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Wedding Planning


The Benefits To Hosting A Friday or Sunday Wedding


The other days of the week are just as great.

Photo Credit Kate Edwards Weddings

Photo Credit Kate Edwards Weddings

How much do we love a Friday wedding? Let us count the ways:

  • Everyone loves having big Friday night plans! Give your guests a reason to take off work early on a Friday. Just be sure to give them plenty of heads up by sending out a save the date as soon as you’ve locked the venue down.

  • The wedding is just the tip of the iceberg. With a Friday night wedding, your out of town guests will have Saturday (and possibly Sunday!) to explore the city, and spend time with family and friends. Check out our post on the best after-party spots in Gowanus >>

  • Plenty of time to soak in the day. Friday weddings usually start a bit later, so you’ll have lots of time to hang with your family and wedding party leading up to the big event.

  • With Saturday still being the most popular day to get married, you may have more luck getting married at the venue of your choice by choosing a Friday. Check our Friday availability here.

Reasons We Love a Sunday Wedding:

  • Get married at the venue of your choice. With Saturday still being the most popular day to get married, there are usually lots of Sundays to go around! Being open to a Sunday wedding also helps if you are having a shorter engagement, and need more date options. Check our Sunday availability here.

  • A BRUNCH RECEPTION! Bacon, spiked coffee, bloody marys, and bagels. People love brunch almost as much as they love weddings.

  • Are you and your partner early birds? With a Sunday wedding, you can get married earlier in the day, with enough time to Netflix and chill (with leftover wedding cake!) before catching your honeymoon flight the next morning.

  • You can pack the weekend with events and prolong the fun. Host a raucous welcome reception on Friday night, a park hang on Saturday, and your nuptials on Sunday afternoon followed by an after-party that goes into the wee hours. With a Sunday wedding, you’ll have more time to spend with friends and family!

  • Sundays can be more informal! If you’re not into the whole black-tie thing, throw a laidback Sunday afternoon wedding.

  • Or, if you do wanna get more fancy pants, go for fine china, champagne and a seated lunch, with a decadent raw bar.

  • Officiants of many denominations will be readily available for an off-day wedding. Many Jewish weddings, for example, take place on Sundays in deference to the Jewish Sabbath, which lasts from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. Most rabbis won't officiate until after sundown on Saturday, so during spring and summer the sun sets so late a Saturday evening wedding becomes impractical.


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Holiday Party Tips from Tinsel & Twine

We're ready for holiday party season. Are you? Our design pals at Tinsel & Twine got us in the spirit by taking over the styling of 501 Union and the Green Building to celebrate the beautiful mess of a stellar holiday party's aftermath. They left us with some tips on creating an atmosphere for guests to dance all night! Read through for their expert advice on hosting an unforgettable experience! 

1) Create a stylish lounge area that provides the perfect place for guests to perch, drop glasses, and kick of shoes between dance sets. 

2) Since guests will likely be spending quite a bit of time at the bar, we like to use this space as a blank canvas for striking flowers, lights, or other decor details.

3) The venues feel polished without being stuffy, and intimate with enough floorspace for spins and  high-kicks. Our clients have always had an amazing time there. And any given party tends to look like this by the end of the night: a beautiful mess!

4) We love the Gatsby-esque spectacle of serpentine streamers. Pick a big moment-- a toast or kiss at midnight-- and cue a bass drop for a big, explosive moment to let these fly."

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The New Rules for Groomsmen Style


The New Rules for Groomsmen Style

Guys, who says your wedding day attire has to be anything short of memorable? Ladies shouldn't be the only ones to have all the fun and personality in their wedding day attire. Luckily there's Ray Li of Suitable to bring us custom tailored suits to mix things up while staying fresh in your wardrobe. His tips for fresh groomsmen style were featured on Martha Stewart Weddings, we're so excited to share here. Check out the full stories here and here. We've pulled our favorite tips below! 

1. Break the mold

The groom chose them for a reason, so why not allow them to flaunt what makes them one of a kind? “It’s important that personal style shows through on a bride and groom’s wedding day and suit selection is a great place to start,” Li says. He sees more and more gents reading through GQ or scrolling Pinterest for ideas, which he encourages. But he says it’s also easy to get overwhelmed. Instead, home in on one plan for getting the guys outfitted that will allow them to flex their sartorial muscle within it.

2. Shake up the styles

Bridesmaids have been donning one hue in a variety of silhouettes, so why not follow their lead? After the groom chooses his tux style and the palette, he can share it with the guys. “His groomsmen can then each wear differentiating suit styles that fall within the color story,” Li says. 

3. Keep it clean

Proper grooming goes a long way in making any ensemble go from special to spectacular. A few days before the wedding, get the guys together for a bachelor party trip to the barber to get haircuts and a straight-razor shave—or a beard trim, if they’ve spent years growing one out to perfection. Or you could even hire a barber the morning of to come and give everyone a straight-razor shave (or a beard trim!) so you’ll all be wedding-photo ready.

4. Kick tradition to the curb

Who says you can’t walk down the aisle in sneakers? For a bash with a rock ’n’ roll edge, take a cue from Mick Jagger and let the guys strut their stuff in neutral sneakers. Think classic white Nikes or all-black Converse. “Don’t forget to ask for pictures of each groomsman’s sneakers before the big day,” Li says. “That way there won’t be any surprises.”

Venue: 501 Union
Custom Suits: Suitable
Photography: Judy Pak
Rentals: Two of a Kind
Liquor: Long Island Spirits
Barber: John Riviera
Hair and Makeup: La Voila Beauty Concierge
Table Manufacturer: David Flatt for Two of a Kind
Flowers: We Create and Co
Models: Billy Sarna, Conrad Clevlin, Fazon Gray, George Trinovitch



How to Make the Most Out of Open House

Attending an open house at the Green Building and 501 Union is one of the best ways to get a feel for it as your potential wedding venue. You can see the venue and our staff in action, and you can take your time exploring and asking questions as needed in a calm, no pressure environment. We always invite a few of our favorite vendors to join us, so open house is also a great opportunity for those who have already booked the venue but are still looking for vendors to help execute their dream wedding. Visit our calendar for upcoming open house dates, and check out some of our tips for making the most our of your visit:

Photo by Dutton + James

Photo by Dutton + James


  • Bring a friend or family member to bounce ideas off of – preferably someone whose opinion you value, but who won’t stand in the way of your vision.

  • Bring your phone, camera, and notebook to take notes, document the venue, and quickly find your favorite vendors online.



Take a peek at the venue's private suite – can you imagine yourself getting ready there, or having a quiet moment before the ceremony begins?  Is there enough light for hair and make-up, is the furniture comfortable, is there enough space for your wedding party?



Open house is a great time to meet potential vendors. You can ask about their familiarity with the venue and get to know their personalities in person rather than browsing endlessly online. Are they warm and friendly? Are they knowledgeable about the venue?



Be prepared to take many photos of the venue from all angles. If you notice a particular design element you like about the venue, document it! If you are visiting a few different venues, they could all start to blur together so you'll want to take note of standout features to jog your memory. 



Our venue coordinators will be onsite to answer any questions you have about hosting an event at 501 Union. When you book the space, you will be assigned a venue coordinator who will be your guide from the time you sign the contract until the last pickup after the wedding. Say hello to them at open house!  



In addition to getting a feel for the venue itself, keep an eye out for other spots that would be good photo ops for first look and family photos. Take a short walk around our block and you'll find plenty of interesting murals, quintessential Brooklyn stoops, colorful buildings, and industrial vignettes with tons character.



You’re going to be looking at tons of venues and meeting all kinds of people trying to sell you things throughout the planning phase, so try to make it fun. Taste all the food, drink all the booze. Turn it into a date night, and hit up one of these local spots after you leave open house.


Have more questions? Ask us in the comments!



Where to Host an After Party in Gowanus

Last call is being served, the DJ has taken your final requests, and the tables have been cleared. It's the inevitable end to the blissful day, but you aren't quite ready to say good night. Luckily you don't have to stumble too far off to keep the night going. New spots are constantly popping up around Gowanus, so after you're done partying at the Green Building or 501 Union, invite your guests to join you at one of these local favorites.

Photo by Chellise Michael

Photo by Chellise Michael

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club 

We've spent many evenings here shuffling our nights away. It's an ideal boozy activity - doesn't require too much movement but still gets everyone out of their seats. Courts are $40/hr with court-side bar service, and rotating food trucks are onsite to satisfy late night munchies.  Or if you're feeling generous, reserve a cabana with a 2-hr open bar for your late night revelers. 


Lavender Lake

For those looking for a classic after party bar with an expansive outdoor garden. Our favorite happy hour spot always treats our guests well at the end of the night. In fact, they've been known to craft a special cocktail for your guests only.  


Ample Hills Creamery

Small weekday elopement? Continue the charm with an ice cream social themed after party.  For parties of up to 110 guests, you can rent out their adorable party room and roof deck. Challenge your guests to take on the Trough, a family-style sundae made with 8 scoops of ice cream on top of  a whole pie. Top that with BYOB. Whiskey floats, anyone? 



You've been dancing all night, so if you're looking to keep up that energy, Insa's private karaoke is the spot. They've got 5 different themed karaoke rooms. The largest holds 22 people and goes for $160/hr. We're curious about the deep sea room. Do you think it's modeled after the canal? 


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How to Choose the Right Venue for Your Wedding

Editorial wedding inspiration blog the LANE asked us to guest write some inside advice for couples who are just beginning the wedding planning process. It all starts with the venue! Here's what we told them. You can also find this on their site. 

So you’ve said Yes! and the elation has settled (sort of), and it’s time to start planning for the big day. The first box to check off is the venue. Locking down your venue means you’ve officially got a wedding date and can start diving in deeper to securing vendors and bringing it all together. Maybe you’ve had your eye on a dream venue, or maybe you’re looking at a few different options. It’s a big decision, but don’t fret, we understand your wedding may be the first big event you’ve ever thrown. As one of Brooklyn’s most sought after venues, we’ve got all the inside tips on how to choose the right venue for you and what to ask during your tours. 


First you’ll need to have an estimated guest count. Ask the venue for their capacity sweet spot where guests aren't cramped or the space doesn’t feel overwhelming. Then check their website calendar for availability. And then of course, there’s pricing. Venues typically have a tiered price structure based on season and day, so if your dream wedding venue seems out of budget, you never know what could happen if you choose an off-peak date. Saturdays fill up first, sometimes 12-18 months in advance, so if you’re into a Friday bash or chic Sunday brunch wedding then you’ve opened yourself up to plenty more options. Or even consider a dreamy winter wedding! 



How hands-on do you want to be? Is it a full service venue that handles everything from the bouquets to the timeline, or is it a raw space that gives you ultimate creativity in design and flow? See what types of caterers work in the space. Food trucks are a popular option, but not every venue can accommodate them. Some venues have a dedicated in-house caterer while some offer the freedom to bring in one of your own choosing. That goes for all vendors, too. At 501 Union, we pride ourselves on the flexibility to choose your own vendors to bring your vision to life. One very important question to ask: How many other events will happen on the same day as yours? Do you have a fully private rental, or are you only allowed onsite after another wedding has finished? Or worse - will you have to rush out before the next one starts?



A wedding is possibly the first time you will host a large, important event, so you may be surprised to learn all the less-than-glamorous details that go into it. Did you realize you'll need event insurance? Or that it really takes a large team of reception staff to operate the day? Ask the venue what all is included in the rate: number of hours including setup and breakdown, staff, furniture, tableware, and other amenities, and who is responsible for clean up? 



We want every couple to feel excited about their venue, so choose one that feels right for your needs and taste. If you just lost the date on your dream venue, take some time off before you visit the next one so you don’t feel like you’re settling. Or if you arrive at your dream venue but start noticing red flags or making a ton of compromises, then it’s likely that things won’t get much easier. You're booking a venue for more than just its aesthetics, but also the people and staff who you need to connect well with in order to make your big day and the planning process run smoothly. Once you've found your perfect venue, congratulations! You're one step closer to marrying the love of your life!

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