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


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

We’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.


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