Bang for Your Buck
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.
From the Winter 2007 New York Wedding Guide