If you’ve read any of our blog posts lately, you’ve probably discovered how important it is that you feel comfortable around your photographer. Well surprise surprise, this same advice applies when choosing your New Jersey Wedding venue. That’s why we are so excited to tell you about what our experiences have been like as with Rock Island Lake Club photographers!
Find a venue you love that feels like home. Because ultimately, you deserve to enjoy your day, “downtime” and all!
In case you’re still having a hard time finding “the one”? Keep reading because I have the venue for you.
Rock Island Lake Club Photography
Between the friendliness of the staff and the architecture of the clubhouse, Rock Island is a home away from home And it’s in one of the prettiest settings you can find outside of the city.
Set in the Northwestern New Jersey wilderness and only an hour outside of New York City, heading out to Rock Island Lake Club as a photographer or guest, is just like it sounds – a lakeside wedding escape, offering upscale rustic elegance without any of the pretension of some luxury venues. It’s no wonder it’s been named one of Wedding Wire’s favorite lakeside venues in the country.
Here are 5 reasons to consider Rock Island Lake Club for your wedding:
It offers a variety of pretty settings.
As a New Jersey wedding photographer, I love a venue that allows for lots of photo ops. And Rock Island delivers.
Let’s start with the focal point of the venue: The lake! The view of the lake is stunning. And for obvious reasons, ceremonies at RILC are commonly held lakeside. Just beyond the lake is a backdrop of woodsy foliage that is stunning regardless of the season. In the Fall, your photos benefit from the changing colors. And during the summer months, you’ll get pictures of the late sunsets reflecting off of the lake.
Beyond ceremonies though, the lake provides some pretty cool options for portraits. In fact, RILC provides newlyweds (and their trusty photographer!) with a rowboat so we can go out on the lake and capture some epic shots before your guests arrive.
For additional Rock Island Lake Club wedding photography portrait options, we can take a stroll on the dock or head down to a beautiful wooded area complete with a tree swing and all. It’s the perfect spot for a First Look and offers a moment of serenity during what will no doubt be a busy day.
For your reception, Rock Island offers a covered, indoor-outdoor reception deck. And if it’s too cold outside, clear “walls” may be added that protects you from the cold without taking away from the view. But if the weather is nice, you and your guests are not limited to the deck. The grounds are intimate enough that you can easily venture down to the lake during the cocktail hour.
Last but not least, the ballroom! The ballroom is elegant yet rustic with stone and wooden columns and wood floors. Guess what too? As of posting this in May of 2023, the ballroom at Rock Island Lake Club was recently renovated (but not reimagined, it keeps the same vibe!) to be bigger, more open, and more true to the entire RILC experience. It feels upscale without being over-the-top. And because it’s naturally beautiful, it photographs beautifully – regardless of how much (or little) you decorate.
It offers private dressing rooms.
They provide two private dressings rooms that are both comfortable and bright. Your hair and makeup team will love the flood of natural light from the two, floor-to-ceiling windows. And your Rock Island Lake Club photographer will be pretty pumped too.
The natural light allows for the best close-ups of you getting ready and makes capturing the personal details – like your ring, dress, and invitation suite in the best possible light. In fact, from the perspective of a Rock Island Lake Club wedding photographer, I can’t think of a more ideal setting to begin capturing your wedding day.
The food is out of this world good.
We LOVE being in the kitchen almost as much as we love photography. And that’s why we appreciate a stellar menu when we see one. The food at RILC is fantastic.
The menu is extensive and offers a selection of really creative stations. The NYC Food Cart Station, for example, has all of your favorite city classics and is decorated with NY Subway Signage. They offer fun late-night stations too, like the “Midnight Diner Stop” featuring traditional diner-style eggs, bacon, sausage, and disco fries or the “McDonalds Munchies” station. Not a bad way to end a night of drinking and dancing!
And, because the selections are so creative, it’s easy to design a menu that photographs well and that you know people will love! (But don’t worry! If you don’t see what you are looking for, the in-house culinary team will collaborate with you to create something totally custom.)
They encourage 90-minute cocktail hours.
Unlike other venues that suggest a 60-minute cocktail hour, Rock Creek requires a 90-minute version. And that’s fine by me! Because…you might agree that a wedding’s cocktail hour is the part of the day that guests look forward to the most. Am I right? It’s more casual than dinner, so it gives them a chance to eat, and drink, and be merry.
Not only that, but at RILC a 90 minute cocktail hour allows guests to sample from over 30 draft beer lines, locally brewed beers, spiked seltzers, spiked kombucha, and locally distilled liquor from Milk Street Brewery in addition to your traditional top tier beer, wine, and liquor offerings.
And finally, and I’d argue the most important reason, the extended cocktail hour gives you the flexibility to take more photos after the ceremony without missing out on any of the fun.
The staff and service are top-notch.
Okay, none of what we’ve mentioned so far matters if the service isn’t there to back it up. Thankfully, the staff at RILC is friendly and on top of things – from the day of coordinators to the event managers…I give them all an A+.
If simplifying the planning process is important to you, you’ll be please to know that the ceremony, reception, catering, and coordination staff are all on-site. This not only helps with the overall natural flow of the event but can also reduce the number of vendors you have to reach out to.
Other wedding inclusions that help make for an exceptional experience are valet service, a doorman for when guests arrive, and a coat room attendant (weather permitting).
And the staff aren’t just warm and welcoming to you – but to your other vendors too! And that’s important because a happy photographer takes even better pictures.
Hopefully, I’ve given you a glimpse into how you can make the most of your big day at one of my favorite wedding escapes. If you’d like to learn more, shoot me an email.