I recently had the privilege of photographing Elise and Chaz’s romantic elopement. They chose The Art Room in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, and it did not disappoint! The building has a charming industrial ambiance but elegant modern updates, so it was the perfect backdrop for photos both inside and outside. I loved that we could get a wide variety of photos even with a smaller venue! Chaz and Elise had roughly 20 guests, so they could all gather at one long table at the reception. Elise even changed into a copper-colored dress once the ceremony ended, which was such a great color on her! I can’t imagine a better venue fit for their wedding day.
For many couples like Elise and Chaz, a small, intimate wedding is the perfect way to celebrate their love story. Whether you choose to elope just the two of you or want to invite several of your closest friends and family, intimate weddings have a way of pulling alllll the meaning and beautiful details out of your big day! If a large celebration isn’t really your style, a small wedding will allow you to savor each moment your way. There are some great small wedding venues near Pittsburgh to host the wedding you envision.
If you decide on a smaller wedding, your next step is to choose a venue that fits your needs, style, and budget. This is the fun part! Many venues are happy to help with smaller events to create the most unforgettable wedding day for you! Most traditional venues are geared toward larger groups, so I’ve put together a list of intimate wedding venue ideas:
Surround yourself with beautiful works of art at every turn with an art gallery wedding. Galleries often provide plenty of open flex space, ideal for seating small groups or having a small dance floor. Be sure to choose a gallery with the aesthetic you enjoy, such as modern art, industrial pieces, or old-world elegance.
Good food, beer, and a romantic love story? What could be better than a brewery wedding? Most breweries have event space available with tables and chairs for plenty of seating. Be sure to ask the brewery if they have food options or if you’ll need outside catering.
Museums can offer built-in aesthetics and entertainment, so there’s less work for you. Let the beautiful art pieces and stunning architecture set the tone for your day. Ask the museum’s event staff if they have smaller spaces, rooms, or exhibits for hosting intimate weddings or small receptions.
If you’re on a tighter budget or like the idea of a family-style gathering, picnic, or barbeque, consider hosting a backyard garden party wedding. You can decorate any way you want and have food catered for your guests. It will be budget-friendly, meaningful, and you can choose any wedding date you want (as long as your photographer and vendors are available).
If your own home isn’t ideal, consider a (willing) relative’s home or childhood home with a great outdoor space.
Airbnb and VRBO aren’t just for vacation rentals! They’re perfect for hosting small events and parties, too. First, pick a location and property style—do you want a waterfront home, a rental with a great pool area, or a romantic patio with sweeping landscape views? Then you can plan how you want to use the indoor and outdoor spaces to host all of your friends and family.
However, when decorating, be sure not to put holes in any walls or do anything that might damage the property, resulting in extra fees or a lost deposit. Check with the property owner beforehand to ensure they’re on board with your wedding plans and that no one else will be on the property that weekend. Vacation/event insurance is always a good idea, if possible.
Once your wedding festivities are over, you can stay the night (or several nights) at the beginning of your honeymoon!
Whether you’re envisioning a small wedding or the reception of the year, I would be delighted to photograph your big day! I am also happy to help with questions about Pittsburgh venues and vendors. Congratulations to you both, and I can’t wait to work with you!
Photography | Rachel Wehan Photography
Coordinator | Kelly Lynn Weddings
Place of Purchase for Dress | David’s Bridal
Catering | Sausalido Custom Catering and Private Dining
Makeup | Julie Marckisotto @PGH Makeup
Rentals | Vintage Alley Rentals
Hair | Glam to Go
Florist | Something Borrowed Blooms
Bakery | The Beckery
Invitation Suite | Zazzle + Minted
Venue | The Art Room in the Strip District