Unconventional Wedding Venues Are in Demand

In 2016, Four Brothers Drive-In, and its adjacent restaurant in Amenia, N.Y., in Dutchess County, added weddings to their offerings. John Stefanopoulos, an owner of Four Brothers, along with the nearby Millerton Inn, in Millerton, N.Y., said bookings have only increased since the start of the pandemic.

“Once Covid happened, people went nuts. It amplified the movement to do nontraditional weddings,” he said. “Couples are going to local places rather than franchises.”

Mr. Stefanopoulos cited the desire for off-the-beaten-path experiences and outdoor options as attractions. Plus, couples have the opportunity to play their favorite film in the background. “We usually do the reception and cocktail party on our patio,” he said. “The ceremony takes place under the tents, and dinner and dancing happen in front of the big screen so you can watch while you’re eating.”

An eight-hour event for up to 200 people at Four Brothers costs $30,000 to $45,000 for the space, movie, food and service. Add-ons like tents, tables, chairs, D.J., photographer and flowers, or any other arrangements that Four Brothers can provide, like shuttle buses, will up the cost by another $10,000 to $15,000.

FlowerSchool New York is a floral design school by day and a venue space, known as ILA Penthouse, at night. Everything from designing, staffing, planning and executing the plant-focused menu happens in-house at its more than 4,000-square-foot space on the seventh floor of a building in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

“The amount of venues and staffing has decreased while people getting married has increased,” said Calvert Crary, the school’s executive director, who estimates the space will host 100 weddings next year.