UPDATED: Affordable Wedding Venues in New Jersey
With post-Covid demand and inflation, affordable can be hard to find. But here are some great options for your NJRead More
Everyone wants to have a one-of-a-kind wedding, but not all brides know how to make their event unique and stand out. It’s easier than you think to book a fun, out-of-the box location that all of your friends and family haven’t seen before. Here is a list of some of our favorite unusual venues in New Jersey—all with that certain something special that you won’t find anywhere else. Choose any of these spots, and your wedding will surely be memorable and unlike any other.
1. The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theater, Jersey City. This 1929 movie palace, where Bing Crosby and Duke Ellington once played, is a unique spot for sure, especially if you love sophisticated old-Hollywood style. Host your ceremony on the stage with guests sitting in one of the 3,000 movie seats, and your reception can be held in the grand lobby. The baroque architecture and details of this historic building, including ornate moldings, portraits and faux-marble columns, are simply stunning, so you won’t need to heavily decorate. But you will need to bring in everything for your event, including furniture, rentals and a caterer (they have a recommended list). The theater holds up to 170 for a sit-down dinner and 225 for cocktails.
2. Adventure Aquarium, Camden. If you have a soft spot for sharks, turtles, fish and sealife, you will love the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. Say “I do” with breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline and the world’s most fascinating animals in either the Currents Ballroom or the Ocean Realm Gallery Theater. Onsite event planners will help you arrange your day. The aquarium can accommodate between 60 and 125 guests.
3. Avenue’s rooftop deck, Long Branch. Chic meets beach at this really fun and sophisticated location down the Shore. Exchange vows poolside on Avenue’s rooftop deck amidst ocean breezes and views of the Atlantic, then head inside for an elegant sit-down dinner for up to 200 or a hip and modern cocktail-style party reception for up to 250 at Avenue Nuit.
4. Prudential Center, Newark. Devoted New Jersey hockey fans can revel in a Devils-themed wedding at the Prudential Center in Newark. With capacities that will surely handle even the largest of guest lists (up to 19,000), you’ll have your pick of spaces, including the Platinum Lounge, Club Lounges East and West, Cure Club, the Restaurant, the Bud Light Goal Bar or even on top of the rink in the practice facility. Enormous windows offer tremendous views of the NYC skyline and downtown Newark. Choose from intimate cocktail receptions, buffets or sit-down dinners. You can even arrange to have N.J., the official Devils mascot, make an appearance at your event.
5. Crossed Keys Estate, Andover. If you’re searching for a tented country outdoor space for both your ceremony and reception, complete with such charming details as a tree swing, antique pickup truck, tree-lined drive and firepit, the Crossed Keys Estate in Andover is like no other. The inn’s original building, circa 1790, is surrounded by 13 landscaped acres with some of the most amazing peony bushes you’ve ever seen. Outdoor ceremonies are held in the garden, and an adorable Juliette balcony is available for your bouquet toss. Overnight accommodations are available, along with a B&B-style country breakfast of homemade breads, pastries, gourmet entrées and fresh local fruits. The estate can accommodate up to 300.
6. Barn at Perona Farms, Andover. In 2013, the 1930s barn at Perona Farms was renovated with a beautiful new floor and woodwork, a red elm bar, a black walnut bar and uplighting to add modern elegance to this rustic former dairy farm. Situated on 260 gorgeous acres, the barn is fully air-conditioned and heated, which is not easy to find. It accommodates 30 to 300 guests, and offers tables and chairs—so no need for the rentals that many barn locations require—and their catering staff is onsite as well. They also have a huge fire pit at the barn and host ceremonies right outside in the field.
7. Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park. For fun and whimsical weddings in a nontraditional setting, many couples are surprised to learn that Liberty Science Center welcomes weddings. The venue space is bright and open, with vibrant color and interesting things to see everywhere you turn. Hold your ceremony under the largest Hoberman sphere in the world as it expands and contracts during your vows. The entire building can be rented so that you and your guests can “play” with the interactive exhibits and perhaps celebrate at the fourth-floor Observation Tower, a glass pyramid set atop the center’s 170-foot tower with breathtaking views of New Jersey and New York City. The $3,600 minimum fee covers rental and staffing of the observation deck, which accommodates up to 80 for cocktails and 60 for a sit-down dinner. Other parts of the museum (for higher fees) suit groups of 100 to 400, and parties of up to 5,000 have been held here. They provide an in-house caterer.
8. Waterside Restaurant, North Bergen. For the most incredible unobstructed views of the New York City skyline, Waterside Restaurant & Catering in North Bergen is the place. Hold your ceremony outside on the patio and then bring your party inside to one of their two ballrooms, with granite dance floors and floor-to-ceiling views of the skyline. They have a state-of-the-art custom lighting and sound system that can turn your elegant event into a sophisticated party after dinner.
9. The Silver Vault and Wine Pantry at the Bernards Inn, Bernardsville. Stone walls and elegant details grace the intimate areas of the Silver Vault and the Wine Pantry at the Bernards Inn, one of the most charming spaces in New Jersey. Located in the basement of this historic boutique inn, the rooms hold between 40 and 50 in each for a sit-down dinner. Since the rooms are attached, you could set up your dance floor in one room, with tables in the other. The inn also has 20 guest rooms.
10. The Skylands Manor Castle, Ringwood. Fancy yourself a princess in search of the perfect castle wedding? The Castle at Skylands Manor, a grand 54-room granite Tudor Revival mansion, is the ideal location, complete with a ceremony in your own private chapel by the lake or along a tree-lined orchard. There are 100 botanical acres and 24 overnight guest rooms. The formal gardens can accommodate up to 600, the ballroom up to 220 and the exclusive castle up to 300. Catering is provided by Frungillo Caterers.
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