A guest post written by Rev. Mark from A Simple Vow. He knows all of the best spots for an elopement! Let’s see what he recommends…
Alright! So you’ve decided you’re down with the whole small wedding/elopement idea. Now, where to actually do the thing? Backyards and living rooms are great choices- intimate and special to you, but a bit limited and there’s the stress of cleaning, too.
Here are Five Excellent Elopement Spots in Pittsburgh where the photo ops are maximal and the need for tidying up is minimal
Mt. Washington Overlooks: These are to elopement spots what the Cookie Table is to any Western Pennsylvania wedding reception- an absolute Classic. The most popular are the ones across from St. Mary’s of the Mount Parish and the Carnegie Library. I’m sure they have proper city-dedicated names but I have no idea what they are. Let’s just call them Frank and Leslie, respectively. Both Frank and Leslie are spacious and accommodating, excellent for small ceremonies and even a small reception if you don’t mind taking a chance with the weather. I am obligated to say that a permit is required. Can you get all sneaky-sneaky and have a quick ceremony without a permit? I mean…
Pros-stunning city views, excellent for photos, free-to-inexpensive, screams of “congratulations!” from total strangers.
Cons-parking, tourists, can be quite windy
West End-Elliott Overlook Park:If Mt. Washington is the cookie table, then this park is like having Terrible Towels printed with your new couple-name “CONGRATS, FRESLIE!”. It’s a lovely park with shade trees, a well-kept lawn, a rentable building that is perfect for a small reception including roof-top access and restrooms. Oh yeah, and it has the absolute best view of Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle. I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Ok, I won’t, but I will definitely call them an idiot. In my car. By myself. Under my breath. And then I’ll apologize to no one.
Pros– Best view of the city in the city. Shade. Nice parking.
Cons– A little confusing to get to, popular with locals
North Park:One of the area’s most popular parks, North Park is an outstanding area spot for a quick elopement or small wedding. There are many pretty and even secluded areas to choose from. I have my favorite spots which will be ruined if everyone else knows. I am, however, willing to share this info for a small donation and a large bottle of Scotch.
Pros– I’m not telling. Stay away.
Cons– so many walkers, cyclists, fishermen.
Info– https://www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/north-park/index.aspx and my favorite areas are the Babble Brook Pavilion and the lawn/shore behind the Boathouse and across from the Rose Barn. Sorry for being a jerk.
Market Street Pier (and anywhere along the North Shore):this Overlooked Gem has it all: Fantastic, river-level views of the Point! Bridges! Bars and Restaurants! Water! Goose-poop! Pedi-cabs! And a guy named Tim who wants to sell you an investment opportunity in men’s underwear. That last line was ambiguous for a reason. Honestly, though, the area is beautiful, particularly in the morning and evening hours. You get that delicious golden light off the city and sunbeams playing on the water. After your ceremony enjoy a nice romantic walk up to the newer restaurants and bars for an evening out or check in to one of the several hotels in walking distance. How you spend your time there is up to you.
Pros- ample parking, hotels, bars, restaurants nearby. Photo opportunities abound.
Cons- Can be crowded on weekends and evenings, particularly with those who like to imbibe.
The Quirky Choice- In front of Dippy the Dinosaur!It’s a giant dinosaur statue. Do I need to sell this more? Fine. It’s in the middle of Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood on the grounds of the Carnegie Museum. You’ve got the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel across the street. There are food and bevs within walking distance. Phipps Conservatory is an easy jaunt and every major Pittsburgh university is right there. Plus, on holidays Dippy often wears a scarf.
Pros– photo ops, photo ops, photo ops. And it’s a di-no-saur!
Cons: best for very small groups- meaning you, the photographer, and your officiant. And your partner, probably.