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Parties for Peanuts


Illustration by Gluekit.  

CHEAP RECEPTION NO. 2
Kitschy Celebration in Brooklyn
Sunday, 5–9 p.m.; 100 guests


Invent a New Kind of Reception
Rent out a bowling alley. The Gutter is on a quiet street in Williamsburg, and you’ll have the whole place to yourself. Inside, it’s like you’ve gone back in time to some roadside dive. You’ll need very little décor—not even tablecloths. Add quirky touches instead: Hang paper wedding bells above each scoreboard. Get cheap crêpe party streamers and other decorations from Bulk Party Supplies.
... $8,344.

Embrace the Theme
Send bowling shoe–shaped invites from Plum Party. Divide your guests into teams, and preprogram the lanes with everyone’s names—it doesn’t cost a thing.
... $519.60, including postage.

Make Crossing the River Fun
Charter a New York Water Taxi—it’s a ten-minute ride from Manhattan— and rent buses from BC Transportation’s Need a Charter to shuttle guests from the Schaefer Landing stop to the Gutter. One water taxi accommodates up to 149 guests.
... $3,400.

Cocktails Flow at Happy Hour ...
The bar area is sizable and definitely has room for a dance floor—just move the long, rectangular tables toward the perimeter of the space. Hire five waiters from Dan Taylor, Inc. to oversee it all.
... $1,400, not including gratuity.

... And the Caterer’s on Wheels
Serving food from carts and trucks keeps the party cool and interesting. Get a simple tent from Ace Party Rental, and use it as a canopy stretching from the entrance to the trucks. If it’s a gorgeous day, you won’t need it. Serve tacos and quesadillas from a Calexico Carne Asada cart; thin-crust pizza, chicken parmigiana, and Sicilian rice balls from a Jiannetto’s Pizza & Catering truck; and cookies, Rice Krispies treats, and Mexican chocolate brownies from the Treats Truck.
... $4,900.

Crank Up the Jukebox
Order a non-coin-operated jukebox from Party Jukes. Preselect eight-ies music, doo-wop, retro swing, or New Wave pop, or totally customize your playlist. Get a moving-lights package from Great Neck Games & Productions to enhance the dance floor—a basic package has color washes and a gobo light pattern and includes delivery and installation.
... $2,400.

Eat Cake and Bowl
Cake Man Raven is an iconic Brooklyn bakery famed for its red velvet cake. Get one and put bobblehead bride and groom toppers on it—customize each to look like you on custombobble.com.
... $429.

Get It on Film
Rent a vintage-style photo booth from Interactive Party, and find an afford-able photographer. Gustavo Campos is not a “wedding photographer,” so his prices are much lower and he offers a great starting package that includes eight hours of shooting, an assistant, a disc of the best 100 images, and an album.
... $4,500.

Keep the Party Going
Go to Royal Oak—just ten minutes away on foot. Hit the bar and storm the dance floor.

Total cost... $25,892.60.


Songs to Get Everyone on the Dance Floor
Have a DIY Wedding
Nine Easy Reception Cost-Cutters
New York Couples Share Their Wedding Albums

Photographs: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine (Bouquet); Courtesy of David Stark (Tulip and Bowling Ball)

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