winter weddings 2018

15 New Wedding Reception Venues, From Barns to Ballrooms to Tiki Bars

Ritzy Ballrooms

Ziegfeld Ballroom. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Ziegfeld Ballroom
Location: Midtown
Capacity: 1, 400

After 47 years as a single-screen cinema that had hosted the premieres of Manhattan, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Cabaret, the Ziegfeld Theatre closed its doors in 2016. It reemerged this year as a luxury events space that retains plenty of old Hollywood charm, from the torchieres to the silver-and-gray color scheme inspired by a 1930s ocean liner. Hold the ceremony on the sweeping balcony overlooking the 10,000-square-foot column-free ballroom or divide the space with drapes to separate an elegant cocktail hour from a seated dinner. Executive chef Matthew Tiscornia, most recently executive sous-chef for Abigail Kirsch Caterers, heads the Ziegfeld’s in-house culinary team. Price upon request. 141 W. 54th St.; 212-268-9400

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. Photo: Brian Dorsey Studios/2015 brian dorsey studios

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
Location: Tribeca
Capacity: 180

The latest addition to the luxury hotel chain offers familiar elegance and striking lower Manhattan views including One World Trade Center, the Oculus transportation hub, and St. Peter’s Church. But the twisting grand staircase (a no-brainer for photos) and the Greenwich Ballroom, with its 31 hand-forged chandeliers, are the main attractions. Amenities are all-inclusive and as impeccably detailed as you’d expect, from in-house catering and flower arranging to myriad food options. The choices go beyond the traditional carving table: Try the baozi street-fare station for char siu pork belly and pickled vegetables, or the “takeout” option for kung pao chicken and Sichuan chili. Tack on the late-night “hangover prevention” spread and spare your guests the usual next-morning egg-sandwich-and-Gatorade combo. From $2,000. 27 Barclay St.; 646-880-1999

The Williamsburg. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor/Annie Schlechter

The Williamsburg
Location: Williamsburg
Capacity: 500

The “derelict buildings of Detroit” reportedly inspired London-based architectural firm Michaelis Boyd Associates in designing this boutique Williamsburg hotel, but the 3,400-square-foot space is straight out of Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby: parquet floors, steel-arched backlit windows, chandeliers, plastered walls, a curved staircase leading to a crimson perimeter catwalk, and Williamsburg’s first ballroom (set to open in January). For couples who want something more low-key, the subterranean Library Bar can be rented out, as can Harvey, chef Kevin Chun’s Italian-inspired, vegetarian-focused in-house restaurant. Catering is eclectic, from wood-roasted octopus and mozzarella-stuffed falafel to roasted branzino and crispy burnt lasagne main courses. For guests who don’t care for wedding cake, Harvey offers chocolate-chip cookies from Brooklyn Bread Lab. From $20,000. 96 Wythe Ave; 718-362-8100

Dining Rooms & Cocktail Programs

The Campbell. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor/© Noah Fecks

The Campbell
Location: Midtown
Capacity: 260

This tucked-away space in Grand Central Terminal has served many functions: It was an office for 1920s railroad tycoon John W. Campbell, a transit-police firearms-storage facility, and even a jail. From 1999 to 2016, it was the Campbell Apartment, a swanky commuter bar with strictly enforced dress code and $30 cocktails. This spring, under new management and an abbreviated name, the Jazz Age–inspired lounge has reemerged with a familiar look — a Florentine coffered ceiling, a green quartzite bar, brass sconces, and mohair-and-leather furnishings. For now, the Campbell doesn’t plan to host ceremonies, but with three rentable bar spaces — including a bustling terrace area, weather permitting — room for a band or DJ, and a menu of elevated bar fare, the after-party possibilities abound. Guests can drink Vieux Carrés in the Campbell Bar, or smaller groups of up to 65 can down bull shots (vodka with beef broth, Worcestershire, celery salt, and horseradish) on the rattan barstools in the Palm Court.
From $20,000. 15 Vanderbilt Ave.; 212-297-1781

The Redbury New York
Location: Nomad
Capacity: 160

Photographer and creative director Matthew Rolston curated the spaces in this recently revamped landmark hotel, which shares the hip look and feel of its Los Angeles sister property, Redbury Hollywood. The lobby’s black-tile hallway and heavy crimson curtains with gold fringe were inspired by nearby Tin Pan Alley, but the 2,700-square-foot gallery space and 1,100-square-foot terrace provide more muted backdrops (think white linens, polished floors, and mirrored columns) for cocktail receptions and seated banquets. All catering is handled by Marta, a Roman-inspired trattoria from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, and the ballroom’s Juliet balcony is a charming spot for wedding meet-cutes or, more likely, a suitable hideout from tipsy relatives.
From $1,000. 29 E. 29th St.212-689-1900

Out East. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor/Sarah Boisjoli

Out East
Location: East Village
Capacity: 250

With its pink banquettes, vintage floral wallpaper, funky flooring, and ample greenery, this beachy restaurant — from Beauty & Essex and Stanton Social alums — has been called the most Instagrammable backdrop in the city. Five dining rooms and two bars spread throughout the 4,000-square-foot duplex mean plenty of room for drinking, dancing, and seated dinners, though the staff will accommodate semi-private parties as intimate as 12 guests. A sun-drenched glass atrium provides the perfect ceremony spot (you’ll have to rent out the entire space, however, to avoid interruptions from patrons in search of the bathroom). Family-style meals are seafood-centric; guests will enjoy fluke ceviche, seared halibut, and steak with seaweed butter. And the cocktail list includes such standouts as the apricot spritz, a mix of Giffard apricot liqueur, manzanilla, and sparkling wine. You can’t get closer to a Montauk wedding without spending three hours on the Long Island Expressway.
From $48 per person for a four-course meal; three-hour premium open bar for $65 per person. 509 E. 6th St.; 212-509-5096

Cachet Boutique NYC
Location: Midtown
Capacity: 250

This newly opened 105-room hotel from Shanghai-based Cachet Hospitality Group features 4,500 square feet of gathering space, including the Sky Deck, a seasonal open-roof terrace. Plan a Zen-like ceremony near the relaxing waterfall, lush gardens, or crackling fireplace. Retreat to the wine bar for a laid-back reception with music from the resident DJ, or head to in-house restaurant Eden for a farm-to-table feast by buzzy Australian chef David Laris. Foster a bit of friendly competition over bocce and cocktails on the Cachet’s courts or, if your after-party requires a little more edge, slip down to the first-floor lounge — the iconic Playboy Club will soon open, after a 30-year absence from the city.
From $2,500. 510 W. 42nd St.; 212-947-2999

MADE Hotel
Location: Nomad
Capacity: 100

collaboration between developer Sam Gelin, owner Erol Devli, and former Le Turtle chef Greg Proechel, who now helms Ferris, the hotel’s subterranean New American spot. Guests with on-site accommodations will enjoy the “urban international” aesthetic — custom raw-bronze shelving, handwoven textiles, solid-walnut surfaces, and hand-carved stone sinks — before heading up to Good Behavior, the 18th-floor rooftop bar, for a low-key reception. The greenhouse-style venue offers craft beers and tiki-inspired cocktails from husband-and-wife team Jeremy Oertel and Natasha David (of Death & Company, Maison Premiere, and Dram renown). There are also unobstructed views of the Empire State Building and room for a DJ. Price upon request. 44 W. 29th St. 212-213-4429

Industrial Spaces

Photo: Ro-Agents Juska

99 Scott
Location: East Williamsburg
Capacity: 2,500

Couples looking for a raw Brooklyn space will be happy to find Molly McIver and Wells Stellberger’s new cultural center. Five thousand square feet of mostly blank canvas, and another 8,000 of open air, leave staging options wide open, and with 25-foot wooden-beam ceilings, massive windows, skylights, iron railings, and white brick walls, the venue doesn’t want for personality. Arley Marks of Mission Chinese and nearby Honey’s serves as in-house beverage director, while catering partners include borough favorites Marlow & Sons and Roberta’s — part of 99 Scott’s commitment to supporting community businesses. They’ll even hook you up with the folks at Smallhold, the local (savory) mushroom farm.
From $9,000. 99 Scott Ave.

The 1896. Photo: Chellise Michael Photography

The 1896
Location: East Williamsburg
Capacity: 225

Divided into five unique areas—four indoors and one courtyard—this warehouse, which daylights as a film and photo studio, is better for couples who want to create their own weddingscape amid the concrete and brick, under the steel girders of the 37-foot ceilings. (Bowie fans take note: The owners say the “Lazarus” video was shot here.) While the 1896 has no in-house catering service — it recommends Purslane and the Tacombi taco truck — its on-site prop-rental service has the market cornered on unconventional wedding needs. Pink rococo sofa? Antique hammered-metal trunks? An industrial wind machine? It’s got you covered.
From $9,000. 592 Johnson Ave. 718-451-6531

Knockdown Center. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Knockdown Center
Location: Maspeth
Capacity: 1,800

This 50,000-square-foot performance venue dedicates itself to “unusual projects and collaborations,” but it’ll also rent out the main room to host weddings. Opened as the Gleason-Tiebout Glass Company in 1903 and later converted to the Manhattan Door factory (where the “knock-down” door-buck construction was invented in 1956, hence the venue’s name), the building retains its old-school charm in the vaulted ceilings, the redbrick interior, and the smokestack out front. A recently poured patio provides an open-air escape, and, thanks to the natural light cascading in through giant windows, no one will be happier than the photographer (the bride and groom excluded). Price upon request. 52-19 Flushing Ave; 347-915-5615

Farms, Bonfires, and Chickens

The Preston Barn at Old Drovers Inn. Photo: Nicole Photography/Custom by Nicole PPhotography

The Preston Barn at Old Drovers Inn
Location: Dover Plains, N.Y.
Capacity: 250

Supposedly, during the filming of Cleopatra in 1962, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton rented all six guest rooms at Old Drovers Inn as a lovers’ hideaway, despite the fact that Taylor was still married to Eddie Fisher. You too can enjoy a romantic stay at the nearly 270-year-old B&B, and with the newly constructed Preston Barn, you won’t have to leave anybody uninvited. An on-site event coordinator is available to make sure your big day goes smoothly, and most necessities are provided — from farm tables and cushioned chairs to linens and tableware. And while era-appropriate reclaimed wood and stone give the barn a rustic, early-American legitimacy, the state-of-the-art caterer’s kitchen, customizable lighting, and climate control add welcome 21st-century touches.
From $12,500, plus a full inn buyout with a two-night minimum. 196 E. Duncan Hill Rd. 845-442-3053

Crested Hen Farms. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Crested Hen Farms
Location: High Falls, N.Y.
Capacity: 150

Two hours north of the city, at the base of Mohonk Preserve, sits this 32-acre working farm that’s home to 100 chickens and features an English-Dutch dairy barn with original hand-hewn beams and wooden dowels (circa 1830) intact. Start a cocktail hour on the outdoor patio under the old granary, gaze on the banks of Rondout Creek, and then make your way to the barn for dinner served on mismatched china at rustic tables and chairs. When the evening temperature dips, warm up near the property’s antique wood-burning stoves or one of the five tower heat lamps provided. End the night with hot chocolate and s’mores around a roaring bonfire. $12,000. 607 County Rt. 6; 845-687-2050

Oz Farm. Photo: Steven Michael King

Oz Farm
Location: Saugerties, N.Y.
Capacity: 400+

Jennifer Oz LeRoy’s grandfather Mervyn produced The Wizard of
Oz, and her father, Warner, opened Tavern on the Green, so it’s safe to
assume that fantasy and hospitality are in her DNA. You’ll find both at
her upstate farm and wedding venue, where couples can tent one of the open fields to enjoy a colorful Hudson Valley backdrop or opt for the recently renovated 3,200-square-foot barn. When outfitted with green garlands, ladder-back chairs, and twinkling lights, it looks far too glamorous to have once housed horses. Weekend extracurriculars for friends and family include yoga and riding lessons, and couples who really want to sell the equine theme can invite a stallion or pony to join in the wedding photos. From $5,000. 280 Malden Tpk. 917-816-4333

Salt Drift Farm at Hamptons Aristocrat. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Salt Drift Farm at Hamptons Aristocrat
Location: Sag Harbor, N.Y.
Capacity: 125

Lexi Ritsch and Louisa Young, the co-founders of catering and event company Hamptons Aristocrat, offer a brand-new option for South Fork celebrations, now booking for spring 2018. Stage an open-air ceremony in the boutique flower farm and fragrant herb garden; then relocate to the cedar barn, which mixes rustic touches, such as wood-plank walls and a cozy fireplace, with more refined accents, including statement lighting, booth seating, and a theatrical black alcove. Food options are highly customizable — meals can be served family-style, traditionally plated, “French butlered,” or via chef station. Fresh, inventive dishes include green-goddess quinoa salad, Kerala curry, herbed local salmon cakes, and a knife-and-fork tomato with crispy onion rings, plus wine from local labels Bedell Cellars and Bridge Lane. From $1,500. 203 Bridgehampton–Sag Harbor Tpk.

Special thanks to Amanda Savory at Bespoke Moments, Andrea Freeman at Andrea Freeman Events, Xochitl Gonzalez at AaB Creates, Jackie Travers at Busy Bride Planning + Consulting, Tzo Ai Ang at Ang Weddings and Events, Ashley Douglass at Ashley Douglass Events, Danielle Elder at Classic Events, Amy Shey Jacobs at Chandelier Events, and Ann David at David Reinhard Events & Consulting.

*This article appears in the winter 2018 issue of New York Weddings.

15 New Wedding Reception Venues, From Barns to Ballrooms