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Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Offers Serene Wedding Venue

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.  Photo credit Kristi Telnov Photography
Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Photo credit Kristi Telnov Photography

Photo credit Scott Goldsmith Photography
Photo credit Scott Goldsmith Photography

Wedding planning season is fast approaching. Couples on the hunt for a stunning backdrop for their special day can find what they’re seeking at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.

The sprawling grounds offer countless possibilities for wedding photographs that capture the natural beauty of Western Pennsylvania’s native landscape.

Couples who wish to centralize their ceremony and reception have the perfect opportunity to make the event easy for their guests to navigate. The Ada and George Davidson Event Center is next to the garden and plaza, providing the perfect setting for a continuation of the celebration.

Photo credit Sara Blose Photography
Photo credit Sara Blose Photography

“The Davidson Event Center is a historical barn,” said Colleen Chorney, visitor experience and events director at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. “It’s adjacent to the Peirce Celebration Garden, which is just a beautiful space. When you reserve the garden, you get the combination of both spaces.”

Most couples who choose the botanic garden for their wedding love the space because it offers a progressive experience, Chorney said. “With 65 acres of gardens and woodlands, there are spaces to host their ceremony, move into cocktail hour and then advance to the reception. It keeps it interesting without the need to change locations.”

Adjacent to the barn is what the Garden calls the plaza. It features a beautiful stone fireplace, the perfect setting to create a cozy atmosphere. The combined space easily holds up to 220 guests comfortably, Chorney said, when they create a tented area on the plaza and combine it with the indoor space of the event center.

Photo credit Scott Goldsmith Photography
Photo credit Scott Goldsmith Photography

Regardless of their personal reasons for selecting the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden for their wedding ceremony or reception, couples can enjoy some of the best amenities offered by a local wedding venue.

The event space was updated with a climate-controlled HVAC system to make the Davidson Event Center comfortable for year-round weddings. Event suites are available for the couple to get ready on-site for convenience.

Other popular features include:

• Access to 65 acres of gardens and woodlands for photos on the wedding day, including the Lotus Pond, Dogwood Meadow and Heritage Homestead.

• Six-passenger club car for the bride and groom to escort them throughout the Garden for wedding photo opportunities.

• Accessible, same-level restrooms to accommodate all guests.

“Currently, you can bring your own alcohol to the venue, which is a substantial savings for our clients,” said Chorney. “The caterers provide RAMP-certified bartenders who can serve any BYOB offerings our clients choose.”

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.  Photo credit Kristi Telnov Photography
Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Photo credit Kristi Telnov Photography

A dedicated horticultural team ensures the garden is planted and displays beautiful blooms all year long, setting the stage for gorgeous outdoor photos and a memorable wedding ceremony. A team handles all needs inside the facility, and an events team acts as a liaison between the couple and the vendors to bring the whole event together.

Every couple is assigned a day-of venue manager to provide vendor referrals, timelines and help organize the ceremony processional. They coordinate with the vendors on the wedding day to ensure a smooth process.

“We know who your vendors are, what time they’re coming and where the setup will be,” said Chorney. “It’s up to us to make sure the event goes off without a hitch. We’ve earned the reputation of a premier wedding venue because of the commitment that we have to our events.”

Couples interested in having their wedding ceremony or reception at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden can call or email to request more information. Chorney or another member of her staff will share the pricing structure and other details about how they can assist with the big day.

Photo credit Krystal Healy Photography
Photo credit Krystal Healy Photography

If couples decide to move forward, then an appointment is scheduled for them to tour the venue and meet with a staff member who can answer all their questions. Most couples book one to one-and-a-half years out, but Chorney said the Garden can usually accommodate sooner. “If somebody wants to get married, I’m going to help them with the process,” she said.

The only month the Garden does not hold weddings is December. Chorney said that’s because the gardens are decked out for the Dazzling Nights immersive holiday light event and cannot accommodate any other special events during that time.

Some restrictions apply when holding a wedding or reception at the venue. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden provides couples with a preferred vendor list for caterers that includes eight premier caterers in the Pittsburgh region. Caterers range in terms of the style of food they provide and the price points offered.

The Garden also works exclusively with Ambassador Tent Rental for all equipment needs. “Our space is a unique space,” said Chorney. “You can create your event to your vision. It’s not a one-stop-shop where one-size-fits-all. You select a customized floor plan, tableware, linens, and other aspects. That’s the beauty of our space and one of the reasons why it’s been so popular.”

Couples can work with Ambassador Tent Rental to create a simple, yet elegant event or a black-tie affair. “You can get as unique as you’d like,” Chorney said. “They can even include chandeliers inside the tents.”

Other vendors—bakery, floral, photography—are at the discretion of the couple, Chorney said. However, if they need assistance choosing their other vendors, the staff is happy to make recommendations from a list of vetted options.

“We try to stay consistent with all our clients, but it’s still a unique experience,” Chorney said. “They have the opportunity to make it what they need it to be.”

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