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Restaurant for a wedding in Central NJ

Hi folks!

Anyone have any ideas for a restaurant in Central NJ (looking for someplace within an hour of Momouth county) that holds weddings? I'm looking for an non-traditional space for my wedding, which will be about 150 - 175 people. Would love to hear any suggestions or ideas from other weddings you've been to and enjoyed! Open to all options, beyond restaurants, too!

Thanks so much!

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  1. How non-traditional would you like to get?

    My wife and I started planning a wedding at Bayonet farm in Holmdel, which has historic barns for rent. We were going to have food trucks come in and do the catering. It got to be too costly for us, and something like that, we thought we might even need a wedding planner to coordinate everything. It would have been a fun event, and we are thinking a few years down the road, we will do a renewal of vows there with the same idea.

    We ultimately went with the English Manor in Ocean. It is a wedding facility, but its a standalone grounds (not attached to a hotel or anything), it backs up to a golf course. They have beautiful grounds for pictures, and outdoor wedding/cocktail hour. The facility is really high class looking, but they are wonderful people and worked with us to get us a price we couldn't get any where else.

    We were able to skip things like an ice sculpture and a raw bar, and we had our wedding on a Sunday, but we couldn't have asked for more.

    The food was wonderful, and the cocktail hour was jammed packed full of great things to eat.

    12 Replies
    1. re: coldsolderjoint

      Is that the place Falco Bros. does the catering for?

      1. re: jrvedivici

        I'm not sure if they have a separate company running the kitchen. I assumed they did their own. I know there is a chef in charge, and all the cooking facilities are on site.

        http://www.theenglishmanor.com/

        1. re: jrvedivici

          If Falco is doing the catering there, run as fast as you can away from the English Manor. I've never been impressed with their food, though the sports banquets, etc were a direct result of 'budget'. That being said, the food has always been less than pedestrian. Bland, dry, lacking taste and panache.

            1. re: lep5887

              Must not be them then.. Our food was really good

        2. re: coldsolderjoint

          Thanks so much for this info! I'm considering Bayonet Farm as an option, but am a little worried about the DIY factor. The English Manor might be a good choice!

          1. re: lep5887

            Yeah.. Bayonet Farm is a really nice place, but you have to do everything yourself, including liquor, and if you serve liquor, u even need a one day insurance policy. (Ive read most homeowners insurance will give you a 1 day extension for a place you rent, or a standalone company would be like $150).

            Holmdel township requires building permits if you want to put a tent up outside, and fire inspection/permits if your caterer needs a generator. and the grey barn does not have bathrooms if i recall correctly, so then you even get into needing to rent a bathroom trailer.

            We thought it would be too cumbersome for us to manage everything by ourselves.

            1. re: coldsolderjoint

              Do you know how much it cost to rent the barn? (the red one)

              1. re: PSemmens

                We looked at it -- it's $8000 just to rent it (Holmdel residents pay a bit less). They do have bathrooms though. And a tent. So not having to rent those items helps balance the cost.

          2. re: coldsolderjoint

            What a beautiful wedding Coldsolderjoint! This sounds lovely! Congratulations on your marraige too!

          3. I went to an anniversary party, not a wedding, on this cruise line. I thought it was a pretty good time. We only had passed appetizer tho, no dinner.

            http://cornucopiacruise.com/weddings/

            1. 2 Great places to have your wedding...

              Shadowbrook - Shrewsbury, NJ

              Stone House - Warren, NJ

              7 Replies
              1. re: eatinman

                The Shadowbrook while certainly beautiful, I don't think would qualify as "non-traditional", it's pretty much as story book traditional as you get.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  Beautiful spot, the Shadowbrook. and yes, it's storybook traditional and beautiful.

                  One of my closest friends is the head chef there.

                  1. re: ParadiseWaits

                    Oh, cool! People love it there, I know.

                    1. re: ParadiseWaits

                      When I first moved to the area 20+ years ago the Shadowbrook was still serving ala carte dinners in their dining room. They advertised in the Entertainment Book for 50% off you check (or buy one meal of equal or greater value get one free), they also had chateaubriand on the menu for $49.99 for two. They served a very generous cut of Filet Mignon sliced/served table side with the proper accompaniments.

                      I would have this meal, in the Shawdowbrook with a few drinks for $40.00 for two. Unbelievable!!! PLUS they didn't "scratch" off the card so you could keep coming back and back and back. I must have had 20 chateaubriands the first year we moved down here.

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        I remember dinners at the Shadowbrook. I always felt like I was at a wedding. Sorta like having dinner in a Country Club. You keep thinking that you're about to hear the opening strains of Kool & the Gang's Celebration. Funny memories.

                        I'd put that place in squarely in the traditional wedding venue category - with shades of cliche. I guess it could do for a prom though . . . .

                        To the OP, I'll throw out Laurita Winery: http://www.lauritawinery.com/ It's a very cool place (though 150 people might be a little tight indoors).

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Laurita Winery is lovely! I'm going to check it out.

                  2. re: eatinman

                    Thank you so much for the suggestions! I love the Stone House, but eep, it is pricey!

                  3. The last wedding I went to was at the Waterwitch Club in Atlantic Highlands. It was the best wedding I've ever been to because the venue is so unconventional (for NJ) and unique - and it's on a hill overlooking the Manhattan skyline. You rent the facility and you bring in the catering and such. However, I think it only has capacity for 150; when I was there, dinner seating spilled out onto the porch. Also, the party must end at 9 p.m. because it's in the middle of a residential area.

                    I've also been to a wedding at Lobster Shanty's Sunset Ballroom in Point Pleasant. The ballroom decor is typical Jersey, but it's on the inlet and has windows. Good food, too.

                    Maybe the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park? The PNC Arts Center? Or Raven and the Peach in Fair Haven?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: yarncake

                      I'm so glad you loved a wedding at the Waterwitch! I'm going to see it next week, and it's definitely a contender. From photos I've seen, it looks like the Hamptons!

                      1. re: yarncake

                        Big "yuck" to the Lobster Shanty from me. I had to attend a baby shower there once and it was some of the worst banquet food I've had to endure anywhere in Jersey. People at my table were sending back food as unedible...the only good thing was the ice cream at the end.

                        1. re: sockii

                          Interesting. Maybe they - like many other catering operations - up their game for weddings and half-ass it for other events? (I had the seafood entrée and was pleasantly surprised. Of course, by that point I was quite boozed up and probably wasn't the best judge of food quality.)

                          1. re: yarncake

                            At the shower there was not even any booze offered (a crime against humanity IMHO, but then again I'm a childfreer so showers are kind of torture to begin with.) Anyway...I remember (because I wrote a review at the time) a very basic fruit salad that was mostly hunks of melon and dried coconut; an over-dressed salad with super-sweet raspberry vinaigrette; entree choice of chicken or pasta (no seafood!!!) where the pasta was so cold and congealed everyone who ordered it sent it back--I ordered the chicken and the green beans that came with it just tasted of tin can, the potatoes only tasted of salt. It was hideous.

                            1. re: sockii

                              Wait a second... You actually wrote a review about a shower you were invited to? You do realize that someone thought enough of you to extend n invite, then you actually reviewed their party? I hope that your 'friends' didm't read the part about At the shower there was not even any booze offered", who knows, maybe they couldn't afford much more than a basic party package. I hope they apologized to you for the horrible time you had to endure.

                              1. re: Herm

                                Where's the like button when you need it? Great response.