We visited a couple more NYC outer boro venues over the past two days and I think we finally have it narrowed down to our top three choice. While Joe and I have different preferences for what we are looking for in a reception venue, I think we have at least agreed that we’d both be open to using any of these three places. The hard part will be narrowing it down to one final choice.
This is my personal favorite choice. First, its big enough to fit our whole guest list and really close to home in Long Island City. Despite the somewhat high rental cost, we have the space for the whole day, we can hold our ceremony on site and use the other beautiful spaces for photos at no extra charge (click this link for a pic taken in one of the hallways elsewhere in the building). More than anything though, Its unconventional and is exactly the visual style that I’m looking for. You could totally imagine an Anthropologie photo shoot happening here and i’d feel comfortable playing my indie rock and dancing the lindy hop. The colors are perfect too because there are mostly whites and neutrals in the decor with touches of teal here and there in the antique furniture they have scattered about the space. This converted warehouse is inspired by french decorating, but with a rustic worn feeling. I love that its rough edges gives it tons of character and uniqueness. Perfect for our little bohemian style wedding. Beautiful!
The roughness, however, is something that is a negative for Joe. It is not in the nicest neighborhood. It is definitely NOT a dangerous neighborhood, but located in the heart of Long Island City, it is surrounded by old warehouses and graffiti. Also, it is tied with de Seversky Center as our top two more expensive choices. Another drawback for Metropolitan Building is that we’d have to hire our own caterer. And since we’d have to rent linens and chinaware through the caterer, our budget would limit our food options – we’d probably have to do a buffet with a limited variety. Oh, and limited bar too with a signature cocktail, but it would still be plenty to drink, just not a lot of variety.
De Seversky Center on NYIT Campus:
This is Joe’s favorite choice. Its huge, its grand and would totally impress our guests. They offer TONS of food and a full bar and dessert bar. I like that it is not a cookie cutter wedding place despite it’s grandness since uniqueness is one of my top conditions for a venue. They describe it as “French chateau” style which is appealing to me. They also do what is called a “European style” reception, where each aspect of the reception; cocktails, dinner, dessert, dancing, bar; is held in a different part of the mansion. My favorite room is the one on the top left corner, the pink library, that we’d use for our cocktail hour and dessert bar. The room on the top right is the Ballroom that we’d use for our banquet. I actually really DISLIKE the ballroom. It is somewhat stuffy feeling and there is so much RED everywhere – I hate red for myself! Some of the rooms are definitely better than others. For example, the “Green room” that spills out onto a stone deck (first pic on second row) is where we will have dancing, and I actually really like this room. I love the idea of dancing spilling outside.
This venue is also on the higher end for our budget. There are separate service charges on top of the per head cost, and they charge extra to have there ceremony on site. Its gonna be a stretch, but might be worth it. One thing, though, is that I will have to re-think my style. I might have to add a peachy pink into my grey and teal color scheme to match the look of the venue. I might also have to switch from a bohemian DIY feel to more of an formal french patisserie inspired theme. Another negative is that we’d have to get married on a Friday, or wait till November to get a saturday. But the major “pro” for this place is that our guests will definitely be impressed, have a good time, and eat well. There’s a lot of service too, so we’d have to ask fewer friends for help.
These pictures don’t do Picnic House justice, but I fell in love with this place as soon as I saw it. It was actually my first choice before we discovered the other two locations. Just driving there left me totally in love because Prospect Park is located near the Park Slope area of Brooklyn so the whole neighborhood if filled with charming brownstones and other beautiful old architecture – great for pictures! Once you reach the park, you are surrounded by tree-lined paths and the beauty of nature. The house itself is quite nice too. Its much more of a blank canvas than the other two venues, which I like, but will require more decorating. Even so, this is the most affordable option of the three. Style-wise, i think its a good compromise between my casual-urban-anything-atypical sensibility and Joe’s more traditional preferences. the biggest negative for this place is that it is SMALL. The max capacity is 175 and that number will even feel tight. It definitely limits our guestlist. Picnic House also requires outside catering, but the lower cost of renting the space makes a huge difference in what we can afford for catering (but we’d still be doing a buffet with a limited bar). Its even cheaper if we factor in the cost of an off site ceremony venue. But in the end, we’d only be saving a couple thousand compared to the first two options, and maybe it would be worth it to invite more people. hmmmmm…
In the next two weeks, we will revisit Picnic House and Metropolitan Building to view them dressed up for actual weddings. I think that will help us to visualize the possibilities in both spaces, and hopefully we’ll be able to make a final choice in the next two weeks.
UPDATE: After re-visiting Picnic House, I think we’ve decided to rule it out as an option. It’s still a beautiful space, but I admit that Joe was right, its much too small for the number of guests we’d like to invite. So we are down to two choices! It seems like a lot of people like de Serversky, but I kind of feel its because its more like what people expect a wedding to look like. At least we are making progress though.