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Redheaded Stepchild: You Want How Much For That???


A blogumn by Reheaded Stepchild

I’m feeling nauseous today.  It could be an overabundance of alcohol on a system plagued by reflux, or it could be my stomach angrily venting about the cost of renting space for a wedding.

My dream was to have an apartment big enough for one hundred people and have the ceremony there.  Say….oh, I don’t know…a brownstone.  We have friends who rent two floors of a brownstone with a little backyard in a crap neighborhood for an amount of money that is quite reasonable for New York City, but still more than BPD and I can afford.  I wanted a place like theirs.  Somewhere homey and comfy and ours.  I wanted to feel that we were inviting folks to our space to share a great day with us.  I was holding out for a magical change of fortunes: that somehow we’d start making much more money before our lease ran out and be able to get my dream wedding apartment. However, the gods of New York City simply shook their heads at me and laughed.

So we began researching other locations.  And discovered: this wedding thing is a racket, y’all.  It seems like any place that might have had affordable rental fees is hitched to something outlandish.  Like the Prospect Park Picnic House, which you can rent for $4200, but you must use one particular catering company, and that catering company charges around $140 a head.

Same with the Palm House at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.  If you don’t want to use their catering company, you can get married in the gardens themselves between 9 and 10 am.  That’s not going to happen with these night owls.

The crowning, depressing glory of our (admittedly minimal) search thus far has been the Brooklyn Museum, where you can rent a room for a few hours for the low fee of ten thousand dollars.  TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!  And that’s not including catering or booze or music or dresses or cake or invitations.

I see now how easy it would be to drop the price of a college education on a one-day event.  Lemme tell you: if I’m going to spend 45 grand on something, I’d a) better get a new job, and b) spend it on something that will last longer than a day.  On, say, a down payment for a brownstone.

The point is, friends, this shit is crazy.  We don’t have that kind of money at our disposal, and since we both come from enormous families, we can’t expect that our parents will pay for it.  They’ll pitch in when they can, sure, but we’ll be footing most of the bill.

So what’s next?

I say if you can’t buy a brownstone, rent one and pretend it’s yours!   We’ve found a lovely brownstone B&B in our neighborhood and we’re going to ask the owners if we can rent it out for an evening.  That way we can have the all-night partay that we’re hoping for in a place that feels less shiny and generic than a hotel.

I’ll let you know how that goes.