Wedding days are full of so many special moments — and a beautiful venue makes the day all the more memorable. Northern New Jersey is no stranger to gorgeous venues — like Bear Brook Valley, a farmhouse-chic wedding venue in a dreamy, secluded outdoor setting. Complete with a mini vineyard for the most gorgeous wedding pictures, this hidden gem is tucked away in the rolling hills of New Jersey’s greenest county — plus, it has a heart-shaped pond. Keep reading to learn more about the venue and what couples + guests can expect at Bear Brook Valley, located at 23 Players Boulevard in Fredon, New Jersey.
Stress-Free Wedding Planning with Bear Brook Valley
Bear Brook Valley specializes in full-day wedding experiences that are refreshingly unique compared to a traditional banquet hall ceremony + reception. It was founded by Perry Bonadies, a former general manager of Lake Valhalla Country Club, as well as his wife, Michele Bonadies, a former wedding planner. This wedding venue is run by a close-knit team and supported by a team of amazing servers, bartenders, cleaning crew, and attendants.
The team is young, relatable, and passionate about what they do, including making sure each ‘big day’ is as special as the couple celebrating. Only one wedding is hosted per day with an all-inclusive package that includes everything a couple needs on their wedding day — while still allowing for creativity and flexibility when it comes to decor details and menu items.
From Planning to the Big Day
After a couple books with Bear Brook Valley, they are guided through the planning process with a wedding coordinator who uses industry-leading digital planning tools to make it easy to plan from the comfort of your own home.
“Since we only do weddings and no other events, we understand them inside out, and we’re here to guide couples through every step of the way. We have a full-service team who work to make the planning process fun,” Jamie Eichvalds, Director of Marketing for Bear Brook Valley, told The Montclair Girl. “Then on their wedding day, our team fully executes the event so the couple + guests don’t have to lift a finger. We have an in-house kitchen as well so no need to hire an outside caterer.”
Each event is taken as an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and re-invent the wedding experience in New Jersey.
“We’re a team of wedding professionals who strive for excellence, not only for the company but for ourselves. We understand the importance of each wedding and respect the vision of each couple,” Jamie mentioned. “As an added bonus this holiday season, any weddings Bear Brook Valley books in December we will make a donation to Toys for Tots.”
Indoor + Outdoor Spaces
Fredon is a beautiful place to have an outdoor wedding, and Bear Brook Valley has definitely made the most of the breathtaking surroundings with its venue. When it comes to where to hold the ceremony, couples have their pick of three different spots: outside along the heart-shaped pond, which is the most popular location for a scenic outdoor wedding on the vineyard; a more rustic option inside a separate building which is a beautiful blank slate for a cozy winter wedding; and then a more industrial chic setting located underneath the carport at Bear Brook Valley.
“We provide the chairs, fun ceremony sip options like a cider bar in the fall or a lemonade bar in the summer, and an archway for each location — which a couple can decorate with their florist,” Jamie said. “After the ceremony, the wedding goes into the extended 90-min cocktail hour which is located at the bottom level of the two-story venue. This space is indoor/outdoor so guests can enjoy a top-shelf open bar and themed stations both inside and outside.”
Following the ceremony and cocktail hour, wedding festivities continue with dinner and dancing in the all-hardwood floor ballroom upstairs. The ballroom features floor-to-ceiling windows with a wrap-around deck — where couples can choose to add on a firework show for everyone to enjoy. The dance floor has built-in speakers, which makes it easy for a DJ to plug right in without bringing in speakers.
Inside, two suites provide the perfect setting for couples to get ready while having fun. The Silo Suite is complete with a lounge area, beauty bar, salon chairs, sinks, and even includes speakers for music and Mario Kart on the TV. The Woodford Lounge features a pool table, PlayStation, TVs, a popcorn machine, PacMan, and is conveniently located right between the bar and a few outdoor lawn games. The property is also almost done with the installation of a 4-hole golf course so parties can fit in a round of golf before the day’s events.
Menu Highlights at Bear Brook Valley
While the focus at every wedding is the happy couple, some might argue that right behind them in importance (especially when planning) is the food. The all-inclusive package at Bear Brook Valley means the couple can choose from an array of meal + drink options including a served salad and choice of five entrees. Dessert features a custom wedding cake and stand-alone stations where guests can enjoy drinks, quick bites, and themed goodies. Some of the most popular stations are:
Live Captain Stations — A curated food station with a theme like fajitas + margaritas, middle eastern mezze, bacon bar, The Cubano, Nonna’s, dim sum bar, Friendsgiving, and even Oktoberfest.
Seasonal Pre-Ceremony Sips — A drink bar featuring a seasonal treat like a hot cider bar, hot cocoa bar, or lemonade bar for summer weddings.
Late Night Stations — These stations are easy + yummy with themes like McDonalds + Wendys stations, a grilled cheese sendoff, or a midnight diner stop for comfort food after all the excitement.
Other custom options include a margarita bar, a seasonal Halloween potion bar, winter cocktails + cookies, The Boardwalk a la Jersey Shore, and a pretzel bar.
“I feel that what we do is truly making a difference because we are creating such a unique and enjoyable experience for couples to plan their wedding,” Jamie said. “It should be a fun time for them, so we genuinely try to take out as much stress as we can.”