wedding party waving terrible towels pittsburgh
Leeann Marie Photography

If you’re hosting a Pittsburgh wedding, you probably have a lot of questions. When is the best time of year to get married here? Which Pittsburgh wedding venues do couples love? How can I help my out-of-town guests? Is a Terrible Towel an acceptable wedding photo prop? Well, you’re in luck. We’re here to answer all of your Pittsburgh wedding questions to help you plan your big day stress-free (and see the photo above for the answer to the Terrible Towel question—in a word, yes).

Here’s everything you need to know about planning Pittsburgh weddings.

The Basics

Wondering how much a wedding in Pittsburgh costs? It turns out that Pittsburgh weddings are not among the most expensive in the country. In fact, the cost of getting married in Pittsburgh is $26,000, which is just under the national average of $27,000. September is the most popular month to get married in the area, and the average size of a Pittsburgh wedding is 130 guests, which is right around the national average.

When planning your Pittsburgh wedding, it’s a good idea to make sure that your wedding weekend doesn’t conflict with any major events in the area. These events may mean traffic tie-ups or overbooked hotels. In Pittsburgh major events include the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Early June, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, the Wings Over Pittsburgh Air Show in June or July, and the Pittsburgh Regatta and Fourth of July Celebration in July, the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, and the Pittsburgh Light-Up Night in mid-November. You’ll also want to be aware of the Steelers’ schedule, especially if your wedding is being held near Heinz Field.

Getting There and Getting Around

Your out-of-town guests will likely fly into Pittsburgh International Airport, which is about 30 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. There is a bus that runs between the airport and downtown about every half an hour. Once your guests have arrived in Pittsburgh, there are a variety of public transportation options, including a bus and light rail, known as the T. You’ll also find apps like Uber and Lyft, as well as bike and car rentals.

couple kissing pittsburgh
Leeann Marie Photography

Weather

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is known for cold, snowy winters and warm summers. January is the coldest month (and though it might be among the least popular for weddings, there are still some amazing places for Pittsburgh weddings in the winter!), and July is the hottest. The city gets about 38 inches of rain per year, which is right around the national average.

Wedding Venues

There’s a wide variety of Pittsburgh wedding venues to suit every couple’s style. Whether you’re looking for a rustic farm, a grand estate or a totally out-of-the-box venue, Pittsburgh is sure to have a space you’ll absolutely love. Some of these venues also host pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners and bridal showers. Here are a few of the more popular types of Pittsburgh wedding venues.

  • Rustic
    If you’re okay venturing outside the city for your perfect wedding, check out these rustic wedding venues, including barns and farms, in the Pittsburgh area.
    Check out rustic wedding venues in the Pittsburgh area »
  • Mansion
    We love the romantic and historic feel of a mansion wedding. Turns out there are several gorgeous mansion wedding venues in Pittsburgh, including the gorgeous Hartwood Acres Mansion and the scenic Audubon at Succop Nature Park.
    Check out mansion wedding venues in Pittsburgh »
  • Outdoor
    Have you always dreamed of getting married outside? There are so many outdoor spaces for Pittsburgh weddings, including the National Aviary, the William Country Club, and the Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens. You’ll love all the incredible scenery (and photo ops!) at these locations.
    Check out outdoor Pittsburgh wedding venues »
  • Unique
    For some couples, the standard event space just won’t do. If you’re hosting a Pittsburgh wedding, you’ll be delighted to know that there are lots of unique wedding venues to choose from. In particular, we love the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the Andy Warhol Museum, and even PNC Park—yes, these Pittsburgh landmarks all host weddings and special events!
    Check out unique venues in Pittsburgh »
  • Small
    Your wedding doesn’t have to be huge to amazing. In fact, there are many small Pittsburgh wedding venues that host more intimate events—the Morning Glory Inn, Blue Moon Rising on Deep Creek Lake, and Olive or Twist to name a few!
    Check out small wedding venues in Pittsburgh »
  • Winter
    The winter may be considered the wedding off-season, but there are actually lots of amazing spaces that host gorgeous (and cozy!) winter weddings. From the Fluted Mushroom and Circuit Center to the Omni William Penn Hotel, you’ll have lots of spaces to choose from for your cold-weather wedding!
    Check out Pittsburgh winter wedding venues »

wedding party posing pittsburgh park
Kristen Wynn Photography

Marriage Requirements

If you’re hosting a Pittsburgh wedding, it’s essential to know the marriage license laws. Here’s the rundown: You’ll need to complete the application (which you can actually do online), and then appear together in person at the Allegheny County Marriage License Bureau, which is located on Grant Street. It costs $80 to get a marriage license, and there is a three-day waiting period—meaning you can’t actually have your wedding for three days after you get your license. It’s recommended that you apply for your marriage license 2 or 3 weeks before your wedding date, though the license is valid for 60 days from the date it’s issued. In Pennsylvania you can apply for a self-uniting marriage license, which does not require an officiant, or a traditional marriage license, that does require an ordained officiant to marry you.

Wedding Accommodations

Whether you’re hosting your wedding in downtown Pittsburgh, on the South Side, or on the outskirts of town, you may have out-of-town guests who will need a place to stay. We recommend booking hotel room blocks at accommodations conveniently located near your venue (walking distance is most preferable but a short drive away is fine, too). It’s a good idea to book room blocks at a few hotels that are at different price points. You should book your room blocks shortly after securing your venue, and be sure to let your guests know about these accommodations via your wedding website.

Things to Do in Pittsburgh

Be sure to share your favorite things to do in Pittsburgh with your out-of-town guests. They’ll likely want ideas for how to spend their downtime before and after your wedding day, and will be grateful for your recommendations. Here are a few of our favorite attractions in Pittsburgh:

  • Duquesne Incline
    This historic cable car travels up Mount Washington and will give your friends and family members an incredible view of Downtown Pittsburgh—plus there’s a museum at the top so your loved ones can explore Pittsburgh’s history.
  • Point State Park
    If you’re hosting your wedding during the warmer months, your guests will love visiting this park, located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which forms the Ohio River.
  • Carnegie Museums
    Pittsburgh is home to several incredible museums, many bearing the Carnegie name. These museums include the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (particularly great for kids!), the Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum.
  • Heinz History Center
    Explore Pittsburgh’s vast and unique history at this museum, which features over 40,000 artifacts.
  • Wigle Whiskey Distillery
    Every Saturday (and some Fridays), your guests can enjoy a tour of this famed distillery and taste some of their famed whiskeys, gins, rums, and vodkas—and learn some history in the process! You can even book a private tour just for your friends and family!

Pittsburgh Wedding Inspiration

Pittsburgh weddings have a style all their own, so be sure to check out real weddings that took place in the area to find inspiration for your own big day. Here are a few of our favorites:

Cassie and Dylan’s wedding at Heinz Memorial Chapel, with a reception at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts »
Abigail and William’s chic wedding reception at Fox Chapel Golf Club »
Megan and James’ late-spring wedding at the Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens »
Galyn and Martin’s Art Deco wedding at The Grand Concourse »