Old: The Roosevelt Hotel
This 87-year-old venue offers Plaza-esque opulence at a (somewhat) more reasonable price. The marble lobby sets the luxurious mood with soaring ceilings and a column-heavy, neoclassic motif. The Tiffany-chandeliered Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 for dinner and dancing; the nearby Terrace Ballroom is better suited for parties under 175. From $175 to $195 per person. 45 E. 45th St., at Madison Ave.; 212-661-9600; rooseveltweddings.com.
New: Imperial No. Nine
Located in the new Mondrian Soho hotel, Top Chef heartthrob Sam Talbot’s seafood restaurant (sample dishes: chilled-squid salad and steamed Manila clams with lemongrass) offers an idealized garden-party aesthetic without the risk of rain. The lush interior design was inspired by Jean Cocteau’s 1946 classic, La Belle et la Bête, with crystal chandeliers, antique mirrors, pitched glass ceilings, and live greenery. The room can hold 150 guests for a cocktail reception and 75 for a seated dinner. From $160 per person. 9 Crosby St., nr. Grand St.; 212-389-1000; mondriansoho.com.
Old: The Brooklyn Museum
The skylighted Beaux-Arts Court—constructed in 1927, renovated in 2008, and lined with European paintings—ranks among the most resplendent spaces in the city. It can accommodate up to 500 people for dinner and dancing. Other areas of the museum—like the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion and Lobby, tucked beneath a curved-glass entryway—are available for smaller parties. Restaurant Associates handles all catering. Site fees start at $10,000. 200 Eastern Pkwy, at Washington Ave., Prospect Heights; 718-501-6409; brooklynmuseum.org.
New: New-York Historical Society
On November 11, this Upper West Side landmark will reopen after a two-year, $65 million renovation that has made the building sleeker, brighter, and more inviting. The brand-new, artifact-filled Smith Gallery (with vaulted ceilings, an open layout, and new permanent exhibits, such as “New York Rising,” which details the city’s role in the American Revolution) is one of several available spaces that can hold 50 to 250 guests for dinner and dancing. Catering will be handled by Buddakan’s Stephen Starr. Site fees start at $8,000. 170 Central Park West, at 77th St.; 212-873-3400; nyhistory.org.
Old: The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre
It may be on the other side of the Hudson, but the Landmark puts the Ziegfeld to shame. The 83-year-old theater’s majestic Grand Lobby— replete with towering columns, velvet drapery, gilded detailing, and ornate chandeliers—can accommodate 170 guests for dinner and dancing. What’s more: Marrying couples get their names on the old-timey marquee outside. Site fees start at $3,315. 54 Journal Square, at John F. Kennedy Blvd. W., Jersey City, N.J.; 201-798-6055; loewsjersey.org.
New: Nitehawk Cinema
stylish new movie theater in a neighborhood that was desperately in need of one, this three-screen complex opened in June with indie-flick programming and serious food. The rustic-chic lobby-and-bar area is available for receptions, as is one of the adjacent theaters, from which the seats-on-wheels can easily be removed to accommodate a dance floor and band. Nitehawk can host up to 150 for cocktails and dancing, with all catering handled by in-house chef Saul Bolton (of Cobble Hill food-lover mecca Saul). Prices upon request. 136 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg; 718-384-3980; nitehawkcinema.com.
Old: The Coney Island Museum
The boardwalk’s landmarked repository for all things freaky plays host to several unorthodox weddings a year. Set up shop in the twenty-year-old museum’s first-level Freak Bar, which can accommodate up to 100 for dinner (site fees from $750). Then take the party upstairs, into the museum itself (site fees from $1,500), where up to 75 guests can dance and drink among fun-house mirrors and midget-and-vaudeville ephemera. Sideshow by the Seashore performers—including the fire-eating Insectavora Angelica and ventriloquist Scott Baker—are also available for hire, starting at $600 a person; $3,500 for the full show. 1208 Surf Ave., nr. W. 12th St., Coney Island; 718-372-5159; coneyisland.com.
New: Affaire French Bistro & Lounge
This nascent East Village bar and eatery recalls the belle epoque’s Moulin Rouge. The bi-level space has a capacity of about 250, with myriad nooks and banquettes to cultivate a lounge-y vibe. A small band-ready stage maximizes the intimate space, and the owners can connect you with their regular burlesque dancers (from $175 a performer) and accordion players (from $125 each). Bar packages start at $25 per person; prix-fixe menus offering classic French fare cost an additional $34.95. 50 Ave. B, nr. 4th St.; 212-375-0665; affairenyc.com.
Old: Eleven Madison Park
It may be thirteen years old (practically a senior citizen in restaurant years), but Danny Meyer’s elegant Flatiron eatery continues to impress. And treating your guests to a once-in-a-lifetime meal there isn’t as exorbitant as you might think. The restaurant has two mezzanine-level private rooms that can accommodate up to 50 for dinner and 100 for a cocktail reception. Prices start at $150 a head for dinner. 11 Madison Ave., at 24th St.; 212-889-0905; elevenmadisonpark.com.
New: ABC Kitchen
There’s no private room at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s year-old foray into the local-organic movement, an airy space stocked with the sort of whimsical flatware and lighting that shoppers regularly lust over at ABC Carpet & Home. But the perpetually packed restaurant can be yours from $17,000 for daytime receptions (which averages $140 a head with 120 seated guests); evening buyouts start at $50,000. Menus are custom, there is no need to touch the décor, and the space can accommodate a small band or D.J. as well as a modest dance floor. 35 E. 18th St., nr. Broadway; 212-475-5829; abckitchennyc.com.
Old: The Campbell Apartment
Before Death & Co. and Little Branch, the Campbell Apartment—which, in the twenties, served as railroad mogul John W. Campbell’s private office in Grand Central Station—was the city’s go-to cocktail destination. Best-suited for low-key receptions and couples who don’t want to blow their budget on décor, the plush space can accommodate up to 125 guests for a cocktail party and 75 for dinner. Passed hors d’oeuvre are handled in-house; Abigail Kirsch provides catering for larger affairs, starting at $150 per head. 12 Vanderbilt Ave., nr. E. 43rd St.; 212-953-0409; hospitalityholdings.com.
New: The Darby
The latest venture from nightlife gurus Scott Sartiano, Richie Akiva, and Ronnie Madra (of Butter and 1OAK fame) has a fifties-supper-club vibe with dramatic, antique décor, an elevated stage for jazz bands and crooners, and a menu of updated American classics (oysters Rockefeller, lobster Newburg) courtesy of Butter chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli. The space is best for parties of 100 or fewer; prices start at $250 per head for a cocktail reception and four-course dinner. 246 W. 14th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-242-4411; thedarbynyc.com.
This 110-year-old converted warehouse may just fill the void left by the 2004 shuttering of Dia’s sizable Chelsea outpost (a new location is currently in the works); it already hosts one-off art shows and photo shoots and was recently renovated to include new bathrooms and a small kitchen. It offers three floors of space to play with, each clocking in at about 8,500 square feet, plus roof access. The building can accommodate up to 350 for dinner and dancing. Site fees are $15,000 for a single-floor rental and $18,000 for two floors. 548 W. 22nd St., nr. Eleventh Ave.; 646-398-9100; center548.com.
New: Cult Studios
Despite its white-cube Chelsea vibe, this new flower-district space is smartly compartmentalized to accommodate primping brides (thanks to a furnished dressing suite) and that tricky ceremony-to-reception transition (courtesy of a sleekly designed bar and lounge where guests can bide their time). At 8,000 square feet, the loft can host 150 for dinner and dancing. Site fees start at $5,500 for an eight-hour day. 122 W. 27th St., nr. Sixth Ave., eighth fl.; 212-647-7171; cultstudiosnyc.com.
Old: Lake Placid Lodge
This idyllic Adirondacks lodge was built in 1882—and all but decimated in a 2005 fire. Reconstruction efforts began immediately, and today the 30-room lakeside complex has been restored above and beyond its original glory. Up to 75 guests fit in the stunning candlelit Artisan’s Circle, a rustic-chic enclosed porch with a stone fireplace and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lake. The warm and ethereal Adirondack Room (picture an indoor take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream) can accommodate 50 guests with a dance floor. Dinner from $85 per person; the $500 to $3,000 site fees are waived with 30 guest-room confirmations. 144 Lodge Way, Lake Placid, N.Y.; 518-523-2700; lakeplacidlodge.com.
New: Helsinki Hudson
This restaurant and music venue (an earlier incarnation of which was located in the Berkshires) has quickly become a Hudson Valley staple, its subterranean club attracting rock, jazz, and indie performers from around the world, including such acts as Rasputina and Spottiswoode & His Enemies. Local artists contributed to the gut renovation of its nineteenth-century postindustrial digs, and many details, such as the woodwork and the lighting fixtures, are handmade. Chef Hugh Horner drew on his southern roots to put together a menu of locally sourced, organic Low-Country cuisine. The entire building can accommodate up to 500 people for dinner and dancing, but the sunny, second-level ballroom is notable in and of itself and has a capacity of 150. Prices upon request. 405 Columbia St., Hudson, N.Y.; 518-828-4800; helsinkihudson.com.
Old: Alger House
This 105-year-old carriage house is just the sort of Greenwich Village home you wish your parents had had the foresight to invest in, if only for your future wedding reception. The décor is charming but dated—massive area rugs, antique mirrors—and can easily be enhanced with the right lighting and rentals. The building’s Great Room accommodates up to 110 for dinner and dancing. Green Mansions, which runs the venue, handles catering; customizable menu packages start at $85 per head. Sixth Ave. nr. Bleecker St.; 212-627-8838; algerhouse.com.
New: Apartment 2B
The private event space at the year-old Andaz 5th Avenue hotel captures upscale-loft living at its best. The area is divvied into a series of connected studios and rooms, including a lust-worthy open kitchen that can squeeze in 150 people for a homey cocktail hour, and Studio 1, which can accommodate 80 for dinner and offers views of the New York Public Library across the street. All-inclusive packages start at $30,000. Catering is handled by chef Roberto Alicea, who cut his teeth at the Michelin-starred NoMI in Chicago. 485 Fifth Ave., at 41st St.; 212-601-1234; andaz.com.