You crazy love birds.
The idea of getting married at New York’s City Hall still gives you the bee’s knees despite being fully aware that the civil ceremony does not in fact take place at city hall.
To boot, you can’t shake off the need to have your nearest and dearest be present on your special day. Maybe the ‘rents threatened to cut you out of the will. Or your confided in your friends about your elopement ideas and they responded by blocking you on Facebook.
If your inner circle leaves much to be desired, please read my posts on relationship deal breakers that start here. I also recommend therapy here.
If none of the above helps or you genuinely have loving people in your life with whom you could not celebrate this life occasion without, then organizing a private brunch or dinner nearby could work for you. This is with the understanding that we are intentionally keeping the wedding costs low to save your marriage. Given a max budget of $5,000, here are three dining options that would allow you to celebrate your wedding with about 20-50 guests:
Option 1: Terroir Tribeca, 24 Harrison Street
Terroir is my favorite wine bar in the city. The location used to be a cheese factory back in the day and the wine bar has retained much of the original wood and metal fabrications as tribute to NYC’s history. It’s rustic but charming. Everyone I have brought here loves it.
Terroir has a great selection of wines, a generous happy hour and also offers a small selection of craft beer. In the main room, you can have between 10-50 guests or up to 100 if you book the entire space. There’s also a private cellar room that can host up to 14 guests. With food options starting at $30 per person and wine options at $34, you could easily host around 50 guests for about $4K all-in (including tax & gratuity charges). You can get more details on hosting a private party at Terroir here.
Option 2: Locanda Verde, 377 Greenwich Street
Financiers in the area love to schmooze with their clients here. This Italian restaurant has a lovely ambience and décor. The private dining room has a dedicated bar, fireplace and antiqued mirrors. It can seat 60 guests for dinner or 100 standing. Please reach out to them directly for pricing. A lunch or brunch may be doable here for under $5000.
Option 3: New York Vintners, 21 Warren Street
A wine school that’s been around for ten years, New York Vintners is popular for its diverse classes offering generous wine tasting portions and food. They have a private space that can seat 48 people for dinner or 80 standing. Their event packages start at $100 per person but can go up to $200. If you keep your party to around 30 people, this could be a great budget-friendly choice. For more details on their pricing options, click here.
If you’ve got any other ideas for great reception venues in lower Manhattan, please let me know! Drop a line below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to feature additional suggestions in a future post.