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Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Manhattan, Venue | 0 comments

Wedding Venue Cost: Chelsea Piers Lighthouse 2

Last time, I analyzed the cost of a Saturday evening wedding at Chelsea Piers Lighthouse and not surprisingly, the venue was quite expensive given its popularity and location in New York City. Nevertheless, if you really love the idea of a wedding along the Hudson River, you may want to consider a Friday or Sunday evening wedding at Chelsea Piers Lighthouse instead as you’ll save quite a bit.     Wedding Venue: Chelsea Piers Lighthouse Date Price Quoted: Winter 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: December 2014 (Friday or Sunday evening) Price Assumptions: Includes ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception for 150 guests Room Name: N/A Capacity: 275 Venue Fee: $1,900 Catering Per Person: $195 Tax: 8.875% Gratuity: 23% Total Wedding Venue Cost: $41,239   The Main Point Compared to the estimated cost of $52,287 for a Saturday evening wedding, you’ll save over 20% by going with a Friday or Sunday evening wedding. The catering cost per person drops from $250 to $195 but otherwise, all other cost aspects stay the same. Another important point to...

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Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Manhattan, Venue | 0 comments

Wedding Venue Cost: Chelsea Piers Lighthouse

Wedding venues in Manhattan often feature views of a park or a great skyline, but Chelsea Piers Lighthouse offers a dramatic view of the Hudson River in an intimate setting all without leaving Manhattan. The Lighthouse is one of the most sought-after venues in New York City and is a joint venture between Chelsea Piers and the highly regarded Abigail Kirsch catering company. We attended a friend’s wedding at Chelsea Piers Lighthouse earlier this year and not surprisingly, it was fantastic. Out of curiosity, I followed up with one of the sales manager and received a price quote for 2014.     Wedding Venue: Chelsea Piers Lighthouse Date Price Quoted: Winter 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: December 2014 (Saturday evening) Price Assumptions: Includes ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception for 150 guests Room Name: N/A Capacity: 275 Venue Fee: $1,900 Catering Per Person: $250 Tax: 8.875% Gratuity: 23% Total Wedding Venue Cost: $52,287   The Main Point The minimum number of guests required for Saturday evenings at Chelsea Piers Lighthouse is 200, but I’ve...

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Manhattan, Venue | 0 comments

Wedding Venue Cost: Per Se #2

Recently, I analyzed the cost of a wedding at Per Se’s West Room, which seats 60 guests. For larger accommodations, consider privatizing the entire restaurant and hosting your reception in the Per Se Main Dining Room.     Wedding Venue: Per Se Date Price Quoted: Summer 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: Winter 2014 (Friday evening) Price Assumptions: Includes dinner reception for 80 guests Room Name: Main Dining Room Capacity: 80 Venue Fee: $5,000 Catering Per Person (Low Range): $185 Catering Per Person (High Range): $270 Tax: 8.875% Gratuity: 25% Total Wedding Venue Cost: $80,000+   The Main Point The catering cost is the same whether you are reserving the West Room or the Per Se Main Dining Room. $185 will get you the four course menu while $270 will get you the nine course chef’s tasting menu. The venue fee, however, goes up significantly when you book out the whole restaurant. For access starting at 5pm, the venue fee is $5,000. If you want all-day access, the venue fee becomes...

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Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Manhattan, Venue | 0 comments

Wedding Venue Cost: Per Se

Thomas Keller is one of the world’s most famous chefs, and some of his restaurants include the legendary French Laundry in California and Per Se in New York City. It’s extremely difficult to get a prime dining time reservation at these restaurants. As a result, it’s not a surprise that some couples are interested in making private bookings to create an unforgettable wedding reception. In fact, two of my good friends held their reception at Per Se, and every aspect of the evening was impeccable. I never asked them what the cost was, but I was able to obtain an estimate for a possible Friday evening reception in winter 2014.     Wedding Venue: Per Se Date Price Quoted: Summer 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: Winter 2014 (Friday evening) Price Assumptions: Includes dinner reception for 60 guests Room Name: West Room Capacity: 60 Venue Fee: $750 Catering Per Person (Low Range): $185 Catering Per Person (High Range): $270 Tax: 8.875% Gratuity: 25% Total Wedding Venue Cost: $19,327   The Main...

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Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Bachelor/Bachelorette Party, Manhattan | 0 comments

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Cost: Chelsea Piers Mini Olympics

Bachelor party, bachelorette party, stag party – whatever you want to call it, they have become an integral part of wedding traditions. The old theory was that this party is the last time the groom or bride will be single and as a result, they should go nuts and live life as a single person one final time. I think that thought process is absolutely wrong but happy to hear your thoughts. Instead, I believe the bachelor/bachelorette party is a time to take a break from all the wedding planning and spend quality time bonding with your closest friends. One great way to do that is via the Chelsea Piers Mini Olympics. [Update 9/1/15] The price increased from $65 to $70 a person.     Party Venue: Chelsea Piers Mini Olympics Activity: Mini Olympics Date Price Quoted: May 2013 Party Date Quoted For: June 2013 (Saturday afternoon) Venue Fee: $0 Additional Cost Per Person: $70 Tax: 0% Total Party Venue Cost: $70 per person   The Main Point The Chelsea Piers Mini...

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 in Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, Credit Cards, Hilton, Hotel, Manhattan | 0 comments

Wedding Hotel Stay at the Conrad New York Luxury Suite

While I live in New York City as do many of my groomsmen, my fiancé at the time and some of her bridesmaids did not live in the city. Given that our wedding was in Manhattan, we had to find a place that was big enough for my fiancé and three out of four bridesmaids (one lives in the city), was not too expensive, and was clean. For those familiar with New York City, you know how impossible that can be sometimes! Except it’s a whole lot easier if you use airline miles and hotel points especially when you leverage the free Hilton HHonors gold status and free Hyatt diamond status you can obtain. In the end, we decided to book the Conrad New York, which is a Hilton property and was recently remodeled thus very clean. It’s not in a busy touristy area (which may be a negative to some but a positive for us) but instead located near the Hudson River down by Battery Park. Most importantly, I...

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Manhattan, Transportation | 0 comments

Wedding Transportation Cost: Regal Carriage

Instead of booking a limousine, my fiancée and I are going with a car service from Regal Carriage to shuttle us around on our wedding day. Limos can be very pricey costing hundreds of dollars for a short ride and while it’s cool to ride in a stretch limo, I’ve done it before, and it’s really nothing too special. We thought it was more important to save money on aspects, such as transportation and wedding cake, so that we can invite more guests while sticking to our budget. As a result, we though the SUVs from Regal Carriage were perfect for our needs.   Wedding Transportation: Regal Carriage Date Price Quoted: May 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: July 2013 (Saturday evening) Price Assumptions: One vehicle, one way Capacity: 6-passenger SUV Transportation Fee: $67.50 Tax: $7.55 Gratuity: 20% Total Wedding Transportation Cost: $90.05   The Main Point If you look at Regal Carriage’s rates, you’ll see that SUV rides within Manhattan are $75. If you mention their website when you make a reservation, however, you...

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Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Amazon, Citi Forward, Credit Cards, Manhattan | 0 comments

Peony Red Qipaos at Great Prices

For those not familiar with what a qipao A.K.A. cheongsam is, Wikipedia describes a qipao as, “a body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women.” It was first popularized during the 1920s in Shanghai and today is a wardrobe staple for Chinese brides and even some non-Chinese brides! Here is what more modern qipaos look like, although you may be more familiar with the traditional silk, red qipaos featuring dragon or flower designs.     Peony Red Qipao Like a wedding dress, a qipao is an important price consideration for many brides, especially those who do not have the luxury of going overseas to Hong Kong or China to buy one for cheaper. If you shop for a high-quality, 100% silk qipao here in New York City, it will run you ~$300. Fortunately, I found a way better deal and from one of the more reputable qipao sellers in the city. The store is called Peony Red and if you Google for qipaos in New York City, you will consistently see...

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Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Hair and Makeup, Manhattan | 0 comments

Wedding Hair and Makeup Cost: Sissi Chan

If you search Wedding Wire for hair and makeup artists in the NYC area and sort by average reviews, Sissi Chan is the #1 result with a perfect 5 stars in 25 reviews. She doesn’t offer any group or package rates since she works alone without an assistant, but her prices are very straight forward. As a result, Sissi Chan might be the perfect fit for your wedding if you have a smaller bridal party.   Wedding Hair and Makeup Artist: Sissi Chan Date Price Quoted: February 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: July 2013 (Saturday) Price Assumptions: Includes airbrush application for bride and 4 bridesmaids Assistant: No Airbrush Application: Yes Estimated Preparation Time: ~2 hours for bride, 1.5 hours per bridesmaid Package Fee: $1,350 Trial Fee: $175 Engagement Shoot Fee: $175 (estimated) Travel Fee: $0 Tax: 0% Gratuity: 0% Total Wedding Hair and Makeup Cost: $1,700   The Main Point The first thought that popped into my head when I looked at Sissi Chan’s prices was that it reminded me a...

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Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in DJ, Manhattan | 0 comments

Wedding DJ Cost: Scratch Weddings

As I mentioned in my post about The Engagements Cover Band, music and entertainment is a big consideration for your wedding and one of the main questions you’ll have to answer is, “DJ or band?” Each option has its pros and cons but if you go with a DJ, I highly recommend Scratch Weddings.   Wedding DJ: Scratch Weddings Date Price Quoted: February 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: July 2013 (Saturday) Price Assumptions: DJ for at least four hours DJ Fee: Between $1,500 and $2,000 Travel Fee: $0 Tax: 0% Gratuity: 0% Total Wedding DJ Cost: Between $1,500 and $2,000   The Main Point My opinion may be considered biased since my fiancée and I actually decided to book a DJ from Scratch Weddings, but I’ll try to be objective. First of all, you’ll notice that I gave a price range this time instead of the usual bottom line estimate. The reason is because Scratch Weddings is one of our wedding vendors so out of courtesy, I asked them...

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