Category Archives: Wedding Venues

9 Tips for Fabulous City Hall Weddings

Are you thinking about getting married at city hall? Here are some top tips for making it happen:

1. Start with the Marriage License: Take the plunge by checking out the marriage license requirements for the city hall where you’d like to get married. You’ll probably find that there will be a window of time in which you can get married after applying for a license, with a waiting period of a few days after you apply and a date when the license expires.

2. Make a Reservation: Some days and times, like Friday afternoons and the days before holidays, are especially popular for city hall weddings, and the clerk’s office can get crowded. You don’t want to get shut out on your chosen day. If you can, reserve a day and time for the ceremony.

3. Checklist: Check with the city clerk’s office well in advance of the ceremony to find out what you’ll need to bring on the day. At a minimum expect to need the marriage license, personal identification, and the ceremony fee.

4. Bring a Witness: Bring a witness to sign the marriage certificate. Make sure they bring personal identification and anything else the clerk requires.

5. Have Fun with Your Clothing Choices: Getting married at city hall gives you license to wear a wider range of styles than might be appropriate in a house of worship, so have fun thinking over your options. You can keep it ultra-traditional, of course, or something not at all associated with traditional wedding attire. Check out Marilyn Monroe’s chic traveling suit.

6. Add Special Touches: A bouquet of flowers and a boutonniere add that special wedding day feeling. Do flowers seem too formal? Treat yourself to a new tie or a chic little handbag to carry on the day.

7. Bring a Photographer: You’ll want photos of the day. Your friends and family will want to see photos of the day. If you’re not George Harrison and Patti Boyd being followed by a pack of paparazzi (sorry, no sound in the video above), you’ll need to arrange for your own photographer. Hire a professional or tap a friend with serious Instagram-worthy photo talent.

Simplicity Huppah Tiny8. Raise Your Huppah: Just because you’re getting married at city hall doesn’t mean you can’t get married under a huppah. Just choose a style that travels well, like this handheld Simplicity Huppah.

9. Celebrate: Even if you’re not planning a big traditional reception, make a plan to celebrate, whether it’s dinner at a favorite restaurant, a picnic in the park, or a weekend getaway. How about drinks and hors d’oeuvres with a small group of friends and family at your apartment? Check out How to Throw a Wedding with Very Little Space or Cash.


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On Trend Wedding Venues: Restaurants

East River Bar Brooklyn New York NY
At, we often ship huppahs directly to wedding venues, so we get a unique perspective on changing trends in venues. Five or six years ago we saw a big emphasis on unusual venues like museums, theaters, and zoos. But over the last few years we’ve seen a new trend emerging that has definitely taken hold: weddings at restaurants. Not restaurants for just receptions, but couples tapping a restaurant for both the ceremony and the reception.

Hosting a wedding at a restaurant makes sense for lots of reasons:

  • The wedding couple only needs to decorate one space instead of two spaces, and…
  • …because the space is already decorated, couples don’t need to spend a lot of time, money, and energy decorating the space. A few added focal points, such as flowers or wedding favors at the table settings, are all that’s needed. And the restaurant might already have vases or other decorative elements that you can use.
  • Without the need for travel between different locations for the ceremony and reception, transportation is simpler and less expensive. Couples save the trouble of making a second set of travel instructions and invitation inserts, and guests have less to worry about.
  • Restaurants have more of an incentive than hotels or catering halls to give you and your guests a good experience. As Matt Yglesias wrote in a Vox piece, hotels and catering halls don’t have a huge expectation that you or any of your guests will be back any time in the near future. But restaurants want to build a base of regular, repeat customers, which gives them a greater incentive to provide great service.
  • Another point by Yglesias: There are restaurants at all price points.

Finally, if you have a restaurant that you love as a couple, then holding your wedding there already makes the event personal and special. You’re sharing something you love with people you love.

Choosing a huppah for a restaurant wedding

One of the biggest logistical challenges in using the same place for the ceremony and the reception, of course, is changing the space over quickly between the two parts of the wedding. If there are chairs to move, or a huppah to move, you’ll want to be able to do that quickly to keep up the momentum of the event. A hand-held huppah is perfect for restaurant weddings because it can be removed in no time, freeing up the space for the party.

Restaurant spaces are often smaller, with lower ceilings, than those in catering halls or synagogues. So when thinking about your huppah, be sure to check not only how much floor space you’ll have but also how tall the ceiling is. Instead of eight-foot poles for your huppah, for example, you might need to go with seven-foot poles instead.

At you’ll find huppah poles in seven and eight-foot heights.

(Photo: Thanks to Alanna and Joe for sharing. Photo by Jacob Arthur.)

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You Can Now Get Married at Orange County Choppers

Orange County Choppers Event Venue
Orange County Choppers television show screenshotOrange County Choppers, of CMT television fame, now has an event space at their cafe showroom, and they unveiled it last night. The space has the cool, industrial feel you’d expect from a site associated with building customized choppers, and to get to the space your guests will walk past a collection of customized choppers in the gift shop. I’m a fan of saving on decorating costs by choosing a venue that already has a lot of personality, and this new venue makes a fun option.

For this space, I’d recommend the Ivory Silk wedding huppah.

The space is called the Hangar, and it’s located in the Orange County Choppers Cafe in the Orange County Choppers Complex in Newburgh, New York — that’s the Mid-Hudson Valley.

The flowers in the top photo are by Secret Garden Florist in Walden, New York.

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