Their Story: Although Dara Colancecco and Bill Nowak first met in fifth grade in Blackwood, it wasn’t until after college that their friendship blossomed into romance.
WILL YOU MARRY ME? Two and a half years later, Bill proposed during breakfast at the Borgata in Atlantic City. After Dara said “Yes,” they headed over to Harrah’s. Bill rented out the pool area, and family and friends were there for a huge surprise party. “It was so much fun,” says Dara.
Details of the Day: Dara and Bill wanted a rustic farm wedding, so Stone Rows Farm was a great fit for their October 10, 2015 event. “I loved that we had use of the whole place for 24 hours,” Dara says. The ceremony was held in a large open field, and Dara had rustic doors made to create an archway. “The doors solidified that this was the ceremony spot!” she says. A chest of drawers held fresh lemon water for guests and at the reception, there was a clothespin seating chart and wine rack for guest signatures. Both families and the bridesmaids stayed in guest rooms on the property, and they rented an RV for the groomsmen. “We didn’t have to worry about everyone driving home late at night,” says Dara, “and we ended the evening with a bonfire—a perfect way to finish our celebration.”
Favorite Moment: “I had about a million favorite moments!” says Dara. “One of the best was just before the ceremony. I got to watch friends and family as they arrived, but they couldn’t see me. I was able to take everything in and just really enjoy those few quiet moments before all of the excitement started.”
Favorite Detail: The sweetheart table at the reception. “It was so cozy with the couch and Mr. & Mrs. pillow, and the gorgeous candelabra and table decorations,” says Dara. “It was a perfect place to eat and to snuggle while we listened to the speeches.”
An Oops Moment: Their wedding cake was delicious—vanilla cake with cannoli filling— but they forgot to bring the top tier home to freeze. “I wish we had put someone in charge of remembering that,” says Dara.
Meaningful Favors: Two of Dara’s nieces suffer from Fragile X Syndrome, so they made a donation to the Fragile X Foundation. “We wanted to do something that could make a lasting difference,” says Dara.
Advice for Other Brides: Don’t rush around the morning of the wedding. “If I were to do it all over again, I would have organized my belongings the day before so that I could relax before everything started,” she says.
Honeymoon: The couple is at home in Blackwood, and will honeymoon in Antigua in August 2016
Floral Design: Kristin Rockhill, Princeton
Bride’s Gown and Bridesmaid Dresses: Both by Watters Wtoo, from Bridal Garden, Marlton
Bride’s Shoes: Unisa
Bride’s Jewelry: Macy’s
Bride’s Clutch: Kate Spade
Hair: Dana Hawkins from Bernard’s Salon and Spa, Cherry Hill
Makeup: Grace Pecora using Bobbi Brown products
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Flower Girl Dress: Giselle Boutique, from Etsy
Music: Sargent DJ Entertainment
Invites: The Paper Route, Cherry Hill
Transportation: Very Special Ride, Haddonfield
Cake Topper: BetterOffWed, from Etsy