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. 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?