Outward Bound

The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers Photo: Andre Maier

267 Fifth Ave., at 29th St., Ste. 100; 888-435-4979; midtownloft.net
Cost:$4,000 to $8,500 location fee, which includes taxes and a doorman as well as minimal lounge furniture and a full sound system.
Capacity: Loft, 180 seated and served; terrace, 100 seated and served.
Exchange your vows while looking out at the Empire State Building on this 3,600 square-foot rooftop with a wraparound terrace. After a recent renovation and years of an Astroturf existence, the landscaped gardens on top of this eleven-story building now sit on a wood mahogany deck. While the roof itself is an independent space (with bathrooms, a kitchen, and an enclosed lounge area equipped with fireplace), couples generally choose to utilize the airy loft space below for the reception. Four walls of windows provide a continued panoramic view.

L’Olivier DowntownPhoto: Courtesy of L'Olivier

620 Fifth Ave., at 50th St.; 212-698-2000; topoftherocknyc.com
Cost: Price upon request.
Capacity: 120 seated and served; 165 for cocktails.
A favorite among fashion and entertainment location scouts (yes, Spiderman scaled these walls in the trilogy’s last installment), the rooftop garden on the seventh floor of Rockefeller Center’s British Empire Building showcases views of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Saks Fifth Avenue (an equally religious landmark to some). The stone pathways, manicured hedges, and reflecting pool offer an ideal ceremony location while the Soho-style interior loft space provides a blank canvas for you to make all of your reception visions a reality.

2 Lexington Ave, at 21st St.; 212-920-3300; gramercyparkhotel.com
Cost: Price upon request.
Capacity: 125 seated and served; 250 for cocktails.
For the “chi-chi, frou-frou more intimate wedding,” 4PM Event’s Tatiana Byron, who runs the Wedding Salon showcase in Manhattan twice a year, recommends the lush surroundings at the top of Ian Schrager’s seventeen-story boutique hotel. Connected by garden terraces, where receptions are usually set up, the three interior living rooms (underneath retractable roofs) house a selection of twentieth-century masterpieces from Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst—great talking points for your guests should there be a lull in conversation during cocktail hour.

23rd Street at the West Side Highway; 212-336-6144; piersixty.com
Cost: From $190 to $250 per person, including the space, a cocktail hour, a four-course dinner, wedding cake, full open bar, chairs, tables, linens, dishes, and maître d’.
Capacity: 175 to 300 people seated and served.
With floor-to-ceiling windows offering southwest views of the Hudson, the Statue of Liberty, and the Verrazzano Bridge, the four largest windows enclosing the terrace here are completely retractable for that “outside ceremony” feel. In addition to the bonus of in-house catering form Abigail Kirsch, the Lighthouse provides a maître d’ two months in advance to help plan all the details for your affair and be on site the night of the event. Since you’re right on the water with no neighbors (and no noise restrictions), your party can rage on into the wee hours of the morning for an additional $10 per head, per half hour.

Studio 450Photo: Courtesy of Studio 450

450 W. 31st St., nr. Tenth Ave., twelfth fl.; 212-290-1400; lofteleven.com
Cost: Location fee starts at $6,000.
Capacity: 220 seated and served, with a dance floor.
As one of the select properties under the Penthouse 15 umbrella, the huge windows and less-developed location of this duplex loft make its rooftop and wraparound terrace a choice location for serious Hudson views. Ceremonies on the roof generally proceed into the contemporary, white-on-white loft space for the reception, where four walls of windows provide a panoramic portrait of Midtown Manhattan.

830 Fifth Ave., at 64th St.; 212-439-6509; wcs.org
Cost: Price upon request.
Capacity: 600 seated and served; 1,200 for cocktails.
Looking out onto the city skyline—or the sea lion pool—the landscaped gardens here can be tented and heated for your ceremony and cocktails. (Dinner is best spent with the snow monkeys.) Reserve at least a year in advance—June 2008 is already booked solid.

2 E. 91st St., nr. Fifth Ave.; cooperhewitt.org
Cost: $25,000, $15,000 of which goes to staffing your event, $10,000 to your membership.
Capacity: 1,000 guests for a standing reception; 500 for a seated dinner.
You have to be a member of the Cooper Hewitt to utilize its event spaces but the membership fee ($10,000 of which is tax deductible) gives you an all-access pass to Carnegie Mansion and the Arthur Ross Terrace and Gardens so if there are exhibitions going on, you and your guests are welcome to roam the halls of the turn of the century mansion and its grounds—on your best behavior, of course.

213 W. 14th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-255-2828; lolivier.com
Cost: Location fee is $4,500.
Capacity: 60 to 80 in the garden for cocktails; 150 for cocktails in the gallery and garden.
The downtown installment of this Upper East Side staple has a 1,500 square–foot “secret” garden in the back, maintained by the atelier’s famed proprietor. Receptions are usually held in the floral gallery itself, where two high countertops are converted to tables for family-style dining.

The Audubon Center at The Boathouse in Prospect ParkPhoto: Courtesy of Prospect Park

356 W. 58th St., nr. 9th Ave.; 212-554-6000; morganshotelgroup.com
Cost: $275 per person, all-inclusive plus an additional $3,000 location fee for Penthouse rental.
Capacity: 120 for seated dinner, 250 for cocktail reception in the Apartment terrace tent. Penthouse has a capacity of 80 people for cocktails.
Rent out the “Apartment” here and benefit from a Philippe Starck-designed interior and 2,000-sq. foot adjacent terrace, which is often tented for ceremonies and cocktail hours (showcasing its 24th-floor panoramic Hudson views). If you want to have your reception under the tent as well, the Penthouse a few doors down can accommodate your cocktail hour while an expert staff orchestrates a set change. Dancing to follow in the Hudson room, giving your event a certain dynamic, progressive flair.

RamscalePhoto: Courtesy of Ramscale

55 Bethune St., at Washington St.; ramscale.com
Cost: Hourly rate location fee, starting at $5,000 for 8 hours.
Capacity: Seated and served, 75; Cocktails, 125.
Get the outdoor ceremony “trifecta” on the landscaped terrace of this penthouse loft-cum-art gallery in the West Village with views of the empire state building, the Chrysler building and the statue of liberty. All of the art in the loft can stay or go, and your overall fee includes an opportunity to work with curator, Danette Koke (of Danette Koke Fine Arts), to place pieces on the walls according your wedding’s color scheme or theme.

Inside Battery Park, opposite 17 State St.; (212) 809-5508; batterygardens.com
Cost: From $130 to $210 per person, with an outdoor ceremony fee of $1,000, not including tenting.
Capacity: 220 seated and served, with a dance floor; up to 350 with a tent.
With panoramic views of the Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, the rectangular grass area in front of this Battery Park restaurant provides a gorgeous platform to exchange vows. In addition to being right on the water, the grounds here benefit from the revolving talent of landscape architects brought in annually to design the entirety of Battery Park; you really don’t need much in the way of flowers and foliage. If you choose to use the restaurant for your reception, floor-to-ceiling windows and two large terraces make sure that you enjoy the view all night long.

26 New Dock St., nr. Water St., Dumbo, Brooklyn; 718-802-0603; brooklynbridgepark.org/events
Cost: $7,000 for fourteen hours on site, plus $250 for each additional hour. A refundable $1,500 security deposit is required.
Capacity: 350 seated and served; 700 for cocktails.
Situated on the East River in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, this nineteenth-century hallowed-out building doesn’t have a view, it has the view. Looking out its brick archways onto lower Manhattan—framed by the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges—the outdoor structure’s raw space is tented from May through October for all of your reception needs (BYO chairs, tables, etcetera). The riverside boardwalk and lawn areas usually set the backdrop for ceremonies.

42-38 Ninth St., nr. Queens Plaza S., Long Island City; thefoundry.info
Cost: Prices upon request.
Capacity: 200 people.
This 19th Century foundry has been restored to retain its industrial character although with exposed brick arches and ivy-covered walls it has a certain old-world European feel, not to mention a pretty dramatic view of the Queensboro Bridge. The split-level building has a glass roof so after your ceremony in the outdoor courtyard, your reception will feel just as airy.

The Tobacco WarehousePhoto: David Willems/Courtesy of the Foundry

57 Thames St., at Knickerbocker Ave., Bushwick, Brooklyn; 718-418-2509; officeops.org
Cost: $1,900 to $5,000 location fee, which includes electricity, restaurant tables and chairs, lighted railing, catering equipment, and tents.
Capacity: 300 people.
Big (and raw) enough to host film screenings, musical and dance performances, as well as your wedding, this 15,000 square–foot roof can become just about anything you want it to be while still offering unobstructed city views. There’s also a full catalog of audio/visual equipment available for rent on-site in conjunction with a ten-by-sixteen-foot projection screen so you can cue up those childhood videos at will.

1000 Washington Avenue, nr. Eastern Pkwy., Crown Heights, Brooklyn; 718.398.2400; palmhouse.com
Cost: $5,000 location fee; catering from $160 per person.
Capacity: 300 seated and served, with dancing.
After 6 p.m., this outdoor wonderland closes to the public, so you can set up shop just about anywhere you want on the 52-acre property. In order to maintain the grounds, no tents are allowed, but in the spring, the nearly 100 blossoming trees in the Cherry Esplanade provide a pink-petaled canopy that outdoes a white big-top any day of the week. Receptions are held in the Palm House’s glass-enclosed, Victorian atrium.

Near the Ocean Ave. and Lincoln Rd. entrance to Prospect Park, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-965-8999; prospectpark.org
Cost: $4,000 includes house manager and some furniture.
Capacity: 110 seated and served, with dance floor; 200 with tenting.
With Prospect Park’s myriad event locations, this Beaux Arts–style building is one of the nicest, featuring two levels and a balcony overlooking the Lullwater Pond and Bridge—a seasonal favorite for giant swans and their broods. Ceremonies are usually held waterside on the terrace or on the grounds to either side of the building with receptions proceeding into the main hall.

The Oheka Castle in Huntington, N.Y.Photo: Courtesy of Oheka Castle

W. 249th St. and Independence Ave., the Bronx; 718-549-3200; wavehill.org
Cost: Annual membership fee of $5,000 (which is tax-deductible), plus additional site fee of $1,500.
Capacity: 180 seated and served; 150 seated and served with a dance floor.
Built in 1843 in the style of an English country residence, this estate house sits on 28 acres of manicured grounds and has been home to both Samuel Clemens and Theodore Roosevelt. Ceremonies can take place under the pergola overlooking the Hudson, with dinner and dancing moving to Armor Hall, which has a large terrace for cocktails.

7350 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park; 718-347-3276; queensfarm.org
Cost: $1,700 for the combined barn and north lawn; $500 for the pavilion; $2,000 for the orchard.
Capacity: 344 for barn and north lawn; 85 for pavilion; 1,000 for the orchard.
A working farm (in Queens!), this country museum/event space sits on 47 acres of land and still produces fruit and vegetables (on sale in the gift shop). The vast North Lawn and Orchard offer a sprawling landscape to pitch a tent while the open-air pavilion and barn are more intimate locations. Two peacocks and a flock of free-range chickens roam the property and are likely to make a surprise appearance on your guest list.

757 Eagle Rock Ave., West Orange, N.J.; 973-731-5600; pleasantdale.com
Cost: All-inclusive per person price upon request; guest rooms from $169.
Capacity: 350 people seated and served, with a dance floor.
On the 42 acres of grounds at this Norman-style chateau, ceremony locations are endless, albeit seasonal – stellar fall foliage makes October the most popular month here, although an award winning, tri-colored tulip garden is a destination spot for summer ceremonies. Receptions are held under the domed-ceiling of the Grand Ballroom which is what Lisa Spoonauer, director of sales and catering, says generally sells the location to brides-to-be. “In Malibu, you pitch tents [for receptions]. Here, you won’t want to.”

71 Old Westbury Rd., Old Westbury, N.Y.; 516-333-0048; oldwestburygardens.org
Cost: $2,000 location fee for the gardens, which includes chair and tent rentals; manor price upon request.
Capacity: 50 to 150 at the gardens; 150 to 275 at the manor.
As a wedding present to his homesick bride, American financier John S. Phipps designed this Charles II–style country house and its 160-acres of gardens to remind her of her native England. After opening the Wall Garden with its central fountain and wisteria-covered pergola for ceremonies last year, the estate plans to be reception-ready by the end of 2008. In the meantime, the Victorian banquet rooms and gardens at the Westbury Manor, a five-minute drive away, maintain the ambiance for cocktails, dinner, and dancing.

135 West Gate Dr., Huntington, N.Y.; 631-659-1400; oheka.com
Cost: $7,000 to 12,000 location fee, and $200 to $500 per head. Buyout rate for all 32 rooms, from $6,500.
Capacity: 400 people.
The second largest private home in America, this 32-bedroom, French-inspired castle sits on 22.1 acres and boasts a formal garden with eight reflecting pools, three fountains, and a marble gazebo—the perfect backdrop for any ceremony. There is a noise ordinance on weekdays so couples generally choose to do their receptions in the glass-enclosed terrace but with a buyout option to takeover the entire castle, late-night racket indoors is perfectly acceptable.

The Central Park ZooPhoto: Suzanne Bolduc/Wildlife Conservation Society

289 Pequest Rd., Andover, N.J.; 973-829-9922; crossedkeys.com
Cost: $125 per person with on-site caterers; $1,800 location fee for the grounds, playhouse, ceremony, and rentals. Guest rooms from $135.
Capacity: 150 to 225 people.
“We are rustic elegance,” says on-site wedding coordinator Katherine Rodriguez of this updated country farmhouse on fourteen beautifully landscaped acres of a 200-year-old property. Ceremonies are usually held in an English garden with more than 150 dahlias followed by cocktails on a bluestone terrace and a tented reception overlooking the meadows and mountain landscape. Doubling as a B&B, there are five rooms available for rental as well as the “playhouse” lounge where Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin, and Mae West did their after-partying.

269 Route 627, Village of Finesville Milford, N.J.; 908-995-7800; albavineyard.com
Cost: $1,000 grounds location fee; $500 Barrel Room location fee.
Capacity: Up to 1,000 people; up to 40 people in the Barrel Room.
With what employees describe as New Jersey’s own Stonehenge, the “wedding rocks” here—a huge brownish three-quarter circle of limestone boulders—usually play host to ceremonies with a view of the Delaware River Valley and the winery’s 93.5-acre vineyard. A lower plateau provides an ideal location for a reception tent, with the same spectacular views. While the 206-year-old barn-cum-winery is not for rent, the more intimate Barrel Room, which houses a local artists’ gallery, can be a part of your event.

92 Red Creek Rd., Hampton Bays N.Y.; 631-748-7223; hamptonbakerestate.com
Cost: $15,000 location fee, which includes the house and use of the grounds.
Capacity: 150 to 200 people.
You get the best of all worlds with the 4.5-acres of lush, landscaped grounds and private beach offered at this seven-room estate (oh, and there’s a pool too). Ceremonies can be held on the beach, on the grounds, in the house … pretty much wherever you want considering that the entire property is yours for the extent of your event.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard Photo: Timothy K. Lee Photography

39390 Main Rd., Peconic, N.Y.; 631-765-1100; raphaelwine.com
Cost: $8,000-15,000 location fee (discounts available on Fridays), which includes some rentals, valet, and wait staff; $100-130 per person for food; $35 to $45 per person for liquor.
Capacity: From 120 to 200 people.
With access to the 60-acre vineyard, as well as the upstairs and downstairs cellar of the winery, couples can pick and choose their site locations here. Ceremonies are typically held overlooking the vineyard, followed by cocktail hour in the great hall (with two balconies), and dinner in the Renaissance Room. Known for their merlots, Raphael just put out a port, which is now available for your drinking pleasure.

59600 Main Rd., Southold, N.Y.; 631-765-0004; theoldfield.com
Cost: $7,000 location fee; minimum purchase of four cases of the Old Field wines with 15 percent off the case price, excluding sparkling wine.
Capacity: Up to 120 guests seated and served, with dancing.
The lone vineyard on Long Island with a private beach, plan your entire wedding on the bay-front lawn adjacent to this winery—which is only available for use between June 15 and September 15.

139 Sagg Rd., Sagaponack, N.Y.; 631-537-5106; wolffer.com
Cost: $14,000 to $20,000 location fee with a 15 percent discount on bottles of wine.
Capacity: 175 seated and served.
“It’s the nicest of the wineries on the South Fork,” Hamptons wedding planner Jill Gordon says of this Tuscan-style winery. “Every choice they’ve made is tasteful—down to the doorknobs!” A gazebo set in the 50-acre vineyard generally sets up the ceremony, followed by cocktails on the lawn; a reception on the columned, stone terrace bordered by hydrangeas; and dancing in the adjacent tasting room with terra cotta floors.

The Longhouse ReservePhoto: Eric Ekroth

133 Hands Creek Rd., East Hampton, N.Y.; 631-329-3568; longhouse.org
Cost: Location fee upon request.
Capacity: 200.
Only allowing one wedding per year (the exclusivity is more a reflection of maintenance concerns than elitism), the sculpture gardens, arboretum, and Shinto-designed house at this non-profit art organization provide a unique outdoor backdrop for your nuptials. The location fee gives you complete access to the grounds, but in May, go with the Red Garden, where azaleas in full bloom create a natural, makeshift aisle.

295 Three Mile Harbor/Hog Creek Rd., East Hampton, N.Y.; 631-329-2800; easthamptonpoint.com
Cost: Buyout fee upon request; it includes the restaurant and its surrounding areas for the entire night.
Capacity: 200 seated and served, with a dance floor.
Perched along East Hampton’s three-mile harbor, this restaurant and marina has water views in every direction. With a large blue-stone terrace that can be tented as well as a porch over the restaurant with windows that slide completely open, it’s nearly impossible to miss the sun as it sets directly in front of you, preferably during your ceremony.

74 Chester Maine Rd., North Stonington, CT; 860-535-0202; jedwardswinery.com
Cost: $4,800 location fee; wine is priced according to consumption with a 10 percent bottle discount, excluding sparking wine.
Capacity: 200.
Nestled in lush farmland and yet a mere ten minutes from Rhode Island’s pristine beaches, this classic New England style winery is where “big city couples looking for something that’s not cookie cutter” come to exchange their vows, according to manager Erica Robertson. Ceremonies held in the vineyard tend to be followed by cocktail hour on the winery’s stone patio and back deck, with a formal dinner taking place on the side lawn, which is perfect for tenting. Napa and Connecticut vintages are both available.

2800 State Route 228, Alpine, N.Y.; 607-594-2008; fontainebleauinn.com
Cost: $2,000 location fee, which includes use of the inn’s tent. Six rooms are available for overnight guests, from $135 per night.
Capacity: 150 seated and served, with a dance floor.
Since their car broke down near this 1814 estate almost twenty years ago, John and Terri Van Soest have been running the historic inn on the shores of Cayuta Lake. The ten-acre property levels out towards the water, offering an ideal location for a ceremony. Usually people have cocktails under a tent, then come inside to the banquet hall for the reception, and go back outside for dancing under the stars.

1001 Lochland Rd., Route 14, Geneva, N.Y.; 315-789-7190; genevaonthelake.com
Cost: From $150 per person plus a ceremony fee of $10 per person. Block room rate upon request.
Capacity: 150.
Italian Renaissance architecture sets the tone for your ceremony at this former monastery that has exclusive views of Seneca Lake. Couples usually say their “I dos” at the property’s “Semi Circle at the Bluff,” a half-circular walk lined on one side with pedestals and on the other side by a lawn with seating for guests. From Memorial Day through September, a three-peak tent is pitched over a paved, brick inlaid court for the reception, accompanied by a beautiful bridal chamber and kitchen.

149 Girdle Ridge Rd., Katonah, N.Y.; caramoor.org

57185 North Rd., Greenport, N.Y.; (631) 477-0666; soundviewrestaurant.com

Outward Bound