Feel Transported ...
If Goth has an appeal, try
ANGEL ORENSANZ FOUNDATION
“This space is reminiscent of Prague. It has a very Gothic, European feel,” says planner Leslie Price. Modeled after Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, the Angel Orensanz Center was once a synagogue, but is now a secular venue (except on high holidays). Its high-vaulted ceiling and paint-chipped walls create an atmosphere of faded beauty, but, Price warns, “it’s not for brides who want everything perfect. The space transforms in so many ways, but it’s dilapidated, so if you don’t have the vision, it’s not for you.” The center can serve as both a ceremony and reception venue, accommodating up to 250 for dinner and dancing, and up to 600 for cocktails.
Cost: Price upon request.
172 Norfolk St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-529-7194; orensanzevents.com
If you dream of getting married in a castle, try
A registered landmark, the Gatehouse primarily functions as the celebrated home of Harlem Stage but is a well-kept secret as a wedding venue. Originally part of the Croton Aqueduct, the Gatehouse’s Romanesque architecture and tall central tower seem out of place in their current locale. “It looks more like it should be surrounded by a moat than plunked in the middle of Harlem,” says Jollon. Between the dance and theater performances, couples can host a reception or ceremony for 200 guests in the 2,900 square feet of newly refurbished indoor space, or on the outdoor terrace.
Cost: $3,000 rental fee; couples must bring in their own caterer.
150 Convent Ave., at W. 135th St.; 212-281-9240; harlemstage.org
If you want to give a nod to tradition, try
One of the city’s largest and most progressive congregations, Riverside Church is a transformative setting for a wedding ceremony or reception. “This space transports you like nothing else,” says JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions. Modeled after France’s Chartres Cathedral, it offers four banquet halls that can accommodate 50 to 325 guests for dinner and dancing. The remarkable Ninth Floor Lounge has an arched ceiling, a working fireplace, and views of the Hudson. Plus, there’s a rooftop space.
Cost: Rental fees range from $1,250–$5,000, depending on banquet hall; catering is additional and exclusively through Pasha Events.
490 Riverside Dr., nr. 122nd St.; 212-870-6762; theriversidechurchny.org
If early Americana is your thing, try
MOUNT VERNON MUSEUM
Wedged between high-rises, the centuries-old Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden is a unique sight in midtown Manhattan. The stone building dates back to 1799 and was once a country resort for fashionable city dwellers looking to escape. Operated by the Colonial Dames of America, the museum’s interior and tranquil 18th-century-style garden are available for rental for as many as 50 guests inside, and up to 75 outside. For larger parties, the Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium next door can hold up to 120.
Cost: Price upon request; caterers must be brought in.
421 E. 61st St., nr. York Ave.; 212-838-6878; mvhm.org
From the Winter 2009 New York Wedding Guide