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:

Q&A: How Many Gluten-Free Menu Items Should We Have at our Wedding?

Westminster Wedding gluten-free menu items

Today starts our Q&A series! Our team here at Westminster Weddings, and will be answering your questions about wedding catering, bridal showers, engagement parties and all other events and topics related to your big day.

Q: Some of our guests are on gluten-free diets. What percentage of our cocktail party menu items should be gluten-free, and should we offer more than one gluten-free entrée option?

Westminster Weddings team: Great question! We’re thankfully far, far away from the days when gluten-sensitive guests found very little to choose from on wedding menus, picking at salads and wishing they were more of a priority to the wedding couple. At Westminster Weddings, we pay special attention to your guests’ dietary needs, and we’ve come up with lots of ways to make them happy.

While you could create a menu with as many or as few gluten-free items as you wish, in order to give your GF guests a wide variety of dishes to choose from, our general advice is to make 25% of your menu gluten-free. Some cocktail party menu choices include: Antipasto Displays, Assorted cheeses, Carving Stations, and a Raw Bar.

Keep in mind that there are always substitute ingredients that can be used for traditional wedding cocktail party stations, including Gluten Free Pasta, Gluten Free Mashed Potatoes, using Tamari or Kikkoman Brand Soy Sauce on the Asian Station, and more. Our chefs will work with you to customize your wedding menu overall, including creative ways to offer more gluten-free menu choices for your guests, to create cocktail party, dinner and dessert dishes that will please all of your guests, including those on specialty diets.

Rachael Ray Says 2015’s Top Food Trend is Soup!

Rachael Ray magazine

In the newest issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine, listing the top food trends of the past 10 years, Rachael names Soup as the #1 food trend for 2015. We’re all about on-trend menu items for our weddings and parties, and we know that a great soup station or soup course during the wedding’s cocktail hour and dinner is always a crowd-pleaser, especially when it’s a heart fall-flavor soup like French onion soup or lobster bisque.

A fabulous chef-prepared soup elevates this menu item, especially with our chefs’ penchant for farm-fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. Add in a dreamy, cheesy top layer to onion soup and big, luscious chunks of lobster in our bisque, and you have a trendsetting winner on your menu.

 

 

Our Bride Natasha Dishes on her Westminster Wedding Menu

Wedding at the Westminster Hotel

We’re so happy to hear from our bride Natasha after her wedding held here at Westminster Hotel. In this and future posts, we’ll share some of her favorite moments from her big day. [We thank Dean Michaels Studio for the fabulous photos!]

We asked Natasha about her favorite memories from her cocktail party: “Eating food by ourselves!  (LOL!)  It was nice to enjoy each other’s company before all the fun began.  Honestly, everything we had was soo delicious!  We didn’t have one complaint (although I really wanted the chicken and waffles on the menu and didn’t get to try that…)”

 

Favorite details or dishes from your reception:  “Jon loved the crabcake!  Our filet mignon was cooked to perfection!  A couple of our guests mentioned to us that their servers made sure their steaks were cooked to their liking and they really appreciated that because you don’t normally get that from anywhere else.”

Crab cakes at a Westminster Wedding

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.”

Thank you, Stacy and Ryan, for your Wonderful Review of your Westminster Wedding!

Stacy and Ryan's wedding at Westminster Hotel
My husband and I got married on April 11, 2015 and our reception was at Westminster Hotel. From the first meeting with the Director of Catering & Special Event, to booking and scheduling the food tasting, and all the way up to the actual reception, we could not have asked for better service. Our planner was quick to answer all my emails and she went out of her way to make everything perfect. The entire staff helped us and made our families feel like all they had to do was have a great time. So many of our guests made a point to contact us after the reception to tell us how much they enjoyed the reception and tell us the food was phenomenal, there were so many choices for cocktail hour , and they loved the little things they did such as displaying our pictures on the TV screens in the lobby welcoming everyone. The ballroom is very pretty and spacious. The bartenders and wait staff were very friendly. Needless to say, my husband and I are very happy with our choice of Westminster Hotel and want to take this time to thank you. You and your staff have made this a great experience for all involved.

– Stacy & Ryan 4/11/15

Jennifer-Lauren and Sean’s Westminster Wedding was a Blast!

We LOVE this video of Jennifer-Lauren and Sean’s Westminster Hotel wedding! Don’t miss the dancing section at the end of the video – it’s outstanding!

 

Jennifer-Lauren + Sean :: Westminster Hotel :: Wedding Highlights from Delia Studios on Vimeo.