• The Hoboken Bride: A Guide to New Jersey Waterfront {Wedding Venues}

    If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know that I {Editor Jen} am getting married next summer. I am so excited to be making it official with my fiancé {and boyfriend of 5, well now almost 5.5 years!}…and to continue the Hoboken Bride series, thought it could be fun to discuss wedding venue options in the area that we looked at. I would say finding a venue, in my experience, is the hardest part. Once you have that nailed down, you can have your fun picking out a wedding photographer, DJ, flowers, and all of that jazz. The date + place are what need to happen — and then the rest will follow.

    The Hoboken Bride

    While we knew 150% that we wanted to get married to each other, we were less sure about where and how we wanted to get married. Having so many friends’ weddings in the last few years, it was helpful to see the types of things we wanted and didn’t want…as well as what was most fun for guests.

    A few things we discussed about what we wanted in a venue {and/or ceremony}:

    - Eloping: we always thought it would be fun, but at the same time — we wanted to be able to share the day with everyone we love.  

    - City Skyline, perhaps? There’s just something some breathtaking about the views of NYC, regardless of how long you’ve been here.

    - Being on the water, or in the water. Unfortunately due to several close family members’ sea-sicknesses, we knew this couldn’t be a real option, even though it would have been amaaazing to be on a boat and say I do.

    - Not a NJ Wedding Factory: Let’s face it, while very beautiful– there are some wedding venues that are absolutely beautiful, but they host 3-4 weddings a weekend at the location. We didn’t want a “formula” wedding. 

    - Didn’t want to blow our lifesavings on a wedding. Haha. Ooooops. In North Jersey, on the waterfront, that’s bound to happen. Or at least be pretty pricey.

     

    How’s that for needle in a haystack?

     

    So here are some of the places we looked at {with our event planner Eventfully, Jacquelyn and by ourselves} — we made this a fun experience and ended up either having a cocktail or dining at each one that we liked, which was lots of fun. After all, it’s all about the journey, not just the destination! Okay, enough chit chat. Here goes:

    1. Liberty House Restaurant

    liberty house

    Thoughts: Beautiful venue, gorgeous upper room with great views of the Freedom Tower, and delicious food {I’ve eaten here before}. A few things we didn’t love were that the cocktail hour was in a closed in, outdoor tent without the views and in summer that could be hot, and that there were going to be two weddings happening at one time on a Saturday night. However, it was absolutely GORGEOUS and definitely a top choice of ours. I loved it.

    2. Waterside Catering {Edgewater}

    waterside restaurant

    Entrance to the Waterside

    Thoughts: While the views were impressive, the upstairs room was very stylized, so you had to like a certain aesthetic to be into the room’s decor {think, white leather with buttons}. It was a really cool space, but just didn’t feel like us. 

    3. Kolo Klub {Hoboken}

    kolo klub

    The awesome aesthetics of the Kolo Klub. I just love rustic, wood vibes!

     

    Thoughts: While the venue is super cool, rustic, and hip — and in Hoboken {!}, it was a little small for us and didn’t have the views we wanted. The maximum capacity would be 140 people, and we knew our guest list was around 200. I also didn’t like the fee for renting out the space — it just felt like a waste. However, a lot of places do have fees like that, so don’t be surprised! We loved the idea of having Anthony David’s cater our food though — DELICIOUS! Plus, Vince, who is the Director of Events for AD Catering, is phenomenal and so accommodating! Loved him. 

    4. Harborside Creative Catering {Jersey City}

    harborside creative catering

    Isn’t it gorg? Directly behind the photo’s view point is a door to the cocktail hour on the waterfront. So cool! Photo courtesy of SarahMerians.com

    Thoughts: Really interesting, and large space — but it’s in the lobby of a financial building with shops, etc… so it’s a little random. The photos of weddings that happened here looked amazing though, and the outside view of the freedom tower is SPECTACULAR! I wish I could have been able to set up an appointment to chat with the caterer, but since they were out of commission for several months due to construction starting on the building, I couldn’t. Boo!

    5. Chart House {Weehawken}

    skyline room chart house

    Upstairs room — windows are a bit small, but still GORG views! Photo Courtesy of SGM Photography

    Thoughts: Chart House has a menu that is a la carte, which can be either affordable or super expensive, and with all the options it was hard to say no and narrow down just a few appetizers and dinners to keep costs affordable! The downstairs area of the Chart House has AMAZING floor to ceiling views, but the upstairs windows are smaller. Personally I would have rather had the reception downstairs, but we were told that wasn’t possible. However, beautiful venue and location — you’re bound to get amazing skyline photos at this spot.

    6. Molo’s {Weehawken}

    molos weehawken

    The view from din at Molos

     

    Thoughts: Greek style food + drinks {lots and lots of Sambuca}, and amaaaaazing views of the Empire State Building. Molos is directly on the water, and the views are ridonk. The place is getting remodeled very soon {if not already}, so I’m excited to see how it looks after the remodel. Very nice staff, and the views {*kisses fingers*} — oh wait, that’s Italian.

    7. Devotion Yoga {downtown Hoboken}

    devotion yoga hoboken 2

    How’s that for an old bank/ceiling decor??

    Thoughts: I honestly thought we would book this space. I just adored the idea of having a wedding party in a yoga studio {a gorgeous one at that — the building is actually an old bank}. Believe it or not, from the one room where you’d have the reception, it actually has Freedom Tower views. So cool. But, it’s a bit small — fits a max of 130, so it was out for us. I so wanted it to work. Womp, womp. You bring in your own alcohol and caterers, FYI.

    ***8. Battello {Jersey City}***

    battello jersey city 1

    Thoughts: Well, considering we decided to BOOK HERE, I think you can tell! We loved the rustic feel meets boat house meets city views. The decor is just incredible — a mix of Italian lights, wood, glass, and…it’s on a boat dock in Newport, Jersey City. It met all of our requirements, just about. My fiancé and I both knew this was the spot, and our parents agree — it’s the one! You can feel like you’re on a boat, without being on a boat {no seasickness, phew}. And it fits up to 200 people, so it’s a great size for the party we’re throwing.

    battello 1

    During normal dining, there are tables and chairs all around — but they clear the area {including the wall of glass jars to the right} for a private event}. There’s even a boat on the ceiling!  Ha.

    *** = Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner. Or Fish. Or Steak.

    Editor’s note: These are my personal opinions of each wedding venue, and everyone has different ideas and thoughts about what fits them as a couple. Each wedding venue we visited was beautiful, unique, and wonderful in its own way. It should be what you want, and not what someone else thinks — this list of venues is merely a guide to how we did our wedding venue “shopping” and our initial thoughts. Hopefully they help a bit — but definitely go see each one you’re interested in person. Sometimes a picture or a description cannot do a location justice. Happy planning!

     

    PS: A few more venues we checked out and/or didn’t get to check out that you might want to check out {woof, tongue twister}: 

    - Maritime Parc {Jersey City}

    - Park Savoy Estate {Florham Park}

    - The Tides {Franklin Lakes}

    - The Stony Hill Inn {Hackensack}

    - Loews Theater {Jersey City}

    - Perona Farms {Andover}

     

    PPS: Don’t forget there is a mandatory NJ sales tax + gratuity charge at most of these venues which is about 28-30% on top of the venue costs. It’s a hidden cost that you can easily forget about! DON’T!

     

    What is your favorite venue {or where did you get married} in Hudson County?

     

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    6 comments

    • So cute! I’ve eaten at that spot when it was Michael Anthony’s. I’m getting married at the Hyatt this fall…absolutely unparalleled views and the best food!! A must check out for you ladies out there! Xoxo from another Hoboken bride

      Reply
    • I”m a wedding officiant in NJ/NYC and I’ve married couples in all of these venues. The key is deciding what vibe you’re looking for. Rustic? Crossed Keys Inn in Andover, Jack’s Barn in Oxford or Perona Farms. Chic museum? Museum of Morris County, Newark Museum or the Montclair Art Museum. Ballroom? The Westmount, The Tides (actually in North Haledon on the border of Franklin Lakes, but not in it…) or Florentine Gardens. Wine cellar? Culinary Acres at Natirar or the Brick House in Wyckoff. Hudson views? Le Jardin, in addition to the ones you mentioned.

      There is a beautiful venue for every NJ couple, it’s just a matter of finding the perfect (okay, second perfect) match.

      Reply
    • Congrat’s! I stumbled upon this blog and am so happy to have found you. I’m getting married on July 11, 2015 at Liberty House (PS: I think your readers should know this is definitely a wedding factory so they need to be prepared to pay for the view . What is your date? Can’t wait to see the next posting.

      Reply
    • Beautiful venues. My favorite wedding venue in the Hudson Valley is the West Hills Country Club! The outdoor tent is gorgeous & they include so much in their packages.

      Reply
    • Congrats Sandra; it is a view to just knell over! I’m there on a regular basis, and for any couple whose guest list includes out of towers, it’s a wonderful choice; they’ll just be wowed as the sun goes down. I know they do a lotta lotta weddings, but the vibe on the day is very much ‘cool restaurant wedding on the Hudson”, as opposed to a factory feel.

      Reply
    • Hi Jen – I too am looking into venues on the Hudson, so I can have the incredible view. I even looked into some places in Brooklyn. My favorite place in the world is liberty warehouse in red hook. I love love love battello (went to look at it yesteday), but all the reviews are a huge concern for me. Very inconsistent food and service, AND I could only read one review for an actual event. IT WAS NOT GOOD! I’m nervous…any thoughts?

      Reply

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