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Need a venue for a 'wedding-alternative' cocktail party

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My fiance and I are overwhelmed about the idea of planning a wedding, and have decided to have go to the Justice of the Peace route, and then have a fairly 'big party' instead of a reception. We are thinking maybe 100 people, mostly our friends (in their 25- 45 year olds), cocktails, 'maybe' hors douvres and a really great DJ. One of the places we considered is Cafe Atlantico, but are not sure how 'private' the space would be. Any other suggestions for locations?
Also, we have not put too much thought into the budget. We would like to have an open bar, and some finger food, but would prefer to spend more of our money on a super honeymoon. Thoughts....?

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  1. With a group that large your best bet might be renting out a bar for the night, although that could get pricey.

    I also know that Station 9 has an upstairs area that is great for private parties. You could probably rent out the entire upper level.

    A friend of mine had his wedding reception at Busboys and Poets, which just seems very cool for an alternative wedding idea.

    It might be neat to have it at Perry's or Local 16...with their nice outdoor spaces.

    1. How much are you willing to veer away from traditional wedding in terms of decor? I went to a birthday party on the second floor of Policy with open bar, a champagne toast, and passed hors d'ouvres. It was really great. The food was excellent and the service fantastic. They even opened the lovely patio space. The graffiti concept doesn't quite scream marital bliss, though the huge Obama portrait could make your wedding photo interesting.

      1. You might check out the upstairs at Sonoma, or even just check out their pricing guide to special events to give you an idea what it might cost. If it is a weekend night most places will have a minimum charge. SeaCatch is one of the cheaper places for events like this. Jaleo was very reasonable too. But you should do some research into your budget then call and ask about minimums. Places don't like to tell you what they are till you are a bit more set, you kind of have to push to know fyi.

        1. The downstairs Bar at BVG (Bobby Van's Grill) is great to take over for a large party.