Love lush gardens, manicured lawns and gorgeous green details? Care to channel your inner Downton Abbey style at your wedding? Surprisingly, New York City brides don't need to travel very far to have a stunning garden-style wedding. From local botanical gardens and Riverdale parks to farm-to-table haylofts and Rockefeller-style estates up the Hudson, these striking green spaces are perfect ways for the city couple to escape the urban jungle when they say "I do."
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Above)
Venue versatility is the name of the game at the 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Couples can choose to have their ceremony at the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the Italian-style Osborne Garden, or the Cranford Rose Garden before moving on to celebrate in either the Palm House (that hosts 275 guests seated) or the Atrium (that hosts 130 guests seated). The Patina Restaurant Group exclusively manages catering throughout the BBG, but couples must also pay a site fee to the Garden itself, which is partially donated to its preservation.
Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa
Buttermilk Falls is a private retreat, located just 75 miles from New York City. It's the perfect fit for the bride and groom who love the warmth of a rustic-chic destination wedding. While couples can marry outdoors on the open grounds, The Barn at Buttermilk, a warm, inviting space, is versatile enough to be transformed into the epitome of country elegance.
Buttermilk boasts 18 guest rooms, including 4 carriage houses, that can comfortably sleep 50 guests, as well as a state-of-the-art spa and enclosed pool perfect for pampering the bridal party. While Buttermilk weddings can easily accommodate up to 200 guests, many past brides have held intimate celebrations of about 50 guests, opting to use catering by the hotel's in-house restaurant, Henry's.
Wave Hill is a lush, green estate in the Bronx's Riverdale neighborhood, with 28 acres of romantic gardens, historic structures and striking views of the Hudson and New Jersey Palisades. A terrific choice for NYC couples who crave a garden-side celebration without leaving the confines of NYC, Wave Hill is located just 30 minutes from Midtown and is easily accessible for guests traveling from Westchester, Connecticut, and northern New Jersey.
Weddings only take place in the evenings after the grounds close, so every event remains intimate, from the ceremony beneath the pergola and the first dance in the historic Armor House to beautiful portraits in the secluded Aquatic Garden. Farm-to-table cuisine is provided through exclusive caterer Great Performances, which utilizes its own Katchkie Farm in Columbia Country, New York for nearly all the culinary elements of your event.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
For 13 years, Blue Hill has cultivated a reputation for refined farm-to-table cuisine, generous hospitality, and elegant design at both its New York City restaurant and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the Rockefeller barn turned Westchester locale. The Pocantico Hills agro-restaurant includes two separate dining spaces: a 14-seat dining room (with a reservation calendar that rivals the chicest city spots), and the elegant HayLoft space, which hosts weddings for up to 260 guests.
The HayLoft is, to put it lightly, the elite of elite for foodie couple nuptials. No epicurean detail is overlooked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, making the meal celebration unto itself. For couples craving a bit of the Blue Hill experience outside of NYC and Westchester, it has now launched On the Road, bringing the company's storied cuisine, staff, style, and expertise to weddings outside the greater New York City area.
Locusts on Hudson
The very latest by hotelier Andre Balazs, Locusts on Hudson is a Neo-Baroque style manor sitting on 76 acres of meadow, farm, beach, and beauty about an hour and a half from Manhattan in New York's Hudson Valley. Balaz bought the property in 2004 to create a working farm that would allow him to bring local, fresh to table cuisine to The Standard Grill in NYC, but in restoring the 1941 home, he couldn't help but add the Midas touch found in his other world-famous hotels.
Couples who choose to wed here are required to buy out the 11 stately guest rooms (each complete with massive floor to ceiling windows, claw-footed tubs, and wood-burning fireplaces), but it will cost a pretty penny of $30K above the $30K site fee (there are nearby B&Bs to house the balance of your 250-person guest count). Those who can afford the experience will savor the majestic property, standout cuisine, and stunning views that made the property special in its social heyday amongst the Astors, Roosevelts and other famous families.
New York Botanical Gardens
New York City brides have long loved the so-close-but-so-far feeling of the New York Botanical Gardens—its storied grounds and palatial Palm Court conservatory offer a worlds-away feeling, but with a city-centric level of service. Now that esteemed restaurateur Stephen Starr (of Buddakan, Morimoto, and Caffe Storico fame) has acquired catering, that feeling has been elevated even more.
Starr serves guests in multiple reception locations, including the grand-scale Garden Terrace—a classic ballroom with hand-painted murals and oversized arched windows overlooking the arboretum—for seated dinner parties of up to 350 people. More intimate weddings of up to 100 guests are seated in the newly-renovated Stone Mill, the city's first LEEDS certified event space, with reclaimed wood details at the bank of the Bronx River. Ceremonies can take place at multiple locations around the garden, with site fees varying by location.
With 150 acres of rolling lawns, sweeping views, formal gardens and magnificent mansions as your muse, Glenmere Mansion can conjure up many unique wedding experiences. The former industrial titan's estate turned posh boutique hotel has hosted tented weddings for 400 on the Meadow and also been used as a private country estate for a more hushed-over wedding weekend. No matter the celebration size, the common denominator here is luxe—the self-proclaimed "classic 19-suite playpen" has been lovingly remodeled for today's most discerning clientele with a full-service spa, Turkish baths, and a helicopter landing pad for guests. Glenmere is just a 50-mile hop, skip and a (Catskill) jump from Manhattan.