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Picnic House FAQ

What is the capacity of the Picnic House?

The Picnic House comfortably seats 175 guests for dinner and dancing or 240 for a cocktail style event with limited seating.

What is the role of the House Manager?

  • On site for the duration of the event.
  • Opens the building so that set-up may begin.
  • Greets and directs vendors and deliveries to proper area.
  • Maintains building conditions and lighting throughout the event.
  • Lights and maintains the wood-burning fireplace.
  • Oversees the general cleanliness of the space including the patio and balcony area.
  • Supervises vendor breakdown to insure the terms of the rental contract are maintained.
  • Supervises House Staff.

What is the role of House Staff?

  • Clean the space prior to the event so that it is prepared for the vendors to occupy.
  • Greets guests as they arrive.
  • Monitors the property throughout the event.
  • Maintains restroom supplies and cleanliness throughout event.
  • Assists with transportation at the end of the event by referring to local transportation or car services.  

What does the Picnic House provide? What do caterers provide?

The Picnic House provides (20) 60" round tables (seat 8-10 people) and 175 wood garden chairs. We also provide the following:

  • (10) 7' tall x 5' wide white wood folding screens
  • (3) 5'x3' tables
  • (3) 8'x3' tables
  • upright piano with bench (tuned upon request, for an additional fee)
  • (2) large coat racks with hangers
  • (1) wood podium
  • (4) 30-gallon garbage cans
  • firewood (when requested in advance)

Our exclusive caterers will provide or arrange to rent: linens, china, glassware, flatware, and all necessary serving, preparation, and kitchen equipment. They can also arrange additional furniture rentals (some past requests include: high-top cocktail tables, lounge furniture, banquet-style tables).

Can I have amplified sound?

For outdoor ceremonies, amplified sound is not permitted. Extension cords are not permitted outdoors.  Amplified sound is permitted inside the rental space; the acoustics are great.

Can I hold an indoor ceremony at the Picnic House?

Yes!  Many brides and grooms choose to hold ceremonies indoors at the Picnic House. They often choose to stand in front of the French doors (open or closed) that overlook the balcony, or on the elevated stage in front of our working fireplace. Our exclusive caterers are experienced in quickly transforming the room while your guests enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. They can suggest a floor plan for both ceremony and reception that will work for you.

Where do people usually hold outdoor ceremonies in the Park?

Outdoor ceremonies are held on the lawn south of the Picnic House. The Picnic House is handicapped accessible from this area.

Do I need a permit to get married in the Park?

All events at the Picnic House, whether they include an outdoor ceremony or not, must procure a Special Events permit. We will assist you in filing your permit application. The cost of the permit is $25.

What about parking?

There is limited free public parking available at the Litchfield Villa lot, a short walk from the Picnic House.  In addition, renters receive ten vehicle permits that allow drivers (including vendors and deliveries) to drive on closed Park roads and park in the lot just outside the Picnic House.  

Do I have to hire a caterer from your list?

Yes. We believe hiring one of our exclusive caterers will ensure a seamless event. The caterers on our list are experienced with the Picnic House and represent a variety of cuisines, styles and price points. Off-list caterers are not permitted.

Do you have any restrictions on other vendors?

No. Other than our caterers, preferred vendors are recommended but not required. For your convenience, we have curated a list of Vendors We Love. These florists, photographers, and other vendors can help you achieve your vision for your special day.

Do you have a Kosher catering option on your list?

Yes, we have two approved caterers able to accommodate clients who wish to host a Kosher wedding meal: Ben Sion Kosher Catering and Simply Divine.

Am I locked into specific hours for my party?

Since we book only one event each day, you can choose whatever time you prefer to have your wedding. You may choose any 8 hours between 8 am and 1 am. Typically, the first two hours are used for the caterer to set up and the last hours to clean, so weddings usually last five hours. It is also possible to extend your rental beyond eight hours at the cost of $400 each hour. The catering company may have additional fees. 

Do you give discounts for Friday events?

Yes, for most months, events held Tuesday through Friday are priced lower than weekend rates. Additional information can be found here.

Can I have my wedding at the Picnic House in the winter?

Yes!  The Picnic House is open year-round, fully heated, and even has a working wood fireplace. The stage in front of the fireplace makes a lovely setting for a winter wedding ceremony. The roads and paths surrounding the Picnic House are routinely cleared of snow, so your guests will be able to walk from the parking lot as in the warmer months.

What’s the best time of year to have a wedding in the Park?

It all depends on your taste. The Picnic House offers an outstanding view of Prospect Park, which can be equally beautiful covered in snow, when the leaves are changing color or bustling with summer energy.  Bear in mind that the Picnic House is not air conditioned, so if you are considering July or August, we highly recommend you hold your event late in the day when the sun has begun to set.  The room is equipped with high-powered ceiling fans and all the windows and doors may be opened, so it is very comfortable most of the year.