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The Adventure Aquarium, reception

Top 10 New Jersey Museums for Weddings

10 New Jersey museums that are as great for weddings as they are for class trips.

Photo: Spark Photography

The Noyes Museum of Art

Forget loading up on flowers -- the paintings at The Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville offer more than enough d├ęcor for your ceremony, reception or both. The museum is located right next to a wildlife refuge (the perfect place for photo ops) and holds up to 180 for a standing reception. Choose from a list of approved caterers or call the museum to discuss someone new. (609) 652-8848, NoyesMuseum.org

The Montclair Art Museum

Check out the Montclair Art Museum, which seats 180 people and has a stage (great for a big band!), high ceilings and a skylight. Have your reception in Leir Hall and then treat guests to a guided tour of the galleries where they can see works by Sargent, Hopper and O'Keeffe. All caterers must be approved by the museum. (973) 746-5555, Montclair-Art.com

The Newark Museum

Choose from three wedding spaces at the Newark Museum, including an intimate dining room, elegant ballroom and sculpture garden. Your best bet: Have your ceremony in the garden and then head inside to celebrate in Engelhard Court, which features marble floors, high ceilings and 17-foot ficus trees. Contact the museum for catering information. (973) 596-6068, NewarkMuseum.org

The Morris Museum

Say "I do" at the Morris Museum, a Georgian-style mansion transformed into an art museum. Have your cocktail hour in the glass Entrance Pavilion, and then dance the night away in the Museum Court under an impressive skylight. Use of the museum's audio-visual equipment, concert piano, pantry, stage, elevator, parking and event planner are available -- the caterer is up to you. (973) 971-3722, MorrisMuseum.org

The Prallsville Mills

Whether you're looking for a casual indoor reception or an outdoor tent wedding, Prallsville Mills in Stockton is worth considering. The mill holds up to 150 people indoors, but you can fit 225 if you put up a tent on the grounds. Worried about the heat? The mill is equipped with air-conditioning -- a major bonus if you're looking for a rustic space that won't have your guests feeling hot and sticky. Note: Outside caterers are welcome, but all caterers must sign a copy of the Conditions of Use form. (215) 860-7600, BrillmansRentalBarn.com

The Garden State Discovery Museum

Feeling playful? Rent all 20,000 square feet or just parts of the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, a kids' museum that includes a theater, athletic courts and hands-on exhibits. Exclusive museum rentals of up to 250 people start in a four-hour block, and you can pay per half-hour after that. You'll need to arrange your own catering, as well as linen and silverware rentals. (856) 424-1233, DiscoveryMuseum.com

The Liberty Science Center

If you want a museum wedding but don't want to deal with getting your own caterer or other outside rentals, the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City might be your best bet. All of the food is taken care of by the site's caterer, and while you're more than welcome to bring in your own entertainment and florist, a coordinator can arrange for those as well. The museum has several event spaces, so whether you're having an intimate reception or all-out affair, there's a room that fits. Bonus: Valet parking is available at an added cost. (201) 253-1384, LSC.org

The Liberty Hall Museum

The Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University in Union was once the home of New Jersey's first elected governor, giving this Victorian-style mansion a sense of history found in few other wedding venues across the state. The 1882 Carriage House seats up to 75 guests, making it a great choice for a vintage-inspired reception. If you're having a larger wedding, pitch a tent on the estate grounds. For an outdoor ceremony, the rose garden is a popular spot. Food tip: You'll have to hire your own caterer. (908) 527-0400, Kean.edu/libertyhall

The Parlor Gallery

Choose from a list of preferred caterers at Parlor Gallery, a 2,500 square foot gallery in Asbury Park with 12-foot ceilings and original art. The space itself is small, making this hip, beach-town art spot best for intimate affairs. It's also worth noting that Asbury Park is known for its strong gay community -- something to consider if you're planning a same-sex wedding. Something else to celebrate: You can bring your own liquor -- an easy way to save major money. (732) 869-0606, Parlor-Gallery.com

The Adventure Aquarium

Hold your upscale reception at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, where the "Underwater Journey" event space boasts a 760,000-gallon fish tank and a view of the Philadelphia skyline. Or, reserve the "Underwater Safari" space and ask guests to pose for photos inside the 40-foot shark tunnel -- a quirky way to liven up your guest book. Warning: Just like the oversized sharks, the Adventure Aquarium is for big parties, with event spaces holding 200 to 3,000 guests. Catering, tables, chairs and linens are provided. (856) 365-3300, AdventureAquarium.com

-- Caitlin Moscatello