The Oenophile Getaway:
Martha Clara Vineyards
This 200-acre Long Island winery boasts multiple outdoor event spaces: in particular, the tent-ready patch of land near the Chardonnay fields and the “bridal path” flanked by peach trees, a horse paddock, and vines upon vines of nascent Merlot that’s ideal for ceremonies and cocktail hours. But there’s a plum indoor event space as well. The 4,000-square-foot “barn” is fairly bare-bones with a farmhouse-by-way-of-Brooklyn look, complete with whitewashed, wood-planked walls; industrial-cool lighting; and a malleable open layout. The space has a capacity of 200 for dinner and dancing (no more than 120 if you intend to have the ceremony in there too). Site rental starts at $9,500 and includes staffing and furniture; catering must be brought in. 6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead, N.Y.; 631-298-0075; marthaclaravineyards.com.
The Catskills Retreat:
Onteora Mountain House
A charming B&B located eight miles west of Woodstock and boasting some 250 acres of surrounding forest preserve, Onteora has two easily interchangeable options for your ceremony and cocktail hour: perched on a deck overlooking the Esopus Valley or inside the property’s new 3,600-square-foot heavy-timber, all-weather pavilion, where vows can be exchanged with only glass walls between you and the mountains (and where, last summer, a wedding party danced unfazed during Hurricane Irene). Receptions can be held out of doors in theory, but most couples move inside post-cocktails. Site fees are $5,000 to $9,500; in-house catering packages start at $145 per person. B&B packages are also available—all seven rooms, including a couple’s cottage, can be yours for the weekend for an additional $3,500. 96 Piney Point Rd., Boiceville, N.Y.; 845-657-6233; onteora.com.
The Historical Landmark:
Spending an evening on Ellis Island might have been a scary proposition back when the immigration hub was still functional, but now it’s a dream come true. The twelve-acre islet and its expanse of waterfront greenery can be all yours after the tourists clear out around 6 p.m. The island can accommodate anywhere from 50 to 1,200 guests, who are generally brought over on chartered ferries. Tenting isn’t permitted, so contingency plans are always in place and none too shabby at that: The opulent 13,000-square-foot Registry Room, with its brick-hued walls and soaring tiled ceilings, can fit up to 1,200 people. (At the turn of the twentieth century, this is where guards inspected immigrants and their belongings.) Catering must be brought in from the outside. Prices upon request. Ellis Island; 212-344-0996; thestatueofliberty.com.
The Versailles of New York:
This 115,000-square-foot Gilded Age estate (completed in 1919 for what would be equal to some $110 million today) adheres to a strict “no two brides shall meet” policy, meaning the opulent grounds are yours for the day. After marrying beneath the pillared gazebo, fête within the Olmsted Brothers–designed French gardens—obsessively groomed with curved topiaries and reflecting pools—before moving on to a tented dinner on the vast upper lawn. In the event of rain, the foyer with its stately double staircase is a go-to option for photos, and the chandeliered Terrace Room can hold 400 for dinner and dancing. (For smaller parties, the Grand Ballroom fits 165.) All catering is handled in-house. The average Oheka wedding costs around $100,000. 135 West Gate Dr., Huntington, NY; 631-659-1400; oheka.com.
The Country Estate:
This North Fork Italianate-style mansion was built in the 1850s, renovated in 2009, and can be yours alone for 48 hours. (You can’t stay the night, but packages include access to a bridal suite and groom’s salon.) The expansive lawn is ideal for tenting, though outdoor ceremonies are typically held on the historic property’s front steps. Most couples opt for a roaming cocktail hour inside the house, which is outfitted with gilded mirrors, chandeliers, and marble fireplaces. It fits 85 for a seated dinner, so keep your numbers low if the possibility of bad weather has you on edge. Brecknock partners regularly with several local caterers, including Southampton’s Art of Eating, but you can also B.Y.O. Site fees start at $6,000. 1 Brecknock Rd., Greenport, N.Y.; 631-593-8200; brecknockhall.com.
The Waterfront Sanctuary:
The Liberty Warehouse
This 150-year-old former liquor warehouse is perched on the Red Hook side of New York Harbor, offering Statue of Liberty views and a waterfront promenade that can host up to 300 for a ceremony and cocktails. The décor inside the recently refurbished bilevel building doesn’t have the postindustrial look that its exterior might suggest; rather, the lines are clean and the walls freshly painted, and loads of windows maintain the riverfront motif. Contingency-plan choices include the terraced Governor’s Room and the downstairs Harbor Room, the latter of which fits up to 225 for dinner and dancing. Catering is handled in-house, starting at $160 per person (minimum 125 guests). 260 Conover St., nr. Beard St., Red Hook; 347-987-3121; libertywarehouse.com.
The Fantasy Rooftop:
Salon de Ning
The Peninsula’s stately flagship is home to one of the sunniest and most well-appointed rooftops in the city. The terrace, which occupies the bulk of the space, is a blank slate save for the bar and sitting room; the interior, meanwhile, conjures a thirties-Shanghai feel with its dark woods and impressive selection of contemporary Asian art. It can accommodate 175 guests for dinner and dancing, but since it’s fully exposed and has a no-tenting policy, a backup plan is a must. Booking the roof guarantees you a private, alternate location elsewhere in the hotel, with the in-house restaurant Fives often heeding the call (the cuisine is upscale American). From $350 per person, with various optional and not-so-optional add-ons, including a $1,500 set-up fee for the roof. Also included: a bridal suite for the evening and a free night’s stay on your first anniversary. 700 Fifth Ave., nr. W. 55th St.; 212-956-2888; peninsula.com.
The Secret Garden:
Tucked discreetly among the upscale shops on West Broadway, this old-world Italian eatery boasts a sizable garden with a maximum capacity of 150 for a seated dinner. Hosting there requires a full buyout (from $35,000) but includes food and an open bar. The only hiccup is that the yard—dotted with blossoming trees and a fountain fashioned from ceramic wine barrels—cannot be tented. If it drizzles, move to the indoor terrace, which overlooks the garden. If it pours, take the party inside altogether; you might want to do this anyway as the night wears on—amplified music is not permitted in the garden. 398 W. Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 212-226-1102; nybarolo.com.
The Former Foundry:
This Turkish bar and restaurant is one of those rare venues where the outdoor and indoor spaces are equally desirable. The garden gets the obvious open-air advantage, fitting 130 for dinner and dancing, with full packages costing $140 a head (this includes hors d’oeuvre, a three-course dinner, and five hours of open bar). Vows can be exchanged on the elevated wood-planked sundeck, which helps delineate the space; it’s not especially green, but black trellises and picnic benches give it a modern, countrified feel while still staying true to the interior’s cool postindustrial aesthetic, complete with exposed brick. 184 N. 10th St., nr. Driggs Ave., Williamsburg; 718-599-7007; mymoonnyc.com.
The Urban Oasis:
Though not entirely exposed to the elements, this Chelsea eatery’s lush, 4,000-square-foot garden—featuring weathered brick, Japanese maple trees, and wisteria vines—can accommodate some 200 guests for a seated dinner or 325 for cocktails. In the event of rain, the open-air portion of the garden is cordoned off and the in-house event coordinator implements “floor plan B,” keeping all guests dry. The garden is mostly available on Sundays, with all-inclusive buyouts starting at $35,000. 118 Tenth Ave., nr. W. 18th St.; 212-352-3313; theparknyc.com.