NYC Wedding Venue Shopping Tips

One of the most important parts of wedding planning is securing your venue. Especially here in NYC, there are SO many options- it can feel a bit intimidating! As an NYC wedding planner, I have worked at TONS of different wedding venues and know all the ins and outs. Take a look below at my top tips for NYC wedding venue shopping!

Photo by Adelaide Chantilly

Pick Your Borough

My clients typically stick to Manhattan or Brooklyn, but there are great venues all over the 5 boroughs! Generally speaking, Manhattan venues will lean a little more traditional, with smaller spaces and higher costs. However, you do have access and views to some of the most iconic sights in NYC. Think 620 Loft and Garden, which overlooks Rockefeller Center and St Patrick’s Cathedral, and The Plaza Hotel, which is on the edge of Central Park. On the other hand, Brooklyn venues will lean more non-traditional and be able to fit more guests. The bonus of Brooklyn venues, however, is that you can usually get Manhattan skyline views if there is rooftop access! The William Vale Hotel and The Bordone LIC have incredible views of Manhattan.

Photo by Megan and Kenneth

All Inclusive vs Raw Space

I could go into a whole other blog about this, but another important thing to keep in mind is whether you’d like an all inclusive space or a raw space. An all inclusive space means that the venue includes catering, bar, and basic rentals. This generally means you have less planning on your end, since a lot of the important things are already taken care of. However, you have less flexibility since the menu and costs are pre-determined. A few of my favorite all inclusive venues include Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Skylark, and The Pier Sixty Collection. On the other hand, a raw space means the venue comes with nothing but the four walls and maybe some basic rentals such as tables and folding chairs. You will need to coordinate more as you will be bringing in an outside caterer, bar, and rentals. With a raw space, you have more flexibility to make the event your own though. You can bring in any type of food, bar service, and furniture you’d like! A few of my favorite raw spaces include 74 Wythe, Greenpoint Loft, and 501 Union.

Photo by Khaki Bedford Photo

Weather Possibilities

The time of year definitely impacts your wedding day more than you think. Especially in NYC, there is always something going on, and it’s important to know what’s going on in your area around the time of your wedding. Winter weddings tend to be less expensive since it is so cold and tourism is down, but you’ll run the risk of a snowy day which can lead to road closures or even venue closures. On the flip side, Spring and Summer can bring random rain showers without much notice. If you have your heart set on an outdoor space, make sure they have a rain plan you are happy with. Worst case scenario, you want to make sure you are moving your ceremony or reception into a space that still feels magical. Some rooftops have a retractable roof available or an indoor space with those 360 views still. A few of my favorite venues for rain plans are Dobbin St, MyMoon, and Tribeca 360.

Photo by Loreto Caceres

Out of Town Guests

For many of my clients, they have a lot of guests coming in from out of town to celebrate. If that’s the case for you, you’ll want to consider how easy it will be for your guests to get around. If you choose to get married in Williamsburg or Dumbo, there are a ton of great hotels in the area within walking distance or a quick Uber. Same with Midtown Manhattan, there are usually a number of great hotels. The further you go out into Brooklyn and Queens, the less accessible it becomes for out of town guests. If you decide to go further out, I would highly recommend booking transportation for guests staying at your hotel blocks or offering a group code through Lyft. This is an added cost to you, so make sure it doesn’t put you over budget!

As long as you keep these things in mind while shopping, you’ll be sure to find the perfect venue for you and your partner. And if you need some assistance, I always recommend booking a full service wedding planner to help you from the beginning (wink wink). You can contact me here to start the process.

See you next time!

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