I Love It, I Love It Not
A quick cost-benefit analysis of four wedding venue types to help you narrow down your quest for the perfect reception site.*
LOFTS & RAW SPACES
Most are undecorated white-walled boxes or empty industrial spaces—wonderful for ambitious aesthetes with lots of spare time and a large rental budget. You’ll have to hire an off-premise caterer, which offers a double bonus: you can customize an exotic foodie menu as well as save money on the bar (off-premise caterers usually lack liquor licenses, so you can supply your own booze).
Off-premise catering has drawbacks, too. Some lofts don’t have viable kitchens; you may even need to build one from scratch. Adequate heating, air-conditioning, and running water can be a bit iffy. Given the far-west or outer-borough location of these venues—as well as the nondescript buildings they’re usually in—you’ll have to micromanage guest transportation and situate a point person at the entrance, lest guests end up lost on the West Side Highway.
From the Summer 2008 New York Wedding Guide