Restore Your Shore (Wedding)

As we are getting into the wedding season, I am talking with more vendors who have mentioned how many weddings  just disappeared since Hurricane Sandy. 

I realize how important and how much planning goes into this very special day and have been bothered by all the details and wondered what happens to all the invitations, reservations for vendors, dresses, etc.

While we can’t help each and every bride, we do have some dates still open in November and December.  We are going to offer any available dates at really lowered pricing, the lowest since we opened our doors in 2009, to try and help some couples.  I know I can count on our “Best of the Best” vendors to work with you as well.

Please call me (Don), Nicole or Kristen at 732.899.5559 and we can talk further.  Have a great day!

I was reflecting on when I began in the wedding business, I was trained at a very exclusive place, The Chanticler, in Short Hills NJ.  For dinner, everyone got one entree, prime rib, served French style with au jus. Period.

How times have changed!  Now we offer three choices PLUS a vegetarian, Vegan, chicken fingers, gluten free, peanut free, etc, etc.  We plate our dinners to order, not unlike a busy restaurant and I am amused sometimes at how many dietary conditions people have.  Meat has to be cooked to order now, sauces are served on the side sometimes, if at all; double orders of vegetables, no potato, garlic free, and so on.  My serving staff amazes me continually at the dinner line with a page of orders filled with special requests.

I would love hearing from some couples that have been married thirty or forty years ago and see what they observe at their or at their childrens weddings that has changed.


A lot of venues were disabled or destroyed in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy and left a lot of people wondering what they were going to do.  At Clarks Landing, we were able to do our three weddings the weekend before the hurricane AND we did our three weddings the weekend after the hurricane.  A lot of people just chalked it off to us being lucky, and to an extent we were.  But if they knew what went on behind the scenes a lot of wedding couples would have to ask “Would my venue have done that?”  and “Am I comfortable with my venue to handle emergencies?”

Our owner built a state of the art building, with hurricane proof windows, high off sealevel and invested in a $150,000 full building generator.  Days before the storm, our marina worked tirelessly to remove all the boats not just out of the water, but to the higher ground of our upper parking lot.  All doorways on the river level were taped and sandbagged.  The water did indeed come over our docks in feet, but only inches inside our restaurant and store.  As we evacuated, and I was locking down the venue, the weather was getting progressively worse but inside the venue; the chandeliers were twinkling, the music playing, refrigerators humming, belieing the danger that was coming.

The morning after we assembled a crew and began washing windows, cleaning debris, and relandscaping.  Our generator provided power for any and all residents and rescue workers to charge their phones or use the bathrooms.  That weekend, as darkness enfolded much of the state, people were noticing our lighthouse and uplighting in the ballroom from the distant area and local roads;  all at full power!  In the midst of all the misery that was surrounding us, we provided a beacon of hope for three of our brides, grooms and their families and friends to enjoy a night away from the chaos that had engulfed our state.

In shopping for a venue, along with being dazzled with the ambiance, decor, food and service, you should feel a confidence that your venue will handle unexpected situations with the same promise they are handling your special day.

Christmas at Clarks Landing

Even though we are struggling to usher in spring, I am just looking at some pictures of our December weddings.  What a different vibe; the bare trees provide an aristocratic grey backdrop for the sparkling river and the classically elegant colors of our ballroom are more in the forefront than the other seasons.  All the decorating is done in silver and gold, so as to blend into the holiday feel of the ballroom and lobby, without overplaying the Christmas theme.  A few weddings provided a pop of red with napkins or poinsettias and some just let the rich sparkle of the silver and gold take center stage.  The magnificent view is still present, especially in the earlier weddings, but thanks to classic artwork and fun uplighting, when it gets dark is when Clarks looks it’s best.  All this, and you’ll get some of the best pricing of the year!  Please call and arrange for your private visit, and allow us to bring your friends, family and loved ones together for the ultimate holiday gathering…your wedding!



Planning your wedding should be a really fun, exciting experience, but it can also tax every nerve you have in your body.  I am always sad when a bride arrives with her things a few days prior to the wedding and says that she can’t wait until it’s all over!  In addition to your own basic plans like the venue, dress, music, pictures, flowers, etc;  you are trying to keep in tune with everyone else’s ideas, comments and needs.

But this can be a great time to establish yourselves as a couple and decide how you are going to solve situations together for the rest of your married lives, with your parents, in-laws, friends and most importantly, each other.

Like fresh cream…one of your vendors will likely rise to the top and you can feel comfortable asking them almost any question.  Don’t be afraid to build that trust with one vendor and make them your go-to person to assist in resolving conflicts, providing ideas and solutions, and just to “vent”.  My brides and grooms have my cell phone number and it is my pleasure to assist them in any way I can.  –  Don Calello