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Apr 13, 2012 02:43 PM

Wedding Reception for 150 in Manhattan . . . Suggestions Desperately needed

So . . . I thought 150 guests for a seated reception with good food and dancing was a good number. How wrong i was! I was told its too big to be a small wedding and too small to be a big wedding in Manhattan. I feel like the skinny fat kid. I looked at 13! different venues over 2 marathon days to not love any of them. Not that price doesn't matter but even in my dream world i thought there would be something i fell in love with and low and behold I felt blah about them all. (list below) My favorite was the Gramercy Park Hotel b/c of its character & location, but it is too small and does not allow for live music. I thought the Standard, the Ace (catered by the Breslin) or the Gansevoort Park Ave would be perfect but again 150 for dinner with dancing is much too large. We were going to have a food truck at the end instead of party favors to up the food focus.

Any suggestions on a location that might work? Appreciate any and all thoughts!!! I am so lost . . .

List we looked at:
River Park Restaurant
Trump Soho (felt sterile and difficult to shuffle 150 guests into elevators for 1. ceremony, 2 cocktails and 3 reception)
583 Park (no alcohol allowed)
Ritz Battery Park (sterile)
Pierre Hotel (pricey)
Metropolitan Club ($$$$$)
Harmonie Club
Burden Kahn/Mansion (the band would have to be alone in a separate room leaving the doors open)
American museum history (their basic room, i.e. not an exhibit, felt like a high school gym)
Gramercy Park Hotel (too small and did not allow a band)
Mandarin Oriental ($$$$$)
Bowery Hotel (next to a meth clinic and the idea of a food truck mixed with the homeless is a hilariously terrible idea)

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  1. You might investigate the following: Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Central Park Boathouse,
    Astra (Charlie Palmer venue on the 14th floor of the D&D Bldg.), Abigail Kirsch venues.

    3 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thanks RGR. Eleven Madison Park is too small. the boathouse consistently had health department issues so I was warned to stay away. I hear Abigail Kirsch food is amazing although she doesnt allow tastings. For that much $$$ I feel like you should get a tasting even for a price but i should look into it. Will look into the others. Thanks!

      1. re: MissMara

        I just looked at Daniel's website. I already knew that the Bellcour Room could not accommodate 150 seated guests. I was thinking the restaurant proper, which can be rented for a wedding reception, could hold that many, but the website says 140 seated.

        Astra can accommodate up to 300. There's a great view and an outdoor terrace where, weather permitting, you can have cocktails.

        1. re: MissMara

          We had our wedding of about 180 guests at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers (an Abigail Kirsch location) and it was amazing. In good weather it is a great location, most of the people we worked with we're very helpful and accommodating, and everyone raved about the food.

      2. I had my wedding at Astra and thought it worked out well for us. Are there places with more character? Probably. But I can be lazy and Astra was great as it was pretty much a one-stop shop. Food and service were great and hanging out at the terrace was a pretty cool experience for the guests, especially for the out-of-town ones. The pics from their website are outdated -- those awful banquet chairs are replaced by simple upholstered ones.

        One issue that I ran into is that you can only rent the place for a maximum of five hours (four hours is standard and we had to pay extra for the fifth hour). We ended up moving the party to another place, but thought you should know.

        1. I recommend Tribeca Rooftop...I got married there a couple of yrs ago. Had 140 guests; food is great. good luck!

          1 Reply
            1. My wife and I had a good experience with a sit down live band wedding for 140 persons at the W Hotel on Lexington and 50th. This was a few years ago, so who knows, but certainly worth looking into. They were very accomodating and easy to deal with. Being in a hotel also made accomodating out of town guests a no brainer.