What to Wear to Your Engagement Party
Silk lamé jacquard sheath dress (top left)
($1,295 by special order at Ports 1961; 1-866-433-7678).
Silk gazar laser-cut dress (bottom left)
($680 by Cynthia Rowley, 376 Bleecker St., nr. Perry St.; 212-242-3803).
Cluster-sequined tulle cami and box pleat skirt (on model)
($485 and $325 by Milly, at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., nr. 49th St.; 212-753-4000).
Gold and chains dress (top right)
($3,000 at Diane Von Furstenberg, 874 Washington St., nr. 14th St.; 646-486-4800).
Silk dress with hook-and-eye (bottom right)
($695 by 3.1 Phillip Lim, at Bird, 220 Smith St., nr. Butler St., Cobble Hill; 718-797-3776).Where to Have Your Engagement Party
1. Rent the second floor of West Village Cuban lounge Socialista from six to ten o’clock for 60 guests (socialista.us). Expect potent drinks, lots of passed and stationed bocadillos (the duck empanadas are popular), and authentic Cuban music (their house band, Grupo Irék, is $800 for the night). The tab: approximately $10,000.
2. The House looks like the charming residence in Gramercy Park you wish you owned (thehousenyc.com). Host a cocktail party on the upper level for a group of 40 (from $140 per person for hors d’oeuvre and open bar), or rent the entire place for three hours, for 80. The cost for the latter may be a bit fairytailish for some (from $15,000).
3. Throw a cocktail-dance party for 100 guests at the Williamsburg Penthouse (wburgpenthouse.com ). It has an amazing roof terrace, and wraparound windows with stop-traffic views of the Manhattan skyline (from $3,000, plus $150 per person for food and drink). For another $1,500 they’ll supply the D.J., too.
What to Wear to Your Bridal Shower
Silk dress with shirring detail (top left)
($550 by Abaeté, at Bloomingdale’s Soho, 504 Broadway, nr. Broome St.; 212-729-5900).
Spruce silk dress (bottom left)
($425 by Shipley & Halmos, at Earnest Sewn, 821 Washington St., nr. Gansevoort St.; 212-675-0553).
Travis jacket and Nanetta skirt (on model)
($365 and $265 at Diane Von Furstenberg,, 874 Washington St., nr. 14th St.; 646-486-4800).
Multi-handkerchief-collar mini-dress and buckle belt (top right)
($550 and $250 by 3.1 Phillip Lim, 115 Mercer St., nr. Spring St.; 212-334-1160).
Silk plum ombré dress (bottom right)
($1,195 by Doo.Ri, at Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., nr. 61st St.; 212-754-7940).Where to Have Your Bridal Shower
1. Reserve the retractable-roofed garden of girlish Nolita restaurant Elizabeth for a brunch for up to 50 (elizabethny.com). Prix-fixe menu options include croque madames and johnnycakes with peach compote and honey butter (from $25 per person). Or order truffle Bloody Marys, cotton candy sundaes, and more, à-la-carte. Inside, open gifts on comfy banquettes by the fireplace.
2. Magnolia Bakery’s Upper West Side location has a private room where you and about a dozen of your girlfriends can have a Champagne-and-dessert-fueled cupcake-decorating session (magnoliacupcakes.com). The $750 party setup ($25 for each additional person you squeeze in) includes a dessert like banana pudding or peanut-butter-icebox pie; bring your own bubbly.
3. Book an overnight stay at Soho House and spend the afternoon with ten friends at their Cowshed Spa, drinking Champagne between manicures and massages (sohohouseny.com). Their new Pretty Parties package ($295 per person) includes two treatments and a private dinner. The slumber party is extra (double-occupancy rooms from $525 a night).
What to Wear to Your Rehearsal Dinner
Acetate woven dress (top left)
($338 at BCBG Max Azria, 461 Fifth Ave., nr. 40th St.; 212-991-9777).
Silk and lace dress with leather glitter belt (bottom left)
($345 and $95 at Rebecca Taylor, 260 Mott St., nr. Houston St.; 212-966-0406).
Silk embellished sheath (on model)
($355 at Tracy Reese, 641 Hudson St., nr. Horatio St.; 212-807-0505).
Silk caramel dress (top right)
($850 at Hugo Boss Soho, 132 Greene St., nr. Prince St.; 212-965-1300).
Silk mimosa dress (bottom right)($1,750 at Catherine Malandrino, 652 Hudson St., nr. Gansevoort St.; 212-929-8710).Where to Have Your Rehearsal Dinner
1. Rent the dining room and garden of Pure Food and Wine, the romantic restaurant on Irving Place, for 130 guests, no matter the season (purefoodandwine.com). Their raw menu is inventive enough to delight carnivorous guests—though it’s not a bargain at around $23,000 (for 50 people; $100 for each additional person; cost of tenting in winter is included).
2. For a knockout wedding-eve dinner, invite up to 120 guests to one of the newer cultural institutions in town, the New Museum on the Bowery (newmuseum.org). Serve cocktails and appetizers on the Hope Terrace, and dinner in the minimalist Sky Room (from $250 a head plus a minimum donation of $5,000; Creative Edge Parties is the exclusive caterer).
3. Take over the chandeliered upstairs dining room, bar, and candle-lit garden of Bobo, a signless, picturesque restaurant in the West Village and host a lovely dinner party for up to 80 people (bobonyc.com). It’s not much of an option for the budget-conscious; the rental fee can be as steep as $20,000, plus per-head costs for food, liquor, and tenting the terrace.
Photographs: Hannah Whitaker for New York Magazine (Dresses); Firstview (Runway)