The best part of your best friend getting engaged, is the excitement of planning her big day with her. When my best girlfriend of over 15 years said yes, she immediately turned to me for advice and assistance in planning her summer 2017 nuptials. I eagerly took on the esteemed, yet daunting duty without any reluctance. The first place I looked to begin the ever so paramount task of finding the perfect venue, was Landmark Hospitality.
The family-run business owns and manages nine unique and elegant restaurants and event venues across New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Their specialties included fine dining, weddings, corporate events, and catering. Landmark Hospitality, which is owned and operated by veteran restaurateurs Frank and Jeanne Cretella, has over 25 years of experience “perfecting the art of hospitality,” as they like to say. The husband and wife duo have an upstanding reputation for providing their guests with memorable experiences, and they come highly regarded for their creative vision.
I knew immediately that one of their nine amazing properties would be the dream location for my BFF’s big day. We narrowed it down to our three favorite, and embarked on a day-long adventure to visit each one to get a better sense of the atmosphere and ultimately choose “the one.”
Our first stop on our journey was The Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren. It is rustic and serene yet sophisticated, making it the most perfect setting for dining with friends, or hosting a fabulous country-chic wedding. They have two large event spaces, and three private dining areas, so they can host it all, from an intimate affair to a large soiree.
In addition to hosting events, the property is home to a beautiful restaurant. Stone House’s Executive Chef Jerry Villa is responsible for bringing the farm to table concept to the Garden State. Whether you are enjoying a meal in their cozy main dining room or looking for a unique wedding menu, Jerry creates delectable fresh seasonal cuisine using the freshest ingredients from Stone House’s garden. Their dining room specials change daily so there is always something new and exciting to try.
They also have on staff an array of excellent event planners with many years of experience under their belt to help you plan the wedding or event of the dreams. I was truly impressed with the property’s elegant, yet rural charm, which can often be a tough juxtaposition to create, but they achieved it flawlessly.
After a lovely visit to Stone House, we ventured off to our next stop, The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station. Set upon acres of of historical grounds, this 220 year old equestrian estate, revived by Frank and Jeanne, is elegance defined. They flawlessly brought modern refinements to the property’s old-world charm.
The Ryland Inn, known as one of the best wedding venues in New Jersey, offers three private dining rooms and a sensational ballroom. Their exceptional memory makers will help make your vision come to life, whether it be for an anniversary soiree, a gala, or wedding. They offer incredible cuisine options, as well as a fully customizable menu courtesy of renowned Executive Chef Christopher Albrecht.
Ryland Inn is also an award winning restaurant, and is a known destination for affluent guests from presidents to notable dignitaries. They also host an assortment of tremendous restaurant events like a Kentucky Derby Party, Bacon and Bourbon Dinner, Wine Dinners and Farm to Table dinners al fresco. During the weekends there is live music in the Duck Bar and their phenomenal Sunday Brunch is the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends over a cocktail and bite to eat.
Stepping inside their crisp white building, I was instantly transported onto the set of a Ralph Lauren photoshoot. This beautifully Americana property would make the most perfect backdrop for a refined and dignified wedding.
Our last stop of the day was Landmark’s newest venue in New Hope, PA, the Hotel Du Village. This premiere event space and boutique hotel is know for its farm fresh, sustainable cuisine and warm comfortable atmosphere. Its acres of property holds two newly refurbished event spaces, as well as twenty-two gorgeous remodeled guest rooms.
The Colt Ballroom is Hotel du Village’s largest event space and features ten foot ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors, and a large stone fireplace, with a full view of the river and their impeccably manicured gardens. Their second event space, the Historic Ballroom, is an intimate venue with a full wall of glass windows overlooking the courtyard and river. They have a team of dedicated event specialists who will tailor your special event to your individual taste. Guests attending an event here can spend the night at their newly constructed charming inn, which is the perfect mix of modern and historical.
Driving up the long entranceway, we were instantaneously transported from the hustle and bustle of the tri-state area to a French country-side chateau. I felt so at ease and at home on this property. This is the perfect venue for a warm, charming, and country-chic nuptial.
Now that we have visited these three fabulous venues, we now have the difficult task of picking our favorite. This certainly will not be an easy decision, as all of the properties are truly one-of-a-kind and magical in their own unique way. Whether you are looking to hold a French country soiree, an elegant, stately dinner party, or a rustic-chic wedding, Landmark Hospitality can host the event of your dreams.