Our wedding weekend in Spring Lake, NJ was great! We arranged for the following events at the following venues, using the below vendors:
1) Clambake-themed rehearsal dinner at The Chateau (in their Atlantic Room). Shore Catering in Brick catered beautifully for us and the room has plenty of AV equipment, and is really classy looking.
2) We followed this by welcome drinks for out of town guests at The Parker House. We were a bit disappointed in this, as PH had told us they would reserve a space for us from 9-11pm, but this didn't go off so well until we spoke to a manager repeatedly upon arrival to remedy the situation. In hindsight, instead of doing drinks at this really busy shore bar, I would've done our rehearsal dinner at The Chateau from 5-8pm, followed by drinks there as well from 8-10pm (as 10pm is The Chateau's party curfew).
3) Our ceremony and reception at The Mill was amazing, but again, I was disappointed in the lack of customer service there. The list is too long to rattle on about, but considering we spent $3k with them for my sister's shower last year, and about $35k for my wedding this year, one would think they would've been bending over backwards for us. But unfortunately, the wedding industry gets away with quite a lot in that way. So, unfortunately I can't really recommend them, even though their food is above average and it's a nice setting for an event like a wedding. It's too bad they employ such rude, incompetent individuals, I supppose...
4) For our wedding, we used the following vendors: Flowers by Dara (in Colts Neck), CAT Limousine (speak to Mike, the owner), AVC Entertainment (speak to Nick, the owner), Bella Photography, Invitations Ink (in Manasquan w/ the husband & wife team of Matt & Amy), and www.shorechic.com. ALL were excellent and I highly recommend!
5) For our post-wedding brunch on Sunday at my parents' home, we catered from Tom Bailey's and they did an amazing job. Their fritattas were delicious, bagels and pastries very fresh, and the scones from partner Scone Pony were to die for.
The garden itself is fairly nice, especially if you get decent weather and if your florist decorates well. Downsides are that it's right off the parking lot (so we had a car alarm set off by the valet during the ceremony), AND be aware that you will need TWO different marriage licenses if you are getting married at The Mill (one for Wall Twp if you get married outside, one for Spring Lake Heights if it rains and you get married inside). Also be careful about their recommendations for officiants--ours was AWFUL and he had the nerve to charge $400 for a 20 min service and didn't even come to the rehearsal (even though I think The Mill should make this mandatory).
The venue itself is nice and the food is above average. The staff, however, are rude and incompetent. They take weeks to return your emails and/or calls, and don't seem to be properly trained, nor have manners.
Our guests loved the location and rooms. The staff is very nice and accomodating, as well. We had our rehearsal dinner here (catered by Shore Catering in Brick, who did a clambake theme for us) in The Atlantic Room and it was beautiful.
Obviously striking architecturally speaking, but be careful, as they are very strict there and were ridiculous to the point where they would not secure a ceremony date for us until we finished our pre-cana classes (even though we don't live in town!?).
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