New Jersey

Lake Valhalla vs. Lake Mohawk Country Club

Hi Brides!  I have been looking for a venue with a scenic view.  Right now we are between Lake Valhalla and Lake Mohawk.  We are looking at Fall 2018 wedding of about 185-190 people...perhaps a little less, but no less than around 175.  (side note 10 of these are children, mentioning for seating concerns at Lake Valhalla).

I really loved Lake Mohawk's ballroom, bridal suite, and the feeling of the boardwalk.  I also loved the adorable little town it's nestled in.  The drawback from Lake Mohawk is that the cake is not included.  I didn't think anything of this until I started getting quotes of $2500.  I had the idea of a small done-up cake and sheet cake for the rest of the guests, but it is still a couple of hundred dollars to over a grand I was not anticipating.  That being said, I wanted to add on a "to-go" station at the end of the night, which is very important to me and may have to be cut there because of a cake.  I am also concerned about the ceremony and everyone being able to hear out on the boardwalk.  Lastly, I am concerned about hotels and transportation.  We were not given great information on shuttles and hotel booking and I am worried I will be looking at another couple grand in having party buses running back and forth.  ---Has anyone had a wedding here and could offer some advice on negotiating with them on either getting the price down for cake or getting a "to-go" station included?

Now Lake Valhalla has, what I think, is an even more beautiful view and I can have a ceremony right on the water with a wireless mic provided! My biggest concern is space.  They provide oblong tables that seat 10-14, which I HATE.  I also put the chairs out around a table and no way I would put more than 10 people to a table and even then someone gets shafted on leg room.  I am also worried about the bathrooms, with only three stalls in the ladies room and one unisex one.  I figured I could tell my bridal party and their guests to use the bridal suite bathroom upstairs in an attempt to avoid lines.  I really do not want people remember my wedding as waiting in a line and being crammed against the wall.  Has anyone had a larger wedding here? I already figured out how to get around the separation of rooms...I think it will actually be less awkward because we would have 12 tables in the front and 7 in the back, so those 7 will not feel horrible about being alone back there...we will move the sweetheart table back further as well.  How did the bathroom situation pan out?  Would a venue like this allow me to rent my own tables? Did people on the dance floor bump into people sitting and eating? 

Thanks for any advice/tips.  It's greatly appreciated!

Re: Lake Valhalla vs. Lake Mohawk Country Club

  • My FH and I looked at Lake Valhalla and felt it was very cramped, and our guest list is only about 150. We were also nervous that there wouldn't be much room for dancing and mingling with a larger wedding there. As for Lake Mohawk, I would just ask them if there is any room for negotiation...for example could you downgrade some of the cocktail hour options to get the "to go" station? You are looking to book during a peak wedding season though, so I'm not sure how much luck you will have. My FH and I looked at Rock Island Lake Club which is also in Sussex County, and one of the main reasons we didn't book was because we weren't thrilled with how far away the hotel options were from the venue, so that's definitely a valid concern. 

    If you are still open to looking at other venues, I would recommend checking out the Indian Trail Club and the Ramsey Golf Club. Both venues have stunning lake views, are definitely spacious enough for your guest list, and they may offer the perks the other two venues you're considering are lacking (I don't remember the details of their packages). From your post it sounds like you aren't 100% sold on either Lake Mohawk or Lake Valhalla, so it might be worth looking at some other options. 
  • I will check those out! Thank you! I am definitely not set on either of those. They have aspects I really like but nothing felt complete for me just yet. I thought I was being too particular. 
  • Those were actually 2 of our 3 top choices. We ultimately went with Lake Mohawk.

    As for the hotels/shuttles with Lake Mohawk: there are tons of hotels within a 30-15 minute distance that will provide shuttles. Off the top of my head, the Hilton Parsippany, Sheraton Parsippany, Hilton Rockaway, Marriot Parsippany, Hyatt House Parsippany and Holiday Inn Budd Lake all had packages that offered shuttles.

    I have actually been to a fairly large wedding at Lake Valhala as well, which is why I considered it (I'm having a small wedding though). It's a lovely venue. It was definitely cramped. They had a tent set up outside (cigar bar type thing) that kind of helped with space.

    Also with Lake Mohawk there is definitely room for negotiation when it comes to customizing the menu to your budget.  Good luck with you search!
  • If you wouldn't mind my asking...with Lake Mohawk what did you do/are considering for cocktail hour?  I really love the venue and location, but we started to shy away from it with the menu.  I love that we customize our entrees, but the cocktail hour was just a display and 8 hors devours.  It seems like everywhere else you get 6-12 hor devours, chafing dishes, captain stations, carving stations etc.  I got sent an "extras" list that had everything priced 10-20$$ pp extra, which added up reaaal quick with our list of people. It has definitely thrown me a curve ball. When we tried to talk price points, they said Oct. was peak season for them and there was no movement. 

    Congrats on picking it!!! It really is SO beautiful.  If budget wasn't an issue for me, I think I would have put the deposit down the day I saw it. The bridal suite is amazing, the view is amazing, and the ballroom is really so beautiful. We've looked at 12+ places now and it was really the only one that a "wow" factor different from most weddings.
  • The cocktail hour was the one thing that can get expensive there. We actually aren't doing the passed hors d'oeuvres. Instead, we are doing a more limited cocktail hour with a few of the stations. 

    My friend went to a wedding there and she said that the passed hors d'oeuvres were delicious, but for our budget it was very pricey for just 6 - 8 apps. We really liked the venue though, so thankfully they were able to work with us. We are getting married off season though, so that might be why they are being more flexible.
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