Category archives: blog

We often receive questions from couples asking how they can have a rehearsal dinner or welcome reception instead of hosting a formal sit-down dinner. We consult with our couples who want to do something different, but still want to keep the heart of what is special about a wedding. We searched for fun outdoor spaces that are unique to New York City.

Palma Restaurant West Village

Palma

Palma is a classic Italian garden restaurant in the heart of the West Village.
The atmosphere of this restaurant is cozy and romantic for all events and weddings.
The whole restaurant space can be rented out per request.

Gilligan’s

This outdoor space is the ideal setting for a tropical theme wedding.
You wanted to plan a destination wedding but your parents want to have a smaller, city wedding,
this is the perfect compromise.
Guests can relax with their famous frozen watermelon margaritas and enjoy themselves before returning home or back to work after their long flights or workdays.

Soho Grand Hotel

If you are looking for a contemporary home vibe, this outdoor space is adjacent to an amazing suite. You can party all night long and not have to leave!

Ivy Terrace in New York City


Ivy Terrace – Located in Midtown Manhattan, this beautifully designed lounge offers the perfect space to host your next gathering. With a terrace overlooking the bright lights of Midtown, NYC, the venue offers a stylish atmosphere that can accommodate cocktail parties, intimate dinners, and rehearsal dinners.

TAVERN ON THE GREEN – This historical restaurant has a special place in many New Yorkers’ hearts, and after reopening in 2014 it became even more beautiful. The space used for receptions is called South Terrace, and the indoor space is just as great which is named South Wing. They offer a long list of specialty cocktails and the food is scrumptious.

Viceroy

1.

LE MERIDIEN NEW YORK CENTRAL PARK

If you would like to offer a beautiful view on top of the city as the last memory for your wedding weekend, The Roof at Viceroy New York is the place to be. This exclusive space has jaw-dropping views of Central Park and comfortable lounge furniture for your guests. They recently added a canopy which provides shade and protection if it should rain, so there is no Plan B necessary! Their guestroom rates are affordable and they are flexible with quantity of room blocks with no liability.

Salon De Ning

2. SALON DE NING at The Peninsula New York – Luxury on top of the city, the Salon De Ning is an elegant five star venue which provides extensive menu options for your post-nuptial brunch. There is no such thing as “no” at this venue, the food and beverage lists are able to be customized and the bloody mary bar display is unbelievable.

Parker Le Meridien

3. ESTRELA PENTHOUSE AT Le Parker Meridien New York- One of our favorite spots in Midtown, this space offers floor to ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace. The views of Central Park are breathtaking, and the space is completely exclusive for your private brunch. This room may seat up to (190) guests and leave a lasting impression with your out of town guests.

PhD Terrace at Dream

4. PHD TERRACE at Dream Midtown- This bright and wide open space located in the heart of Midtown offers a nice ambiance with plenty of lounge seating. The guest guestroom rates and brunch pricing will work nicely for you and your out of town guests.

Rotisserie Georgette

5. ROTISSERIE GEORGETTE- We completely fell in love with this warm welcome and delicious menu. When you enter this restaurant, you feel as if you are eating with family, and the menu is made with love. You may buy-out the restaurant for up to (100) guests. Georgette is the most gracious hostess and will provide a lasting memory of New York hospitality.

Press Lounge

6. THE PRESS LOUNGE at Kimpton Ink48 Hotel- This venue has an open rooftop and great indoor option atop the city. If your venue is located on the West side of Manhattan, this affordable outlet is the perfect and convenient spot for you. It provides a different view of the city and the Hudson River.

Kimberly Hotel

7. KIMBERLY HOTEL- The view is great and the price is right. Your out of town guests will be happy with your decision to stay on-budget while enjoying the city on their last morning. There is a convenient roof cover should mother nature not cooperate, but hopefully it will be a bright sunny day.

Gansevoort Park Ave

8. GANSEVOORT PARK AVENUE- If you are considering a “home base” for your out of town guests in the center of the city this is the perfect spot which is centrally located between uptown and downtown. They provide a rooftop space with comfy lounge furniture, and if it’s summer your guests may enjoy the pool while sipping on their Bloody Mary.

Four Seasons Midtown

9. FOUR SEASONS MIDTOWN- Located in Midtown East, their restaurant-turned-ballroom is convenient and effortless. Your guests may walk in lobby-level and experience a unique and customized dining experience. Four Seasons is known to offer the most luxurious hospitality service in the world.

Brasserie 8.5

10. BRASSERIE 8 ½- This space requires a full buy-out; however, if you are looking to host near Central Park this is a great option. They do have a very reasonable brunch price but do require room rental to privatize the space.

Gratuity is completely at your discretion. We like to keep our clients “in the know” about which vendors are often thanked for gratuity. If you are unsure who to offer a gratuity, go with your instincts. If you had a vendor that went above and beyond, you may want to show your appreciation. Within the United States it is custom to add gratuity in all areas; food delivery, nail salon, hair salon, transportation, dining in a restaurant. If you pay gratuity in all areas of your life, why would you not consider gratuity for wedding vendors? If you have become close with one of your vendors, you may learn they enjoy a specific type of wine or champagne, which is also a kind gesture. Additionally, vendors appreciate positive reviews, and this is another amazing way to thank your hired talent. We have listed most vendors our clients ask us about gratuity.

CAKE
Often the bakery is not provided gratuity; however, we always recommend a handwritten thank you note after the wedding along with some type of kind gesture.

CATERING MANAGER, MAITRE D & CHEF
4-5% of food and beverage total is our suggested gratuity for the Catering Manager, Maître D and Chef combined (excluding coat check, culinary attendants, bartender fees, tax and service charges). Most venues split gratuities evenly, so ask your catering contact what is common. This is a huge misunderstanding across the industry. Many blogs suggest no gratuity to the hotel or venue management because the gratuity that is charged on food and beverage goes towards your Catering Manager and/or Maître D. This is completely incorrect. The gratuity that you are paying (15% variation) goes towards the wait staff and bartending staff. The other portion of the service charge goes to the hotel as income (7-8% variation). The total amount is typically 21%-24% and the Catering Manager, Maître D, and Chef do not receive a portion of that amount.

Since gratuity for bartenders and wait staff is included in the contracted amount, we do not recommend offering an additional gratuity. They are paid well over double digits and make more than many hotel management. If you feel the wait staff was impeccable and you would like to reward them, it might be a good idea to offer the gratuity to the person who made it happen, the Maître D.

My most memorable hotel clients gave me a hand-written note and/or wrote a thank you email/letter to the General Manager mentioning the employees that went above and beyond. Hotels appreciate written feedback and employees are acknowledged.

ENTERTAINMENT
Musicians are often provided gratuity ($25 each for ceremony/cocktail reception), but a lot of times DJs are not. The amount is at your discretion and how happy you are with their performance. If you felt the DJ was amazing, you may always thank him/her with gratuity or a kind gesture. If you have a band/orchestra we typically recommend $100 gratuity per person.

FLORIST
The florist is not commonly provided the gratuity. We recommend a personal thank you and some type of kind gesture if you are happy with their service.

HAIR AND MAKE-UP
The standard gratuity for hair and make-up artists is 15% to 20% of the total amount.

INVITATIONS
Typically the invitations company is not provided gratuity; however, we recommend a personal thank you and some type of kind gesture if you are happy with their service. Remember to bring your invitation with your home address on the wedding day so that the photographer may take a great photo of the print layout and you may give them love on social media after the wedding.

LIGHTING
The lighting specialist is not commonly provided the gratuity. We recommend a personal thank you and some type of kind gesture if you are happy with their service.

OFFICIANT
The officiant is most often forgotten and he/she is the most important person within the wedding. If it weren’t for him/her, you wouldn’t be married! If you have a religious officiant they typically will not accept a gratuity, but rather a donation to the place of worship. If you are married outside of a place of worship, most often we recommend a gratuity. If you have a personal relationship with your officiant we recommend a handwritten thank you card as well as a personal gift. If your officiant is a professional celebrant we recommend 12-15% of their fee.

PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER
The photographer/videographers are not commonly provided the gratuity. The photographer and videographers are with you all day and are one of the hardest working vendors within the wedding. We recommend a personal thank you and some type of kind gesture if you are happy with their service on the wedding day. Once you receive your photos/video and you are pleased with them, we may encourage you to surprise them with a gratuity or personal gift.

PHOTO BOOTH
Often the photo booth attendant is not provided gratuity because they are not considered one of the primary vendors; however, if you feel you received a great price and the attendant is attentive it might be nice to offer them a small gratuity as a thank you gesture.

TRANSPORTATION
Depending on the amount of the transportation, this would depend on the percentage. We would suggest gratuity would be 10%.

If you have any questions about the gratuity for your wedding, please share in the comment section below!