5th Annual Wedding Road Show draws brides nationwide to LBI with plans for an event of a lifetime

April 22, 2013

Record breaking attendance Wedding Road Show introduces future brides and visitors to Long Beach Island and surrounding areas to look and book with Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce members

Wedding Road Show on LBI

Lori Pepenella, Destination Marketing Director of the Southern Ocean County Chamber with Ashley Taluba and Pete Gallagher, winners of NJWedding.com’s VIP Contest at the Wedding Road Show on LBI 2013

April 22, 2013, LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ – Overnight stays, wedding banquets, after parties and all the services needed to help a happy couple obtain wedded bliss were presented during a progressive self guided tour of the wedding venues of the Long Beach Island Region. For its fifth year, the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce along with its tourism branch the LBI Region Destination Marketing Organization collaborated with Wedding Industry leaders and almost 60 of their members to create a progressive party atmosphere that sells the region year round as a wedding destination. Entertainment, passed hors d’oeuvres, photography, video, concierge services, floral and table displays, invitations, ceremony ideas, cake sampling, accommodations, even Stand Up Paddle Board lessons for bridal parties were all options to soak in as wedding plans turned into reality from 9:30am to 4pm on a sunny Sunday.

With brides traveling distances as far as Burien in Washington State, Norfolk Virginia, Wilmington Delaware, White Plains, NY, and across Pennsylvania including Philadelphia and Yardley. New Jersey brides were also well represented coming from Princeton, Hoboken and Highland Lakes, as well as from local areas throughout the LBI region. The participating businesses played party host while booking dates, services and introducing new customers to all the area has to offer. The event was captured by E Video Productions, who for the past four years has been making a documentary video to focus not only on the location, but to showcase the wedding professionals and future LBI brides and grooms. This year, over 150 registered brides and their entourages consisting of brides, grooms, wedding parties and family members filtered through the show directly to members who were displaying throughout 11 locations.

“This event generates revenue, contracts are signed and deposits are made not only the day of the Wedding Road Show, but throughout the following year for our local businesses,” states Lori Pepenella, Destination Marketing Director of the Southern Ocean County Chamber. “This allows brides and their families to explore our area and see first hand the possibilities of a one of a kind wedding, vacation or even a weekend getaway.” The Southern Ocean County Chamber LBI Region Wedding Road Show is sponsored by Demetrios Bridal, Dante Zeller at Uniformity, New Jersey Bride, The Knot, NJWedding.com, Celebrations Magazine, Jersey Shore Wedding Association, Magic 100.1FM, For The Bride Magazine, Ocean Tent, Trolley Tours and the NJ Division of Travel and Tourism.

Ashley Taluba from Roselle Park and her finance Peter Gallagher from Millville were the winners of NJWedding.com’s VIP Contest Experience, and received prizes donated by The Gables Historic Inn & Restaurant, Camllle’s Floral Design, A Sweet Memory and A Shining Star Limousine Service.

For more information about the Long Beach Island region, visit the Southern Ocean County Visitor Center at 265 West Ninth Street in Ship Bottom, NJ, online at www.visitLBIregion.com or call (609) 494 7211. Also follow updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and follow the social media hashtag #LBIRegion.


5th Annual VIP Contest Winners Put LBI In Center Of Wedding Plans

April 15, 2013

NJWedding.com and the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce announce winner of Wedding Road Show on Long Beach Island 2013 VIP Contest!

NJWedding.com VIP Contest Winners, Ashley Taluba and Pete Gallagher

NJWedding.com’s Wedding Road Show VIP Contest Winners, Ashley Taluba and Pete Gallagher

Long Beach Island, NJ – After receiving almost 1,000 entries since November 1, 2012 for the VIP Contest, a winning couple was chosen on Friday, April 12th, announced Erik Kent, Co-Publisher of NJWedding.com . Ashley Taluba of Roselle Park, NJ and Pete Gallagher of Millville, NJ were chosen randomly out of the entries of engaged couples and awarded with the “VIP Experience” during the upcoming Wedding Road Show on Long Beach Island 2013 event.

Ashley and Pete will receive an overnight stay in the “Honeymoon Suite” at The Gables Historic Inn & Restaurant in Beach Haven, NJ on Saturday, April 20th, including breakfast on Sunday morning. Then they will go to the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce office in Ship Bottom to register for the Wedding Road Show, where they will receive a custom welcome gift basket by Camille’s Floral Design and an LBI-themed cookie bucket from A Sweet Memory. They will then enter their white stretch limousine, courtesy of A Shining Star Limousine Service, where they will tour the LBI region’s venues and view exhibits by wedding professionals featuring a variety of services and products.

When asked why Long Beach Island was a consideration for her wedding plans, Ashley replied that she’s an “LBI beach girl” and has spent time on the island, taking day trips to Loveladies and Beach Haven over the years. Also, with her being from Northern NJ and Pete being from Southern NJ, Long Beach Island provides a centralized location for them, their friends and family. She considers LBI to have a different feel than other New Jersey beaches, and enjoys taking relaxing drives throughout the island. Her ideal wedding would be on the beach, where she and Pete could take memorable pictures. She and Pete met and began dating while attending Stockton College and were engaged in June 2012. They have a tentative wedding date of Spring 2015.

After attending several bridal shows around New Jersey to get ideas and costs for various wedding services, Ashley and Pete are looking forward to attending the Wedding Road Show to further explore the Long Beach Island region!

The Wedding Road Show on LBI is taking place Sunday, April 21st from 10am – 4pm. For more information go to http://www.visitLBIregion.com or call the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce at (609) 494-7211. The event is sponsored by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism.


10 Reasons To Get Married In New Jersey

January 31, 2013

Long Beach Island is a growing destination for weddings along the Jersey shore. Photo: Ann Coen

What’s NOT to love about the idea of having your wedding in the Garden State? With a variety of locations for the event and some of the most creative and talented wedding professionals in the world, NJ has everything on a bride and groom’s must-have list. Here’s just a sampling of great reasons to get married in New Jersey:

1. Being located in a geographic region with four unique seasons, New Jersey offers couples the opportunity for winter weddings (sometimes even at a discount), wedding celebrations during the spring renewal, beach or garden weddings in the summertime and colorful fall foliage for memorable photos at one of the many golf resorts, wineries or country clubs.

2. Having your wedding closer to home is more green and eco-friendly than planning a destination wedding: you can reduce your carbon footprint by using less gas and tolls, using locally sourced foods, flowers and wedding service providers.

3. With 127 miles of shoreline, New Jersey offers some of the most beautiful beaches and shore towns around, so couples can have their wedding ceremony on the sand with a reception following on or near the beach.

4. Cape May, New Jersey (“Exit 0″ on the Garden State Parkway) is known as the third most popular destination in the United States to get married, and you can have your wedding on the beach or in one of many Victorian locations from a bygone era.

5. The Long Beach Island region is one of the fastest growing wedding destinations in New Jersey, with over 40 venues and wedding services to serve couples that want to have their wedding weekend in this resort area.

6. You can have a New York style wedding at New Jersey prices (and without the traffic!) since sales tax in New York City is 8.375 percent compared with 7 percent in New Jersey. Still want that backdrop of New York City? Have your wedding at one of the many venues along the Hudson River or charter a boat and cruise past the Statue of Liberty and other landmarks.

Buddy Valastro, Carlo's Bakery, Cake Boss, NJ Cakes

Buddy Valastro and his team at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken have put NJ on the map, showcasing various styles of wedding and specialty cakes on TLC’s “Cake Boss.” (photo provided by Carlo’s Bakery)

7. Wedding TV reality shows love New Jersey, too! Some of the NJ’s top wedding locations and experts have been featured on the Style Network’s Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?, Jerseylicious, Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, TLC’s Masters of Reception, Say Yes To The Dress, Four Weddings and of course … we have the Cake Boss (and the Next Great Baker)! New York wedding planner David Tutera often showcases his New Jersey brides on WEtv’s My Fair Wedding.

8. New Jersey’s history is rich with numerous historic locations and landmarks, places where George Washington has lived or slept. More recent history is also represented in the many locations that have served as a backdrop for movies and television, like The Sopranos. One of the most popular places in the state to pose for an engagement or wedding picture is Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University, better known as Daddy Warbuck’s mansion in the movie Annie.

9. New Jersey is one of the most culturally diverse states in the nation, with large populations of Italians, Pan-Asians, Asian Indians and much more. You can have ANY type of catering you wish at your reception … just name it and you can find it in New Jersey … and it’s delicious!

10. Looking to attend a bridal show or expo? In New Jersey, you’ll be able to find a bridal event going on almost any day of the week. You will meet local wedding professionals who will give you advice and direction on your wedding plans, see the latest bridal fashions, and even maybe take home some fabulous door prizes or a free honeymoon.

BONUS REASON #1 -> New Jersey was hit with Superstorm Sandy on October 29, 2012, which impacted several regions of the Garden State, especially the Jersey Shore. Many beachfront wedding facilities and businesses were affected, and and several are currently in the process of rebuilding. View our blog post entitled “Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath on the New Jersey weddings community,” with details on how NJ couples went ahead with their wedding plans, how wedding professionals teamed up to offer relief for NJ residents, and additional resources for helping those in need. New Jerseyans are “JERSEY STRONG” and we want you to know that the JERSEY SHORE IS OPEN, continues to rebuild and remains a popular destination for weddings, events and very special memories…

BONUS REASON #2 -> On Friday, September 27, 2013, a Mercer County Superior Court Judge ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry, and same-sex marriages officially began on October 21, 2013! At NJWedding.com, we are thrilled to feature our Same-Sex Weddings category, where couples can find banquet facilities / reception sites around New Jersey to celebrate, along with Clergy / Wedding Officiants, photographers, entertainment companies and much more!

Shadowbrook - The Zweben Family in Shrewsbury, NJ is one of many beautiful locations for Same-Sex Weddings in New Jersey

Shadowbrook – The Zweben Family in Shrewsbury, NJ is one of many beautiful locations for Same-Sex Weddings in New Jersey

Erik Kent is the Co-Publisher of NJWedding.com. This article was previously featured on AOL’s Aisledash in August 2010.


Fourth Annual VIP Winners Putting Finishing Touches on LBI Dream Wedding

April 18, 2012

NJWedding.com and Southern Ocean County Chamber announces winner of Wedding Road Show VIP Experience Contest

Long Beach Island, NJ – With over 1,200 brides-to-be entering online and at statewide bridal shows, it was the luck of the draw as Erik Kent, Co-Publisher of NJWedding.com chose the winning Wedding Road Show VIP Bride and Groom, to claim their wonderful LBI prize package on April 21st.

NJWedding.com's Wedding Road Show "VIP Experience" Contest Winners, Stephanie Scarpa and Richard Lechner

NJWedding.com's Wedding Road Show "VIP Experience" Contest Winners, Stephanie Scarpa and Richard Lechner

Stephanie Scarpa, from Cherry Hill, is a Math Teacher at a regional High School in Mullica Hill, NJ and her fiance, Richard Lechner, is a funeral director in his family business, Lechner Funeral Home in Medford, NJ. Their wedding ceremony will be taking place in Tabernacle, NJ on June 22, 2013 and their wedding reception is planned at long-time Wedding Road Show partner, The Stateroom on Long Beach Island.

Stephanie and Richard have been dating for 4 1/2 years and have spent a lot of time together with friends and family on Long Beach Island over the years. They were engaged in Philadelphia in January 2012, and Stephanie always pictured a “beach wedding” complete with wedding photos taken on the beach. Kent, who contacted Stephanie directly, said “They are thrilled to have won the ‘VIP Experience’ at the Wedding Road Show, which includes an overnight stay at Daddy O Boutique Hotel on Saturday night, along with a custom welcome gift basket by Camille’s Floral Design, an LBI-themed cookie basket from A Sweet Memory, and they will chauffeured around the region in a white stretch limousine to make their stops during the Wedding Road Show by Lacey Limousines. “In addition to the package NJWedding.com is also providing a dining gift card to Daddy O Restaurant for the winning couple.”

The Wedding Road Show on LBI is taking place Sunday, April 22nd from 10am – 4pm. For more information go to http://www.visitLBIregion.com or call the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce at (609) 494-7211. The event is sponsored by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, as well as various media partners, including Magic 100.1, the knot, Wed Alert, Celebrations Guide, New Jersey Bride and NJWedding.com.


An LBI wedding aboard NJ’s “Tall Ship” on the Barnegat Bay

August 5, 2011

Congratulations to the winners of the “Tie The Knot on the Tall Ship” contest who were married aboard New Jersey’s official Tall Ship, the A.J. Meerwald, on Saturday, July 23rd

Sandy and Jim Harding on the dock in Beach Haven, NJ after their wedding ceremony on the deck of the A.J. Meerwald

Sandy and Jim Harding on the dock in Beach Haven, NJ after their wedding ceremony on the deck of the A.J. Meerwald (Photo by David Toth)

LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ – Sandy Lanier and Jim Harding from North Arlington, NJ were the third non-crew members to be married on the A.J. Meerwald in Barnegat Bay, LBI on Saturday, July 23, 2011. They were surrounded by friends and family, sponsoring organizations and wedding professionals, and onlookers. The ceremony service was performed by Deborah C. Whitcraft, wedding officiant and former Mayor of Beach Haven, NJ.

Instead of wedding invitations, Stephanie Somodi of Designing Your Most Inviting Day created a unique “Message In A Bottle” which contained a personalized scroll that the couple used to thank their guests. Flowers for the ceremony, including the bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets and corsages/boutonnieres were supplied by Camille’s Floral Designs. Video footage was shot by Jon Slackman from J & S Video Services and photos were taken by David Toth, Photographer. Wedding planning, coordination and consulting services were provided by The Finishing Touch Wedding & Event Planning.

This unique opportunity for Sandy and Jim to be married on New Jersey’s official “Tall Ship” was part of a scheduled trip to Barnegat Bay of the schooner A.J. Meerwald, based in Bivalve, NJ. The event was sponsored by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, Reclam The Bay, Schooner A.J. Meerwald, Museum of NJ Maritime History and NJWedding.com.

View a video recap of their wedding ceremony below:

Wedding – Tie the Knot on the Tall Ship 2011 from J&S Video Services on Vimeo.

View a sampling of David Toth’s photos from the wedding:

Wedding ceremony aboard the A.J. Meerwald, officiated by Deborah C. Whitcraft, former Mayor of Beach Haven, NJ

Sandy & Jim's wedding ceremony aboard the A.J. Meerwald, officiated by Deborah C. Whitcraft, former Mayor of Beach Haven, NJ

A "Message In A Bottle" display and keepsake for Sandy & Jim's guests, created by Stephanie Somodi of Designing Your Most Invitting Day

A "Message In A Bottle" display and keepsake for Sandy & Jim's guests, created by Stephanie Somodi of Designing Your Most Invitting Day

A sunset photo in front of the Barnegat Lighthouse (a.k.a. "Old Barney") on Long Beach Island

A sunset photo in front of the Barnegat Lighthouse (a.k.a. "Old Barney") on Long Beach Island

For additional information about the “Tie The Knot on the Tall Ship” wedding contest and past winners, visit http://www.njwedding.com/lbi and more photos will be coming soon on the NJWedding.com facebook page!


LBI “Tall Ship” Contest Winners To Be Married This Saturday

June 29, 2011

New Jersey couple Sandy Lanier and Jim Harding will be married in Long Beach Island on Saturday, July 23rd on the deck of New Jersey’s official “Tall Ship,” the A.J. Meerwald. Public invited to witness this LBI wedding ceremony at 1:00pm from the dock in Beach Haven, NJ.

Sandy Lanier and Jim Harding from Mt. Arlington, NJ are this year's LBI wedding contest winners!

Sandy Lanier and Jim Harding from Mt. Arlington, NJ are this year's LBI wedding contest winners!

Sandy Lanier and Jim Harding of Mount Arlington, NJ, former Jefferson Township High School classmates who reconnected over 20 years later, will be married on July 23, 2011 aboard New Jersey’s official Tall Ship, the A.J. Meerwald in Beach Haven. They were chosen as winners of the third annual “Tie The Knot on the Tall Ship” contest, sponsored by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, Reclam The Bay, Schooner A.J. Meerwald, Museum of NJ Maritime History and NJWedding.com. Various local wedding service providers also have offered their products and services for this special occasion.

 

“When Sandy and Jim were chosen as finalists in the contest and I began to correspond with Sandy, it was clear that they had a special love story to share” said Erik Kent, Co-Publisher of NJWedding.com. Sandy and Jim grew up and went to high school in Jefferson Township together. After high school, Jim joined the Navy and then moved to North Carolina, subsequently losing touch with Sandy and eventually spending part of his military career in Iraq. Sandy and Jim went on to marry other people and start their own families. About a year ago, after both having become divorced, they reconnected on Facebook, which led to email and phone calls and then meeting up again.

Matching puzzle rings are of special significance to Sandy & Jim's long-term relationship.

Matching puzzle rings are of special significance to Sandy & Jim's long-term relationship.

After spending more time with each other and with their families, as well as using Facebook to keep in touch regularly, it became clear to both Sandy and Jim that they wanted to move forward with their relationship. In January 2011, for Sandy’s birthday, Jim came for a visit and proposed marriage with matching puzzle rings, Celtic Knot ones, knowing of Sandy’s Irish heritage. He moved to New Jersey in February and his son moved here in May. Regarding making plans for their wedding, Jim chose his favorite number (7), and his grandfather’s favorite number (23), so a combination of the two lead to the wedding date of July 23. With Jim’s Navy history and both their love of the water, they had originally planned for a small ceremony along the Jersey shore. Sandy had spent her childhood at her grandparent’s shore house in Manahawkin, so LBI was a perfect fit!

Now that Sandy and Jim have been chosen as the winners, their wedding ceremony service will be performed by Deborah C. Whitcraft, a wedding officiant and former mayor of Beach Haven, NJ. Approximately 80 guests will be allowed on the ship’s deck, and another 100 guests may congregate on the wharf to witness the marriage ceremony. Photography for the wedding ceremony will be provided by David Toth Photographers, up to 40 invitations will be created by Stephanie Somodi – Designing Your Most Inviting Day, video coverage of the event will be provided by J & S Video Services, wedding ceremony flowers will be arranged by Camille’s Floral Designs and wedding planning and consulting services will be provided by The Finishing Touch. These wedding professionals and LBI chamber members will work together to help make the day memorable for this couple.

Over the past few years, Long Beach Island has become well-known as a “wedding destination” in New Jersey, especially with the addition of several new wedding locations and service providers. The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, under the direction of Lori Pepenella, Destination Marketing Director, has successfully produced the Wedding Road Show on LBI over the past three years, attracting hundreds of brides and their families from NJ and throughout the tri-state area to for a one-day tour of the region’s venues and services.

The A.J. Meerwald in Barnegat Bay on LBI (photo by David Toth Photographers)

The A.J. Meerwald in Barnegat Bay on LBI (photo by David Toth Photographers)

The public is invited to witness the wedding ceremony aboard the A.J. Meerwald on Saturday, July 23rd at 1:00pm.  New Jersey’s official “Tall Ship” is docked in Beach Haven, NJ (Center Street and the Bay) from July 20th through July 24th, and visitors may take a deck tour, go for a two-hour sail, or participate in a 4-hour eco/heritage event on and around the A.J. Meerwald on July 23rd. For additional information about the history of the A.J. Meerwald and opportunities to visit, check out the web site at http://www.bayshorediscovery.org.

For additional information about the “Tie The Knot on the Tall Ship” contest, along with photos and video of past contest winners, visit http://www.njwedding.com/lbi.


NJWedding.com Celebrates 14 Years Serving NJ Wedding Community On February 14th

February 13, 2011

From listing local resources which help couples find vendors for their weddings, to making it easier for NJ wedding professionals to promote their services, to creating areas on popular “social media” sites, NJWedding.com helps put all the pieces of the “wedding puzzle” together

NJWedding.com home page, detailing features of the web site that couples can use to plan their New Jersey wedding

NJWedding.com home page, detailing features of the web site that couples can use to plan their New Jersey wedding

Since its launch on Valentine’s Day 1997, NJWedding.com has made it easier for engaged couples to find services such as banquet facilities, bands, disc jockeys, photographers, videographers, clergy, florists, limousines, invitations, favors and much more through the Internet in the comfort of their home or office. This local wedding planning web site is now entering its 14th year of service to the wedding community on February 14, 2011, announced co-publishers Erik and Beth Kent.

NJWedding.com currently features over 500 listings for various types of wedding businesses that couples can choose from, as well as links to helpful articles and other wedding planning tips. Other special features include information on wedding dresses and bridal registries, virtual tours of banquet facilities, video/music clips from local wedding bands, ceremony musicians, disc jockeys and videographers and a photo gallery showing the creativity of local wedding photographers.

Recent additions to the site include sections on South Asian/Indian Weddings and Civil Union Celebrations, a listing of upcoming bridal shows and wedding planning events throughout the Tri-state area, and sections focused on planning a beach wedding along the Jersey shore, including specific categories for Cape May and Long Beach Island weddings. Also, NJWedding.com in association with the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism, is giving away a VIP Experience to the Wedding Road Show on LBI (on April 10, 2011) through a special contest running through the end of March. NJWedding.com has also had the opportunity to give away a free wedding ceremony aboard the A.J. Meerwald, New Jersey’s official “Tall Ship,” for the past two summers, in association with various LBI organizations and wedding professionals.

For wedding professionals, the Kents developed a Business Resource Center, providing links to wedding statistics, trends, “green” and eco-friendly weddings, marriage research, podcasts, blogs, wedding and event industry associations and more. Wedding vendors and engaged couples can also find NJWedding.com on social networking web sites like facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, providing an even greater experience to connect within the New Jersey wedding community. In addition couples and wedding professionals can keep up with additional wedding news through a new WordPress BLOG.

Visit NJWedding.com directly at http://www.njwedding.com to search for local wedding services or inquire about advertising opportunities. For more information, contact Erik and Beth Kent at (908) 874-0417 or e-mail them at info@njwedding.com.


Long Beach Island Art Gallery partners with Wedding Road Show for Cake Topper Exhibit

February 2, 2011

“Top That” – A contemporary collection of ceramic sculpture featuring wedding cake toppers, will debut during Long Beach Island’s Premiere Wedding Event in April 2011

Wedding Cake Toppers on display at the m.t. burton gallery in their "Top That" Contemporary Wedding Cake Toppers exhibit in Long Beach Island

Wedding Cake Toppers on display at the m.t. burton gallery in their "Top That" Contemporary Wedding Cake Toppers exhibit in Long Beach Island

Local artist and business owner Matt Burton has partnered with the Long Beach Island Region Destination Marketing Organization to introduce his art form to new audiences coming to the area for one of New Jersey’s most talked about wedding events, the Wedding Road Show. Burton has assembled what he believes is the first exhibit of Wedding Cake Toppers by clay artists which will make its debut the evening before the Wedding Road Show at an April 9th reception held at the m.t burton gallery in Surf City. Burton is a graduate from Roanoke College and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Fine Art major with a concentration in ceramics, painting and art history and also received his Masters of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. He began teaching drawing and design at Ocean County College in Toms River and in 2000 opened the m.t burton gallery & 19th Street Clay Studio in Surf City. The gallery features fine art, pottery and antiques, plus a sculpture garden. The New Jersey fine arts gallery is the host site for the annual juried competition, the Jersey Shore Clay National with the 19th Street Clay studio providing visiting artist workshops, classes and residencies.

Details on the Contemporary Wedding Cake Topper art exhibit at the m.t. burton gallery during the Wedding Road Show on LBI in April 2011

Details on the Contemporary Wedding Cake Topper art exhibit at the m.t. burton gallery during the Wedding Road Show on LBI in April 2011

Both Matt and the Long Beach Island DMO is very excited about this exhibit, which now involves thirty artists nationwide contributing their cake toppers to the exhibit that will run through May 16, 2011.  Each piece will be for sale and will reflect a very personal style and design. The Wedding Road Show has increased demand for LBI Region wedding services in the traditional sense; such as florists, tuxedo rentals, bakeries and venues. It is the hopes of the all involved in this project that it will create similar demand for art and introduce a new tradition of gift giving with an emphasis for hand made works of art.

Creativity and the art of bringing new business across the threshold is what the Wedding Road Show is all about. This event was developed by the Long Beach Island Region DMO to spotlight  the area’s blossoming destination wedding industry by showcasing local venues and wedding professionals. Drawing brides from across the country to participate in the dozen open houses that take place throughout the region , this free event also offers  a chance to win a wedding reception grand prize valued at over $15,000 featuring catering, flowers, photography, video, favors, invitations, wedding cake, reception site and wedding night accommodation. With pre and post contests, videos and ongoing promotion year round, the success of what was planned to be a one time event has lead to it’s third year. The event is sponsored by wedding industry powerhouses such as The Knot, New Jersey Bride, WedAlert.com, NJWedding.com, Brides.com, radio station Magic 100.1 fm and New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism. The Wedding Road Show has recently been nominated to receive a New Jersey Governor Award for Tourism Excellence.

The Saturday, April 9th “Top That” Contemporary Wedding Cake Topper Reception promises to taste as good as it looks, with each topper being displayed on a custom decorated cake tier and treated to other catered delicacies. During the Wedding Road Show on Sunday, April 10th, look for the m.t. burton gallery to be promoting “Top That” and the sale of the toppers at the Surf City Yacht Club. After the festivities the exhibit will continue through May 19th at the m.t. burton gallery, located at 1819 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City. For more information contact the m.t. burton gallery at (609) 494-0006 or http://www.mtburtongallery.com. To find out more about the Wedding Road Show, contact the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce at (609) 494 7211 or go to http://www.visitLBIregion.com.


NJ’s most unique bridal event showcases the LBI Region as a destination for weddings

January 26, 2011

Tastings, open houses and a Lighthouse Grand Giveaway makes wedding planning at the Jersey Shore an experience like none other happening on April 10, 2011

Long Beach Island is a growing destination for weddings in New Jersey & the Tri-State area (photo by Ann Coen).

Long Beach Island is a growing destination for weddings in New Jersey & the Tri-State area (photo by Ann Coen).

LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ – Last year, brides from as far as North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York took this self guided tour that allows first hand access to wedding reception sites, wedding service professionals and the variety of options that are available for a LBI Destination Wedding. This free event will be held on Sunday April 10th beginning at 9:30 am and running until 4 pm. It is open to brides and their entourages so they may meet, greet and taste their way through 11 venues located in Stafford, LBI and Tuckerton earning prizes along the way. This year’s venues Holiday Inn Manahawkin (Registration Point), Mallard Island Yacht Club, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences (scheduled event), The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club, The Stateroom, Surf City Yacht Club and the Tuckerton Seaport (Registration Point).

Brides can enter NJWedding.com's VIP Contest Experience to win an overnight stay at the Daddy O Boutique Hotel on April 9th

Brides can enter NJWedding.com's VIP Contest Experience to win an overnight stay at the Daddy O Boutique Hotel on April 9th

Pre-event festivities kick off on April 9th at the Mt. Burton Gallery in Surf City as they present “Top That,” an exhibit featuring contemporary wedding cake toppers. Brides can also enter a VIP Contest Experience on NJWedding.com to win an overnight stay at the Daddy O Boutique Hotel in Brant Beach, along with a welcome gift basket by Camille’s Floral Designs and an LBI-themed cookie basket by A Sweet Memory.

The Mallard Island Yacht Club, part of the "Weddings of Distinctions" properties, is one of the venues along the Wedding Road Show in LBI

The Mallard Island Yacht Club, part of the "Weddings of Distinction" properties, is one of the venues along the Wedding Road Show in LBI

The more stops the brides make, the more signatures they get on their entry form, the better the chance for Wedding Road Show prizes featuring a Lighthouse Wedding Grand Giveaway: includes: Wedding Ceremony/Reception site at the Tuckerton Lighthouse at the Tuckerton Seaport April or November 2012 , Wedding Buffet for 80 Catered by Scojo’s Catering, Wedding Invitations by Stephanie Somodi – Designing Your Most Inviting Day, Custom Wedding Cake for 80 by Tammy’s Cake Walk, Wedding Story Video and Edit Package by J & S Video, Custom Wedding Floral Package by Camille Floral Designs and Frank’s Flower and Gift Shoppe, favors by a Sweet Memory, photography by Portraits by the Bay and a Wedding Night Stay by JD Thompson Inn. In addition to the event prizes, each vendor will be offering discounts and contests of their own. Last year’s Wedding Road Show Grand Prize Winner was Michele Domalewski whose name was drawn from over 100 completed wedding forms. This lucky bride has been planning her wedding with the businesses who sponsored the LBI Dream Wedding Package and will celebrate their wedding this April.

The Wedding Road Show is presented by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism and is sponsored by wedding Industry powerhouses, The Knot, New Jersey Bride, Brides.com, NJWedding.com, and WedAlert.com. Radio Broadcast sponsor is Magic 100.1fm. The sponsors will be on hand at the welcome points offering prizes and samples.

To register, please go to visitLBIregion.com and click on “Wedding Road Show Flyer” or call the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce at (609) 494-7211. Brides can pick up welcome bag, tour book and entry forms at one of three locations: Holiday Inn on Rt. 72 Manahawkin, Tuckerton Seaport on Rt. 9 in Tuckerton or the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center at 265 West Ninth Street in Ship Bottom. There is no cost to enter contests or to attend the event.

View a video recap of last year’s Wedding Road Show by eVideo Productions:


Top Spots for Engagement and Wedding Photos in New Jersey

January 6, 2011

We asked professionals within the NJ wedding community for their favorite or most-requested photography spots for engagements and weddings. Subsequently, we received a wide array of locations from areas of the Jersey Shore to popular parks and historic sites to places made famous from movies and much more! Thanks to these experts in the NJ wedding industry along with some photos from professional wedding photographers, We’re excited to share with you some of these “15 Top Spots” for engagement and wedding photographs in New Jersey (there’s a brief description of each location as well as names of contributors):

Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University, Gary Bilbao Photography

Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University, Gary Bilbao Photography

1. Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University, West Long Branch – A National Historic Landmark Building that appeared in the 1980 movie version of “Annie” serving as “Daddy Warbucks” home. Offers amazing photo opportunities throughout the property, both inside and out, including their formal gardens and the famous “Annie staircase.” The bride or groom needs to be an alumni in order to shoot there. (Michael DiChiaro, Creative Video Editing; Gary Bilbao, Gary Bilbao Photography; Alex Ruchaevsky, Abacus Studio)

2. Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown – This is a gorgeous park of well manicured gardens that in some parts look like an English Manor Garden. Local couples love this park for its gorgeous blooms in warmer months, and amazing fall foliage in crisper months. (Michael DiChiaro, Creative Video Editing; Melissa Loiacono, Pampered Bride Weddings)

Engagement Portrait at Hoboken Train Station, Tackeff Photography

Engagement Portrait at Hoboken Train Station, Tackeff Photography

3. Hoboken Train Station, Hoboken – Is stately, historic, beautiful, majestic and a little bit different from the norm. It is a unique building, very quaint and old looking. It even has a big wooden bench where the bride and groom can sit. And did you know that a couple of scenes from the recent movie “Julie & Julia” were filmed there? (Michael Hammond, Your Cinematic Wedding; Alida Monaghan, Juliet Events; Jenny Orsini, Pampered Bride Weddings; Jennifer Bunce, Hudson Cakery)

4. Verona Park, Verona – It seems like there are many romantic nooks within the park that appeal to almost every taste, from traditional, romantic, woodsy /outdoor, water, etc. It’s such a diverse and beautiful place that I can’t remember a time that visited Verona Park without seeing a wedding related photography event, sometimes even on weekdays! (Abe Kasbo, Verasoni Worldwide)

Asbury Park Boardwalk, Jenifer Rutherford Photography

Asbury Park Boardwalk, Jenifer Rutherford Photography

5. The Boardwalk at Asbury Park – After decades of hype, Asbury Park has in fact seen a revival and the beachfront is doing very well. You have the classic landmark Convention Hall / Paramount Theater in addition to Asbury Lands and Wonder Bar. You have new attractions including the water park, mini golf course, and retail shops and restaurants. And of course the oceanfront is always great for photos. And Asbury’s combination of old, new and oceanfront – in a town that’s still a little funky on the edges- is very appealing to young, edgy couples who want something just a step out of the ordinary. (Spence Cook, Bloom Box)

6. Sayen Gardens, Hamilton – Offers lush foliage, beautiful manicured gardens and variety of interesting settings which include a woodland gazebo, temple garden and sprawling park like grassy areas. (Mark Klatskin, Ultrax Entertainment; Danielle Nutt, The Bridal Suite)

Lambertville-New Hope Bridge, ZaZa Creative/Nancy Katz Photograper

Lambertville-New Hope Bridge, ZaZa Creative/Nancy Katz Photograper

7. Lambertville – This historic town located on the Delaware River offers railroad tracks, the river, the bridge to New Hope, antique shops and more for great backdrops (Nancy Katz, ZaZa Creative Photography)

8. Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange – The view from this location, being on a cliff overlooking the New York city skyline and the Hudson River is breathtaking! Inside the Highlawn Pavilion restaurant is especially beautiful and romantic at night, with a panoramic view of the skyline making everything aglow! (Marie Danielle Vil Young, A Votre Service; Allan Reider Photography)

9. Liberty State Park & Landing Marina (Petronella Lugemwa, by Petronella African & Latin Wedding Photography)

10. Long Beach Island region – Barnegat Lighthouse (a.k.a. “Old Barney”) makes a great background for a Long Beach Island wedding and many photographers love the beaches and coast of LBI which offer great lighting for photos. LBI is now a destination wedding resort for brides and grooms who have vacationed here in the summer months and they’ve got so many options for incredible photos (Katie Hood, Reynolds Gift Shop; Stephanie Somodi, Invitation Designs by Stephanie)

11. Rutgers Gardens, New Brunswick – A top spot in Central New Jersey, it is very picturesque and the cabin on the property offers great opportunities for various photos (Mark Krutyansky, Abella Studios)

12. Downtown Princeton – Includes this historic shopping district and grounds of Princeton University (Danielle Nutt, The Bridal Suite)

13. Downtown Jersey City – Some streets are very quaint and a nice walk is great for photo opportunities, along with incredible views of the New York City skyline (Samantha Goldberg, Gold Events Planning & Rebecca Ferrier Photography)

14. South Orange (Cameron Field and Main Street Shops) – (Petronella Lugemwa, by Petronella African & Latin Wedding Photography)

15. Cape May – Known as one of the most popular locations in the country for destination weddings, Cape May offers he Victorian beauty of a by-gone era, along with several beaches for sunset pictures, including the Cape May Sunset Pavilion (Nick Nezaj, The Hotel Alcott)

While the above 15 locations are in no particular order, there are so many more that were suggested by our experts in the wedding community, so I’ll include a bullet list of them below for some other ideas, even for a marriage proposal too!

* Smithville – This is a fun old town, located near Atlantic City, is filled with a lot of small shops and makes a beautiful backdrop for photos and video (Michael DiChiaro, Creative Video Editing)
* Weehawken promenade with the backdrop of NYC skyline (Irina Feygin, Impeccable Image, Inc.)
* Mindowaskin Park, Westfield – There is a beautiful lake with a fountain and graceful trees, a gazebo and a beautiful bridge with an arch that is perfect for bridal parties (Susan Marino, Sue?s Sweets)
* Lambert’s Castle at the Garret Mountain Reservation, Paterson (Ann Marie Brasco, NewJerseyLimoBus.com)
* Reeve’s Reed Arboretum, Summit (Ann Marie Brasco, NewJerseyLimoBus.com)
* Liberty State Park, Jersey City – Offers amazing views of NYC as a backdrop (Ann Marie Brasco, NewJerseyLimoBus.com)
* New Jersey Botanical Gardens/Skylands Manor (Joan Borzomati, Mrs. B’s Cakes; Jerry Frungillo, Frungiillo Caterers)
* Knight Park, Collingswood (Pat Ambrosius, The Pragmatic Planner)
* Grounds of Cathedral of the Woods, Medford Lakes (Pat Ambrosius, The Pragmatic Planner)
* Batso Village, Hammonton – Has some great historic buildings that allow for wonderful artistic images to be captured (Katie Hood, Reynolds Garden Shop)
* Mill Race Village and Main Street, Mount Holly (Tara Clapper, recent NJ bride)
* Bonnet Island Estate grounds, Cedar Bonnet Island, LBI (Heather Sconza, All the Rave Events)
* Waterfall at Kingsland Park, Nutley (Nella Cicchino, The Landmark)
* Branchbrook Park, Newark – Branchbrook is home of the Cherry Blossom festival in May (Josh Lynn, Josh Lynn Photography)
* Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Township – On Hanover Avenue and part of the Morris County Parks System (Timothy MacHale, The Madison Hotel)
* Fairleigh Dickinson Campus, Madison – You can rent it out for a couple of hours and not have to worry about it getting crowded and waiting for other couples (Priscillo Leto, Finishing Touch Events)
* Pier Village, Long Branch (Cara Jones, New Jersey bride-to-be)
* Belmar boardwalk – Has vintage lampposts along the boardwalk so it really gives it that historic feel of a romantic old-time beach location (Sandi Silva, Save The Date Now; Mary Wall, Matisse Restaurant)
* Allaire State Park, Farmingdale – Features the Historic Village of Allaire, one of the most popular wedding spots at the Jersey Shore (Heidi Hutch, Sterling Ballroom at the Holiday Inn Tinton Falls)
* Manasquan Reservoir, Howell (Jennifer Rutherford, photographer)
* Strawbridge Lake, Moorestown (Craig Fisher, Taylor Rental)
* Various vineyards throughout Southern New Jersey (Valerie McGeary, Renault Winery)
* Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton (Kay English, Kay English Photography)

Winter/Snow Engagement Shoot in New Jersey park - Josh Lynn Photography

Winter/Snow Engagement Shoot in New Jersey park – Josh Lynn Photography

When considering where you want to take engagement or wedding photos in New Jersey, consider thinking of them in a “theme,” as photographer Josh Lynn suggests, whether they’re captured “in a city, at the shore, in a favorite park or woods, or during a particular season or weather” (or even where your fiance proposed or where you spent a lot of time dating). And, as photographer David Toth concludes, “the best location is the one where you are, because if you love it, you own it and then a professional photographer will capture that love.”

To view a photo gallery of more New Jersey engagement and wedding locations, click here

-Written and compiled by Erik Kent, Co-Publisher, NJWedding.com


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