19 posts categorized "Weddings"

03/26/2013

5 Quick Tips for Planning your Wedding on a Budget!

Planning your Wedding on a BudgetNow 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

03/05/2013

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

Cultural Wedding Wilshire GrandOn 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.

02/12/2013

Weddings at Wilshire Grand Hotel!

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

www.thewilshiregrandhotel.com

Weddings - Wilshire GrandIn 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 MarthaStewartWeddings.com, Frugalbride.com, and TheKnot.com, 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’s:

  • 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!

Bride with Groom looking onWhile 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
www.jasoncraig.com

American Yoga Academy & Studio often chosen for wedding party relaxation therapy  www.americanyogaacademy.com

Swirled Bakery for specialized cookies and theme                                                                           www.swirledbakery.com

Anthony Ferraz Floral For superb design and execution 
anthonyferraz.com

  Award-Man-Bride-2013

01/22/2013

We've been recognized as one of Manhattan Bride's Best of 2013!

Manhattan Bride Best of 2013We’re very proud to announce that The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ has been selected as one of the bridal vendors to be named Manhattan Bride’s Best of 2013!

With this prestigious award, we have been acknowledged for our industry knowledge and dedication to the highest standards of service and quality. Listed as one of the “Best of 2013” wedding venues in New Jersey, we have been recognized in many ways.

  • Outstanding: in their knowledge of the field and in their professionalism.
  • Reputable: in that we have received only positive reviews and comments from their clients.
  • Reliable: in addition to being on time and on budget, they follow up with care and insight.

Make your dream wedding a reality and plan your special day at our elegant event venue in West Orange, NJ. Visit our website to learn more.

11/05/2012

Sandy Strikes and WE STAND STRONGER THAN EVER!

This last week I lost power like many in my area, at home and at work. Most of my staff is still without power at home, myself included. I have no spare rooms to offer my team as I normally might because we do not want to displace local folks with no power that are still staying with us. I’ve personally thrown away more than $500 worth of food that has spoiled at home and an estimated $2000 worth of food that has spoiled at the hotel. Along with my team, we have worked harder than ever to insure our guests comfort, safety, & satisfaction.

In spite of it all, I have experienced the most rewarding week in my entire career because I’ve seen complete strangers from out of town “step up” to the plate and offer the less fortunate help and assistance both financially and with the delivery of goods.

It started last week when a wedding party guest canceled his room at the last minute and he was surprised to find we were being flexible with our otherwise pretty demanding cancellation policy on weekends.

We’re a small, independent hotel and canceling rooms at the last minute hurts us since we usually don’t have an opportunity to rebook the room. When I explained we were not charging for the cancellation because we were delighted to have a room become available for a local family that’s been displaced due to “Sandy” he said he’d been watching the news and was a bit embarrassed that didn’t even think about the real impact. He then said, “Please charge me and allow me to pay for someone’s room from the area that really needs it.”

In the next 48 hours that happened three more times and may business partners insisted on doing so as well. I also decided to offer a free room for each that was paid for by gestures such as this and now, just a few days later, I am receiving things like gift cards for Starbucks, toiletries, non-perishable goods shipped to us for neighbors in need, and even donations of as much as $300 to apply to guestrooms for locally displaced guests by people that weren’t even guests. They had simply heard about or read our Facebook page of the activity and were drawn to help.

I remain no less than amazed at the resilience and empathy of our brothers and sisters nationwide to help take care of our own. I will continue to assist our displaced neighbors and friends. I won’t whine because I have no power at home yet. I will simply be grateful and feel blessed that I live in such a great country that when the rubber hits the road, we’re not republican, independents, or democrats. We’re Americans and we share the same desire to take care of each other & rebuild at times of crisis such as this.

Ed Reagoso, 
General Manager
The Wilshire Grand Hotel

Star Ledger Article

10/23/2012

The Wilshire Grand Hotel is Named One of Manhattan Bride's Best of 2012!

We’re happy to announce that The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ has just been selected as one of the bridal vendors to be named Manhattan Bride’s Best of 2012.

Bride with Groom looking onAs one of Manhattan Bride’s Best of 2012, our NJ hotel has been recognized for our superior standards of service, quality and reliability. It is an honor to receive this prestigious award and to be listed among Manhattan Bride's Best of 2012 for wedding venues in New Jersey.

As one of New Jersey’s premier banquet halls, we offer two elegant ballrooms and an outdoor garden area with a gazebo. From our magnificent Grand Ballroom to The Loft at 350, we ensure the perfect amount of space to fit your needs.

We happily welcome all couples to celebrate their big day at our event venue in NJ. Visit our Weddings & Events page on The Wilshire Grand Hotel website to learn more.

08/28/2012

Couple gets their Dream Wedding at our Venue in NJ!

Wedding Reception in NJWhen Shea and Matthew set their date for August 27, 2011, they had no idea that their beach wedding in Asbury Park would be canceled.

When Tropical Storm Irene ripped through the Jersey Shore just one day before Shea and Matthew planned to say “I do,” the couple had to cancel their plans for their dream wedding of more than 100 guests and instead exchange vows at a rehearsal dinner surrounded by the few guests that were able to attend.

After appearing on Anderson Cooper’s talk show to tell their story and warn future brides about the importance of having wedding insurance, Shea and Matthew Bailey were surprised with a second chance at their wedding at our venue in NJ!

Eager to help out the couple, we invited them and more than 150 friends and family for a complete wedding redo at our venue in West Orange, NJ, giving the Baileys an opportunity to celebrate their wedding surrounded by everyone who was supposed to be there the first time.

When the day finally arrived, the Baileys had their dream wedding at our venue with clear skies over head and have described the experience as “awesome” and the NJ reception “perfect” even if it was a year late.

The couple's story recently aired on News 12 NJ.

It was a pleasure to be a part of Shea and Matthews’ wedding and we wish them all the best from everyone here at The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ!

05/01/2012

The Wilshire Grand Hotel Surprises Couple With a Wedding Reception in New Jersey!

WeddingWhen a devastating hurricane ripped through Asbury Park, it shut down the beach where Matt and Shea were supposed to get married. Thinking their dreams of the perfect wedding were ruined, the couple appeared on Anderson Cooper’s talk show, Anderson, to warn future brides about the importance of being prepared.

What they didn’t know…

Anderson Cooper was about to surprise them with a dream wedding re-do, which included spending their first year Anniversary renewing their vows in St. Lucia, a five night luxury stay in the Caribbean and a special vow renewal ceremony on the beach for just the two of them by Sandals Resort.

But the surprises didn't end there...

Knowing the importance of having family present, we happily invited the couple and all two hundred of their wedding guests to The Wilshire Grand Hotel for a complete wedding reception experience at our event venue in West Orange, NJ, which included:

  • Cocktail hour
  • Three course dinner
  • Open bar
  • Floral arrangements
  • A Band of their Choice
  • 10 rooms for the bridal party
  • Honeymoon Suite for the Newly Weds

Adding one last surprise to their day, Mustafa Alexander agreed to play the steel drums, an extra detail that the bride had always wanted at her wedding.

We feel honored to be a part of Matt and Shea's wedding celebration and from all of us here at The Wilshire Grand Hotel, we wish a lifetime of happiness to them both.

03/20/2012

Turn your Dream Wedding into a Reality at Our Elegant Venue in New Jersey

Wilshirewed3

Make The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ the setting for your special day. Plan your wedding at our venues in New Jersey and enjoy an evening filled with sophistication and luxury. Our exquisite ballroom and banquet halls offer the ideal setting for your memorable occasion. With personal attention to every detail, our catering and event specialists will help turn your dream wedding into an astounding reality.

Our wedding and event venues at The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ include:

Wilshirewed1
Regency Room:
Accommodating up to 100-275 guests, our stunning Regency Room includes crystal chandeliers, sophisticated wall covering and accent carpeting.

  • Banquet Style Event holds 200 guests, maximum.
  • Cocktail Reception holds 275 guests, maximum.
  • Theater Style, 300 guests
  • Conference seating, 120 guests
  • U shape, 100 guests
  • 3,000 square feet
  • Ceiling height: 13-feet


Grand Ballroom:
Ideal for many memorable occasions including your wedding ceremony, birthday party or reception, this magnificent venue is the pride of The Wilshire Grand Hotel, NJ.

  • Banquet Style Events hold 450 people, maximum.
  • Social Events with Dance Floor; hold 400 people, maximum.
  • Cocktail Receptions hold 525 people, maximum.
  • 5,600 square feet
  • Room dimensions:100-feet x 66 feet (IRR)
  • Ceiling Height: 14-feet

Visit the Weddings & Events page on The Wilshire Grand Hotel website for more information or visit our Banquets & Meeting Space page to view our other available event venues.

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