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Olde Mill Inn Donates to the American Military Dream Wedding
Not just one, but two military couples were the winners of expense-paid American Military Dream Weddings, announced during the Taste of Bernardsville held on Monday, October 6th, at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge. The announcement of the winners was the highlight of an evening that included tastings from a wide variety of local restaurants as part of an annual fundraiser for the Bernardsville Fire Company, Rescue Squad and Senior Citizens.
Winners were selected from six finalists based upon a Scavenger Hunt in Bernardsville on October 2nd. Two teams were virtually tied for first place, and the idea for a second wedding grew even stronger.
The American Military Dream Wedding winners received expense-paid weddings that combined donated services from a large group of wedding vendors in the Bernardsville area and beyond. Originally the concept of Diamond Dreams in Bernardsville, NJ, the idea of giving back to veterans quickly gained momentum in the Bernardsville area. Local businesses, including the Olde Mill Inn, fully supported the idea as a way to give back to veterans who have defended the American ideals and way of life. As the donations for the military wedding continued to stream into the Bernardsville Chamber, the hope that two weddings could be given started to take root, but was kept secret until the evening of the event, creating a wonderful surprise for the second couple.
The excitement grew throughout the evening at the Olde Mill Inn as the six finalists and their future spouses circulated throughout the event, where they were easily identified by their military uniforms. Family members were also in attendance to cheer on the finalists. The first prize wedding went to a couple from Lake Hopatcong, Nicole Russo, and her fiancé Sgt. John Ondish, who is currently deployed in Bahrain with the Army National Guard. Because Sgt. Ondish was serving overseas, Nicole enlisted the help of a friend, Angelique Onorati of Mendham, to stand in during the scavenger hunt.
The second wedding went to Katie Stelnick and Raymond Royce, a veteran from Edison who was injured while serving in Afghanistan from 2012-13.
During the Taste of Bernardsville, the prize continued to grow in scope throughout the event as two additional vendors volunteered to donate their services for the second wedding, They were D. Becker Photography of Newton, NJ and ITM Photography of Piscataway, who photographed the event and respectively donated the wedding photography and videography for the upcomi2ng nuptials.
Each of the military couples who came in for third through sixth places in the Scavenger Hunt received a check for $500 plus another prize from the Bernardsville Chamber. Chamber President Caesar Mistretta added, “I only wish we could have given a wedding to each one of the couples.”
When the announcements of the winners were made, Sgt. Ondish was present on his fiancée’s cell phone via Skype and was able to personally hear the loud cheers and resounding applause from the crowd as the winners were announced.
The Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ is an elegant country inn on a scenic 10-acre estate. The hotel has a warm historic ambiance, and offers 102 guest rooms and suites that include several “PURE” rooms. The Grain House Restaurant on the same property is housed in a building originally constructed in the 1760’s as a barn that stored grain for the Continental Army, and the structure was remodeled as a restaurant in the 1930s. The Grain House is known for exceptional American cuisine.
The Olde Mill Inn and the Grain House Restaurant provide charming settings for large and intimate weddings, as well as for social and corporate events. The Olde Mill Inn also offers a Meeting Center with state-of-the-art amenities. The Olde Mill Inn and Grain House Restaurant are conveniently located at 225 Route 202 (GPS: 225 Morristown Road) and directly adjacent to Exit 30B of I-287. For more information, please call 908-696-2315.
October 2014: TheKnot.com (posted by assi1)
We had a wonderful experience with the Olde Mill Inn, the location, the food, and staff were exceptional. Our Maitre De was knowledgeable, helpful with organizing, and had a touch with decorating. Our wedding was everything and more than we expected.
October 2014: TheKnot.com (posted by Kats6786)
The Olde Mill Inn was INCREDIBLE!! My husband and I were so utterly thankful & happy with the Olde Mill Inn!! Lindsey S. was so sweet and helpful as well as John L.! Once it was getting towards crunch time John took over and was FANTASTIC! He was so patient and beyond helpful! Any last minute issues he handled immediately. We had picked a signature drink and shortly after cocktail hour started they ran out of the main liquor that was in it and John informed us and said “don’t worry and we will get more” and he did! (fast too) And during the cocktail hour he not only made sure my husband and I were ok but also my mother – he brought her a plate of hors d’ourves. He would advise us about whats going on – anything we should know, esp any changes. He took care of EVERYTHING! The wait staff and the hospitality men & women were so kind and helpful too! My husband and I highly recommend the Olde Mill Inn not only for weddings but for any event or function! Thank you John, Lindsey and the Olde Mill Inn team!!
October, 2014: TheKnot.com (posted by Delores)
There are not enough words to describe the wonderful our experience at the Olde Mill Inn. They made my dream wedding perfect. John Lietz and his staff met all our expectations past what we were expecting. My wedding was held at the Grain House. We were supposed to be having the ceremony at the gazebo but mother nature would not allow it and it was raining. They moved us to the tented area for the ceremony and it was beautiful beyond my dreamsWe have been married a month and I am still getting compliments on how beautiful the wedding was and what a terrific time everyone had. Food was wonderful and delicious.If you are thinking of getting married. This should be your first choice. You will not be disappointed.
October, 2014: TheKnot.com (posted by msb87820)
The PERFECT day! I cannot say enough good things about the Olde Mill Inn and especially our maitre’d, Marien. I have been imagining my wedding day for so many years and had held such high expectations for what I had hoped my day would be like. Marien and the Olde Mill Inn exceeded my expectations on my wedding day! Everything was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Throughout the entire day and night Marien made sure my family and I had everything we needed. The entire staff went above and beyond to make sure we were happy every moment of our special day. The food was absolutely delicious!! All of my family and friends continue to talk about how amazing the cocktail hour was! Marien did a wonderful job decorating the venue to add all my personal touches in an elegant way. Marien is so enthusiastic, organized, and such a professional person! She truly cares for each and every bride she works with! I am a very detail orientated, type A person, who has a difficult time giving up the control. However, I completely trusted Marien and her team and I turned over all my trust her, which eliminated any extra stress. This allowed me to just enjoy every aspect of the wedding day. She took charge and made sure everything ran smoothly. Thank you Marien for making my wedding dreams come true!! This is a day my husband and I will remember forever!!…
October 2014: WeddingWire.com (posted by Kellie)
Lindsey Smillie and John Lietz were fabulous to work with! They were very helpful throughout the planning process, and everything ran smoothly on the day of the wedding. The food and service were both excellent. I highly recommend this venue.
October 2014: TheKnot.com (posted by msl2113)
I can’t speak highly enough about the Olde Mill Inn. Everything from the venue space to the food to the help was awesome. I had my wedding in late September at the Grain House which is the smaller of the two locations available on the premises and it was seriously perfect. I really didn’t have any problems or concerns and Amanda who was our day of maitre d was absolutely wonderful. She took care of everything with flawless execution and made it so that I didn’t have to worry about a single thing. She made great suggestions for how we could maximize the space and was so accommodating with all of my requests. There was nothing that she couldn’t make work. I can’t say enough how happy I was with picking the Olde Mill Inn for our wedding. All of our guests were raving about the food and how cute their hotel rooms were. This is a great place to get married and highly recommend getting married here if you are looking for a charming and semi-rustic location with amazing food and top notch services.
September 2014: (Letter to John Lietz from Amy & Tony)
We thank you so much for all of your help in making our dream wedding a reality! You have been so helpful and accommodating to us, and we are thrilled with how our wedding turned out! We could not have done this without you! Thank you again for all of your help!
September 2014: TheKnot.com (posted by Knottie66583166)
My wife and I got married (ceremony and reception) at omi last August. The service, expertise, and overall experience were spot on. We had the opportunity to work with Amanda V. and she was nothing but exceptional. She worked with us the entire time and really cared about making sure our vision came to fruition. I highly recommend omi not just for the elegance of the venue, but for the professionalism of the staff. Definitely take a tour of the venue and see if omi meets your style and your needs!
September 2014: TheKnot.com (posted by amygroby)
From the very first moment we met with a consultant to discuss having our wedding at the Grain House, we were impressed. Marien Barker met with us and we were so won over by her enthusiasm and personality that we signed our contract on the spot! The entire wedding planning process was smooth and organized. Our maitre d’, John Lietz, was amazing! He listened to all of our ideas and executed everything perfectly.
The wedding day was everything we hoped for. Even though it rained and we were not able to have the ceremony outside, they did a great job setting up inside and decorated the space beautifully. John checked in with us so often just to make sure we had everything we needed. The food was amazing and the staff/service was impeccable. The attention to small details was impressive and I did not have to worry about a thing during the wedding. Every item that we provided (decorations, pictures, etc) was packaged and waiting for us in our bridal suite (along with champagne!) by the end of the night.
Our guests were all impressed by the accommodations at the Olde Mill Inn and our stay was very enjoyable. Overall, I could not have asked for a better venue for the most special day of my life!