10 Historic New York Wedding Venues We Love

Make a little history of your own at one of these notable spots.
Susan Waits
by Susan Waits

Angel Orensanz Foundation

172 Norfolk Street, New York City; (212) 529-7194; OrensanzEvents.com

Built in 1849, the Angel Orensanz Foundation is the country's oldest reformed synagogue and now serves as an international cultural center open to the arts community. Its dramatic cathedral arches and neo-gothic aesthetic provide a stunning ceremony and reception space that holds up to 300 guests for informal cocktails or up to 260 for dinner and dancing.

The Baker House

181 Main Street, East Hampton; (631) 324-4081; BakerHouse1650.com

This East End historic staple dates almost as far back as the actual settlement. Built in 1648 by the sea captain Daniel Howe and sold in 1650 to one of the town's founders Thomas Baker, the house has passed hands several times before becoming the quaint bed-and-breakfast it is today. Ideal for an intimate reception, it can hold around 100 people for a seated dinner and is open to catering of your choice.

Brooklyn Academy of Music

30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn; (718) 636-4198; BAM.org

BAM is totally rad; we know this. But aside from the world-renowned cultural acts that perform on its stage, did you know it also has a private event venue for rent? The Lepercq Space was actually the academy's original 1908 ballroom but was converted to a boys' school in 1958, then to a black box theater in 1973 before being restored back to a public lounge in 1997. (Hint: It's where BAMcafé is now.) Host up to 325 guests for cocktails or 225 for a seated dinner with the site's exclusive caterer.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Pier 86, W. 46th Street, New York City; (646) 381-5301; IntrepidMuseum.org

The famed World War II aircraft carrier and national historic landmark (which has served as a museum on the Hudson River since 1982) is also one of the most unique wedding venues in the area. With more than six reception space options, ranging from cozy cocktail rooms for 50 all the way up to open hangars for hundreds, the Intrepid is sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests, and their extensive list of preferred vendors helps you every step of the way. Also, how can you turn down views of the Manhattan skyline, the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty?

Oheka Castle

135 W. Gate Drive, Huntington; (631) 659-1400; Oheka.com

Nearly a century old, the second-largest private residence ever built in America now serves as a luxury hotel and popular wedding destination for many New Yorkers (Kevin Jonas and Joey Fatone can attest). Ceremonies are held in the formal gardens on the 23-acre estate, and the Terrace Room can accommodate up to 400 guests for a seated dinner and dancing, with catering and cake included. And for a sweet bonus, they'll include a bridal suite for your wedding night.

The Plaza

768 Fifth Avenue, New York City; (866) 770-8229; ThePlaza.com

Without question, The Plaza is a Manhattan institution. Although there is a range of event space options within the hotel, we recommend The Terrace Room, which is full of Italian Renaissance-inspired paintings from 1921 on its ceiling and restored crystal chandeliers that emulate the ones in the Palace of Versailles. If the opulence alone didn't sell you, their farm-to-table menu just may seal the deal. All food served comes from within 100 miles of the city and within 36 hours of being harvested. Entertain up to 370 guests for a seated banquet or up to 500 for cocktails.

Riverside Church

490 Riverside Drive, New York City; (212) 870-6762; TheRiversideChurchNY.org

More than 80 years ago John D. Rockefeller, Jr. led the front to build a new church in New York, a 13th century-inspired cathedral, and even donated the tower and carillon himself. (Fun fact: At a whopping 20 tons, the carillon's Bourdon bell is the world's largest turned bell.) Another point of pride is that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his renowned "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" address here in 1967. Today the Riverside Church is a nondenominational, interfaith congregation, accepting all backgrounds, cultures, races and sexual orientation. Ceremonies are performed in either of the two smaller chapels or the stunning main nave (our pick!), and sit-down receptions are offered in three different banquet areas, one of which can seat up to 350, with catering by Pasha Events.

Tappan Hill Mansion

81 Highland Avenue, Tarrytown; (914) 631-3030, AbigailKirsch.com

Literature geeks (no shame, we certainly are!) will love the charming country atmosphere of Mark Twain's former estate. Nestled on seven acres of rolling hills overlooking the Hudson River, the historic mansion offers both indoor and outdoor ceremony locales, along with two different reception halls -- the Pavilion Room which seats up to 260 guests for a seated dinner and dancing, and the Hudson Room which seats around 160. Or you can rent the entire mansion for up to 500 people. Extensive menus from Abigail Kirsch catering are included with a wide range of food options.

Tarrywile Park & Masion

70 Southern Boulevard, Danbury, CT; (203) 744-3130; Tarrywile.com

Dating back to 1896, Tarrywile Mansion was originally built as the home of Danbury's first medical examiner and benefactor of Danbury Hospital, Dr. William C. Wile. Notable furrier Charles Darling Parks later purchased the estate and expanded it to include the Hearthstone Castle, which became a National Landmark in 1987. Today, the park's hiking trails and campsites are open to the public, but the mansion only rents one wedding per day, ensuring privacy for you and your guests. Both the glass conservatory and perennial gardens make for beautiful ceremony spaces, and the first floor can seat up to 100 guests for dinner or 150 for cocktails. Bonus: Independent caterers are welcome.

Twenty Four Fifth

24 Fifth Avenue, New York City; (212) 505-8000; TheGlazierGroup.com

Some of the chicest blocks in Manhattan are those leading up to the Washington Square Arch, and Twenty Four Fifth fits right in. The 1926 building has high-tech audio and visual capabilities, while still maintaining its historic decadence inside the elegant ballroom. (Don't worry -- it's the furthest thing from stuffy.) In-house catering is available for a seated dinner for 200 guests or cocktails 400. And wine lovers take note: They offer more than 200 international varietals!

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