we bought wholesale at our local market).

    As a wedding photographer, some of my brides have gotten pretty creative with there venues too. One bride had her's at a public park rec center that was right on the marina which she said cost less than $500 and another was using a friends parent's backyard which was actually pretty amazing.


    Hope this helps!
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