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.

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!

 

 

 

 

Fabulous Ideas for Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue Wedding Traditions

 

Weddings at the Westminster Hotel - photo by Dean Michaels Studio

Weddings and tradition go hand in hand, with our modern culture embracing the same symbolic wishes for luck, fortune, fidelity and happiness as brides and grooms from ancient eras. So many of our current wedding elements come from old-world superstitions, with each of them getting a twist to personalize the meaning and style. That’s what’s happening with the well-known tradition of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue.

You’ve heard the rhyme before, probably with the ‘penny for your shoe,’ and countless brides before you have excitedly planned to have the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue traditions as a part of their wedding preparations. On the morning of her wedding, the bride would be surrounded by her closest and most special female relatives and friends, and they would present her with the four symbolic items representing the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue items. There’s a lot of sentiment in receiving your grandmother’s handkerchief or the same necklace your mother wore on her wedding day, and getting to wear or carry these important heirlooms during the walk down the aisle can make your day all the more meaningful when you’re entrusted with a symbol of family harmony and happiness.

Here’s what Old, New, Borrowed and Blue represent:

Old: This item represents a link to the bride’s family traditions and relationships, culture, religion, her life before this new union with her groom.

New: This brand-new item represents hope, happiness, fortune and success in her new life.

Borrowed: This item is most often one borrowed from a happy bride or a long-married female loved one, bringing the luck and happiness of her marriage as a good luck charm to the bride’s marriage

Blue: Borrowing from some religions’ symbolism, the color blue may represent holiness, purity, fidelity and other wishes for the marriage.

 

Here are some creative ways to incorporate your Old, New, Borrowed and Blue into your wedding day:

Wedding day jewelry can be something old, new, borrowed or blue - Westminster Weddings

Something Old

  • Jewelry of your mother’s, grandmother’s or other female relative’s that has now been handed down to you as a wedding gift and your Something Old
  • The shawl or wrap your mother or grandmother wore at her wedding. More brides are happily accepting the wedding shawl or wrap from their sisters, and even from their mothers- or sisters-in-law.
  • Your mother’s, grandmother’s or great-aunt’s wedding day tiara or headpiece and veil.
  • An heirloom headband or headpiece to which a new veil has been attached.
  • An heirloom charm that is attached to the handle of your bridal bouquet. It might be your mother’s, or it might be yours from when you were a little girl.
  • Incorporating an old family tradition into your wedding ceremony or reception, such as a toast, a reading, or a song.
  • Incorporating an old cultural tradition, or both of your culture’s marriage traditions, as your ultra-valued Something Old.
  • Incorporating family-honored religious or spiritual rituals into your wedding day.
  • Marrying at the same church where your parents or grandparents were married.
  • Using the same music in your ceremony that your parents had in their wedding ceremonies.

Pandya Photography - Westminster Wedding

 

Something New

  • The jewelry you wear on your wedding day – perhaps a gift from your groom or from your parents
  • Your wedding gown
  • Your wedding shoes
  • The flowers you carry as your bouquet
  • A meaningful charm that you and your groom have selected as your first charm in a new collection you’ll start; you’ll attach this charm to your bouquet, then wear it as a pendant, to be joined by future meaningful charms
  • The decision not to have the same wedding style or location as everyone else in your family, breaking from tradition to have what you really want for your big day

Card2-6968-M

Something Borrowed

  • The prior bride’s headpiece, tiara or veil [one of the most commonly borrowed items between brides!]
  • An heirloom wedding gown, perhaps your grandmother’s or mother’s, given a freshening and perhaps a bit of a restructuring by a qualified seamstress
  • The bride’s gloves for a formal wedding
  • The bride’s handkerchief, to be carried at the handle under the bouquet
  • ‘Borrowing’ the same reading or song from your parents’, grandparents’ or in-laws’ weddings
  • Borrowed jewelry, including necklace, earrings or bracelet
  • Borrowed jeweled hair clips or jeweled barrettes worn by the prior bride
  • A religious medal or symbolic charm that has been in the family for generations
  • A pretty wrap or shawl worn by the prior bride
  • A pretty bridal purse carried by the prior bride
  • The ring pillows used by the prior bride and groom

Braunschweiger Jewelers blue topaz wedding jewelry

Something Blue

  • A little blue bow on your garter
  • A little blue bow sewn into the underside of your train
  • A little blue bow sewn into the underside or handle of your bouquet
  • An ultra-light blue hem sewn on your veil
  • Blue embroidery on your bodice, skirt or train
  • Blue toenail polish
  • A surprise, blue temporary tattoo on your hip or ankle
  • A bit of blue color in the flowers of your bridal bouquet
  • At a beach or destination wedding, your Blue could be the color of the ocean
  • At an outdoor wedding, your Blue could be the color of the clear, blue sky
  • If you have blue eyes, your Blue could be the smile in your eyes

 

And a Penny For Your Shoe

The traditional ‘penny (or sixpence) for your shoe’ has been a longtime good luck charm to bring fortune, abundance and security to the wedding couple. These days, many brides like to tuck a penny from the year they met their groom or from the year of the wedding into their shoe, so that it’s there for good luck during the ceremony. Then, they remove it during the standing, walking and dancing hours of the reception so that they don’t experience pain or discomfort. That fortune charm penny is tucked away someplace safe, perhaps glued into a scrapbook and otherwise held as a wonderful good luck charm from the wedding day.

 

Dieci Lifestyle Spa at Westminster Hotel, Livingston N.J. for your Wedding Weekend

Dieci Lifestyle Spa at Westminster Hotel in Livingston NJ for your wedding weekend

Did you know that the Westminster Hotel in Livingston, NJ has an on-site spa for your wedding weekend indulgences? The Dieci Lifestyle Spa offers facials and massages as the perfect treat for your bridesmaids and parents who play such an important role in your wedding season’s joy and success. Unwind and recharge yourself, or go as a couple, to our spa as a break to the hectic pace of your wedding weekend, maybe popping in for a massage before the day’s activities begin. And of course all of your out-of-town wedding guests staying at the Westminster Hotel will be happy to find out that their hotel room block puts them in a perfect position for a relaxing treat during their stay. Here is more information about our onsite spa, plus details on the massages and facials you can consider for your best wedding stress-busters and VIP-style indulgences during your stay.

Dieci Lifestyle Spa at Westminster Hotel, Livingston N.J.

 

More than a hotel stay! At the Westminster Hotel, we offer an unforgettable luxury experience at an exceptional value, where you can relax, dine and stay.

Whether you need to unwind after a day of meetings, a long flight, or simply kick-off your vacation, our highly skilled estheticians and massage therapists can banish stress and tension. You may choose from a selection of facials and massages* which are provided in the cozy and tranquil treatment facility of the hotel located on the Garden Level adjacent to the state-of the art Health and fitness center. You may schedule your treatment by dialing our Spa Extension 2124 or calling 973.992.1629 during our hours of operation.

*For your convenience a 20% gratuity will be added to your Hotel Spa Service and will be charged to your hotel room account.

Dieci Lifestyle Spa

If you would like other spa and salon services you may consider visiting Dieci Lifestyle Spa which has been in Livingston, New Jersey for over 20 years and is recognized as one of the leaders in the Day Spa industry specializing in results- oriented beauty and wellness services.

Dieci Lifestyle Spa at Westminster Hotel in Livingston NJ for your wedding weekend

Dieci Uomo Salon for Men

In addition, a second location was established in town called Dieci Uomo Salon for Men which provides luxury male grooming services in a sophisticated, relaxed, sustainable environment as it is the first and only LEED Certified salon in New Jersey. Enjoy their roof top terrace when the weather permits.

**All massages will have a mandatory 7% New Jersey sales tax added at check out.

 

Massage

Dieci Lifestyle Spa at The Westminster Hotel is dedicated to your total rejuvenation. You may schedule your treatment by dialing our Spa Extension 2124 or calling 973.992.1629 during ourhours of operation.

SWEDISH MASSAGE

60 minutes | $130.00
90 minutes | $195.00

A Swedish massage with your own selection of our therapeutic Aromatherapy oil is the perfect treatment for those seeking a total relaxing experience

DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE

60 minutes | $145.00
90 minutes | $205.00

Deep Tissue massage and trigger point therapy is used in this massage for those wishing a stronger touch. This treatment will invigorate you and prepare the body for any activity as well as repairing any muscle soreness.

WARM STONE MASSAGE

60 minutes | $150.00
90 minutes | $210.00

Enjoy this full body massage with warm stone gliding over achy, stressed muscles in a rhythmic flow. This massage is truly an experience to melt away stress and muscle tension.

*Please note that all massage services will have a mandatory 7% NJ State Tax added at check out.

IN-SUITE MASSAGES

Enjoy a lavish spa massage in the comfort and convenience of your own guest suite. Our professional massage therapists will transform your space and tailor your treatment to ensure revitalizing results.There is an additional $20 service fee. *Due to space considerations, massages can only be offered in suites.

OFF-SITE SERVICES

Additional massage services, body treatments and hydrotherapy are offered at our two other locations Dieci Lifestyle Spa or Dieci Uomo: Salon for Men. Both locations are approximately 2 Miles East from the Westminster Hotel by car or the complimentary hotel shuttle service.

 

Facials

Dieci Lifestyle Spa at The Westminster Hotel is dedicated to your total rejuvenation. You may schedule your treatment by dialing our Spa Extension 2124 or calling 973.992.1629 during ourhours of operation.

GLOWING FACIAL

35 minutes | $90.00

A professional rotating skin care brush is used to clean the skin and clear the pores, followed by a skin tightening collagen mask. This express service is the perfect boost before a special evening and will leave your skin fresh and glowing!

EXPRESS FACIAL

45 minutes | $100.00

This express facial begins with a Stress Relief massage of the face, neck and decollete. A lifting vitamin C mask suitable for all skin types will enhance the skin for a camera ready look. Your makeup will look flawless.

AROMATHERAPY FACIAL

60 minutes | $125.00

A deep pore cleansing facial to rid the skin of all impurities, this facial is customized to the needs of your skin. The addition of Aromatherapy to this treatment is a perfect solution to relief stress and bring new life to your skin.

OFF-SITE SERVICES

Additional Facial services are offered at our two other locations Dieci Lifestyle Spa or Dieci Uomo: Salon for Men. Both locations are approximately 2 Miles East from the Westminster Hotel by car or the complimentary hotel shuttle service.

 

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.

Sharing Your Wedding Menu Planning Process with your Parents

They say the food makes the wedding, standing out as a remarkable and memorable foodie experience for all of your guests. A wedding featuring the top wedding menu trends and farm-fresh ingredients, plus your wedding catering venue’s expertise and magic with food preparation and presentation is sure to make your day even more amazing.

Long before your big day, you’ll meet with your wedding venue’s chef to choose the dishes for your wedding cocktail party menu, reception menu and dessert choices, at a meeting of the minds (and palates) that begins to turn your wedding menu wishes into reality. And many of our NJ wedding couples opt to bring their parents to the tasting meeting, for their input and as a much-appreciated chance to share in the excitement of this tasty, informative and important part of wedding planning.

Involving parents in wedding menu selection has become a big wedding trend for 2016, and we’re always happy to welcome wedding couples along with their parents for a menu tasting adventure and the creation of the best wedding menu plan possible. Here are some tips for including your parents in the wedding menu planning process:

  • Involving parents in menu selection, even if parents are not paying for the wedding, is a wonderful way to share your wedding planning excitement with them, and create everlasting memories with your parents.
  • As a matter of diplomacy, if you invite one set of parents to join you, consider inviting the other set of parents as well. While the adage of ‘too many cooks’ often rings true, you may find that multiple opinions on your potential menu items is a great help to you. And it would begin your married future with equality for each of your families, not any resentments that one family was favored over the other.
  • Send a printed invitation to your parents, inviting them to your wedding menu tasting. Receiving this pretty invitation in the mail is a wonderful experience for parents, shows off your design style, and honors your parents with such a lovely gesture. They’ll certainly keep your invitation as a priceless memento.
  • Be sure to inform all attending parents that you get the final vote on menu items, which you’ll make with their valuable opinions.
  • Let parents know that any dishes that do not make it onto your final wedding menu selection list can be used at the rehearsal dinner or other wedding celebration.
  • If you’d like, print out your wedding venue’s menu lists in advance of the meeting, and share them with each of your parents so that the parents can star or highlight their top wedding menu dishes on their own time, then sharing their picks with you. These printed and hand-written menu lists inform your choices, and then – this is the lovely part – join your wedding planning keepsakes collection for an everlasting reminder of your parents’ involvement in wedding menu selections.
  • When parents are known for their excellent taste in cuisine, they often become valuable resources for all wedding events and celebrations. They also appreciate being honored with this invitation, and relish the chance to talk with top wedding chefs.
  • Parents are also excellent resources on guests’ specialty wedding menu needs, such as gluten-free wedding menu item needs. They may know who in the family is GF, who requires kosher wedding menu items, and so on, allowing you better communication with your wedding chef.
  • At the wedding, be sure to track down your parents at the cocktail hour or during the dinner to share and rave about your wedding menu dishes, and let parents know how special it is to you that you shared your wedding menu planning with them.

If your parents are notoriously pushy about their wishes, already causing you wedding stress in other areas of the planning, you may wish to just share the wedding menu printouts with them for their input and end their involvement with that. The two of you will then attend your wedding menu tasting session with your chef, minus any pressure or drama of having your parents present. You’ve still included your parents in the process, but the tasting event is yours alone.

 

April Cocktail of the Month at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel: The Aviator

A wedding’s signature drink is always a hit, and we’re excited to share one of the April Drinks of the Month: The Aviator, now available at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel.

Stop in to try it, and see if it’s the perfect drink for your Westminster Wedding, or mix it up at home using our mixologist’s cocktail recipe:

The Aviator, an April Cocktail of the Month at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel

Aviator

Gin, Pimms, Fresh Lemon Juice

3 oz Gin, ½ oz Pimms Cup  ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Mix and shake with ice and serve in Cocktail Glass