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Newly engaged....and no idea where to begin! (venue suggestions, please!)

Hi ladies!!

I am very newly engaged and although I am loving looking online, in magazines and everywhere in between for ideas, I am feeling completely overwhelemed and don't know where to start!

We are looking at a guest list of probably 100-150 and are flexible in terms of timing (we would love next spring but my brother is getting married on memorial day and we would be happy with this fall, but worry it might be too tight of a turnaround). We know we do not want the cookie cutter windowless ballroom reception in a hotel, but I bet most people say that when starting out! We love the idea of doing it at a vineyard or somewhere unique, but are on the fence about whether it is worth all of the extra work (and money). Perhaps a mix of indoor/outdoor will be best.

We  have started to look at the usual list of NJ venues, but would LOVE any recommendations....and any other advice.

Thanks so much!

Re: Newly engaged....and no idea where to begin! (venue suggestions, please!)

  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    My wedding is going to be at Valenzano Winery in South Jersey. The ceremony is outside by the vineyard, cocktail hour is in the barrel room, and reception is in their "ballroom" which isn't a typical ballroom. I love my venue and can't wait to get married there next weekend.

  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz mod
    Moderator 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    We looked into the Laurita Winery in New Egypt.  As much as we loved them, we felt it was too far of a driving distance for everyone so we went with a venue in more North Jersey since that is where our families are primarily located.

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  • Thanks for the suggestions!

    Does anyone have experience with the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park?
  • Congratulations.  Planning can be daunting but it does at least help to know what you don't want.

    Fair warning, October is now the most popular wedding month. 

    Since you asked about Park Avenue in Florham Park I'm going to assume that NW NJ works as a location.  FWIW, that place is pretty much the ballroom you said you don't want.  It's nice but it's not off the beaten path. 

    If you want nature / outdoors, I'd check out the following:

    Four Sisters Winery in Belevidere (Warren County)

    Rutherford Hall in Allamuchy / Hackettstown

    Crossed Keys in Andover

    Farmstead in Andover

    Lake Mohawk Country Club in Sparta

    Jefferson House on Lake Hopatcong

    The Arlington in Mount Arlington

    Perona Farms in Andover

    Given the size of your even the glass conseratory at the Madison Hotel may also work.  It's in Convent Station.

  • Thanks! That is very helpful.

    Northern NJ is best, but we are flexible. I think we are now looking at a late fall/winter wedding simply because of other weddings already planned over the next year. I guess that changes the whole outdoor thing...

    Does anyone have experience with Crystal Springs or Olde Mill Inn? Our list of venues is so long and it's hard to decide what to chop/what to add.

  • I'm getting married at Black Bear, one of the Crystal Springs properties. I've also attended a few weddings at the Olde Mill Inn. Feel free to send me a PM.
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  • We booked at Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, our reception will take place in the tent on the greens (paying a little under $100pp).

    I just went to a reception at the Brownstone in Paterson. The decor wasn't something of my taste, but it was still pretty if that Victorian look is something you are going for, however the food was DELISH!
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  • JoeAnne2013 is that $100pp with tax and gratuity? what month? i was thinking on looking into the Royce Brook Golf club..i hear good food reviews ..are you doing sit down or buffet?
  • Hi all,

    An alert just popped up about this thread so I thought I would circle back. We booked November 23, 2013 at the Park Avenue Club. We looked at a few other places -- Bernards Inn, Madison Hotel, Westin Governor Morris -- and am happy to share feedback about any of them.

    Now let's see if we can pull this off in 6 months! :)
  • Congrats! You should be able to - is there anything else you have booked? You probably want to buy a dress in the near future and book a photographer, videographer (if you want one), florist and dj.

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  • I'd recommend The Empire Club in little ferry.

    Not sure where you are from and if that is too far for you or not.

    They are SO reasonably priced, beautiful and tenfold is amazing.
  • Thanks, SewinLove. I have ordered my dress and we just booked the band and photographer. We're working on the other vendors and are in good shape so far. We'll see!!
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