New York City outdoor weddings?
November 30, 2007 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Any recs for a New York City outdoor wedding location that isn't hideously expensive and can hold 150-200 people?

I'm going to be getting married next fall (we'll push it back if we can't find the right location 9 months in advance). We're both very untraditional and hate huge overblown weddings, but we both have big ethnic families and tons of close-knit friends so the size is somewhat unavoidable. We haven't even really started and planning it is already giving us a headache.

We'd like to get married somewhere (including ceremony and reception):

-with outdoor space
- in the 5 boroughs but not necessarily Manhattan- most likely Queens or Brooklyn
-a little untraditional and non-stuffy
-that can hold 150-200 people, even for the ceremony.
-not too expensive. I recognize this will cost money, but I want to keep costs down as much as possible.

For example, I really like Queens Botanical Gardens, but for their wedding garden ceremonies they can only hold 80 people.

Any recommendations? Thanks SO much for your help!

any advice on keeping the guest list small without hurting feelings?

Thank you!!
posted by doraphilia to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Some friends of mine held their wedding reception at the Tennis House in Prospect Park. It was a great location. Very cool old pavilion structure with it's own private lawn, surrounded by trees. I'm guessing that my friends had over 100 people at the reception and we all fit with significant room to spare. The event staff also let us party well into the wee hours of the morning.

I think that the management of the Tennis House has switched hands since then, though, and I had heard that they may not be renting it out anymore, but it should be easy to check. The contact info at the Prospect Park Alliance for party rentals is Barbara Christ, (718) 287-6215.
posted by otolith at 9:20 AM on November 30, 2007

seconding tennis house. that's the spot.
posted by alkupe at 10:13 AM on November 30, 2007

what about Brookyln Botanic Gardens?

Have you contacted the Parks Service to see what facilities they may be able to reccomend/offer?
posted by kumquatmay at 10:30 AM on November 30, 2007

The Tennis House is supposedly hideously expensive, friends of mine ended up passing it up to get married at the Bronx Botanical Gardens instead. They're incredibly lovely and an easy train ride from Grand Central.
posted by lia at 12:35 PM on November 30, 2007

The tobacco warehouse was mentioned in a previous thread and seems like it would meet your requirements.
posted by Eringatang at 12:41 PM on November 30, 2007

The Conservatory Garden in Central Park (unspeakably lovely and the site of our own elopement-- on a bright February afternoon, we were the only group in there. Be forewarned, though, that in summer there are hoardes of wedding parties waiting for a prime spot). Wave Hill. The Staten Is. ferry (get a permit, our friends' wedding was halted by a cop who left us alone after he'd seen the permit). The Chinese Scholars' Garden or one of the gardens over at Snug Harbor-- honestly the ferry ride over makes it even more magical and eventful. There's that Czech beer garden over in Queens. A lot of the places mentioned here seem to have nice gardens and good food. The Bronx Botanical Garden is one of the coolest places going--lots of choices of areas in which to get married. The rock garden is a dream landscape, waterfalls and rabbits and lush lawns. The city's a wondrous plaything, just made for a girl and a boy. Have a dreamy wedding.
posted by eve harrington at 2:06 PM on November 30, 2007

One of my best friends got married at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens about 10-15 years ago--it was a group about the size you're talking about, and _really_ nice. They were both working for non-profits, and paid for it themselves, so I'm sure it couldn't have been too expensive.
posted by LairBob at 6:29 PM on November 30, 2007

Queens Farm Museum! The Orchard is $2000 for the site rental, plus tent and tables, and from everything I've heard on the Indie Bride forums, it's great. (You should check that forum, as well as the NYC Indie Bride blog. Lots of vendor recommendations there.)

I'm planning a wedding in NYC too and after reviewing all of the choices and crap involved I am about to can it all and elope. So I sympathize!
posted by bedhead at 7:17 PM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, and we have some other friends who rented out the Queens Museum of Art for their wedding. They got married next to the spot on the panorama that represented the place that they met in NYC.
posted by bedhead at 7:19 PM on November 30, 2007

We got the north end of Madison Square Park as the location for our wedding in the fall of 2005 by paying a $25 to the Parks Department. Our party was about 30 people, but there is certainly room for many more.
posted by anildash at 12:10 AM on December 3, 2007

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