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Public Park Wedding

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Happy Wednesday!! Welcome to another lovely Budget Savvy Wedding of the Week feature. This couple planned their wedding at a very low cost venue- a public park wedding and town square reception! It seems really laid back and fun- and the photographer was able to get some really fantastic and creative shots of the bride and groom. They also kept costs low by borrowing chairs and tables– so smart! Check your local churches or other organizations to try to save yourself some cash! I think you’ll really love this feature!

xo- Jessica

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Angela + Bob

May 25, 2013
Pittsburgh, PA | Point State Park and Market Square

 photography by: Kristen Wynn Photography

What was your budget?

Our total wedding budget was about $7,500.  Here’s an estimate of the breakdown:

  • State Park and City Permits – $400
  • Tables and Chairs – borrowed
  • Food and Beverage – $2,000
  • Cake – $150
  • Cookies – gifted
  • Bride’s Look – $400
  • Groom’s Look – $250
  • Rings – $1,000
  • Flowers – $350 (arrangement was done by a friend)
  • String Quartet – gifted
  • DJ – $500
  • Decorations – $500 (DIY)
  • Invitations – $120
  • Photography – $1,100
  • Lodging – $200
  • Transportation – $200
  • Security – $125

How many guests did you have?


What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

We love Pittsburgh and we love the outdoors.  Traditional wedding venues can be expensive, so we got to thinking creatively.  We applied with the city’s special events committee and were eventually granted a 24-hour permit for Pittsburgh’s Market Square.  We’ve been told that we were the first couple ever to hold a wedding reception in the square, but who can say for sure.  The architecture, the lights, the trees (along with the city residents, the passersby and the Market Square restaurant patrons) served as the setting for our celebration.  We brought in tables for dinner, and we served gyros catered from one of the restaurants in the square.

Our wedding ceremony was on the city side lawn in Point State Park, which is located at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers and also serves as site of the Great Race finish line, the Three Rivers Regatta, the Three Rivers Arts Festival and historic location of Fort Pitt.  We love the city view from the expanse of green in the park.  The location worked because our guests could meet us there and then walk to Market Square after the ceremony.  My husband designed and handcrafted a custom pergola arch under which we were wed.  A few good friends put their hands into the project as well.  I walked down the aisle to meet my groom to the sound of Bjork’s “Joga,” performed by a professional string quartet.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We started with a creative reception location, and then we worked together diligently to come up with creative solutions to keep costs down across the board.  We love the city of Pittsburgh, and we dreamed of getting married in the open air at some of our favorite city sites.  In order to make it happen, we did a lot of work ourselves and set up everything at the venues on the wedding day with the valuable help of family and friends.  We saved a lot by borrowing tables and chairs from our church and transporting them ourselves in a rented truck.  A friend arranged all of the flowers.  Our family made cookies and punch.  Friends and family supported us with help on as many DIY decoration projects as we took on.  We sought out vendors who were willing to work with us on pricing.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Focus your energies on the things that will matter most to you on your wedding day, and don’t allow yourself to spend time on details that you don’t care about.  For the most significant items, work with vendors who have at least some wedding experience, to benefit from their expertise and take much of the pressure off of you.  Some vendors who aren’t experienced with weddings will work out just fine, but others add a lot of stress to the event planning process – don’t take risks on everything.  If you seek out nontraditional public venues, you should expect many challenges.

What was your biggest splurge?

We did our best not to splurge on wedding day details, so that we could also travel to Greece for a dream-come-true kind of honeymoon.  The state park reservation fee was fee for the ceremony was a bit of a splurge, but we thought the location was worth it.

What was your favorite detail?

My mother and I worked together to redesign her wedding gown, which I wore on our wedding day.  This was one of the first details planned, and it was very special to me to have this representation of my family’s history and love as a part of our wedding day.  We enlisted the expertise of a friend to bring our vision to life.  We kept the train and lace details and removed the sleeves and collar.  A new back line was cut, and lace details from the discarded sleeves were repurposed to frame the open back.  A piece of lace from the original dress was also used to embellish a birdcage veil that I made by hand.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable moment of the day was looking into my husband’s eyes as he vowed to love me as his wife.  Our pastor led a ceremony that felt intimate although we were surrounded by family and friends (and some spectators) in the middle of the city of Pittsburgh.


Photographer: Kristen Wynn Photography  //  Ceremony Venue: Point State Park  //  Reception Venue: Market Square, City of Pittsburgh  //  Ceremony Music: Chamber Light Players by Symbiotic Collusion  //  DJ: Blackwell Soundz  //  Hair: Bridget Kohan at Bella Christine Salon & Spa  //  Flowers: Sourced from FiftyFlowers.com, arranged by a friend  //  Catering: My Big Fat Greek Gyro   //  Cake: Open Star Cakes  //  Wedding bands: JAB Jewelry  //  Invitations: Invitations by Dawn


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