Etiquette for out-of-town guests

Photo: Anne Molnar Photography

Chances are, not all of your wedding guests will be from Northern New Jersey. Therefore, here are some ways you can make your out-of-town guests feel appreciated.

Welcome bags

While it’s not expected, it’s generally very nice to offer out-of-town wedding guests welcome bags — totes or boxes filled with edible local treats, a map from the venue to your Brooklake wedding, notable places to visit in the Morris County area and more.

Write a personal note.

It’s easy to print off a standard letter to all your wedding guests — but it’s so much more personal to handwrite a message to each out-of-town family. Unquestionably, these notes carry a lot of weight when it comes to making someone feel special. Leave it at your guests’ hotel check-in, or slip it into their welcome bags.

What about the rehearsal dinner?

The etiquette can be tricky, so Martha Stewart turned to the professionals and got their best advice on inviting traveling guests to the rehearsal dinner. Here are some thoughts from wedding experts.

Consider having your rehearsal dinner at Booklake!

Here’s what Jennifer A. from Mercer Washington had to say:

We held our son’s rehearsal dinner here Thursday August 12, 2021. We live on the west coast and booked this venue sight unseen. Due to Covid his wedding was postponed 4 times. Our original choice for the dinner was no longer available so based on availability and a few recs we chose Brooklake. All I can say is WOW.

Brooklake exceeded our expectations in every way. Peter was a pleasure to work with. He was sincere, honest, flexible and reassuring. The staff was professional and efficient. The food was incredible and plentiful. The tent was beautiful and tasteful! The setting was spectacular!! It has to be the most magnificent golf club setting I have ever seen!

My son and now his wife were blown away and loved every moment of it! They even said they would have been happy to get married there! Thanks to Brooklake the wedding weekend started with a flourish and continues to blossom from there into a weekend to remember and cherish forever!

Lodging

Brooklake is conveniently located in Northern NJ. While guests often feel it’s not a big deal to drive in for the day from places such as Long Island, Philadelphia or Westchester, many would prefer to spend the night nearby. For a significant number of your friends and family members, showing up for your nuptial celebration may mean booking a flight and crossing state lines.

Out-of-town guests are expected to pay for their own lodging, unless they are members of the wedding party. It’s thoughtful to help out-of-town guests find places to stay. You can reserve a block of rooms in a hotel. If a minimum number of rooms is booked, then your guests may get discount room rates.

Accept any offer from friends to put up out-of-town guests at their homes. Make sure that all involved are comfortable with the arrangement and that the hosts and the guests are a good match. Of course, remember to give thank-you gifts to those who provide lodging.

When suggesting hotels, it is important to offer at least three choices that are no farther than 30 minutes from the wedding and reception location. Thankfully, Brooklake is in such a convenient Northern NJ location that this is never a problem.

Recommended places for your wedding guests to stay in Morris County or Essex County

Wyndham Hamilton Park Hotel
973-301-9738
www.hamiltonparkhotel.com

Your out of town guests will enjoy being located right here in Florham Park, where they can experience the small town charm of New Jersey, just minutes away from your reception at Brooklake. It’s located close to Newark International Airport and is a direct train ride from all the fun of New York City.

Your guests can relax and unwind in their spacious guest rooms, featuring plush beds, crisp linens, contemporary décor, and plenty of familiar comforts to make their visit to northern New Jersey even more enjoyable. That’s good, because you’ll want them to be well rested and fresh for your big day at Brooklake!

Westminster Hotel
973-548-0077
www.westminsterhotel.net

The Westminster is an unquestionably luxurious hotel located in the heart of Livingston, NJ, a lovely upscale area of Northern New Jersey. The hotel is just 12 minutes away from your event at Brooklake. Your out of state guests will appreciate that it’s only 20 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport and 30 minutes west of New York City. Convenient train access is a short ride away from the hotel and runs directly into Penn Station in midtown Manhattan.

Amenities at the hotel are plenty and the hotel believes in offering plush comfort. Ask about their customizable night’s sleep on two-sided “Morpheus” mattresses!

Short Hills Hilton
973-912-7969
www.hiltonshorthills.com

Your Brooklake out-of-town guests will have a stylish stay at the landmark Hilton of Short Hills. This AAA Four-Diamond hotel is a perfect retreat for a relaxing stay before or after your Brooklake event. The Short Hills Hilton, located in Short Hills NJ is about 15 minutes away from Booklake. The hotel is across from The Mall at Short Hills and is 15 minutes from historic Morristown. It’s a short drive from Parsippany and I-78, and Newark Airport and NYC are under 25 miles away.

The Madison Hotel
862-345-5525
www.themadisonhotel.com

The Madison Hotel in Morristown, NJ is just 5 miles from Brooklake so it will take your guests about 12 minutes to get to and from your event at Brooklake. The Madison Hotel blends timeless elegance and personalized service amidst a countrified and tranquil setting. To be sure, the Georgian style façade and dramatic clocktower of The Madison Hotel have been a landmark for over a quarter of a century in Morristown, NJ.

The Morristown area is rich with such attractions as historic sites, spectacular shopping malls and charming picturesque towns abounding with boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafes. New York City itself is only an hour’s train ride away from The Madison Hotel. The hotel is only a half hour from Newark Airport.

Westin
973-539-7300
westin.com/morristown

The Westin Hotel is a serene sanctuary in Morristown, less than 15 minutes from your event at Brooklake. The hotel offers impeccably restored and newly renovated rooms that are spacious and intuitively designed. Your guests are sure to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep in their very comfortable beds. Those guests who arrive at off times will appreciate that the hotel offers 24-hour in-room dining.

Some of their hotel suites provide pullout sofa beds, ideal for your Brooklake wedding or event guests who have large families.

Hanover Marriott
973-898-6422
hanovermarriott.com

The Hanover Marriott is located in Whippany, New Jersey and is one of the premier hotels in Morris County. Your Brooklake guests will have an easy 20 minute drive to your Brooklake wedding or event. It’s only 30 minutes from Newark International Airport.

Your Brooklake guests will enjoy a convergence of high-tech and high-touch amenities, seamlessly blended for an innovative stay. They’ll rest in contemporary accommodations with pillowtop mattresses, mini-refrigerators, and flat-panel Smart TVs, at one of the top Morris Plains, NJ hotels.

These are just a handful of the many accommodations nearby. Speak with your Brooklake Event Planner who will be able to offer helpful ideas for your out-of-town guests.

Looking for an Airbnb for your wedding guests to share nearby Brooklake?

Florham Park itself is a lovely place to stay, however Brooklake has a close proximity to the following Northern New Jersey towns. The center of many local NJ towns are all less than 8 miles from Brooklake, such as: Madison NJ, East Hanover NJ, Livingston NJ, Morristown NJ, Millburn NJ, Summit NJ, West Caldwell NJ, Springfield NJ, New Providence NJ, South Orange NJ, Maplewood NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, West Orange NJ, Orange NJ, Verona NJ.

Information about these towns is as simple as a Google search or your Event planner at Brooklake will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. By all means, you can also search for Morris County and Essex County locations. Florham Park is easily accessible to the towns within both of these New Jersey counties.