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What Makes New York Weddings Different?

I was at my Sister in Law’s wedding in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago when someone started asking me about New York Weddings. She had said that she heard they were “different” and wanted to know what made them different from the rest of the country. I wasn’t going to write this post but then I saw a post over about weddings from a phenomenal blogger who I have little in common with but is awesome.  Ramit from I will Teach You To be Rich fame has a great post on how to pay for expensive weddings.

Four caveats. First, I will not say New York weddings are better…they just seem to be different.  Second these three differences are just my experiences and apply mostly to New York City and the surrounding areas – think Northern NJ, Long Island, NYC and all the boroughs.  I have only been to a handful of weddings outside the NYC area so I have no idea what they are like outside those few so please share.  Third, despite living on Long Island my lovely wife and her family are from Pennsylvania so I got married down there but we had all of these features.  Fourth, I am not saying any feature is necessary for an amazing wedding these are just my observations.

What Makes a New York Wedding Different?

There is always an Open Bar

Every wedding in New York I have been No questions asked there is an open bar at the wedding. It is usually done as an add on so if it is $XX or $XXX/plate then it will be another amount for open bar on top of that.  For example when you go to book at it is $100/plate then you will have an option to make it $110/plate for beer, wine and bottom shelf liquor or maybe it’ll be $115/plate for top shelf (I totally made up that $100/plate number).

There is Either a DJ or Band

The DJ vs. Band decision is a personal decision but I have never been to a wedding in the NY area without at least one of them. A good band could be thousands more than a great DJ.  I personally prefer DJs because I hate 70s dance music. At my wedding we had this cool DJ that had a drummer with them, sounded great for songs with a good amount of bass.

Courses are Spread out

This is one of the only differences that I believe should be necessary at all weddings. New York Weddings will have you eat, dance then eat, then dance.  Every wedding I have been to outside New York forces you to eat all courses first and then tells you after inhaling 3 courses worth of food to go dance.  It is horrible, I am full tired, and haven’t taken advantage of the open bar enough lol. The Wife and I actually had to fight with the place where we got married to make sure this was followed.



  1. Well, I have only been to weddings in New Jersey and even though they were all quite intimate, there was an open bar at all of them along with dancing between courses.

    Up until now I thought that was how weddings are supposed to be; I hadn’t realized it was something special to this area.

  2. The kind of wedding I want personally is one on a nice island somewhere, with close family and friends, palm trees, a nice beach, and maybe some coconut rum. 😉

    • The question is where do you cut people off? Who is considered close family and friends?

      Have a gf? Does she feel the same way, cause if not you will lose lol

      • People from HS that you haven’t seen in 5 years, 2nd cousins, etc… don’t count. I think 50 people, even less, would be more than enough. At least in my view… I think she secretly does want the big wedding, but I don’t know. I think she also sees the merits of my POV, too 😉

  3. Wait, there are weeding where you have to pay for drinks?!? I just can’t imagine that. I think at a wedding you want to do as much as you can for your guests (they are guests after all).

    I wonder of any of the changes have to do with the catering industry? Is it any different in NY or the tri-state area? What I mean is there are a lot of catering halls that are party-mills where you get your block of time and when it’s up the next group comes in. As such maybe the whole eating by course helps move things along? Just speculation.

    • Check out other blogs around the country and I think you’ll be shocked how open bar is not a nationwide thing

  4. I haven’t been to a ‘pay for drinks’ wedding before either, although I have been to no-alcohol weddings.

    I love when I go to a wedding and there is more food later on, although it is rare here in the midwest. At my wedding, we did appetizers, and then the big meal. If I had to do it over again though, it would not have been a big production. (It was 130 people, not huge by any means, but we paid for it ourselves, so it was costly.)

    I did not have a dollar dance though…

  5. For me, I think what makes a wedding a fun wedding is the open bar, so I hope that I get to go to a NYC wedding soon!

    Come to think of it though, I went to a wedding right in Manhattan a few years back but it didn’t have an open bar. The venue was gorgeous though!


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