Over the last few years, Laura and I have had the opportunity to visit many wedding venues. We have captured weddings as far south as Costa Rica and as far north as Rhode Island. While those were all unique locations, we have captured most of our weddings in New Jersey out of where we’re based. In New Jersey, we have been to around 30 wedding venues. Not nearly as many as there are in New Jersey, but Laura and I started reminiscing on our last few years and got to thinking: what’s our favorite wedding venue?
We started listing out our favorites and why we like them so much. We put thought into not just the beauty of each venue but also the friendliness of the staff and how organized everything felt on the big day. While we have yet to capture a wedding at a venue we absolutely didn’t like, here are the five venues that have made a lasting impression on us.
72 North Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
We had the opportunity to capture a wedding at Renault Winery last December and it was such a unique wedding venue. From the convenience of a hotel on property across the street to the sprawling winery and golf course on the opposite side of the street, there is so much happening here. There were many unique spaces not only just suited for photos, but were just great places to hang out and soak in the atmosphere. Renault Winery, of course, makes their own wine and serves as a delicious pick-me-up for any after parties at the hotel. Laura and I had to take some home with us as a little celebration gift for closing out our 2022 wedding year (and it was really good).
Being that we filmed at the winery in December, their lobby was filled with different themed Christmas trees. The decor was super festive and very unique. During the warmer months, they have more outside events. This is definitely somewhere we'd like to come back and visit on our own. This venue is perfect for anybody who is looking for a unique place that has everything all in one place.
1 N New York Rd, Absecon, NJ 08205
There are a few venues that we capture and talk about going back to visit on our own when we have a day off together. This was one of them. The Smithville Inn is located in a cozy downtown area filled with small shops and attractions. The Smithville Inn and the surrounding historic Smithville have an endless amount of charm and wonder.
When we captured a wedding here, we had the opportunity to get footage of the bride and groom on a carousel, bridge, and a train. When we came back together as a family, we took Julian on a train ride around the village, and checked out many of the local shops. There is a pizza shop that sells really large pizzas by the slice and an ice cream shop that sells many unique flavors of ice cream. We visited a Christmas shop that had nearly every type of Christmas ornament and light up set you could possibly imagine.
The actual Smithville Inn itself is located just on the edge of the village and is unmistakable once you walk inside and experience its rustic charm. The Smithville Inn has so many picturesque opportunities. If you're looking for darker, more rustic vibes, this is the venue for you.
115 Old Hwy 28, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
The Ryland Inn is the perfect example of everything Laura and I love about wedding venues. When you arrive at the Ryland Inn, located a street off the main highway, you’re greeted by a green field with the Inn set far off the road behind it. There are two separate spaces for couple to choose from when booking their wedding at the Ryland Inn.
The Grand Ballroom is the larger of the two spaces, offering a large cocktail hour space that leads directly into the ballroom, and then an outdoor patio conveniently attached to the ballroom. We really enjoyed the fire pits on the outdoor patio and the unique, cozy atmosphere.
The Coach House offers a smaller, more intimate setting inside the barn. We found it super cool that one of the bars in the cocktail hour space was in a silo, and the fireplace in the reception area kept us warm on a cool fall night. Regardless of which space you choose, you can’t go wrong!
The Ryland Inn is also farm to table. They have partnerships with many family farms in the area and also have a garden on property. The quality of the food is very apparent and everything tastes so fresh.
For the couple seeking farm and rustic vibes with locally sourced food, The Ryland Inn is the perfect wedding venue.
847 Arnold Ave, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742
Clark’s Landing isn’t the largest venue on this list, but it more than makes up for it in basically every way possible. Located on the Manasquan River in Point Pleasant, Clark’s Landing provides beautiful views of the water from the glass windows in the ballroom upstairs to the pier out on the water.
The wedding ceremony can either be outside or inside, depending on weather. Outside, there is a grassy area overlooking the waterfront that provides picturesque views. Inside, the wedding ceremony takes place in the upstairs ballroom and transforms back into a reception space during cocktail hour.
The cocktail hour space is large and has so much variety of food and drinks. There are many food stations set up and and the food is all really high quality. After cocktail hour, guests go upstairs to the ballroom for the reception. The ballroom is very spacious and has many windows overlooking the water. In the summer, the sun sets over the water, casting a glowing light into the ballroom.
The staff at Clarks Landing stands out above most venues we’ve been to. Everybody we interacted with were not only very professional, but were also very personable and supported us at any moment we needed.
Everything about Clarks Landing feels very polished. From the welcoming and supportive staff to the beachside location, this venue is for every couple who wants a little class mixed with New Jersey beach vibes.
1. Perona Farms
350 Andover Sparta Rd, Andover Township, NJ 07821
I’m going to start this one by saying that Laura and I are probably a little biased. This is where we got married and created a lot of our own memories. But there are many reasons why we picked this venue to not only be our number one pick on this list, but also why we chose to celebrate our love together here in front of family and friends.
When Laura and I were looking for a venue to get married at, there were a few things we had in mind. We had initially planned to get married on a farm so we started compiling a list of farms in New Jersey. Perona Farms wasn’t even on our list of venues to visit. But after visiting a few farms (all of which we liked), we just weren’t sure what we wanted to do.
We take a trip to Perona Farms for a walkthrough. Perona Farms has three different event spaces. On one side of the street is The Reserve and The Refinery, while on the other side is The Barn.
The Reserve is very nice and is the largest space out of the three, making it really great for large weddings. The Refinery sits right alongside The Reserve and really stuck out to us. Perona Farms describes The Refinery’s design as “industrial-chic”. The exposed brick and florals in every room is really inviting and it all expands to a large terrace outside where guests can relax and mingle all night. The one part about The Refinery that I liked the most was a spaced called The Archive. Behind a vanity mirror in the cocktail hour space is a door that opens up to a hidden shared space where the bride and groom get ready for the day. I thought it was the coolest touch and really rounded out the feel of The Refinery.
We both fell in love with The Refinery, but there was one more event space to see. Perona Farms calls it The Barn. Across the street sits a barn that was originally built in the 1930’s. It sits on an open plot of land surround by trees. When we first walked into the barn, we walked into the first floor which is the cocktail hour space. The entire first level is one long open space with a bar and a near endless amount of couches and seat configurations to stimulate conversations and encourage connection. Out the back door of the first floor is a newly renovated patio space with an outside bar and fireplace. On the second floor of the barn is the reception space with beautiful ceilings of exposed wood. The entire space was the perfect blend of farm and modern amenities. We both knew within a few minutes that this is the place we wanted to celebrate our big day. But our love for The Barn and Perona Farms didn’t stop there.
Photo courtesy of Caroline Morris Photography
Over the course of the next year, we went back to Perona Farms to film a wedding. The wedding took place in The Reserve and gave us the opportunity to try some of their food for the first time. We had heard that Perona Farms had really great food but didn’t get a chance to actually experience it until this day. It was incredible.
The following week, we were invited back for a food tasting where we could try many of the food options that Perona Farms offers and get the opportunity to pick which food we wanted for our own wedding. Not only was the food absolutely delicious, but the variety in options were nearly limitless. Perona Farms offers different food based on the season of the year you’re getting married. We had the opportunity to try a few different pastas, some with different types of squash. There were some standards like a burger station and pizza station. There was a station that surprised us the most which had pork, potato pancakes, and apple sauces.
On top of the great location and food, we really fell in love with the staff. Everybody that works there is incredibly friendly and accommodating. I won’t list out names but the people who helped us on our wedding day will forever remain important people in our lives. It felt like we had known them all for years. Laura even wanted a photo of us with the staff so we could remember them. We recently went back for a couple’s dinner at Perona and got checked in by our reception coordinator and, to Laura’s surprise, remembered us and started talking to us about how we’ve been.
Photo courtesy of Caroline Morris Photography
I can go on and on, but Laura and I absolutely love Perona Farms. We’ve been to many venues and have had incredible experiences but this place really connected with us. The staff, venue spaces, and food were all absolutely memorable and, like many venues, give couples an opportunity to keep coming back even after they’ve been married. Our date night a few weeks ago gave us a chance to enjoy their food again and meet both familiar and new faces. Our date night took place in The Refinery so even though we didn’t get married there, it was still a great opportunity to experience it again. It kind of felt like I was having my cake and eating it too.
We’ve been to a lot of wedding venues and we both cannot wait for the chance to experience more of what New Jersey’s wedding venues have to offer. We have had so many great experience over the last few years and, at the end of the day, it was tough to put together a list of only five venues. If there are any venues that really stood out to you, whether it was your own wedding venue or a place you experienced as a guest, let us know below!