Wedding season has arrived and more and more couples are saying, “I do” in less traditional places. While churches are a typical ceremony location and fire halls are a Western Pennsylvania wedding staple, those looking for something different have lots of possible venues to choose from in and around Pittsburgh. LOCAL did some research and compiled a list of ten unique places to hold your wedding in the area. From the ever-trendy barn to a classy and elegant museum- this compilation of unique locales has something for everyone.
Swissvale and Rankin
Accommodates up to 1,000+ guests
This National Historical Landmark is a former blast furnace for iron production. This “rust belt chic” area boasts gorilla art, graffiti, and Cathedral ceilings. Ceremony locations include the grassy Central Courtyard with glass furnace view, the industrial AC Powerhouse and more. This venue offers guest tours between the ceremony and reception. Those looking for an industrial, rustic location will find that Carrie Furnace provides true Pittsburgh roots for your big day.
The National Aviary
Accommodates up to 500 guests
The immersive exhibits at The National Aviary allow your guests to get up-close and personal with a variety of birds after you have exchanged your vows. Make your wedding photos even more spectacular with special appearances from penguins, parrots, owls, or other birds of prey. The National Aviary has a variety of spaces for your big day, from the outdoor Rose Garden Tent to the rooftop Sky Deck and even the Penguin Point Vestibule that any bride is sure to love.
Accommodates up to 1,000 guests
Say “I do” in one of the nation’s oldest and largest Victorian greenhouses, Phipps Conservatory. In-house coordinators, caterers, and security provide busy brides with ease. With three main ceremony locations such as the Tropical Forest and Outdoor Garden and even more reception options, your entire wedding needs can be met. One of the world’s greenest public gardens, Phipps is full of flowers and plant life, reducing the need for additional arrangements and décor.
The Prop Shop
Accommodates up to 175 guests
Filled with unique décor ranging from a 1950’s ice cream parlor to Grecian ruins, The Prop Shop is a fun and photo-worthy wedding venue. This quirky location is organized by theme and allows guests to experience Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Broadway in New York City without every having to leave Pittsburgh. Whether you are planning a seated or a cocktail style event, The Prop Shop has a unique setup that can fit any style.
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Accommodates up to 230 guests
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is a perfect wedding venue for the children at heart. The Beaux Arts 1895 Allegheny Post Office and the Art Deco 1939 Buhl Planetarium are a historical and architectural delight, linked by a beautiful glass enclosed core. Locations include the Big Red Room or the museum’s own exhibits such as the Garage or Theater. To add a playful whimsy to your wedding day, choose the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
The Pump House
Accommodates up to 150 people
Located along the scenic Monongahela River, the Pump House is situated on land in which the Battle of Homestead lockout and labor strike took place. Previously a part of Carnegie Steel Company’s Homestead Works, historians will appreciate this unique National Registered Historic Site. This venue features an 11-ring medieval labyrinth located on the grounds, perfect for outdoor ceremonies. The Pump House allows you to revel in the history of the steel city while creating new memories.
Accommodates up to 200 guests
Renovated farms are becoming extremely popular wedding venues but Armstrong Farms stands out due to its working status (it’s still fully functional) and accommodations. The historical farm was built in 1816 and is celebrating its 200-year anniversary this year. An onsite bed and breakfast and 12-person farmhouse allow out-of-towners a place to stay for your entire wedding weekend. The Civil War-era Armstrong Farms provides a choice of the Westminster Preserve Barn or the Fieldstone Barn, perfect for nearly any wedding size.
The Andy Warhol Museum
Accommodates up to 250 guests
The Andy Warhol Museum is perfect for the creative couple looking to get hitched. Guests can enjoy guided tours of the art installations, photo booths, and even silkscreen printing classes to ensure your wedding is a truly artistic experience. The museum’s bright and colorful art provides an eclectic décor. Begin your new life together among the art of one of the most influential American artists of the 20th century at The Andy Warhol Museum.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Accommodates up to 400 guests
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium offers a variety of wedding packages for the adventurous couple. Three reception venues include the aquarium, River’s Edge, or the Garden Tent for both indoor and outdoor receptions. Choose your background from a zebra shark to a polar bear and some of the rarest tropical plants on the planet. If you’re feeling a little wild and your friends are real party animals, the Pittsburgh Zoo is for you.
The Frick Art & Historical Center
Accommodates up to 250 guests
The Frick Art & Historical Center features Italian, French, and British art as well as rotating exhibits the elegant bride is sure to love. The Frick Art Museum, the Great Lawn of Clayton, and the Greenhouse are a few of the locations this venue offers. Docent-led tours are available for guests during your wedding reception. The Frick is a historical venue that offers a classy look at Pittsburgh’s past while providing a beautiful backdrop for your future.
NOTE: All accommodations of guests are estimates and may differ depending on reception or ceremony locations at venue and wedding layout
**The Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame venue