Our Venue: the Venetian

I realized that I never really mentioned the venue that our wedding will take place in, except very briefly in my profile. To be honest, we didn’t really visit many venues. I have to say that one of the main reasons for that is because the first venue we visited just happened to be the Venetian in Garfield NJ, and we fell so much in love with the place that the three other appointments we made for that day just didn’t seem as nice. It didn’t take us very long to make a decision about booking here. It was probably one of the easiest part of our wedding planning so far.

I wasn’t sure what I would think of the venue on the way there, especially when we saw a bunch of industrial buildings with only a mile or so left to go (we were starting to get a little nervous), and a used car lot directly across the street. Even the venue itself looked to be under construction (they are in the process of building another ballroom, and construction will be completed by the time of our wedding).

But when we walked through the doors, this is what we saw:


The cocktail lounge is located to the left of this gorgeous hallway, and the reception hall is located to the right. I wanted to use this hallway as much as we could, and decided to have a half hour champagne reception here before the guests are lead upstairs into the ceremony room. Mr. Martini and I are also both Korean, and we wanted to incorporate the Korean tea ceremony, called Paebaek, into our wedding somehow. The first time I ever witnessed a Paebaek during the reception was about four years ago, and I was on the edge of my chair the whole time with tears streaming down my face. It was so emotional! Fast forward a few years and about 10 Paebaek ceremonies later, you start to get desensitized. Guests start to get bored, especially when there is a huge family involved.

Well, I have a very small family, but Mr. Martini has a very large one. Having the Paebaek ceremony during the reception would take a lot of time out of the things we wanted to do and our biggest concern was that we wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of our band. Also, we wouldn’t want our guests to start getting restless. The more time we spend on bowing and throwing chestnuts and dates around, the less time there will be to party! But we still wanted to do it and felt that it was important to us and our families.

We decided that we will have the Paebaek ceremony during the cocktail hour, in this very hallway. It will be completely optional and done in a quiet manner. This way, guests who would rather eat, drink and mingle can do so, while guests who have never witnessed the ceremony before can easily peek through the doors or spill out into the hallway to watch, if they choose to. We have a good number of non Asian guests who have never heard of a Korean tea ceremony and are looking forward to checking it out.


The cocktail lounge includes many stations as well as butler style served hor d’oeuvres. It also includes something that made my heart skip a beat – a sake bar! There is actually another extended room off to the side, so guest should not be cramped at all. The Venetian actually does not do any tastings, but we didn’t mind one bit. We’ve spoken to numerous people who have attended a wedding there and the one thing they said about the venue was that the food is amazing. Great for the guests, but bad for me and Mr. Martini, because we doubt we will get to experience all the yummy food that will be provided. sad01 I hope the guests will like it however, because there’s a chance that the cocktail hour will run a tad longer than the normal 1 hour because of the Paebaek ceremony.


This is where the ceremony will take place. I have to be honest, I am a little bit concerned about the ceremony site because it is on the smaller side, and we will be having over 200 guests. My concerns about the ceremony room will be expressed in my next post, because it’s much too lengthy for this one.


Our ceremony room, from the front.

We chose our venue for a lot of reasons. For one, the place is absolutely gorgeous! Also, the location was convenient because it was right off the highway and close to NYC, where most of our friends were located. We have never attended a wedding there and that appealed to us, and we thought that it was something different we could offer to our guests. We’ve also heard nothing but good things about the food and the service. Did I mention there was a sake bar?

We always knew we’d have our wedding in late winter or early spring, and I knew I never wanted an outdoor ceremony, so we weren’t looking for venues with lavish gardens. We wanted a nice indoor facility and have a great time with great food, great dancing, and plenty of cocktails. Oh, and don’t forget the sake bar!

Why did you choose your venue?


Mrs. Martini

New Jersey
Wedding Date:
March 2015
Money Honey
The Avocado BM Dresses
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  1. dumpling Member
    dumpling 750 posts, Busy bee @ 2:00 pm

    When i first saw that you were getting married at the Venetian, I was so excited because I thought you were coming to Las Vegas! Doh! That venue actually looks nicer than the Venetian hotel. You’re going to have some great pics!

  2. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 2:14 pm

    @Miss Dumpling: hahhaha a couple of people actually said that, but you were the first! =)

    but if i am ever in the area, you MUST show me around, in exchange for lots of drinks!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    karen, Guest @ 2:24 pm

    I got married at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. Since his whole family lives in Texas we figured Austin was a happy medium (his older sister lives there too) and the hotel would provide the outdoor scenery I wanted. The funny thing is we got married in August which is one of the hottest months during the summer. On my wedding day it reached 100 degrees…poor guests.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Goldilocks, Guest @ 2:26 pm

    I know a lot of people who’ve had their reception here. It’s a pretty place. I wasn’t too fond of the outside b/c I didn’t think it offered a lot of variety for outside shots, but who knows, it may turn out awesome.
    Also, this venue was once featured on Platinum Weddings.

    Good luck!

  5. Member
    pinkparfait 309 posts, Helper bee @ 2:27 pm

    Great choice Miss Martini! My sister got married there 3 years ago. After that, two of our friends got married there as well. It’s such an awesome place.

    Everyone is still talking about the food there. Everytime I get an invitation and realize it’s at the Venetian, I get so excited! The cocktail hour especially … people have no idea what a real cocktail hour is until they experience on at the Venetian. It’s worth every penny and surprisingly, I found that they offer such competitive pricing as well!

    My sister used the staircase ballroom too and the same cocktail room. :) What a great choice you’ve made!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    D, Guest @ 2:30 pm

    I live in central NJ, and I have to say that I have heard nothing but great things about The Venetian. I have never attended a wedding there myself, but numerous family members have and they said the food is so over-the-top to die for. 😀 (Have you ever been to Russo’s on the Bay? It’s on Long Island. If you have, my family says it can be compared to there, food-wise…and Russo’s is magnificent.)

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Heather, Guest @ 2:41 pm

    The Venetian is absolutely amazing! The food is wow! Some of their younger help needed some lessons in manners but besides that, no complaints!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    D, Guest @ 3:15 pm

    @pinkparfait: “people have no idea what a real cocktail hour is until they experience on at the Venetian”

    Even though I have never been to the Venetian, I have to agree with this statement and replace “The Venetian” with “a wedding in NY/NJ” 😀 I have attended many weddings in many different states, and nothing compares to the food served in the NY-area. I didn’t even know until I attended my first out-of-state wedding that an open bar was not customary for all receptions :O

  9. Member
    DrDazey 56 posts, Worker bee @ 4:00 pm

    How long do you anticipate the paebok ceremony to take? I am debating on doing it during cocktail hour vs reception. I’m leaning towards reception hour b/c I think it would be more important to spend the cocktail hour taking photos!!

  10. Member
    pinkparfait 309 posts, Helper bee @ 4:05 pm

    @D: What kind of restaurant is Russo’s on the Bay? Since I’m not too far from Long Island, I think I’m going to have to pay a visit this weekend!

  11. taffy Member
    taffy 3081 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:01 pm

    It looks beautiful!!! :) That’s awesome that it came so easily.

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    D, Guest @ 6:33 pm

    @pinkparfait: It’s an Italian restaurant. You can find their website at Russosonthebay.com

    I’ve only been there for a wedding, but my cousin (the person who got married there!) said that her and her fiancee picked it as their venue because they used to eat there multiple times a month and loved it so much

  13. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 9:59 pm

    @DrDazey: hmmmm, i was hoping for half an hour, tops? maybe 40 minutes? i’ve seen it done both ways. usually when it’s being done during the reception, the paebek is already set up in the middle of the dance floor when guest walk in. the couple then walks in, completes the tea ceremony, then walks back out to change and reenter in their formal attire along with the family and bridal party. the reason we chose not to do this is because when guests walk into the reception room, the band will already be playing until the guests are seated, so doing the paebek during the reception would’nt really work out in our situation….

    to be honest, most couples do their paebek during the reception. that way guests are seated and comfortable. good luck in your decision! no matter what it’s going to be great =)

  14. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 10:26 pm

    @pinkparfait: this was the exact question i wanted to ask. i’m not too far from long island either, since i’ll actually be moving to astoria after the wedding!

    @D: thanks for the tip on the restaurant! i’ll definitely be checking it out. i loveeee food!

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    pink, Guest @ 11:43 pm

    I just went to a wedding here 2 weeks ago! i agree, the ceremony room was a bit on the small side… there were over 200 people at the wedding and there were guests lined up standing at the back of the room…

    however, their staircase is soo pretty and their cocktail hour – lets just say i thought it was the actual meal. imagine my surprise when after i stuffed myself with oysters, roasted pig, sake from the sake machine, steak, sushi (i could go on and on…) not to mention the open bar.. they ushered us in for a late lunch. oy.

    anyway – it was a lovely venue, especially the reception room… theres a grand staircase for the bridal party entrance! (although im sure you know this already~~)

  16. Member
    pinkparfait 309 posts, Helper bee @ 10:59 am

    @Miss Martini: Oh, you’re right by me! I’m in Woodside. I love how Michael’s is just 5 minutes away.

  17. emerald Member
    emerald 1057 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:45 pm

    I’m drooling now…

    Martini. I’m so bummed that you ditched our meet-up!!! Pooohhhh!! =)

  18. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 4:26 pm

    @Mrs. Emerald: i knowwww i’m so upset! but i was on the master cleanse i would’ve been miserable because i wouldn’t be able to eat or drink. also we were in CT during the day and didnt even get back until the evening, AND I ran a 4 mile race in central park the next morning. i still regret not going. it sounds like you guys had an absolute BLAST!

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    leena, Guest @ 8:28 pm

    I live in NY and am actually looking into catering halls for my wedding. I have never heard of the venetian but it sounds like a really nice place.. does anyone know approximately how much it is per plate/per person? for a wedding of about 150 people? thanks:)

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Venessa, Guest @ 5:30 pm

    @leena:It can range from$100 per person to over $200. It depends on the time of year, the day of the week, and the time of day. But they are willing to work with you. Definitely worth taking a look at.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Melissa, Guest @ 10:59 am

    I booked the Venetian – It was the last place I looked after seeing 11 catering halls – THE SEARCH WAS OVER! I wanted WOW! Booked the new room – It has the vegas feel we wanted!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Melissa, Guest @ 11:01 am

    Also…It was the most reasonable in terms of price. Toniann can probably work with you… GOOD LUCK!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Venessa, Guest @ 7:13 pm

    @Melissa: For what they have to offer, they definitely have the best price. You can still get the whole works and still not break the piggy bank. Even if you don’t want the whole works, I’m pretty sure you can take things out to make it cheaper.

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    What I Did Two Days Before the Wedding, Part 2 » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 1:45 pm

    […] that I wanted petal cones for our ceremony, but it was tough trying to figure out how, because the chairs in the ceremony room had rounded backs. It was something that bothered me at first because there would be no way to hang […]

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    michelle, Guest @ 4:39 pm

    I recently book my wedding at teh Venetian for March of 2011. I’ve never been to a wedding there but I have only heard great things about it. Please post some of your pictures after the wedding

  26. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 4:47 pm


    hi there, and congrats on your wedding! I’m already married (got married in March, too!) and I’ve started posting recaps =)

    i absolutely adored the venetian, and they were perfect in every way. Friends are STILL talking about the amazing food and the great time they had.

    i did hear that after they completed the second ballroom, there has been issues with traffic because they weren’t able to build a second entrance, but my experience with them is nothing short of amazing!

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Jennifer, Guest @ 11:22 am

    How much is the price at the venetian for the new ballroom? with gratuity and tax?

  28. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 12:34 pm

    @Jennifer: hi there! hmmm i’m actually not sure at all. i got married a year ago so the new ballroom was actually not yet finished and we got married in the old ballroom…. the’yre very cool though so i’m sure they will be willing to work with you on budget?

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    Venessa, Guest @ 5:33 pm

    I booked my wedding last January for the the new b4 it was done. And we are paying $125 including tax and gratuity, but our wedding is also on Labor Day Monday so we got a big discount. We’re also getting an extra hour and the Vienesse. I met a couple that is getting married there on a Thursday in August in they are paying $145 and getting an extra 1/2 hour and the Vienesse. I don’t know if the prices are going to go up since they are so popular right now because of the new room. It’s an amazing place and I can’t wait for the wedding.

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    Amy, Guest @ 9:51 am

    @michelle: Hi Michelle,
    My FH and I are also looking to get married at the venetian in march… do you mind sharing how much pp or just a price range for that time period?

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