Planning Weddings in Morris County, NJ in 2021: What Can Brides Expect?
2020 presented many obstacles to couples around the world, including hindering or altogether ruining wedding plans for the year. As a result, couples looking to plan a 2021 wedding during this pandemic are trying to find ways to navigate these evolving circumstances with grace. As it is with most challenges, the more prepared you are, the better the outcome will be. Indeed, learning a little bit more about the current status of wedding planning in NJ can help you prepare. The status of the pandemic is ever-changing, but we are looking forward to 2021 with bright eyes and some helpful hints on how to help brides stay calm and carry on with their Big Day. Here’s everything you should know about planning 2021 weddings in NJ. We suggest you visit our website’s Wedding Section for more venues and vendors, restaurants and lodging ideas for help creating your perfect Morris County, NJ wedding.
Covid-19 & Weddings
It’s an unpredictable time for making plans and understanding what to expect with weddings after Covid-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current limitations in NJ restrict indoor and outdoor ceremonies and receptions differently. The rules stand as follows.
For outdoor ceremonies and receptions:
- Outdoor wedding ceremonies do not have an attendance limit.
- Outdoor wedding receptions are limited to 150 people (not including venue staff) and require social distancing.
For indoor ceremonies and receptions:
- Indoor wedding ceremonies that involve a religious service, must be limited to 50 percent of a room’s capacity.
- Also, indoor wedding ceremonies that do not involve a religious service must be limited to 35 percent of a room’s capacity, but no more than 150 individuals.
- Indoor wedding receptions are limited to 35 percent of the room’s capacity, but no more than 150 people, not including staff of the venue.
For indoor and outdoor receptions, remember that dance floors at all venues are closed. This is due to the high risk of spreading the disease in spaces where individuals may be in close contact with one another.
These stringent guidelines are in place and represent a new normal for how ceremonies and receptions occur. As a result, couples need to adapt. In fact, we are trying to redefine how group gatherings occur, at least until further information is available by the CDC and the WHO. While little is known about future precautions, brides can feel confident their nuptials will be safe and fun. In fact, wedding professionals, especially wedding planners and wedding venues, are now assessing the possibilities surrounding weddings after Covid-19. The topic of adopting “COVID-compliance” measures at future nuptials is top-of-mind. Most venues have adopted new policies and are allowing couples to make plans for 2021. Latest from CDC
Can I Start to Look at Venues in Person?
Looking at wedding venues in person is a tough task at the moment. Some wedding venues are allowing tours of their premises, by appointment only. This ensures social distancing and your guests’ safety. However, other venues began offering virtual tours of the grounds. While this can be a hindrance to getting the feel of the place, it is a fantastic option for staying safe during this pandemic. Look to the websites and social media accounts of your prospective wedding locales for more information on the in-person protocol.
Top Wedding Venues in Morris County, NJ
While there are so many options for wedding venues in NJ, some of the most unique and beautiful reside in Morris County, New Jersey. Whether you are looking for a rustic farm feel or an elegant and sophisticated ballroom, there are endless possibilities. A few of the venues listed below are already open to booking weddings for 2021. Additionally, they have full plans and protocols in place to ensure that everyone at your wedding is safe and socially distanced.
If you are considering a casual, relaxed setting for your special day, Alstede Farms may be the spot for you. Located in Chester Township, this is a unique, tranquil venue for your wedding reception. The Harvest Hall provides couples with a beautiful, rural setting amidst permanently preserved farmland. Among the many options for your event, there are hay wagon rides, a diverse menu, and a cozy campfire to round out the evening.
The Red Mill Museum Village
Located in Clinton, New Jersey, this venue is a historic landmark and scenic treasure. A fantastic venue for an outdoor occasion, this ten-acre property sits along the South Branch of the Raritan River. It features 12 historic buildings, rolling lawns, towering cliffs, cultivated landscapes, and a rushing waterfall. The Red Mill Museum Village is now booking for 2021.
Morris County Park Commission
Perhaps some of the most unique NJ wedding venue options are available for rent through the Morris County Park Commission. Featuring several different outdoor and indoor venues, most have started taking reservations.
Berkshire Valley Golf Course, The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, and Seaton Hackney Stables are just a few of the options available to you. For a garden venue, your options include Willowwood Arboretum, Bamboo Brook, and Silas Condict Park.
The Olde Mill Inn & Grain House Restaurant
A boutique hotel located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, The Olde Mill Inn is a perfect wedding locale for romantics. This lovely 10-acre estate offers a fairy-tale historic setting in an 18th century Grain House for an intimate size wedding. It features landscaped gardens and lawns with a flower-adorned gazebo, as well as a tented patio, for beautiful outdoor ceremonies. For a larger wedding, the Grand Washington Ballroom offers a classically beautiful reception space. There is a charming separate cocktail area in the Lord Stirling Court. Finally, an entire wall of French doors opens onto a stone courtyard, garden, and gazebo.
The Madison Hotel
The Madison Hotel is equipped to handle all types of weddings, from intimate to extravagant, traditional to the unexpected. The in-house wedding team will design an event that is uniquely yours. Host a stylish gala in the magnificent Glynallynn Ballroom, or revel under the stars or under the sun in the breathtaking Conservatory. Newly married couples will kiss, toast, talk, sip, dine, dance, and more while the venue’s wedding experts skillfully and graciously attend to every detail.
The Westin Governor Morris
The Westin Governor Morris Hotel is an award-winning wedding venue located in Morristown, NJ. Outdoors, the path to Acorn Hall leads to beautifully manicured gardens and a gazebo in which you can hold your service. Nestled among towering trees, it creates a breathtaking backdrop for exchanging your vows. After your ceremony, you and your guests can proceed to the hotel’s Promenade, a two-story room illuminated by natural light and beautiful chandeliers for cocktail hour. With two options for your reception celebration, the Governor’s Ballroom or, for a more intimate affair, the State Ballroom, this is a fantastic choice to celebrate your love.
Top NJ Restaurants for Showers, Bachelor(ette) Parties & Celebrations
The following are fine dining institutions in the Morris County community. Any of them would be a wonderful place to celebrate your upcoming nuptials in style.
Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen
If you want to celebrate your wedding day while enjoying seasonal cuisine, then Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen is a great choice. This restaurant is stylish and has a menu featuring sustainable foods. This restaurant includes a raw bar, a rathskeller and a lounge, all set in a 1917 landmark former Gilded Age mansion.
For a more casual ambiance with fantastic water views, Alice’s Restaurant is a top choice in Morris County. It’s not just about the food or the lake. It’s about the at-home feeling you have when you celebrate here. Situated on scenic Lake Hopatcong, Alice’s Restaurant is the perfect place to watch the day end and the night begin.
Grain House Restaurant
Voted as one of New Jersey’s Top Prettiest Restaurants, The Grain House Restaurant is renowned for historic charm and American fare. The restaurant features impressive fireplaces and warm rustic décor. It even has an organic garden that provides produce and herbs for delicious recipes. Locally-sourced, organic ingredients will guarantee that you love your meal. You’ll remember your celebration here forever.
Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grille
Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grille is a Morristown landmark and winner of New Jersey Monthly‘s Best Steak award. The restaurant’s design lends classic elegance to a sophisticated dining experience. For an intimate experience, enjoy dinner aboard the private vintage Parlour Cars. Formerly the private domain of the rich and famous, these beautifully refurbished, turn-of-the-century railway cars are a unique way to celebrate your wedding with your loved ones.
Top NJ Hotels for Your Wedding Guests
The following hotels are some of the most unique in New Jersey. They offer luxury accommodations, top-rated restaurants, and beautiful views.
The four-story boutique hotel adjoins The Green at Florham Park. What to expect from this one-of-a-kind Florham Park boutique hotel? A spirit of casual elegance, 161 luxe guest rooms and suites, a lively cocktail bar and patio, an inviting backyard with a bocce ball court, and stellar, sincere service. Beds and baths are top quality, and each night brings a special surprise — making every stay in one of Archer’s Florham Park boutique hotel rooms an experience all its own.
Olde Mill Inn
Discover old-world charm, new-world comfort, and timeless hospitality at The Olde Mill Inn. This classic New Jersey hotel is a magnet for business travelers, vacationing visitors, meeting planners, and wedding parties. As a preferred choice among area New Jersey hotels, you can enjoy the extreme comfort of guest rooms and suites, indulge in upgraded amenities, and discover exceptional all-American dining at the famous Grain House Restaurant.
The Madison Hotel
The Madison Hotel is an excellent choice for travelers, offering a romantic environment alongside many helpful amenities designed to enhance your guests’ stay. Set amidst a countrified and tranquil setting, with a Georgian-style façade and dramatic clocktower, The Madison Hotel has been a landmark for over a quarter of a century in Morristown, NJ. The hotel offers premium amenities. A 24-hour front desk, complimentary parking, room service, a full library, garden courtyard, snack shop, poolside dining, and two restaurants are some of the conveniences at this hotel. Located just steps from the Convent Station train station.
The Whistling Swan Inn
This stunning former residence, located in Stanhope, NJ, is now the Whistling Swan Inn, and was built in 1905 and converted to a bed and breakfast in 1985. Your guests will spend the morning of your wedding day strolling in the Victorian garden or reading the morning paper on the veranda. Located near Waterloo Village, Lake Hopatcong, and the Morris Canal, activities are endless. Find crafts in Chester, go antiquing in Andover, or go hiking and biking in the nearby state park.
Top NJ Shops for Weddings Gifts & Favors
The following shops in Morris County are great for one-stop shopping for wedding gifts and party favors. If you need fun gifts for your bridal party or beautiful presents for your favorite couples, try these shops for luxury and boutique items.
For those of you with New Jersey pride, Just Jersey is a can’t-miss stop. This family-run business celebrates the natural beauty, diversity, culture, grit, and attitude of the Garden State. This shop sells the goods of New Jersey’s small, local makers whose stories are as diverse as the state itself. Gifts, good eats, and beautiful kitchen and bar tools are available.
Enjou Chocolat makes uniquely delicious chocolate gift items. That makes this little chocolate shop a perfect stop to order custom wedding favors for your guests and wedding party.
At Merzatta, you’ll find handmade American Art Jewelry with organic beginnings and a contemporary edge, as well as a host of work by other artists we know you’ll love. Fine jewelry, arts, and woodworking are available here for you to peruse. Great for a unique present for your spouse-to-be, or members of your wedding party.
Fully Promoted (EmbroidMe)
For fun, customized wedding favors for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, Fully Promoted is a great choice! You can customize any drinkware, bags, shirts, and more.
Plan Your 2021 Wedding in Morris County, NJ
Endless wedding options await you in Morris County, New Jersey. Morris County wedding specialists and vendors, restaurants and venues are booking events and we have listed them on our website in the Wedding Section. We also have a restaurant section and lodging section you’ll want to review for wedding packages and group hotel room rates for your guests. Hope you have the wedding of your dreams in Morris County, New Jersey.