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Bang for Your Buck


Dinner being set up downstairs, during cocktail hour upstairs, at Loew's Jersey Theatre.  

An affordable venue is not impossible to find (look to Brooklyn, Queens, and even Jersey for bargains). A few rules of thumb: Book a space with an in-house caterer and a low per-person rate (shoot for $150, including rentals). It’s still a chunk of change—at least $22,500 for a 150-person wedding, and that’s before tax and tip, and assuming you’re not charged overtime fees. Space-rental fees for lofts and raw spaces rarely include catering and rentals (tables, chairs, etc.), so don’t get overly excited by a four-digit number when you first see it (and read the fine print!). Here, a short list of places to start (or end) your search.

Loew’s Jersey Theatre
54 Journal Sq., nr. JFK Blvd., Jersey City, N.J.; 201-798-6055
Fleeing the island is the best way to save a few, but go too far and risk dealing with pricey transportation rentals and grumpy guests. A great nearby option is the Loew’s Jersey Theatre. Built in 1929, it has vintage Hollywood panache. A fee of $2,500 gets you a whopping twelve hours in the bi-level space for 180 guests (seated). As far as wedding venues go, having one for twelve hours is a lifetime.

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