How Much Does a Rainbow Room Wedding Cost?

Last Updated on February 8, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The iconic Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center offers a spectacular, one-of-a-kind location for your New York City wedding. As one of the most elite wedding venues in NYC, hosting your reception at this landmark setting comes at a significant cost.

However, the unparalleled views, luxury amenities, and exclusivity make it a top pick for couples planning a fairytale wedding.

So what exactly does it cost to have your wedding at the Rainbow Room? While prices vary based on the size of the event, services included, and level of personalization, most couples spend upwards of $150,000 for their Rainbow Room wedding.

From the venue rental fee to the catering, decor, and entertainment, every element of a Rainbow Room wedding adds up quickly. However, the end result is an unforgettable wedding in one of the most iconic locations in New York.

How Much Does a Rainbow Room Wedding Cost?

The first major expense for a Rainbow Room wedding is the venue rental fee. This covers the use of the event space for both the ceremony and reception. The minimum cost starts at $15,000 just to secure the venue for a date.

On top of the venue rental fee, there is a required food and beverage minimum starting at $35,000. This ensures that couples invest enough in catering services at the Rainbow Room. So between the rental and food/beverage costs, the base price starts at $50,000.

The venue rental fee includes access to the event space for up to 5 hours. It also covers basic furnishings, tables, chairs, linens, and housekeeping. However, all other elements of the wedding from florals to entertainment must be arranged separately.

Wedding Packages and Customization

One way to simplify wedding planning at the Rainbow Room is to take advantage of their all-inclusive wedding packages. Packages start at $350 per guest with options to upgrade for added amenities.

The basic package includes the venue, a 3-course dinner with open bar, basic florals and lighting, and wedding cake. Upgrades might include a luxury bridal suite, upgraded menus, premium bar selection, and enhanced floral designs.

For full customization, most couples spend $500 or more per guest. This allows you to hand-pick everything from the menu to the floral centerpieces. The Rainbow Room also offers referrals to preferred photographers, entertainment, and other wedding vendors.

With custom packages, you can tailor the wedding to fit your unique vision with pricing to match. However, full customization requires extra planning, coordination, and an expanded budget.

Catering and Bar Expenses

Since the Rainbow Room requires a food and beverage minimum, catering costs make up a significant portion of the overall budget. Menu options range from $200 to over $300 per person, with several tiers of service to choose from.

This covers the full meal from cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres to a 3 to 5-course plated dinner. wine selections, champagne toasts, and late-night snacks. Upgrades might include caviar, carving stations, or premium alcohol add-ons.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a wedding at Monterey Bay Aquarium, Yale Club, or Dodger Stadium.

Bar expenses also add up quickly for a Rainbow Room wedding. Most couples opt for top-shelf open bar packages averaging $100 per guest. In addition to beer, wine and liquor, specialty cocktail bars and champagne bars can be arranged. Just be prepared for a hefty bar tab!

Wedding Venue Decoration and Florals

Rainbow Room Wedding NightTo transform the Rainbow Room into a luxurious wedding venue, most couples invest heavily in decor and florals. While basic centerpieces and lighting are included in some packages, full-scale decor can cost $30,000 or more.

From elevated ceiling installations to a lavish chuppah backdrop, the options for dramatic decor are endless. The in-house design team can provide renderings to match your wedding vision. Just remember that over-the-top decor comes at a steep price.

Florals also make a statement, with costs ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 or more. Bouquets, ceremony arrangements, reception centerpieces, and personal flowers all add up. Expect to pay a premium for exotic blooms and complex designs. But for many couples, the floral displays are a top priority for a Rainbow Room affair.

Photography and Entertainment

Capturing the magic of a Rainbow Room wedding requires an experienced, high-end photographer familiar with the iconic venue. Photography packages start at around $5,000, with many couples investing $10,000 or more. This covers an extended shoot, second shooters, and an album.

Entertainment is also essential for keeping guests engaged throughout the celebration. A live wedding band can cost upwards of $10,000. Alternatives like a DJ, violinist, or pianist have lower fees of around $2,000. Other options include dance lessons, live performers, or Caricature artists.

Additional Amenities and Services

From luxurious bridal suites to trained wedding coordinators, the Rainbow Room offers optional amenities and services to elevate your wedding experience.

The bridal suite provides an elegant space for hair, makeup, dressing, and pre-wedding photos. Renting the suite costs around $2,000. Having a dressing suite for the wedding party can add another $1,000 – $2,000.

Many couples also hire a professional Rainbow Room wedding coordinator to oversee planning and logistics. Their team offers three coordinator tiers, costing $2,500 to $10,000. For the ultimate convenience, a custom wedding designer provides full-service planning with an average cost of $15,000.

Other a la carte offerings include menus tasting, valet parking, place cards, custom favors, and more. While not obligatory, these extras provide added luxury and convenience.

Budgeting Tips for Your Dream Wedding

Planning a wedding at the iconic Rainbow Room in Manhattan is no small investment. To make this once-in-a-lifetime event achievable, here are some budgeting tips:

  • Have flexibility with your date – off-peak months may offer venue discounts
  • Get quotes from caterers outside the Rainbow Room to lower food/beverage costs
  • Look for all-inclusive wedding packages that bundle amenities
  • Prioritize your must-have elements and scale back on non-essentials
  • Inquire about food/beverage minimum reductions for smaller guest lists
  • Consider brunch or daytime weddings to save on lighting and decor
  • Set up a separate wedding fund and automate regular savings contributions

With smart planning, budget-friendly choices, and compromise, you can create a magical Rainbow Ballroom wedding that still feels intimate and personalized. Though expensive, few venues can compete with the elegance, views, service and memories this landmark location offers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to have a wedding at Cipriani NYC?

A NYC wedding at Cipriani typically costs between $150 and $250 per person. This covers the venue rental fee, food/beverage minimum, and Cipriani’s classic wedding package offerings.

Upgraded packages with added amenities like floral designs, premium bar service, and enhanced decor can raise the per person cost to $300 or more. Cipriani is known for exquisite Italian cuisine and elegant event spaces, making it another top luxury wedding venue in New York City.

How much does it cost to get married at the New York Public Library?

Booking the New York Public Library for a wedding costs around $15,000 for the ceremony and cocktails, not including food/beverage costs. Most couples spend $250 per guest or more when factoring in catering, rentals, and coordination fees.

With a guest cap of 150, the NYPL provides an elegant literary-inspired setting at a more affordable price point than many NYC venues.

Where is the most expensive place to get married in NYC?

The Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center is hands-down the most expensive wedding venue in New York City, with costs averaging over $200,000 for the reception alone.

Other notably high-priced venues include The Plaza, where receptions average $150,000 – $250,000, and the New York Botanical Garden, at over $100,000 on weekends. For the ultimate in luxury and views, the Rainbow Room remains unmatched in both extravagance and price.

1 reply
  1. Mr. Gwynne Evan Owen
    Mr. Gwynne Evan Owen says:

    Sat at the window alone at The Rainbow Room on the last evening after ten weeks as a research student in the USA. I was skint, but had scraped a reserve for this final evening. The sun was setting, but it started to pour with rain as I enjoyed the view towards Lower Manhattan. A couple of violinists from the band came to the table and as I sipped my Manhattan asked for a request,. They played “September Song”. Unforgetable experience! I am now 83.


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