In the City
Bryant Park Grill
This Midtown spot is favored for both its prime midtown location and the relative ease of planning an event there. “Everything from food to linens is done through the restaurant, which meansmuch less stress from a logistical perspective,” says planner Loulie Walker of LWE. The south garden, with its tall trees and dripping ivy, has a romantic, Parisian feel, as does a larger rooftop terrace lined with lattice and blossoms. Both outdoor spaces can be tented year-round, and the restaurant’s bright Hugh Hardy-designed dining room’s tall windows overlook the park. Accommodates between 60 and 250 people.
Cost: About $175 a head for a Saturday night in season, plus tax and gratuity. Includes a wedding-night suite at the Bryant Park Hotel. 25 W. 40th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-768-4242; bryantpark.org
Hotel Chic, Reimagined:
The Bowery Hotel looks like a castle inside but hasa fabulous terrace that can be used year-round,” Walker says. The hotel’s 10,000 square feet of event space has mounted deer heads, twinkling chandeliers, and a fireplace inside, while the plein air terrace features terra-cottabanquettes and sumptuous hanging plants. In colder weather, the terrace can be tented and heated; in warmer months, the patio doors are removed to create a fluid indoor-outdoor space. Accommodates 60 to 300 guests for a seated dinner.
Cost: Catering exclusively by in-house restaurant Gemma ranges from $250 to $300 per person, and there is a $5,000 venue-rental fee. Tent and heaters are additional. 335 Bowery, nr. E. 3rd St.; 212-505-9100; theboweryhotel.com
Hidden Rooftop Gem:
As its name suggests, Elevated Acre is an acre-size expanse of green on a lower-Manhattan rooftop. The space’s combination of river views, alandscaped garden, and modern-design touches - like a 50-foot light sculpture- is reminiscent of the High Line, but this is yours alone. It also has the element of surprise: Who’d expect to find a meadow in the Financial District? “You go up all these escalators and then through these buildings to get there, so when you arrive, it’s that much more dramatic,” says Jung Lee of Fête. She likes the garden for cocktails and the large lawn for dinner.
Cost: Venue fee is $5,000; catering by Aramark starts at $150 per person. Additional $8,000 for use of tent. 55 Water St., nr. Coenties Slip; 212-963-7029;elevatedacre.com
High-Drama Art Space:
El Museo del Barrio
Thanks to a recent renovation, this institution doubles as a sleek location with 3,200 square feet of outdoor space. The courtyard, with its warm tropical-hardwood paneling and metal canopy, contrasts dramatically with the museum’s restored Beaux-Arts exterior, and offers a view of the Central Park Conservatory Gardens. The outdoor space canbe combined with the museum café and glass-encased lobby to accommodate a whopping 400 people for a seated dinner. For an additional fee, the museum can also open up its exhibition area so guests will have the opportunity to roam.
Cost: $6,000 venue fee for courtyard, café, and lobby, plus catering by Great Performances, which starts at about $150 per head.1230 Fifth Ave., nr. 104th St.; 212-660-7195; elmuseo.org
Just Across the Water
Hollywood Fantasy Land:
STAGE 6 at Steiner Studios
Brooklyn’s sprawling Steiner Studios has become something of a HollywoodEast, housing productions like Spiderman 3; Stage 6 is an event space in the midst ofthe back lot. With views of the weirdly appealing cranes in the bustling Brooklyn Navy Yard, as well as the East Riverbridges, the 3,700-square-foot wraparound terrace can hold up to 300 guests for a ceremony and can be combined with the additional 4,300 square feet inthe glass-enclosed ballroom. In keeping with the Hollywoodtheme, a red carpet and velvet ropes are rolled out at every event.
Cost: Prices for catering, exclusively through Abigail Kirsch, start at $125 per person. Venue fee is priced upon request. 15 Washington Ave., nr. Water St., Brooklyn Navy Yard; 718-237-1919; abigailkirsch.com
Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden comes with anouter-borough price tag. The 83 verdant acres include the Chinese Scholar Garden, with its pavilions overlooking a winding pond; an adjacent tent can hold up to 200 people for dinner. The just-opened Tuscan Garden,modeled after the Villa Gamberaia near Florence, accommodates up to 250 for cocktails and features lemon trees and shaped topiaries. In bad weather, take over the Great Hall, which has palladium windows overlooking the gardens and holds up to 350.
Cost: Catering by Landmark Hospitality, from $105 to $115 per person. Additional fees apply for cocktails and ceremonies in the gardens. 1000 Richmond Terr., nr. Snug Harbor Rd.; 718-448-2500; snug-harbor.org
Ashore and Adrift in One:
Like many East River venues, Water’s Edge offers fabulous views of the Manhattan skyline. But unlike its counterparts, Water’s Edge is amphibious: The restaurant has five yachts that are available for rental. Accommodating between 50 and 400 people, the boats can be used for a floating reception, or simply for dessert or cocktail hours; a ferry leaves every hour from 23rd Street in Manhattan (free bubbly on board!) for easy transportation. The restaurant’s 350-seat ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony, so guests can enjoy the view from the shore as well.
Cost: Prices start at $110 per person. Boat rental starts at $3,000 an hour. East River at 44th Dr., Long Island City; 718-482-0033;watersedgenyc.com
Unexpected Urban Oasis:
A factory-cum-Turkish restaurant in Williamsburg, MyMoon has one of the most impressive outdoor spaces in the area. The entire venue, including its 2,500-square-foot wooden deck and courtyard, is available for receptions for up to 120 people. The outdoor space-with its exposed brick, colorful mural, and chipped paint-melds the building’s industrial past with its Mediterranean present. Perks include a private room for the bride and groom, and the fact that once you book, the space is yours for the night, not just a five-hour window.
Cost: $125 per person for passed hors d’oeuvres, three-course dinner, and five-hour open bar. Tax and gratuity are additional.184 N. 10th St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg; 718-599-7007; mymoonnyc.com
A large part of this restored 1906 foundry’s appeal lies in its industrial yet romantic aura. Couples can have their wedding inside or in the spacious courtyard; both can fit as many as 200 guests. A landscape nursery next door provides the plants that dot the courtyard, so you can save on décor. “Every time I go there, they have the most beautiful greenery out,” says Lee. A rooftop terrace can be used for cocktails or small events (up to 80 people). One Footloose-style caveat: No dancing in the courtyard. Cost: Venue fee ranges from $4,500 to $8,900, depending on season. Tent rental is additional, and exclusively provided by Ace Party Rentals. Couples must bring in their own caterer. 42-38 Ninth St., at Vernon Blvd., Long Island City; 718-786-7776; thefoundry.info
This rehabbed island is a biker’s paradise, but you can also hold your wedding here. Water Taxi Beach accommodates a staggering 3,500 people. Other options include the leafy Nolan Park and the terrace of the Commanding Officer’s House overlooking Buttermilk Channel. Except for Water Taxi Beach, weddings must take place after closing (5 p.m. on weekends). Book during the week for privacy; the island can be reserved April through November.
Cost: Venue fee is $1,000 an hour (includes setup and breakdown). Catering by Harbor Experience starts at $100 per head. Ferry charters are available for $1,000 per hour (two-hour minimum) and are required when the island is closed to the public. 212-440-2200; govisland.com
Bridgehamption Tennis and Surf Club
“It’s modern and beautiful, like a Malibu beach house. A great blank canvas,” says wedding planner Ann David of this members-only spot. The clubhouse is bright and airy - think white columns and light-hardwood floors. Plus, couples can enjoy 1,200 feet of shoreline. The club holds up to 200 people for a beachside ceremony and a reception in the ballroom, whose tall windows and wraparound deck offer panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Cost: Venue rental in-season is $16,500. Catering by Robbins Wolfe starts at $185 per person (plus $45 a head for open bar). Club membership ($500) is required. 231 Mid Ocean Dr., Bridgehampton, N.Y.; 212-883-0606; thebtsc.com
Grass, Vines, and Ocean:
The Old Field
Unlike the Hamptons, the North Fork is known less for its nightlife than for its twenty-plus wineries. Once a potato farm, the Old Field has been a vineyard for 36 years and offers a rustic, unpretentious setting. Couples can marry on the property’s vast lawn, which affords views of Southold Bay and can be tented to accommodate up to 140. The property also boasts 600 feet of shoreline for beach ceremonies. A weatherworn tasting barn is favored backdrop for photos; a family dog, duck, and goose have been known to pop up in some shots.
Cost: $10,000 venue fee, plus a minimum purchase of four cases of wine (sold at a 15 percent discount). Outside catering is permitted. 59600 Main Rd., Southold, N.Y.; 631-765-0004; theoldfield.com