Saturday, November 27, 2010

My romantic historic waterfront Sandy Hook wedding

The third appointment we had on the Saturday before Thanksgiving was at The Fort at Sandy Hook. The venue is a former chapel, built in 1941 and renovated in 2006, in the Fort Hancock section of beautiful Sandy Hook. This is an option for Wedding Scenario #1. (WS#1 is basically the more expensive, larger guest list option, using an outside caterer at a non-all-inclusive spot.)

The building is on the bay side, right next to the water. You have several options to utilize the site, including the chapel itself and the grounds, with or without a tent. Some get married in the chapel and have the whole reception under a tent. Some get married next to the water and have the whole reception inside. We’re most interested in the third option- get married outside (or somewhere else), have the cocktail hour under a tent, and then the reception inside the building.

Mike is standing on the top of the slope, the beach is bigger than it looks- and of course Mikey the giant makes everything look small!

The chapel can seat up to 140 comfortably and still have a nice sized dance floor. Tents are expensive (yowza! I had no idea) but for just the cocktail hour, we could use a smaller tent, which is half the price.
There’s a small beach directly behind it, perfect for photos. You can also use many of the historic buildings for photo opps- the event coordinator told us about a bridal party who’d used the front porch of one to recreate a period scene.  An old canon is mounted directly across from the building.

I'm about to get blown away- by this beautiful venue!

The manager, Davina, was really great and helpful. She leases the building from Sandy Hook, so she’d take care of everything to do with permits and would be the only person we’d be dealing with. She is actually a perk to the site- I think she’d be great to work with. She had a book of photos from another wedding and let us take pictures of them for our own reference.

One of the best selling points- aside from the beauty of the water itself- the sun sets directly behind the building. Depending on our time of year, she can help us plan with our caterers to have the cocktail hour just as the sun is dropping into the hills of Atlantic Highlands.

What’s great about the interior is that it’s very low key, but with enough natural beauty (like the original wooden beams in the ceiling) to give it character. You can keep the decorations to a minimum and it’s perfect. In other words, you don’t have to go crazy with giant centerpieces or expensive, ornate chairs- simple is actually better, and of course, less expensive!

The fees give us a range of options, too. If we just have the whole thing indoors in the off-season, it’s quite affordable. But moving into the summer months, even on a Saturday, isn’t a whole lot more. Adding the tent is where the costs double, even with the smaller version- but it’s still within our range for Wedding Scenario #1. Also, they have a list of approved caterers, and Mumford’s is one of them! They’ve done several weddings there. Another great thing is that there’s only one wedding per day (no Saturday afternoon events if you’ve booked it for Saturday night) so your vendors have the entire day to set up. Plus, there’s no time restrictions- which means I could party til 1:00am if I want to (which I do!).
Right now this is probably our #1 contender. Michael really liked it. I love that it’s in Monmouth County, but in a secluded spot, not to mention a cool historical site, and it’s RIGHT on the water. There are a lot of fun AND romantic places for photos.
This is actually Sandy Hook, I didn't cheat with a stock Atlantic Ocean photo. And no, it's not the nude beach.

 I have a couple competing visions of our wedding in my head, one of which is more modern and goes with a certain ‘look’ I have in mind- this place doesn’t fit that image. BUT, it does fit another version, one that is more elegant, romantic, and warm, without being fussy, gaudy or overproduced.
It’s currently on the top of the list, but there is a lot more to come. I’m planning to jam a lot of appointments into the next several weeks- stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment