The Wedding of ...
Paige O’Donnell & Rick Barkley
Ceremony & Reception: Rock Island Lake Club, 973.512.3995
Gown: Allure Bridals, at Bella Sposa Bridal, Denville, NJ
Bridesmaids: Bill Levkoff
Tux: Michael Kors
Photographer: Anthony Ziccardi Studios
Makeup: Rebecca Lee Artistry
Hair: Diona Scala with Scala Sorelle
Florist: Floral Gallery
Cake: Palermo Custom Cakes & Bakery
DJ: Global Productions
Officiant: Celia Milton
Favors: Candy Apple Shoppe; Bubba Rose Biscuit Co
Rick and I both grew up in Rockaway, but we didn’t meet until after high school. After a few years hanging out with the same friends and getting to know each other better, we started dating. Rick was instantly part of my family. I knew very quickly I would spend the rest of my life with him.
My mother unexpectedly passed away a couple years after we started dating. She was incredibly close with me and also with Rick. Before passing away, she gave us a “Wedding Fund Jar” as a gag gift. She found it hysterical since we weren’t engaged yet. Rick wasn’t able to ask for her blessing to marry me, but this jar has served as a symbol of her approval. In his caring, thoughtful heart, Rick found a way to include her in our engagement. He planned for my dad to be holding the jar, teasing me about it. Then my dad handed it to me and said, “Here’s some money to start the fund.” When I opened the jar to put the money in, I was happily surprised to find my engagement ring sparkling at the bottom!
From the moment we got engaged, Rock Island Lake Club was the venue for us. After working at a bridal salon for nine years, I’d heard countless good things about them and couldn’t wait to visit. We set up our tour and fell in love with the place, finding our perfect combination of rustic elegance. Knowing we would be the only wedding on site was a huge bonus. My bridesmaids and I were able to spend the morning getting ready in the gorgeous bridal suite that overlooks the private lake.
On the day of our wedding, the entire staff was there to help us. Everyone was so friendly, from Heather Truesdale, our wedding coordinator, to Michael Alia, our maître d’, that they felt like family. Heather helped us with every detail around the wedding and Michael was so attentive. He made sure everything ran on time and that we wanted for nothing. The staff was enthusiastic about our three dogs being present for photos and were crucial in helping me surprise Rick with a caricature of us and our dogs, which doubled as a guest book. After almost a week of rain, we woke up to a picture-perfect fall day for our wedding. We were married lakeside under the beautiful Rock Island birch arches. The lovely Celia Milton delivered a heartfelt ceremony that was better than we could’ve imagined.
Our cocktail hour and a half gave our guests a memorable experience. They could enjoy food and drink in either the rustic cocktail lounge or out on the deck next to the lake. The fan favorite was the fresh, handmade mozzarella station. The ballroom was gorgeous, with the rectangular barn tables accented by burgundy, cream, and blush flowers set in wooden flower boxes and surrounded by votive candles. We used gold candle holders and picture frames to add to the deep color scheme. The built-in uplighting in the room matched the uplighting in the lake’s fountain, and then changed throughout the night, to help set the mood for our celebration!
Dinner started with a harvest salad and was followed by a choice of beef tournedo, chicken rossini, pan-seared mahi mahi, or a grilled eggplant tower. Our cannoli-filled wedding cake was served alongside a Viennese table and an ice cream sundae bar. One of the compliments we’re always getting is about our playlist for the evening. Our guests were on the dance floor the entire night, and were dancing to everything from The Temptations to AC/DC. Our DJ mixed every song seamlessly into the next.
We ended the night with a surprise rendition of “The Big Move” in “Dirty Dancing.” It may have been less than professional, but it’s Rick’s favorite movie and we had a lot of fun with it! Our guests headed home with fresh caramel and candy apple favors, as well as custom dog treats featuring our last name for their furry babies at home!
Thank you to our friends and family who helped us celebrate with an unforgettable night full of love and laughter. To Heather and Michael, and the rest of the staff at Rock Island, thank you for going above and beyond to make our dream wedding become a reality. A big thank you to Anthony Ziccardi Studios for capturing every moment of it for us. We love you all!
Rock Island Lake Club, Sparta Township, NJ