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You found the dress; now you need a proper place to showcase it. Not everyone is a Plaza or Capitale type of guy or gal, nor do all budgets support that type of shindig. If you're on the lookout for a unique and memorable space to really make your own—while keeping your budget in check—here's the wedding venue guide for you.
1) Housing Works Bookstore Café, Nolita
Housing Works is on many a savvy shopper's radar for its previously owned, philanthropically fabulous finds. So it was fantastic to learn that the charming Edith-Wharton-meets-downtown-vintage Housing Works Bookstore Café on Crosby Street is also available for altruistic-minded weddings. Pricing runs from $155 to $235 (plus tax and service) per person and includes a farm-to-table menu by the Works Catering, open bar packages, linens, rentals and staff. Depending on the set-up, the space can accommodate up to 250 guests for a ceremony and reception. And, as with shopping at Housing Works, proceeds from the wedding rental benefit homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. 126 Crosby St between Prince and Houston Sts. Contact: 212-780-1942. Click here for more details.
2) Alger House, West Village
The intimate Alger House boasts an eclectic history, from its inception as a carriage-house–style mansion at the turn of the century to its reincarnation as an artists' loft in the '60s. The multi-room space features ornate chandeliers, skylights, fine art pieces, high-beamed ceilings, and a Victorian fireplace. Plus we imagine it must be pretty cool to say something like, "Cocktails will be held in the Garden Room, with a reception in the Great Room to follow." Rates are largely dependent on the size of the party, although the capacity is about 100 guests. A general estimate of pricing for the peak Saturday night runs from $100 to $200 (plus tax and service), plus $2000 hall rental fee. A customized menu, open bar, champagne toast, linens, rentals, and staff are included. If you really want to maximize your budget, remember that Friday, Sunday and daytime weddings are the most economical. 45 Downing St at Bedford St. Contact: 212-627-8838. Click here for more details.
3) The Sunset Terrace, Chelsea Piers
Water-view banquet spaces in New York City are rare, not to mention expensive, so let's discuss the Sunset Terrace, situated on the Hudson River. The space literally sits on top of the swanky (and pricey) Abigail Kirsch-run Lighthouse, making it the Miu Miu to the Lighthouse's Prada. The retractable glass-enclosed doors on the Terrace give attendees the same exact view of the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty and, well, New Jersey (you're on the New York side, remember). And the renovated Hudson River Park at Pier 63 is pretty gorge for wedding photo ops. A reception (for up to 125 guests) runs from $120 to $150 per person, plus admin charges and tax. The rate includes cocktail hour with passed hors d'oeuvres, dinner, open bar, rentals and staff. A ceremony on-site is an additional $500. Just one thing: Your guests do need to walk past a big ice skating rink, but those piles of money that you'll be saving will make you forget about that pretty quickly. The Sky Rink, Pier 62, Chelsea Piers, 23rd St and the Hudson River. Contact: 212-336-6777. Click here for more details.
4) Liberty House, Liberty State Park, New Jersey
Since we're talking harbor view spaces, how about actually gazing at the Manhattan skyline on your wedding day. For that, we do need to cross the river to New Jersey, but the beautiful patios, lush gardens, stately ballrooms and wrap-around terrace at Liberty House should make up for the trip. Daytime weddings here start at $125 per person plus service and tax, and Saturday evening weddings run $180 per person plus service and tax, with an outdoor ceremony adding an additional $10 ("plus plus", as they say) per guest. The rates include the cocktail hour with passed hors d'oeuvres, three-course dinner, five-hour premium open bar and even a custom designed wedding cake. On Fridays and Sundays, there is a 10% discount. And one big benefit of getting married in the Jerz: Tax is 7% as compared to the NYC rate of 8.875%. 76 Audrey Zapp Dr, Jersey City, NJ. Contact: 866-683-3586. Click here for more details.
5) New Leaf Restaurant & Bar, Fort Tryon Park
Fun fact: This lovely restaurant and wedding venue is actually an endeavor of the non-profit New York Restoration Project, which was founded by the inimitable Bette Midler. (Beaches still makes us cry). All proceeds from the New Leaf go back to the NYRP, the chef sources seasonal ingredients from small local farms, and the restaurant is a follower of green practices. Love these benevolent wedding spaces! This 1930s historic fieldstone building nestled in the beautiful Fort Tryon park is a lovely option for an intimate and nature-appreciating wedding reception. Pricing starts at $155 per person (plus tax and service) for beer and wine, passed hors d'oeuvres and a four-course dinner and minimums dependent on time of the year apply. For a wedding ceremony overlooking amazing views from the Abbey Lawn, the Billings Lawn or the Linden Terrace, there is a $25 Parks permit required. 1 Margaret Corbin Drive in Fort Tryon Park. Contact: 212-568-5323. Click here for more details.
6) The Green Building, Carroll Gardens
So far, we've discussed all-inclusive venues where you just need to bring the flowers, the DJ and yourselves, but some spouses-to-be like to have more control over their big day. That's where a venue like the Green Building comes in handy. A brass foundry in its former life, the Green Building is a raw space allowing guests to go crazy within a space minimally accented with beam ceilings, fancy chandeliers, and exposed brick walls. The rental periods are for a full 24 hours (which is nice, considering most venues only allow for a five-hour event) and venue rental runs from $4400 to $5900 for a weekend rental, depending on the time of the year. The rates include the space, a skeleton staff, basic furniture and clean up, but other than that you're on your own. While you're free to bring in any catering vendor, they do offer "curated" (hey, their words, not ours) all-inclusive bar packages from hip Brooklyn outlet Smith & Vine.452 Union St between Bond and Nevins Sts, Carroll Gardens. Contact: 718-522-3363. Click here for more details.
UPDATE: The original post mentioned packages from Vinegar Hill House, but Green Building reps have written in to clarify that while the company and the restaurant do employ the same bartender, there's no formal relationship.
7) Harmonie Club, Upper East Side
Across from the super-swank members-only Metropolitan Club and around the corner from Barneys lies the best-kept upper-crust secret of Manhattan weddings: The Harmonie Club. Originally a gentleman's club of German origin back in the 1850s, the club still retains its Stanford White-designed dining room, regal ballroom with ornate ceilings, requisite grandiose chandeliers, and stately marble columns and mantels. (Also, we once spotted Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner there). A wedding there is on the affordable side—for the Upper East Side: $195 (plus tax and surcharges) with a ceremony and $190++ without a ceremony (for a minimum of 100 guests and a maximum of 250). The rates include cocktail hour with passed hors d'oeuvres, a three-course dinner, premium full bar, all the staff and rentals, plus champers with dinner (classy!). The Harmonie is for all intents and purposes still a private club, but they do take inquiries and a well-placed source assures us that there are definitely ways to work it. 4 East 60th St between Madison and Fifth Ave. Contact: 212-355-7404. Click here for more details.
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