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