4 Unique + Off the Beaten Path Wedding Venues in New Jersey

Planning a non-traditional wedding in New Jersey?

Looking to stray from the typical banquet halls? Not to worry, this wedding planner has got you covered! Join me for a weekly blog series where I will share a bunch of offbeat, contemporary and even secret venues where you can host your perfect wedding.

The possibilities are endless with a non-traditional venue! Everything from the schedule of events to the style and themes, you can design a wedding that is true to you and your love. Flexibility is key when you want to avoid the run of the mill and host a unique wedding. These venues allow you to imagine and create with little restraint- besides your budge that is. 

Sterlingbrook Farm | Pittstown, NJ

This renovated barn venue is perfect for the horse-loving bride and groom. It was established in 1979 as an equine veterinary clinic. Horses still roam the property in fenced sections as you drive down the picturesque dirt road entrance. The barn features a huge window and rafters for string lights making it perfect for a small wedding at any time of the day.  

Photography by Cinnamon Wolfe Photography

Laurita Winery | New Egypt, NJ

A vineyard in New Jersey?! Set the perfect ambiance for your wedding at Laurita Winery whether you choose to have it in the winery or smack dab in the middle of the vineyard! Your photos will be nothing short of amazing in this idyllic yet offbeat New Jersey venue.

Photography by Lin Pernille Photography

Photography by Mekina Saylor Weddings 

Willowwood Arboretum | Far Hills NJ

Willowwood Arboretum is perfect for the couple looking for venue where you can create different areas for entertaining while keeping tons of green space. The Stone Barn is too small to host a full wedding inside of it- even a small one. However, a combo of barn and tent provide sufficient coverage from the elements and keeps the open air option on the other side of the barn. The grounds surrounding The Stone Barn make for charming photo ops for you and your guests.

Willowwood is also great for food truck wedding with a paved drive in front of The Stone Barn, multiple food trucks can drive up and serve all of your guests seated under the tent.

Photography by Monika De Myer Photography

Fernbrook Farms | Columbus NJ

The Inn at Fernbrook Farms is a beautiful all-inclusive venue that sits on 200+ acres which you get full access to on your wedding day. The property can host your special day on the open air or tents on their expansive lawns and the Georgian Manor House built in 1750.

Photography by Love & Luck Photo

Top 6 Lessons from a Wedding Planner

As a wedding planner I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly.  The world of weddings is one that knows no limits to emotional up and down rollercoaster rides.  So, I am taking this opportunity to share some important lessons for brides- especially those who will not have a wedding planner or coordinator.  

1.    Hire Wedding Industry Professionals

I know that it may sound very appealing to have a family friend who “does photography” or “plays good music” fulfill these duties at your wedding but take it from me- this is usually a plan for disaster. There are few worse feelings than excitedly opening your wedding photo gallery and having to pick up your jaw from utter disappointment.

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2.    Always have a back up plan.

I learned this one early on. Whether it’s needed because of unpredictable weather or unruly guests- back up plans are a must. It’s good to think of the -what if’s and have a solution worked out – even if it’s just in your head. This will make trouble-shooting so much easier.

3.    Purchase a little extra of everything.

This goes for flowers, food, paper goods etc. Giving yourself a little wiggle room for errors or loss will save you a headache in the long run. This is especially true for DIY brides.

4.    Confirm vendors, and then re-confirm.

I expect all vendors in this business to offer exceptional service and honor their word but confirming is still a MUST. Make sure to confirm arrival times, set up times and services prior to the wedding.  Ensuring everyone is on the same page with the timeline will help you enjoy your day.

5.    Create a day of timeline

This is the key to a seamless event. For some this will be super comprehensive packed with details for every person or high-level with only the important items.  Either way, having a timeline will help everyone to run on time.  An added bonus is a timeline will allow each bride to “brain dump” while creating it which in turn helps reduce anxiety and stress levels leading up to the big day.

6.    Learn to let go- enjoy your day.

You can plan every single detail down to the last song the DJ will spin, yet some things are bound to go wrong.  The sooner you embrace this the better you can enjoy that momentous day.