A few days ago I strolled Forsyth with a fellow bride discussing our drastically different venues. We both agreed that selecting the venue is number one on the long list of wedding planning. Since I follow Posh Petals and Pearls on all social media handles, I can list quite a few fairytale locations for brides hoping to wed in the South. Unfortunately, I missed out on Savannah scenery as my wedding plans began months before I learned of my relocation. With that said, wherever brides choose to marry, the task of selecting a venue can be quite challenging.
I will be marrying JB at the Pleasantdale Château in the town of West Orange, New Jersey. This beautiful property dates back to 1835 and was remodeled in 1912 by a well-to-do man and his architect, after touring Europe for inspiration. Since I am a mildly dramatic bride (aren’t we all?), I fell in love with this venue before even stepping inside. Allow me to take you on a mini tour of the posh property…
My favorite room in the Château is one where the bride and groom might spend all of five minutes. The Château’s “Fountain Room” is an indoor pool comprised of stunning colored Portuguese tiles. Although historic and mesmerizing, the pool is off limits to guests. Translation for my fiancé: they do not make exceptions for wild groomsmen who think it might be fun to take a dip in tuxedos! This intricate room does however create the perfect backdrop for a romantic photo. When I first toured the Château, I spotted a bride and groom posing by the water just moments after they uttered “I Do’s.” Will I be brave enough to take my gown into a room filled with chlorine for the forever photo? Any posh bride would call me crazy for contemplating such a thought, but before judging take a look at the potential backdrop.
How bad could this really go? #worthit
The pathway to the pool consists of an exquisite greenhouse, filled floor to ceiling with colorful, vibrant floral arrangements. The possibilities for photos are endless. I was especially drawn to the layout of the Château; the twists and turns of the property welcome partygoers to explore hidden rooms and nooks throughout the evening. Friends and family are encouraged to wander, hold hands, and follow the petals from cocktail hour until the sun rises, marking the official transition from the after-party to brunch.
A moment captured from our first tour of the property. Here, guests will wine and dine before dancing.
A few tips to share with fellow posh brides who are in the process of selecting the perfect venue:
*Bring an extra set of eyes along for the tour.
On the very day that I fell in love with the elegant Château in Jersey, so too did my happy wedding planners (mom and dad pictured below). Sometimes it’s helpful to have another perspective to visualize how the affair will unfold. When I walked into the ballroom with my fiancé and parents, we could all feel the enchantment of the evening. I imagined the traditional father-daughter dance and my cousins having a ball on the dance floor. I smiled at the thought of entering the ballroom hand in hand with my groom when the band introduces Mr. and Mrs. Peterman. Simply standing in the party room evoked ideas for color schemes, the placement of the band, and endless flower arrangements. As the imaginary details suddenly fell into place, I knew the Pleasantdale Château had officially kicked off our wedding plans.
Perhaps the venue choice can be a family affair (sometimes mom and dad know best)!
*Is the location comfortable for both wedding parties?
As mentioned in my introductory post, my fiancé grew up in beautiful Amish country. Although JB’s neighborhood provides picture perfect rolling hills and romantic scenery, my heart was always set on a castle like venue not far from my hometown. With a little bit of conversation and strategic planning, JB and I decided that his family would have to travel from Pennsylvania to New Jersey for the affair. Aside from immediate family, my relatives are scattered all over the country. Ultimately, our wedding will require both families to make a trip. If this is also the case for your venue, make sure there are hotels in close proximity.
Posh perk: Before booking the venue, I located a nearby Hilton hotel with a spa, which is ideal for relatives and friends who wish to pamper before the wedding.
*Don’t waste too much time!
When we were finally ready to sign a contract for the Château (over a year in advance) there was a single date left for the entire summer season! I encourage all brides to search around and commit to their dream location sooner than later. After securing the date, follow your venue on instagram for ideas and inspiration. I recently spotted a bride on the @pleasantdalechateau instagram handle just before her big reveal. I just might have to mimic this magical moment!
What a gorgeous way to greet the groom!
Many people desire a destination wedding where they can marry underneath a starry sky or beside the ruins of breathtaking European cities. Choose a venue that works best for you, your love, and those who are essential to the memory of your wedding.
Whether you marry in a New Jersey Château, under the moss in Forsyth Park, or beside the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, choosing the venue will be the cherry at the top of the list in the wedding planning process. Speaking of cherries, let’s continue to savor the sweet moments of wedding planning with Posh Petals and Pearls. Stay tuned for tips on how to #SYTTD (Say Yes To The Dress) and so much more!
The next time I walk down these steps I will be a married lady!