LandmarkVenuesPerfecting the Art
Your Wedding day should be memorable, wonderful and unique. Our team of “memorymakers” are experts at customizing your special day; treating each event as an individual experience. We tailor every detail to your individual taste, fulfilling the wedding day of your dreams.
At Landmark, we strive for perfection. Our venues, service, and cuisine are unmatched in the industry. The farm-to-table philosophy of our Chef’s make for an unforgettable gourmet experience.
Our venue spaces are like no other in existence…
The breathtaking waterfront, city views of The Liberty House
The rustic countryside grounds of The Stone House
The museum-like architecture and stunning grounds of Snug Harbor, where we specialize in Italian, Indian, and Chinese weddings.
The gorgeous and sophisticated barn wedding and unmatched amenities of The Ryland Inn
Discover the care and detail that goes into every event we create, and why it makes for a completely memorable experience.
Each and every staff member that makes up our team, has been hand-picked by event industry leaders in order to ensure that your event is executed flawlessly. Our memorymakers are experienced professionals who have a deep love and passion for weddings and events and our Chef’s are some of the best in the industry.
Chef Ken Trickilo
Liberty House Restaurant -- Executive Chef -- Ken Trickilo started his career in the kitchen as a high school student. He worked at a country club because he just needed a part time job. This is where he fell in love with cooking. When deciding what to do after college, he could only think of one thing, going to culinary school, even though his original plan was to go to school to be an architect. After obtaining his degree from the Culinary Institute of America, he worked for Chef Michael Colemico at his restaurant in Cape May. Afterwards he went on to work with Ed Stone at the Bernards Inn and then Panico’s in New Brunswick. In 1999 he obtained a Sous Chef position at Napa Valley Grill, where he eventually trained to be their head chef, who also traveled around the country opening new restaurants for the company. This is where he perfected his “farm to table” technique, using fresh, seasonal and if possible local ingredients to formulate amazing menus and exquisite cuisine. Here at Liberty House, Chef uses these same methods to create a dining experience in an unmatched locale. Among his many accolades, Chef’s most recent accomplishment was hosting the esteemed James Beard dinner.
Liberty House Restaurant– memorymaker – Event Stylist -- Danielle started booking events and weddings in 1995 and has not stopped since. Her passion for perfection shines through in every event she coordinates. Her sense of style combined with her client’s personal preferences creates new and exciting spins and twists on the classic, traditional and contemporary features of each and every event she works on. Some of Danielle’s clients include the New York Jets, New York Giants, American Idol, New Jersey Devils and The Cake Boss. Her favorite part of her job is “obvious…making memories!”
Liberty House Restaurant– memorymaker -- Terra has always had a true love of food, creativity and celebrations. While working in the hospitality industry while obtaining a degree in Psychology she realized her true passion was planning and executing events. To further her knowledge of food and catering Terra obtained a Chefs’ degree from the Natural Gourmet Cookery School in Manhattan, a school that specializes in vegetarian and green cooking .Terra has worked in 4-Star hotels & upscale private clubs throughout New York City. Joining the Landmark team in 2004 Terra has used her experience and passion to help create spectacular celebrations and continuously exceeds her client’s expectations.
Liberty House Restaurant-memorymaker -- Mara was born into the restaurant industry; her grandmother opened one of the first Mexican Restaurants in New York in 1956. She would constantly hang out in the kitchen as a child, wait on tables as a teen and went on to manage the dining room as an adult. Unfortunately, the family business was forced to close due to skyrocketing rents. She went on to work in the retail and in the administrative field until she applied for a position at Liberty House in 2003. She worked her way up from a host to office manager and finally, to her current role of Event Stylist. Mara enjoys all aspects of coordinating events from the initial meeting, to bonding with clients, organizing all the details, to the day of, where it all comes to fruition. Her position allows her the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, put her organizational skills to good use and provides a sense of excitement since no two days are ever the same.
Liberty House Restaurant - General Manager -- memorymaker -- Jonathan, a seasoned hospitality professional started his career in the industry nearly twenty-one years ago. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, he started his career helping to run and operate a four star hotel in the Poconos. He also worked for the multi-billion dollar company, The Cheesecake Factory, training employees, managing operations, and traveling to open new restaurants. Jonathan went on to work for Back Bay Restaurant Group, It’s Our Pleasure Hospitality Group, and was the regional culinary manager for Tiff’s and Johnny Carino’s. He is well versed in all hospitality and culinary processes, with a sincere passion and love of both. Jonathan joined the Landmark Hospitality team as general manager of Liberty House Restaurant and immediately fit in because of his genuine love for the hospitality business and the desire to make memories for every guest.
Chef Jerry Villa
Stone House at Stirling Ridge -- Executive Chef -- memorymaker -- Jerry Villa received his formal training from the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Villa has a long standing relationship with Landmark, dating back to 1997 when he was the Banquet Chef at The Boathouse in Central Park. In addition to The Boathouse, Chef Villa also worked with us as Executive Chef at Lundy’s in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. In 2000, Chef Villa reunited with us when we opened Liberty House inside Liberty State Park, Jersey City. Jerry has also worked in conjunction with Relish Caterers and was Executive Chef at The Chart House.
Stone House at Stirling Ridge -- Event Stylist– memorymaker – Carissa has been working for Landmark for nearly 9 years. She started as a hostess, using this job as a way to help her pay for college. However, Carissa had found her home and career here and over time she has worked her way up to becoming an event stylist at Stone House. Her favorite part of the job is that she gets to be a part of one of the most important days of someone’s life, their wedding day. She loves that every day is different, every event is different and that she learns something new every single day.
Stone House at Stirling Ridge - Event Stylist– memorymaker – started at Stone House as our office manager, and was so organized and congenial, she seemed a natural fit for planning events. Since starting in this position, she has excelled greatly, receiving numerous accolades from colleagues and clients. She loves to see all of her hard work come to fruition.
Stone House at Stirling Ridge - Restaurant Manager -- memorymaker -- Enrique, a native of Peru, knows great food. He also knows great architecture, as he studied it for many years abroad and in the United States. As a student of architecture, Enrique was in awe when he first walked in to Stone House, “the building is amazing, unlike any other restaurant I had been to.” He came to work at Stone House to support himself and his growing family while he attended school. He worked his way up from server over the years and suddenly realized, he loved hospitality. He loves making guests happy, making memories. “I treat everyone as if they are coming into my own home, not a restaurant” says Enrique. He has now been with Stone House for nearly eight years and still finds it to be fun and rewarding each and every day.
Stone House at Stirling Ridge - Assistant Restaurant Manager- memorymaker – After graduating with a degree in political science/international relations from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Andrea began her career with Landmark, as a back server at Stone House. It was only supposed to be a summer job, she had planned to go to law school, however, there was something about the restaurant business that intrigued her. Due to her impeccable guest service, she soon became a server and then became the assistant manager of the restaurant in 2011. “ I love this restaurant, and it’s really awesome that Enrique and myself have seen the restaurant grow and change over the years. I feel like I grew up with this place. I always say, I never set out to work in this business but it is in my heart, and it is what makes me happy, and that is something that makes me very grateful.” Andrea has formed unbreakable friendships with many of the regular guests and loves meeting new people every day. She loves being a part of our guests special celebrations and making their vision become a reality; she truly feels like a memorymaker because of it.
Chef Anthony Bucco
The Ryland Inn -- Executive Chef -- memorymaker -- The roots of Chef Bucco’s cooking philosophy and passion come from the central role that food played in his family growing up. He is indebted to his grandmother Adrianna Bucco, who passed that heritage on to him. Chef’s passionate menu captures the season, while relying on quality ingredients and advanced technique. Chef Bucco honed his skills working in a variety of restaurants, always with an eye for local ingredients, farmers, sustainable agriculture and bold, natural and honest flavors. With over 12 years’ experience in some of the best kitchens on both sides of the Hudson, Chef Bucco’s resume includes leading the kitchens of Uproot in Warren, NJ, Provence in NYC, Restaurant Latour in Hamburg, NJ, and Stage Left in New Brunswick, NJ, in addition to opening Catherine Lombardi, while Chef at Stage Left. One reviewer called his food “streamlined and focused, achieved through a razor-sharp, almost contradictory balance of minimal cooking and maximum consideration of elements paired in each dish, [it's about] control of fresh ingredients and flavors, [cuisine] at the top of its game.” Chef Bucco is a graduate of The New York Restaurant School and is excited to start a new journey at The Ryland Inn.
The Ryland Inn -- Chef d’Cuisine -- memorymaker - Inspired by his family’s own kitchen and garden growing up, it seemed natural that Craig Polignano would, from the age of 13, choose to work in an array of local NJ restaurants before making the decision to attend the Culinary Institute of America in pursuit of his career in food service. After completion of his studies, Craig’s relentless enthusiasm landed him a spot in the kitchen of The Ryland Inn of Whitehouse, NJ. There his passion and dedication prompted him to enhance the existing 3-acre organic garden by building a 15-bed specialty herb garden with dozens of varietals. Craig went on to expand his knowledge base and worked for such titans as Sous Chef at Copeland in the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, NJ, and shortly after was promoted to Chef de Cuisine at The Bernards Inn. Following his experience at the Bernards Inn, Craig was offered an opportunity to work for the Michael Mina group at the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, California as the Executive Chef of the Stonehill Tavern. After experiencing California, Craig is excited to return home to New Jersey and the Ryland Inn, the beginning of his fine dining career. His energy and diligence will enable him to join two complimentary halves of fine restaurant service: the marriage of art’s passion and sensory explosiveness with an earnest commitment to service.
Martyna Krowicka -- Sous Chef
Landmark Hospitality’s up and coming young chef!
Born in Poland and raised in New Jersey, Chef Krowicka has always had a strong connection to the farm and making it translate on the plate. A devout supporter of all things local she proudly works with produce and meat from small family farms, plus with herbs and produce from her own garden. A proponent of sustainability, Chef prides herself on sourcing responsibly. Her simplistic approach to cuisine lends itself to a refined elegance, a perfect match for Hotel Du Village.
Chef Krowicka’s cooking philosophy and passion stem from her upbringing in Europe coupled with her experiences throughout school and her time spent apprenticing and working at high end restaurants in the tri-state area. Her thoughtful menus rely on seasonal ingredients and advanced technique.
A graduate of The French Culinary Institute, she has continued to hone her skills, always with a focus on bold, natural and honest flavors. Her most recent experiences as Sous Chef at The Ryland Inn, have helped to pave the way for her next role.
The Ryland Inn -- Event Stylist -- memorymaker - With over 20 years of experience in events and sales management, and armed with degrees from Johnson & Wales University, Danielle is a wonderful addition to The Ryland Inn team. Her experience includes working in high end, five star boutique hotels, such as the Cincinnatian, as well as the Marriot and Merry Makers Catering. In each position she has held she has organized and executed high end events for guests from twenty attendees to four hundred attendees. Her attention to detail, concern for her clients and sheer intelligence are her greatest attributes and are sure to make any occasion you work on with her, a memorable one.
The Ryland Inn -- Office Manager- memorymaker - Twenty five years of banking and financial services experience helped hone Shari’s organizational skills but left her soul unsatisfied. Some say it was a mid-life crisis but Shari chose to leave her cushy corporate finance job to pursue her dream of working in the restaurant business. She went back to college to earn a certificate in restaurant management then off to an internship at the happiest place on earth. It was there that the seeds of her yet unpublished (and yet unwritten) memoir “How I went from Six Figures to $6 an Hour in Search of Happiness” took root. Upon returning to New Jersey Shari was fortunate enough to join the team at Stage Left (and later also Catherine Lombardi) where she wore many hats including Office Manager and Events Coordinator. Shari is thrilled to bring her corporate experience and passion for fine dining to The Ryland Inn.
Celebrate at Snug Harbor -- Executive Chef -- memorymaker -- Phil Campanella, a seasoned Chef and New York Restaurant School graduate started his career as and the Sous Chef at Embassy Suites (New York City) and then went on to be Larry Forgione’s Sous Chef for his 3.5 Star restaurant, An American Place (New York City). Larry Forgione, “The Godfather of American Cuisine” was instrumental in inspiring Chef Phil to create incredible American cuisine, using fresh, local ingredients.
In 2002, he went to work for Frank and Jeanne Cretella as Executive Chef at The Liberty House in Jersey City and remained there for over nine years. Under Phil’s culinary leadership, The Liberty House came to be recognized as one of the top restaurants and prime wedding and event venues in the industry. While at Liberty House, Phil executed a wedding featured on “My Fair Wedding” with David Tutera, as well as Platinum Weddings and was responsible for food preparations for the American Idol Auditions 2011 season. Chef Phil’s incredible herb garden at Liberty House was one of his standout achievements; incorporating a true farm-to-table culture. Whatever he didn’t grow he sourced locally from farmers who were a part of Zone 7, a cooperative of farms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who are instrumental in providing ingredients for local restaurants and grocers.
Chef Phil is a three time James Beard House guest Chef and a Staten Island Advance cooking contest judge. He has prepared a wine dinner for Michael Colemeca’s radio show “Food Talk”, has appeared as guest on the Joan Hamburg Show and routinely held cooking classes at Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Williams Sonoma. His resume also includes working with celebrity Chef Guy Fieri on Ritz Chips flavor recipes.
After taking a brief hiatus from working for the Landmark group of restaurants to work on the corporate side of the food and beverage industry, Phil returns as Executive Chef of Celebrate at Snug Harbor. A native Staten Islander whose family has deep roots in the community, he is thrilled to be able to execute pristine events with exceptional cuisine at this incredible venue.
Celebrate at Snug Harbor -- Event Stylist- memorymaker -A true “people person”, has worked in hospitality for many years, Diane is a diligent and dedicated team member. She has been working on and off for the Cretella’s for over twenty years, starting as a member of their wait staff at Perfect Parties for Snug Harbor. She worked her way up through the ranks from waitress, to Maitre ‘d and then onto sales and event management. Her loyalty to their hospitality business speaks volumes about her character and how she interacts with each and every client. Her ability to make you feel at home when you are at an appointment with her is unmatched and something that cannot be taught. Diane has always loved working with Brides & Grooms in planning the biggest day of their life. She loves seeing each and every event she helps plan come to fruition.
To all our Friends at Liberty House,
Words cannot express the gratitude we feel towards all of you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. All of you went above and beyond to make our wedding spectacular. It was more than either one of us could have expected.
The pride, attention to detail and the personal attention given to us made our wedding the greatest day of our lives. I still get chills thinking about it…guests are still complimenting and raving with comments like “This is the best wedding I’ve ever been to.”
From the cocktail hour to the after party these was not one complaint nor is there one thing we would change. We would recommend the Liberty House to anyone planning a function.
A special thanks to Danielle for her expertise, smile and warmth… you made our wedding day all that we dreamed about. We would also like to thank Jeanne who has created a family like atmosphere and it shows in how your functions are run. This stems from the top you have created a true gem at the Liberty House..!!
Jill & Rocco Rezza, Married at Liberty House
I want to thank you and everyone at the Liberty House for making our daughter Kathleen’s wedding absolutely amazing! We could not have been happier with everything, from the food to the ambiance to all of the people assisting us throughout the evening! I will make sure I post something on your Facebook page telling everyone how wonderful it was, and I want to thank you especially for coordinating everything!
Sheila & Matt Boyle, Married at Liberty House
I just want to thank you for EVERYTHING that you did. You and your staff made our wedding a night to remember for everyone. People are still telling us how much fun they had and how they enjoyed all the food, drinks and atmosphere.
Thank you for making my wedding dreams come true!
I can’t wait to have another party there!!!!!!
Please let me know who your supervisor is so that I can send them rave reviews of you!!!!
Shea & Peter Williams, Married at Liberty House
Damon and I would just like to thank you and your staff for a wonderful reception. We received numerous compliments about the food, attentive service and atmosphere. We could not have had such a wonderful wedding reception without all of your assistance and advice.
Please give a special thank you to Natalia. She was very attentive and catered to all of our needs.
Thank you (again) for everything.
Nadira & Damon Young, Married at Liberty House
Just wanted to let you know how pleased we were with the wedding last Friday. You did a terrific job.
We received raves from both families about it. Everyone complimented the food and venue as being one of the best weddings they ever attended.
Watching the skyline light up during the ceremony was just magical. I thought it was better without the drapery as there was nothing to obscure the panoramic view. Jennifer and Victor were so happy and excited that day. I am forwarding two pictures that a family member took.
Thank you for a professional job well done.
Rose and Mark Muhlenbruch, Jennifer & Victor’s Wedding
I wanted to say Thank You so much for all of your help putting together a fabulous wedding! We got so many compliments on the wedding, specifically the venue, the food, and the fireworks!!
We appreciate you working with us to create such a magical night! I will send you some pictures when they come in from the photographer.
Kristen & Leor Shapiro, Married at Liberty House
Please know that we felt you did an outstanding job taking care of us and making our wedding reception so special.
We, along with our family and friends, are still talking about how wonderful everything was. The food, the decor, the view, and the overall fantastic evening we all had will always be remembered. In fact, James and I would love to come back and have our anniversary dinner at the Liberty House.
Again, thank you for everything you did, and we look forward to seeing you again.
Krista & James Jefferies, Married at Liberty House
Michael and I just want to thank you so much for helping make last night the wedding of our dreams. Everything was absolutely magnificent and our guests would just not stop raving about it!
So thank you, thank you, thank you! : )
Danielle & Michael Urso, Married at Liberty House
I am now back to the real world again, but I just wanted to take the time to e-mail you and thank you for the amazing job you did with the wedding. Everything was great and Bethany and I enjoyed ourselves so much. You helped to make it all come together and for that we are greatly appreciative. If you ever need a customer recommendation or testimony, we would be happy to provide it.
Bethany & Eric Berman, Married at Liberty House
A different approach: Trade Bridal Bootcamp for Mindful Maintenance
by Dominique DiCristo
Mental health is just as important as physical health during this time (and in life). So if your first thought was a crash course, regimented workout (slim down, tone up, see results), perhaps you might consider recasting your expectations and goals. Physical fitness is only one component of well-being. Physical health is not independent of mental health but rather the two work in tandem to create positive well-being.
A good place to start is Martha Stewart’s Get Wedding-Ready Guide: Fashion & Beauty. There you will find helpful information on beauty, nutrition, fitness, and stress management; tips on how to keep up with a fitness routine, (if you’re someone who likes routine), and simple guidelines for eating and drinking more healthily.
If you’re someone who exercises regularly but still wants to shake things up, consider what other elements of cross-training you can integrate into your routine. If you’re someone who does not exercise regularly but wants to start, then this is a great opportunity. Check in with yourself. What is your goal? Is it an acute episode of ‘good health’ that ends on your wedding day? Or is it sustained health, lasting results, and a general feeling of well-being? Don’t be extreme. Your efforts would be better spent working on small adjustments that, if implemented over the course of the engagement (and beyond!), will yield lasting results.
Fitness routines often steal the spotlight in times such as these, so it is important to remember that equal time should be invested in improving both physical AND mental health. Working towards balanced health will make your efforts more effective and efficient. It is important to achieve the look you want for yourself for your special day but (a) don’t be unrealistic with your goals; (b) remember, the goal is not to be a different person; (c) there’s enough stress as it is… so there is no need to put added pressure on yourself!
An effective goal is put yourself in a position in which you are perfectly poised to handle stress. This means avoiding hunger, and boosting energy and brain function. It’s about feeling good and feeling healthy and, remember, there are no hard and fast rules on what that feeling should look like. Be mindful of your stress levels and take care of yourself emotionally as well as physically.
One Day (not the one by David Nicholls)
by Dominique DiCristo
The average length of an engagement is 1-2 years. According to, “Real Simple: Wedding Planning and Budget Basics,” the venue is typically booked 16-9 months in advance and the entertainment, photographer, and caterer, 8 months in advance. Then there is the dress, 8-7 months in advance, the florist and bridesmaids dresses, 7-6 months, transportation, make-up artists, cake, invitations, rehearsal dinner, favors, readings, etc.
In short, your wedding is a momentous occasion that requires months of planning. That being said, the average wedding is 5 to 7 hours, then it is a memory. You will have many decisions to make in those months of planning, so if the decision whether or not to hire a videographer is one that you are struggling with, perhaps it is worthwhile to take a step back from the details of the wedding day and consider the memory that will remain.
There are moments of the day that you will not be a part of, for example, watching your guests arrive and the cocktail hour, because you will be either in transit or posing for formal pictures. It is important to somehow capture the fleeting moments, document those details, and watch how all those months of planning have paid off as your loved-ones enjoy and admire the preparation you have put into the day.
While nearly all weddings have professional photographers, approximately only 50% have videographers as well. Peter Ferriero of PF Films says, “pictures are great but with video, those moments come back to life. The bride can later watch what it was like for the groom to get ready and vice versa.” At PF Films (offices in New Jersey and Manhattan) wedding videography is cinematography because it is about synthesizing all the details of a single day and telling a cohesive story.
When choosing a videographer it is important to consider how you want your story to be told. Do you want the day to simply be documented à la traditional videography? Or do you want a more stylized type of storytelling in the fashion of current cinematography? The good news is that with the advancement of technology, having a videographer is not as big of a production as it once was. Cameras are smaller and it is easier to light a room, which means that filming is less disruptive and can be kept, if you want, “low-profile.”
Choosing a specific videographer will be like any other decision you will make regarding your wedding whether it’s selecting a photographer, DJ, florist, etc. Consider references, a portfolio of their past work, and, above all, personality. Meet with the videographer. Is this someone that understands and shares the vision you have for your day? Is he or she someone capable of capturing the memory you are crafting? There are package options to accommodate different budgets; it comes down to how you choose to invest in the re-telling of your special day.
The Perfect Marriage: Bride and Photographer
by Dominique DiCristo
Right now the market for wedding photography is huge and diverse but like any other market it is consumer driven. Jeffrey Vock, a wedding photographer based in Jersey City, Hoboken, and the Hudson County area, compares it to contemporary women’s fashion, “It is a mix of everything but in the end, there is something out there for everybody.”
You will hear individual photographers describe their style as illustrative, traditional, artistic, contemporary, photojournalistic, etc. and you will face a slew of package options, some basic and others extravagant but ultimately it comes down to, what do you want? How do you want your wedding day to be remembered?
Wedding photographer, Michael Dempsey, outlines several things to consider when meeting with a photographer: experience, references, samples of their work, and, if possible, samples of their previous work at your venue. If you are hiring by way of a larger studio that employs several photographers, be sure that you are meeting with the photographer who will actually be shooting your wedding and make certain your contract clearly states that that photographer is the one who will be present on your wedding day. (Dempsey has locations in Jersey City and Middletown, NJ).
When choosing a photographer, consider the complete album of a single wedding. Bear in mind the more formal portrait shots as well as the unique candid moments. How versatile do you want your album to be? Can a single photographer deliver the variety of shots you desire? Some can. Others have second or assistant photographers to help with that.
PERSONALITY. So you’ve seen the product and you are pleased but is the photographer someone you can work well with on your special day? Do you feel comfortable with the photographer? Do you trust his or her judgement? How will he or she interact with your family and friends? A positive working relationship will make for a more seamless and enjoyable wedding day for you and your guests.
Test the waters. See if you can arrange the engagement shoot as a way to see how you interact with each other and the kind of shots the photographer is capable of. Often times the engagement shoot is thrown into the package as a “freebie” (but rest assured, you are probably paying for it). Ask if the photographer is willing to hold the engagement shoot separate from the wedding package as a sort of non-binding way to feel things out.
There are competent photographers at each level of the price scale so first think about what is most important to you. Is it the particular product/style? Is it the personality of the photographer? Is it a bit of both? Ask around and trust your instincts!
DJ versus Live Band
So you’ve picked the venue. Next decision, the music. Live band? DJ? Both? How do you decide?
“First, decide your budget,” says Scott Horniak of Craig Scott Entertainment, a full-service entertainment agency with offices in New Jersey, Manhattan, and Westchester. A wedding appropriate DJ costs $2,000-$5,000 and a live band costs $5,000-$10,000. If you’re not fixed to shopping on one end or the other of this price range, then you might consider mixing and matching various elements to create a unique listening backdrop for your wedding celebration.
Next, advises Horniak, it is important to consider the energy level you wish to achieve and the environment you are trying to create, as well as the age range of your guests and what will be most unanimously entertaining.
In choosing a DJ, your musical options are basically limitless. That being said, it is extremely important to choose a “wedding appropriate DJ” or rather a DJ appropriate for your wedding.
Doing the necessary research is key, says Eric Bischoff, President of Sound Explosion, a disc jockey and production company headquartered in Staten Island. You should look for companies that have commercial style office space and location and consider their references and affiliates. This will help to distinguish high-quality DJ companies from hobbyist DJs. Secondly, meet with someone at the agency. Ask for pictures of their setup and discuss your preferred style of entertainment. How interactive do you want the DJ/MC to be with guests? What is your etiquette expectation?
Effective communication is essential to make sure that you and the DJ are on the same page about what is expected and what is delivered. It is important to trust your instinct when meeting and interviewing at the agency, says Bischoff. Remember that in choosing a DJ you have a great deal of flexibility and variability which allows for a highly customized experience. So be specific! And keep in mind all the fast, slow, active, and inactive moments of the evening.
A live band is inherently entertaining. The energy and elegance that comes from live vocalists and musicians is unmatched. Unfortunately, quality does come at a price and that price can be up to double what it costs for the the most expensive DJ.
Today, there are many “best of both worlds” solutions, such as band/DJ combos or an after-cake “after party.” Live aspects, such as vocalists and/or keyboards, percussion, etc. are being incorporated into DJ productions. For every issue of personal preference, budget, and mass appeal there is a compromise that can be reached. When it comes down to it, you are free to pull together whatever elements you see fit to create that ideal atmosphere you envision for your wedding celebration.
Make your BIG day stand out!
o Make a video to welcome your guests (you can also include these in your hotel bags for you’re out of town guests and include sights to see in the area, places to eat, etc.)
o Create an indoor garden by lining your ceremony and/or venue space with topiaries, potted palm trees or vases filled with flowering branches so you don’t need to stress over the ever changing weather when having an outdoor event.
o Use a mix of couches and chairs for your ceremony or use a myriad of different vintage chairs for a more eclectic look.
o Make your day a reflection of who you are as a couple, add your favorite desserts to the menu or give them out as favors, name your tables after places you have traveled to together, or have the local jazz band you both love come play at your cocktail hour.
o Make your guests feel like they have traveled to another country. Create at Tuscan Garden feel, using farmhouse tables and glass vases filled with herbs and sunflowers or create a nautical feel using seersucker striped tablecloths and elegant wooden chairs.
o Instead of a Photo booth for your guestbook, do a video booth! Guests can sing a song dedicating it to you or say just a few sweet words!
o Hanging candles in glass orbs (LED candles of course), lanterns, multicolored tulle, and hanging flowers, all add interest to your event.
o Down time for your guests in between your ceremony and reception? Hire a tour bus to take them around your town or city, or if you’re having a countryside wedding, set up lawn games and refreshments to entertain your guests.
o Make your centerpieces your own. Are you or your future spouse into art? Put a box of leggos, wooden blocks or Lincoln logs to have your guest create their own centerpiece “sculpture”.
o Create your own signature cocktail that represents you both as the guests of honor. Come up with a fun name for it. Or create two cocktails, one to represent each of you.
o Everyone always looks at the Bride on the wedding day, but what about the Groom! Add some interest to his tux by incorporating funky colored socks, a patterned bow tie, converse sneakers or a fun hat. Make it go with your theme, downtown chic, vintage or sophisticated with flair.
o Display vintage photographs of your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles on their wedding day at your reception.
o Place a box with vintage postcards asking everyone to write some “marital advice”.
o Hire a dance troupe, flash mob or salsa dancers to get the party started and provide interesting and unexpected entertainment for your guests.
o Fireworks! If your venue allows, this is a great way to end your most memorable night!
Coming up with a sophisticated theme
o 25% of couples have themed weddings, courtesy of The Knot.
o Themes sometimes get a bad rap, but if you choose wisely, your theme will be a real hit and make your wedding stand out from the rest.
One of our Stone House brides, who works in publishing, had her bouquets and centerpieces made out of origami. The paper used was from the famous novel “Jane Eyre”, a story about a young woman who finally finds her love.
The exquisite architecture, materials, and design of our venues, make for a spectacular wedding that you and your guests will never forget. Each venue different, to complement your personal style and the theme of your memorable event.
Skyline views, cabanas, firepits, gardens and a selection of distinctive rooms, pavilions and grounds for you to hold your ceremony and reception.
Click here to view our e-brochure!
The perfect mix of rustic and modern, this countryside manor boasts a ballroom, a separate Gallery room, cabanas and lush gardens all at the foot of the beautiful Watchung Mountains.
Click here to view our e-brochure!
Celebrate at Snug Harbor:
Romantic and architecturally stunning, this classic landmark is a unique destination for your most memorable day. The tremendous ceilings of the Great Hall, Chinese Scholars Garden, Tuscan Garden and the magnificent botanical gardens, allow for a multitude of choices for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception site.
The Ryland Inn:
Romantic and luxurious; rustic yet refined, the new Ryland Inn is an inspiring setting to mark your new life together. The amenities being built on the grounds, rich history and beautiful country setting of this magnificent space are unmatched by any other venue.