Average Base Cost: $43,000
Average base cost for a Brooklyn Historical Society wedding is calculated by figuring a 80-person guest list on a Saturday night using their rental fees for the Othmer Library and average catering costs as provided by one of their preferred caterers. Transportation to venue, entertainment, additional decorations, DJ, and photography are not included. Average price includes gratuity and state sales tax. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand.
How it breaks down:
Facility Rental Fee: The space is setup as follows:
Main Floor & Lobby
- Monday – Sunday (5:00pm-12:00am): $5,000
- Monday – Sunday (ceremony only; access from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.): $2,500
- Monday – Friday (5:00pm-12:00am): $5,000
- Monday – Friday (ceremony only; access from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.): $2,500
- Saturday – Sunday (5:00pm-12:00am): $6,000
- Saturday – Sunday (ceremony only; access from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.): $3,000
The Entire Building
- Monday – Friday (5:00pm-12:00am): $9,000
- Saturday-Sunday (5:00pm-12:00am): $10,000
What’s Included: Event staff as well as furniture (tables, chairs, stage) and audiovisual equipment(microphones, projector/screen)
Food and Beverage: You must use one of the Brooklyn Historical Society’s preferred caterers, which include Abigail Kirsch, Bartleby and Sage Catering and Cloud Catering among others. A quote from the Abigail Kirsch catering company was around $350/pp (which can be higher or lower depending on your selections) which included the following (based on a 100-person, 5-hour event)
- Butlered hors d’oeuvres (such as sirloin patty melt sliders, mediterranean lamb meatballs, and balsamic roasted wild mushrooms)
- Entrée with starch and vegetable
- Wedding cake
- Dessert, cookies and coffee
- Staff of 1 waiter per table; 2 bartenders, 2 chefs, 2 kitchen helpers; a captain, and a party manager
- Bar – to include liquor, wine, beer, and a sparkling wine toast, as well as ice, soda, juice, mixers and fruit
Food/Beverage average cost with the above is $ 270-$280/pp (plus tax, delivery, and administrative fee) plus rental equipment from Broadway Rentals for around $60-$75/pp. Combined with your food/beverage total above brings you around $350/pp (plus tax and delivery, depending on the menu and your rental selections). This price also includes a kitchen set-up since the Brooklyn Historical Society does not have one.
Important Note: Red wine and dark beverages are prohibited during cocktail events in the Library.
Space Type: Inside (a small outside space for approximately 40 people can be rented and tented for an additional rental fee)
Size: The layout breaksdown as follows
Great Hall on the Main Floor can accommodate:
- 200 guests for a cocktail style reception
- 200 guests for public program-style/movie screening event seating
- 130 guests for a sit-down dinner with small dance floor
The Othmer Library can accommodate up to:
- 125 guests standing
- 120 guests for a cocktail party
- 80 guests for a sit-down dinner
NOTE: A newly renovated Educational Classroom on the lower level can be used as a work station for the 2 event spaces or rented separately.
Bridal Suite: No. All clients and guests are asked to prepare for their event offsite.
Bathrooms: They have a public restroom on the lower level, and two (2) bathrooms on the second floor next to the Library, each with its own full-length door and sink.
Parking: Very limited street parking is available, as well as parking garages. It’s recommended that guests use public transportation or that you arrange for a shuttle/car service.
Food Service Type: Your choice
How Will Grandma Get There? The Brooklyn Historical Society is located in gorgeous Brooklyn Heights, which is about 20 minutes (6 miles) from Grand Central Station. I would shuttle/arrange transportation for out-of-town guests if they are staying in the city.
Party On! All events must begin after 5:00 pm and end by 12:00 am. This includes time for setup and cleanup.
This four-story Queen Anne style building was designed by architect George B. Post and completed in 1881. In 1991 the building was recognized as a National Historic Landmark and included on the National Register of Historic Places. The Brooklyn Historical Society (founded in 1863 as the Long Island Historical Society) transformed it’s auditorium into a Red Cross Headquarters during World War 1 by removing the seats and building a flat floor over the original sloping floor. During the mid-twentieth century, the Brooklyn Historical Society operated only as a library but continued to add to its collections. Now, the Brooklyn Historical Society has the most comprehensive collection of Brooklyn-related materials in existence and serves as both a library and museum when not hosting events.
Woman Getting Married Says:
It doesn’t get more Brooklyn than a wedding at the Brooklyn Historical Society! The building is gorgeous and getting married or having dinner in the Othmer Library will definitely be a highlight of your day. While NYC and Brooklyn have so many gorgeous wedding venues, I don’t envy the bride trying to plan a wedding on a budget there. The food/beverage cost per person at almost all of the prime venues is very high, which is why you should run or jump at the chance to get married at a venue that lets you bring in your own caterer so you can shop around for the best prices. However, given that information, most of the caterers I’ve spoken to in the area (including the one for this write-up) are very nice and will work with your budget/needs. Now that that is out of the way, I really like this venue if you can rent out the entire building (which is not cheap at a $10k rental price for a Saturday night, but for the area/space is not totally out of whack). Otherwise I would look to have a smaller wedding (less than 80 people) in the library. You can have dancing in the Great Hall if you rent out the space or the entire building, but as your sole venue space it’s just not as special as the library, in my opinion. While you can definitely have your wedding ceremony there (the library is such a great spot) it’s also close to possible ceremony locations such as Brooklyn Bridge Park or Adam Yauch Park, which was dedicated to the memory of the former Beastie Boy in 2013.