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New Jersey

Need help! Looking for wedding venue with character/outdoor grounds...

Hello!
I am looking for a wedding venue to hold the reception with some character to it, and/or with outside grounds for pictures and for more of an atmosphere. Now the catch, ideally, I would like the reception site to provide overnight accommodations also for our out of town guests. If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated! Looking in Central and northern NJ.  I have been looking for venues but haven't come across many that are different in some way, and ones that are not just a hotel with a ballroom with 2 chandeliers.  
Thanks again for the help!!

Re: Need help! Looking for wedding venue with character/outdoor grounds...

  • barbybbarbyb member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I just visited the Skylands Manor in Ringwood, NJ.  The place itself was just renovated - 24 rooms, bridal and groom suite.  It's an old style manor/castle and in the spring/summer the manor is on the NJ Botanical Gardens in Ringwood State Park.  It's not extremely expensive such as the Pleasantdale Chateu (recommend this place as well if it's in your budget).
  • edited December 2011
    I suggest the place I'm having my wedding (you're describing exactly what I was looking for!)  The Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge.  Everyone there has been extremely helpful and the place defintely has character.  If you want a smaller wedding they have the Grain House Restaurant or you can have the main ballroom which is where I'm having my wedding (150 people).  The minimum is usually 175 people for that room but because I booked within a year of my wedding they had knocked it down to 150 people.  The ballroom has a row of french doors that let out onto the courtyard and they make sure that when you block out rooms for guests they give you the inner ones that look out onto the courtyard. Also, I really like that you have a lot of room to move around during the cocktail hour, inside on two floors as well as the courtyard.  Good luck!
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  • uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Budget?  Number of guests?
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  • ltriggiltriggi member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Florentine Gardens in North jersey is amazing outside.  It has patios where cocktail hour can be held and thousands of white twinkle lights all around the grounds and garden for fantastic pictures.  There is no hotel attached, however the Park Ridge Marriott provides a free shuttle back and forth from the venue to hotel.  The price is great and there are tons of windows and french doors in the ballroom with 22 foot ceilings!  It's great for the perfect indoor/outdoor wedding.  My best friend is getting married there in July.
  • ltriggiltriggi member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think you should look at Florentine Gardens in North Jersey.  The grounds are fantastic with patios for cocktail hour and white twinkle lights everywhere.  There are french doors in the ballroom that go out onto the patio.  The ballroom has 22 foot ceilings and lots of windows.  I'm in a wedding there this July and they got a very reasonable price!  Tons of food and drinks included.  There's no hotel attached but the Park Ridge Marriott provides a free shuttle from the venue to the hotel and will work to give you a block of rooms.  Take a look!!
  • LolyalyssaLolyalyssa member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge
    Oakside Mansion in Bloomfield
    Perona Farms
    David's Country Inn
    Madison Hotel Conservatory
    Skylands
    Pleasantdale Chateau

    I was looking for the same exact thing as you a few months ago.  After looking at over 30 venues I realized that the food at the venue was more important to me than the outdoor space.  I tended to find that when you find a really unique venue you are paying for that "uniqueness" and the quality of the food is compromised.  The only exception to this rule of thumb on my list is the Pleasantdale Chateau.  (but there are you are talking about $200+ per head).

    I went to a tasting at the Olde Mill Inn and I hated the food but the venue is beautiful.  If the food had been better I may have considered it but it was embarassingly bad to me. This is just my personal opinion though. You can go to a tasting at Olde Mill Inn (first Tues of every month) and see for youself before you would book.

    For some people the food just has to be "acceptable" as far as wedding food goes and if food is not a huge priority for you most of the venues I mentioned will serve average to above average wedding food.

    If you can afford Pleasantdale, that would be my pick.
  • uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I would recommend my venue, Hamilton Farm Golf Club (www.hamiltonfarmgolfclub.com).  They don't do many weddings so their website has very little info.  But it is a golf club built on a 600-acre estate.  Therefore, there are PLENTY of grounds for pictures.  The cocktail hour is held on a tiered lawn overlooking the 18th hole, and the reception is in a glass-enclosed, climate-controlled tent.  During the whole event guests are welcome to go into the mansion to look around (that's also where the bathrooms are).  There are 10 guest rooms in the mansion where overnight guests can stay.  And there was no compromise on food -- the food was fabulous (and the executive chef was an Bocuse d'Or American team semi-finalist).  (The compromise is that it is not a budget-friendly venue.)

    Some photos: 

    Cocktail hour:

    Tent during day:

    Tent at night:
    Back of mansion:
    image
  • edited December 2011
    not sure what you're looking to pay....but i got married at florentine gardens and it's an amazing place.  also, pleasantdale chateau in west orange is extremely pretty outsidE!!
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  • jtheissjtheiss member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Perona Farms has really nice outdoor grounds. No hotel, but we got a great rate at a nearby hotel and are offering a free shuttle for our guests so they won't have to drive.
  • edited December 2011
    I second Perona Farms, www.peronafarms.com When I was picking out the venue what I was looking for is a bit of a country feel but also with elegance, and a place for great picture with  multiple back drops, Perona was exactly what I had envisioned.
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  • edited December 2011
    Mallard Island of Bonnet Island are both stunning have quest rooms but only like 10 or 12.  The Madison Hotel in Morristown is nice and unique too and is attached to a hotel.
  • edited December 2011
    Pleasantdale is available July 17 2010.  Im sure you can get a decent deal.
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