A rooftop farm high above the East River, a lighthouse on the Long Island Sound, a barn amid the rolling Catskills, and other spots with sprawling vistas.
The View: The East River and downtown Manhattan
This 65,000-square-foot commercial farm overflowing with veggies and flowers comes with a bonus: a smashing twelve-story rooftop view of the lower Manhattan skyline. Amid the rows of cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes is a paved deck-and-patio area that can be tented and allows for side-by-side ceremonies and sit-down receptions with (or without) a dance floor for up to 150 people. Naturally, the venue’s list of preferred caterers includes many top-notch restaurants to whom the farm supplies fresh produce (Roberta’s in Bushwick, most notably). The spot can incorporate its own homegrown blooms into various flower arrangements for the big day.
Site fee ranges from $2,500 to $10,000. 63 Flushing Ave., Bldg. 3, nr. N. Elliott Pl., Brooklyn Navy Yard; 347-670-3660; brooklyngrangefarm.com.
Alice Austen House
The View: The Statue of Liberty, Verrazano Bridge, and all of lower Manhattan
Staten Island isn’t the most obvious choice for a destination wedding, but the Alice Austen House, celebrating one of America’s most prolific photographers, is an under-the-radar waterfront gem. The paved beach promenade—located at the bottom of the hill—is a perfect spot for a sunset cocktail hour after a ceremony (for up to 200 guests) in one of two meadows beside the house. While some couples set up tents on the lawn for traditional sit-down dinners, others arrange for more casual barbecues. Conveniently, there’s a B&B next door. Site rental ranges from $1,600 to $2,000. 2 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island; 718-816-4506, ext. 10; aliceausten.org.
The Mayflower Grace
The View: Stately New England gardens
New Yorkers have long fled to Washington, Connecticut, for ritzy R&R at the Mayflower Grace. Come wedding time, couples can take over the resort and treat up to 150 guests to a weekend of festivities—kayaking, biking, hiking, and spagoing—in between the main events. The appeal here is twofold: aesthetic beauty (56 bucolic acres are lusciously landscaped with manicured lawnsand impressive gardens) and first-rate hospitality. Ceremonies are held in a handful of unique rooms and lunch or dinner is served in one of two restaurants: the more formal Muse, by Jonathan Cartwright, or the relaxed Tap Room. Site fees range from $125,000 to $150,000. 118 Woodbury Rd., Washington, Conn.; 860-868-9466; gracehotels.com/mayflower.
Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel
The View: From the Empire State Building to the Hudson River
From the team behind the immersive theater phenomenon Sleep No More, Gallow Green is a decadently overgrown garden atop the McKittrick Hotel. For ceremonies, brides can stroll down a canopied walkway spanning a vintage train track, enjoy cocktail hour downstairs in the Heath—an enclosed space designed as a train station frozen in 1939—and have the roof transformed into a dining room catered by in-house chef R.L. King. The venue’s events team handles everything, so no external wedding planner is needed. For an extra $100 per person, your guests can experience Sleep No More before heading home. Costs range from $25,000 to $100,000. 542 W. 27th St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-564-1662; gallowgreen.com.
The View: The Williamsburg Bridge and East River
For the couple that dreams in DIY, the Greenpoint Loft, a converted pre–World War II warehouse, is all canvas and no restrictions. The main space is a raw 6,500 square feet with hardwood floors that can be covered with rugs for warmth or left bare for dancing. Ridiculously high ceilings can accommodate professional lighting or a thousand strings of sparkly LEDs. A lofted room, overlooking the main floor, opens onto a 1,000-square-foot step-out rooftop balcony, where guests can grab fresh air or have a smoke, with views across the East River. The site fee—from $4,000 to $6,000—covers twelve hours, as an install is necessary. 67 West St., nr. Noble St., Greenpoint; 718-310-3040; greenpointloft.com.
Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa
The View: The Hudson River and waterfalls
In addition to the lush grounds and front-and-center Hudson River views, one of the main draws at this inn is farm-to-table restaurant Henry’s at the Farm, helmed by executive chef Tom Muff, who handles all on-site catering. Weddings for more than 80 require a weekend buyout of the property (from $20,000), with accommodations for up to 54 guests in ten rooms, three cottages, and four guesthouses. Overlooking the river, the open-layout living room of River Knoll (the largest guesthouse) is a welcoming spot for a rehearsal dinner. A stone-paved hill adjacent to the inn serves as a prime waterfront spot for both ceremony and reception. An average 250-person wedding costs $60,000. 220 North Rd., Milton, N.Y.; 845-795-1310; buttermilkfallsinn.com.
The View: The Long Island Sound and Old Lyme, Conn., on a clear day
At Long Island’s ecofriendly winery, an impressive wind turbine greets visitors before they take in the grand water views from their privileged perch on the Sound. Weather permitting, ceremonies are held on the waterfront bluff and a tented party (for up to 250) follows in the meadow or inside the Great Room (for up to 80), an ultramodern interpretation of a nineteenth-century barn. There, guests can enjoy a catered dinner and dancing under exposed steel beams and floor-to-ceiling windows. Thesite fee ranges from $12,000 to $17,500, not including catering, tent rental, security, and parking. 825 North Rd., Greenport, N.Y.; 631-477-6977; kontokostawines.com.
The Roof at Viceroy New York
The View: Central Park
Roman and Williams, the design firm known for its refined, nostalgia-tinged aesthetic, has put its signature stamp on the Viceroy Hotel Group’s first local property. Weddings for up to 60 can be held on the outdoor rooftop with sublime views of midtown and Central Park. Executive chef Marc Murphy and his team downstairs at swanky Kingside handle all the catering. When you’re ready to wind down, there’s no need to travel far for the after-party: The restaurant is hopping until 4 a.m. Site rental ranges from $10,000 to $30,000. 120 W. 57th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-830-8000; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/newyork.
From the Summer 2014 New York Wedding Guide