ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Allegheny County Parks will have new requirements for 2023 weddings at Hartwood Acres, including a 10 p.m. end time. The venue is amending their contracts after neighbors complained throughout the summer about the loud music coming from the popular North Hills venue.
Kelsey Dowd, Hartwood Acres’ chief marketing officer, says this is the first year of weddings for Hartwood since 2019, and they’ve doubled their numbers to 50 weddings in 2022. But it also brought concerns from neighbors who went two years without hearing the music, which they say travels into nearby communities.
“I had heard from other brides that police arrived and neighbors were hiding in the bushes and filming guests and causing stress... at what was supposed to be a private wedding event,” said Heather Davis, owner of Day Of Wedding Planning.
“They were being told they had to shut down early, the DJ had to stop playing, they would turn the house lights on, it was all very sudden.”
Dowd released this statement to Channel 11:
“As you may be aware, Hartwood Acres is a popular wedding destination, particularly during the summer and fall months. The venue also hosts concerts, movies and other events that can be enjoyed by residents from throughout the county and beyond. It is, however, nestled in the middle of several neighborhoods and is surrounded by residential properties.
“Weddings have taken place at Hartwood for a number of years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic followed by construction of the Sculpture Garden, 2022 is the first year weddings were able to take place since 2019. Due to two years without weddings, the demand did increase from 27 weddings in 2019 to 50 in 2022. The renovation in 2021 also enhanced the space through upgraded lighting and sidewalks, improving the space overall.
“The current contract does state that all parties are subject to local laws and ordinances. Indiana Township has an ordinance which addresses ‘excessive noise.’
“We were notified by the township that residents who live in the vicinity of the park expressed concerns with the volume of outdoor wedding events at the pavilion. We were asked by those officials to address the issue and thank them for reaching out to us regarding these concerns.
“In an effort to mitigate the sound projected from the mansion, our office consulted with local acoustics experts and installed a centralized sound system within the pavilion. Comprised of a sound board and speakers, this system allows us to control the volume of the music and the direction that it travels.
“As we transition into 2023, weddings at the mansion will be required to use our sound system and end at 10 p.m. We will also prohibit live amplified music.
“We want the park to be a good neighbor while also allowing county residents to enjoy the many amenities and features of the park. We will continue to work to find that balance.”
Heather told us 10 p.m. is reasonable and respectful, but she’s worried the live music ban could be problematic.
“I do know of one couple who already contracted a huge band for their reception. If she continues to have her wedding at Hartwood, I don’t know what’s going to happen with that.”
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