New York Wedding Venues:
Everything You Need to Know
New York wedding stats prove that the Empire state is one of the most popular places to get married in the US. Whether you prefer wedding venues outside of New York City, such as Ithaca or Long Island, or intend to browse the best NYC wedding venues, you are not alone in choosing this scenic and thriving area for your big day.
When planning a wedding in New York, a popular choice is to first look at wedding venues in New York City. But many couples like to expand their searches to include the best wedding venues all across New York State. For example, there are incredible upstate New York wedding venues with scenic mountain views, and amazing country club wedding venues for Westchester weddings. On the other hand, if you do decide to limit your search to wedding venues in New York City, you have your pick of locations in museums, parks, hotels, and other incredible landmarks within the five boroughs.
Currently, New York is the fourth most popular state to get married. If you’re thinking of getting married in New York, we first recommend getting inspiration from real New York weddings here in our massive library of wedding galleries. In the meantime, we’ve put together this guide with everything to know about New York State wedding venues, including the best locations, time of year, things to do, and how to get there—plus, we’ll answer the all-important question: How much does a wedding cost in New York?
What’s the best time of year for a New York Wedding?
Ask any New Yorker and they’ll tell you there is no bad time to visit New York. However, when picking your wedding date, you’ll want to keep the weather and seasons in mind. Because of its humid, continental climate, downstate New York wedding venues in areas like NYC, the Hudson Valley and Long Island have hot summers and cold winters. There can also be quite a bit of humidity in peak heat months, like July and August.
If you are thinking about upstate wedding venues outside of New York City, you will find that the summers are warm but not as humid. Winters are cold and tend to last a little longer, with more consistent snow on the ground (how picturesque!) Consider these weather conditions if you’re looking at wedding venues in New York such as the Tug Hill region in northern New York, the Catskills, and in the western portion of the state near Niagara Falls.
For some couples, the cost of renting the best wedding venues in New York State is more important than the weather. As a general rule of thumb, the New York tourist season runs from June to August, and again from November to December. Expect to pay more to rent NY wedding venues during these months, especially for in-demand locations.
It will be less expensive to host a New York wedding reception during the shoulder season, which goes from March to May and September to the first part of November. Because fewer travelers are visiting New York and demand is lower, costs tend to be lower.
That said, if you are searching for a lower-than-average wedding cost in NYC and the state as a whole, consider setting your wedding date during the off-season, or the months of January and February. This period will be the least expensive to rent wedding venues in New York, and because of the lull in demand, you may find that even a Hamptons wedding is now more affordable, too.
What are the different types of New York wedding venues?
With so many venue options to choose from, there are several things to consider when selecting wedding venues in New York.
City vs. Country Wedding Venues:
New York City wedding venues are plentiful and easy to get to, plus, the staff tends to know the ropes. Wedding venues outside of New York City are some of the most picturesque you will find, and offer different things to do in New York than your guests might be used to. For instance, upstate New York wedding venues may include wineries, or even be in the mountains.
No matter where in New York your wedding is, deciding whether you want to have your wedding indoors or outdoors will help you narrow down your search. Remember to consider the weather and time of year when making this decision!
Wedding Venue Capacity:
New York wedding venues have different size restrictions, so some are more suited to smaller weddings, and others can accommodate larger weddings. Some venues also have multiple rooms, so you can choose based on the size of your party.
Once you have these factors decided on, you’ll want to think about the style of the venue. Here are some of the best wedding venues in New York State:
New York Vineyard Wedding Venues:
Among the most beautiful outdoor and unique wedding venues in NY are vineyards, such as those on the north and south forks of Long Island as well as in the Finger Lakes region.
New York Estate Wedding Venues:
There are breathtakingly beautiful mansions and estates throughout New York State. Reserve these unique wedding venues in NY early, as many are in high demand.
New York Hotel Wedding Venues:
Some of the most convenient and, therefore, best wedding venues in New York State are the hotels. They are great for hosting the ceremony as well as the reception, or just one of the two. Of course, there are hundreds of hotels in NYC, but these are also beautiful hotel wedding venues outside of New York City, for Long Island weddings, Westchester weddings, etc.
New York Beach Wedding Venues:
Another option for a Long Island wedding is the beach. Fire Island and Main Beach in the Village of East Hampton are popular favorites.
New York Zoo Wedding Venues:
A zoo is a fun wedding venue for both NYC and upstate New York wedding venues. There is, of course, the Bronx Zoo, as well as popular zoos in Buffalo and Utica. One thing to keep in mind is that zoological gardens are open to the public, even during your wedding celebration.
New York Museum Wedding Venues:
New York’s museums are world-renowned, and can make for iconic settings for weddings outside of New York City, or within Manhattan.
New York Mountain Wedding Venues:
With mountains including the Adirondacks and the Catskills, there are stunning wedding venues all overNew York State’s mountains. Just make sure to check in with your vendors regarding their travel limitations.
New York Library Wedding Venues:
The New York Public Library is one of the most famous wedding venues in New York City. If you are looking for Brooklyn wedding venues, the Park Slope Library is a beautiful venue that offers wedding packages!
New York Private Clubs & Country Club Wedding Venues:
New York loves exclusivity, and there are hundreds private clubs and country clubs across the state that can host your New York wedding reception. Note that you often need a referral from a member in order to host your event at one of these exclusive venues.
New York Ballroom Wedding Venues:
If you’re planning a formal celebration, a ballroom is a fantastic option, and several of New York City’s iconic hotels have some of the grandest ballrooms in the country.. Many also have stunning architecture that doubles as decor.
New York Garden Wedding Venues:
Garden weddings are a popular spring wedding choice in New York, with excellent options in the five boroughs as well as outside of New York City.
New York Park Wedding Venues:
You’ll often see couples taking their wedding photos in Central Park, but there are actually 215 parks across the state that include some of the most picturesque upstate New York wedding venues. Look for stunning spaces in Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany.
New York Courthouse Wedding Venues:
One of the most traditional NY wedding venues? The local courthouses. There are typically officiants on hand who can marry you right then and there. Some couples opt to go this route if they only want to host the wedding reception in New York, or if they want an intimate affair. Manhattan’s City Hall is a popular and iconic location to get married.
New York Restaurant Wedding Venues:
With some of the best chefs in the world located, not only in New York City but all over the state, it’s no surprise that restaurants are especially popular venues for weddings. Restaurants with private spaces such as courtyards or rooftops are some of the best locations for small parties, plus food is often part of the wedding package.
New York Religious Wedding Venues—Churches, Synagogues, & Mosques:
Many couples choose to wed at a place of worship, especially one they go to regularly. Each religious venue will have its unique rules. Some require membership in the faith community while others limit the types of vendors you can bring in.
Sometimes, the best wedding venues in New York State are the ones you stumble across, or least expect. If this is a destination wedding for you and your betrothed, consider taking walking or bus tours across your top three cities in the state. You’ll get to see the areas, notice what there is to do for the guests who are attending, and you might just fall in love with a place that you would not have considered otherwise. However, remember that locations look different in the various seasons. A place that is utterly charming in the spring will look completely different in winter. Visit during the time that you are thinking of hosting your wedding.
Also, some wedding venues in NY may offer package deals that include wedding planning, catering, and even floral design services. You will find that event spaces and hotels are the most likely to do so.
What are the different areas of New York?
As you are scouring the area for the best wedding venues in New York State, think about where in the state you want to get married.
NYC and Westchester Wedding Venues:
If you are searching for the best NYC wedding venues, you have your pick of those located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Even with all that NYC has to offer, many couples—even those who live in New York City—choose to have Westchester weddings, as the area is convenient to the city, but offers spacious and scenic New York wedding venues. This is generally the easiest region for guests who will be flying in from out of town, as there are three large airports that service the area.
Long Island Wedding Venues:
Long Island is easily reachable from New York City via the Long Island Railroad, and home to a number of NY wedding venues. It’s also where beach locations including the Hamptons and North Fork are located.
Hudson Valley Wedding Venues:
The Hudson Valley and the Catskills regions offer rustic, stunning options, and are a short drive from NYC.
Buffalo Wedding Venues:
Located in Erie County in western New York, Buffalo is the second most-populous city in New York State and has some beautiful historic buildings..
Rochester & Finger Lakes Wedding Venues:
Finger Lakes wedding venues are increasingly popular due to their scenic backdrop, as well as their proximity to Rochester and Syracuse.
Syracuse Wedding Venues:
Home of Syracuse University, this city is also a culture hub, making it a popular wedding destination.
Albany Wedding Venues:
The capital of New York State, Albany is on the left bank of the Hudson river, and has many scenic wedding New York venues.
Be sure to research each location’s local festivals and special events, as NY wedding venues may book up, as well as accommodations in the area for any particularly popular weekends. Plus, the average wedding cost in New York varies considerably by your chosen date. That said, you might be able to shave off some expenses on the average wedding cost in NYC by taking advantage of special wedding packages. These are offered by plenty of venues including New York City parks.
How much does a wedding cost in New York?
The average cost of a wedding in New York in 2020 was $27,533. To put that into context, The average cost of weddings across the U.S. was $20,300, meaning that weddings in New York—and, therefore, New York wedding venues—are more expensive. (Also, consider that it was a pandemic year, so wedding costs may have been lower than usual.) When breaking down the cost details for specific wedding vendors, you will notice that the many of best wedding venues in New York State also charge the most. In fact, wedding venues in NY will typically be the most expensive line item in your wedding budget.
Some NY wedding venues may include catering in their estimates, or they may require use of a specific outside caterer. When it is not part of the rental, include catering as another line item. Also, remember that if you are eyeing wedding venues in NY that are in more remote areas, the costs may go up as caterers and other vendors will charge extra for traveling, accommodation, and a field kitchen setup, if necessary.
There are always unexpected costs when planning a wedding, so leave room in your budget for the little extras you didn’t plan for. The best wedding venues in New York State will always be transparent about everything that’s included, and what is extra. For example, the New York Public Library charges extra for rental of its steps. When in doubt, ask questions, or talk to your wedding planner to get the smaller details worked out in advance.
That said, there are always things you can do to make wedding venues in NY more affordable. In New York, location is everything: For instance, Hamptons wedding venues will almost always be more expensive than most Brooklyn wedding venues, Finger Lakes wedding venues, or even other Long Island wedding venues. And as mentioned previously, the time of year makes a difference. But because the average wedding cost in New York is considerably higher than in other parts of the country, remember that vendors will also charge more.
Another way to reduce costs is to hire a New York wedding planner. While it may seem like an added cost, this vendor will have insider knowledge of the best wedding venues in New York State, which ones may fit into your budget, and how you can enjoy the luxury of a New York wedding venue without breaking the bank. This insider will also have connections to wedding venues in NY. Also, look for someone local! For example, a Brooklyn-based New York wedding planner will know all about Brooklyn wedding venues, and may help you get a deal with a Brooklyn photographer.
How do you find New York wedding vendors?
Searching for NY wedding venues is just the first step. The next challenge is finding your wedding vendors. Because finding NY wedding venues along with vendors to provide the services is a once-in-a-lifetime event, you want to work with the best. Get inspiration from our directory of New York wedding vendors to find:
New York Wedding Planners:
The planner is your go-to for all things having to do with NY wedding venues. finding New York wedding photographers, a New York wedding florist, and more. Work with a New York wedding planner who is established and has plenty of connections to vendors.
New York Wedding Florists:
While some of the best florists are located in New York, if you are concerned about your wedding budget, you may be able to lower your New York wedding flowers costs if you choose a blossoming outdoor New York wedding venue in spring. In particular, botanical gardens are excellent wedding venues in NY (and the flowers are already there!) Also, some churches have relationships with vendors for New York wedding flowers.
New York Wedding Photographers:
The more bells and whistles you want—videography, drone photography—the more you will spend more on your New York wedding photographer. That said, an excellent New York wedding photographer will offer tiered packages that let you pick and choose the types of shots you want to include.
New York Wedding Caterers:
Some wedding venues in NY incorporate the cost for catering. If you’ve chosen one that does not, work with a New York wedding caterer who shares your vision for the reception. For example, determine if you plan to incorporate hors d'oeuvres, a salad course, a main course and a dessert course. In addition, find out how the vendor handles the bar.
New York Wedding DJs & Live Bands:
New York is full of amazing talent for your wedding music. Look for someone local, as others may charge you extra if they have to travel to wedding venues in NY.
New York Wedding Cakes:
Some New York wedding venues will have preferred wedding cake bakeries, while others will let you bring in a cake from any bakery. If you are hiring an independent caterer for your New York wedding reception, you may ask if the caterer will handle the cake for you.
What are some things for guests to do in New York?
There is always something to do in New York, whether you’re in NYC, upstate, or in the Hamptons. Include on your wedding website or welcome stationery the things that your guests might do while in town. Doing so is particularly important if you’re having a destination wedding. Of course, anyone who is traveling in from out of town or out of state to your wedding venues in New York is bound to stay for a couple of days. Some couples have found that taking walking tours helped them select their New York City wedding venues, then they recommend the tours to guests to get more familiar with the city.
Museums are some of the best wedding venues in New York State, and visiting them is among the most popular things to do in New York. The Met Cloisters, the Whitney Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are just a few of the iconic locations to suggest in New York City alone. Besides that, things to do in New York include going to a Broadway or off-Broadway show, then getting dinner nearby in Times Square. Plus there’s always live music, which can be seen most anytime in New York.
If your wedding venues in New York are near a river or beach, there will be plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking, or even kayaking. Depending on the location, you could also negotiate a special golf package for guests, especially for Long Island weddings.
Wedding venues outside of New York City might inspire your guests to explore a little on their own. Examples include local landmarks like Niagara Falls, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Or, if they’re sports fans, they could attend a baseball, basketball, or football game in town.
How do you get to New York?
Whether you are looking for things to do in New York or are scouring the state for wedding venues outside of New York City, getting to the state is easy, as there are several airports across the state of New York. In New York City, there is LaGuardia Airport in Queens, which welcomes domestic flights. For international travelers, there are the John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Airport, which is just across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
Long Island MacArthur Airport is also reachable for domestic flights in the town of Islip, while White Plains airport allows access to Westchester County. Upstate airports include Buffalo, Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and Niagara Falls.
There is also always the option to rent transportation to your chosen wedding venues in New York, or to let the guests do so. Some NY wedding venues will also offer special packages for incoming travelers to get there, such as shuttle service.
Whether you’re looking for wedding venues outside of New York City or within NYC, we want to help make your wedding everything you dreamed of. Scout our New York wedding venues, find vendors and get inspired by real weddings from across New York State on Carats & Cake.