The Hottest Wedding Venues in Pittsburgh Right Now

Pittsburgh couples have a wide selection of places to say “I do.” Here’s a list of some of the best local wedding sites, new and classic.
Rachelrowlandphotography 617 Jf21

MUSEUMLAB PHOTO BY RACHEL ROWLAND PHOTOGRAPHY

After agreeing to a lifetime together, it’s time to discuss a budget, send out save-the-dates and Google “Pittsburgh wedding venues.” But narrowing down so many options to one perfect setting can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve chosen four spots, each opened in the last 10 years, as the best venues in town. The best part? Each of them can be tailored to any couple’s desires.

Kennyamanda1 Jf21

THE UNION HALL AT BAR MARCO, THE UPSTAIRS SPACE OF ONE OF PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE’S BEST RESTAURANTS, IS HOUSED IN A RESTORED FORMER FIREHOUSE | PHOTOS BY SANDRACHILE

Union Hall at Bar Marco

The Union Hall at Bar Marco is ideal for couples who are looking to put a lot of thought and personal detail into both their ceremony and the food and drinks at their reception.

Kennyamanda3

Bar Marco was a restaurant first (consistently named one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best Restaurants) and event space second; the establishment has been hosting weddings for more than eight years. Located in the Strip District, the Union Hall at Bar Marco is carefully restored from what was once a firehouse.

“The building is beautiful and old and has many cool little details,” says Andrew Heffner, Bar Marco general manager. “The whole space upstairs, which we did not originally plan for, has a 120-year-old tin ceiling that is still intact. It is beautiful and old, but we are able to do a lot more modern things within the service and the nature of the food and drink program.”

Kennyamanda2 Jf21

Able to seat up to 65 guests for a multi-course, seated meal and more than 100 guests for a standing, cocktail-hour-style reception, Bar Marco works closely with each couple to create their ideal seasonal menu.

“We try to tailor the food and drink offerings to the couple but also to the season and to what local produce there is and what wine would go well with it or what cocktail makes the most sense,” says Heffner. “We have a small team who works there and we are very thoughtful in what we do. We have passion about even what potatoes we serve with their beef entree and that passion trickles down throughout the planning.”

Kennyamanda4 Jf21

PHOTO COURTESY BAR MARCO

The venue is also open for outside vendors within the Pittsburgh wedding community and the couple’s individual choosing to come in and make their desired day come to life.

Kennyamanda5 Jf21

“Couples who want something personal and are food and drink focused are going to have the best time with us,” says Heffner.


By Carly K Photography Lt408 Jf21

THE MUSEUMLAB AT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PITTSBURGH IS HOUSED IN WHAT ONCE WAS THE CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY OF ALLEGHENY | PHOTOS BY CARLY K PHOTOGRAPHY

MuseumLab At the Children’s Museum  of Pittsburgh

The MuseumLab at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is a space for kids ages 10 and older to have “cutting edge experiences in art, tech and making,” but it is also becoming known as a wedding venue rooted in history and grandeur.

The MuseumLab is located in what once was the Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny. After a lightning strike severely damaged the more-than-a-century-old building in 2006, it was empty for years. The Children’s Museum put life back into much of the stone building interior’s original design features, and the venue reopened as MuseumLab in 2019.

By Michael Will Photography 20190424 Museumlab1826 Jf21

PHOTO BY MICHAEL WILL PHOTOGRAPHY

“You see this really beautiful exposed brick and archways and columns,” says Jenna Shuknecht, associate director of visitor services. “For a historical junkie, it is a really exciting place.”

The space can be transformed depending on the size of the guest list and how the couple envisions their day.

By Kaitlin Powell Photography Mrrodgers 214 Jf21

PHOTO BY KAITLIN POWELL PHOTOGRAPHY

“If you’re looking to do a fully seated dinner and a ceremony, 120 guests is the perfect number,” says Shuknecht. “If you’re more of a nontraditional sort of bride [or groom] where you don’t need to have a seat for everyone, you can absolutely do a cocktail reception with beautiful furniture and stations throughout and people dancing for 200 guests. It is definitely flexible depending on what the couple is looking for.”

While the MuseumLab is the hot ticket right now for the Children’s Museum complex, couples can take their wedding to the next level with a “full campus wedding” with each event on the itinerary taking place in a different space.

By David Mccandless Photography Museumlabstyled 71 Jf21

PHOTO BY DAVID MCCANDLESS PHOTOGRAPHY

“The MuseumLab vibe is really what is in right now. The exposed brick is really in. The pretty hotel ballroom is not the hip thing right now,” says Shuknecht. “It is a really unique and pretty place. There is really no other space like it.”


Cm329 Jf21

RIVERFRONT WEDDINGS, OPERATED AND MANAGED BY JPC EVENT GROUP WITHIN THE ASPINWALL RIVERFRONT PARK, OFFERS NUMEROUS SETTINGS FOR A CELEBRATION | PHOTOS BY DAWN DERBYSHIRE PHOTOGRAPHY

Riverfront Weddings

For brides and grooms looking for fresh air to keep guests dancing all night and a magical sunset moment with Pittsburgh scenery to look out to, RiverFront Weddings is the venue to book.

Hug Jf21

RiverFront Weddings is operated and managed by JPC Event Group within the Aspinwall Riverfront Park. The modern and industrial venue is a clean space with minimal details and has plenty of natural scenery to elevate the couple’s own decor and personal touches. According to Caitlyn Wimer, Vice President of JPC Events and Venue Manager, it is a public park so the outdoor Pittsburgh community can be a part of your day.

“It is a very interesting space because a wedding can happen while there are people kayaking on the river or eating at a cafe in the back,” says Wimer.

Venue Outside Jf21

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL WILL PHOTOGRAPHY

“It is one of the only riverfront properties in the city, and it is also the only venue that I know of directly in the city where you have so much space,” she adds. “It is literally a park, so you have a lot of green space and outdoor space. It is a really large venue.”

Coghill Jf21

With all of the available space, couples have a variety of options where they can say “I Do” before their reception. According to Wimer, the West Park green space is available for larger guest lists of up to 200 people, and a green space directly next to the pavilion can accommodate up to 300. For a more intimate wedding, the dock on the river can hold up to 50 guests and the covered patio overlooking the dock can seat overflow of up to 100 people.

Included in the booking of RiverFront Weddings is a full catering, equipment and venue coordination service by JPC Event Group, which operates three weddings and event spaces in the region.

Hug Jf21

PHOTO BY DAWN DERBYSHIRE PHOTOGRAPHY

“I love the space because you can do much with it, and it is so interesting for me to see how other people interpret it because some people take it ultra-modern and some people go really rustic,” says Wimer. “Some people do the bare minimum and others hang all kinds of crazy things in there.”


Gracefulfawn Oliviaandmark Slatestudiowedding350 Jf21

IN THE HEART OF THE STRIP DISTRICT, SLATE STUDIO IS MEANT TO BE A BLANK SLATE, A STARTING POINT FOR COUPLES TO DESIGN THEIR OWN DREAM DAY | PHOTOS BY GRACEFUL FAWN.

Slate Studio

In the heart of the Strip District, wedding planners at Shayla Hawkins Events {SHE} created a space that can serve as a flexible “blank slate” for newlyweds. According to Alexis Allen, who created Slate Studio with Shayla Hawkins in 2017, they based the concept on the importance of allowing a couple to bring both their own style and vendors to a space.

Gracefulfawn Oliviaandmark Slatestudiowedding136 Jf21

“We wanted to make sure that people could really go in and morph the space as they desire,” says Allen. “If they wanted to go rustic or glam or maybe they wanted to go industrial — they could do just that.”

Without having to compete with busy carpeting or wallpaper or unattractive in-house chairs, Slate clients can design a layout that, according to Allen, is perfect for 80 to 125 guests. It is just big enough that the couple can play around with the design until it is just right with the help of Allen and Hawkins, from a cocktail-hour-style reception to a sit-down dinner with larger round or wood farm tables.

Gracefulfawn Lauraandchris Slatestudiowedding1240 Jf21

“We will give them a starting point but with the idea that it is flexible,” says Allen. “If they don’t love where something is, let’s move it.”

Allen considers Slate to be very “turnkey” with different amenities included in the price of rental, including different styles of tables and chairs, including clear Florence acrylic chairs, a sound system in case people don’t bring a band or DJ, and different lighting settings, such as the house lights on dimmers creating a romantic ambiance.

Gracefulfawn Oliviaandmark Slatestudiowedding541 Jf21

“We created that because we understand that not everybody needs a full production to have a beautiful wedding,” says Allen. “It is not necessary. You can come in and be minimalistic and simple because that’s your style and still have a beautiful wedding.”


Classic & Chic

There are some classic venues that never go out of style. You may want to consider these timeless, romantic spots to say “I do.” — Lauren Davidson

20190720 Goehring2306

PHOTO BY MICHAEL WILL PHOTOGRAPHY

Omni William Penn Hotel

Hotel ballrooms may not be the go-to for wedding receptions anymore, but the Omni offers so much more. The historical structure in the heart of Downtown is over 100 years old, has hosted numerous celebrities and houses fine dining and a speakeasy, all of which create an elegant vibe for your celebration.


Kb 351 Websize

PHOTO BY STEVEN DRAY PHOTOGRAPHY

Carnegie Museums

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History are popular spots for couples looking for a particular aesthetic on their day, but with rotating exhibits and so much space inside and out, no two weddings are alike.


Esquire 698

PHOTO BY LEEANN MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

You can never have too many flowers at a wedding — and Phipps comes with quite a few of them already built in. Choosing this venue guarantees you’ll have the most vibrant photos in Pittsburgh, no matter the weather.


Kreiderwedding092819sneak 22

PHOTO BY JENNA HIDINGER PHOTOGRAPHY

The Pennsylvanian

The former train station is perfect for couples with a travel theme or those who simply love a stately Pittsburgh landmark; this one was constructed in 1900.

 

Categories: From the Magazine, Hot Reads, Weddings