Through the years, we have had the opportunity to work in many of the finer banquet halls located throughout the state of New Jersey. While our company is based in the Princeton area in central New Jersey, we perform across the state, from Cape May to Bergen County. That said, our selected 'best venues' are skewed towards Central NJ and the Jersey Shore.
WHAT MAKES AN EXCEPTIONAL VENUE?
Factors that impress us:
* Natural beauty and ambience (how does the venue look both inside and out?);
* Friendly and service-oriented staff (preferably with long-term staff retention);
* Delicious food (DJs are typically provided a meal at wedding receptions and are qualified to review it!);
* Venues that strive to deliver a personalized wedding experience for the bride and groom, and are not 'wedding factories.';
* Well-maintained facilities - are the lobby, bathroom and parking lot clean and well-maintained? If a facility doesn't care about its appearance, will it care about your once-in-a-lifetime celebration?
A bonus factor is a venue whose staff treats the DJ as a valued member of the 'wedding team' and not as an unwelcomed intruder!
|Pick the Perfect Wedding Venue and You'll Be All Smiles!|
TIPS TO ENGAGED COUPLES IN SELECTING A VENUE
* Research your venue on WeddingWire (www.weddingwire.com) and see how other real-life couples found their experience on the factors of: 1) Quality of Service, 2) Responsiveness, 3) Professionalism, 4) Value, and 5) Flexibility. If a bride spent $25,000 on her reception and the service was not up to par, she is going to speak out in reviewing the facility;
* Don't underestimate the factor of service; look beyond the room and the food;
* Ask your wedding planner, DJ company or other wedding vendors for recommendations.
THE TOP 15 LIST
In countdown fashion, here is a list of our 15 favorite wedding venues in the state of New Jersey. Next to each venue, we have listed a description about what makes it special and a link to the venue's website. The ultimate question was - which New Jersey venues would we consider for our own weddings?
15. Surf City Yacht Club - Long Beach Island. This summer beach club fronting Barnegat Bay is the perfect location for a Jersey Shore wedding. The management goes above and beyond in attending to its guests. (www.scyc-nj.org).
14.Tim McCloone's Supper Club - Asbury Park. Located on the newly renovated boardwalk in Asbury Park, this modern, Manhattan-style dinner club is the perfect choice for an intimate gathering with a live jazz trio or other musical act onstage. (www.timmcloonessupperclub.com) McLoone's Pier House in Long Branch also deserves an honorable mention, with the ability to stream fresh sea air into the party room.
13. The Inn at Lambertville Station - Lambertville. The Lambertville-New Hope area is historic and charming, particularly in the Fall. The Inn at Lambertville Station has a high-ceiinged banquet room with large windows overlooking the Delaware River http://www.lambertvillestation.com
12. The Carriage House - Galloway Township. The Carriage House is relatively new, having opened its doors about five years ago. The property is spacious inside and out, and beautifully designed as what is best described as a modern, opulent southern plantation. The Savannah Grand Ballroom is magnificent and somewhat reminiscent of an opera house. Professional staff, great food, and very reasonably priced. www.the-carriagehouse.com
11. The Mill at Spring Lake Heights - Spring Lake. I am particularly fond of this venue having worked there through high school and college when it was formerly the Old Mill Inn and owned by restauranteur Joel Amiel. Amiel ran a tight ship and knew how to produce a superior food and service experience that has carried over to this day. Have your ceremony outdoors on the lake with the beautiful swans swimming nearby (www.themillnj.com).
10. Renault Winery - Egg Harbor City. Have a Napa Valley-style wedding right here in South Jersey! We recommend the wine-cellar "Burgundy Room" for cocktail hour, followed by a reception in the intimate "Vintage Room." Friendly staff and delicious food. www.renaultwinery.com/weddings_renault.asp
9. The Windsor Ballroom - East Windsor. The thing that stands out the Windsor Ballroom is its friendly, smiling staff - many of who have worked there for numerous years. With our company based in East Windsor, we always enjoy working at the Windsor Ballroom! (www.windsorballroom.com)
8. The Smithville Inn - Galloway Township. Located close to Atlantic City, the Smithville Inn has a rustic, country feel - with white brick walls, dark hardwood floors and wooden beams. The view from the dining room is of a picturesque lake, and don't be surprised if you cross paths with an exotic mallard strolling about. A perfect venue for an intimate gathering among your closest friends and family (www.smithvilleinn.com).
7. The Prallsville Mill - Stockton. Prallsville Mill began in the 1790s and has a Revolutionary War-era charm where you can have your reception in a rustic stone house. Stroll the paths nearby to catch a view of the Delaware River, and stay at the Woolverton Inn bed & breakfast directly across the road. http://stockton.frenchtowner.com/virtual-tour/weddings-parties/
6. Lake Valhalla Club - Montville. The Lake Valhalla Club is a building of Tudor-style architecture, rich in character with a dark, classical interior. It is the antidote to large, impersonal banquet halls. Great food and service. (www.lakevalhallaclub.com)
5. The Grounds for Sculpture - Hamilton. The Grounds for Sculpture seem like an anomaly - located in a suburb of Trenton, the sculpture grounds transport you to Paris! We highly recommend that couples have their ceremony onsite at the "Nine Muses" sculpture site, a surreal and mystical backdrop to exchange vows. Afterwards, stroll the grounds, perhaps crossing paths with a peacock, before celebrating at the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts, a contemporary party space. www.groundsforsculpture.org
4. The Liberty House - Jersey City. With a jaw-dropping view of the lower Manhattan skyline directly across the river and the most delicious Chilean Sea Bass ever, the Liberty House shines. Just check the website link immediately below to view a photo of the backdrop to your special day! www.libertyhouserestaurant.com
3. The Stone House at Stirling Ridge. The architecture and design of the Stone House stand out. As per their website, "this space is designed with classic, clean lines, patterned wood and stone floors, a neutral color pallet and an appreciation for the scenic beauty that is part of this secluded location." The food is exceptional, utilizing vegetables and herbs grown on a local communal farm! www.stonehouseatstirlingridge.com
2. Nassau Inn - Princeton, NJ. Our company is based in the Princeton area, and the Nassau Inn, located in Palmer Square, has always been a favorite of ours, capturing the history of this great town. The Inn offers several classy, prestigious party rooms to choose from. In an industry where rapid staff turnover and transient workers are the norm, it is refreshing to see many of the same waitstaff and banquet managers year after year at the Nassau Inn. www.nassauinn.com
1. Clarks Landing Yacht Club - Pt. Pleasant, NJ. With a new luxurious ballroom with high ceilings and panoramic windows fronting the water, a top notch management team and delicious food, Clarks Landing is our standout selection. An added plus is that DJs plug their board into an in-house sound system with speakers built into the ceiling above the dancefloor. The result is that dancers enjoy louder music, while those dining on the perimeter are not blasted out of the room. Regarding the management, we were once setting up while the staff had its prep meeting - its attention to perfection was impressive! (www.clarkslandingcaterers.com).
Comments are welcomed, and please let us know what venues would be on your list!
ABOUT AMBIENT DJ SERVICE
After selecting the perfect venue to celebrate your wedding reception, start your research for the perfect music and entertainment to compliment your venue at Ambient DJ Service (www.ambientdj.com). Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company that specializes in weddings, and enjoys customizing music and entertainment for cool couples.