This is the first in a series of posts on Pittsburgh Wedding Venues. Phipps Conservatory & Botanic Garden is the first venue I've decided to cover for a few reasons. First it's fresh on my mind because I have a wedding coming up there soon that I'm finalizing the planning for with my couple. Second it's one of the best venues in Pittsburgh for weddings. Full disclosure, I am contracted to teach photography at Phipps.
Phipps Conservatory & Botanic Gardens
Phipps Conservatory & Botanic Gardens are a prized location for your wedding for a number of reasons. Phipps is just an amazing place to visit, wedding or not. The flowers, the warm perfectly humidified air, the fun exhibits, and the variety of really great rooms full of beautiful plants and art work like the giant glass sculptures by the artist Dale Chihuly make Phipps an oasis in the middle of Oakland.
When it comes to weddings venues Phipps is hard to beat. Yes, the venue is naturally beautiful with all of the flowers and gardens but the staff is also top notch. They are incredibly professional and have always been very helpful. I nearly got married there myself but we just couldn't make it work for the date and time we wanted. All of my couples that have had their weddings at Phipps have raved about how helpful the staff is.
One challenge that so many venues have is the limited selection of vendors they allow. Photographers are not limited and as far as I know DJs are not either but the big one is caterers. To be fair to Phipps this is not just a problem there. In fact it's a really wide spread problem. A lot of wedding venues limit who can cater for a lot of really important reasons but it can be really frustrating if you're hoping to provide your own catering so be aware that Phipps has a small but very good list of approved caterers.
I've photographed somewhere near a dozen weddings at Phipps over the years. I'm very excited to photograph the upcoming wedding I have booked there because it's such a perfect place with so many beautiful backdrops. There is virtually no way to take a bad photo in Phipps. This is a great bonus because it means your family and friend's photos should turn out very nice even if they don't know anything about taking photos.
Some other considerations for booking your wedding at Phipps include the easy parking and entry. There are disabled parking spaces very close to the entrance and the staff is very helpful and can aid your older or less mobile family and attendees in getting into the venue.
The central location of Phipps makes it very easy to find even for out-of-towners. Even better the proximity to a number of hotels in and around Oakland make it the perfect place for even the most directionally challenged visitor. It's very hard to miss the giant glass domes of Phipps and it's proximity to so many hotels means that Ubers and taxis are very affordable.
One last thing I love about Phipps is their commitment to the environment. Their commitment is both easy to observe and hard to see all of. From their renewable energy use and water conservation to their more visible efforts like their onsite food choices and composting, if being environmentally conscious matters to you then you'll love what Phipps is doing.
No matter what season, if you're looking for a great wedding venue in Pittsburgh then be sure to check out Phipps. Check back for more reviews as this will be a regular feature covering some of my favorite venues in Pittsburgh and around Western PA.