New Jersey

Crystal Plaza

Hi,We're considering Crystal Plaza as a possible venue.  Any thoughts?Thanks!
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Re: Crystal Plaza

  • edited December 2011
    Pretty grounds, one wedding at a time, very pricey, good food reputation.
  • edited December 2011
    What was your price point again? Crystal Plaza is pretty pricey. Very prety venue. Didn't care for the sales person we met with and they don't let you do a tasting before booking.
  • melissa82melissa82 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Very pretty place, wedding I went to had a HUGE cocktail hour, good food
  • edited December 2011
    Pretty place...I didn't care for the salesperson I got, as a PP mentioned.  He started his "pitch" with, "We don't nickle and dime people here" and then proceeded to nickle and dime us.
  • LarissaAnnLarissaAnn member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    We hated the salesguy too - we were in & out in 12 minutes, no joke. DH dubbed him "Lurch." Was the one you hated a really tall, lanky guy too?
  • edited December 2011
    Was the lurch guy named Fred?  We were quoted a price of $100 per person for glatt kosher food for a Sunday morning party.  So, we found that to be quite reasonable.  When I went with my fiance, the sales guy was very nice to us.  Then, when I brought my parents back to see the place, the sales guy was very quick with us.  Perhaps, this is because a reception was taking place at the time, but my parents didn't have the greatest impression.  My fiance and I think that they are giving you a lot for your money and that the grounds are beautiful.  We also like the fact that we can have the ceremony indoors or outside and that we'd be the only affair going on at the time.  So, we're torn at this point because each of our final three venues for consideration have their pros and cons.  One venue has a reception room without windows, but an amazing menu.  Another venue would be stunning, but much less food and service and possibly a difficult time for oot guests because it would need to be on a Sunday evening. 
  • edited December 2011
    what are your other choices?
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  • edited December 2011
    B'nai Tikvah in North Brunswick, New JerseyVanderbilt at South Beach, Staten Island
  • edited December 2011
    Oh wow there's a huge price difference between sat. evening and sun. day. I don't remember the guy's name that we met with but there was also a reception going on when we met with him. As soon as we walked in I was basically face to face with the bride as she was waiting to be announced into her reception. The sales guy grabbed us and hid us under the staircase and didn't come back to get us until everybody was in the reception room. I wish he had told us that there was a wedding going on cause we def. would have rescheduled for a different time. On top of that his attitude the rest of the meeting sucked. One of my coworkers is getting married there in Oct. and couldn't be happier. It's a gorgeous place and I've heard great things about the food, so for that price I don't think you could go wrong with Crystal Plaza.
  • edited December 2011
    Definitely different pricing for Sunday morning vs. Sunday day.  Can't help with the others but I do family friends who had a kosher wedding at Crystal Plaza and were very happy with it.What are the pros and cons for each of your venues?  Perhaps we can help you when we know your thoughts on each.
  • edited December 2011
    Seabass sorry I had to laugh when I think of you guys hiding under the stairs... how bizarre...
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  • edited December 2011
    RainLaurel, if it helps, I went to a wedding a couple weeks ago at B'Nai Tikvah a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It has probably the prettiest reception room I've seen in a temple.   The food was very good too - there were tons of good options at cocktail hour in particular.
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  • edited December 2011
    Crystal Plaza -- Pros: Most food and heard great things about the food, excellent menu, complete package with ice sculptures, etc., most service, possibility of indoor or outdoor ceremony, only affair at venue, beautiful garden area, reception room is beautiful with big windows, reception is in a good location for OOT guests, Cons: time of party is 11:30 am to 5 pm on Father's Day.  We have spoken to our friends and family who are fine with a wedding on Father's Day.  I would also prefer not to get married at 11:30 am in the morning because of the time needed to get ready before the party.  I'd have to wake up at 5 or 6 am I think to be ready for pictures by 9:30 am.  We want to take pictures before the ceremony so that we are not taking pictures when we could be spending time with our guests.  We have agreed that it is fine with us to see each other beforehand.  We didn't get the friendlist feeling from the staff and worry that our party wouldn't be taken care of as well as at the other venues where we feel that the experience would be much more catered to us individually.  Also, the feeling of having a wedding in a wedding factory. No taste testing.B'nai Tikvah:Pros: We could start the party at anytime of the day that we would like.   I was thinking 3 pm to 9 pm would be ideal.  I really liked the head of catering and maitre'd and trusted that they would do a great job on the wedding.  There was a ton of food and special drinks included.  We got to do a taste testing beforehand.  The food was delicious.  My parents really loved the place.  The place is located exactly halfway between where my family and friends live and where FI's family and friends live.  There is only one event per day.  The place only does 70 weddings per year compared to 400 at Crystal Plaza.  They are planning to renovate and put more windows into the lobby area.  There is a nice cocktail hour room that has a small patio where they can have a grill.    Cons:  Fiance didn't love the place as much as the others.  There is no opportunity to have an outdoor ceremony.  The sanctuary is pretty, but kind of dark.  The reception room has no windows.  The whole facility is smaller than the others.  They strongly suggest that there is a rehearsal of the ceremony which my fiance doesn't think is appropriate (it is a Jewish tradition to not rehearse the ceremony, but I'd actually feel more comfortable with a rehearsal).  The fiance's parents are Orthodox though and would most likely refuse to participate in the rehearsal.  By having the wedding in a synagogue, we may be drawing attention to religion which is a point of contention for our parents as my parents are reform and his are orthodox and they both disapprove of the ways in which the others practice.  Vanderbilt at South Beach: Pros: The most stunning venue right on the beach.  We would have ocean views throughout the party.  Big windows.  The ceremony could be right on the beach.  I was blown away by how the venue looked when we visited.  There is a room for an indoor ceremony if the weather does not cooperate.  I really liked the layout of the venue.  It has two big dance floors.  Some of our guests will want to do separate dancing.  So, there will be some partitions on the dance floor.  I really loved the cocktail room.  The beach closes to the public at 6 pm, which would be nice for an evening ceremony on the beach.  June 20 is one of the longest days of the year; so, it will be bright outside even if it is an evening wedding.  The location again really works well for both sides.  The maitre'd seems to really care about making us a nice party.  He has been running weddings for over 50 years and seems to know exactly what he is doing.  He also trains service staff around the world and says that 1 waiter/20 guests will work well.   Cons:  Mandatory valet parking.  There will be only one waiter/20 guests as opposed to one waiter/5 guests at Crystal Plaza or one waiter/10 guests at B'nai Tikvah.  We would bring in a caterer.  There is only one caterer who seems to be in our price range whose menu we actually like.  The only problem is that she would provide less food than at the Vanderbilt or Crystal Plaza.  The party would either be from 11:30 am to 5 pm (which I don't like because the beach is open to the public during this time and people could walk right behind the chupah if they wanted to even though the Vanderbilt said that they would try their best to make sure that this doesn't happen) or from 5 pm to 10:30 pm, 5:30 pm to 11 pm, or 6 pm to 11:30 pm (which is hard for out of town guests to get home in order to go to work the next day).  The Vanderbilt said that if nobody books a morning event 75 days before the time of the wedding that they would allow us to move our event up to 4:30 pm and have a 1.5 hour cocktail reception ending the party at 10 pm.Berkeley Ocean Front Hotel:Pros: We would pick the caterer out of five caterers who provide glatt kosher food.  We could start the party at anytime during the day that we would like.  We will have five beautiful rooms.  There is the option to also do the ceremony on the beach, but we would have to orchestrate this rather than the venue.  The venue is equidistant for both sides.  Includes bridal suite and overnight accomodations for bride and groom.  We would have more of an ability to customize this event.  Cons: We would have to bring everything in for the party.  The venue only supplies the space, tables and chairs, and kitchen access for our caterer.  We would need to rent a dance floor to accomodate the size of our party because their dance floor is very small.  We'd have to get a DOC and bridal attendant.  The place is farther away from many of my guests than the other venues.  It may be harder to plan this type of wedding because I'll be living in Boston for this year and will need to do most stuff over the phone.If you have any suggestions for how to make sense of all of this, I would greatly appreciate it! 
  • edited December 2011
    My thoughts:Crystal Plaza - You don't seem to be glowing as much about this one as the others.  I would assume the dance floor is big enough that they could create the partition.B'nai Tikvah - we had a rehearsal beforehand but not a real one.  It was more you stand here you stand there, maybe that's what they mean.  That would be good to have the separate dance floor if his side is very orthodox but I think any venue would be able to do this.South Beach -  bad time for evening on a Sunday. I had a 2:30 ceremony and a 3-8 reception which was perfect.  I think if you go past 8:30/9 a lot of people are going to be leaving very early, especially if you have a lot of OOT people who are not staying over.  Berkeley Ocean Front - you could hire a wedding planner to help you do things, not just a doc.  This way planning from Boston would not be as hard.  Hotel would also be good for your OOT guests.
  • LarissaAnnLarissaAnn member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    "As soon as we walked in I was basically face to face with the bride as she was waiting to be announced into her reception. The sales guy grabbed us and hid us under the staircase and didn't come back to get us until everybody was in the reception room. I wish he had told us that there was a wedding going on cause we def. would have rescheduled for a different time. On top of that his attitude the rest of the meeting sucked." Oh my god, we had the exact same experience, only I think it was a bar mitzvah, not a wedding! I honestly don't remember Lurch's name - he was just Lurch after that. And yeah, we were NOT told they had an event going on, were hidden under the stairs, were dashed around the place, got a 2-second glimpse into the ballroom and he nearly shut the door on my nose. And then he out-and-out scoffed at me when I suggested that on March 28 if there was nice weather I'd like to get married outside, and utterly refused to show us the grounds. I wanted to hit him, and we ended up at our next appointment an hour and a half early. Also, from what I remember of the ceremony room there, it was hideous.
  • edited December 2011
    Caketime, did you have a Jewish wedding?  If so, where did you get married?  Thanks!
  • edited December 2011
    I had an interfaith one (I'm Jewish, DH Catholic).  You should check out my place. Knoll Country Club West (they also have an East).  They only do one wedding at a time and on Sunday's you pick the time you want.  We had it kosher style but I "think" they might be able to do kosher.
  • edited December 2011
    LarissaAnn, yes, my parents only get a 2 second peek at the ballroom through a crack in the door.  Also, the sales guy left my parents to themselves to get a look at the grounds.  This was after doing a nice job of showing my fiance and me the place.  So, this kind of changed how I felt about the place a bit.  My fiance wasn't there for this trip.  So, he still loves it there.  After coming directly from the Vanderbilt, the Crystal Plaza didn't look as nice. 
  • LarissaAnnLarissaAnn member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Yeah, we had just come from the Manor, where the guy was so wonderful that we chatted too long and made him late for his next appointment! We ended up at the Manor.
  • edited December 2011
    That's a tough one. They all seem to have some serious cons. Have you exhausted all other venues that meet your criteria? It seems like you really like B'nai Tikvah but your FI doesn't really like it. Plus I would worry about them doing construction. It always runs later than they say they will and I wouldn't want the place to still be under construction for my wedding. The ratio of waiters at Vanderbilt seems off to me. 1:20 means that there's only 1 waiter covers 2 tables. That doesn't seem right.I would say the cons you listed for Crystal Plaza are the most manageable but to be honest I would probably keep looking.
  • nyclisa78nyclisa78 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    i didn't get married at crystal plaza but they catered my wedding. the venue i was getting married at was severely understaffed the day of my wedding and nella (the crystal plaza maitre'd) never even told us, she just had more staff from crystal plaza sent over. the staff of crystal plaza took such amazing care of us, and really just made sure every i was dotted and every t was crossed. and the food was amazing.
  • edited December 2011
    I believe that we have exhausted all other venues that meet our criteria.  That's the problem.  I'm not sure where else to look.  With our price range ($100 per person plus service charge plus tax) for glatt kosher food on a sunday (either at a hall or brought in), it is tough.  Basically, I'm only really interested in looking at places where they only have one event per day on a Sunday at twilight (1-7, 2-8, or 3-9) where they can have glatt kosher food that is no farther than 2 hours from Cherry Hill, New Jersey and 1.5 hours from Brooklyn, NY.  
  • edited December 2011
    Have you called Knoll Country Club?  Like I said not sure about pricing for kosher or if they do it but it definitely fits all of your other wants (we also had people from Cherry Hill and Brooklyn).
  • edited December 2011
    I just called Knoll Country Club and am waiting for a call back.  Keeping my fingers crossed that maybe this will work for us!
  • FutureMrsF111FutureMrsF111 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am getting married at Crystal Plaza on 10/3/10. They spent about 2 hours with us and there was a wedding going on. No hiding under the stairs. They told me in advance about the wedding and we worked around it. I was able to see the ballroom from the main floor and from the balcony.  I had been to events there so I was familiar with the place though.  Since booking I have not really done much with them but it was the only place I was comfortable with when we went to visit the venue other than stone house at sterling ridge (which did not have any dates available that I wanted).  I worked with one of the owners so that may have made a difference and obviously I cannot tell you much more because my wedding is over a year away. If I can help you in any way or answer other questions let me know. GL.
  • Angie550Angie550 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am getting married at the Knoll CC and I dont know how much the Kosher menu is but I do know they have it.
  • FutureMrsF111FutureMrsF111 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Just saw your post about Knoll after I posted. I looked there as well. FI and I both though Crystal Plaza was a lot nicer. I know it has a little bit of a wedding factory feel but the low ceilings in the ball rooms at Knoll and lack of a separate indoor ceremony space kind of ruined it for us. The salesman was also a little .... off?
  • edited December 2011
    i have heard good things, but for $50,000, it better get good reviews!!!!!
  • edited December 2011
    Brad, she said about $100pp for a Sunday daytime wedding on Father's Day. That =/= a Saturday night in September, price-wise.
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  • edited December 2011
    FutureMrsF111, what did you think of Stone House? 
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