The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Boathouse Chapel is naturally illuminated when the barn doors are open on each side of the structure. A fireplace embedded in stone from floor to ceiling is the backdrop for the ceremony while guests look on from the white benches in the room.
Majestic Ballroom emulates the inverted hull of ship. The cathedral ceilings are 30 feet high and made of wood and make a grand cover over the floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests continue to be amazed with the scenery as the sun sets and the stars and moon light up the night sky. Guest tables surround a dance floor and can accommodate up to 250 guests.
What You Should Know
Bonnet Island Estate has its in-house catering company, Merri-Makers, to prepare and serve anything from local favorites, such as oysters, to filet mignon. This full-service caterer works with the husband- and wife-to-be to create a menu that is unique to their tastes. The festivities begin with butler-style hors d'oeuvres and the couple can choose from a seated meal or food stations. Merri-Makers takes care of providing an elegantly decorated wedding cake as well. The pricing and packages vary based on the custom created menu.
The elegant grounds of Bonnet Island Estate can be reserved for a five-hour time period, which includes the use of the Boathouse Chapel or reserve the entire estate for the night. The fee charged for the estate rental includes tables and chairs in the ballroom and the seating in the chapel. Catering costs are billed separately. Check out time is at 11 a.m. the day after the wedding festivities and other extras, such as a breakfast or brunch, can be added to the package as well. The noise ordinance rules ask that no playing of music take place after 9 p.m. on the veranda, in the Great Room or outside the house.
Although this is enough to paint an eloquent picture of Bonnet Island Estate, there is more:
- English garden with a fountain, a gazebo, man-made sand dune and arbor
- Driveway and walkway made of crushed seashells, adding to the ambiance of the venue
- Main house has a grand staircase and a vintage scissor-gated elevator leading to the guest suites
- Each guest room includes a fireplace, a balcony with a stunning view and a Jacuzzi tub
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$ – Moderate
Ballroom, Waterfront, Estate
Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff
ObsessedReviewed on 5/14/2014 Alexa S
I had my wedding at Bonnet and it was absolutely AMAZING. My guests could not stop talking about the food or the venue for weeks afterwards. I am so happy I was lucky enough to get married there. Everything at the venue is simply stunning and thought out perfectly. The staff was wonderful, I was sick the day of my wedding and they made sure to get me whatever I needed. Mary and Ellie were extra wonderful; Mary was always there throughout the planning to answer any and all questions that I had. I would HIGHLY recommend Bonnet, your wedding will be sure to stand out from the rest!! It is also a great value compared to other venues that are the same price and do not provide as many amenities as Bonnet.
My Dream WeddingReviewed on 1/03/2014 Laura A
I knew I wanted to get married at Bonnet Island Estate 10 years ago. I was working for a newspaper down in Manahawkin and I remember going to the media tour of the opening of the Estate. I remember walking into the boathouse chapel and saying to my coworker, "This is where I am going to get married." Many years later, I did. During our wedding, a young girl named Meghan was assigned to follow me around to help me with anything I needed. She was with me most of the day. She was so great and friendly! And everyone I had dealt with at Bonnet from inquiring about dates to a follow-up email after the wedding was very helpful. Brides who are looking to book with Bonnet should check out the prices on their website, and remember that everything is booked separate, such as the caterer (you must use Merri-Makers), liquor, etc. But once you take a tour of the place, nothing else will compare. Take it from a girl who visited Bonnet 10 years ago and didn't look at any other reception sites when she finally got engaged.
Great Venue!Reviewed on 10/25/2013 Tara L
Bonnet Island is a gorgeous setting, staff is wonderful!
Bonnet Island is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in NJ to have an elegant, beachy wedding. The views are incredible, the staff is so professional and friendly, the barn is a romantic, intimate setting for an on-site ceremony, and the food is high-quality and delicious! We had 190 people and there was plenty of space. Throughout the entire day my family, in-laws, husband and I were so well taken care of. Everything was absolutely perfect from start to finish. The execution was flawless. Thank you for making our wedding day so memorable!
Dream wedding is an understatement. For years I told my family and friends that I would get married at Bonnet Island Estate, not ever thinking I would. My family and I knew the minute we walked in for the tour with Mary, from Merri-Makers, that this had to be our wedding venue. It was so beautiful by itself there wasn’t much left to do besides show up! Mary was definitely an added bonus. She was so helpful throughout the entire planning process. The day of the wedding went so smoothly. I was weary about a Friday wedding but being able to get into the estate by 10am made the day feel less rushed and allowed us to relax before the big event. Ellie and Colleen were AMAZING and were there for us every step of the way that day. Most importantly our wedding was a lot of fun. We felt like everything came together perfectly with the help of the staff. We have gotten so many compliments about the entire day. Everything from the beautiful venue, the delicious food, to the amazingly attentive staff. We cannot thank you enough for making our day one that not only we will remember but one that our guests will be talking about for years to come! We stopped by a few days after the big day to pick up a few things. As we left we were told to come back to visit anytime and come take anniversary and family pictures because we are now part of the Bonnet Island Family.
We had an absolutely fairytale wedding at Bonnet Island this past June! From the moment we stepped foot on the property, we knew we had to have our wedding there. The grounds and the estate speak for themselves - it is rustic and beachy, but elegant and formal at the same time. Not only is the place beautiful, but the staff is AMAZING! Mary and Ellie were so accommodating - they made sure all of our visions came to life and everything was perfect! The food is also to die for - many of of guests are foodies and can be very difficult to please, but we've received nothing but the highest compliments! We rented the rooms and had an after party at the estate, which I highly recommend to anyone considering having their wedding at BIE. The day went by so fast, so it was so nice to have the time to enjoy the estate all night long with family and friends and to have breakfast there the next day. We could not be happier with our choice to have the wedding at BIE and wish we could go back and do it all again! Thank you to Merri Makers to being so amazing and helping us create the wedding of our dreams! You guys are the absolute BEST!
Perfect wedding day. Pricey, but you get what you pay for. I didn't have to lift a finger or worry about a single thing - Andrea, Cody and Ellie had me covered. The grounds are gorgeous (even with a chilly spring) and did not need special lighting or extraordinary floral arrangements as it was beautiful in itself. All of our guests raved about the venue, food, service and entertainment. Truly a perfect day, and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful wedding. Thank you Bonnet. Amazing! - Amanda & Adam
Perfection!Reviewed on 10/20/2015 Katie A
This venue was absolutely stunning and worth every penny (lots of them!). We have received non-stop compliments on our venue and just how beautiful and perfect it was. It really feels like you're in your own home, although much bigger! The staff are incredible and super attentive. There are always a few minor snafu's but I wouldn't have changed a thing. Highly highly recommend Bonnet Island Estate.
I AM SPEECHLESS. There are absolutely no words to describe our wedding day!!!! The venue, the staff, the food, and the atmosphere exceeded both of our dreams. This is worth every single penny!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We cannot stop talking about our wedding day. Thank you for all of your help throughout this process and especially for your attention and help during our wedding day! It was flawless and truly the BEST DAY EVER! We cannot thank you enough!!!!!!!!! :) Lindsay & Brian
A Dream DayReviewed on 9/26/2015 sarah h
I was married at Bonnet Island Estate in June 2015. From the beginning of the planning process through the morning after our wedding, the staff was organized, professional and often knew what I needed even before I had thought of it. Mary, Ellie and Jess are amazing and really made our day so special and stress free. Yes, the venue is pricey, but if you can afford it, it is the prefect beach wedding setting and the staff is the best there is in the business. We spent our wedding day truly enjoying the party we had planned rather then chasing around vendors, worrying about timetables and other details of the day. Mary, Ellie and Jess made our day so enjoyable. I can't recommend this place and the staff enough. Top notch service, wonderful food and an amazing setting!
Fairytale Wedding Growing up going to LBI during the summers, it holds a special place in my heart. When I found out that Bonnet was available for our wedding, we were excited. But it was beyond what I have ever dreamed of... From the venue, to the food to the staff. Everything was perfect. Three weeks later and everyone is still talking about Bonnet and the food! Thank you for making this bride's dream come true
We held our daughter's June 13th wedding at Bonnet Island. The staff at Bonnet took care of every detail from the ceremony in the Boathouse Chapel to the last seconds of the reception. They were so courteous and attentive. The new salon on the main floor allowed the bridal party to be comfortable and gave the hair stylists plenty of room to work. Our friends and family could not get over the quality and quantity of the food. We kept hearing, "This is not wedding food. This is five-star restaurant food." The romantic ambiance made the day so special not only for my daughter and son-in-law but for all the guests. I am forever grateful to Bonnet Island for giving my family such an amazing experience that we will always cherish.
Awesome!Reviewed on 6/09/2015 rebecca c
My husband and I got married this past April, 2015, at Bonnet Island Estate...I would highly recommend to anyone looking for delicious food, a beautiful venue with amazing water views, and an intimate quaint boathouse/chapel, which adds to the ambiance of your wedding...Merri Makers caterers do an excellent job! Mary R. was excellent to work with in the months leading to the wedding...we were invited down at any given time to look around, get ideas, ask questions...She was like having a best friend that I knew I could rely on for help! The food was incredible and delicious, from cocktail hour to dinner...They also give your guests fresh baked cookies and coffee upon their departure...We opted to book the 24 rooms as well...absolutely awesome to be able to check in, get ready there, have an after party, and then meet for breakfast in the morning! Special thanks also to Elle, Jessica, and the entire staff at Bonnet...everyone was so pleasant, and hospitable...We would highly recommend to anyone who wants a truly memorable wedding!!!
Magnificent!Reviewed on 6/09/2015 rebecca c
There are not enough words to describe this wedding venue...from the breathtaking water views, to the gorgeous on premises suites, to the simplicity and warmth of the boathouse chapel...Our daughter had her wedding this past April, 2015, at Bonnet...We have nothing but praise for this fabulous venue...add in Merri Makers Caterers, and you have a wedding that your guests will talk about for years to come...The food at the cocktail hour was so varied, something for everyone, dinner was incredible, absolutely delicious! The chapel was so intimate, and made for a love and laughter filled ceremony...Cocktail hour half indoors, and half on the outdoor veranda, added a wonderful touch...The staff is impeccable, seeing to every detail of your event...Mary R. had answers to all our questions, and had the event running like a well oiled machine...she was there whenever we called or texted, and became like family to us...Elle, as head matre D' did a terrific job of making everything run smoothly, and Jessica, my daughter's personal helper, saw that no item was misplaced or needed...We cannot say enough about this marvelous venue...Do not hesitate to book them today, we highly recommend!
PerfectionReviewed on 10/07/2014 Kelly H
I was fortunate enough to get married at Bonnet Island Estate in September 2014 and feel Bonnet Island Estate is truly perfection in every possible way. The chapel and estate are breathtakingly beautiful and make for great photos. I strongly recommend utilizing the overnight estate rooms to help ensure your party never ends. This allows to have a brunch at the estate the next day which is a nice finishing touch to the weekend. As for the staff and service - they were absolutely outstanding. They were professional, organized and attentive yet always warm and friendly. They made sure everything ran smoothly and looked perfect. I highly recommend Bonnet Island Estate!
Rustic elegance at Bonnet Island EstateReviewed on 7/10/2014 Jacqueline S
Upon the grand opening of Bonnet Island Estate, I went on a tour with my family of it when I was about 12 years old. I remember being dazzled by it at the time... but never would I have imagined I would one day have my very own wedding here. It was the key to our "fairy tale" wedding we were looking for. It is a combination of rustic, elegance, and class. It is simply stunning, from the interior decorations, the ambiance, the outdoor grounds with flowers in every direction, and views of the Barnegat Bay and LBI. The staff is outstanding and were ALWAYS available to answer any and all of my questions throughout the wedding planning process. Always polite, prompt, and friendly. The service on the day of the wedding was outstanding as well. My husband and I felt like a king and queen :) Once you step foot inside to check out Bonnet Island Estate.... you will see for yourself what I am talking about. My husband and our families still can't believe we actually had our wedding reception there!!! It was the perfect start to our happily ever after.
Absolute PERFECTION!Reviewed on 9/25/2013 Stephanie P
The staff at BIE were all amazing to work with and so friendly. The site is so gorgeous, its hard to ask for / find a prettier location. I got married here in September 2013 and everything went flawlessly. The staff made sure everything was set up correctly and things happened on time, the food was amazing (MerriMakers), and I could not have asked more! It was a very memorable day that I will cherish forever!
Perfect SpotReviewed on 11/19/2012 Kate M
Bonnet Island Estate was such an amazing place to get married, it was just perfect. The grounds, bridal suite, chapel & spectacular views are all just perfect. The management & staff of the estate are excellent and very helpful as well.
Bonnet IslandReviewed on 10/29/2012 Meghan L
Beautiful and magical venue! Everything was perfect!
Fabulous location and Fantastic service!Reviewed on 9/17/2012 Alexa K
The venue is fantastic and the service was above and beyond what we expected! They helped us with all of our other vendors and answered all of our questions quickly and thoroughly throughout the entire planning process. We got a day of planner and our own helper just for the two of us the day of! The views are stunning and rooms are fabulous!
Perfect venueReviewed on 8/03/2012 Kate G
BIE hosted our dream wedding. The pictures say it all... what a gorgeous setting for a wedding. There is no where in the world I'd rather have had our wedding. Plus, the team at BIE assisted with every little detail.
Fabulous!Reviewed on 6/19/2012 Sarah C
Everything about Bonnet Island Estate is impeccable. The venue itself is gorgeous, and the setting is perfect. The service and attention we received leading up to the day, as well as the day itself, was phenomenal. I would recommend this venue to anyone, but especially if you have a love of the shore, particularly LBI.
best destination wedding close to home!Reviewed on 4/27/2012 Sommer P
Bonnet Island Estate is stunningly beautiful- the barn/chapel which was moved from VT, the gorgeous 3-tiered veranda for cocktail hour on the water, and the non-cheesy reception room with a vaulted tongue and groove wood ceiling- all make for quite a backdrop!!! This IS the place to have a destination wedding without being too far from home. Ellie, Ginny and Mary from Bonnet Island Estate made sure that the property was in tip-top shape, that Italian and Greek flags were flying, that the guest rooms and chapel were clean, and that all of the long dining tables were set perfectly, even with my very intricate seating plan and nearly 500 floating candles! There was no Friday evening wedding the weekend of our event, so even with a Church wedding 45 minutes away, my husband and I were able to get into Bonnet early and get ready at the property- super convenient and made for beautiful photo opportunities. The staff made sure that sandwiches and drinks were distributed during this getting ready time. Staff did a wonderful job of orchestrating all of the vendors starting the day before our wedding and making sure that traffic- including our 3 buses and special car- flowed smoothly on the big day. Bonnet assigned a waitress just for my husband and I, who was amazing and really helped us gain access to drinks and hors d’oeuvres amidst the excitement. There was only one small thing I would have changed. We had asked the staff to set up 150 mini champagne bottles (and a few bottles of non-alcoholic lemonade) around a flower arrangement on a table in the center of the chapel for when guests first arrived. Each champagne bottle was to be opened and outfitted with a gold straw. This was an expensive endeavor meant to create visual impact for the photographer and to be a special welcome from our family, who is in the wine & spirits business. Unfortunately, there was only a scattering of opened and unopened champagne bottles and lemonade bottles on the table when my friends arrived and two cases of the mini champagne bottles were never opened or used- which meant a third of our guests missed out. All in all, I would definitely have my wedding at Bonnet Island Estate again- the staff is warm and accommodating, guest rooms are luxurious and meticulously clean and everyone went out of their way to make our wedding a special day. We were lucky enough to have gorgeous spring weather, but even on the rainiest or coldest of days, Bonnet Island Estate would make you feel like a princess and would be a perfect wedding venue.
Bonnet EstateReviewed on 11/08/2011 Tamara K
Fabulous venue. Ginny and everyone at the Estate made our special day perfect and stress free
amazing!Reviewed on 9/29/2011 Alexis K
Loved BIE - was the PERFECT venue to have our wedding. The service was fantastic and Laura from Merri Makers was always available to meet with us or answer questions. We received many, many compliments from our guests that it was the best wedding they had ever been to. I would highly recommend renting the estate for the night, it was so nice to get ready there and flow right into the after-party. The only issue we had was that we kept finding the door to the bridal room downstairs open... and sometimes guests in there as the estate lends itself to people "exploring" the different rooms. We had many valuables in the room - I would recommend that you ask for this room to be locked and for a key to the room. Everything else was top notch.