Post # 1
So I’m sitting here with a cup of caw-fee in hand and I’m trying to figure out how to go about planning a wedding. I recently got engaged and we’ve tackled the preliminary wedding details; budgets have been set, we’ve got a rough list of guests and have already asked our bridesmaids/groomsmen if they’d like to partake in our day. Now that that’s all done and taken care of, I’m at a loss when it comes to what I should do next. So to my NJ ladies, I’m open to any advice you’ve got for me! I’m in central/north Jersey and need good ideas for venues, bands, dj’s, florists…whatever! Thanks in advance =)
Post # 2
I was a NJ bride but I think before anyone can help you we need an idea of your tastes and BIGGEST part: budget. NJ is a wedding factory so there are plenty of venues!!! I was in Middlesex County but I got married in Essex County and I looked at about 20 venues and researched plenty more. Pick up a copy of the NJ bridal magazines they are very helpful..
Post # 3
I just got married in spring lake. We used WeddingSetGo for our DJ. tom was seriously amazing we never had one of those awkward pauses in the reception. He was so easy to get along with, we really were clueless and didn’t give him too and requests he just met with us and knew our personality and had people dancing during our entire wedding. He guided us along through the whole wedding from the intros, first dance through dinner and directed us during the cake cutting. I honestly have nothing but phenomenal things to say. He was well worth the money because we had the time of our lives. We used Portraits by the Bay for photos. My wedding day it was a freaking monsoon and he risked his equiptment and ran on the beach with us so I could get a couple of those photos you always want. He too was really easy going and knew exactly what we wanted!!
Thats me with my awesome Photographer!! mind you he also gave me all of my photos 4 days after the wedding!
Post # 4
Where in spring lake if you don’t mind me asking? I’m actually looking into the mill, there’s a bridal expo soon and i can’t wait to see it! I think my fiance has a photographer in mind, his friend who offeted his services. he lives and breathes photography. I haven’t seen his work yet, but I’ll keep your recommendation in mind. Thanks gals for the info!!
Post # 5
soon2bhitched: Recent NJ bride here! I bought my dress at i do i do bridal stuidio in Morristown NJ, they let you take photos (YAY!!!) but don’t let you paw through the racks. My photographers were Kim and Ray Hennessey of KGM Expressions, they were my number one priority and they were the best vendor I had – no stress at all, they were terrific. Also loved my florist, Viburnum Designs, in Princeton. Aishling (the owner) did our flowers and delivered them herself. She really exceeded my expectations and everyone loved our centerpieces.
My venue, Jasna Polana, looked great, but the getting ready rooms were not air conditioned, they arranged the ceremony chairs wrong, made the aisle WAY too narrow, and worst of all forgot my favorite thing on the menu. The desserts were good and the actual wedding cake was far better than the “test” cake.
Our Day-of Coordinator was fabulous, LeeAnn Kalb of JTW Events. Our DJ was from Unforgettable DJs of Wall, NJ, they really took the time to know what we wanted and to get to know us, which was great. The photobooth was from Premier Event Rentals, Elayna ran it and she was a ton of fun.
Our guests stayed at the Nassau Inn in Princeton (bridal party) and the rest of the OOT guests were at the Hyatt Regency on Rte 1. Our limo service and party bus were from a place in PA – they were wonderful, I forget the name – I can look it up if you want.
Hope that helps!
Post # 6
NJ bride to be! We are also getting married in Spring Lake, but not the Mill. I’ve heard good things about there though.
Post # 7
gelaine22: NJ really is a wedding factory and thank goodness, cause a girl needs options! We’re expecting about 130-150 guests. We’re leaning towards a church wedding, followed by a simple reception. We’re thinking about using one of the chapels at Rutgers University, since we’re both alumnis and that’s where we both met. We also prefer a non-denomination ceremony, since we have different faiths, so this chapel is a great option! I am however, not closed off to the idea of having the ceremony and reception at the same site…We’re really looking to focus on food, enetertainment and booze! The photography and flowers are less of a priority…My wonderful fiance is taking care of the wedding, our max. budget is 35-40,000 but I’d really like to spend 20,000. I know, I know…it may seem impossible, but I know it’s do-able, I just have to figure out what corners I can cut and where I can shave pennies off. I know that the season is a big determinant of price. I don’t mind getting married on a Friday and or Sunday…but preferably Spring or Fall…Summer wouldn’t be terrible either, I just know the peak season would limit my choices. I’d really rather not have a winter wedding, but I guess the right venue and price could sway my mind. =)
Post # 8
I was married in Sparta in April! I am from Morris county, live in Essex county and we wanted something out in Sussex and were very happy with our choices. I will be happy to answer any questions.
Post # 9
soon2bhitched: have you considered fake flowers? Our venue includes centerpieces, but we are getting all the bouquets, bouts, and corsages for about $500.
We are using Alex Kaplan for photography and his prices are reasonable, and he offers ceremony only videography as an option, which was perfect for us. I can’t really say how he is yet, but so far he is very accommodating, thorough, and personable.
Post # 10
Another bride-to-be here! We’re from South Jersey though, so what I consider to be “Central/North Jersey” may not be the same as what you consider it to be 😛
A lot of things I’ve read online have said to find a venue that you love first. Then, you can work on finding the date that works, what style/theme you want to go for, the color pallette, etc. Are there any locations that have a special significance to you? We’ve decided to get married at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden because my fiance is a biology major and is into that kind of stuff and it was gorgeous and different and unique!
Or, another approach would be to determine your estimated guest list. Finding a venue that will look and feel comfortable with >300 guests will look drastically different than a smaller, more intimate venue that may only hold <100.
The wedding for us is still pretty far away, but so far we’ve got the venue, photographer, colors, and favors picked out, and I just went yesterday to try on dresses for the first time!!! eeeeek! I really want to go to Bridal Garden in Marlton to look at dresses, I’ve heard really good reviews from a couple of different people. Depending on your budget, places in/near NYC may be a good idea to look at for dresses, too.
Also, $20,000 is plenty to have a gorgeous wedding! As long as you do the research and planning, that amount of money can definitely go a long way! Don’t let anyone try to make you believe that you have to spend almost 2x that amount on your “special day” if that’s not something you’re comfortable with.
Astra: We, too, have decided to go with KGM Expressions for photography! Photography is a hobby of my fiance’s, and he was super impressed with the “documentary style” package they offer. We’re super excited to get to work with them!
Post # 11
soon2bhitched: I am having my ceremony at the Kirkpatrick Chapel @ Rutgers! the place is gorg! The other chapel they have on campus is beautiful as well.
Post # 12
soon2bhitched: What kind of wedding do you want to have? Theme?
My DJ (out of Hanover) and photog (out of Millburn) are fantastic. I can message you their websites!
Post # 13
NJ bride here! Hearts For You in Manalapan was AMAZING when it came to finding my dress. Everyone was so nice and I felt no pressure at all. My venue is the Maplewood Country Club. I’ve tasted the food and it is out of this world. For photo and video we are using The Pros. Cheapest I’ve found and, if you go to one of their expos, you get to look through the photographers and videographers to see who is best for you. Good luck and have fun!
Post # 14
- Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May
I’m a Jersey bride and I can tell you The Olde Mill Inn, Basking Ridge, is beyond reasonable for a venue. We had booked our wedding there but just decided to elope instead. We just booked an officiant for the elopement and her prices were great. 190$ for a full traditional ceremony. Bella Sposa Bridal has a great selection despite being tiny but the service was impeccable.
Post # 15
I had my first wedding at David’s Country Inn in Hackettstown and it was fabulous! The food was incredible the service was stellar… sad to say the marriage didnt last but I am happy to say that I get to do it again but in Florida!