Landmark Loew's Jersey Theater: A Wedding with a Vintage Vibe
The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre is a truly incredible place to have a wedding. It originally opened in 1929 and was considered a "movie palace." It was meant to be a place where a middle class worker could take their family after a long day and feel like they were on top of the world. That feeling is strong even today as soon as you step into the grand lobby. This is the perfect place for a wedding for movie buffs, a couple who wants a 1920s or Great Gatsby theme wedding, history buffs, or simply a couple who wants a wedding every guest will remember.
It costs less than $6,000 to rent the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre for a wedding. The rental fee for your wedding will go directly into the non-profit that works tirelessly to restore the theatre and that keeps it as an active cultural resource--screening classic movies and hosting music concerts. It's easy to get to from Manhattan, as there is a PATH station right across the street, and of course, Jersey City has plenty of choices for hotels. There's also a parking deck directly behind the theatre with very reasonable rates, so guests driving in don't have to worry about finding parking.
You bring in your own caterer, so this theatre is great for people with all kinds of budgets. It's very much a DIY situation, but that means you have control over how much or how little you spend. With the theatre being as grand and beautiful as it is, it's very possible to be sparse with decorations and flowers and still have an awe-inspiring setting for your day.
We're so happy to present this beautiful wedding. Read below for words from the bride herself.
Why did you choose the ceremony and reception locations?
We just wanted to do something different. The Loews is an incredible landmark and its preservation is really important. I'm a cinefile and love Old Hollywood movies. It was honestly way more affordable for us to rent the Loews than go through a reception hall and we got to have the Old Hollywood affair of my dreams.
How would you describe your reception theme?
Old Hollywood party. We wanted things to be on the informal side. We didn't have a sit down meal. We figured most people fill up on finger foods and snacks during cocktail hour so we had all the cocktail hour goodies, plus a hot dog cart and an italian station serving pasta, meatballs, chicken and salad so people could have a full dinner if they wanted. We wanted to get the formalities out of the way - dances, speeches etc - right away, and then let people eat, drink, dance, and have fun.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?
Katherine Hepburn and Old Hollywood screwball comedies.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?
I am so proud of all our little movie centered details. We made really simple but impactful centerpieces out of IKEA frames, vellum and push lights that looked like back-lit movie posters. Instead of table numbers we had movies the tables were named after and my husband made these amazing place cards that looked like movie tickets and said Admit One, the person's name and the movie their table was named after.
What was your favorite moment from the day?
The moments leading up to and the first look. My husband and the groomsmen had gone to the Loews to get things set up and the bridesmaids and I rode over separately. My bridesmaid Juliann and I were the last to get off the bus and we ran into my rugby teammates and their fiances who had come to help set up as well. They were so excited and complimentary and it's when I started to really get those excited butterflies that omg it's all really happening feeling. Juliann and I hung out in the lobby of the theater waiting to get word for the first look and it was just a really wonderful moment of quiet with my friend before everything went into fast forward. And then I saw my future husband and after that everything was icing on the cake.
How did you and your partner meet?
We were set up by our friends NIcki and Matt who were roommates at the time and threw a superbowl party they invited us both to.
When did you first know he was "the one?"
I don't know that there was a really one specific moment. But once we were together we were inseparable and we really never looked back. Pretty early one we both knew we wanted to spend our lives together.
How did he propose?
I'm very hard to surprise. I'm an excellent detective. It was July 2nd and having lived together for a few years, we had discussed getting engaged and I knew it was coming very soon but not when exactly. I was convinced he would pop the question sometime over the holiday weekend. He got home late from work and we went out to grab a quick dinner. On the way home he stopped at a little reservoir/park near our apartment to take a walk. We sat on a bench and he read a letter he had written and then he asked. It was quiet, intimate, and really heartfelt. He told me he picked the park because it was a place we would always be able to go and visit.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?
My favorite thing was having our friend Christian officiate. He was cornerstone to a very personal and personalized ceremony.
Describe your ceremony in three words:
Short, personal, fun.
What is your ceremony music?
My father walked me down the aisle to "The Ecstasy of Gold" from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.
How did you go about planning your ceremony?
We've been to A LOT of weddings at this point. So we picked and chose the aspects we thought were most important or liked the best and put them together and gave our officiant free reign to throw in his own personal touches so it would feel as natural as possible for him.
Who is your officiant? How did you choose him/her?
Christian is one of our closest friends who I met through his younger brother when I was in high school. Christian is kind of the life of every room he enters and as a performer is really comfortable speaking in front of people. We wanted our officiant to be someone who knew us and our relationship and it meant a lot to us that Christian helped us make it official.
What are your ceremony readings?
The Irrational Season by Madeline L'engle
“Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.”
From "Now We Are Six" by A.A. Milne
"A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life."
What were your vows like?
We wrote our vows ourselves so they were very personal and heartfelt. I also loved that when we exchanged rings we used a passage from Jane Eyre that's really beautiful and apt for a wedding. “I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”
What is the first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
Our first dance was to Jackie Wilson Said by Van Morrison. We're kind of goofy big kids at heart and it felt more appropriate and fun for us to have an upbeat song as our first dance. Our father daughter dance was to Perfect Day by Lou Reed and our mother son dance was to My Wish by Rascal Flatts.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?
There are a few highlights- one was introducing our wedding party with heights and hometowns like a basketball team to the Jock Jam Mega Mix and second was cutting our cake to the Jurassic Park score, lowering the knife at a particularly majestic moment and laughing hysterically at ourselves. We also celebrated my Aunt Dot's "30th" birthday and presented her with a cake and she was genuinely touched and surprised. It really meant a lot to share the day with her.
Tell us about the cake!!
Our cake was AMAZING. Cocoa Bakery in Jersey City, NJ made a beautiful Paperman themed cake for us. Paperman is a black and white animated short by Pixar that features a couple being brought together by paper airplanes. I'm not a big fan of fondant on cakes and Jessie - the owner - made a beautiful almond cake with chocolate and vanilla buttercream and handdrawn decorations. It was delicious and beautiful.
- What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?
Focus on what matters. Take a step back and think about what will be important to you 5, 10, 20 years or more from now. There are 100% details that will be important to you that wouldn't be to another couple. And that's fine. But I think it's important to evaluate what truly matters to you to try to alleviate a lot of the pressure that comes with having a wedding. It shouldn't be the best day of your life. It should be an amazing first day of a committed life together.
- Do you have any budget tips for other couples?
DIY is definitely your friend. It's often easier or less stressful to pay someone else to craft the little details but there's a lot you can do on your own, with your partner, or with friends and family. And don't be afraid to make compromises. If flowers aren't super important to you, for example, don't feel like you have to have a huge bouquet or flower arrangements on every table. Allocate that money somewhere else. Just because someone else's wedding has something it doesn't mean you're under any obligation to. Your wedding should reflect your taste.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?
I would definitely take a moment alone with my husband. No photos, friends or family, just him and I alone somewhere taking a breather and appreciating the moment. It's definitely the best advice we were given and we definitely got swept up and didn't do it.
If you need a photographer who will tell your wedding day story artistically, creatively, and organically, say hello!
This wedding took place at:
The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre
54 Journal Square Plaza
Jersey City, NJ 07306