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Jan 9, 2014 03:16 PM

Budget NYC Bride

I have searched high and low for very budget friendly options in venue and catering in the New York tri-state area and I am exhausted! I am getting married in December, 2014 on a Sunday and I'd prefer not to have a completely raw space as I believe you end up spending more with caterers and chair/linen rentals plus decorations and the like. The reception is for 100 people total and I'd like it to be buffet style, no alcohol, and a vegetarian menu for $75 and under per person including everything form hall rental to food and all that comes with it (chairs, tables, linens,. etc.) I'd like a hall that needs minimal decoration. Something architectural. light, airy, and modern. But I'm not so choosy. Please no suggestions like the green building. I've read their reviews and although a cute space, the management is terrible and i think $6000 for a space in which you get nothing at all but some exposed brick walla and long tables is a no no for a budgeting bride like me. Please Help!

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  1. I would recommend scoping out larger restaurants who have the capacity for you, but don't traditionally accommodate "weddings." Our wedding is a poor example because it was 100% booze-centric, but we did a buyout of a fave cocktail bar of ours and did passed heavy appetizers and it ended up being WAY cheaper than getting a venue, getting it catered, hiring staff and a dj and all that jazz. And it was a hell of a lot easier. It wasn't as cheap as a full DIY type of thing, but this is NYC. We have other friends getting married at a pretty (but smaller) cocktail lounge with seating for 80 and it's costing them $8k including open bar for 5 hours and all staffing (no food.) I understand that you're not interested in booze, but I'd bet you could find a restaurant that doesnt "do weddings" but would be willing to accommodate a buyout, esp on a sunday, for a reasonable price! It's been my word of wisdom for new brides in NYC who are not hell-bent on a traditional wedding venue. We were also able to actually have an aisle (sort of) and say our vows and everything right in the same space (Clover Club on Smith Street in BK)

    Its worth considering! In our limited research before deciding to go this route, we looked into lots of raw spaces and it's super stupid expensive and you really have to plan everything yourself.

    Good luck...and congrats!

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarmenR

      Thank you so much! I will look into that.

    2. If you're open to the tri-state area also post on outer boroughs and jersey boards.
      Manhattan is not known for group sized budget friendly locations.....

      1 Reply
      1. I got married last winter at Bayards and it was wonderful. We had a pretty booze-centric wedding also, but I was surprised by their reasonable prices, so I think they can work with your budget (especially on a Sunday, especially if it's during the day). The other benefit is that the space is gorgeous (especially in December) and I barely decorated - just some candles and photographs.

        1. Here's an idea for you if you're willing to think out of the box a little bit.

          How about Chinese at Land of Plenty?

          With 100 guests, you could book the entire restaurant, do a set menu with just vegetarian options, which should easily be doable because if you're willing to pay 75/person that's essentially a 750 banquet table menu (10 person per table), which is sort of on the higher-end of these things.

          You get a generally well-appointed room as it's a restaurant already, but it's not necessarily going to be architecturally interesting.

          On the other of the end of spectrum, if you do want to lean towards architectural ambiance, you might inquire into Stella 34 at Macy's. Again, reserve the entire room, and request a prix-fixe type of vegetarian menu which should be doable for 75/person.

          Hope that helps. Good luck and congrats on the wedding.

          1 Reply
          1. Finding a restaurant is the way to go. I would approach them as a private party before getting into the details of it being a wedding. I'd also be careful to pick a place that's not going to take advantage of a vegetarian menu, and put out carrots and hummus, or something equally as lazy. (Although that reminds me that ilili looks like an ultra contemporary banquet room).

            The only issue is if you're hoping dancing is included in this package. It would be literally illegal for you to take your first dance in most restaurants and bars.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sugartoof

              agreed on the dancing, although our wedding devolved to a dance party after 11 (we had the space technically till midnight then it switched to cash bar but they didn't reopen) and the general manager was joining in the revelry. We didn't PLAN dancing or have a first dance, but after 4+ hours of open bar a few of our guests were ready to break it down and no one said anything.
              I also agree with approaching the place with the idea of a "party" and not use the word wedding till after you have the contract. This is what we did and secured the price, then got all wedding-y. The manager at our venue actually ended up being SUPER into it- they really went above and beyond to make it awesome and were stellar to work with, plus the staff (who are used to a crazy saturday night shift) LOVED having something more jovial and they made a ton of money because we paid 20% gratuity plus a lot of our guests tipped the bartenders (we saw $10s and $20s floating around on the bar) Really, it was just a great experience and we were told it was the best wedding many of our guests have ever been to ("can't you guys get married again?!") As an aside, I think much of it had to do with the management at Clover Club, I cannot speak highly of them and their staff enough (for any future brides looking for a stellar boozy party.)

              1. re: CarmenR

                Clover Club does sound like a dream destination. Easy to find, and lots of cocktails? Hard to beat that.

                In regards to dancing, private parties are allowed to get away with a lot. I believe the distinction is the doors must be closed to the public. It's just something to consider so a thorough manager isn't put in the position of risking their job, versus potentially ruining a wedding night.