Take It Outside
Just Across the Water
Hollywood Fantasy Land:
STAGE 6 at Steiner Studios
Brooklyn’s sprawling Steiner Studios has become something of a Hollywood East, housing productions like Spiderman 3; Stage 6 is an event space in the midst of the back lot. With views of the weirdly appealing cranes in the bustling Brooklyn Navy Yard, as well as the East River bridges, the 3,700-square-foot wraparound terrace can hold up to 300 guests for a ceremony and can be combined with the additional 4,300 square feet in the glass-enclosed ballroom. In keeping with the Hollywood theme, a red carpet and velvet ropes are rolled out at every event.
Cost: Prices for catering, exclusively through Abigail Kirsch, start at $125 per person. Venue fee is priced upon request. 15 Washington Ave., nr. Water St., Brooklyn Navy Yard; 718-237-1919; abigailkirsch.com
Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden comes with an outer-borough price tag. The 83 verdant acres include the Chinese Scholar Garden, with its pavilions overlooking a winding pond; an adjacent tent can hold up to 200 people for dinner. The just-opened Tuscan Garden, modeled after the Villa Gamberaia near Florence, accommodates up to 250 for cocktails and features lemon trees and shaped topiaries. In bad weather, take over the Great Hall, which has palladium windows overlooking the gardens and holds up to 350.
Cost: Catering by Landmark Hospitality, from $105 to $115 per person. Additional fees apply for cocktails and ceremonies in the gardens. 1000 Richmond Terr., nr. Snug Harbor Rd.; 718-448-2500; snug-harbor.org
Ashore and Adrift in One:
Like many East River venues, Water’s Edge offers fabulous views of the Manhattan skyline. But unlike its counterparts, Water’s Edge is amphibious: The restaurant has five yachts that are available for rental. Accommodating between 50 and 400 people, the boats can be used for a floating reception, or simply for dessert or cocktail hours; a ferry leaves every hour from 23rd Street in Manhattan (free bubbly on board!) for easy transportation. The restaurant’s 350-seat ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony, so guests can enjoy the view from the shore as well.
Cost: Prices start at $110 per person. Boat rental starts at $3,000 an hour. East River at 44th Dr., Long Island City; 718-482-0033;watersedgenyc.com
Unexpected Urban Oasis:
A factory-cum-Turkish restaurant in Williamsburg, MyMoon has one of the most impressive outdoor spaces in the area. The entire venue, including its 2,500-square-foot wooden deck and courtyard, is available for receptions for up to 120 people. The outdoor space-with its exposed brick, colorful mural, and chipped paint-melds the building’s industrial past with its Mediterranean present. Perks include a private room for the bride and groom, and the fact that once you book, the space is yours for the night, not just a five-hour window.
Cost: $125 per person for passed hors d’oeuvres, three-course dinner, and five-hour open bar. Tax and gratuity are additional. 184 N. 10th St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg; 718-599-7007; mymoonnyc.com
A large part of this restored 1906 foundry’s appeal lies in its industrial yet romantic aura. Couples can have their wedding inside or in the spacious courtyard; both can fit as many as 200 guests. A landscape nursery next door provides the plants that dot the courtyard, so you can save on décor. “Every time I go there, they have the most beautiful greenery out,” says Lee. A rooftop terrace can be used for cocktails or small events (up to 80 people). One Footloose-style caveat: No dancing in the courtyard. Cost: Venue fee ranges from $4,500 to $8,900, depending on season. Tent rental is additional, and exclusively provided by Ace Party Rentals. Couples must bring in their own caterer. 42-38 Ninth St., at Vernon Blvd., Long Island City; 718-786-7776; thefoundry.info
This rehabbed island is a biker’s paradise, but you can also hold your wedding here. Water Taxi Beach accommodates a staggering 3,500 people. Other options include the leafy Nolan Park and the terrace of the Commanding Officer’s House overlooking Buttermilk Channel. Except for Water Taxi Beach, weddings must take place after closing (5 p.m. on weekends). Book during the week for privacy; the island can be reserved April through November.
Cost: Venue fee is $1,000 an hour (includes setup and breakdown). Catering by Harbor Experience starts at $100 per head. Ferry charters are available for $1,000 per hour (two-hour minimum) and are required when the island is closed to the public. 212-440-2200; govisland.com
From the Summer 2010 New York Wedding Guide