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Our Top Three Venue Choices

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.

Metropolitan Building:

Metropolitan Building

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:

de Seversky Center

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.

The Prospect Park Picnic House:

Picnic House

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.

16 comments to Our Top Three Venue Choices

  • Nicole

    omg, too much to read. But based on the pictures I LOVE the second one. I want to live in Europe and be refined. I also want karaoke, but i feel like the two clash.

  • cheryl

    Nicole, you suck, you have to read what i wrote or else you will not know why i like them and what i like about the first one =(

  • monkey

    wow! so much progress so quickly! all 3 places look awesome. maybe a november wedding won’t be too bad… it’ll fit into your atypical wedding wants… since it’s offpeak wedding season. and my mom’s personal preference is that fall weddings are nicer than spring/summer… i think she just gets sick of the same flowers that everyone uses during that time. u guys would be unique! maybe it could snow!

  • monkey

    bah! when i re-read my comment i was like o… that sounds like i’m telling them to cater to my mom! i mentioned my mom’s personal preference on fall not because u should consider some random person’s mom’s preference for your wedding 😛 but just that some people prefer offpeak weddings! each season’s got its plusses!

  • Tammy

    🙂 I like the first place.

  • Glo

    They all look gorgeous- especially the 2nd one. It reminds me of the wedding in Wedding Crashers… just wow. You’re right, guests will definitely be impressed. The first one is also great, except for the neighborhood part. I vote for the second one if timing isn’t a big issue.

  • Betty

    You know, I have to say, I LOVE that first location. It reminds me of a couture anthropologie photoshoot almost. I think the good thing about it is that you have more freedom to really go all out in creating a unique space. I love what looks like many different rooms or areas, and I think you could do a lot with those, and I def. like that is has this…sophisticated dark twist to it, sort of Tim Burton-ish. It’s def. a place I would throw my reception at, hahaha…it would def. make for a unique party. Plus, I think it would look great in dim light.

    The second place is very much like cheryl number 2, hahaha…the cheryl that loves tea and all things dainty, but I think the style is pretty much prescribed, like you would’nt be able to really play around with the space. I think its very french country – high society.

    If I were you…I would go with the first 😉 LOL….

  • many things to consider.. huh? it’s your day afterall… however, you still have to consider the guests and their enjoyment…

    i like both 1 and 2 for the same reasons you listed. i dont think you can go wrong w/ either. =)

    happy planning!

  • Julie

    I like the first location! The second one is nice too, but it’s definitely a different vibe. Having everything in different rooms is nice because your guests can spread out, but it also feels very segmented. If people don’t want to dance, they might feel uncomfortable in the green room and end up hanging out in the dessert room or bar, and you may not see much of them. (Although it sounds like you have a sizable guest list so you may not spend much time with anyone anyway.)

  • Brian

    After looking at all of the pictures and and reading everything you had to say about all of the venues. The first venue listed would be my choice although like you stated the ballroom is too red, would seen kind of a downer dancing in a RED room. The second place would be a very tight second, it is definately more ellegant and would suit the wedding perfectly. The third place just seems just alittle ragged in my oppinion.

  • cheryl

    actually, its the second venue that has red in the ballroom. the first is mostly neutrals whites and some teal in the “ballroom” space.

  • my choice would be #1, but i’m sure you guys will do a great job with any of these choices… you just better feed me well! 😉

  • jean

    the idea of diff rooms for diff parts of the weddings is very attractive but #1 is so gorgeous… esp knowing how it could photograph!

  • Stephanie T

    I like the first place >.<

  • Stephanie T

    after reading all the stuff you wrote i ended up liking #2 more. feels like there’s more variety…and you’ll have indoor and outdoor.

  • Wong

    I like both the first and second! Great choices!

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