As everyone knows, I not only shoot weddings, engagements and more, but I love to help out my couples in every aspect. From selecting the perfect attire for a shoot, to finding the perfect venue for their wedding, I am with each and every one of my couples from start to finish. In an effort to help my future brides and grooms, this year I am highlighting various venues I have shot at to give them a peek at each amazing place. This week’s venue highlight: Bear Brook Valley, in Fredon (Sussex County), New Jersey.
Bear Brook Valley is located in the rolling hills of North Jersey – Sussex County, to be exact, and you can’t get anymore “Garden State” then here! The grounds are absolutely stunning to shoot on: lush green grass, tons of trees and foliage, all complemented by waterfalls, ponds…and a vineyard!
If you don’t get enough of the property while outdoors for photos or the ceremony, don’t even worry, because you can stay outside and play yard games, hang out by the fire pit, or simply take in all of the views from one of their patios and porches.
Ready to go inside? I sure hope you have an empty belly! All weddings at Bear Brook have an hour and a HALF cocktail hour, with unique stations (can we say bacon station?!?!) and over thirty beers on tap. Plus the main meal….and the desserts. Oh, the desserts!!! Be sure to scroll through this entire post to see pics of just a handful of their food options!
While I could gush about Bear Brook Valley all day long, hearing all about what they offer and fun facts about the property comes best straight from the amazing staff. I interviewed their fabulous Jaime and asked her about some of the highlights of the venue, as well as some of the things she loves the most about it. Check it out!
How did Bear Brook Valley become one of North Jersey’s premier wedding venues?
Actually, it began as a random call from a Realtor asking the owner if he was interested in viewing the property. He did so, and immediately had a vision of building something immaculate. The property was previously a golf clubhouse, but after purchasing it he completely renovated the building and turned it into the perfect spot for weddings.
What is an interesting fact about Bear Brook Valley?
One of our private “getting ready” spaces is sponsored by Woodford Reserve and is designed like a total “man cave”. In the room there’s a bar, two TVs, two PS4s, a Pac Man machine, a pool table, an antique barber chair, antique sodas, freshly popped popcorn and a shuffle board table.
Let’s go over the basics of having a wedding at Bear Brook: how many guests can be accommodated? How far out are couples currently booking?
Bear Brook Valley can have a maximum of 300 guests. Ideally, though, 275 guests is best. At the moment, we are seeing a trend of a longer engagement period; on average, our couples are booking their wedding’s two years in advance.
What is included when a couple books their big day at Bear Brook Valley?
We offer one comprehensive wedding package that includes valet parking, top shelf open bar with 30+ beers on tap, an extended one and a half hour cocktail hour with eight light bites, three live stations, three classic fillers, two carving stations and a full cold display. The sit-down dinner is served with a salad and choice of five entrees. Finally, for dessert we include a custom wedding cake, Viennese desserts and an ice cream sundae bar. We also include a personal wedding coordinator to help with planning and a day-of coordinator.
How does Bear Brook Valley help couples customize their wedding?
Our extensive menu selections are able to accommodate even the biggest foodies! With so many options, you are able to really create the perfect menu for your guests, satisfying all cultures and cravings! In addition, the natural design of the building creates a blank slate for the couples’ décor visions. They can add to the natural feel with reclaimed wood accents or glitz it up with some sparkling runners!
What makes Bear Brook unique?
Everything about Bear Brook is unique! We actually hold only one wedding per day, and we do weddings only (no other types of events).
What has been a memorable wedding at Bear Brook Valley?
Well, we had a very special couple that the Father of the Groom wanted to surprise big time! He hired Scott Stapp from Creed to come to the venue to play a few songs, with the infamous “With Arms Wide Open” being one of them! It was a very exciting surprise that required a ton of sneaky coordination as the Father of the Groom was the ONLY one who knew about it. Watching the guests realize who it was that was singing as Scott began his performance was priceless! The couple had absolutely no idea! The wedding had a grand finish too with the guests watching fireworks on our balcony to close down the evening! Another time, we had a very special couple that wanted their wedding to be nothing sort of magical. Well, what is more magical than a unicorn!? Having such a beautiful “creature” onsite was absolutely amazing and in case you are wondering, unicorns are VERY photogenic.
Love these Bear Brook Valley wedding photos?
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Bear Brook Valley wedding photos by New Jersey photographers, Jaye Kogut Photography