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!

 

 

 

 

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.

Top Fall Wedding Trends for NJ Weddings 2016

Fall drinks at Westminster Hotel weddings

Fall weddings have grown in popularity for NJ wedding couples, since the weather is so comfortable in our region, the fall foliage so beautiful (especially at outdoor wedding spaces) and fall wedding trends including gorgeous décor and food inspirations.

According to the wedding industry survey site The Wedding Report, the most popular months for weddings in New Jersey include September at 14.0%, October at 13% and November at 8%. If that doesn’t sound overly impressive, keep in mind that April weddings in New Jersey are at 7%, May weddings are at 12% and June weddings are at 13% — which makes October weddings equal in popularity to June weddings, and September beats them all as the top month for weddings in New Jersey.

To help inspire your fall wedding plans, here are some of the top new trends for fall weddings in 2016:

  • Outdoor ceremonies and cocktail parties. With such gorgeous autumn color in the trees and landscaping all throughout your wedding venue and outdoor wedding gardens, you get gorgeous scenery, color and textures courtesy of Mother Nature (without adding a penny to your wedding budget for décor!) There’s something so special about gathering your loved ones in a scenic outdoor space for your ceremony and cocktail party, especially during peak fall foliage times in NJ.
  • Fall wedding colors. Color trend-setting specialists PANTONE® announce the top wedding colors for each season, and their fall wedding colors include the loveliest shades of cranberry, brick, dark green, gray-blue, and other shades that add depth and richness to wedding plans. You’ll see a number of PANTONE® wedding inspiration boards on Pinterest, sharing gorgeous fall wedding design inspirations by color, including which top wedding colors to combine for fall. One of the top neutrals for fall wedding colors is charcoal gray, which adds an elegance to wedding design, and lest you think fall wedding colors are only in the darker shades, pops of bright colors are a top trend for fall wedding color combinations. We’re seeing more and more bright colors reminiscent of summer (such as ice-pop style reds) mixed in with classic fall colors for a fresh and happy look.
  • Jewel- toned crystals. Clear crystals have long been wedding décor staples, and now a top trend for fall weddings that add sparkle and rich hues is jewel-toned crystals such as sapphire and burgundy shades, in addition to oranges and yellows.
  • Intimate lighting. Fall weddings get all the more intimate and magical with lots of pretty lighting, including table-set candles in varying heights and styles (candelabras, pillar candles, votives, etc.) lantern lights, suspended lights, chandeliers, and specialty lighting companies’ color washes, uplighting and custom lighting effects projected onto the dance floor, walls and even onto the driveway outside your wedding venue for an exciting welcome to your wedding celebration.
  • Fall flowers. And not the usual ones you’d expect for wedding flowers in the fall. New favorite fall wedding flowers includie Iris, Hyacinths, zinnia, snapdragon, freesia, and lily of the valley – all surprising choices, since these are commonly known as spring wedding flowers and summer wedding flowers. But in the world of flower creation, new hybrids are sprouting up spring and summer colors and delicate flowers in the fall season. New Jersey-grown flowers are also on the fall wedding décor trends list, such as popular blooms like sunflowers and roses.
  • Fabulous fabrics. Fall weddings call for heavier fabrics for your table linens, in rich, touchable textures that add elegance to your wedding décor.

Fall wedding menus at Westminster Weddings

  • Fall wedding menus include lots of meats with paired sauces, and stations offering both heavier and lighter, fresh, garden-inspired fare. In a top fall wedding trend, pair foods with NJ microbrew beers and ales, and bourbon-glazed meats. And side dishes include chef-elevated fall veggies with a gourmet twist, making side dishes as enticing as the main course. Soups, particularly creamy soups and bisques make the list for top wedding menu stations and courses.
  • For fall wedding drinks, include hot toddies like hot rum drinks and hot spiked ciders for that elevated autumn drinks menu, and include an array of flavored coffees for after dinner.
  • In desserts, add pies to your dessert hour list, since pies are a top trend for wedding desserts, in full-sized pies for slicing, and as mini pie tarts. Fall flavor macarons are also on the In list, and everyone’s favorite NJ pastries and mini pastries are always popular, no matter the season.

NJ wedding favorite mini pastries at Westminster Weddings

If you’re in our Westminster Weddings family of couples marrying here this fall, we hope our collection of fall wedding trends 2016 helps with your last-minute planning. We also remind you that the upcoming fall wedding season is also time for your rehearsal dinner and other wedding weekend events at which you can use these inspirations as well. Strip House at the Westminster Hotel has been named by New Jersey Bride magazine as one of the best rehearsal dinner spots in New Jersey, and we look forward to helping you plan a fabulous rehearsal dinner or special event to your specifications.

New Jersey Wedding Couples’ Average Spending on the Wedding Cake

 

Wedding cake for a Westminster Hotel Wedding - photo by Montclair Studios

Our friends at The Wedding Report share their wedding survey results on what NJ wedding couples are spending on their wedding cakes. It’s always fascinating to see how budget trends change from year to year, and we see that wedding cake spending will stay about the same for 2017 weddings and 2018 weddings in New Jersey. For your Westminster Hotel wedding or party, talk with our in-house cake baker about your cake wishes, favorite flavors and design inspiration, and we’ll have all of your guests Wowed by the sensational cake providing a fabulous focal point in your wedding ballroom, and tasting fabulous as well!

Year   Average Spending per Wedding  
2008   $460  
2009   $451  
2010   $495  
2011   $542  
2012   $541  
2013   $538  
2014   $546  
2015   $576  
2016   $581  
2017   $581  
2018   $581  
2019   $584  
2020   $584  
2021   $586