This retro-inspired venue has one of Brooklyn’s coolest vibes
Built in 1916, 501 Union is a vintage-inspired space that was originally used to restore classic cars. (A nod to this history can be seen out front, where several vintage cars are always parked.) Refurbished in 2013 as a unique event space, 501 Union is one of the boroughs most sought after wedding venues due to its stone and steel construction and old-world yet modern design. Its sister venue, The Green Building, is right across the street.
The space is divided into three areas: The Lounge, the Courtyard, and the Reception Hall. You can use the spaces however you like. The Lounge is conducive to cocktails – before the ceremony or right after. The sunlit Courtyard can be used for your ceremony, and after the reception it makes a great spot for dessert. A food truck can roll up into the space and serve your favorite late night snacks too! For dinner, and dancing, the Reception Hall can be arranged in several configurations that can accommodate a band or DJ and dance floor.
For more specifics on headcounts: 501 Union can hold 299 guests for a standing-room only cocktail-style party, 160 for a seated dinner with dancing, and for cocktail parties with limited informal seating 250 without a stage and dance floor. If you want a stage and a dance floor the max head count goes down to 200.
The atmosphere is understated but still quite grand, with a 50’ skylight, two 15’ Carrara marble top bars, Jason Miller Modo chandeliers, brass fixtures, detailed woodwork and a white tin ceiling. Couples looking for an Art Deco or mid-century modern wedding look and feel will have a hard time finding a better location for their wedding. We’ve also seen pastel and painterly settings in the venue, so it can be quite versatile. All it takes is some imagination and a talented planner and floral designer.
One event is held each day, so you won’t have to worry about another event running into yours. The venue is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. for each event, and a member of their events team will work with you to coordinate the delivery schedule for your vendors. (We would highly recommend a wedding planner, or at-least a day-of coordinator to alleviate some of the day-of logistics.)
In addition to the venue, 501 Union offers exclusive bar packages that allow couples to choose a beverage menu and service that fits both their budget and tastes. They can also provide table and chair rentals, AV technical support, day-of coordination services, floral and event design packages and prop rentals. The only restriction on vendors, besides the bar, is party rentals. They have an exclusive agreement with Broadway Party Rentals for flatware, kitchen items, linens, etc. Their vendor recommendation list is pretty extensive and a highly-rated group, though you’re not required to use any of them.
The venue is in the heart of a bustling, and under construction, neighborhood, so while guests can find street parking you may want to consider a valet service so they’re not driving around in circles looking for a spot. For younger guests who want to take the subway, the N/R is about three long blocks, though of course an Uber isn’t hard to get. Guests who want to book a local hotel room can find moderately-priced rooms at the NU Hotel in Boerum Hill, or at Downtown Brooklyn’s Sheraton, A-Loft or Marriott. The higher-end Wythe Hotel is a little further away in the heart of Williamsburg.
Prices vary depending on the month and day of your wedding. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are more expensive than the rest of the week, and prices are higher in the Spring, Summer and Fall months. Exceot to pay around $10,000 for a weekend wedding in peak-wedding season. Unlike many venues they post their availability calendar right on their website so you can quickly look at the dates available.
All photos courtesy of 501 Union. Credits below:
Row of 3, left to right: Fiona Conrad, Chana Blumes Photography, 501 Union
Set of 6, clockwise from the top left: 501 Union, Chaz Cruz Photography, Fiona Conrad, Lev Kuperman, Lev Kuperman, Chaz Cruz Photography