Secret Garden

Bridesmaids, NY, NJ and CT
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Courtesy of Inside Park

If the weather's right, an alfresco rehearsal dinner can be charmingly romantic. One of the newest options in New York City is the "secret" Cloister Garden at Inside Park, the restaurant that opened a couple months back inside the transformed Great Hall of the Community House adjacent to St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue.

The plant-and-sculpture filled garden space, which can seat up to 20, is surrounded on all sides by stone, but is open to sky—so you can see Midtown's skyscrapers rising up above you in all their glory.

And just in case the weather isn't cooperating, inside you'll find thirty-foot coffered ceilings with ornate stenciling, stained glass windows, and a raised semi-private gallery area, with a 20-foot screen projecting old and modern photographs of New York City park scenes, that seats 30. —Lauren Matthews, associate editor, Brides.com Magazines

Wedding Wisdom:Wondering who exactly is supposed to be invited to the rehearsal dinner? Traditionally, the guest list includes close family members and anyone participating in the wedding ceremony, plus their spouses or dates. It's also a nice gesture to invite any out-of-town guests.

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