The borough of Princeton predates the American Civil War, so you know the architecture and pedestrian streets are just brimming with antiquated charisma. The area’s many historic mansions, parks, and gardens make for a visually lovely area to explore.
The town is home not only to the well-known eponymous university, but to other leading educational centers such as the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Westminster Choir College.
Princeton’s position alongside the Delaware & Raritan Canal and its picturesque Lake Carnegie affords lovely waterfront views amid the area’s woodlands. Four distinct seasons with exceptional fall foliage are also a plus.
Get the best of both worlds here, as this leafy suburban enclave is only an hour away from big cities Philadelphia and New York, and the town’s train station offers affordable and direct access to each.
With so many brilliant minds in just a few square miles, your Princeton wedding ceremony is sure to sparkle with wit and wisdom. First step: craft your perfectly personal service with the guidance of a local wedding officiant. Then, filter the mood by incorporating ceremony musicians that will strike the perfect chord, whether romantic or jubliant, for your “I do” moment.
For the wedding of your Ivy League dreams, put your trust in one of Princeton’s talented wedding planners to pull together all the wonderful details. Infuse your day with the area’s surrounding natural beauty by hiring a local florist to deliver some gorgeous flower power, and don’t forget to end on a sweet note with a selection of local cakes and desserts. Make sure every delectable moment is documented through the lens of a talented Princeton wedding photographer so you can savor the memories for years to come.
Welcoming your guests with a festive rehearsal dinner is a no-brainer for kicking off the wedding weekend. Luckily, Princeton has a wealth of great rehearsal dinner venues to choose from. Nassau Street’s range of dining options, from high-class French cuisine to local brewpubs, is a great starting point for proximity to campus. That said, this might be a good opportunity to show out-of-towners the non-academic side of town, so keep in mind the elegant country clubs and charming historic inns that exist within a short drive.
Your wedding is going to be a night to remember, with hopefully a good dose of late-night dancing to boot. Be sure to say proper goodbyes (and refuel your energies) with a farewell brunch the morning after. Honor the Nassau Street institution PJ’s Pancake House with low-key diner fare (pancake bar, anyone?), or show off central Jersey’s agricultural bounty with one of the new farm-to-table restaurants.
Show guests the other side of the Jerz — and why it’s called the Garden State — with a taste of the area’s local bounty in a Princeton-inspired wedding welcome bag. The region’s fruit orchards make for excellent local jams, so check out Big Bad Dad’s exotic flavors like Blueberry Lime or tomato-based South Jersey Jam for an awesome welcome-bag stuffer. The many local beehives managed by family-run Tassot Apiaries produces delicious liquid, whipped, and flavored honies, not to mention beeswax candles and soaps. Don’t forget to include a snack for munching on the ride home — 4th Street Foodworks Organic Kettle Corn is the perfect pick! With such artisan-produced, farm-focused treats, your wedding guests will remember central Jersey for its crafted abundance, rather than its spray tans.
While visions of your fabulous day will live on in your mind forever, help preserve the event in your guests’ memories by sending them off with a sweet reminder. See our ideas for locally inspired Princeton wedding favors, such as delicate caramels or French macarons from Sciascia Confections, or how about mini pies bursting with local fruit from Princeton bakers LiLiPies as the perfect send-off?
Whether you want to take in some great art, be moved by a professional stage production, learn a bit of American history, or simply get moving on scenic trails, Princeton really has it all. Be sure to allow your guests time to check out some of the can’t-miss features of the area, such as the innovative Grounds For Sculpture. After an hour’s exploration, they’ll feel like Alice in Wonderland meandering through the magical, towering works of art. Princeton Tour Company specializes in all sorts of customized, folk-lore-laden guided tours of the area, which will allow your guests to feel like true insiders. Whatever you schedule, be sure to leave time to taste test at Princeton’s popular assortment of ice cream shops: blend-in mecca Thomas Sweet, old-fashioned standby Halo Pub, and gourmet newcomer The Bent Spoon will satisfy any ice cream lover’s wildest dreams. Peruse all the things to see and do around Princeton with this comprehensive online guide to the area.
Princeton’s dining scene is robust and multicultural for a small college town due to the diversity of the university’s population. Even better, local chefs have the agricultural richness from the surrounding farmland at their fingertips. Top favorites are often found on Nassau Street, but don’t be afraid to venture out to nearby towns Lawrenceville or Hopewell to find equally charming dining options. Check out what online experts at TripAdvisor and local online guides have to say about Princeton’s great restaurant scene.
Hotels in Princeton range from charmingly historic to large and modern, so you will have all bases covered when providing a spot for your guests to rest and relax between wedding fun. Be sure to consider both convenience to your venue as well as walking distance to local attractions when selecting ideal spots for wedding accommodations.
What better way to get comfortable in front of the camera, and spend a day rediscovering what makes Princeton such a beautiful place, than by scheduling an engagement shoot with your Princeton wedding photographer? If you and your sweetheart have ties to the university, the campus architecture and landscaping are obvious picks for beautiful backdrops. Or, take to the country for loving embraces among woods, fields, farms, and orchards. There’s simply no shortage of picturesque options for Princeton engagement shoot locations.
Although only an hour from hot spots NYC and Atlantic City, there are actually compelling options for staying closer to home when planning your perfect ladies’ night out. Hire a limo and take a day trip to nearby artsy town New Hope, where bars, boutiques, and restaurants await. Or for some “dirty” fun, local farm Terhune Orchards offers seasonal pick-your-own fruit, flowers, and pumpkins as well as weekend wine tastings for large groups. There are so many creative Princeton bachelorette party ideas worth exploring, so gather the girls and get to planning!
From paintball to brewery tours to sporting events, guys have some tough (but fun) decisions to make when planning a stag party in Princeton, ‘cause there’s simply that much to do. Take a drive to sample local craft beers and even see how they’re made at River Horse brewery in nearby Ewing, or huddle up at an indoor football game at the Trenton Freedom arena. If baseball’s more your thing, skip the hefty price tags of the MLB by catching a game of the minor league Trenton Thunder, where groups get a special shout-out on the big screen. Local watering holes, such as subterranean dive bar Ivy Inn where “every hour is happy hour,” will provide ample liquid sustenance. Read our full take on other awesome Princeton bachelor party ideas and get pumped for some dude debauchery.
As a college town, the landscape of Princeton changes dramatically based upon the university’s schedule. Be sure to pay attention to major school events (which could bring an influx of thousands of visitors) when planning for your big day. Here are some key university- and community-wide occasions to definitely keep on your radar:
Check out some other useful local online resources to get you acquainted with all-things Princeton, from travel guides to the local restaurant scene to great local wedding blogs run by our friends in the industry: