We’ve been selected as a 2014 New Jersey Bride Love It award winner!

New Jersey Bride

We are very happy to announce that The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ has recently been selected as a 2014 New Jersey Bride Love It award winner! We are so very honored to receive this accolade from New Jersey Bride, New Jersey’s premier bridal magazine.

The New Jersey Bride Love It Awards for 2014 feature companies in the bridal industry that New Jersey Bride finds instrumental in planning the perfect wedding. Our NJ hotel wedding and event venue has been featured as one of the best wedding hotel venues in NJ! Visit the New Jersey Bride website to learn more about the 2014 Love it Awards.

If you are searching for the top wedding venues in the Northern New Jersey area, we welcome you to contact one of our staff members to plan your tour of our hotel today. More information regarding our elegant ballrooms and intimate venues are available on our website.

Until next week,
The Wilshire Grand Hotel

The Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid!

Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Getting hitched and not sure where to begin? We’ve listed the biggest wedding planning mistakes to avoid so you can create the perfect celebration. For many, planning a wedding may sound like a piece of wedding cake but for some, the entire wedding planning process can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s better to start off with learning the biggest wedding planning mistakes to avoid before you start planning anything else. There’s many do’s and don’ts for planning a wedding, don’t fall victim to the biggest wedding planning blunders.

The biggest wedding planning mistakes to avoid:

#1 Planning and booking a venue before your guest list is finalized. Before you do anything else, you should sit down and create your guest list. If your parents are helping you pay for the wedding then it is important to have their input, as well. It is acceptable to have an A list and a B list of guests because it is highly unlikely that 100% of your guests on your A list will attend. Just make sure you have a very good idea of how many guests will be in attendance so you have a very clear idea of how much space you will need. Then you can begin searching for the wedding venue of your dreams.

#2 Having a cash bar. Sometimes when your spending a lot of money all at once, it may be tempting to try to cut corners but you shouldn’t expect your guests to have to pay for anything at your reception. Keep in mind that weddings are expensive for your wedding guests, as well. Let them enjoy an open bar and everyone will be happy. This is not the time to try to cut corners, which brings us to our next mistake…

#3 Trying to save money on the biggest and most important features of your wedding. Is your friend a great photographer? Is your cousin’s mom’s friend the perfect baker? Can you save money by making your own centerpieces for your wedding? There are certain areas where you can save money when planning your wedding but the wedding cake and photographer are not one of them. Do not try to save money by hiring an amateur baker or photographer for your big day. There is no doubt that you will regret it when you’re trying to reminisce with out-of-focus photos. Although a photographer can be pricey, it’ll be worth it in the end.

#4 Not staying within budget. You have your budget set and you are ready to begin planning! It’s very easy to get carried away especially when you’ve been sitting on Pinterest for hours. Make sure you know how to stay within budget when planning your wedding. Stay smart and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Budget accordingly. You do not need that added stress.

#5 Thinking you will save money with a backyard wedding. Backyard weddings are beautiful! We can picture the stringing lights and beautiful lanterns; the fall foliage and blowing leaves around your feet. While planning a backyard wedding may be your dream, keep in mind that it is not necessarily the cheaper option. When planning a wedding at a venue, they provide many extra features such as linens and caterers. When planning an outdoor wedding, you will have to cover these expenses.

We wish you the best of luck when planning your wedding and we hope you enjoyed these wedding planning tips and learned some of the biggest wedding planning mistakes to avoid. If you are planning a NJ wedding, we hope you’ll visit our website to view our elegant event venues in West Orange, NJ.

Until next week,
The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ

We were named one of Manhattan Bride’s Best of 2014 & WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ for 2014!

Happy New Year to all! We would like to share very exciting news from The Wilshire Grand Hotel. Our hotel has been recognized as one of Manhattan Bride’s Best of 2014 and we have won the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ for 2014!

Manhattan Bride's Best of 2014

Manhattan Bride’s Best of 2014:

One of seven hotels to be recognized in NJ for our superior standards of service, quality and reliability.

WeddingWire Couples' Awards for 2014

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ for 2014:

Recognized amongst the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide.

It is a true honor to stand among the very best wedding venues in New Jersey and beyond and we would like to thank all of our guests and clients who have shared their positive reviews, comments and stories with the world and helped us to achieve these two accolades.

We look forward to another successful year.

Until next week,
The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ

Essential Tips for Planning a Winter Wedding!

Planning a wedding in the winter can be breathtaking. Picture it. The fresh, white snowflakes, the ice sculptures, deep hues and lavish designs. When executed correctly, a winter wedding reception can be jaw dropping. If newly engaged, there are essential tips to keep in mind for planning a winter wedding. We’ve compiled a list in this week’s blog post. Get inspired, have fun and enjoy the winter wedding of your dreams.

The Winter Wedding Color Scheme Do’s and Dont's: Consider more subtle color combos such as silver and white for a glamour affect or deep purple and blues for a more elegant approach. A white velvet runner and clear umbrellas for your ceremony may create the ambience you are hoping to achieve. Just try not to overdue it with reds and greens and always keep in mind that, sometimes, less is more.

Creative Cake Ideas for a Winter Wedding: More often that not, the wedding cake is a primary focal point at every reception. One essential tip for planning a winter wedding would be to ensure that you are consistent with your color scheme throughout your entire wedding day. When it comes to your wedding cake design, sparkling bare branches, frozen crystalline droplets and frosted pinecones or snowflakes could be the perfect wedding cake toppers. Consider tinting your fondant to reflect snow in the winter sun.

Winter Wedding Favors: If looking for something sweet, guests will adore snowflake-shaped favor boxes filled with your favorite candies or snowflake cake pops in your wedding combo. Also, consider specially made Christmas ornaments with your names and wedding date for each of your guests to cherish and admire every Christmas. Do you have a favorite holiday recipe or hot beverage? Attach a recipe to a mason jar with the ingredients filled inside. Hot cocoa with marshmallows looks pretty delicious inside of a mason jar and it will warm your guests up once they get home.

Winter Wedding Centerpiece Ideas: If looking for that wow-factor, consider accent lighting at each table, tree branches decorated with hanging lights or a lavish twig and flower design. For a more subtle approach, consider white flowers with silver Christmas ornaments for an unexpected combo or spray painted snow cones inside of a glass jar with surrounding candles.

Winter Wedding Bridal Bouquets and Flowers: Roses and amaryllis blossoms are always a huge success at winter weddings. Consider Hypericum berries, as well. Beautifully decorated wreaths are also a big hit during the winter months and white carnations will be a beautiful addition to any winter wonderland scene.

We hope you enjoyed reading our essential tips for planning a winter wedding. If you are in the NJ area, we welcome you to visit our ballrooms and wedding venues at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. We may just be the perfect fit for the night!

Until next week,
The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ

Our Favorite Wedding Color Trends for 2014!

Planning a wedding in the warm, sunny months of summer? Or maybe you’re celebrating on a nice, crisp fall evening. Has spring always been your favorite season? Or have you been dreaming of a romantic, cold night in winter. Don’t worry. We’ve covered every season. Check out this week’s blog post, “Our Favorite Wedding Color Trends for 2014!” Sit back, read our blog and get inspired, wedding planners! Now’s the perfect time to begin planning your dream wedding.

Winter: Here’s your something blue! Our favorite wedding color trend for your 2014 winter wedding is royal blue and white. We think this wedding color combo is perfect for any winter wonderland wedding. The possibilities are endless with these two shades. Dance away the winter blues surrounded by eye-popping blue lighting and illuminated candles that will really add to your romantic winter wedding celebration.

Spring: Our favorite wedding color trend for 2014 is eggplant purple mixed with light blush tones. The drastic contrast between these wedding color trends for 2014 can really be a wow factor, especially in the bouquets. Have fun mixing the dark purples and light shades of pink together to make memorable floral arrangements that are guaranteed to pop in every picture!

Summer: Getting married next summer? Think bright and bold for your wedding color combos. Bright yellow and cabaret pink make any décor stand out, in a good way. Celebrate the day surrounded by bright yellow flowers, fresh lemon centerpieces and those oh-so-subtle pops of bright pink. This wedding color trend for 2014 is perfect for an outdoor wedding in NJ or wherever you may choose to celebrate your big day. If you aren’t in love with the bold statement that these two colors can make, we also adore the light pink and gray combo. This vintage look can be adorable for any setting and it’s very romantic, too!

Fall: What comes to mind when thinking of fall? For us, we think fallen leaves and rustic colors such as burnt orange, cool reds and warm yellows. We are in love with this wedding color trend for 2014, especially for the fall. Throw in a few hints of green in your bouquet and you can make a unique floral arrangement for your wedding that just screams, “fall wedding.”

What are your predictions for the top wedding color trends for 2014? If planning your wedding near us in NJ, we hope you’ll stop by our elegant wedding and event venue and explore the options we have available in West Orange, NJ. Happy planning and best wishes!

Until next week,
The Wilshire Grand Hotel

Top Tips for Planning your Summer Wedding!

Have you always dreamed of a romantic wedding in the summer? Check out our top tips for planning the summer wedding of your dreams.

When it comes to the best summer wedding décor, the possibilities are endless. For the summer season, one of our top tips for planning your summer wedding is to use bright colors whenever possible! Incorporate in-season fruits and vegetables as a part of your summer wedding centerpieces or flower arrangements. Think bright and vibrant yellow, orange and green fruit combos to really make a statement.

When planning your wedding date, make sure to check the calendar. Booking a wedding in the summer can be challenging with many U.S federal holidays. Make sure you plan a date that will be convenient and cost-effective for all of your guests, especially those traveling long-distance who will worry about airfare costs. Another important thing to keep in mind is parking. If you are planning a beach wedding on a popular holiday weekend, check to make sure that the roads will not be blocked off for parades and that parking near the venue will be convenient and abundant.

During the summer months, having an outdoor wedding can be tempting. Although we all hope for sunshine and clear skies, sometimes Mother Nature has a different plan. Even if your 10-day forecast shows sunshine and little chance of precipitation, always have a few tents set up. Even if it’s a beautiful day, the elderly guests will appreciate the shade and it’s a good way to keep the food covered from the beaming rays!

Another top tip for planning your summer wedding: Dress to impress! For a summer wedding, finding the right fabric and length for you and your wedding party are crucial. Keep in mind that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. Think lightweight fabrics that will allow your bridal party the chance to breathe. It is key if you want everyone happy and smiling! Tea-length dresses are always a great option, as well as linen or cotton material for the men.

Good luck and happy wedding planning! After you’ve set a summer date, you’ll want to begin searching for the perfect wedding venue. If you’re planning to celebrate in NJ, we invite you to visit our website and book one of our elegant event venues in West Orange, NJ.

Until next week,
The Wilshire Grand Hotel

Spring Wedding Trends for 2013!

Are you planning on getting married this spring? Check out the top spring wedding trends for 2013!

Let’s start with the wedding color scheme. It looks like 2013 is all about the neutral color palettes: shades of grey, blush and taupe. It gives a vintage feel to any wedding and makes our list as one of the top spring wedding trends for 2013.

For décor, candles, chandeliers and garlands, oh my! These small touches are having a big presence at weddings. Creative wedding ideas range from garlands with ribbon to garlands hung from chandeliers. Our Regency Room at The Wilshire Grand Hotel sparkles with crystal chandeliers and luxurious décor.

Did you know that the peony is the most-requested wedding flower for the second year in a row? The romantic flower is the perfect touch to any spring wedding in NJ and beyond.

Planning your wedding should be a piece of cake with these cake styles for 2013:

  • Clean and modern with a bow, flower or monogram.
  • Eye-popping color and designs on every layer.
  • Cakes that mimic the bride’s wedding-dress and detail.

What are your favorite spring wedding trends for 2013? Did they make our list? We hope you’ve been inspired with this week’s blog post. If planning your wedding in NJ, our catering and event specialist can handle every detail of your special day with genuine care and personal detail. Visit our website today and create your dream wedding at our venue in NJ.

Until next week,

The Wilshire Grand Hotel

5 Quick Tips for Planning your Wedding on a Budget!

Now that wedding season is fast approaching, we thought we’d dedicate this week’s blog to “Planning your Wedding on a Budget.” Did you know that determining your wedding budget should be at the very, very top of your wedding to-do list? Our wedding planners here in West Orange, NJ know how tempting it can be to start thinking about color schemes, bridal gowns and flowers, but before you start picking out your centerpieces it’s important to get a clear budget, especially if others are paying for the wedding.

Remember: Your dream wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Here are 5 quick tips for planning your wedding on a budget:

1.) Choose your wedding date wisely: Did you know that the date and time of your wedding have a tremendous impact on how much things will cost? It’s no surprise that the most expensive months are in the summer. Opting for a winter or spring wedding can save you money. Another alternative is choosing to celebrate on a Friday or Sunday, as Saturday nights usually have the most expensive rates.

2. ) Make your Guest List then Check it Twice: Although your initial thought may be to have a grand wedding and invite everyone, try to reach a nice compromise of who should really be there to celebrate your big day.

3.) Serve a Signature Drink: When planning your wedding on a budget, don’t forget about the alcohol. Having an open bar may be a non-negotiable for a bride and groom but it can be expensive! How about serving a signature drink? It’s unique and it can be cost-effective.

4.) Cost-Effective Wedding Invitations: Wedding invitations can still look pretty without costing a fortune. Take the time to browse the Internet and Pinterest for inexpensive or do-it-yourself wedding invitations.

5.) Make sure you choose flowers that are in season!

Now that you’ve seen our list, take a second and think: Do you really need the ice sculpture? As a bride-to-be, it’s very easy to get carried away and veer off course when ideas of ice sculptures and photo booths start popping into your head. Take a deep breath and make a list of what’s most important for you and your fiancé.

If celebrating your wedding in NJ, take a moment to visit our Weddings & Events page on our website. Our wedding experts would be more than happy to help make your dream wedding a reality at our venue in West Orange, NJ!

Until next week,

The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ

Let us Host your Cultural Wedding at our Venue in NJ!

On your special day, it’s important that your wedding is not only a proud celebration of your heritage but a cherished memory for all. Let our wedding specialist at The Wilshire Grand Hotel help guide you through every step to make your dream wedding a reality.

When planning a Cultural Wedding, our special events team can transform our venue space in NJ to reflect the unique details of your traditions and rituals. From our exquisite ballrooms to our special hotel packages, let us help create the perfect cultural wedding right here at our venue in West Orange, NJ.

We proudly offer:

  • Special packages for kosher & Indian weddings
  • Dedicated staff for cultural or religious ceremonies
  • Breathtaking ballroom space and outdoor space
  • Elegant accommodations for overnight stays
  • Full Service Kosher Caterer under Orthodox Rabbinical supervision

Click here for our Kosher Wedding Packages our venue in NJ.

Click here for our Traditional Wedding Packages at our NJ wedding venue.

At The Wilshire Grand Hotel we embrace the diversity and heritages of our wedding couples and guests. Let us help create your dream wedding with our limitless venue space and seasonal courtyard. Visit our Cultural Weddings page on our website to learn more about our venue in NJ.

Weddings at Wilshire Grand Hotel!

Weddings by Edward Reagoso, General Manager – The Wilshire Grand Hotel, West Orange, NJ

In an effort to help the many lucky (yes, I said lucky) people considering have a wedding celebration, I think the two most important elements of a successful wedding are the executing of a planning process and knowing your budget. There are a plethora of vendors eager to assist the future bride & groom but planning for a wedding taking place in eighteen months vs. a wedding in six months are two very different timelines, each with its own peculiar anomalies.  Rather than writing an article from a typical “buyer beware” perspective, I am writing from my years of hotel career experience, as well as my own personal experience. 

Today so much wedding information is available on the internet it’s intoxicating but it’s a great place to start and ultimately, even end up.  Rather than be guided and have others suggest what you want or need for your day, make a list, two columns.  Do this with your future spouse and list the things you want and the things you need to have for your wedding.  Once you two have agreed on these basic and sometimes costly details, you now have a general idea on how you want your day to go.  How much do you want to spend? Do you need a wedding planner? Will you have a live band?  How many invitations?  Will the service be at a church, synagogue, or would you like to have the service at the location you’ve decided on for your reception?  Include even small details on this list so your sweetheart feels that all your hopes and wishes are out in the open and clear.  Don’t worry. This list will change as you move forward.  Be a bit flexible with each other, but it’s your day and for the purpose of the first list the sky is the limit.  You will probably come back to reality when the list becomes a bit pie-in-the-sky, but depending on your budget, maybe not.  Share your wishes with each other now so there are no surprises later.  Surprises during the wedding process are never good in my opinion.

Oh, and don’t do what I did!  I gave my wife less than two months’ notice of the date I wanted.  It was over a Labor Day Monday when the hotel I was managing at the time was very slow. Being in the business, it is not often I get time off or have slow business periods. It is somewhat typical that one in my industry chooses a holiday for their wedding.  We did it and we pulled it off, mostly because my wife is a terrifically forgiving.   On the bright side we had a great time with our family and friends at a price much less than one might have paid for another weekend that season.  This falls under the bonus of having your wedding on what we call a low demand period.  That wasn’t a goal. It was a nice side benefit however and many of these holiday periods remain a buyers’ market today simply because hotels and catering houses will reduce pricing to hold events during their slower periods.  On the down side, I am sometimes reminded how I did not give my wife enough time to properly plan a wedding…p.s. She’s right! wedding ( I guess this is a good time to mention the day I gave her the date, she had  been diagnosed with Lyme disease, and UPS went on strike two days after she ordered her dress.)

I suggest anyone planning a wedding develop a timeline. Some great examples are found for free online, but don’t forget, these timelines are suggestions. You can tailor these timelines to fit your needs.

Start considering things such as budget, family, friends, music, food and a celebration worthy of your goals.  Use sites such as,, and, which I personally feel is one of the best because it includes everything that one must consider including some fun extras such as developing your own inexpensive wedding website!   These sites each offer great wedding planning guides and more and can be truly helpful during the process. 

I will offer just a few basic do’s and don’ts but I will start with Don’ts:

  • Don’t plan your wedding without your future spouse
  • Don’t plan for what others want
  • Don’t forget to buy each other a wedding gift
  • Don’t forget to reserve a block of rooms for family, friends and out of town guests


  • Do begin the planning process immediately regardless of the window of time
  • Do create your own time schedule for tasks that must be done
  • Do shop around 
  • Do enjoy the day when it finally comes, it goes really fast!

While shopping, be on the lookout for full service facilities that offer more than just a place for your ceremony and reception.  There’s nothing like being shuffled out of a catering center and off property when the party’s over! I suggest choosing a venue with ample free parking, plenty of banquet space, experienced chefs, and sales staff who will be with you throughout the process.  Choose a place that features a restaurant and bar, where family and friends can congregate and continue festivities pre and post reception.   There’s a good chance many family members and friends will choose to stay overnight rather than drive home, so when you choose a hotel don’t forget the goody bags for those staying over!   Be sure that the friends and family staying over after the celebration are offered a hearty breakfast prior to their departure whether it’s a hotel feature or an added on breakfast or brunch. 

Why not consider choosing The Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, New Jersey.   We feature more than 22,000 square feet of upscale and meticulous banquet space, years of culinary experience, ample free parking for your guests with valet service, 89 Superior Guestrooms including Honeymoon Suites, Complimentary Full Buffet Breakfast with our own fresh baked muffins & breads and much more, Free WiFi at the fastest speeds around, 42 inch Panasonic HD and Satellite TV with more than 55 High Definition channels, Fitness Center, Fresh lobby popcorn and homemade cookies daily.  We also feature Zagat Rated Primavera Restaurant, Bar, & Room Service available for pre and post wedding parties.

And if you are in the decision making process, see our in house partners all under our roof!

Jason Craig Entertainment for music from DJ’s to 17 piece bands, photography, and videography

American Yoga Academy & Studio often chosen for wedding party relaxation therapy

Swirled Bakery for specialized cookies and theme                                                                 

Anthony Ferraz Floral For superb design and execution