In the fall of 2004, Dan Klein, a shy yet brilliant engineering student from Kinnelon in his first year at Rutgers University, had concocted an elaborate practical joke to pull on his friends that required many empty soda cans. When the quirky and beautiful freshman girl he just met at orientation offered to assist his prankster efforts through the halls of their dormitory, he was surprised and intrigued.
“He was probably shocked someone wanted to be his partner in crime,” laughs Krista Kohlmann, a Manalapan native.
Seven years and two graduate degrees after their can search, Dan surprised Krista by proposing while apple picking at Riamede Farms in Chester in 2011.
For their May 31, 2013, wedding, the couple chose the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank for its modern elegance and accommodating staff. Bill Murray, the banquet sales manager, recommended an unusual and affordable site to satisfy Krista’s wish for an outdoor ceremony: the Fair Haven Dock, a seven-minute trolley ride away.
For just $25, Krista and Dan had a personalized ceremony right on the water.
Krista, a proud Jersey girl, made their event even more personal using key details from the Garden State. “I chose only small businesses and local wedding vendors in Monmouth County,” she says.
These vendors, from trolley transportation to chair rentals for the ceremony, were all handled by Krista’s friend and planner Jennifer Simon of Pretty Little Details, whose gift to Krista and Dan was allowing them to be guests at their own wedding. Complementing the Jersey theme were nautical tablescapes.
“The tables were named for a town or our favorite places in New Jersey, each with a description so our guests could learn why this place was important to us,” Krista says, who placed the table names among wooden crates, jars of flowers, nautical lanterns and monkey fist knots.
Anchors decorated a mountain of cupcakes, while bouquets were trimmed with navy-and-white striped ribbon and rose boutonnieres were paired with nautical knots.
As a nod to their affinity for the classic 1980s film Say Anything, Krista and Dan’s first dance was set to “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, as the bride’s brother handed out paper boom boxes for guests to hold up, a la John Cusack’s character.
Later, Krista’s brother was also responsible for the choreographed surprise flash mob, which had guests jumping to join the bridal party as they busted out to “It’s Raining Men,” by the Weathergirls.
After a two-week Hawaiian vacation, the couple is now home in Madison.
PLANNER • Pretty Little Details, Hamilton
BRIDE’S GOWN • Venus from Castle Couture, Marlboro
BRIDE’S SHOES • Walkin On Air, Etsy
BRIDESMAID DRESSES • Vivid Poppy from J.Crew
WEDDING RINGS • Bayar Jewelers, Wayne
HAIR • Blend Salon, Wayne
MAKEUP • Glow Artistry, Red Bank
FLOWERS • Floral Designs by Dara, Colts Neck
CAKE • Ye Olde Pie Shoppe, Little Silver
TRANSPORTATION • Long Branch Trolley Company
INVITES • Be Joyful Paper, Etsy
DEEJAY • Hurricane Productions, Red Bank