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To many Americans, New Jersey is simply the "suburbs of New York." If you can forget the state's association with NYC for a minute; you have time to consider all the charms New Jersey has to offer and you'll soon realize that the Garden State is much more interesting than meets the eye - and that's great news if you're planning a New Jersey Wedding!
New Jersey's relatively compact geographical area (only 3 other states are smaller), interesting historical sites, Atlantic Ocean shoreline, and close proximity to New York City make it perhaps the "best wedding state per square mile." The Garden State boasts a little bit of everything. Starting north and working our way south, wedding planners have always made the New Jersey Botanical Garden (NJBG) in Ringwood a go-to backdrop for fabulous wedding photos. The Skylands Manor is a feature of the NJBG, and wedding photographers have made it part of their photography portfolio for generations. Heading south, nearby towns Paterson, Newark, Jersey City and Elizabeth offer couples an outstanding variety of New Jersey wedding venues to pick from. Trenton (the state capital) and Camden, along the eastern bank of the Delaware River, are great for riverside weddings, as each city has a wealth of historical sites. The southern half of New Jersey is a curious mix of busy resort towns - Atlantic City and Ocean City are popular beach wedding sites - upper-crust, affluent areas (New Jersey has some of the wealthiest counties in the country), quiet, out-of-the-way countryside spots, and the southern tip coastal region, including The Wildwoods (Wildwood Crest, West Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood) and Cape May, home of picturesque Victorian mansions, turn-of-the-20th-century resorts, trendy shopping and world-class dining. From north to south, east to west, New Jersey offers endless possibilities for couples planning a wedding!
Summer weddings along the Jersey Shore contain all the elements of a classic coastal celebration: spacious & sandy beaches, stately homes, sunny weather and more. New Jersey wedding colors -seaside or inland - are perfectly suited for the state flower, the blue violet. NJ's reputation as an Atlantic coast destination detracts from its often stunning autumn scenery, particularly in the northwest part of the state. For fall and winter weddings, blue, orange and red are popular choices at NJ weddings. A word of caution on winter weddings: February is typically the month with the heaviest snowfall, so plan accordingly!
So many choices, so much to do, so much money - the negative side of a New Jersey wedding is when the bill is due. Like other northeastern U.S. states, New Jersey wedding expenses are on the high side - in fact, Garden State weddings are some of the most expensive in the country. While the average U.S. wedding cost (with 140 guests) is roughly $30,000, NJ matrimony expenses are a bit steeper. Generally speaking, the closer to NYC, the higher your New Jersey wedding costs. Prepare to spend around $350 per guest in the northern half of NJ, and about $300 per guest in the central and southern parts of the state. Cape May is a notable exception to the rule; this quaint Oceanside town has wedding costs that can exceed anywhere else in New Jersey, depending on your venue! Regardless of what part of the state you're celebrating in, you'll want some music to keep the party going. Newark wedding DJs offer everything from country to hip-hop to classic rock. Seafood is a staple item for most Newark catering services in the state, but classic American "meat and potatoes" fare is also available. Here's the great thing about New Jersey wedding services - whether you're looking for a Newark wedding photographer or wedding planner, many service providers cover the whole state. That's another advantage to planning a wedding in New Jersey!
You'll have to wait 3 full days after applying for a New Jersey marriage license, and it'll cost $28 per applicant. Given the state's pricy services, most people are surprised that a marriage license is so inexpensive. Plus, your marriage license is good for up to 6 months after issue. So if you're planning a July seaside celebration, it's a good idea to go ahead and take care of your marriage license in January or February. Keep in mind, most states' marriage licenses are valid for 30 days after issue - use New Jersey's law to your advantage and check it off your to-do list right away!