What are the top Wedding reception venues in New York City (NYC)
As an NYC wedding photographer, I have photographed hundreds of weddings in this beautiful city. Knowing the small details of each wedding venue, I can tell you where and when will be the best time for photos. There is no shortage of Wedding Venues NYC has to offer. The City that never sleeps has numerous venues ranging in size, style, and ambiance. As you start the deep, deep dive into wedding planning, you may start narrowing down your own personal style that you want. Perhaps you want a cool loft space, or a quirky Brooklyn wedding venue. Or maybe you want something more sophisticated and with WOW appeal. When it comes to choosing your wedding venue in New York City, there are quite a few factors that can help guide you on when and where you will marry. Your biggest factors (aside from investment) are going to be location, style, and capacity. As a wedding photographer in NYC, I can tell you that there are so many unique backdrops for your wedding photos. I highly recommend choosing a venue in a part of the city that means something to you. Where you decide to marry will dictate much of your timeline and event flow. A wedding venue can significantly complement your wedding photos, especially when setting the mood and lighting for your sweet moments. I suggest envisioning where you want a majority of your photos outside of the venue to be – for family photos, bridal party, in-betweens, and your portraits. Below is my list of New York wedding venues and some tips to help you plan for the best day ever.
The Frick Collection
The Frick Collection evokes the glamour of the once Gilded Age of New York and is one of my favorite New York Wedding Venues. By day, this venue is an internationally recognized museum known for its collection of Old Master paintings and European sculptures. By night, wedding guests enjoy cocktail hour in the reception space and move through to the Garden Court for an intimate reception. The music room is a rotunda style space that boasts damask walls and a glass ceiling, perfect for dancing into the late night hours. The Frick Museum lends for an elegant setting for a wedding reception.
- In close proximity to Central Park, I highly recommend a mid-spring or early fall setting to take full advantage of the spring and fall colors for your wedding pictures.
- I recommend this wedding venue for the NYC couple that loves art and literature.
- Best venue feature: The Garden Court
- Capacity: 180 seated, 450 standing.
The Rainbow Room
The Rainbow Room is a great blank canvas to let your imagination run wild. The base aesthetics are there and you can jazz it up to your liking. You can host cocktail hour in Bar SixtyFive, have a more intimate wedding in their Private Dining Room, and when the weather is nice, have your wedding or reception at the 620 Loft & Garden space. Sitting 65 floors above The Rockefeller Center, the Rainbow Room provides sweeping views of Manhattan and wedding couples have exclusive access to the rooftop terrace. Having photographed many weddings here as an NYC wedding photographer, I can personally attest to the elegance and magic that this NYC wedding venue has to offer.
- I recommend The Rainbow Room for the young modern couple that is elegant and sophisticated, but knows how to party.
- I suggest this best wedding venue in nyc all year round and couples should definitely make good use of the terrace for photos.
- Head downstairs to the ground level to get some of those iconic NYC street wedding pictures.
- Top venue feature: the city views by day and night
- Capacity: 300 seated, 400 standing.
Wythe Hotel Wedding | Brooklyn Wedding Venues
A Wythe Hotel wedding is as hip and chic as their guests. This hotel wedding venue is located on a vibrant corner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You can expect to find exposed brick, original masonry, tile floors, and a charming courtyard, perfect for hosting your wedding ceremony and reception in one contained space. The piece-de-resistance though, are the incredible views from the penthouse suite, perfect for hosting an intimate ceremony or taking wedding pictures with family. The backdrop of the NYC skyline is sure to wow. Head up there during sunset for some magic. The event space is rustic and intimate and catering is done by the in-house restaurant, Reynard, which features a seasonal menu.
- I suggest this best wedding venue for an eclectic & quirky couple that wants a wedding that is uniquely them.
- Wedding pictures around the neighborhood will include graffiti and charm. Head to the water for Manhattan skyline views.
- Awesome all year round
- Favorite Brooklyn wedding venues feature: The neighborhood – it doesn’t get more unique than Williamsburg.
- Capacity: 140 seated, 250 standing.
Restaurant Weddings NYC | Lafayette 360 / Locanda Verde / Il Buco
There are plenty of reasons to opt for a restaurant wedding in NYC. You KNOW the food is going to be amazing and the staff are pros at providing excellent service. Having a restaurant reception means you can try the menu as often as you like in the months leading up to your wedding. The New York City restaurant venues offer exceptional menus and charming event spaces – often providing a well-decorated space so you won’t have to spend a ton of extra cash on decor or rentals. There are so many restaurant wedding venues in NYC in every cuisine, style, and guest size, so you have plenty of options depending on your taste (see what I did there…).
- Perfect for the couple that loves to wine and dine. Restaurant weddings in NYC are often in a more intimate setting, usually in the restaurant’s wine cellar or event room.
- I suggest a NYC restaurant wedding any time of year, but pay close attention to what you love to eat so that you can pick a season when those ingredients are as fresh as possible.
- A restaurant wedding lends to more neighborhood-y wedding photos. I suggest picking a restaurant in a neighborhood that you love hanging out in.
- Best venue feature: It’s oh-so intimate.
- Capacity: Usually 50 guests or less.
City Hall Weddings
Believe it or not, but one of the top wedding venues New York City has to offer is City Hall. Not only is it cost effective, but it is also time efficient. A city hall wedding could take 20 minutes or up to 3 hours so plan accordingly. In 2018 alone, 49,894 tied the knot at the Manhattan Branch of the City Clerk’s Office. Located in the heart of the Financial District, couples say I do among the city’s hustle and bustle, often in a hustle and bustle manner. Bring a true NYC wedding photographer with you to capture those in between moments and to guide you on where to go after you leave City Hall. This is the ideal venue to wear a chic short dress or jumpsuit, or sweatsuit – whatever you wish.
- A city hall wedding is perfect for the couple that just wants to be married. Low stress and low key is the name of the game here. Celebrate with an ice cream or head to a restaurant with your nearest and dearest.
- Perfect all year round, except for holidays. Tuesday – Thursday is the optimal time.
- Your wedding pictures can be around the courthouse or you can head to your favorite spots in the city. You have all the freedom to do whatever YOU want.
- Favorite venue feature: It’s a unique, totally awesome experience.
- Capacity: minimum 1 guest to be your witness. If you hire me as your wedding photographer, I can be your witness! WIN-WIN!
NYC Wedding at Tribeca Rooftop
Tribeca Rooftop is one of the best wedding venues in NYC and is located in the trendy neighborhood of Tribeca, located on a cobblestone street. The once 1920s printing press building, is a chic industrial event venue that is perfect for creating a beautiful atmosphere for your wedding. It boasts a beautiful glass atrium and large windows as well as the stunning downtown Manhattan skyline from the private roof. From the rooftop, you can see as far south as One World & to the west, the Hudson River. The exposed brick walls give the space a historic feel, adding another dimension to your wedding reception.
- Perfect for the classically cool/chic couple that wants to blend historic touches with a modern feel.
- Great all year round, but especially so during the warmer months so that you can make use of the gorgeous rooftop space.
- Utilize the rooftop for your wedding photos or hit the beautiful cobble stone streets. My favorite are Staple Street and the surrounding area.
- Best venue feature: The rooftop!
- Capacity: 400 seated, 700 standing
The Bowery Hotel
The Bowery Hotel is located at the intersection of the Lower East Side and the East Village, right next to the New Museum. The industrial design is paired with residential loft-style amenities like hardwood floors, Oushak rugs, and plenty of exposed brick. This wedding venue in NYC has plenty of personality and is very unique compared to other ballrooms. You can easily host up to 175 guests for a wedding ceremony and reception, utilizing the indoor and outdoor spaces to create a romantic ambiance! Weather permitting, guests can enjoy the Bowery Terrace. This outdoor space is decorated in a classic old world style with wood beams, salvaged brick walls, moroccan tiled floors, and a glazed firepit.
- Perfect for the sophisticated, laid-back couple with a bohemian flair.
- Spend a late spring through early fall evening on the Bowery Terrace. It will be a night to remember.
- You have your pick for pictures. You can head to SoHo for those classic street scenes, or head to Great Jones for some Cobblestones. Head east to spice it up.
- Favorite venue feature: candlelight wedding reception on the Bowery Terrace.
- Capacity: 125 – 175
Museum of the city of New York Wedding
Nothing says, ‘we’re getting married in NYC more than a wedding at a museum about the city. Guests are welcome to explore the Museum of the City of New York’s outstanding collections as they mingle. An opportunity for a grand entrance awaits. Line the front steps with candles to match the city lights. A wedding at The Museum of the City of New York boasts an enormous spiral marble staircase, soaring columns, and floor inlaid with a dramatic starburst. Welcome guests to the Georgian mansion’s striking Rotunda. Next invite guests to ascend the staircase to the second-floor reception hall, where French doors swing open to views of Central Park.
- Perfect for the classic NYC couple that loves art and ambiance.
- I suggest peak spring or peak fall for your wedding here.
- Your wedding photos will most likely be in Central Park and you want to take full opportunity of the seasons.
- Top venue feature: A museum about the greatest city in the world.
- Capacity: 210 seated, 300 standing.
The Plaza Hotel
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a Plaza Hotel wedding in NYC. The Plaza Hotel is one of the most iconic hotels in the world, with a rich history in hosting exclusive events from every era since its inauguration in 1907. Think Miles Davis, The Beatles, Eloise (children’s book series), menageries, and more! “When the hotel opened, a room at the Plaza Hotel was only $2.50 per night, the equivalent of $68.60 in 2019. The same room cost over $1,000 per night in 2015.” Considered one of the most luxury wedding venues in New York CityThe Plaza Hotel is home to grandeur and opulence, the setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, recalling the dynamism of the Jazz Age and the 1920s. Fun fact, an exact century ago (1920), Scott and his new wife, Zelda, patronize the hotel’s restaurants and Fitzgerald takes a much publicized swim in the Pulitzer Fountain. This hotel is the epitome of NYC history and class. You can read a short timeline of famous guests, and pets, here.
- This NYC wedding venue is perfect for the couple that is New York. The richness of history and the glitz and glam are sure to impress.
- This is one of those venues great all year round, but if you want to take photos outside, I suggest spring and fall as it neighbors Central Park. But why go outside when there is so much history inside!? I suggest a New Year’s Eve wedding here to party like the Gatsbys!
- Best wedding venue feature the Grand Ballroom and the complex history.
- Capacity: 450 maximum with dinner and dancing
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns is perfect for couples that are looking for something a little different than a city wedding, but with easy city access. Located 35 minutes outside of Manhattan and easily accessible by train (Metro-North from Grand Central to Tarrytown on the Hudson Line. A taxi will take you 10 minutes drive to the farm.) Not only does Blue Hill host events at a gorgeous restaurant in the city (offering a garden room for up to 16 guests and a main dining room for up to 50 guests), but Blue Hill at Stone Barns is the perfect farm to table experience brought to you by celebrity chef, Dan Barber. You know your guests will have a grand dining experience – an important factor for any wedding. This Westchester County location offers private dining for up to 14 guests and the Hayloft, which seats 40-260 guests. Ceremonies can be accommodated on site, usually in the beautiful courtyard.
- This New York wedding venue is perfect for the couple that is sophisticated, but loves the country and the beautiful views.
- This is one of those venues great for spring through fall, keeping in mind the food will be seasonal!
- Favorite wedding venue feature: Self contained and you can move guests around for an all-around experience.
- Capacity: 260 maximum with dinner and dancing
Alder Manor is a Historic Landmark Mansion located in Yonkers, New York. It is known as the historic W.B. Thompson Mansion that was designed in a 20th Century Renaissance Revival architectural style. There are a plethora of perfect wedding picture opportunities through the property. The mansion boasts terraces, sculpture gardens and authentic Roman artifacts. The garden beneath the classical columns is the perfect place to say “I DO!” The grand library is adorned with rich red walls and a gilded gold ceiling and gorgeous hanging chandeliers as the perfect backdrop for your wedding reception. The 1:00am curfew is perfect for those late night dance moves.
- This NYC wedding venue is perfect for the couple that loves a bit of history.
- This is one of those venues great for spring through fall – depending on if you prefer the bright florals of spring or the moodier tones of fall.
- Favorite wedding venue feature: Self contained and you can move guests around for an all-around experience.
- Capacity: accommodates up to 300 guests