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Non-Wedding-Wedding Venues/Food Ideas

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I don't want a wedding, yet one must be had, so we've decided to keep it intimate and invite 50 of our nearest and dearest to an 'Autumn party', with no mention on the invite of it being our wedding.

My BFF will officiate the service, then we'll eat, drink and all the rest, having spared ourselves of the usual accoutrements of weddings, including gifts - we don't need anything from our loved ones but their presence. Hell, I don't even need that, but I'll shut up now.

I had a few ideas, initially - one being we do it at our house, then get food trucks to pull up and feed the crowd - only problem with that is we recently moved out of NYC and there is a distinct lack of food trucks in Central NJ.

Another idea was again in our house, catered, with antipasto & brick-oven pizza set up on rental tent/tables/chairs in our yard. But weather is unpredictable, and 50 people in our little house at one time will be uncomfortably crowded.

So now we're leaning towards Porta in Asbury Park, which seems like it could be a great, fun place and meets the requirements - good food, non-cliché venue, private room, BYOB and reasonably-priced.

I'm wondering if anyone else has any ideas along those lines of restaurants/venues in Central NJ or shore area that we might consider.

Thank you!

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  1. Porta was going to be my recommendation, and that was just based on your thread title! :-) Seriously--they have a couple of different side rooms, I see people having parties there all the time, and the food is EXCELLENT. The only question is...will they let you BYOB? They have a full liquor license.

    And btw, congratulations! I love the idea of a non-wedding!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Curlz

      Porta gets pretty expensive (for me anyways) when you request their party package brochure. OP doesn't mention price range.

    2. Pretty much any of the food trucks that do exist in NJ will cater a party.And even some of the NYC ones will travel.

      We had plans that sounded similar to yours, and I had a great deal worked out with Mike from Ahh! La Cart, and also the waffle truck guys.

      We eventually decided to go the traditional route, but it seemed like it would have been pretty cool.

      Check out Bayonet Farm in Holmdel, NJ. They have two old Barns you can rent. and it seems like it would be beautiful for an Autum Party. I'm not sure of your timeframe though, I think they book pretty far in advance.

      Another idea, theres a log cabin you can rent in Roosevelt park in Edison. My Wife just held a bridal shower there, and it was really nice. being in the park in autumn could be cool too and you can bring your own caterer and liquior. Theres a small kitchen there for them to use too.

      1. Congrats! In case you're not completely walking away from a food truck idea...and not knowing your budget...but the Nomad Pizza truck is a great option - they are based in Hopewell but will travel within 30 minutes - possibly further for an extra charge.

        They offer pizza and salad and also have pricing that includes dessert (in case you are not doing any kind of cake). Their pizza is fantastic.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pellegrino31

          Nomad's pizza truck immediately came to mind as well. They're great and I see many weddings on their event schedule.

          http://www.nomadpizzaco.com/pizza-tru...

        2. Can't fault Porta as a contender, however as noted by Curlz they are NOT a BYOB and I highly, highly doubt they would do a BYOB party simply for liability reasons.

          Here's a thought for you.....a fairly new and newly favorite place of mine is Christine's in the Atlantic Highlands. It is BYOB and it is small, actually 50 is probably it's capacity, so you would have the entire place to yourself. They have an outside patio/dining area for additional seating or ceremony.

          The owner Chef is Ron, I would give him a call and check it out. I have a feeling he would be pretty flexible with you since he always seems very eager to please.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8806...

          Here you will find some of my experiences as well as others who have tried it. There is a link at the bottom of that with their contact info. Good Luck!

          1. I too think you should stick with the food truck idea. What about the Taco Truck in NJ as one of the options? Their food is excellent. Just because they are not in your area doesn't mean you can't rent the truck for a few hours. Check it out.
            http://www.thetacotruck.com/