Carnegie Museum Wedding Photographer
Susan Stripling Photography
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Susan Stripling Photography

Carnegie Museum Wedding Photographer

I started my career as a destination wedding photographer. Hopping in a car, on a train, or onto a plane to cover a wedding day became the norm very quickly. When I settled into life as a NYC wedding photographer, I wondered if my traveling days were behind me.

Luckily, they weren't! I still accept a handful of travel weddings per year, heading back to Florida, all over the United States (and beyond!), and anywhere my clients will have me travel (as long as I can obtain proper paperwork and work visas!)

This particular couple commissioned me to travel to Pittsburgh for their wedding, and I am so glad that they did! Working with them was a dream, but so was experiencing the magic that is a wedding at the Carnegie Museum.

This wonderful wedding hired me to photograph several days of their celebration. This was from their rehearsal.

Weddings at the Carnegie Museum

The Carnegie Museum offers up many different spaces that you can use to host your wedding and reception celebration. There are three individual museums to choose from, each with their own unique spaces.

The four museums are the Oakland Museums, the Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. (All of this information is current as of summer 2018). This particular wedding took place at the Oakland Museums.

The Oakland Museum has beautiful light and a wonderful space to get ready on your wedding day, should you opt to get ready on site.

Oakland Museums

The Oakland Museum is the host of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, and boasts nearly a dozen spaces to hold your wedding celebration. (My favorite being the Carnegie Music Hall and the Music Hall Foyer!) You can see their our current menus here!.

Carnegie Music Hall Foyer

  • What makes it unique : The fifty feet of baroque ceiling is pretty spectacular! I also love the metal balcony.
  • Capacity for a seated event : 500 (including the main floor and balcony)
  • Capacity for cocktails : 800
  • Capacity for a seated wedding reception : 300

Carnegie Music Hall

  • What makes it unique : Velvet seats! A stage! Amazing acoustics!
  • Capacity for theater seating : 1928

Hall of Architecture

  • What makes it unique : It was heavily inspired by the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Capacity for a seated event with a dance floor : 80
  • Capacity for cocktails : 100
  • Capacity for wedding ceremony : 150

Hall of Sculpture

  • What makes it unique : Inspired by the Parthenon's interior sanctuary. Gorgeous white marble abounds everywhere!
  • Capacity for a seated event with a dance floor : 210
  • Capacity for cocktails : 300
  • Capacity for wedding ceremony : 250

The Hall of Sculpture is a beautiful space, wonderful for indoor portraits on a wedding day

Grand Staircase Mezzanine

  • What makes it unique : Skylights, beautiful marble, and an incredible 4,000 square foot mural by John White Alexander.
  • Capacity for cocktails : 150
  • Capacity for wedding ceremony : 120

Scaife Foyer

  • What makes it unique : A beautiful view of the Museum of Art Sculpture Court.
  • Capacity for cocktails : 250

Foster Overlook

  • What makes it unique : A very cool overview of the Dinosaurs in their Time exhibition.
  • Capacity for a seated event with a dance floor : 60
  • Capacity for cocktails : 100

Founders Room

  • What makes it unique : High ceilings, beautiful lamps, and a memorable fireplace. This is where Andrew Carnegie would wait to welcome arriving guests to the museum.
  • Capacity for a seated event : 40
  • Capacity for cocktails : 60

Hall of North American Wildlife

  • What makes it unique : Black bears, jaguars, dioramas, and wildlife!
  • Capacity for a seated event : 100
  • Capacity for cocktails : 150

Hillman Hall and PaleoLab Lobby

  • What makes it unique : This lovely lobby shows gem and mineral specimens, and is an entryway to the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems.
  • Capacity for cocktails : 100

The Café Carnegie

  • What makes it unique : Beautiful glass walls
  • Capacity for a seated event : 120
  • Capacity for cocktails : 120

I loved that this wedding truly used all of the spaces the Carnegie Museum had to offer, from getting ready to ceremony, cocktail hour to reception, portraits of the couple to portraits of the family. Should you opt to hold your event at any of the other Carnegie Museums, consider the following Museums and event spaces:

Carnegie Science Center

  • PointView Hall and Terrace : Third Floor
  • Science Stage : First Floor
  • 2nd Floor Exhibit Area
  • Buhl Planetarium
  • Works Theater
  • 5th Floor Balcony
  • Highmark SportsWorks
  • BodyStage
  • Full Building
  • Wean Family 4th Floor Overlook
  • SportsWorks Classrooms A/B

Andy Warhol Museum

  • First Floor Entrance Space
  • Warhol Theater

A gorgeous wedding ceremony in one of the MANY locations that the Carnegie Museum offers!When I received the timeline for this particular wedding, I realized that we weren’t going outside at all - not once, all day.

The preparation of the bride would be in one of the conference rooms at the Museum, the wedding ceremony would take place inside the Hall of Sculpture, the wedding reception would be in the Carnegie Music Hall Foyer, and the portraits were set to take place in the grand Hall of Architecture.

When faced with an entire day indoors I wasn’t daunted because I knew that I had the technical skills to handle the conditions I would presented with : this is really important as a working wedding photographer.

If you're looking to hire a photographer for your event, make sure that he/she/they can handle the technical difficulties of your event! Will it be at nighttime? If so, can your potential photographer photograph well in the dark? Is there a possibility of rain? Snow? Midday blazing hot summer sun? Is your event indoors, outdoors, both? Talk to your prospective photographer and make sure that he/she/they are okay photographing in all conditions...such as inside a museum!

Photographing inside all day with nary a glimpse of even the smallest amount of natural light might be daunting to some, but it's a challenge I welcome! I'm comfortable creating my own light, as I did in all of the images you see on this page!I photographed the bride and groom together before their wedding ceremony in the Hall of Architecture. Combining the compression of a long lens, the drama of the background, the gentle moment between the bride and groom, and my carefully placed video light I was able to make a compelling image of the couple.

It was a joy to work in such a unique space and spend the day with these truly amazing people and their warm, welcoming families. Now just don’t ask me about the red bull and coffee my assistant decided to drink back-to-back on the late-night drive back to Philadelphia….

A purple dress at the reception? WHY NOT?!

If you're getting married at the Carnegie Museum, I'd love to hear from you!

Location: 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Keywords: Indian (61), Pittsburgh (19), The Carnegie Museum. Filename: 0466_090112_Kotwal.jpg. 1/400; f/3.2; ISO 5000; 122.0 mm.

New York (NYC) Photographer
Susan Stripling Photography
58 2nd Ave #17A
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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