My fiance and I are dreaming of getting married in NYC - well worth the trek from Phoenix, especially for the small number of people who will attend (many of whom have never been to New York before).
Our plan is a wedding in the Fall or early winter of 2008, but since we are trying to keep the ceremony costs to a minimum, we are probably going to go with a short ceremony in Central Park, and therefore an early October date so it's not too cold to be outdoors. If there is an inexpensive indoor location someone could recommend, we would really rather have a December wedding. All those holiday lights would make a great backdrop for our guests' first visit to to the city.
After the ceremony, we'd like to pack our 30 guests into limousines, drive by a few classic NYC sights, and then end up at some fabulously cozy restaurant for the post-wedding dinner. It would be nice to give our Arizona relatives a peek at really great NYC cuisine and vibe. There will be a few kids in the dinner group (two babies, a toddler, a 5 yr old, and two 10 yr olds) but they are all exremely well behaved - in fact the 10 yr olds are budding foodies here in phoenix! Which reminds me - there are a few foodies among the adults, so a little bit of adventure on the menu would be fine. We definitely want a decent wine/champagne list, but not necessarily a full bar at this point in the evening. We don't necessarily need a private room; a more public environment would be fine as long as a few toasts can be heard above the din. We would like to keep the price under $100pp.
After dinner we will have the kids whisked off and plan to take some of the adults to a good jazz club, probably the vanguard, to finish off the night. (We'll get reservations in advance for sure, as it will be a Saturday night, most likely.) If we can walk to the vanguard from the restaurant, that would be excellent, but not necessary. We can always keep the limos on hand if we need them after dinner..
We would love ANY advice on locations/ideas/criticism for this tentative plan, and we fully trust our Chowhound brethren to point us in the right direction, whatever that may be! Happy new year!