Newly engaged after the holiday season? Check out our five favorite spots to plan your picturesque New York City wedding, if you’re the traditional type. By Nina Pajak.
The Loeb Boathouse At Central Park
So the bride is dead-set on an urban feel, and the groom is pining for some greenery. Have you heard we have this park? The Central Park Boathouse is this city’s greatest marital compromise, and oddly, everyone wins (not just you). You’re in the middle of New York and in the middle of a lush landscape with a lake, rowboats, trees, birds, squirrels—the works. It’s a photographer’s dream – and the interior is as lovely and singular as the exterior, which means that even you winter brides have every reason to marry here. Up to 230 guests for seated dinner and dancing, with dinner running around $185 per person.
Gotham Hall is not for the faint of heart, but if you can afford it and live up to the drama of the space around you, you must. At around $275/plate minimum, glamour does not come cheap. But this gilded former bank can hold both your entire extended family’s families and any manner of decor you can dream up. Their staff is prepared to help you with every aspect of the planning process, and the sky (or the 3,000 square foot stained-glass skylight) is the limit. If you’re low-key (who is, really?) this may not be your scene, but for those statement-makers, it doesn’t get much more fabulous.
American Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is not just a place to reminisce about elementary school field trips and alleviate the awkward pressure of first date conversation. It’s also a beautiful and unforgettable wedding venue. While you could get married underneath that giant blue whale, it’s not your only option. The Powerhouse is an elegant, loft-like space and it does not actually feature any taxidermified animals. Plus, they’ll take care of tables/chairs/flatware and linen rentals. Ceremonies can be held outside on the adjacent terrace, and cocktail hour can be hosted in the glass-walled galleria which links the reception room to the Rose Center (you know, that giant room with the even gianter glowing sphere?). Awesome, in every sense of the word. You’ll need to join the Patrons Circle and pay a “Museum Guardianship” fee of around $15k on top of catering and bar, which runs roughly $275 per person.
Pierre A Taj Hotel Ballroom
The Pierre hotel ballroom is about as classic a New York wedding venue as they come. If your pants are fancy, this is the place for you. Right on Fifth Avenue across from the park, this sumptuous hotel offers every service you can imagine, from a dedicated wedding planner to customizable linens and table settings to an extensive menu-tasting, to help with all your vendors. Depending on availability and how much you’re already shelling out on the event, they’ll also grant you a complimentary bridal suite. But wait, there’s more! Pending terms and restrictions blahblahblah, they’ll also give you the gift of a honeymoon stay at one of twelve Taj hotels around the world. Did someone say Maldives? No not you, Somali pirate.
The Lighthouse At Chelsea Piers
The thing about New York is that it’s an island, and while nobody quite wants to go in the water, the views can be pretty spectacular. Check out The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, which has the benefit of being a loft space without any of the inconveniences of having to furnish, decorate and cater yourself. It’s owned and operated exclusively by Abigail Kirsch, which means you know the food is extremely delish—not to mention plentiful. Their staff are trained to run like a well-oiled, human-powered wedding machine, but there’s nothing impersonal about the service you’ll get. The room is cleverly sectioned off to provide “separate” spaces for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, so you never have to see them setting up or breaking down despite the lack of walls. For an open, airy, contemporary and clean city look, this is the spot.
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