Kiss the Bride

Rustic New Jersey Wedding


May 19, 2017
Words by Nicole Dusanek
Photos courtesy of Myke and Teri Photography

Nicole and Spencer live in Southern California and all of Spencer’s family live in New Jersey, including three grandparents all in their eighties. Since it was important to the couple to share their special day with Spencer’s grandparents, the couple decided to bring their wedding to them. 

With Nicole and Spencer’s love of travel, choosing to have their wedding in Bergen County, New Jersey was easy. With the location so close to New York City, it offered a sight-seeing adventure to their friends and family who were coming from across 15 states.

The couple said “I do” in a small and charming church that Spencer’s grandparents had married in years before. The church held special meaning to the couple since Spencer’s great grandfather had helped build it. 

Rather than sparkle and grandeur, the couple opted for the natural beauty of trees and lakes, choosing to hold their reception at Lake Valhalla.

“The price was right, the people were friendly, and it had the rustic, natural feel we were looking for,” the couple says.

Another benefit of Lake Valhalla was that the venue only held one wedding a day, allowing for the bride and groom to feel as if it was just their day with their guests.

When searching for the venue, the couple was surprised at the number of venues that held multiple weddings in one day, or even at the same time in different banquet halls. For couples that are looking for a more personalized and flexible venue, finding a location that holds one wedding a day allows for a relaxed atmosphere completely focused on them. 

Leading up to the big day, not everything was as planned and perfect as their venue, so they were sure to be prepared for the worst. For a more inexpensive wedding, the couple chose to tie the knot before the “high season of weddings” in Bergen County.

They set their date for April, knowing that at this time the weather was unpredictable. In fact, it was not unheard of to still have snow storms in April on the East coast. The couple bought umbrellas for their guests and rain boots for the bridal party as a precaution.

On the big day, the sunshine and 70-degree weather ended up making the umbrellas and rain boots unnecessary. The couple chose to tie in a Scottish theme to their rustic wedding in order to celebrate Spencer’s heritage.

The groom and groomsmen’s ties were created from Spencer’s family’s tartan cloth and Nicole’s mother and godmother created wedding favor bags with Scottish themed treats. A family friend even made Nicole’s garter from lace and the family tartan cloth as well.

They said that the destination made their wedding a getaway and much easier to separate the wedding weekend from their everyday lives.

“With the destination, it made it so much more exciting, that we were not only having our wedding weekend but also on a vacation.”

Vendors:  Photographer: Myke and Teri Photography Florist: Broderick’s Flowers, Bergenfield, NJ, Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas, Cake: Palermo’s Bakery, Ridgefield Park, NJ, Hair & Makeup: Christine @ Color Makeup Studio/ Blu Salon, Englewood, NJ, Gown Designer: BHLDN, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Eli Chess, Alabaster&Chess, NYC, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Azazie, DJ: Nic Entertainment, Ceremony Music: Matthew Booth Officiant: Pastors Dean and Lynne Weber

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.