Top Wedding Venues for Adventurous Couples in Northern NJ (NY and PA, too!)

One of the biggest decisions in planning a wedding is choosing a venue. By doing a quick Google search, I was able to find 3,348 reception venues within 100 miles of where I live in Sussex County. In the greater northern New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania area, there must be thousands more to choose from. Whenever I speak with a newly engaged couple who hasn’t yet chosen their location, they’re always overwhelmed with the amount of research, meetings, and tours they endure during wedding planning in hopes of finding the perfect venue. If that sounds like you, then you need to check out the list below!

Personally, I love places that are not quite your typical wedding venue. My favorite places to photograph weddings are the ones that offer more than just a pretty building. Marble columns and fancy chandeliers have their place, but there’s nothing like an outdoor ceremony in front of a lake, or being able to get creative with portraits in an old factory built in the 1800s. Below you’ll find a list of some of the absolute best wedding venues for adventurous couples looking for a more unique wedding experience.

*I’ll be returning to this list from time to time to update it with new places and new information.

Rock Island Lake Club - Sparta, NJ

Style: Upscale Rustic

Amount of guests: 125-200

Best time to of year get married: Summer

Number of weddings per day: 1

Rock Island Lake Club opened in 2014, and since then they’ve been known for their beautiful setting and exemplary service. Nestled in the woods away from any main highways, Rock Island serves as a private oasis for a medium-sized wedding. I love shooting at Rock Island because of the lake, the woods, the amazing cocktail hour offerings, and most importantly, the staff. Everyone there treats every bride, groom, guest, and vendor as if they’re family. I’ve been there as a guest and as a photographer, and their service is top-notch every. single. time.

Click here to learn more about Rock Island Lake Club

View photos from Rock Island Lake Club

The Art Factory - Paterson, NJ


Style: Industrial Chic

Amount of guests: up to 400, no minimum

Best time of year to get married: Any time

Number of weddings per day: 2

The Art Factory is like no other wedding venue you’ve ever seen before. No, seriously. The venue is set on 5 acres across 21 buildings and has been used as filming space for Nike, HBO, BET, History Channel, and tons of other big-time productions. Everything from the layout of your tables to the timeline of your day to the decor used around the venue is customizable, and any decorations, tables, etc. that you might want for your wedding are made IN HOUSE! Doesn’t get much more custom than that.

Stroudsmoor Country Inn - Stroudsburg, PA

Style: Natural, Charming

Amount of guests: 30-350

Best time of year to get married: Fall

Number of weddings per day: 6

Stroudsmoor Country Inn is one of my favorite wedding venues to tell people about. Well, it’s six of my favorite wedding venues to tell people about. Yes, the Inn has six separate venues available to their couples! Each one is unique in its own way, yet each one stays true to the natural and charming feel of the entire property. Adventurous couples are able to explore the wooded grounds, take in scenic valley views, and enjoy the architecture of the buildings and passages.

Check out my latest Stroudsmoor Country Inn wedding!

Ledges Hotel - Hawley, PA

Style: Quaint, Intimate, Natural

Amount of guests: 25-150

Best time of year to get married: Fall

Number of weddings per day: 1

The first time shot a wedding at Ledges Hotel, I stood in awe of the scenery for so long that I almost missed the wedding. Not really. But if I didn’t have an amazing wedding to photograph that day, I could’ve spent hours by the waterfalls and rock ledges just taking in its beauty. Aside from the obvious visual attraction of the falls, Ledges offers a charming courtyard with string lights, multiple cocktail and dinner locations, and even a fire pit to enjoy after the festivities are over.

Emmerich Tree Farm - Warwick, NY

Style: Rustic, Outdoor

Amount of guests: up to 150

Best time of year to get married: Spring-Fall

Number of weddings per day: 1

Although the only wedding I photographed at Emmerich Tree Farm happened almost two years ago, I remember the magic of it like it was yesterday. Being able to enjoy the reception in the fresh air under the pavilion was one of Emmerich’s many perks. Others include a gorgeous view of groves of evergreen trees, a cozy campfire, pathways through the woods lit by string lights, and the full attention of an eager staff.

As mentioned above, this list will be updated periodically. If you have any questions about any of these venues, drop a comment below or feel free to reach out to me at!