Nine Steps to Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer for You

by: Janna Morishima

Of all the wedding vendor categories, photography might be one of the most crowded – there are hundreds of wedding photographers in New Jersey alone. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff and find the best photographer for you?

1. Decide on how important photography is to you.

If you care strongly about the photography, allocate your budget accordingly. Expect to pay more than $6000 for a high-end photographer; between $2000 and $6000 for most professionals; and less than $2000 for a hobbyist or someone just starting out. You can find amazing photographers in each of these categories – and you can find mediocre work in each of them, too! So it pays to do your homework.

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Helpful Tips to Reception Planning

There are so many elements to planning your wedding reception.  Everyone has their own opinion on what the “perfect” reception should be for them.  Here are a few things, the Do’s and Don’ts to think about while planning your special day.

Want the perfect designer shoes to walk down the aisle in?  One thing to keep in mind for the reception is to bring a comfortable pair of shoes, even flip-flops, to change into after your first dance.  You feet will be happy you did!

Don’t forget an emergency kit for the day of the wedding that can include anything from a needle and thread to clear nail polish, superglue, safety pins and bobby pins.  You never know what will happen when you least expect it and this will be a life saver.

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Valentine’s Day

This post is co-written by: Jackie Brigante

Red roses, box of chocolate and expensive jewelries are the images that pop into my head when I hear people talking about Valentine’s Day.

Of course the holiday for love is a lot more than just mere material things, it’s a chance that comes once a year for admirers to confess their love to the admired, it’s a chance for a young couple to celebrate their new found love for one another and it’s also a chance for a husband to rekindle his love to his wife and relive the younger days when their love was still new and full of unknown excitements. Continue reading

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit!

Happy Chinese New Year

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.

Chinese New Years are named after a cycle of twelve animals that go in the order of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig.  This coming year is the year of the Rabbit and it officially begins on February 3, 2011.

The legend of the Chinese New Year includes a story on why the Cat never made the zodiac list.

The 12 Chinese Zodiac Cycle

Once upon a time, the Jade Emperor thought it would be better to assign an animal to each year so people could more easily remember the Zodiac cycle. He decided to hold a meeting with all the animals so that he could choose twelve of them to be the Zodiac animals. At that time, Cat and Rat were close friends. They were very excited about the meeting and decided to go early; however, Cat was a sleepyhead.  He hardly ever woke up before noon. On the night before the meeting, he asked Rat to wake him early the next morning. When morning came, Rat got up early and quietly left for the meeting alone. When Cat finally awoke in the afternoon, he knew it was too late. Feeling betrayed, he vowed that henceforth Rat would be his enemy. This is probably the main reason Cats are always chasing after Rats.

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How to Choose a Wedding Florist:

By Guest Blogger: 

One minute you are engaged and then next minute you are deluged with ideas and dreams. How do you turn your dream into a reality? How do you find a florist that will not only make your dream come true but partner with you to help you decorate your reception and create memorable bouquets?

You are looking for someone who will partner with you, not just tell you what you should do.

First off, remember, you are looking for someone who will partner with you, not just tell you what you should do. Finding someone that listens and can interpret your floral wish list might take a little extra work at the beginning but will pay off in the end. This blog will give you some pointers to help you save time and frustration. Here are my 5 steps to follow to find a great florist! Continue reading

Holiday Engagements!

Congratulations to everyone who got engaged over this holiday season!  I have been planning weddings at the Inn for the past 10 years and have some tips that may be helpful in the beginning of your wedding planning journey. 

What is the first thing that every bride wants to do once engaged?  Tell everyone she knows!  While your parents and immediate family should be the first to know, telling them in person is the best way to share your news.  Once your family knows your good news it is time to share with everyone else.  There are numerous ways to get the news out quickly.  Making phone calls is definitely one way to start, but you can also consider noting your engagement on Facebook and sending an e-mail to everyone you want to share with.  There is also the traditional route in throwing an engagement party and posting your engagement in your local newspaper.

After the excitement of getting engaged starts to wear off it is time to officially start planning your wedding and reception.  The first thing that every couple should determine is your budget and how much will be allotted to each segment of your wedding which can include the church, reception, flowers, entertainment, photography, favors, honeymoon, etc…  

Prince William Ballroom at the Nassau Inn.

Your next step is picking your wedding date by seeing what dates your ceremony and reception venues are both available.   Be open when considering dates especially if on a tight budget as most venues will offer a discount for a Friday evening or Sunday wedding.  When looking at reception venues it is best to research all that you are interested in and then narrowing down your list to 3 – 5 and making appointments to check the ones that you are really interested in.  Keep in mind that you will love and not love something about every venue you look at and should make your decision on what is most important to you.  Continue reading

New Years Resolution

What's on your resolution list?

The time between the holidays and New Years is a time filled with family and friends for those of us so fortunate.  A time where each person in their own way and in their own time reflect a bit more, open their hearts a bit more and are generally more compassionate.

It is the perfect combination of feelings being drudged up from the year passed as well as all of the hope filled thoughts of the year to come.  It is the perfect combination for the introspective self assessment that leads about 45 percent of people to embark upon an age old ritual dating back to Babylonian times, 4,000 years ago…it is the proclamation of a New Years resolution.  Most of us chose to lose some of that holiday weight plus a couple of lbs, some of us set off to devote more time to family, or quit smoking, drinking etc, etc…
It is a decision that should not be taken lightly however.  Out of the 45 percent of Americans that chose to cling to a New Years resolution only 3 percent of them follow through with it.  This is a failure of epic proportions by any standard.  If we are to reverse this tragic wave of fickle promise and create a more concrete resolution we must  dedicate more time and thought to more attainable goals.  We must try to remember that the year is long and that life will inevitably get in the way.  We must outline a plan of action, consider all obstacles, clear a path for the righteous resolution, granting it the greatest opportunity of success. Continue reading

Annual Tree Lighting at Palmer Square

Palmer Square Tree Lighting

Where are you going to be Friday night?  If you answered “the tree lighting at Palmer Square” then you will be in the company of thousands who come downtown each year to share in the illumination of the big tree on the Green.  Those of you who haven’t shared in the moment yet you need to experience the magic of the event to realize just how special it is.

I am amazed every year that my kids ask if we are going to attend the Palmer Square Tree Lighting. “Where else would we be” is always my answer.  It is a tradition that started for us many years ago.  I could not imagine being any other place than the Palmer Square Green for this event the night after Thanksgiving.  It is the kickoff to our holiday season and gets us in the mood to celebrate and to share special times with family and friends.   I love the music, the decorations and the festive atmosphere, but most of all I love the look on my children’s faces when it all comes together and the magic pixie dust lights up the tree and Santa leads the crowd in a rousing round of Jingle Bells.  There is nothing more precious to me than seeing the innocence in their eyes and the pureness in their voices as they sing along, even when it is out of tune. Continue reading

The Night Before Thanksgiving

12 World Beers on Tap

What does the night before Thanksgiving mean to me?

Meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in a year, my stomach hurting from laughing, listening to great music, and last but certainly not least, having an ice cold adult beverage in hand. The night before Thanksgiving reminds me of a high school reunion. It’s that one night a year you look forward to seeing all your old friends and reminiscing about the good ol’ times. It’s that one night you’re okay with waiting in a line. It’s the one night no matter what type of music the band is playing for that night, it’s everyone’s favorite. It’s a night of never ending rounds, a constant flow of beer and laughter that could carry on into the morning. The beers never seemed so cold; the drinks have never tasted so superior and the conversations never get dull.

It is said that the night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest bar nights of the year. You could go to any town and walk into almost any bar and know that the crowd around you is experiencing a great time too. If it’s Princeton you choose, the Yankee Doodle Tap Room is the place to be.

The Yankee Doodle Tap Room has a vast collection of people who range in age from 21 to 65 years that share two things in common; cocktails and catching up with some old friends. Helping you in your journey to fun times are 12 well-known beers on tap, whichever cocktail you desire and who can forget about the jell-o shots. If the line at the main bar gets a bit long, no need to worry–the Tap Room will be providing three satellite bars for easier access. The Tap Room will be featuring an outstanding cover band called The Big Bang that has been seen playing throughout the Greater Philadelphia and New York regions.

If you’re still looking to make plans or to add one more stop to your agenda, travel no further than Nassau Inn’s Yankee Doodle Tap Room. Enjoy the best cocktails and the coldest beers in the area. If you’re looking to make new memories, the Tap Room would like to be a part of them. See you on November 24th !!!

Behind the Red Door – A Haunting Nassau Inn Tradition

This post is co-written by Ashley Comaites

The annual Nassau Inn staff pumpkin carving contest is always a big hit. As the staff members ready themselves to gear up for the holiday season; they take a step back to enjoy a Halloween tradition shared by many.

Traditions are, and always will be, the forefront of team stability. Traditions are part of our historical essence, and as time progresses we hold on to as many traditions and as much history as we can. The Nassau Inn has an annual autumn employee contest that welcomes the fall and winter holidays with open arms!

The annual pumpkin carving contest is a time for the employees behind the red door to kick back, relax and enjoy some friendly competition. Stephanie Piccarillo, a reservations agent, says;

“My favorite part about the contest is seeing all the creativity that those of us who enter have and put into the pumpkins we carve. Some of the pumpkins we have had are just so amazing and funny! The whole contest is just a lot of fun and brings the employees together.”

In years past, fun employee rivalries have been brought to life; with pumpkins being carved to counterpart that of a fellow employee! Other favorites have included: Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas, silhouette characters and even our very own logo!

We personally really enjoy this contest, as it brings back innocent memories from our childhoods. Carving pumpkins always reminds us of simpler times. Bobbing for apples and running from door to door to collect candy was the greatest joy imaginable of the fall season! As adults, the door we run to now brings us inside a warm and hospitable place that we are always happy to share; so please join us this holiday season Behind the Red Door.

Our Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest was a Great Success! 

Congratulations to all of our winners; and thanks to all those who participated in making this year’s contest so fabulous.

Our friendly Front Desk Agent Holly Ween took first place.

Second place went to the always delicious pumpkin burger.