Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy first day of #spring! We're #excited for this time of #newbeginnings, especially for our #engaged #couples!

A post shared by Westminster Hotel (@westminsterweddings) on

Advertisements

Anil and Elsa’s Westminster Wedding Video

We’re so pleased to share with you Anil and Elsa’s wedding highlight video from their big day here at the Westminster Hotel. The entire Westminster Weddings staff looks back on this beautiful celebration with such joy for this wonderful couple, and we wish them every happiness in their future together!

Anil and Elsa at The Westminster Hotel :: NJ Wedding Videographer :: Creative Unlimited from Creative Unlimited on Vimeo.

Strip House NJ’s 24-Layer Chocolate Cake Featured on Food Network

Imagine how excited your wedding, bridal shower, engagement party, rehearsal dinner or party guests will be when they find out that the 24-layer chocolate cake we offer at our events has been featured on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate.” It’s a celebrity chef-pleasing, delectable indulgence, and a must for your event’s dessert menu.

Here’s our chef’s preparation of the cake:

The Best Ways to Offer Your Wedding Guests Even More

Westminster Weddings at the Westminster Hotel - photo by Andy Foster Photography

Wedding menus at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston

Westminster Weddings menus at the Westminster Hotel - photo by Andy Foster Photography

We’re so happy to give you a sneak peek at some terrific wedding survey results, courtesy of The Wedding Report’s upcoming Wedding Report Quarterly issue. We know you want to give your wedding guests an amazing experience (we want that, too!) so here are the top ways to spoil your wedding guests, offering them even more than they would expect from such a special day:

Wedding drinks at the Westminster Hotel's Strip House

The WRQ survey puts the top two ways to give your guests even more in the Drinks category:

  1.  Offer a welcome drink or drink station upon guests’ arrival. (38.3%)
  2. Offer post-ceremony drinks or drink stations, so that guests can help themselves or be served your signature wedding drinks, a special post-ceremony drink, wine or champagne just after you say your I Do’s. With everyone having a drink in hand, a group toast may be in order! (36.5%)

The survey continues with a mix of gourmet cuisine offerings in your wedding menu, plus more drink options:

3. Offer a larger number of menu options at the cocktail party, including stations, passed hors d’oeuvres and a buffet. (26.2%)

4. Offer late-night bites during the dancing hours, since it may have been a while since dinner. Late-night bites let you treat your guests to even more of our wonderful catering options, and perhaps include some more casual items that didn’t make it into your final picks for your cocktail party or dinner menus…or maybe they did, and guests would just love to see that they get to have more! (22.1%)

5. Offer quick, light bite treats before the ceremony. Why make them wait? (21.3%)

6. Offer multiple signature drinks at the cocktail party. Such as His and Hers drinks, or a variety of cocktail choices. (19.9%)

7. Offer passed desserts in addition to cake and dessert hour options. Guests on the dance floor would love a mini pastry or other sweet treat! (18.3%)

Desserts at Westminster Weddings

8. Offer amazing entrée options. (15.6%)

9. Offer a food truck outside your venue for guests’ enjoyment as they depart (14.3%)

10. Offer an ice cream bar at the dessert hour. (13.3%)

Talk with our event coordinator and chef about your Westminster Wedding menus and drinks, and create a fabulous experience for all of your guests!

 

 

 

 

5 Goals of Great Rehearsal Dinners – By the Westminster Hotel Weddings Team

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner private room at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel

Your rehearsal dinner is where your wedding really kicks off as an amazing experience from start to finish. When you treat your guests to your rehearsal dinner, they get their first taste of your taste level, and especially since so many of your loved ones may live far apart from one another, this get-together is even more special for all of you. There’s a tremendously happy energy at a rehearsal dinner, and the details you plan for it elevate your celebration to the best rehearsal dinner anyone in your group has ever attended.

New Jersey Bride named us as one of the best rehearsal dinner venues in New Jersey, and they’ve named us to their Love It! list. We’re so proud to be recognized for our team’s fine work.

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel

Here are the top 5 goals of a fabulous rehearsal dinner, created for you by our Westminster Weddings team:

  1. Group bonding. Whether it’s the first time your sides of the family have ever met, or the fiftieth, your rehearsal dinner gathers everyone together for excellent bonding time, when you become one big happy family. The same goes for your bridal party members and circles of friends. At this exciting rehearsal dinner event, your friends will get to know one another, chat, mingle, find common interests, and set the stage for all future friend gatherings once you’re a married couple. All of your favorite people are here in one place, toasting to your happiness, and by virtue of this VIP quality time will likely have an even better time together at your wedding. Toasts are an important part of group bonding at the rehearsal dinner, and while wedding etiquette rules apply – the hosts propose the first toast of the evening – anyone can raise a glass to your happiness, and of course it’s wonderful when the two of you propose a toast to your rehearsal dinner guests as well.
  2. A fabulous dinner. Treat your VIP rehearsal dinner guests to an amazing, unforgettable meal designed and created by our outstanding chefs. You can set the bar high with an ultra-gourmet rehearsal dinner meal – enjoying your chance to spoil your loved ones with an elaborate menu – or plan a rehearsal dinner menu that departs from the elaborate menu plans you have for your wedding day, instead planning something more casual like an outdoor tailgating party menu. Themed party menus such as tacos and other dishes are also popular for rehearsal dinner catering options. Family-style meals also tie into the family-bonding goal of a great rehearsal dinner.

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel - photo by Andy Foster Photography

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel - photo by Andy Foster Photography

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel - photo by Andy Foster Photography

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel - photo by Andy Foster Photography

3. Personalize it. Again, you can personalize your rehearsal dinner menu with your favorite tailgate menu options, or with themed stations like a nachos bar, tacos, fajitas and sangria, or you can choose a theme related to your favorite shared interests like a movie, television show, or era. You’ll notice that the famed Strip House at the Westminster Hotel has an Old Hollywood vibe to it, so that may be a jumping-off point to help you choose your rehearsal dinner’s theme. Further personalizing your rehearsal dinner can be signs – just like you may be planning for your wedding – announcing your signature drinks, or a lit marquee sign featuring your choice of word or your initials.

4. Stress-free time. Forget about wedding day nerves and stress. Your rehearsal dinner is your stress-free break from all that, a time to just relax together and enjoy, laugh, clink champagne glasses together with your family and friends, and let our excellent staff treat you like the wedding royalty you are to us!

5. Privacy. Use our private party room at Strip House, or gather outdoors in a tented rehearsal dinner on our grounds, or on our Zen garden terrace with fountains, or book one of our smaller party rooms for your rehearsal dinner. You can also arrange to ‘take over’ a section of our Strip House dining room for your rehearsal dinner celebration, or take over the entire Strip House restaurant for your larger rehearsal dinner!

Westminster Weddings rehearsal dinner in the private VIP room at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel

Contact us to begin planning your rehearsal dinner (and wedding! And bridal shower!) today. And don’t forget to share your rehearsal dinner images with us for a feature on our Facebook page.

Some of the Delectable Desserts at Westminster Weddings and Parties

 

These are just some of the delectable desserts that your wedding and party guests can feast on at your unforgettable celebration, ending with your choice of plattered, station or individually-plated desserts. We invite you to come in and talk to our wedding and event planner, meet our chefs and plan the perfect choices for your wedding menu and dessert hour!

NJ wedding favorite mini pastries at Westminster Weddings

west bridal shower2west bridal shower1Desserts at Westminster Weddingswest bridal shower 3westdessert24layercakewestdessert5westdessert4westdessert3westdessert2westdessert1west desserts3west desserts1west dessert5west blueberry4westminsterPetits FoursWestminsterMacaroonswestminsterDessert StationCocktail Cupcakewestminseter

Wedding Vow Renewal Trends for 2017

Vow renewals at Westminster Weddings - photo by Andy Foster Photo

Renewing your wedding vows is a milestone moment in your relationship, and cause for a wonderful celebration that gathers your family and friends for a happy occasion. It’s a time to celebrate your years of marriage – no matter how many years it’s been – and many couples who have renewed their wedding vows say that this meaningful celebration not only reaffirms their commitment to one another, it also serves as a wonderful example to the younger generations of what goes into a healthy and happy marriage.

Couples who renew their wedding vows very often plan their ceremony and reception to be very much like a wedding, with a ceremony held in their venue’s gardens and their reception held in their venue’s ballroom. From wedding gown to wedding flowers to wedding cake, this vow renewal may even be a bigger, more elaborate, more indulgent event than the couple’s original wedding. Some couples certainly see this as an opportunity for a wedding do-over, the chance to have the wedding of their dreams in one of the best wedding venues in NJ. They want to celebrate in grand style, treating their guests to a spectacular celebration.

Wedding vow renewal events at Westminster Weddings - photo by Andy Foster Photo

Here are some of the top wedding vow renewal trends:

  • An outdoor vow renewal ceremony, complete with aisle runner, and their kids walking down the aisle as part of the processional.
  • A vow renewal ceremony led by anyone they choose, since a NJ-licensed officiant is not necessary (but may be hired.)
  • A vow renewal ceremony including new vows the couple writes themselves, often as a surprise reveal to their partners and guests. Or, the couple may choose to recite their original wedding vows once again. Favorite songs, poems, quotes and other writings may be included in the vow renewal program or in the ceremony themselves, to personalize this centerpiece of the day.
  • Vows may be taken as a family, including the kids in the ceremony, with promises and messages of appreciation spoken to them as well.
  • Hiring a NJ professional photographer to capture the highlights of the day means you’ll get top-quality photos and editing, archival-quality photo albums, images on a drive, and other benefits of professional wedding photography…and with a professional photographer working your event, none of your guests will be responsible for taking all of those important photos.
  • The wedding vow renewal ceremony may be followed by a lavish cocktail party outside in their wedding gardens or inside their event venue, with the cocktail party menu impressive, garden-fresh, locally-sourced and beautifully prepared and served by the event’s catering team.
  • A First Dance lets you re-dance to your original wedding song, or you may choose from the top wedding songs 2017 listed online by the top NJ wedding entertainers for your own new ‘our song’ for this first dance.
  • Wedding vow renewal couples are dedicating songs to their kids, as well as to their guests, as a gesture of appreciation and love.
  • Favors are given at this event, or a donation may be made to charity, adding an element of ‘giving back’ to your celebration.
  • Gifts are not required, but most guests will bring them. It’s not considered etiquette-appropriate to make a gift registry, nor to include gift registry information on the invitation. But when a donation to charity is suggested, it’s perfectly acceptable to mention that on your event’s personal website, much like a personal wedding website – the URL of which is okay to include in a Save The Date announcement for your wedding vow renewal event.
  • A wedding vow renewal may be planned as a surprise for a partner, or guests may be surprised when they arrive at your event venue to find that this is, indeed, your wedding vow renewal.
  • Champagne toasts, sabering and champagne towers have also become a top trend at wedding vow renewal celebrations.
  • A sit-down dinner treats guests to a sensational meal. Dinner may be part of a larger wedding do-over, or you may plan for just the sit-down dinner at our fine dining locations.
  • Vow renewal décor ideas include lavish floral centerpieces, floral arches, specialty lighting effects, fine linens, signs, and other wedding-style décor items. Signs that you make or buy for your vow renewal, such as bar signs and menu signs, can come home with you to be added to your home décor for a daily reminder of this perfect celebration.
  • Bar menus include signature cocktails, His and Hers drinks, and theme drinks to suit the style of your celebration.
  • Catering menus may include trendy dishes and of-the-moment flavors, as well as cultural dishes that your event venue’s chefs prepare for your personalized party.
  • The cake is as important a focal point at a vow renewal celebration as it is at a wedding, and renewal couples enjoy planning for their dream wedding cake and desserts, for an elaborate dessert hour that completes a stunningly impressive and delicious menu.
  • A band or deejay may provide the entertainment for your ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing hours.
  • And yes, taking a second or third honeymoon is a trend for wedding vow renewals, with some couples opting to plan a family vacation.