Real Weddings

Katie and Daniel at Rock Island Lake Club

The Proposal: The day started like most Saturday mornings, we took our rescue beagle Rosie for a hike. As we were walking, we stopped at a waterfall and Dan asked if I had noticed the new collar he got for Rosie. Kind of confused, I crouched down to check it out and noticed a new addition to her collar – a heart pendant that read “will you marry us.” In shock, Dan reminded me that I had to stand up so he could kneel down. It was perfect. On our way to the car I yelled at fellow hikers “WE JUST GOT ENGAGED.” Literally yelling it from the mountain tops.

Details of the Day: My blush tulle Watters gown inspired the details to follow. I wanted everything to look and feel as romantic as I did when I put that gown on. Burgundy and blush became our colors and everything was accented by lots of natural greenery. I wanted a giant wild bouquet and that is exactly what I got. Laura, our florist, nailed it and when I saw my flowers I teared up. Rock Island is a very laid back venue and I wanted our day to feel relaxed – it did!

The Location: We went to one venue – Rock Island Lake Club and that was it. It was new and absolutely gorgeous. We wanted something different from the typical NJ venue and felt very lucky to find it at Rock Island. The one inclusive wedding package appealed to me after looking through countless venues online and feeling like I had to make a sacrifice on food, alcohol or quality in order to afford it. Rock Island just felt right. Also the people – Perry, Michelle, Jason and Heather. They are the best.

The Menu: Our cocktail hour was where the magic happened. It was two hours full of the most delicious food I’ve ever seen. We had a bacon station that people pretty much camped out next to. Bacon wrapped scallops, Bacon sliders, Chocolate covered bacon – pretty much all things salty sweet goodness. The seafood paella was also delicious. Because the cocktail hour was so extravagant – we kept dinner simple. Salmon, steak and chicken were accompanied by a fresh salad. The real hit of the night was the pizza to go as people were getting on to the shuttle buses. As we opened the door to exit the ballroom – chefs were standing by with countless pizza ovens and toppings ready to go. And this wasn’t just a slice – this was a pie. Every guest went home with a pie which made our ride to the hotel pretty quiet. Everyone was digging in!!

The Gown: Watters Naomi in Blush. The gown was heaven. It was a dreamy, ballerina-inspired ball gown featuring an illusion tulle yoke with a plunging neckline, delicate beading and swarovski crystals on the front bodice growing up the back. The full soft net skirt was light and I was so comfortable all day and night. I didn’t have that crying say yes to the dress moment. I actually went back and forth on what I was wearing until two weeks before the wedding because I was SO indecisive. Finally, I had a moment of clarity and realized it was exactly what I had been looking for.

Favorite Moment: Our first look. We had a lot of people interject their opinion about seeing each other before the ceremony but we stuck to what felt right for us. I remember walking up to Dan and just feeling pure joy. I tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned around he just put his face in his hand and lost it. And I laughed. And then I couldn’t stop laughing because he was just so sweet and pure and emotional. I will never forget the way he looked at me in that moment.

Special Detail: We rented a restored farm house in Boonton Township the night before the wedding. It was so beautiful that we decided to get ready there and do most of our photos on the property. I woke up in the morning and gave myself 20 minutes to do yoga and relax which set the tone for the day. I also made myself a shot of fresh pressed lemon and ginger which is sort of my healthy addiction. Getting ready slowly, having coffee and enjoying the morning with my mom and closed friends was magic. I will treasure that morning forever.

First Dance Song: Ron Pope – Perfect For Me

Advice for other Brides: At about 5pm the day before your wedding – you are done. Do not look at your timeline, do not look at your list. Put all the planning aside and know that you’ve done everything you need to do to fully enjoy your wedding day. Taking a deep breath and knowing that the pros had everything covered took so much weight off my shoulders and I was able to fully and deeply enjoy the night before my wedding and everything to follow.

Honeymoon: We did a mini-moon to Lambertville, NJ. We stayed at the Wolverton Inn for two nights and it was pure perfection. We are planning a california road trip in July for our true honeymoon but I’ll never forget waking up to sheep and roaming around the farm right after our wedding.

  • Hometowns:Paramus, NJ
  • Wedding Location:Rock Island Lake Club
  • Reception Location:Rock Island Lake Club
  • Photographer:Brianna Wilbur
  • Officiant: Reverend Michael Savage
    Bride’s Gown: Watters Wtoo
    Bride’s Shoes: Mischka Badgley
    Bride’s Accessories: Blanca Veils
    Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo
    Hair: Amanda Parisi
    Makeup: Alyne Halvajian
    Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux
    Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux
    Flowers: Laura’s Flower Boutique – Denville NJ
    Cake: A Little Cake Bakery
    Invites: Minted.com
    Music: Sound Surge Entertainment – Summit High School String Quartet
    Videographer: Live Picture Studios
    Transportation: Broadway Elite
    Honeymoon: California Road Trip


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