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Archive for June, 2015

The Best New Dining Spots in Pittsburgh

This summer, Pittsburgh’s culinary scene is hotter than ever. From downtown to the Strip District and beyond, Pittsburgh is building its reputation as a foodie mecca.

With our minds open and our stomachs growling, we’ve compiled insider scoop on the hottest new places to dine this summer.

Smoke BBQ Taqueria –  4115 Butler St

Smoke opened in Lawrenceville this year and is already getting rave reviews. Located conveniently next to Atlas Bottle Works, this compact BYOB eatery smokes all of its own meats and veggies in-house. Start the meal with a big bowl of smoky queso or decadent mac ‘n cheese, but be sure to save room for the main event: the tacos! These are not your run-of-the-mill Taco Bell snacks. Smoke’s menu features modern concoctions like chicken and apple, BLT with smoked jalapeno mayo, and pork with apricot habanero sauce. So delicious that our marketing manager Kate ate there two nights in a row… and would have happily gone back for a third. Insider tip: Reservations are not accepted, so use the NoWait app to jump on the waiting list. You’ll get a text when your table is ready, so you can wander through the shops of Butler Street building your appetite in the meantime.

 Smoke BBQ Taqueria Lawrenceville Pittsburgh | The Event Group wedding planners, PittsburghSmoke Lawrenceville Pittsburgh | The Event Group, Pittsburgh event plannersPhotos by Nicole Jarock Photography

Gaucho’s Bodega –  1607 Penn Ave

This Argentinian restaurant has received near-universal acclaim. Most recently it was named #7 on Yelp’s 100 Best Places to Eat in the U.S., as well as being named among Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2015 Best Restaurants and Chef’s Choice: Best Takeout. Until recently, Gaucho’s eat-in space was rather cozy with almost no seating, but that didn’t deter hungry fans from lining up out the door for grilled veggies and rosemary-braised beef sandwiches. On May 28 Gaucho finished construction and opened a new indoor seating area to accommodate a larger crowd. Guests still order at the front but then can seat themselves in the spacious main and upper level dining areas. We’re most excited about the new Bodega, a private event space located under the building. It’s perfect for rehearsal dinners, intimate weddings, private parties and staff meetings. The Bodega accommodates up to 30 people seated or 40 people for a standing cocktail-style event. Lunch and dinner packages complete with servers are available when reserving the Bodega space. Insider tip: don’t pass up the fresh chimichurris!

Photo by Farhaali Photography

Hello Bistro –  292 Forbes Avenue

Hello Bistro is not new to Pittsburgh, but it is new to Downtown. Located just around the corner from Market Square, this trendy salad bar is the perfect spot for a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Burgers, sandwiches and salads can be ordered predesigned, but the crowning glory is the build-your-own salad bar. With 15 dressings and 55 ingredients, “salads by you” is the most popular option. Choose from mix-ins and toppings like quinoa, avocado, wasabi peas, Alaskan salmon and seasonal offerings, then have the salad chopped and tossed to your liking. The Caribbean Shrimp Salad is a big seller, but the famous Eat’n Park Superburger with fresh-cut fries is a hearty staple as well. As a bonus, Hello Bistro shares a space with Delicious Raw, a “sanctuary for anyone who wants to improve their wellbeing and quality of life through targeted nutritional boosts during the day.” This smoothie and juice bar adds no sugars or preservatives to their fresh concoctions. Insider tip: stop in for $1 coffee all day, every day!

Caribbean-Shrimp Hello Bistro | The Event Group, Pittsburgh Wedding planners

Hello Bistro burger | The Event Group, Pittsburgh wedding planners

Photos Courtesy of Hello Bistro

Did we miss your favorite new place to eat in Pittsburgh? Let us know and we’ll be sure to give it a try!

How to ‘Propose’ to Your Bridesmaids

Recently engaged? It’s time for you to propose!
Asking your closest friends, relatives and future sisters-in-law to be part of your bridal party is one of the first steps to getting your wedding planning underway. It’s also one of the most deeply personal choices you’ll have to make. You’re choosing your entourage – the group of people you love and trust to help and attend to you in the coming months. They’re your friends, your advisers, your assistants, your confidantes, your emotional support system, your cheerleaders… sounds a lot like your fiance, doesn’t it?

Just as your fiance took the time to plan a thoughtful and personal proposal for you, “proposing” to your bridesmaids can be equally as meaningful. We’ve gathered our favorite creative ways of popping the question to your bridesmaids. We’d love to hear yours as well!

Cards

This may be the first piece of your wedding that your bridesmaids will see. Set the tone with a well designed, personalized note. This is great practice for your save-the-dates and invitations, allowing you to test drive design ideas, colors, fonts and even calligraphers.

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | cards

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | cards

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | cards

Wine

What is a celebration without wine? A custom-labeled bottle shows your bridesmaids-to-be that you want them to help you celebrate!

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | wine

Don’t forget the wine glasses….

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | wine glass

…or champagne flutes, if you’re feeling bubbly!

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | wine glass

Bridesmaid Boxes

Get personal. A box filled with little tokens, their favorite things and shared memories is a great way to show your friends what they mean to you.

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | bridesmaid box

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | bridesmaid box

Thinking ahead? Give them the things they need to “survive” your wedding weekend.

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | bridesmaid box

Puzzles

Make your future bridesmaids work a little bit for the question. We love these cute puzzle ideas to make them do just that!

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | puzzle

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | puzzle

Just make sure to “pop” the question in a cute and memorable way!

The Event Group | Pittsburgh, PA | event planner | wedding planner | how to ask your bridesmaids | bridal party | bridesmaid box

For more ideas for your wedding and wedding party, take a look at our Pinterest page.

All photos via Pinterest.

7 Reasons to Get Married in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a city of many names: City of Champions. The Most Livable City. The City of Bridges. Take your pick — but there’s clearly one missing. The Event Group would like to nominate Pittsburgh for one more title: the Best City To Get Married In! Ok, this title does not formally exist, but if it did, our fair city is worthy of the distinction. Pittsburgh has shaken off its rust and revealed itself as a true gem — a great destination for your luxury wedding. If there was any doubt in your mind, here are our top 7 reasons why Pittsburgh is the perfect place for your wedding.

7. Perfectly photogenic scenery

This one is a no-brainer. Have you seen Pittsburgh? It’s gorgeous from any angle. Whether your taste is natural and serene (think Schenley Park), industrial-chic (this is the Steel City, after all), or trendy and quirky (a la the Warhol Museum)… Pittsburgh is simply picture-perfect.
laura-kathleen.jpg
Photo by Laura Kathleen Photography

6. Historic and traditional venues

We’re known for our bridges, but has anyone ever counted our gorgeous turn-of-the-century churches? If churches aren’t what you had in mind, consider Phipps Conservatory’s verdant venues, the stunning arches of the Pennsylvanian, or Hartwood Acres’ pristine gardens. Just imagine how great your photography will turn out.
The Pennsylvanian historic wedding venue | The Event Group, Pittsburgh luxury wedding and event plannersPhoto of The Pennsylvanian by The Brand Studio

5. …and trendy venues

If classic weddings aren’t your style, Pittsburgh offers an array of other exciting and novel venues. Imagine how your guests will rave about how unique your Engine House 25 reception was, how visionary your Mattress Factory ceremony turned out, or how romantic it was that you exchanged vows by the Point. Also consider Heinz History Center, Heinz Field, or PNC Park for a uniquely Pittsburgh event venue. Heinz History Center.jpg
Photo of Heinz History Center by Elizabeth Vincent Photography

4. Food

Pittsburgh’s culinary scene is on par with the finest in the world, but without inducing sticker-shock. The Event Group has worked with the best of the best in Pittsburgh and can help you decide if you’d prefer a formal gourmet meal, a casual buffet, a trendy cocktail hour, or a backyard luau for your shower, rehearsal dinner or reception. And let’s not forget the cake. Pittsburgh’s bakers and cake artists blend form and function to create beautiful, delicious desserts. Common Plea Nicoise | The Event Group| Pittsburgh, PA Event and Wedding PlanningPhoto from Common Plea Catering

Cake by Rania Catering | The Event Group, PittsburghPhoto from Rania’s Catering

3. Unique places for out-of-town guests to stay and explore

Out-of-town guests will be thrilled with all the great places to hang out, dine, and visit in Pittsburgh. Your wedding will be the main event, but your guests may also want to spend their downtime sampling local craft spirits at Wigle Whiskey, catching a game at PNC Park, or getting some shut-eye in a glamorous boutique hotel like Hotel Monaco or the magnificent traditional Omni William Penn Hotel. Provide each guest with a list of suggested activities to check out between the wedding and the reception, or encourage them to explore on their own.

Hotel Monaco | The Event Group, Pittsburgh PA Wedding and Event PlanningPhoto of Hotel Monaco by Cris Molina for Kimpton Hotels

2. The cookie table

Yes, the Pittsburgh Cookie Table is real. If you get married in Western Pennsylvania, your guests will shower you with homemade cookies. What other reason could you possibly need to plan your wedding in Pittsburgh? Cookie Bar.jpg
Photo by Palermo Photography

1. Your reason

No one leaves Pittsburgh without a story to tell. Maybe your story is how you first locked eyes with your sweetheart over Primanti sandwiches. Maybe it’s about your first date at Kennywood. Or maybe it’s about how he proposed on the Mount Washington overlook and now you can’t wait to settle down together in Mount Lebanon. Pittsburgh is part of your story. Make it part of the most exciting day of your life.

Did we miss any reasons to plan your wedding in Pittsburgh? Let us know in the comments section.