Brooklyn has developed its own brand, and it’s very, very cool. Seen as the backyard of the creative-minded, the alternative, and the artistically and ethically innovative, being stamped with a Brooklyn address means that your wedding is at the forefront of modern tastes.
Brooklyn, like its neighbor Manhattan, lives to party. The sheer quantity of its residents—not to mention those out-of-towners who come here to throw a big-city bash—translates to an abundance of interesting venues and top-notch vendors for food, invitations, attire, entertainment, design, planning…you name it.
As the largest city in the United States, New York City is perpetually accessible by all modes of transportation. With three large airports (two international), two major train stations serving five different lines, a giant bus terminal, and even a serious seaport, Brooklyn wedding guests have tons of options for easy and convenient travel.
Brooklyn attracts top chefs, restaurateurs, and mixologists who are interested in creating not only perfect dining experiences, but also revolutionary styles of food and drink. A Michelin star-studded restaurant scene proves they are exceeding at just that, so the local fare will stand out for your guests as the best among the very good.
Back when rents were cheap(er), artists looking to save a dime flocked to Brooklyn’s quiet streets to set up shop. The atmosphere of an artsy, alternative enclave still pervades much of this diverse borough despite its growing mainstream popularity, so couples seeking a less traditional wedding where formal “rules” needn’t apply will feel right at home.
Ballgown or sheath? Lace or tulle? Simple or sparkly? These are just a few of the gajillion questions you might face when trying to pinpoint what kind of wedding gown speaks to you, which is a daunting task even for the most style-conscious bride. Luckily, Brooklyn’s dress experts are at the ready to help you weed through the racks of shapes and sizes, so get yourself to a local bridal shop and let the Great Try-On begin. Just remember to keep an open mind and a trustworthy second opinion by your side (two aunts, five cousins, and three work colleagues are not encouraged). After you’ve honed in on the dress, it’s time to consider your entire wedding ensemble from head to toe, including shoes, accessories, and jewelry...yep, that means bling, baby. Hie thee to a wedding ring and jewelry shop to find the ideal frosting for your bridal look, whether that be a pair of demure pearl studs or some serious sparkle action. Guys can get in on the goods, too: what better time to splurge on a pair of legit-fancy cufflinks or wristwatch? And of course, you’ll both need wedding bands; otherwise that whole “ring exchange” part of your ceremony will fall rather flat. These purchases will be some of the most fun and memorable of your whole wedding planning experience, so dive in and get to shopping.
We have no doubt that you’ve got your daily beauty routine down to a science, but for a wedding day look that you’ll wear well into the night, get the professionals involved. Book a trial appointment with Brooklyn hair and makeup stylists in advance of your wedding so you can lock down a style that suits you to a T. These experts will help you show off the loveliest version of yourself so that your natural beauty shines from every angle. Even if you’re more the DIY sort, consider bringing in beauty pros just this once; trust us, on the day of your wedding, it will feel amazing to have that “look super hot” aspect checked off the list. This is your time to shine, so indulge a little...why not be utterly unencumbered and ready to go by the time the big day rolls around? Warm up for your wedding with a trip to one of your local spas for a massage and mani/pedi. Whether you bring friends for a facial or treat yourself to a bit of alone time, relaxing before the main event will go miles towards focusing your mind on your person and your vows, instead of those pesky little details.
Brooklyn is the quintessential place to capitalize on unique, artistic style and throw tradition by the wayside—and it starts with dreaming up a wedding ceremony that’s all your own. Brooklyn wedding officiants can help get you there, devising a ceremony from scratch that expresses your unique relationship and focuses on the timeless union you both are entering. Make the moment even more personal by choosing local ceremony musicians to infuse the moment with the right ambience, and walk down the aisle to the beat of your own drum.
In such a bustling, ever-changing locale like Brooklyn, planning a top-notch reception is no easy feat. Hire a seasoned wedding planner to connect you to the right professionals and make sure that all the moving parts go exactly as planned. These local planners will make sure that your reception integrates the best of the borough, giving a nod to the handcrafted, avant-garde, and urban bedrock that elevates this hipster scene. Try a spunky beer garden wedding on for size, or say your vows on the sands of Luna Park in Coney Island. Once you have your ideal style pinned down, working with the plethora of talented local caterers and florists will be a cinch. Top it all off with a hip Brooklyn band or DJ, and you’re guaranteed a celebration that is as original to you as a couple as it is representative of the best this borough has to offer.
No one can nail down Brooklyn flavor in a single meal, which is both a blessing and a curse. The expanse of local restaurants—from industrial lofts to intimate restaurants to lively outdoor spaces—may be overwhelming, but it also means that your Brooklyn rehearsal dinner can take any form that your heart desires. Leaning towards an al fresco party in Prospect Park? Show off Brooklyn’s green side and bring in a local caterer to help make it happen, or check out the charmingly historic Picnic House for a rain-safe option in the same natural setting. If capturing the gritty, industrial-chic side of King’s County is more your style, opt for a backyard pre-party fueled by wood-fired flavors at Roberta’s Pizzeria. And that’s just to get you started; here’s more food for thought: clink glasses at Brooklyn Winery, check out one of Momofuku’s renowed eateries, or settle in amidst the timeless elegance of The River Café, complete with sweeping views of the New York skyline. The options are limitless, so home in on your personal style and cherish the time deliciously spent with your closest friends and family on the eve before your big day.
Brunch is such a cornerstone of Brooklyn restaurant culture that it’s more surprising to find an eatery without this midday meal. For those who want to keep the party going post-wedding (which will naturally be all your guests, am I right?), uphold this BK tradition with help from one of the many rave-worthy brunch spots in the area. Cozy up with homemade French toast at a Clinton Hill favorite like Aita, or enjoy free coffee while you wait for a coveted table at Enids with just your wedding party in tow. Wherever you end up, take this time to round up your nearest and dearest for a final goodbye (mimosas in hand) and an exciting rehash of the glorious details from the night before. Check out our recommendations below for local spots with scrumptious spreads that can help you plan brunch for a crowd.
Let’s be real: the next best thing to getting married is getting an invitation to a wedding. Tearing through the thick paper, anticipating a meaningful event on the horizon, opening mail addressed to you that isn’t a bill...we could go on. Your save-the-dates and invitations are your guests’ first glimpse into the world of your wedding, so it’s best to involve the experts. Head to a local invitation and paper goods boutique to get started. Brooklyn's calligraphy and paper pros will help design a suite of paper goods to reflect the tone and flavor of your wedding, as elegant or earthy as you like. Your invitation set is the place to drop hints (or broadcast info outright) about the dress code, if you’ll be offering a meal or cocktails, or if there is an opportunity to get in on a reserved block of hotel rooms. With Brooklyn's specialists on your side, printing up an invitation suite that suits your affair will be a cinch.
Brooklyn is a cultural, artistic, and scenic locale unlike any other in the country—that’s why you want to have your shindig here in the first place, right? As your guests travel near and far to this home of the hip, provide them with a fantastically curated, fantastically local Brooklyn wedding welcome bag that will impress upon them what makes this borough so cool. Beyond your basic necessities like a subway map (throw in a $5 MetroCard, too) and a weekend itinerary, consider Brooklyn-made treats to satisfy early morning cravings, like an Early Bird Crack of Dawn Granola Bar and bag of iced coffee concentrate from Grady’s Cold Brew. For a low-budget approach, wax poetic by including Brooklyn-themed postcards printed with a few verses of Hart Crane’s famous poem “To Brooklyn Bridge” or Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” for a dose of high-brow nostalgia.
In the land that made words like “artisanal” and “hand-hewn” everyday vocabulary, it’s not difficult to find unique, made-around-the-corner gifts to send home with guests at the end of your big night. What could be more quirky than organic cotton candy in flavors like Earl Grey and Mango whipped up on site by Williamsburg-based Handsome Dan’s Snocone and Candy Stand? Our Brooklyn wedding favor ideas get at the essence of a BK wedding: modern, creative, and delightfully unexpected takes on the concept.View Local Wedding Favor Ideas
Especially if your wedding is the first time out-of-towners have been to Brooklyn, the problem you’ll face is getting guests to stop exploring the area and show up on time—compelling experiences are everywhere. Brooklyn’s neighborhoods each have distinct charm, and much of it is best experienced on foot. Consider arranging a walking tour of Brooklyn’s most beautiful brownstones that leads guests through swoon-worthy Park Slope and ends in a picnic at Prospect Park. Or suggest a trip to two of DUMBO’s crowd-drawing culinary spots, Grimaldi’s pizza and Jacques Torres chocolates, followed by a post-indulgence stroll around Brooklyn Bridge Park (complete with incredible skyline views). Find great neighborhood guides and more online at TimeOut Brooklyn or nycgo.com Brooklyn.
You could (theoretically) eat your way through Brooklyn for years on end without seeing the same meal twice. This is a borough where ethnic enclaves meet hip, gritty hideaways; throw in a few of the most well-rooted institutions of fine dining around, and you’ve got a restaurant scene bursting with bright flavor, infinite variety, and unflagging talent. Dive into a Michelin star-rated plate at an upscale eatery like Blanca or indulge in fare that spans the globe: Parisian-style plates are a mainstay at Le Gamin in the same way that Köfte Piyaz lays claim to unapollegetically casual Turkish cuisine. Wherever your tastes land you, it’s a crime to let your guests make the trek to Brooklyn without partaking in the epicurean magic that’s always at work here. Browse through top restaurant picks at in-the-know sites like Brooklyn Happening magazine or NYCgo.com, or take a gander below at some of our well-researched, tried-and-true spots to indulge the senses and fill your belly.
Do the legwork for your out-of-town guests so that all they have to do is check in: cover your bases research-wise and suggest a few great spots for them to crash for the weekend. While there are plenty of familiar chain hotels in Brooklyn—especially near the Barclays Center transit hub on Atlantic Avenue—there’s also a growing number of more locally flavored boutique hotels that represent this city’s hip, laid-back personality. Tourists are now making this outer borough a destination of its own, which means that your search for Brooklyn wedding accommodations will be easier than you might expect. Start with TripAdvisor’s list of Brooklyn’s ten best hotels as a jumping off point, keeping in mind centrality while still offering a range of price points; or have a look through our suggestions for a sweet spot to stay in Brooklyn below.
You can’t get more iconic than the New York City skyline when it comes to great photographic backdrops. Take advantage of your proximity to these and other stunning urban landscapes by booking a Brooklyn engagement shoot with your wedding photographer. Even if skyscraper silhouettes aren’t your thing, Prospect Park and the borough’s other green spaces and waterfront vistas offer beaucoup natural beauty for romantic shots—like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, for instance. (Besides its abundant organic beauty, if you time it right, your photos could be framed by blooming cherry blossoms). For the artistically inclined, Bushwick offers a snapshot of street art at its finest; think vibrant and playful brick wall murals as a gritty backdrop for your engagement photos. Whatever your aesthetic, Brooklyn is teeming with picture-perfect settings just for you.
Bring your sense of quirky adventure when it comes to planning a totally Brooklyn bachelorette party. Capitalize on BK’s cutting-edge scene by catching one of the aptly named shows at Bizarre Bushwick, where you can have dinner and drinks while watching the Bushwick Burlesque or variety show Circus of Dreams. For something a bit more relaxing, get your ladies together for a totally indulgent spa party at Body by Brooklyn followed by a shared punch bowl at swank cocktail den Clover Club. For whatever mood you choose, Brooklyn is full of wild, delicious, and totally unique experiences to make your ladies’ night on the town one to remember.
Whether you and your buds prefer sipping aged single malt in leather armchairs, going nuts in the stands at your favorite team’s home games, or listening to hot DJs spin some fresh beats, Brooklyn has every kind of party scene covered. Find whatever moves you—from a night of pro hoops at the Barclays Center to an evening of fried chicken, craft beer, and bowling at Brooklyn Bowl—by checking out our complete list of ideas for a killer Brooklyn bachelor party. Who knows? You might even end up at a little slice of heaven-on-earth known as Barcade, the perfect marriage of American craft beer and retro video games (Ms. Pacman or Donkey Kong, anyone?) With big-ticket entertainment at home next to old-school dive bars, you can hit it all without leaving King’s County.
Where would we be without the immensely talented pool of Brooklyn wedding vendors? Their passion for planning, commitment to their couples, and incredible ingenuity is what makes the local wedding scene as remarkable as it is, and it's the unique team behind every wedding working together that makes each event an affair to remember. Their combined experience and expertise is second to none, and we want you to benefit from it while assembling your dream team of vendors. Check out our Spotlight Series for in-depth Q&As with the best of the best in the industry, and make sure to read the articles they've contributed to Borrowed & Blue for the most reliable wedding tips and tricks, straight from the source.
While Manhattan might get the lion’s share of visitors to New York City, Brooklyn’s popularity, especially in recent years, means that this rising-star borough also gets its fair share of foot traffic, festivals, and general city mayhem. Be sure to pay attention to Brooklyn’s major events that could clog up the works of this urban machine; steering clear of these dates could save you a serious headache when it comes to wedding planning.
When planning something as complex and significant as your wedding day, sometimes you just want friendly experts to step in and share some pearls of wisdom. Lucky for you, we know people (we’re sitting right here—wink wink). And we’ve got your back: insider tips, exhaustive research, and inspiring takes on all aspects of the planning process, compiled here specifically with your wedding location in mind. You’re just a few clicks away from wedding planning peace of mind…You’re welcome! (No thank-you note required.)
Check out some other useful local online resources to get you acquainted with all-things Brooklyn, from travel guides to the local restaurant scene to great local wedding blogs run by our friends in the industry: