LandmarkVenuesGarden Wedding NYC
Across 83 acres, the lush botanical gardens at Celebrate at Snug Harbor in Staten Island, NY, make this romantic wedding space a true gem and convenient for brides from the outer-boroughs in Brooklyn, Queens, NYC and NJ.
Accommodating 150-350 guests, your wedding venue options include the Tuscan Garden, NYC Chinese Scholars Garden, outdoor tented pavillion, museum & cultural center, and the Great Hall.
Check out Celebrate at Snug Harbor as featured in New York Weddings Magazine.
The formal Great Hall features 40-foot ceilings and Palladian windows, offering your guests a feeling of grandeur and elegance of the past. Numerous art galleries, including the New house Center for Contemporary Art, offer many spectacular and less traditional options.
Cocktails and smaller receptions can be enjoyed in the old-world charm and ambiance of the Lower Great Hall, which accommodates 50-150 guests.
Phillip Campanella -- Executive Chef
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.
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.
The Great Hall
Featuring 40-foot ceilings and palladian windows, the formal Great Hall conveys elegance and grandeur. The room can accommodate 150-350 guests. The Lower Great Hall is ideal for cocktail hours and smaller receptions.
The Chinese Scholar’s Garden
North America’s most authentic Chinese scholar’s garden was created by a team of artisans from Suzhou. The Ming Dynasty-style garden has a collection of beautiful walkways, pavilions and courtyards.
The Tuscan Garden
Modeled after the Villa Gamberaia in Florence, the Tuscan Garden stands out with its magnificently landscaped terraces, formal water elements, topiaries and period plantings. The glass-enclosed Lemon House is an inspired backdrop for photos.
Our beautifully crafted, crisp white tent provides a magnificent home for your reception or cocktail hour. Adjacent to the gardens and meadows of the Snug Harbor grounds, lounge furniture flanks the tent to encourage a warm, inviting feeling to this intimate space.
Cristina and Dan’s Wedding
Tiffeny and Jack’s Wedding
Jessica and Leo’s Wedding
Katie and Dan’s Wedding
Helen and Joel’s Wedding
Rose and Thomas’ Wedding
Pilar and Rodrigo’s Wedding
Rasha and Joseph’s Wedding
Tisha and Michael’s Wedding
Tali and Robert’s Wedding
Jen and Mike’s Wedding
Cristy and James Wedding
Mahati and Rahul’s Engagement
Cynthia and Elliott’s Wedding
Melissa and Norm’s Wedding
Cindy and Rich’s Wedding
Prathima and Jesse’s Engagement & Wedding
Kristina and Dan’s Wedding
My husband & I had the most amazing wedding experience at CSH. It was everything we could’ve hoped for and more! Lauren Jaume was incredible to work with -- she went above & beyond to make sure that everything was perfect for us! She was warm, and professional and we feel lucky to have been able to work with her during the process. Our friends and family are still raving about the food and how beautiful, romantic and fun our wedding was!
We highly recommend Lauren & CSH!!
Valerie and Daniel, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
Our wedding was simply amazing thanks to the professional and supportive staff of Celebrate at Snug Harbor! Our guests loved the food, the staff was excellent and we could not have imagined a better event. Unfortunately for us, it poured the evening of our wedding so our outdoor ceremony was out. Lauren, our wedding coordinator, worked with us to find another lovely venue on site and it was even better than we could have imagined.
We really can’t say enough about them- simply the best!!!
Jen and Mike Mallen, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
We had our Zen Buddhist wedding 5 days ago. Lauren and Jeanmarie took care of everything. We were so happy with their service, especially since not a lot of places are familiar with our ceremony. Everything was just beyond our expectation and beautiful. The Chinese Scholar Garden was breathtaking at sunset and lent itself seamlessly to our day. Just wonderful!
Thanks Lauren and Jeanmarie!
Lindsay and Sebouh, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
I wanted to thank you again for all your efforts to making my wedding day spectacular. I have been told my numerous guests that our wedding was”the best wedding they have ever attended”. That is something that I do not get tired of hearing. You were instrumental in making that happen.
I can’t thank you enough.
Linda and Michael Maclush, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
Thank you so much for working with us throughout the whole time! We are very grateful with the help and advice you have provided us. We will miss working with you when the event is over…We will definitely highly recommend you to our friends.
Heather & Bernard Kim, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
I really enjoyed my whole experience at Snug Harbor--Jeanmarie was very helpful in the planning stages and Victor was instrumental in making sure the day ran smoothly. I was really happy with the food, the decor and the management at Snug Harbor--our wedding day was magical.
Jen & Michael Piecuch, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
You have been an absolute joy to work with. You have been a wonderful help in pulling all of the details together. We know that your experience and hard work helped to make our wedding day run smoothly!
Tali and Robert Musliner, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
Thank you all so much for all your help and hard work in making our wedding such a success. Everything ran exactly as we had hoped! Our guests still can’t stop raving about how beautiful everything was! We are now settled in the DC area, enjoying married life…
Tanya and Pranay, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
Please accept our thanks to you and your staff for the wonderful wedding and reception we had for Natalie and Milosz. While you had no control over the weather (which was beautiful), all the touches, organization and hard work coalesced into a memorable function that everyone seemed to enjoy. The guests commented on the quality of the food and the beauty of the hall. You were able to soothe frazzled nerves so that we totally enjoyed the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and celebration. It was truly a memorable and fun day.
Thanks again for all the hard work.
Kathy and Bob Baldassano, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
Not only is Snug Harbor a breathtaking location, but it is also a premier venue for a wonderful wedding. I was just married this past weekend and was blown away by the care and quality of everything we were given in our package. The staff was attentive and kind- going above and beyond in making sure all details were perfect for us and more importantly, everything ran smoother than one would think for a 200 person wedding! We originally had an outdoor ceremony planned, but rain changed our plans. The indoor ceremony in the Upper Great Hall was spectacular; it did not matter that we couldn’t have our outdoor garden ceremony.
You get a lot of bang for your buck as well; wedding cake included in package, tons of delicious food (our guests raved about it), table cloths and other little details you don’t always think of until it’s too late were provided. We searched though Brooklyn and Manhattan- even Queens and nothing was as good a deal as Snug Harbor was plus [it had] great photo opts!
I fully recommend Snug Harbor.
Rebecca and Chris Tallie, Married at Celebrate at Snug Harbor
From the Outerbridge: Take 440 North to Staten Island Expressway ( I-278 E) to Exit 13 (Richmond Road/Clove Road). Turn left at first traffic light (Clove Road). Take Clove Road to Bement Avenue. Make slight right onto Bement Avenue. Make a right turn onto Henderson Avenue. Make a left turn onto Kissle Avenue. Make a right onto Snug Harbor Avenue. The entrance gate to Snug Harbor Cultural and Botanical Garden will be on the right. Follow signs for parking.
From the Bayonne Bridge: Take 440 South to Exit 10E to Staten Island Expressway ( I-278 E). Take to Exit 13 (Richmond Road/Clove Road). Turn left at first traffic light (Clove Road). Take Clove Road to Bement Avenue. Make slight right onto Bement Avenue. Make a right turn onto Henderson Avenue. Make a left turn onto Kissle Avenue. Make a right onto Snug Harbor Avenue. The entrance gate to Snug Harbor Cultural and Botanical Garden will be on the right. Follow signs for parking.
From the Goethals Bridge: Take the Staten Island Expressway ( I-278 E) to Exit 13 (Richmond Road/Clove Road). Turn left at first traffic light (Clove Road). Take Clove Road to Bement Avenue. Make slight right onto Bement Avenue. Make a right turn onto Henderson Avenue. Make a left turn onto Kissle Avenue. Make a right onto Snug Harbor Avenue. The entrance gate to Snug Harbor Cultural and Botanical Garden will be on the right. Follow signs for parking.
From Brooklyn, Queens & Long Island: Take the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island Expressway ( I-278 W). Take to Exit 13 (Richmond Road/Clove Road). Proceed to 3rd traffic light along service road. Turn right onto Clove Road. Take Clove Road to Bement Avenue. Make slight right onto Bement Avenue. Make a right turn onto Henderson Avenue. Make a left turn onto Kissle Avenue. Make a right onto Snug Harbor Avenue. The entrance gate to Snug Harbor Cultural and Botanical Garden will be on the right. Follow signs for parking.
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.