Category Archives: rock island lake club/ bear brook valley weddings

the first time i ever photographed a rock island lake club fall wedding was three years ago for an amazing couple, courtney and shaun, shortly after rock island had first opened its doors. the lakeside setting, the fall foilage, the tasty food, the great service… i was sold. i know my rock island lake club couples are going to be chill people who want to have a good time in a great atmosphere. when i met christine and jason for the first time, i knew they were a perfect fit for my style and my personality. these two are full of smiles and laughter. we had a chance to work together last fall during their asbury park engagement session.

this year fall was a little bit late, but i love the mix of green with yellows… fall foliage at rock island lake club wedding ring bearer has tie adjusted during groom prep groom with purple tie adjusts cuffs

the struggle is real… groomsman struggles with purple tie groomsmen adjust ties in mirror groomsmen getting ready with purple ties groom fixes pocket square for fall rock island lake club wedding groomsman adjust groom

i’m loving the variety of socks the guys have all had this year… groom wearing yellow socks with blue anchors puts on brown shoes

and i’m really loving all the groom attire this year! loved jason’s look! portrait of groom in brown suit with purple tie reflection of wedding rings bride in white fleece gets ready in bridal suite at rock island lake clubinstead of floral robes, christine and the girls all had matching fleeces… bridesmaids in matching green fleeces bridal suite at rock island lake club

sign of the times… silhouette of wedding dress hanging in bridal suite at rock island lake club while bridesmaids take selfies and check their phones

following christine on instagram, it didn’t take me long to see that she really loves nature. christine and jason had a green color scheme (including christine’s wedding band) with a woodsy, natural theme… a perfect fit for their rock island lake club fall wedding… wood engraved ring box with emerald wedding ring bride has flowers put in her hair in the rock island lake club bridal suite in Sparta New Jersey bride gets dress down from hanger in the rock island lake club bridal suite bridesmaid in green dress buttons up bride in rock island lake club bridal suite two sets of hands buttoning up bride during Sparta New Jersey wedding

bridesmaids adjust wedding dress in rock island lake club bridal suite

gorgeous! portrait of bride with flower in her hair, emerald neckless at the rock island lake club emerald necklace worn by bride at rock island lake club

first look… first look at rock island lake club fall wedding

not only did jason make christine laugh all throughout the portraits, but he made me laugh, too… bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding

this. bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding photographed by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle arlotta bride and groom portraits in the woods with vibrant fall foilage at rock island lake club wedding photographed by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle arlotta

into the woods… bride and groom portraits in the woods with vibrant fall foilage at rock island lake club wedding photographed by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle arlotta bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding

simple and beautiful. bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding photographed by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle arlotta bride and groom in front of rock island lake club fountain bride and groom walking together at rock island lake club fall wedding photographed by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle arlotta bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding bride and groom portraits at rock island lake club fall wedding

i loved that jason walked both moms down the aisle for their outdoor wedding ceremony at rock island lake club… groom walks down the aisle with mom and mother of the bride wearing blue dresses at outdoor wedding ceremony in Sparta New Jersey

caught! rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony bride walks to the ceremony area with her father at outdoor fall rock island lake club wedding

it was really precious watching the flower girl quietly continue to spread flowers after the ceremony had started… flower girl keeps spreading flowers during the ceremony at rock island lake club photorgraphed by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle Arlotta rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony

beautiful outdoor lakeside ceremony setting… i love that christine incorporated a moment of mindfulness into their wedding ceremony. super awesome.  rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony

a tree for a unity ceremony makes sense for a nature girl… couple pours dirt onto a small tree for unity ceremony at outdoor rock island lake club ceremony rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor fall wedding ceremony photographed by nj wedding photographer michelle Arlotta photography bride and groom kiss under birch arch by the lake during their outdoor wedding ceremony in Sparta New Jersey at the rock island lake club

party time! bride and groom have first dance during rock island lake club wedding reception by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle Arlotta photography bride and her dad dance during rock island lake club wedding reception by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle Arlotta photography groom and his mom dance during rock island lake club wedding reception by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle Arlotta photography little kid having fun on dance floor at rock island lake club wedding reception wedding guests dance during rock island lake club wedding reception by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle Arlotta photography wedding guests dance during rock island lake club wedding reception wedding guests dance during rock island lake club wedding reception wedding guests dance during rock island lake club wedding reception

christine likes to jam out to phish… wedding guests dance during rock island lake club wedding reception

little cutie pie wanted to touch the camera… little boy in overalls tried to touch camera lens during rock island lake club wedding reception wedding guests dance during rock island lake club wedding reception wedding guests dance during rock island lake club wedding reception wedding guests shows off his mug during rock island lake club reception

some incredibly fast-paced, incredibly awesome ukranian dancing… wedding guests dance to Ukrainian music during rock island lake club wedding reception

amazeballs. groom and his mom dance during rock island lake club wedding reception by New Jersey wedding photographer michelle Arlotta photography

a wonderfully smooth, beautiful and fun day with christine and jason at their rock island lake club fall wedding in sparta, nj. everyone should smile and laugh this much on their wedding day! thanks to joe spada for assisting me.

After over a decade of being together, katie and rob had an awesome rock island lake club summer wedding.  they met way back in their high school years when she was his waitress at friendly’s. we had some fantastic weather for their august wedding which was a fun contrast to the chilly winter day we had during their engagement session in my ‘hood. guests got to enjoy a beautiful outdoor ceremony, a cocktail hour by the lake and smores later that evening. rock island lake club wedding portraits rock island lake club bridal suite

love how sofia was looking at the window while wearing her little floral robe… rock island lake club bridal suite rock island lake club bridal suite rock island lake club bridal suite rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep

katie’s sister takes a moment to check her earrings… rock island lake club bridal suite

 meanwhile, the guys got to hang out and fish, but apparently this little guy caught the biggest fish! rock island lake club dock

groom preps are always quite chill… rock island lake club groom prep rock island lake club groom prep rock island lake club groom prep

rob gets a little help from katie’s brother… rock island lake club groom prep rock island lake club groom prep rock island lake club groom prep

rob looking handsome in his blue suit… rock island lake club groom prep rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep

love the gorgeous layers of katie’s dress by vesa brides rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep

katie and her sister take a peek outside… rock island lake club bride prep

gorgeous. loving all these beautiful summer bouquets… rock island lake club bride prep

rob takes a moment to collect himself as katie approaches for their first look… rock island lake club nj first look rock island lake club nj first look

love this reaction as rob sees katie for their first look… rock island lake club nj first look

how gorgeous is that neckline? rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraitsthat dress though!

rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits

being a bride can be very tiring… rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits

blue skies and comfortable summer weather! rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits rock island lake club nj bride and groom portraits

sofia makes a break for it!

rob’s brother-in-law looks back to see him as katie walks down the aisle… rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

i usually don’t see this strong of a reaction out of the mother of the bride, but i love it! rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

i love laughter during a wedding ceremony… rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

but for some kids, a wedding ceremony is just boring, hah!

rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

how stunning is this dress? loving this blue theme… rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

the kids fishing during cocktail hour… rock island lake club dock rock island lake club New Jersey wedding reception

i love the different emotions in this pic during katie and rob’s first dance… rock island lake club New Jersey wedding reception rock island lake club New Jersey wedding reception rock island lake club New Jersey wedding reception

hah! rock island lake club New Jersey wedding reception rock island lake club New Jersey wedding reception rock island lake club wedding reception rock island lake club New Jersey wedding reception rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer

love capturing couples in love on the dancefloor without them even knowing it (that sounds creepy, but that’s my job as a wedding ninja– to capture the love)

rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer

katie’s brother and sister watch the last dance of the night… rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer

grandma gets some love from her grandson… rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer rock island lake club New Jersey wedding photographer

such a fantastic day with katie, rob, their friends, family and the rock island lake club staff. amazing weather, amazing attire, amazing emotions! thanks to kelsey davis for assisting me on this rock island lake club summer wedding.

sarah and john celebrated their wedding at the rock island lake club this fall. after dating since middle school… yes, middle school, they wed in gorgeous weather outside by the lake and had a hoppin’ dancefloor all night long. i love the thought that went into the simplicity of their day.

i’ve never actually put a couple on the swing at rock island before, but something about these two being together since they were in middle school made the swing feel appropriate… rock island lake club wedding rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep

wedding dress abstract… rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep

hah… rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep

rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club groom prep rock island lake club bride prep

fun on the swing… rock island lake club prep

while the girls spend hours doing hair and make-up, the guys get to play… rock island lake club prep rock island lake club bride prep

this necklace was sarah’s great-great-grandmothers. it was the first piece of jewelry that her husband gave her and has been worn by sarah’s grandmother, mother and two aunts on their wedding days. really love elements like this at weddings… rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep

love how sarah’s hair accessory mimics the necklace design… rock island lake club bride prep

we didn’t see much sun, but the weather was great! rock island lake club wedding portraits

a little fall foliage and the rock island fountain… rock island lake club wedding portraits

love the smiles… rock island lake club wedding portraits rock island lake club wedding portraits rock island lake club wedding portraits rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club bride prep rock island lake club wedding portraits

john watches on as sarah walks down the aisle… rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

cutie pie… rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

sarah’s dad tears up during the ceremony… rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

love this… rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

cutie pie! rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony

jason takes the moms for a spin on the golf cart! rock island lake club outdoor wedding ceremony rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

party time! rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

sarah dances with her grandfather… rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

sarah and john cheer in the background as her parents dance together… rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

responsible parenting…. rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

…is stopping to check the baby monitor while on the dancefloor. rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

if i had to photograph table shots, they would look like this! rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

i love when grandmas get out on the dancefloor! rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception rock island lake club outdoor wedding reception

such a chill day with sarah and john. so neat to work with a couple who go back so far and such a great crowd on the dancefloor! thanks to brian leong for assisting me.

when i met sandy and joe, it was evident that they both have big hearts and an amazing connection with one another. i loved their enthusiasm for their day, it lacked the neuroticism i run far away from in this industry, hah, and was truly about having a wonderful time together with friends and family. their wedding took place at the fantastic rock island lake club in sparta, nj where the day presented us with the threat of rain. while we weren’t able to stay outside for very long, the misty rain created a pretty awesome backdrop that i’ve never seen before while shooting at the rock island lake club. a fantastic day all around with lots of love and emotion!

rock island lake club wedding photoi love when a person smiles and their entire face lights up. joe’s dad has one of those smiles… father of the groom helping groom get ready groom adjusting tie

i love the solitude of joe working on his bowtie juxtaposed with the camaraderie of the guys doing their thing… groom adjusting tie in mirror ring bearers

groom adjusting suit

while reading his card from sandy, joe took a moment to look outside to compose his emotions. so sweet.  groom tearing up reading bride

sandy looking beautiful already! bride getting ready

engagement ring with veil as backdrop

love this moment when it all hits sandy! bride reacts to seeing herself in full length mirror

bridesmaid fixing bride dress in bridal suite at rock island lake club

too many fave portraits to pick from of sandy, her hair looked so phenomenal that it just made the black and white shot for me.  rock island lake club bridal portrait

first look… first look

there was a lot of intensity in this moment. joe was so moved at seeing his bride, i had to wipe my own tear away… first look rock island lake club

fantastic misty backdrop at the rock island lake club… rock island lake club misty wedding day

is it me or does sandy look like a prettier tori spelling here (no offense, tori!)? groom kissing bride on forehead

love when the wind takes ahold of the veil… veil moving in the wind sparta new jersey wedding

bride and groom umbrella

a couple shots inside to warm up and get out of the rain… bride and groom

as if i timed everyone up, a few people interrupt our photo and create a perfect triangle around the couple… rock island lake club wedding sandy rhein and joe cardoso wedding michelle arlotta photography bride and groom

joe watches his bride come down the aisle… groom watching bride walk down the aisle father kissing bride at aisle flower girls watching wedding ceremony groom looking into bride

ring security… ring security sparta wedding ceremony

i always love laughter during a ceremony… bride laughing during wedding ceremony rock island lake club end of wedding ceremony

let the party begin! bride and groom enter reception rock island parent dances rock island lake club bride and groom during toast at rock island lake club

there’s that smile again… father of the groom

aw… bridesmaid and teenage son dancing

 i love when a couple really gets out and enjoys themselves on the dance floor….. bride and groom dancing rock island lake club

i know this shot is kinda straightforward, but i just thought these two radiated happiness so i wanted to radiate that happiness out to the interweb… wedding guest dancing

‘i got a man.’

‘what’s your man got to do with me?’ i got a man

‘i’m not tryin’ to hear that see’

(see what i did there?)

bride and dad dancing flower girl dancing rock island lake club portuguese wedding dance

always have room for cute dancing grandmas on my blog! groom and grandma dancing mother of bride and grandmother

rock island lake club wedding

it was a pleasure to work with sandy and joe from the very start. a beautiful day with with awesome friends and family. capturing their amazing connection was my honor. thank you to kelsey davis for assisting me.

i have a sweet spot in my heart for couples that are willing to get married around the swing time between true winter and true spring… probably because i did the same thing myself. it takes some guts to choose this time since it can mean a major snowstorm or eighty degree weather. when i first spoke with keri and matt they were so chill, i knew they’d be able to handle whatever weather came their way on their early april wedding day. they’d been together a long time, originally meeting in high school, and i’m sure had weathered many storms together… see what i did there? it turned out that keri and matt’s wedding day was much like mine… a lot of clouds with the sun peeking out every once in awhile, a bit of wind and a temperature that seemed not so bad at first, but was quite cold after awhile. i don’t have a word for that kind of weather. i just call it ‘my wedding day weather’.

keri and matt had their ceremony an reception at the rock island lake club bridemaids rock island lake club

the wedding dress just chilling among the chaos of the bride’s arrival… wedding dress hanging in window

bride getting ready

a moment for the badgley mischkas… bride putting on shoes

love this shot… totally candid and slightly sexy… bride putting on shoes

i love the two expressions here, keri’s mom watching on as keri gets ready for some bridal portraits and keri’s maid-of-honor looking on at keri’s mom… mother of bride bride getting ready

although i love a beautiful shot of the back of the dress, i truly love the candid shots that happen before it… bride getting ready at rock island lake club bride

love, love, love this neckline… bridal portrait at rock island lake club

matt’s expression right before he saw keri for the first time on their wedding day was a mix of excitement and nerves… first look on dock at rock island lake club

the bridal party was all smiles! bridal party watching first look

love the laughter… bride and groom laughing

bride and groom at rock island lake club new jersey bride and groom on dock at rock island lake club

love the quiet moments… bride and groom veil bride and groom walking on dock at rock island lake club bride and groom walking keri and matt walking

it’s really great when the sun works with you on a wedding day. for what wasn’t even a whole minute, clouds parted a bit to reveal beautiful blue skies and sun peeked out to present this unreal light… bride and groom blue skies bride and groom blue skies at rock island lake club

family photo photobomb… family photo bomb

a bit too chilly for an outside ceremony, keri and matt had a heartfelt ceremony inside the rock island lake club… wedding ceremony bridesmaids watching ceremony

tie inspection… father of the groom and ring bearer looking at ties groom during ceremony guest crying at wedding

keri’s eyes welling up… bride tears wedding ceremony maid of honor watching ceremony rock island lake club reader during ceremony bride groom laughing during ceremony at rock island lake club mother of the bride watching ceremony

she laughed… she cried… bride laughing and crying during ceremony

uncle kurt kicked some serious ceremony butt… uncle kurt officiating matt and keri

love this moment. usually when the officiant doesn’t move out of the way for the kiss they end up as this creeper in the background peering between the two, but uncle kurt did not just stand there quietly, he put some oompf into the whole ‘kiss the bride’ moment… bride and groom kiss groom and bride first dance

lifelong friends… maid of honor speech

bride crying during maid of honor speech bride and groom laughing during best man toast

party time! i don’t think keri missed a song! rock island lake club reception rock island lake club dancing bride spinning on dance floor at rock island lake club rock island lake club reception dancing matt on the mic… rock island lake club groom has the microphone

little known secret: if the dj thinks your voice is good, he will actually turn the mic volume up so people can hear you. if not, no one will hear you, but you will look cool. in this case, the mic was on!

if this bridesmaid dress designer had some good marketing skills, they’d be selling this dress as a multipurpose bridesmaid dress/limbo stick… guest using bridesmaid dress for limbo at rock island lake club wedding last dance at rock island lake club

while i knew keri and matt had met in high school,  i really enjoyed uncle kurt’s more detailed story of how they came to be. it really set the tone for a great wedding. thanks to keri, matt and all of their friends and family so being so awesome to work with at their rock island lake club spring wedding. thanks to kelsey davis for assisting me.