Getting married in New Jersey? There’s a website just for you
They had a hunch the internet was going to be huge. Twenty-two years later, a New Jersey couple's website continues to serve as a go-to resource for folks looking to tie the knot in the Garden State.
"The idea of serving New Jersey ... has kept us focused and busy," said Erik Kent, co-creator of NJWedding.com.
Erik and his wife Beth, who met in 1990 as students at Rutgers and said "I do" on the Rutgers campus in 1994, launched their website on Valentine's Day 1997.
They managed to plan their own wedding in eight months, without the power of the World Wide Web, but wanted to give New Jersey couples an easier time researching everything nuptial-related.
"There's always people out there getting married, there's always wedding professionals and venues in the marketplace, so it's just a constant flow of connecting the two," Erik said of the site.
Beyond professionals such as photographers, musicians and florists, their site also features more than 150 wedding venues throughout the Garden State, from rustic barns to majestic banquet facilities.
"We've probably had a part in helping brides and grooms connect to venues and vendors thousands of times over the past 22 years," Beth said. "I love being part of something that contributes to so many happy wedding days and memories."
There's no shortage of lovebirds looking for guidance. The site sees an average of 30,000 page views per month. According to industry website The Wedding Reporter, more than 47,800 weddings took place in New Jersey in 2018. At an average of $38,000 per event, the wedding industry pulls in about $1.8 billion annually in New Jersey alone.
The couple, which runs the website right out of the Belle Mead home they share with their three children, expanded their online presence earlier this year with the launch of NJParenting.com. Parents can use the site to find the right pediatric dentist's office in their area, for example, or a venue for their daughter's upcoming Sweet 16.