Mike and I trekked into the city today to check out a few of the NYC venues we had in mind. Not only was it a gorgeous day and we ate tons of food, I think we may have just found the perfect spot for our wedding.
1.) Price – It can be done for $11,000 + the cost of catering
2.) Location – a stone’s throw from Brooklyn Bridge Park, with amazing views, easy access via subway, and nearby parking decks
3.) Atmosphere – trendy but not too trendy; artsy but not too pretentious; and unique beyond belief
4.) Staff – friendly, helpful, and creative
TOP REASONS WHY I WOULD NOT HAVE MY WEDDING AT GALAPAGOS:
1.) In all honesty, I can’t really think of a reason why I wouldn’t have my wedding here, unless caterers turn out to be way out of our price range.
Galapagos Art Space is in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn. Our friend Shaun had told us about it when we first mentioned that we were looking into loft spaces and the like, so we had added it to the list awhile ago. However, from the pictures we saw online, I wasn’t 100% sure if it was right for us. It almost looked a bit clubby to me, and as far as lofts went, I was more interested in a raw space like the Dumbo Arts Center.
Well, a visit to Galapagos changed my mind. Actually, it was even before the visit when it started to win me over: we had sent an email over to them, and got the most friendly and informative response from Robert Elmes, the director of the space. We started a great dialogue and learned a ton about the venue before even visiting–and knowing that they were being so helpful without our even visiting? I took this as a good sign.
But then, we actually saw it–and it won me over completely. A two-level venue, the first floor of Galapagos has a trendy bar, a stage (for either an indoor ceremony, dancing, or your band), and round tables and booths. However, these tables are on floating “islands” (i.e. Galapagos Islands!) with water underneath. And for weddings, they float candles and flower petals on the water. (Galapagos is big on candles. They’re everywhere–on the walls, behind the bottles at the bar, and yes, even on the water.)
There are more tables located on the second floor, along with a second, smaller bar–all overlooking the table “islands” downstairs. This second level plays a big part in the event, especially for those on a budget. To rent the venue for an entire Saturday night, it would cost somewhere in the $25,000 range–and that’s not counting a caterer. (Everything is included at Galapagos–bar, tables and chairs, even lighting and sound technicians–except for a caterer.) However, they have a couple-on-a-budget option, which I find even more intriguing than a regular old event: Say your ceremony starts at 3:30, held outside at beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park (Galapagos helps arrange this–you just need to get the $35 permit). Then you move inside to the Art Space and begin your reception. After the normal 4-to-5-hour party, with open bar and all, the party moves upstairs (at around 9pm). Meanwhile, the downstairs is opened to the public, and on the stage is held what they call the Floating Kabarette–a show complete with dancers, trapeze artists, and even free haircuts. (Random? Yes. Awesome? Double-yes.) And all this for only $11,000 (plus the cost of catering).
The only real “catch” for the Kabarette show is that any drinks made after that 9pm cut-off aren’t put on the “open bar” tab, so it either turns into a cash bar or needs to be put on a credit card (which could get dangerous); but after four or five hours of open bar, I don’t think this is a huge problem. And, of course, there’s the fact that random people will be inhabiting the downstairs. However, Galapagos ropes off the top section and puts a “bouncer” of sorts in charge of making sure no one crashes your party upstairs. All in all, I think this a fair trade-off for saving over $10,000 on the venue!
Mike and I checked out the other two places we had on the docket for that day–DAC and The Bell House located in the Gowanus section of Park Slope–but neither made us jump for joy quite like Galapagos did. (DAC was a bit too raw and empty, and The Bell House, although awesome, requires that you end your event by 5pm.)
So by the end of the day, Mike and I were 95% set on having our wedding at Galapagos. We still need to look into caterers (and the price of those caterers), but we got a really good feeling about Galapagos. And who wouldn’t want trapeze artists at their wedding?
GALAPAGOS ART SPACE
16 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201