What Worked for My Wedding: “Personal Touches and Amazing Vendors”

We sat down with a recent bride who reflected on what made her wedding special. Nicole Dowling, an administrative coordinator, was married at Smoke Rise Village Inn.

Nicole & Daniel, Smoke Rise Village Inn (Charles Anthony Studio)

What’s the best thing you did for your wedding?

The best thing we did for our wedding was to make sure we had personal touches throughout the ceremony and reception. We got married in October so my mom made over 190 individual apple and pumpkin pie favors for our guests. We also made a beautiful planter box engraved with "The Dowlings - Est. 2013" for the sweetheart table, hand-cut name card holders, wooden table placeholders, and many more handmade touches. We were lucky enough to have creative and talented people in our family who helped us make things that truly showcased our personalities throughout the day.

What was the best advice someone gave you while planning your wedding?

The best advice someone gave us is to always remember at the end of the day our wedding is about the marriage between the two of us. We kept that in mind throughout the whole planning process and it really helped us put everything into perspective. Another great piece of advice we were given was to make sure that we took a step back during the reception and just look around at all our family and friends. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and be surrounded by everyone that loves us.

Nicole & Daniel, Smoke Rise Village Inn (Charles Anthony Studio)

If you were to plan your wedding again, what would you do differently?

I don’t think we would have done anything differently. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason. When I look back on our wedding day, I’m truly happy with how it turned out. It was the best day of our lives.

Which of your vendors would you recommend?

Since our wedding, a few of our friends have gotten engaged. A couple of our vendors always come to mind when people ask for recommendations. First is our florist, Metropolitan Plant & Flower Exchange. Vanessa was great to work with. She took our ideas and made them into a reality. Everything turned out beautifully. Second is the shop I bought my dress at, Something Special in Wyckoff, NJ. Linda and Lisa are extremely sweet and helpful. They made the dress shopping experience so enjoyable. Another vendor we would recommend is our photographer, Chuck from Charles Anthony Studio. We met Chuck at a wedding and instantly hit it off. We loved the moments he captured and how he helped us remember our day forever. We would definitely recommend our venue, Smoke Rise Village Inn. Randy and this team did an amazing job working with us throughout the entire process to make sure our day was everything we’d hoped for. They were extremely patient with us, especially at the end when I had a million questions. We would highly recommend the vendors that helped make our day so special!