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Yours for a Day

Eight fantasy venues paired with reasonable—but equally desirable—alternatives.


The New York Public Library  

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The New York Public Library
At the main branch of the New York Public Library, the look is soaring and majestic—with a price to match. Renting the space starts at $20,000 and can rise far over $50,000, and it’s been in even higher demand since the Sex and the City movie. Still, there are few places more dramatic than the venue’s vast Celeste Bartos Forum, with its elegant columns and jaw-dropping glass-domed ceiling. Fifth Ave. at 42nd St.; 212-930-0730

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The Montauk Club
This increasingly popular Brooklyn spot echoes the Old New York feeling of the NYPL—at a fraction of the cost. The ornate building was designed to evoke a Venetian palace; the interior has dark wood, stained glass, and carved Victorian moldings. A ceremony followed by cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing is $1,800 for five hours (maximum capacity 140 guests), and the rental includes tables, chairs, and linens; in-house catering starts at around $95 a head. 25 Eighth Ave., at Lincoln Pl., Park Slope; 718-638-0800


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Per Se
Food obsessives who choose to wed at Thomas Keller’s shrine to French cuisine can have their affair in the West Room, which accommodates 60 guests, or in the main dining room, which overlooks Central Park and seats 75. Or you can book the entire restaurant for up to 145 people—which is where the foodie fantasy kicks in: You and your guests can mingle in the kitchen as the chefs prepare the canapés. (And that’s before you sit down to Keller’s celebrated Oysters and Pearls.) Pricing for the West Room starts at $7,500; renting the entire restaurant is priced upon request. 10 Columbus Circle, at 60th St., fourth fl.; 212-823-9335

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DBGB Kitchen and Bar
If you’re bent on having your wedding meal at an A-list restaurant, think small—as in sixteen guests small. The Kitchen Table at Daniel Boulud’s downtown boîte seats a scant sixteen, but you can always have the rest of your friends meet up at the bar later. The private space is tucked away near the kitchen, so you’ll rub elbows with the chefs as they cook, and although the venue is somewhat casual, the food lives up to the chef’s haute expectations. (Your dinner will likely include an artisanal sausage tasting and a nouveau baked Alaska for dessert.) Pricing starts at $65 per person. 299 Bowery, nr. Houston St.; 212-933-5300

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