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Creative pay-your-own-way wedding eve drinks/dinner venue for 25

bklynbird | Apr 23, 201408:20 AM

My dad and his partner are getting married to celebrate their 25th anniversary on Sat, May 17, at 11 a.m. on the upper east side. There will be a luncheon at the 21 club, hosted by the couple, following the ceremony. My brother and I are hosting the Sunday brunch, I think at Brasserie 8 1/2 but we haven't called to lock that in yet.

The couple and guests are all coming in from out of town for the weekend. (Most of the guests are at least somewhat familiar with NYC.) My brother and I, who both live here, have to find a place for the Friday night dinner, which is where I seek your collective wisdom.

Unlike other weddings in which we have participated in the planning, the guests will need to pay for their own meal. My dad's brother is treating the group to the bar bill. How do we plan this to minimize awkwardness surrounding the tab?

We feel like we'd like to avoid a traditional sit-down meal and instead come up with a playful non-traditional format. We've tossed around ideas like scouting for good food trucks near the high line so we can enjoy a sunset picnic on the high line; a boat tour where people just buy their ticket and whatever food they want; busing everyone out to the shuffleboard place in Brooklyn; a pizza tour.

Most promising may be to find an place that offers informal seating and small plates so everyone can mill around, put down their card and order what they will throughout the evening. The couple are in their seventies and get around fine but we need to be mindful of finding a comfortable solution.

I much appreciate your thoughts!

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