Post # 1
I just got engaged and I am so excited! But I’m also feeling really overwhelmed at the prospect of actually planning the thing.
My fiance and I live in NYC and are hoping to have our wedding somewhere near, but not necessarily in, NYC. (Open to Jersey, CT, Upstate within an hour or two, etc.) My dream wedding would be outside with a reception area that is both inside/outside — classic garden wedding type vibe. We both want the event to be really relaxed and casual, but be surrounded by some natural beauty.
We also have a projected guest list of 170 people (we both have big families), and aren’t sure of a budget — but it will probably be something like 15-20K.
Has anyone ever planned an event like the one I’m thinking of in this part of the country? Any advice regarding vendors, venues, etc. would be appreciated.
Post # 2
Have you tried looking at The Surf Club in New Rochelle? There are a couple other beach clubs on the same road as it too (In New Rochelle). You mentioned a garden, have you tried looking at the Botanical Gardens? I always thought it would be sweet to get married there.
*Disclaimer: I’m from NY, but have moved out of state. I’ve been to weddings around the city area, but am not sure Of prices at all.
Post # 3
- Wedding: April 2016 - NYC
It’s definitely overwhelming, especially in NYC. My advice is to look outside the city or look for off-season or weekday with your budget. Also, you may have to cut down on food and/or alcohol (go with just a cocktail hour or only have beer and wine).
I would suggest looking in the Hudson Valley, especially if you want the whole nature aspect.
I will be honest with you though, that budget and that guest list is going to be very hard without some serious compromises and cutting corners. Could you do March or April 2017 instead of May, for example? That can cut sometimes $10-15pp off by going into off-season. That’s why we’re doing April, because the two venues we’re looking at will do April as off-season.
I do notice with your username, would you be willing to do something really low-key in a park? You can get $25 special events permits through the parks department (http://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/places-to-go/weddings), and then cater the wedding with a local restaurant instead of a catering company. Be careful to follow the laws for any other permits though – noise, food, etc.
Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
Post # 4
Our original plan was to have it totally DIY and in my fiance’s parent’s backyard (gorgeous gardens with several acres of land) but now they are feeling hesitent to host because, obviously, it’s a big commitment & a lot of people. So now I’m trying to find other affordable options. I’m def willing to cut corners as I’m not precious about most traditions, I just want everyone to be fed, watered, and have the thing captured by a decent photographer.
Off season is definitely something we are starting to consider given the price range difference — I might have to let go of my 70-degree sunny day in May dream, but we’ll see. I love the idea of Fort Tryon Park with the beautiful views, but the most convenient reception venue is New Leaf, and it’s hella expensive. Hudson Valley is where my attention is turning now. Do you know of any specific places?
Thanks so much for your help!!
Post # 5
Another vote for The Cloisters on the norther tip of the island. That place is spectacular, has lots of indoor areas, and great ratings on this site
I wasn’t married there, but have been involved with other events there.
Edit: the Cloisters are within Fort Tryon Park
Post # 6
My soon to be ex wife and I were married at the Liberty House in Jersey City. The downstairs space is substantially cheaper than what my family paid for the upstairs.
Ceremony was outside and they have a nice fire pit for the guests as well. Beautiful views of JC, NYC and the Statue of Liberty. Prices were all over the place.
Post # 7
Post # 8
Your head count and budget (I’m assuming that’s a total budget and not just the reception budget) are gonna make things a bit tricky. It is all very overwhelming, but once your venue falls into place, you’ll feel a lot more grounded. So right now you should just pour yourself (and Fiance too if he’s the helpful type!) into researching venues. Google the heck out of it, buy all the magazines. Don’t think too much about any of the other aspects of the wedding or it will be too much. Start calling or emailing the places you find that seem like options. Most places don’t list prices, so don’t count yourself out until you get the prices from them. I almost missed out on my venue because it looked too expensive in the ad and I was tired of having my budget laughed at.
I can’t really recommend my venue for you because my total wedding budget was like $28k for only 105 people and the place has like no outdoor space at all. However, they are super affordable (I added lots of upgrades that you don’t need) and hands down the most wonderful people to work with. www.windsorballroom.com
Post # 9
- Wedding: April 2016 - NYC
We are looking at Cortland Colonial Manor in Cortlandt Manor NY (about an hour outside the city). It’s cheapest package is still about $80pp (including service fees but not tax) for a Friday or Sunday off-season.
The further way from the river the cheaper things get typically (you miss out on views).
We are also looking at Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Course in the Bronx. It starts at $65pp (not including tax/gratuity) for off-season.
You may really have to look to just having say champagne and dessert with your budget and guest list. I also read about a rooftop wedding in Brooklyn where they just had pizza and kegs for 200 people cheaply.
Post # 10
DIY can definitely save you money, but I would recommend at least looking into full-service venues as well. Having a venue that takes care of pretty much everything makes things a hell of a lot easier to plan and coordinate, and can (definitely not always, but it’s certainly possible) save you some money.
You definitely need to lay out a budget for this. With 170 guests and a budget of $20K, that’s less than $118 per guest. Estimating tax and tip at 25%, that’s a base cost of $95 per person… Definitely not impossible, but in the greater-NYC area that’s gonna be tough, plus this doesn’t include anything else like flowers, photographer, the dress, etc etc.
Best bet is probably going to be to get away from the NYC and Northern NJ areas, those are the most expensive places to host a wedding (according to the Knot, anyway). I’m totally with you on the 70-degree sunny day dream, especially with the winter we had and now the recent weather… but everyone else agrees, and that’s why spring/summer/fall weddings are at such a premium! To stay inside a reasonable price, off-season and non-Saturday will also definitely be the way to go.
To give a frame of reference, my Fiance and I live in NJ and are getting married in Northern NJ. We’re paying just under $120 per person (tax & tip, and ceremony included) to the venue for a Sunday in February, but they charge up to $175 on Saturdays in the peak of the season (and they’ve only been open for 10 months)!