HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Wedding Suggestions

  • e

So we're trying to get married in August and we're thinking about doing it at a resturant. We have the following criteria:

1) About $125-150/person including alcohol.
2) Able to accomodate 90-100 people or so; and
3) A separate room or alcove where we could hold the ceremony if possible.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It probably won't help you, but if you are thinking of a smaller guest list - 75/80 tops, you can rent out Il Buco. We did this a few months ago and the space and food were amazing!

    1. I know a married couple that celebrated in Becco and it was a huge success.

      1. i got married at Battery Gardens in October. The food was great and they can accomodate both ceremony and reception.

        3 Replies
        1. re: downtownstefanie

          I am getting married at Battery Gardens in May. ANy tips or hints i should know? How many people did you have? Can I pick your brain on layout and event flow?

          1. re: slesin

            How was your wedding at Battery Gardens in May? I am thinking of getting married there this May and would love to know about your experience.

            1. re: dogooder

              I am getting married there in Sept 09. Anyone have any hints and tips for me?

          1. re: cheesypoof

            I went to a party at Trattoria Dopo Teatro and found both the food and service very unimpressive.

            1. re: Pan

              I agree with your assessment of Dopo Teatro.

              I'd suggest you check out NISH, on East 58th (just east of First Ave). It used to be March. Nish and Scalise have reorganized, reduced the price, and made the space more casual, but it's still the same romantic space and the same great food by Wayne Nish.... I think a wedding there would be divine!

          2. I went through this same research a couple months ago (getting married March 31!). We got really stressed out working with traditional wedding venues and so we decided that we would just have it at a restaurant. Well, we ended up coming full circle, since restaurant prices are incredibly inflated when 1) you have to rent out the whole place and 2) they hear it's a wedding.

            We ended up choosing Alger House, a charming little carriage house in the west village that does their own catering. I think we're paying around $150 pp total (tax & gratuity included) for 5 hours: open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, hot food stations along with set up for the ceremony. After working out prices with restaurants, asking them to set up for a ceremony was kind of a big deal... along with the fact that they just don't do that kind of thing every day. Alger House fits around 90 for a seated dinner, and 125 for a cockail reception with ~2/3 seating (which is what we chose in order to fit more ppl). Alger House has wedding coordinators that work with you to plan your day, and will be there for your event. And their food is really great, too. The total cost is less than all the other "wedding" venues, restaurants, and lofts + caterers that we considered.

            As for restaurants, I also read good things about Candela and Moran's. We also considered Alta... they give you the entire restaurant, open bar, and help coordinating everything for $20,000 plus tax and gratuities. I think they fit 150+ and the space is very cozy.

            Since you're having it in August, maybe you'll be able to find a place with a couryard for your ceremony.

            Best of luck, and congrats!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: erin07nyc

              I am trying to plan a wedding for Jan/Feb 2008 and am completely STRESSED out with trying to find a venue that will accomodate our tight budget ($15-20K). From everything you've said, I think I'll check out Alger House. But, does Alger House provide for the tables, chairs, lighting, ceremony set-up? Did it cost extra? Or is that all included in the $150pp. Would it have cost more for a sit down dinner?

            2. I just got married a couple of weeks ago. So I went through this agonizing procedure as well. We ended up having our wedding at Astra (Charlie Palmer's event space) on a Friday night. Astra is probably more pricey than what you are looking for, especially considering your wedding is in Augut. We paid $165 pp, not including tax and gratuity. We also paid a surcharge for an upgraded wine list. But the price included the room rental (which can be anywhere from $1000 to $8000). It was simple -- we didn't have to coordinate this person with that person, etc. The service was great. Guests raved about the food (with the exception of the overcooked halibut). They have a huge range of food to choose from. There was a separate alcove/room for the ceremony and a bridal changing room as well. And the place would be perfect for the number of people you have.

              While we tried to rent a restaurant before, close-out fees were astronimical. These prices do not include tax and gratuities and reflect January prices (when things are more reasonable). For example, Wallse was $200/person, Town was $200+. The worst was Lupa -- $500/person! And Lupa is not a very expensive restaurant to begin with.

              An alternative is to rent a private room in a restaurant. The fees are not as bad as the restaurant does not have to close down. But most private rooms can hold up to 70 people max. So it may be hard for it to work.

              The Beacon (Waldy Malouf's joint) is in your price range, but it may be a tight squeeze. Still worth checking out. I wasn't crazy about their food, though.

              I do agree with Erin in that it may be easier renting a place such as Alger House. In addition to Candela's and Moran's, there is Manhattan Penthouse (which I believe is affiliated with Alger House). I think Manhattan Penthouse may be a bit pricier than alger, though.

              Best of luck with your search and the wedding!

              1. Talk to Courtney at B R GUEST RESTAURANTS (BRGUESTRESTAURANTS.com)
                We're doing our wedding at one of their restaurants and are getting 5 hrs, full open bar, cocktail hour and everything included with tax, service charges and tip - still within your price range. Originally we looked at Candela but they will be renovating from April 07 until i think June/July. They're about 12,000-13,000 for 125 guests - who knows if they'll be more after renovations? Anyway, Courtney at BR guests is a great person to work with and will definitely be able to work within your bugdet. Tell her Barbara & David sent you.

                1. Any other suggestions? I'm in the same boat! I need a nice cozy restaurant for a wedding reception in August. I'd rather not spend $10,000+. We just want something personable and intimate. I know with a 100 person guest list that's a little tough. Am I just dreaming?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: saknight

                    When you get into booking out a restaurant in order to accomodate 100 people you get hit will minimums and elevated prices per person. You need to set your budget, per person, and keep in mind sales tax and the required 20% gratuity (it makes a big difference). You say you don't want to spend $10,000... so what do you want to spend? $8000? $80 per person with drinks might be tough, although I do think $75 pp for food and wine is possible.

                    If you post here the cuisine, neighborhood, and total price per person you're looking for, you'll probably get some good recommendations. Think creatively, consider ethnic food in the east village, and you should be able to find something :)


                    1. re: saknight

                      Maybe it's just me, but the word intimate is not how I would describe a wedding with a 100 person guest list. I'd venture to say that most cozy restaurants are not likely to be able to accommodate that number. For example, Gascogne is probably the kind of place you have in mind, and since you are getting married in August, their charming, romantic back garden would be the perfect place for a reception. Unfortunately, it can only accommodate 50 people. I know I'm not being of much help with a positive suggestion, but this problem is something you might think about when you're looking for a place.

                    2. I got married at the Bryant Park Grill, with 100 guests. It was at about the top of your price range, but I'd really recommend it. We did the ceremony on the roof, the reception in the restaurant. I'm usually the type that gets nosebleeds above 23rd street, but there was something really magical about getting married right in the middle of Manhattan, with the skyscrapers peeking up all around the green park. Here's a couple of pictures too.

                      1. I'd recommend Tempo in Park Slope if you're willing to go to the outer-boroughs. They have amazing food, a separate room or the option to use the entire restaurant for lunch at no extra rental cost, and will most likely fit your budget given no one on the guest list will be drinking all night. You can check out my post in a previous thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/365419

                        1. Do it at The New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx at night....simply gorgeous...the food by Abigail Kirsch is amazing!!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: bac528

                            that's where we were married! sigh! what an amazing experience! we got hitched at the snuff mill, their smaller venue, which can seat up to 110 people. it's an old stone house right on the bronx river, cozy and intimate, but still able to accomodate all the guests. it was really a wonderful experience. my husband and i were very anti- all the traditional wedding venues as well, and we contemplated a restaurant, but found that buying out places was cost-prohibitive. it's in your price range and is less expensive for fridays and sundays. i can't even kvell enough about the food and the staff! oy!

                            1. re: funkymonkey

                              Abigail Kirsch is definitely one of the top caterers in New York. I think their prices are pretty high, though. When I called them about catering my wedding, they quoted me a price of minimum of $200/person excluding the booze.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                they are high, but for some reason the prices were less expensive at the botanical garden. i think they charged us $150/pp, which included tax, and alcohol, and a GORGEOUS wedding cake, for a saturday night. granted, this was in 2004, but it's definitely worth giving them a ring. and we didn't have to pay for a space.

                          2. Several years ago, I went to a great wedding at Village on 9th Street. You should check it out - there is a front bar and a lovely double height dining room in the back.

                            1. I went to a wedding last year at the upstairs room in Tribeca Grill. Definitely not the most scenic and I have no idea what it cost, but it's big enough and private.

                              1. Thanks for all the suggestions! We are going to have our reception at Planet Thailand's Manhattan location. The price is rigth and the space can accomodate everyone.