The Wedding of ...
Kristine Martin & Jonathan Walters
Ceremony & Reception: Bear Brook Valley,
Gown: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaids: David’s Bridal,
Tux: Vera Wang
Photographer & Cinematographer: Anthony Ziccardi Studios,
Florist: Petals Floral and Party Design
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
DJ: Sole Performance
Jon and I met in middle school. We went our separate ways growing up, but ended up reconnecting years later and we instantly clicked. He is now a service technician and I am a manager of a dermatology group. Four years later, I was planning a surprise graduation party for Jon’s union apprenticeship. Little did I know, I was planning my own engagement party! It was the surprise of a lifetime when Jon got down on one knee in front of all our friends and family!
I originally had my eye on Rock Island Lake Club for our wedding, but it was booked for that spring. I saw an announcement on their social media about their brand new venue, Bear Brook Valley, set to open that May. I immediately scheduled a visit to see the property. When Perry and Michele Bonadies, the owners, explained their vision and showed us the architectural drawings, we knew we wanted to get married there. It was the perfect mix of elegance and rustic charm we were looking for. The entire staff is top notch. Adriana Rosa, the wedding coordinator, put me at ease throughout the whole process. We saw Bear Brook Valley come together from start to finish and I fell more in love with it every step of the way.
We said our vows on the beautiful grounds of Bear Brook Valley, under a hand-crafted wood arbor decorated with white flowers and greenery. Behind us, the heart-shaped pond and manicured lawn made for the picture-perfect landscape.
Our cocktail hour was full of variety. We offered many classics like traditional fried calamari, penne alla vodka, and scallops wrapped in bacon. We also had several fun “Live Captain” stations. The Hot Wok station offered Chinese dishes like steamed dumplings and sesame chicken served in Chinese to-go boxes and also gave out sake shots. Our hands-down favorite station was the Smokehouse Bacon station which served everything from bacon sliders to bacon fries to bacon bourbon shots!
The ballroom ambiance was rustic elegance to match the feel of the venue. Our tables were decorated with lace and burlap and the centerpieces were filled with white flowers and greenery. Our DJ was excellent and did a great job of keeping guests on the dance floor all night. Everyone loved when he handed out glow sticks.
We started dinner with a garden salad served with balsamic vinaigrette. For the main course, guests chose from filet mignon in a bordelaise sauce, Rock Island chicken in white wine sauce, or grilled salmon with honey Dijon glaze. We also offered a vegetarian option of ravioli in spinach cream sauce and a kids’ option of chicken fingers with French fries. For dessert, we had our wedding cake, a Viennese dessert table, and an ice cream sundae bar.
We could not have done this without all the help and support from our families and friends. Thank you so much! Thank you to Perry, Michele, Adriana, and the entire Bear Brook staff for making our dream wedding come to life.