Location, Location, Location

632 on HudsonPhoto: Dave Robbins

Estimated costs include space rental and catering:
$ - $100-$200 per head
$$ - $200-$300 per head
$$$ - $300-$400 per head
$$$$ - $500+ per head

If You… Are Inviting Your Nearest and Dearest

Jung Leeof Fête Ukrainian Institute of America (The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion)(2 E. 79th St., at Fifth Ave.; 212-288-8660; ukranianinstitute.org) $$$ “It’s a jewel of a mansion with views of Central Park that not many people know about. It feels like a private home. It has charm and character, and you can bring in an off-premise caterer. Invite 90 guests for cocktails on the third floor; dinner on the second, and go back up to the third floor for dancing and dessert.” Caveat: “A bit ‘lived-in,’ but you can disguise that with design.” Also try: Harold Pratt House

Xochitl Gonzalezof Always a Bridesmaid Soho Grand Hotel (310 W. Broadway, nr. Canal St.; 212-519-6642; sohogrand.com) $$ “Host cocktails for 50 guests inside the north penthouse loft—it looks like a modern, two-bedroom apartment—and dinner on the terrace, which has views of the Empire State. After, have a dance party inside. Fill the footed tub with ice and Champagne for a sexy, self-serve bar.” Caveat: “The suite’s big enough for a D.J., but you can’t move furniture for more dancing room.” Also try: Williamsburg Penthouse

Ellen Kostmanof SideKick Events 632 on Hudson (632 Hudson St., nr. Horatio St.; 212-620-7631; 632onhudson.com) $$$ “A gorgeous house decorated with artsy, eccentric touches (e.g., gargoyles, a Chinese bed), that’s ideal for a 100-person roving cocktail party. Do a different, themed food station in every room. Guests can roam the entire house, all the way up to the rooftop garden. For dancing, a D.J. can set up on the ground floor, near the library.” Caveat: “There’s no room for a band.” Also try: Ramscale

Central Park ZooPhoto: Christian Oth

If You… Don’t Mind Risking the Weather

Jung Leeof Fête Central Park Zoo (830 Fifth Ave., at 64th St.; 718-741-3836; nyzoosandaquarium.com) $$$$ “The beauty of the zoo is its lush gardens. Set up cocktails beneath the clear-ceilinged colonnade, or in a clear tent for 200 guests in the Central Garden, near the sea lions. Set up a second tent for dinner and dancing. If the weather’s horrible, you can have the party in the Rain Forest Building, though it’s humid and smells like animals.” Caveat: “Setup can’t happen until 6 p.m.; music gets shut off at midnight.” Also try: Wave Hill

Xochitl Gonzalezof Always a Bridesmaid The Foundry (42-38 9th St., nr. 43rd Ave., Long Island City; 718-786-7776; thefoundry.info) $$$ “Have a 125-person dinner in the courtyard of this cool, industrial venue, formerly a metal factory (they provide a waterproof, clear tent, but no tables and chairs). The adjacent, indoor space is perfect for dessert stations and a D.J. Continue the rager at the nearby Ravel Hotel—their rooftop is an ideal spot for the after-party.” Caveat: “You need to provide guests with transportation.” Also try: Tobacco Warehouse

Ellen Kostmanof SideKick Events Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club (231 Mid Ocean Dr., nr. Ocean Rd., Bridgehampton; 212-883-0606; thebtsc.com) $$$ “The vibe here is relaxed, but it can also be black-tie. Robbins Wolfe, their in-house caterer, is really flexible. After a ceremony on the beach, have cocktails on the wraparound deck, and dinner and dancing for 225 in a room with ocean views. Finish the night off with sliders and s’mores around a bonfire.” Caveat: “Setup can’t happen until 3 p.m.” Also try: Listening Rock Farm in Wassaic

Metropolitan BuildingPhoto: Amanda Bruins

If You… Are Saving for a Down Payment Instead

Jung Leeof Fête Metropolitan Building (44-01 11th St., nr. 44th Ave., Long Island City; 718-784-3716; metropolitanbuilding.com) $ “A budget venue for a large party—ideally 200 to 250. Have the entire event in the fourth floor loft (8,000 square feet with 14-foot ceilings). Drape fabric to separate the room into two spaces, one for the ceremony and cocktails, the other for dinner and dancing. Mix round and square tables in a semi-circle around the dance floor.” Caveat: “It’s in Long Island City, so guests will need transportation.” Also try: The Foundry

Xochitl Gonzalezof Always a Bridesmaid Thalassa (179 Franklin Street, nr. Hudson St.; 212-941-7661; thalassanyc.com) $ “This Tribeca restaurant feels more low-key than low-budget, and a buyout isn’t necessary to have privacy. A separate elevator goes from the wine cellar, where you can have a ceremony, to the second floor, where you can have dinner and dancing for 100. The food—modern Greek cuisine—wine, and service are unbeatable for the price.” Caveat: “The cocktail hour and reception occur in separate areas of the same space.” Also try: Manhattan Penthouse

Ellen Kostmanof SideKick Events Twenty-Four Fifth (24 Fifth Ave., at 9th St.; 212-505-8000; theglaziergroup.com
) $ “This tiny gilded ballroom feels like a mini-version of the Metropolitan Club, and it’s perfect for a 100-person reception. It’s ideal for steak-lovers; their in-house caterer owns the Strip House. Do cocktails in the draped-off space in the front and dinner and dancing in the gold, chandeliered main room, which is big enough for a six-piece band.” Caveat: : “All rentals are provided, which may be too cookie-cutter for some.” Also try: The Harvard Club

Gotham HallPhoto: Courtesy of Fête

If You… Have an Uncuttable Guest List

Jung Leeof Fête Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy.,at Washington Ave., Prospect Heights; 718-501-6408; brooklynmuseum.org) $$$ “Throw a 400-person party in the newly renovated, gorgeous Beaux-Arts Court, a room with a grand brass chandelier, and art-filled corridors around its perimeter. Spread tables throughout the court, as well as inside the surrounding halls. Their in-house caterer Restaurant Associates’ food is good, but not foodie-caliber.” Caveat: “You can’t set up until 6 p.m.” Also try: American Museum of Natural History

Xochitl Gonzalezof Always a Bridesmaid Guastavino’s (409 E. 59th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-980-2711; guastavinos.com) $$ “Even though it’s big enough for a party of 600, and has 45-foot high ceilings, it feels relatively intimate. Host cocktails for 325 on the outdoor terrace, with river views, right beneath the Queensboro Bridge, and dinner and dancing on the mezzanine inside. Rent lounge furniture for a huge dance-after-party downstairs.” Caveat: : “There are upgrade charges for common food items, like filet mignon.” Also try: Bridgewaters

Ellen Kostmanof SideKick Events Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway, at 36th St.; 212-244-4300; gothamhallevents.com) $$$ “An old bank with a stained-glass ceiling, columns, and brass grates. Host cocktail hour on two floors—hors d’oeuvre on the mezzanine and food stations downstairs. The place is vast, so put high floral arrangements on the reception tables. They have three in-house caterers (one kosher); allow off-premise vendors; and provide rentals, including the dance floor.” Caveat: “The sound quality isn’t great.” Also try: Cipriani 42nd Street

The New York Public LibraryPhoto: Gruber Photographers

If You… Fantasize About Four-Star Foods

Jung Leeof Fête The New York Public Library (476 Fifth Ave., at 41st St.; 212-930-0730; nypl.org/spacerental) $$$$ “Even though the library doesn’t allow open flame, caterers like Sonnier & Castle and Acquolina have served fantastic food here. Hold cocktails for 250 under the coffered ceiling of the McGraw Rotunda, serve dinner at long tables in Astor Hall, and move to the Celeste Bartos Forum for dessert and dancing.” Caveat: “You must buy all alcohol through the Library, which is really expensive.” Also try: Metropolitan Club

Xochitl Gonzalezof Always a Bridesmaid Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center (33 W. 60th St., at Columbus Circle; 212-258-9535; jalc.org) $$$$ “Their exclusive caterer, Great Performances, provides incredible food—they source ingredients from their own farm. Invite 250 for cocktails in the Atrium and have dinner in the Allen Room, which has amphitheater-style seating, perfect acoustics, and a famous view of Central Park.” Caveat: “While they do host weddings, they seem to be few and far between.” Also try: Brooklyn Academy of Music

Ellen Kostmanof SideKick Events The St. Regis New York (2 E. 55th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-753-4500; stregis.com/newyork) $$$ “This hotel is known for its outstanding service and the quality and presentation of its food. For 200 guests, do cocktails in a series of connected rooms, and a seated dinner in the penthouse ballroom. Have the after-party in a room on the same floor and pass mini-hors d’oeuvre, like Pigs in a Blanket, with fancy French names.” Caveat: “Its feminine look might not be for everyone.” Also try: Mandarin Oriental

Location, Location, Location