New York City Wedding Venues:
Everything You Need to Know
New York City is a unique destination that attracts millions of people from all over the world to live, work and play. And yes, it attracts people who want to get married, too. The good news is that there are plenty of amazing New York City wedding venues for your upcoming nuptials. In 2020 alone, there were more than 60,000 weddings in New York State, with many of them taking place in NYC. In other words: There are a lot of New York City wedding venue options to choose from.
At Carats and Cake, we have an extensive library of weddings in NYC, as well as a comprehensive directory of all the different kinds of vendors you could need for New York City weddings. Browse the wedding library for examples of small wedding venues in NYC, wedding venues in NYC on a rooftop, elegant New York wedding venues and more. For New York weddings outside of the city, we can also provide you with the inspiration and tools to plan a Long Island wedding, a Hamptons wedding, a Brooklyn wedding, and pretty much any other part of the state you might be considering.
We’ve put together everything you need to know when searching for the perfect venue: from the different types of New York City wedding venues to locations for NYC weddings, the average wedding cost in NYC and the best season for NYC weddings. Plus, we’ll share inspiration from NYC celebrity weddings, travel details for New York City weddings, as well as insight on things to do once your guests arrive in the city.
Types of New York City Wedding Venues
In a city of 8.79 million people, there is no shortage of wedding venues in New York City. When it comes to places of worship alone, consider that there are more than 2,000 churches, 1,000 synagogues and 100 mosques within the five boroughs. Then, factor in the city’s many hotels. And when you start to add in restaurants, event spaces, museums, parks and gardens, you’ll realize that sky’s the limit when it comes to NYC wedding venues.
So, how do you pick among the thousands of NYC wedding venues? First, you have to figure out what is most important for your NYC wedding. Do you want an outdoor New York City wedding, or do you prefer inside NYC wedding venues? Some people like the fresh air, while other couples want to control the climate in their NYC wedding reception venues. You can pick unique wedding venues in NYC that match your sensibilities.
Next, look at the capacity of the potential wedding venues in New York City. The size of your NYC wedding will impact which New York City wedding venue you ultimately end up choosing. Fortunately, there are NYC wedding venues that can accommodate parties of all sizes, large and small. If you are having a particularly large wedding with several hundred guests, just keep that in mind when looking at photos of each New York City. It should be relatively easy to tell which ones can accommodate a guest count of that size, and therefore start eliminating NYC wedding venues based on your headcount.
Next, look at the other amenities associated with wedding venues in New York. Some NYC wedding venues offer comprehensive services that include catering and planning, while others might have a list of preferred New York wedding planners, recommended New York wedding florists, suggestions for New York wedding photographers, and pre-approved NYC wedding caterers. This is certainly something to consider when selecting wedding venues in New York City, as these venues additional services or pre-vetted vendors can make planning your wedding easier. That said, other couples prefer more control over choosing the vendors to transform the best wedding venues in NYC.
Here is a breakdown of some types of New York City wedding venues, and what they offer:
New York City Hotel Wedding Venues:
Hotels are located all over the city and make wonderful NYC wedding venues. Each hotel will have a different capacity and ambiance, but the sheer variety will make finding one for weddings in New York City relatively easy.
New York City Rooftop Wedding Venues:
A lot of couples look for wedding venues in NYC on a rooftop, especially during warmer months. With sweeping views of the city, rooftops are among the best NYC reception venues.
New York City Museum Wedding Venues:
There is no question that the list of NYC things to do includes a number of the must-see museums. The culture and ambiance make them ideal New York City wedding venues as well, and many museums even have entertaining spaces built-in, making them some of the best wedding reception venues in NYC.
New York City Library Wedding Venues:
New York’s libraries feature impressive architecture, and are cultural landmarks in their own right. There are many beautiful libraries to consider as New York City wedding venues, the most famous, of course, being the New York Public Library.
New York City Estate Wedding Venues:
New York City is not just skyscrapers; there are also spectacular estates and mansions. Some of them are available as NYC wedding venues, including some located in Queens and Brooklyn.
New York City Private Club Wedding Venues:
New York’s private clubs can serve as more exclusive wedding venues in New York City. Check with the club to see if there are membership restrictions as you consider private clubs for New York wedding venues.
New York City Ballroom Wedding Venues:
Throughout the boroughs, there are several ornate ballrooms which can serve as the best wedding venues in NYC for black-tie or formal affairs. Ballrooms make particularly great NYC reception venues.
New York City Garden Wedding Venues:
New York may be known as the concrete jungle, but there are actually a number of public and private botanical gardens throughout the city. During the right times of the year, these gardens can make beautiful New York City wedding venues. Look for them at museums, parks, estates, hotels and more.
New York City Park Wedding Venues:
New York City is home to Central Park, which spans 843 acres in the heart of Manhattan. There are other parks as well, and many of them have great spaces to serve as New York City wedding venues.
New York City Zoo Wedding Venues:
The city’s zoos are excellent attractions, and many couples have also found them to be among the best wedding venues in New York. These NYC wedding venues can be outdoor or indoor depending on the location.
New York City Courthouse Wedding Venues:
There is no reason to downplay a courthouse wedding. New York City Hall is a storied institution, and it makes a wonderfully intimate New York City wedding venue for your upcoming nuptials.
New York City Restaurant Wedding Venues:
It is never hard to find a place to eat in New York, and some restaurants are outfitted with private spaces that make lovely wedding venues in New York City. Even better, these NYC wedding venues often come with built-in wedding catering options to streamline the average wedding cost in New York.
New York City Religious Wedding Venues:
For many, marriage is a spiritual union as much as it is a romantic one. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that churches, synagogues and other places of worship are among the best NYC wedding venues. If you are interested in a certain church, be sure to discuss the pre-wedding requirements before confirming your NYC wedding venues.
Locations for NYC Weddings
New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world. The city has five boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island—and each one offers its own ambiance for New York City wedding venues. As you browse our library of weddings for inspiration for the best NYC wedding venues, think about which part of the city appeals to you most as a couple.
When many people think of New York City, they are thinking of Manhattan (though we love Brooklyn weddings too). If that’s the area you’re considering for your New York City wedding venue, here are some specific neighborhoods to consider:
Times Square Weddings:
There are few locations more iconic than Times Square. Although this area is very tourist-heavy, it’s also home to the Theater District, and there are some noteworthy hotel wedding venues in NYC to look at here.
Upper East Side Weddings:
The Upper East Side is known for its high-end residents, and for some of the best shopping, dining and homes in the city. NYC wedding venues in this area are sure to appeal to those who want an elegant, stylish wedding.
Upper West Side Weddings:
The Upper West Side is a culture hub, with popular attractions including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the American Museum of Natural History and more. Check to see the availability of these wedding venues in NYC.
Midtown Manhattan is a mainstay of business in the city. This area may not be as well known for wedding reception venues in NYC, but thanks to the high concentration of hotels, there are still plenty of options.
There are a number of nice hotels in the Gramercy/Flatiron neighborhood, so you have lots of choices for wedding venues in New York. Gramercy is best known for iconic attractions like the Flatiron building and Gramercy Park, which is private to surrounding residents.
East Village Weddings:
Located downtown, the East Village has one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in the city. There are also trendy hotels nearby, as well as a number of in-demand restaurants.
With its rich artistic roots, you can find everything you need for a wedding in this neighborhood, including some of the best NYC wedding photographers, some cool New York City reception venues like art galleries and industrial spaces, and much more.
Greenwich Village Weddings:
The Greenwich Village and West Village neighborhoods were the center for counterculture movement in the 1960s, and it still continues to be incredibly popular. New York wedding venues in this neighborhood tend to feel trendy, charming and less formal.
Soho is known to be one of the most high-end shopping sections of the city. Beyond the shopping and tourist spots, there are also wedding reception venues in NYC in this neighborhood that are worth your consideration.
Tribeca is one of the trendiest spots in NYC, and features some beautiful architecture and waterside views. There are also hotels and other NYC wedding venues in the area you won’t want to overlook.
Battery Park Weddings:
This green space sits on the southern tip of Manhattan and serves as a popular tourist destination thanks to its views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty.
Where do celebrities get married in NYC?
Everyone loves the unique wedding venues in NYC, including celebrities. If you’re looking for venue inspiration, take a cue from some of these NYC celebrity weddings.
- Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas: This celebrity couple got married in 2000. The event cost a reported $1.5 million, and was hosted at the unparalleled Plaza Hotel.
- Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick: This famous couple wed in 1997 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a former synagogue, on the Lower East Side. Although Broderick is part Jewish, the ceremony was civil in nature, and the Angel Orensanz has been open to public weddings for years.
- Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas: This famous duo chose the iconic St. Patrick's Cathedral for their 2012 wedding. The reception was held downtown at New York University’s Kimmel Center.
- Mariah Carey: For her first wedding in 1993, Mariah Carey married Tommy Mottola at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. The reception was hosted at the luxurious Metropolitan Club.
- Leandra Medine: The fashion influencer married Abie Cohen in 2012 in a 1920s-themed wedding at the famed St. Regis Hotel.
- Liza Minelli: Liza Minelli planned an extravagant ceremony at the Regent Hotel for her 2002 wedding to David Gest, which had 850 guests in attendance.
- Bethenny Frankel: The former Real Housewives of New York City star tied the knot at The Four Seasons in 2010.
- Christina Hendricks: The Mad Men star got married in October 2009 at Il Buco, an Italian restaurant venue in the city.
Average Wedding Cost in NYC
While you are looking at options for the best NYC wedding venues, you will no doubt start asking, "How much does a wedding cost in New York?" The fact is that all weddings are expensive, and the average wedding cost in New York CIty is no exception—and is higher than most. Nationwide, the average has been going up. In 2019, the average cost of a wedding was $28,000. For weddings in New York City, however, the average is substantially higher. The numbers show that it can cost upwards of $76,000 to get married in Manhattan.
If this figure sounds overwhelming, remember that the cost will vary depending on your location, venue and choice of wedding vendors. For example, Brooklyn wedding venues do not cost the same amount as wedding venues in Long Island (which can sometimes be even pricier than NYC wedding venues). Location is everything in New York: You might save money on a Brooklyn wedding, or pay more for a Hamptons wedding—or the reverse. It all depends on where you choose.
Part of the reason the cost is higher? Real estate is incredibly valuable in New York City, and is some of the priciest in the United States. Additionally, compared to the number of couples getting married, the limited supply of Manhattan and Brooklyn wedding venues—or even wedding venues in Long Island—can elevate the price. Also, the size of the venue will matter. Many weddings in New York City have minimum headcounts to make filling the venue worthwhile. That is why it is imperative to scale your event according to your budget.
If you don’t feel the need for a 200-person wedding, and have a limited budget, consider looking at small wedding venues in NYC. You can also look for unique wedding venues in NYC that are not traditionally used for marriage celebrations. However, if you have your heart set on some of the more iconic wedding venues in New York, try your luck with less traditional wedding dates. Getting married in the winter or on a weekday can lower the cost for many top tier NYC wedding venues.
Moreover, consider some of the best NYC wedding venues that offer packages of services. You may be able to save money if the venue has an in-house New York wedding florist.
What’s the best time of year for an NYC Wedding?
As you think about wedding venues in NYC, be smart about the wedding date you choose. Of course, you want to pick a date based on the time that works best for your schedule. You may line it up with a holiday or your family's travel schedule. However, it can also be helpful to pick your date based on the availability of your favorite NYC wedding venues.
Weather is also an important factor when booking NYC wedding venues. The summers are hot and sticky in New York, which can make your NYC wedding uncomfortable (you may find that venturing slightly out of the city for a Long Island wedding gets you more temperate summer weather.) On the other hand, the snowy winters can limit access for guests traveling from out of town—or, in the worst of snow storms, even for Manhattan guests trying to get to Brooklyn wedding venues. The fall and spring are milder, but they also get booked up more quickly, and tend to be more expensive. Holidays are more expensive, and often harder to book, particularly when booking wedding venues in NYC such as hotels.
That is why, it can be helpful to plan your wedding during the shoulder season. In other words, choose a date in the weeks or months around peak travel times and you may find lower prices. The best wedding venues in NYC are always going to be expensive, but you can get off-season discount wedding prices in many cases.
How do you find NYC wedding vendors?
Weddings in NYC require a lot more than a venue. While you’ll spend a lot of time looking at wedding venues in New York, you’ll also need to find a team of other vendors to create your event. A New York wedding planner can be the team captain and handle all the details. And you will want to look at New York wedding photographers to commemorate the day. Finding your wedding planner first can be helpful, as they can help you find the best NYC photographers, as well as other experts for flowers, catering, music and more. You also need to make sure you find an excellent baker to create the perfect wedding cake.
How do you find the best NYC wedding photographers, florists, caterers and more? Word of mouth recommendations go a long way, so it’s always nice to start by asking around. You may have friends or colleagues who have recently planned an NYC wedding, and their input can be invaluable. In addition, we also have a vast directory of NYC wedding vendors.
Our library of wedding galleries includes thousands of images from events that took place at the best wedding venues in New York City, including top Brooklyn wedding venues. You can search by location, season, color or style to find exactly what you need. Or, if you’re looking for a specific vendor, our directory of NYC wedding vendors lists all the top talent in the area in every category, from New York wedding photographers to caterers, musicians, and more.
What are some things for guests to do in NYC?
One great thing about a wedding in New York City is that your guests will have a lot to do. If many of your friends and family are from out of town, it always helps to direct them towards fun NYC things to do. When you send out your wedding invitations, you can even include a recommended sightseeing guide (or link to your wedding website and include one there).
The options are limitless. Start with cultural attractions like museums, theaters, concerts and more. Suggest botanical gardens, or outdoor walking tours in Central Park or other parks. It can also be nice to include tourist mainstays like Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the High Line.
For those who are more familiar with the city, there are still so many fun things they may not have seen or tried.. Your guide can include food tours, kayaking on the Hudson River, gallery hopping in Chelsea and horseback riding in Central Park. You can also list favorites like going to professional baseball, football, basketball or hockey games.
How do you get to NYC weddings?
Finding the NYC wedding venues is just the start of it—then you have to plan the wedding itself and get your guests there. Fortunately, most NYC wedding venues are easily accessible.
There are three major airports that serve the NYC area, including LaGuardia and JFK in Queens, as well as Newark Airport in New Jersey. LaGuardia is a domestic airport, but JFK and Newart have both domestic and international connections if your guests are traveling from around the world. According to the Port Authority, more than 3,000 commercial flights land in New York City each day. From the airport, it’s easy to get to your destination via the subway, bus, taxi or rideshare.
The next step? Planning your NYC wedding! Carats & Cake will be your go-to resource, with endless NYC real wedding inspiration, and access to reach your favorite vendors directly.