While speaking with a premier New Jersey floral designer, I was captivated by her stories about the painstaking effort thatRead More
Looking for easy planning and a worry-free wedding day? Consider what we call the one–stop wedding venue, complete with outdoor and indoor ceremony sites, a large reception space and overnight accommodations for your guests. Throw in gardens for your pictures and unique restaurants or bars for your rehearsal dinner, after-party or post-wedding brunch, and you’ve got the ideal wedding location. These all-in-one events take on the feeling of a wedding weekend, since your guests are staying in the same location and following the same itinerary as you for their entire stay. And these one-stop wedding venues eliminate the need for transportation—for both you and your guests. Welcome baskets, weekend itineraries and group activities, however, are all highly recommended. Here are some of our favorite locations in New Jersey for your all-in-one wedding venue:
1 • Berkeley Oceanfront, Asbury Park; 732-776-6700. This historic grand Beaux Arts hotel offers the best of both worlds. Their multiple grand ballrooms with gorgeous architecture are just steps from the beach and all the fun that Asbury Park has to offer. Get married on the beach or on their brand-new rooftop deck that overlooks the ocean and town. You have many spots to choose from for all of your wedding events. And with 238 rooms for your guests, everyone can stay under the same roof and walk to everything.
2• The Bernards Inn, Bernardsville, 908-766-0002. This elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Bernardsville, ideal for intimate weddings, has 20 rooms for your guests and gorgeous rustic private spaces in the basement—the Wine Pantry and Silver Vault—perfect for rehearsal dinners or after-parties. Their award-winning gourmet chef can prepare a yummy brunch the next day.
3 • The Breakers on the Ocean, Spring Lake; 732-449-7700. Spring Lake’s only oceanfront hotel offers ceremonies on its historic seashore Victorian inn’s front porch, or arrange your wedding beach across the street. Their wedding specialists will help you plan the perfect beach wedding day, and guests can stay in one of the 70 rooms.
4 • Congress Hall, Cape May; 609-884-6553. America’s oldest seaside resort, Congress Hall has hosted weddings for more than 100 years. Located in the heart of Cape May’s historic district, this resort overlooks the area’s beaches, as well as an impressive grand lawn that can be used for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. There’s a grand ballroom for indoor receptions, and you can also get married on the nearby beach. There are 108 rooms for your guests.
5 • The Crystal Ballroom at the Radisson of Freehold, 732-780-3405. The Crystal Ballroom holds up to 300 guests with an open dance floor, and the Emerald Ballroom is perfect for intimate weddings of 110 guests or less. You can hold your wedding ceremony outside in the gardens in front of the fountain or have an indoor ceremony under the glow of the chandeliers. There’s a patio with fire pits and large lounge furniture. They also will provide any extras like an after-party or morning-after brunch. There are 121 rooms for your guests.
6 • Crystal Springs Resort, Sussex County, 855-977-6473. This resort is truly a year-round all-in-one wedding venue. With four unique settings to choose from, you’ll have your pick of garden, golf course or mountain views for both your ceremony and receptions, with both indoor and outdoor possibilities. We highly recommend Restaurant Latour for a memorable rehearsal dinner. Guests can choose from either the Grand Cascades Lodge or the Minerals Hotel. And with two award-winning spas, six premier golf courses, hiking trails, horseback riding, archery, wine cellar tours and nightly musical entertainment, you won’t have to worry about keeping your guests busy during their downtime.
7 • Grand Summit Hotel, Summit, 908-273-3000. The historic Grand Summit Hotel offers a variety of versatile spaces to fit your style, whether it’s vintage glam, black tie or modern Art Deco. The Grand Ballroom holds up to 300 for a sit-down dinner, interactive food stations can be set up in the Atrium, Coach Room or Crestview, and numerous suites can be utilized for other private events. Host your after-party at the Hat Tavern, located in the basement of the hotel, with numerous craft beers on tap, or serve farewell artisan coffees and chocolates from the Arts and Crafts Lobby Cofee Bar. There are 130 guest rooms and 21 suites, along with daily shuttles back and forth to Newark’s Liberty International Airport.
8 • The Heldrich, New Brunswick, 732- 729-4670. For intimate nuptials for six up to grand events for 400, the Heldrich offers a variety of spaces for your wedding, ranging in style from informal to elegant. The contemporary Livingston Grand Ballroom is perfect for large weddings, while Christopher’s Restaurant, with its open-hearth kitchen and dance floor, is ideal for rehearsal dinners and smaller weddings. This full-service hotel offers 235 guest room and suites, along with valet parking, room service, an indoor pool with outdoor terrace, health club and spa. Plus you have New Brunswick’s famed theater and dining just steps outside the door.
9 • Hotel du Village, New Hope, PA; 866-683-3586. We’re loving the charm of Hotel du Village, just over the Delaware River in New Hope, PA. This restored historic French country estate offers two different style ballrooms, along with various outdoor patios for both your ceremony and reception. The Colt Ballroom, with hardwood floors and a large stone fireplace, holds up to 200, while the Historic Ballroom has a wall full of windows and holds 140. Our favorite part is the 22-room hotel that was just completely remodeled with a modern-rustic vibe. You can host your after-party in the lobby as late as you’d like, since the only guests staying there will be yours. There are also tennis courts, an outdoor pool and loaner bicycles and walking trails for your guests to venture into town.
10 • The Inn at Millrace Pond, Hope, 908-459-4884. This 1769 historic inn set on 23 acres of rolling hills offers stone cottages, meandering paths, a wooden footbridge, outdoor garden ceremonies and tented weddings for up to 185. There are also indoor venues and 17 charming guest rooms. Murder mysteries and scavenger hunts can be arranged for your guests.
11 • The Madison Hotel, Morristown, 973-285-1800. The Madison Hotel offers 186 guest rooms along with 14 different venues for your ceremony, reception and before and after-parties, including the Glynallynn Ballroom for up to 300 for a sit-down dinner and up to 125 in the Conservatory. Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grille and GK’s Dog Tavern are also located on site, giving you additional options, making the Madison Hotel a true all-in-one venue.
12 • Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank, 732-739-7173. Situated on the Navesink River, the Molly Pitcher Inn is a charming boutique hotel that offers beautiful water views and numerous spaces for intimate weddings, ballroom-style weddings for up to 175, rehearsal dinners and morning-after brunches. Their International Bar is a great spot to reconvene for an after-party. 108 guest rooms.
13 • The Olde Mill Inn, Basking Ridge, 908-221-1100. This 10-acre estate offers an historic setting in an 18-century grain house for intimate weddings, featuring gardens and lawns with a gazebo and tented patio for outdoor ceremonies. Larger weddings are held in the Grand Washington Ballroom with an entire wall of French doors opening onto a stone courtyard, garden and decorated gazebo for wedding photos. Rehearsal dinners, after-parties and brunches can be arranged. There are 100 guest rooms and two grand suites.
14 • Ocean Place Resort and Spa, Long Branch; 732-571-4000. You have a variety of really fun options at Ocean Place, depending on whether you’re envisioning an elegant formal affair or a barefoot ceremony in the sand with a casual beachfront barbecue afterward. And size is not a problem, with events ranging from 20 on the boardwalk and 200 on the outdoor Great Lawn to 800 in an indoor ballroom or 1,000 on the beach. They specialize in Kosher and Indian weddings. And be sure to ask about their bonfire and s’mores under the stars. There are 254 pet-friendly rooms for your guests, along with a spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, beach access and complimentary shuttle service to the Long Branch train station.
15 • The Reeds at Shelter Haven, Stone Harbor; 609-368-0100. The Reeds is a boutique hotel overlooking the bay, and is the perfect spot for couples who want a true indoor/outdoor wedding. Brides and grooms can say “I do” on the Roof Garden Sundeck, surrounded by beautiful water views, and then move the reception into the Sweet Grass Ballroom. This open-air room, which can hold up to 220 guests, features wall-to-wall sliding glass that opens up to the outdoor veranda so guests can move freely between the indoors and outdoors. There are 37 guest rooms, and the venue offers motorcars to the nearby beach, with beach tags, towels, chairs and umbrellas complimentary.
16 • The Sterling Ballroom at the Doubletree, Tinton Falls, 732-544-9305. This sleek, modern wedding venue in Monmouth County is near Asbury Park, Long Branch and the best of the Jersey Shore. They offer everything you need under one roof—without the high prices of the beach resorts. Outdoor ceremonies take place by the pergola arch in the garden, landscaped with palms and floral shrubbery. Indoor ceremonies can be held under the glow of the sparkling chandeliers. They host receptions for up to 225 with an open dance floor, and there are 179 guest rooms. Ask about their Sundae at the Boardwalk dessert station.
17 • The Southern Mansion, Cape May, 866-330-2981. This historic mansion, built circa 1860, is set on one-and-a-half acres of award-winning gardens in Cape May’s historic district, which you can enjoy for your ceremony and cocktail hour. A gourmet dinner is served in their large solarium with the garden view, and then move to a different room for music and dancing. With 10 guest suites, it’s perfect for small, intimate weddings. And with just a five-minute walk to the best beaches, shops and restaurants in South Jersey, there’s plenty for your guests to do.
18 • Westin Governor Morris, Morristown, 973-539-7300. This historic, landmark hotel in Morristown offers a sophisticated environment for your wedding. Select from a variety of elegant venue spaces, with the largest accommodating up to 400 for dinner and dancing. There are 224 guest rooms and suites, and they’ve partnered with DePasquale the Spa to bring pampering treatments to your room. And don’t forget about the Westin Heavenly Beds—they alone are worth staying here! The Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine Bar, featuring farm-to-table cuisine, is the perfect choice for your rehearsal dinner, after-party or brunch.