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!

 

 

 

 

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  

 

5 Ways to Transform Your Wedding Ballroom

Wedding ballroom staging

We’ve seen some magnificent designs in our wedding ballroom, with the best NJ wedding planners working their style magic to turn our spacious ballroom into spectacular wedding and party settings. From custom dance floor designs to party ‘zones’ and stages, our ballroom space has been transformed into eye-catching, crowd-pleasing scenes.

We spoke to Robynne Adoff, event planner and decorator at Party Extravaganza , for her top tips on transforming your ballroom, and we share with you some images from an event Robynne planned here at the Westminster:

“To transform your wedding ballroom, keep these 5 Stages of Importance in mind:” says Robynne.

  1. Lighting.

“Lighting effects create a lot of visual interest in a ballroom, and can warm or brighten your space,” says Robynne. Specialty lighting can rev up your wedding’s or party’s color scheme, and even make your décor elements look more elaborate and impressive.

Some lighting effects Robynne suggests include:

Pinspotting your table centerpieces (which makes them stand out in the room, and if you’ve used any crystal elements in your centerpieces, they’ll sparkle in that spotlight, adding richness and elegance to your tabletops. The same goes for glass elements like your centerpiece vases and even just the glasses on the tables.

Color-washing the perimeter of the ballroom, using light to create beautiful uplighting effects against the walls or training colored lights in other ways to add a colorful glow along all the walls of your space.

“Use blocks of color. Instead of intermingling a few colors in one lighting design, do different solid colors in different areas for an edgier look,” says Robynne.

“Lights that pulsate along with the music,” is another suggestion of Robynne’s, the effect creating a clublike feel in the room.

2. Staging of a Room

“Add a little more interest to your ballroom with stages, such as creating a stage on which your entertainers will stage, to define their performance space, and then create stages or platforms in varying heights that people can dance on.” We love this light-up stage Robynne created for an event held here at the Westminster.

Wedding ballroom staging

Wedding ballroom staging

3. Gathering Areas

“Create special areas where guests can gather and spend time together. Guests who are not seated at the same tables for the dinner love hanging out in your gathering areas.” Robynne suggests creating an interesting design with high- and low-set tables gathered together, which gives guests a choice of which kinds of seating heights are more comfortable for them, and the mix of high- and low-set tables adds extra style to your gathering areas.

4. Balance of a Room

“Create a great floorplan that has a nice sense of balance in how your spaces are arranged in your ballroom.” Robynne notes that with a ballroom such as at The Westminster, where the dance floor can be taken apart and customized into different shapes, you have more freedom to style the balance of your room, placing guest tables on either side, arranging where you’d like food stations, bars, dessert tables, and display tables set up around the room to provide a stylish sense of balance in the room. Keep balance in mind for your gathering areas in one sector, perhaps a ‘kids’ lounge’ in another area, a photo booth in another…all working together to balance out your space and provide enough room for guest traffic and just to work optimally each sector of a big ballroom such as ours.

5. Texture of a Room

This last Stage of Importance surprises many wedding couples, who often don’t think of their table linens serving any purpose other than adding color to their ballroom. But Robynne says that the textures of tablecloths, runners, and napkins, mixed with the textures of tabletop flowers and other décor, adds a great depth and dimension to a wedding ballroom. “I include table settings and glassware in this category, since these elements work together to paint a scene on each table, which then leads to each table working together to fill that ballroom with lots of visual interest and touchable quality.”

Wedding staging

Robynne says, “These are the main ways to transform a wedding ballroom and pull the room together without spending a lot of money. The money you spend works well in the room, so this is a way to make sure that your design budget is going to show in your wedding or party space.”

Get Your Wedding Color Inspiration from Benjamin Moore!

We’re loving the new colors for Fall 2015 Weddings, and we’re looking beyond the PANTONE® shades like Marsala and Biscay Bay to the collections of one of our favorite color resources, Benjamin Moore. While many look at these shades to pick out their new kitchen color, we see plenty of wedding color inspiration here in their 2015 Color Palette:

So many pretty neutrals, soft greens to pair with their Color of the Year, Guildford Green, and lovely twists on Marsala to light up your fall wedding.

Check out their color board, and see their experts’ guides to the prettiest colors to pair with them. Wedding colors this fall are lovely, rich and deep, inspired by autumn colors and jewel tones, and we’re especially in love with the blush-shade neutrals to add to your color combinations – which, by the way, are trending to having four or five wedding colors – not just two!

Average Cost of NJ Wedding Table Centerpieces

Average centerpiece spending at NJ weddings

We’ve seen some gorgeous wedding table centerpieces at Westminster Weddings, from towering florals lush with the prettiest of blooms, exotic flowers, gorgeous greenery and lanterns hanging from manzanita branches, plus the big wedding trend of using more natural elements like stone, wood and moss in wedding centerpiece design.

A few years ago, wedding couples dialed down their centerpiece plans to the low-set and single florals that were on-trend then, but now the understated florals look has been replaced by more lavish centerpiece florals and décor, and the trend will continue for 2016 weddings, 2017 weddings and beyond.

Here are the average amounts spent by NJ wedding couples on their table centerpiece florals and decorations:

Year   Average Spending per Wedding  
2008 $393
2009 $403
2010 $455
2011 $401
2012 $401
2013 $407
2014 $407
2015 $408
2016 $410
2017 $411
2018 $413
2019 $415
2020 $416

Keep in mind that these are just the average wedding floral costs in New Jersey — many NJ wedding couples spent way more, and some of course spent less.

Create Your Own Wedding Hashtag with the WeddingWire Hashtag Generator

congressWedding-Wire-Reviews

Creating your personalized wedding hashtag just got easy – and more fun! – with the WeddingWire Hashtag Generator . You just enter your names, wedding date, location, even your nicknames, and the site automatically generates a fabulous hashtag to use at your wedding.

Wedding hashtags let you and your guests easily find and share photos from your big day on Instagram or Twitter, and here’s another use we love: if you have elderly, ill, very pregnant or too-far-away loved ones who couldn’t make the trip to your wedding, they too can see your wedding photos via your hashtag. It’s a free wedding tool at WeddingWire.com, so don’t worry about dipping into your wedding budget for this!

We also love the idea of creating personal wedding hashtags for your engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, Girls’ Getaway, rehearsal dinner, wedding weekend events, after-party and honeymoon. Just plug in different details, and your hashtag is created for you. Or, the one you get from the WeddingWire.com tool might inspire you to create your own.

westminster purple5

Speaking of WeddingWire.com, we’re happy to share this glowing review from one of our Westminster Wedding clients (12.18 wedding)

5.0

We chose the Westminster because we liked having the event at a hotel where our out of town guests could stay and not need to worry about traveling between places. We also choose it because of [our] wedding planner as well as overall guide who made great recommendations and helped us with many arrangements. She was fabulous to work with and it was clear that she only wanted our party to be the best. It felt like she was a friend, working with us rather than someone to whom this was just a job. She went above and beyond. [We received] great suggestions (e.g. our guests loved the passed desserts!) and the party went so smoothly. The place itself was beautiful and the food AMAZING! The food at catered events is often not so great, but my guests RAVED about the food. Also, our bride is gluten free. So all her food was made special and even the wedding cake was gluten free. I’d have another wedding there in a heartbeat.

Katherine & Tyler’s ‘Getting Wedding-Ready’ Photos at Westminster Hotel

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Katherine & Tyler looked fabulous as they dressed for their big day here at Westminster Hotel . It’s such a wonderful moment to get to after so many months of looking forward to your big day, with so much excitement around you, and this exciting time captured by your photographer. We thank Dean Michaels Studio for sharing these images with us, and we’re excited to hear that Katherine & Tyler’s wedding was a winner in the studio’s first round of their Best of Weddings 2014 Facebook Contest!

west real wedding dean-michaels-studio-0002_0387 west real wedding dean-michaels-studio-0001_0222 west real wedding dean-michaels-studio-0005_0455 west real wedding dean-michaels-studio-0004_0450 west real wedding dean-michaels-studio-0010_0896

We’re especially happy that Katherine chose to pose for some of her ultra-glam wedding photos at Strip House. The luxe setting added so much elegant detail to her portraits!

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