review of wedding at Crystal Plaza, Livingston NJ
Jul 27, 2009 09:17 PM Back By Florisan LLC
As vendors, we are not able to post on the BHB or review boards on the "regular" LIW site, but as vendor and a consumer, I know how important reviews are as a decision making tool, even the "informal" reviews where someone goes to an event and just posts about their experiences there.

I wanted to review a wedding that I went to (as a guest-- no work for me here, vacation day!!) at a prominent NJ catering hall that I went to last night. In my job as a wedding florist, even though I "do" weddings every weekend, it is rare that I get to see the entire event, but "knowing" weddings and the process, I feel that I can report on a lot of the details that often get overlooked.

The wedding was at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston NJ. I remember being there previously, but the experience did not stand out in my mind. The wedding was called for 5pm, and the cocktail hour had begun. It was really an amazing display of stations, hibachi, raw bar (excellent fresh shrimp, and was told that the fresh oysters were really high quality as well), a few pastas, quesedilla bar, prociuttos and cheese, and lots of smoked and assorted fishes for the Russian-American crowd plus a caviar bar. There were numerous ice sculptures, including an ice luge that looked like a hand holding a branded vodka bottle (complete with label) and another vodka bottle ice sculpture behind the signature drink and margarita table. The caviar bar was done in ice, and a beautiful large castle ice sculpture was behind the raw bar.

The cocktail hour lasted and hour and a half. I'm not sure if this was to see if the rain would clear up and the ceremony could indeed be outside, but unfortunately, it actually poured—so much so, that a leak was sprung in the tent where some of the cocktail hour guests were sitting, at the edge of the tent. Aside from clearing a few tables, it didn't have much of an impact, except the ceremony was moved upstairs.

The room had a built in chuppah in the corner that the couple chose to leave "as is". The ceiling and two walls were fabric and it was set as a triangle into the rear right corner. Given what my fellow florists and I charge for chuppahs, I thought that this was a good, cost saving idea at the site.

Downstairs for the reception, which was set up in a modified Russian service style, where the tables are huge and many appetizer platters (cold fish, pickles, sliced bread, tomatos, mozzarella salad, fried halved complete shrimp which BF said were mushy and he didn't like) are preset onto the table. Each table had its own bottle of Hennesey cognac and Grey Goose vodka. I've worked at Crest Hollow, and other popular halls for Russian service, where the soda bottles are on the tables as well. Here, it was only the liquor bottles on the table, and bottled water was poured by the waitstaff. After the bread cutting, challah was passed around on a small plate. The table was also preset with an elongated rectangular salad plate, with a crabcake and corn relish on one end and a green mesculun salad on the other. BF didn't love the crab cake, but did like the salad—I didn't have the crabcake (allergic) but didn't love the salad. I think that I would have preferred a more traditional dressing, Italian or balsalmic.

Our choices were filet mignon, chicken, chilean sea bass or something vegetarian. We both took the meat. I liked mine—I don't love wine sauce, but it was fine, the mashed potatoes were good and served in a potato chip basket, like a mini taco salad basket. The wrapped packet of vegetables were good as well.

The 6 or 7 or even more piece band was from D&E entertainment (Douglas and Eddie?). Everything was done in both Russian and English. While the event started out with the traditional horas, the first set was actually Spanish music, done really well with a Mexican style guitar. As a cover band, I thought that they were really great, had an amazing trumpet player and while loud for some people who don't go to weddings, I've been at band sound checks that were deafening, and I thought that the music was not too loud and was really great. The also had a lighting scaffold and rear lighting behind the band. The band controlled the party flow really well, mixed up the Russian and American music and just did a great job. The couple also had the power point slide show of their relationship and the computer and video screen to show it.

I'd give the service an A-/B+ from the hall. Even though there were wine glasses on the table, only champagne was pre-poured and no one ever came around with a wine bottle. The unlimited bar was outside the room, and the waiters were responsive to guest requests for drinks (although they forgot about my tea for a good, long while), but while they were getting tea for other people on the other side of the table when they requested it, no one thought to offer me any, which I would have liked.

The viennese dessert spread was outside the room in the cocktail hour area and it was like nothing that even I had ever seen. Chocolate fountain was the least of it: a cannoli station with cream from Ferrara's bakery in NYC, dark chocolate cake, wedding cake (which was actually being cut in front of us), other cakes like red velvet and my favorite, oreo cheese cake that I could have eaten every inch of. They had an ice cream bar, cream puffs and many types of standard sized cookies like chocolate chip, M and Ms, etc. I just loved it.

To conclude, even though I am extremely picky, I would have a party at Crystal Plaza and will be recommending it another friend who is an event planner for her wedding. I loved the band and I thought the place did a really great job.
  • Chat With Local Long Island Brides
  • Long Island Bridal Expo
  • Lessings Waterfront Weddings
  • Larkfield
  • Perrys Florist-Perrys Florist
  • Atlantis Banquets & Events-Atlantis Banquets & Events
  • Salons - Spas-
Welcome New Vendors
fall weddings wedding favors #splurgevssave #weddingdosanddonts #weddingplanning 2019 wedding affordable vacations after hours music armenia armenian wedding ideas autumn autumn wedding bachelor bachelor parties bachelor party bachelorette bakeries bakery bands barn wedding beach wedding beach weddings best bands best man advice best wedding bands black tie black tie wedding bouquet bridal bouquet bridal extravaganza bridal gown bridal gowns bridal hair bridal makeup bridal nails bridal party gifts bridal planner group bridal planning bridal reflections NYC bridal show bridal showcase bridal shower bridal showers bride bride and groom bride-to-be brides bridesmaid bridesmaid gifts brunch wedding cakes catering cellists centerpiece centerpieces ceremony music charitable gift chignon classic music cocktail hour cocktail hour music cocktail party code bleu comfort food cultural weddings cupcakes dance dance lessons day of coordinator decorations dessert ideas destination wedding diamond diamond promotion diamonds djs doc donation gift double ceremony edible favors elegant wedding elopment engaged engagement engagement looks engagement session english wedding traditions entertainment etiquette event decor event planning Eyebrows fade to black ny fall fall bride fall harvest fall wedding fancy wedding fantasia bridal father of the bride father of the groom favors florist flute players food stations food truck food trucks good behavior gown green wedding green weddings groom groom pampering groom style grooms groomsmen gifts guest book guitarist hair styles hairstyle harvest harvest wedding headpieces honeymoon honeymoon ideas Hotel Blocks Hotels invitation invitations invites irish weddings italian wedding customs jewish wedding traditions Kleinfeld Kleinfeld Hotel Blocks latin dance LI vineyards LIBE limos limousine liw liwedding liweddings long island long island bachelor party long island bakery long island beach Long Island Beach Wedding long island beach weddings long island bridal extravaganza long island bridal gowns long island bridal show long island catering long island diamonds long island engagement photographer long island fall wedding long island groom long island photographers long island vineyards long island wedding long island wedding dj long island wedding favors long island wedding gowns long island wedding photographer long island wedding photography long island wedding rings long island weddings makeup maltese wedding manscaping mansions marriage marriage advice marrriage mehndi menu middle eastern wedding traditions military military wedding mirror beauty ring MOTB mother of the bride multicultural entertainment multicultural wedding nail polish national bridal sales event new york city wedding dress new york city wedding salon ny diamonds nyc diamonds off premises catering outdoor celebration ovation photo booth Paris Parisian party favors party planning long island weddings patriot brides Permanent Makeup photography photos pianists program quartet Rain reception reception location remarried resort rhapsody ring bearer gift roslyn hotel russian bride russian groom sale second wedding semi formal shuttle buses signature drinks skyline southern wedding ideas spring wedding spring wedding ideas spring weddings st. patricks day string duos string quartets string trios thank you note the black horse event traditions transportation travel trolley trunk show tuxedo updo vegan wedding cake vegan wedding dessert veils vineyard vineyard wedding vineyards vintage music violinists violists wedding wedding advice wedding band wedding bands wedding beauty wedding beer selection wedding bow tie wedding budget wedding cake wedding cakes wedding centerpiece wedding coffee wedding dance wedding dances wedding dancing wedding dessert wedding destinations wedding DJ wedding donation wedding donuts wedding dress wedding drink ideas wedding drinks wedding entertainment wedding favors wedding food wedding food ideas wedding gown wedding guests wedding hair wedding hair styles Wedding Hotel Blocks wedding ideas wedding invitations wedding invites wedding kids wedding limo wedding makeup wedding menu wedding music wedding nails wedding party wedding photography wedding planner wedding planning wedding ring wedding seating wedding showcase wedding suit wedding thank you wedding tuxedo wedding wheels wedding wine wedding wines weddings weddings splurge vs. save what to wear white tie who to invite wild west wedding wine wine suggestions wine types winery winery wedding winter wedding winter wedding ideas wooden place settings #weddingbudget Aeki Beki affordable vacation after hours dj entertainment armenian wedding Aruba at home bridal shower bachelor bachelorette parties backyard weddings bakery beach beach getaway best man bridal bridal accessories Bridal Expo bridal gown bridal reflections Bridal Show bridalshow bride bridesmaid ceremony music children fashion cocktail hour music country club wedding couture weddings daytime wedding decor dessert table destination wedding Destination Weddings donors unite e-ring elope engaged engagement engagement parties engagement rings english wedding escort cards event planners exotic cars fade to black new york Fall Bride fall wedding Fall Weddings favors first dance First Dance Wedding Song florist flowers gentleman groom groom groom gifts groomsmen hair high voltage entertainment honeymoon honeymoon planning hvdj hvdjsny imakeupyou Indian Weddings invitations invites irish wedding italian wedding jewish wedding letterpress LGBTQ wedding LIBridalExtravaganza live entertainment; LIW liweddings long island Long Island Bakeries long island bridal extravaganza Long Island bride long island engagement long island mansions long island photography long island weddings long island weddings. liweddings Magna Sutra makeup; hair; aesthetic; airbrush; airbrush makeup; makeover; malta wedding ideas married life marryoke Mendi Microblading middle eastern wedding military wedding multicultural nails outdoor wedding Pandit perfume photo booth photogaphy place settings planning form ring bearer russian wedding Saptapadi skyline orchestras south asian weddings southern wedding spring weddings summer wedding summer weddings texas wedding Thank you the lombardi bride the roslyn hotel tropical wedding tuscan wedding tuxedo tuxedos unique wedding vegan viana hotel villa lombardi's vintage weddings waterfront wedding wedding wedding advice wedding bands wedding blog wedding brunch wedding car wedding costs wedding dance wedding date wedding dates wedding drinks wedding favors wedding food wedding games wedding gifts wedding gowns wedding guest wedding ideas wedding music wedding photography wedding planning wedding prep wedding rings wedding signature drinks wedding style wedding tradition wedding traditions wedding transportation wedding trends wedding venues weddings wine winter wedding winter weddings