Courtesy of John Armich
The minute I stepped into One Atlantic, the brand–new event space connected to the Pier Shops at Caesars Atlantic City, I had to check my prejudices at the door. Or whatever you would call my assumption that there would be no reason for any couple to host their wedding in a city known mainly for its tackola boardwalk, rundown casinos, and bused–in, chain–smoking slot machine junkies. But having recently attended the grand opening celebration of One Atlantic, I am now of the opinion that this is the most glamorous beachfront location in New Jersey (and possibly the tri–state area). East Coast beach weddings have an inherently low–fi vibe (no matter how elegant they are), which is why it usually makes sense to hold them in a country inn or in your parents' backyard. But if you want an oceanfront location and a slick, upscale venue where high heels, tuxedos, and a band with a sexy lead singer belting out Black–Eyed Peas covers are the norm, One Atlantic is the place.
The contemporary space is situated entirely over water—meaning that it literally hovers high above the Atlantic Ocean, and extends 100 yards from the shoreline. The over–water aspect is a novel detail, but even cooler are the contemporary floor–to–ceiling windows offering views of the beach, boardwalk, and ocean. The "lobby," functions as a luxurious lounge with handsome sand–colored décor, a backlit bar, white leather seating, and a fireplace built into a wall of rustic white porcelain mosaic tile. The ballroom is effectively spare and loft–like, with just a few modern chandeliers to make it feel posh. The giant windows do the heavy lifting in here, by bringing the outside in: Spectacular blue water and sunlight or a dramatic landscape of moody grays during the day; at night, it feels like you're partying on a private yacht, with the dark surroundings flecked with light from the casinos along the shoreline. The ballroom also offers access to an outdoor terrace (a great spot for a nighttime portrait station, I thought, with the stretch of illuminated casinos in the distance as a backdrop). From this vantage point, the city doesn't look seedy all. It sparkles. (Site fees from $3,500, plus catering, from $150 per person.) —Amy Elliott, Executive Editor
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