Wohoo! You might be here because you decided to ditch the traditional wedding plans and go the un-traditional route by having an elopement. CONGRATULATIONS! You’re about to have a lot of fun!
There isn’t one size fits all for how your day will look. There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating your dream elopement day.
If the idea of a city elopement resonates with you, you might want to consider Pittsburgh as the perfect location, because it’s a place offering a plethora of interesting places right in the heart of town.
As a Pittsburgh Elopement Photographer I might be a little biased due to my unwavering love for this city, but let me give you the scoop as a Pittsburgh wedding photographer on how to plan your dream elopement!
I’ll include tips and suggestions in case you’re considering an international elopement destination.
While I adore traditional weddings and nature-inspired elopements, adventure doesn’t always mean venturing into remote landscapes. An adventure can literally mean you and your partner having fun and exploring in a new city.
The first thing to do is to decide on a destination and on a date for your elopement. Once you know where you’ll be eloping and you have at least a date range with some potential dates in mind, you should look for an elopement photographer who can document the day!
And you’ll most likely receive great ideas and recommendations from your elopement photographer, so it’s better to book that before you make any permanent decisions and book other vendors.
If you’re eloping in Pittsburgh, you might want to consider what Delany and Craig did for their city elopement. First, we started off their elopement experience in the Strip District. We took photos at the iconic streets and ended up in a rooftop, which overlook Downtown Pittsburgh during sunset.
After sunset, Delany and Craig danced, and pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate their wedding day while taking in the city view.
After that, we headed to one of their favorite neighborhoods where they go often for date nights, Lawrenceville. We let the night guide us with no particular plan, but ended up going to Row House Cinema and Arsenal Bowl.
We had a lot of fun. Sometimes all you need is an idea of what you’d like to do, and not a set plan.
Don’t be afraid of the night, especially if you book an elopement photographer who knows how to handle any type of lighting and atmosphere, night elopement photos can be INCREDIBLE!
To be honest, they’re some of my personal favorite from that day and I keep going back to them for inspiration. I feel like I’m watching an old Hollywood film where the couple run off and elope.
To start planning your elopement, reach out!
Are you still wondering if having an intimate wedding or an elopement is the right choice for you? Let me help you out.
If you want a wedding day that feels like an adventure with lots of freedom while also having a relaxed day that feels entirely like a date night, an elopement might be the right decision.
If you deeply value experiences over material things and live a non-traditional life, why should your wedding day be any different?
An intimate wedding or an elopement might be the right decision for you because you want more focus on your love to each other with little to no stress, pressure, drama or unsolicited advice from family.
It should be an experience where you feel safe and confident to be yourselves, one that allows you to embrace the moment and be present for the commitment you are making to each other.
It’s a a space free of judgement, forced wedding traditions and guests you might not want to have in such a special moment. It’s going to be a day of love and kindness. An experience focused on you and what makes your heart beat fast.
Still undecided about how to plan the right experience when having your elopement in Pittsburgh?
1. CONVENIENCE: A city elopement offers the advantage of easy accessibility. Loving your city and experiencing it in a more meaningful way to celebrate your wedding day will hit differently, I promise.
2. VIEWS! Revel in breathtaking urban views by choosing a city elopement. If you’re enamored with architecture, city skylines, and the distinctive culture that a city like Pittsburgh has to offer, you’ll find plenty of captivating options for your ceremony. Embrace the unique charm and views that only a city can provide on your special day!
Selecting the ideal city for your elopement is an important step in planning your intimate celebration. And the world is your oyster, so the options are limitless!
New York and Las Vegas are iconic in the united states, but you can also broaden your options to international destinations such as Paris, London or Lake Como in Italy.
One of my personal favorites is Barcelona, Spain! It’s a gorgeous city with so many things to do and see. The cultural aspect of it is great, the food is incredible and the entertainment endless. So think of a city that can also serve as a honeymoon destination.
When you’re in Europe it’s easier to travel to another country, so if that’s something that interests you, a European destination might be for you.
If you decide to take my recommendation and have your wedding in Barcelona, I would suggest to make a stop at Park Guell after your ceremony. You’ll be able to take in the beauty of the city and the ocean in one of Park Guell’s overlooks. I 100% recommend it!
Once you’ve narrowed down your city of choice, the next step is finding the perfect spot for your ceremony.
If you chose to stay local and elope in Pittsburgh, let me help you plan your day. I’ve helped craft and documented plenty of elopements in Pittsburgh, so trust me, you can’t go wrong with these suggestions on what to do when planning your elopement in Pittsburgh.
When looking for a rooftop try to find one that has a skyline view, and thankfully in Pittsburgh there are plenty. You might want to consider renting a rooftop at a restaurant such as Over Eden, a rooftop restaurant in Lawrenceville with an awesome city view.
Other locations with great rooftops include hotels and bars as well as apartment buildings in downtown areas – your own building or a friend’s might offer a hidden gem.
It’s your wedding, and ditching a traditional wedding and choosing to elope already puts you in a unique spot, so when thinking of ideas, don’t be afraid to dream big!
For example, having a vintage car is a great way to make your elopement feel like an old Hollywood movie. Plus, they’re not only beautiful and unique but an experience in itself. Who would forget that?!
Remember, don’t overlook parking garages; despite their industrial reputation, they can have breathtaking city views.
If you’d like to have a city elopement with but you’d like to incorporate a park into your elopement itinerary, you might want to consider Mellon Park, which is a park in the heart of Pittsburgh or Emerald Park in Mt. Washington.
Emerald Park is one of my favorite spots in Pittsburgh, because while you’re in a park, you’re still looking over at Pittsburgh’s skyline. And you can have a picnic and toast to champagne during sunset. It’s not a bad idea.
And if you’re getting married during the warmer months, you might want to do a kayak adventure at North Park, which is located about 30 minutes north of Downtown Pittsburgh.
Consider a City Hall for your elopement. The Allegheny Courthouse, one of the most beautiful courthouses in the US. Known for its impressive architecture inside and out, so you can’t go wrong with this wedding venue.
Because of it’s popularity it books out pretty quickly, so make sure you book your wedding date in advance.
And if you’re getting married in Downtown, you can plan for a bit of fun after the ceremony. As you can see, you can really do anything you want! Like Margie and Nick, who decided to run in the streets of downtown Pittsburgh after their ceremony and have fun.
A hotel might be the perfect all in one wedding venue for you, especially if you like comfort, convenience and elegance.
You’ll have the convenience of being able to get ready in your hotel room, to later having your wedding ceremony or vows exchange at one of their private salons. And you’ll be able to go to the bar or have a small reception at their restaurant to celebrate your elopement.
If this sounds appealing, and you’re looking for elegance, you might want to consider a sophisticated hotel such as The Omni William Penn Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.
That’s what Brittny and Naveed did for their elopement. They booked a room at The Penn Hotel and hire Natalia Baqueiro Photography to document their commitment to each other, and made of it an unforgettable experience.
A Documentary Elopement Photographer who can capture your adventure and intimate moments should be a priority. Remember, it’s a time you won’t get back, plus you can have a lot of fun with the right wedding photographer to guide you through the day.
Make sure you dream big and consider every possibility when you start to plan the location of your elopement. Once you have that, everything else will fall into place, I promise!
I specialize in documenting the day, helping you out finding the ceremony location, offering recommendations for unique activities, keeping you informed about permits and marriage licenses, a suggested vendor list, and providing a wedding timeline to ensure your wedding day is a success.
If you’re wondering how to get a marriage license in Pennsylvania and changing your name after the wedding, feel free to check out “How to change your name after your wedding” and “How to get married in Pennsylvania” where I get into both of those topics it in more detail.
City elopement venues, such as parks or city halls, may not have a space to get ready. Because of that, I recommend securing an Airbnb or a hotel room where you can unwind before your elopement.
Getting ready photos are a great way to start the documentation of your day. You’ll love having these photos once the day is over. That’s why I recommend to get a place that has plenty windows so we can have as much natural lighting as possible, which will result in gorgeous photos!
Secure Permits or Reservations: Depending on your elopement location, you might need a permit or to make a reservation, which I’m happy to help out with!
Public spaces such as courthouses, parks or beaches often require permits, while small venues, rooftop spaces, or restaurant rooms typically need reservations.
It’s a day to focus on your relationship and the commitment to one another and being present every moment of your wedding experience without distractions or the pressure sometimes caused by a traditional wedding day.
And remember, whatever your day looks like, make sure you cherish every second, and have a day filled with joy, adventure, and LOVE!
If you’re planning your elopement and you want an experience that feels relax, authentic, and fun, make sure you send me an inquiry so we can start crafting the right experience for you.
Some wedding collections include an engagement session, find out more information about the packages and collections Natalia Baqueiro Photography offer for wedding photography here.
If you need more inspiration when it comes to locations, here’s two guides on the most Iconic Pittsburgh Locations in the Steel City and the Best Pittsburgh Engagement Locations to consider so you can get more ideas on what vibe you’d like.