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5 Tips on Selecting Your Wedding Venue | Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer


The Rivers Casino Pittsburgh wedding.


Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, and to some, even stressful.  Don’t worry, brides, I have your back here.  I hear your questions, your concerns, and I’m here for you.  When a new bride emails me, the first things I ask is:  Do you have a wedding date set?  Do you have a venue booked?

Don’t book your vendors before booking your venue.  Trust me on that one.

So how do you decide on your dream venue?  Here are some tips to help you narrow down your decision.  First and foremost, communication is always key.  You, along with your fiance, must have a clear vision on what you want your day to look like.  What do you dream that day will look like?  Is it outside?  Is it inside?  Is it surrounded by beautiful flowers?  Is modern, elegant, and classic?


Walk around and envision the space as if it is your wedding day.  How many guests will you be having?  Will they have room to walk around, mingle, and dance?  Will the cocktail hour be in the same space as the reception?  You want to provide your guests with a great time and so they need the space to do that in.  Make sure that the amount of guests that you are having will not crowd the space.

Wedding reception details at Phipps conservatory.


I love all of the Pittsburgh wedding venues.  We have SO many to choose from and not only that, they have such character and there is such a variety.  From rustic barns, to beautiful old houses, to amazing downtown Pittsburgh hotels with an amazing skyline and view, you really have so much to consider and to choose from.  Once you have an idea of what your decor and wedding day style will be, consider the decor of the venue.  Does it compliment your style?  Is it outdated?  Look at the carpeting.  I know that sounds weird, but in hotels, banquet halls, country clubs, etc., do they have updated neutral carpeting.  If not, are you okay with how it will look with your wedding decor?


If you aren’t holding your ceremony and reception in the same space, consider the travel time.  How long will it take you to travel from the ceremony location to the reception.  Are you going to be headed into the city where you might hit traffic, construction, a sporting event?  You will want to give your guests time to travel from both locations and park before your cocktail hour starts.  You will also want to consider your photography timeline as well.  Where will you want to have your portraits?  I like to leave 30 minutes after the ceremony for family portraits before the bridal party portraits start.  You will want to consider the time it will take to travel with the bridal party, stop for portraits, and head over to the reception space for your intro.  Talk with your photographer (hopefully it’s ME!), prior to setting up times for your day to ensure you have enough time in your timeline for the portraits that you want.

The Twentieth Century Club wedding reception.


Where do you want to spend your wedding night?  What about your guests?  Will you have guests traveling in for your wedding day?  They will need to have accommodations set up prior to the wedding day.  Take that into consideration when selecting your reception venue.  Places in the city like The Sheraton Station Square, The Renaissance, and the Omni William Penn, has set ups for ceremony, reception, and lots of amazing rooms for an overnight stay.  If you are getting married where there aren’t over night accomodations, will you be able to provide a shuttle from the venue to make the travel easier (and safer) for your guests?


Nothing beats a room full of natural light.  A reception venue with lots of windows that allow for a beautifully lit space really makes a huge difference in both the look of your decor and how your photos will turn out.  Also, a nice view of the city or the countryside never hurts either.  I also like to suggest either speaking with the venue or your DJ about up lighting.  It adds depth to the background and can really make your decor stand out especially during the night time dancing portion of your reception.

Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel wedding reception pictures.

I hope that you found this all helpful!!  Selecting your venue is a big deal so be sure to weigh out your options and be sure that it is exactly what you envision your day to look like.  Book your venue and then start planning and booking your vendors!!!

Are you recently engaged and planning YOUR Pittsburgh wedding?!  I’d LOVE to connect with you!  Please feel free to contact me below or email me directly at!

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