Real Weddings

Erin and Darren at Farmstead Golf and Country Club

Posted on February 16, 2018 by New Jersey Bride


Classic Photographers

How did you meet? Darren and I met on After several months on the site with no luck, we were both ready to let our subscriptions end. Then wouldn’t you know it, we were matched about a week before that happened. After a few messages and a first phone call that lasted 2 hours, we met for our first date. The night was filled with great conversation and lots of laughs only stopping when we realized we were the last two people left in the restaurant. The next year and a half was spent getting to know each other over fun experiences including hikes, baseball games and even a seven-day west coast road trip that we’ll never forget.


How did you get engaged? As we got ready to kick off the holidays, Darren decided that he was ready to make me a permanent part of his life. He knew the perfect opportunity: our annual holiday trip into the city. As we rode the train in, I had no idea what he had planned nor what was in his pocket. We made their way through Central park, stopping to listen to a holiday choir performing by Bethesda Terrace. Darren suggested we walk over to the iconic Bethesda Fountain and invited me to sit down. He turned to me and told me how much he loved me and how special I was to him. Before I knew it, he pulled the box out of his pocket and got down on one knee in front of me. As he opened the box and I realized what was happening, the emotions completely overwhelmed me (yeah there was some ugly crying involved). He asked me to be his wife and I of course said yes!


Details of your day: Our day was beautiful. An unexpectedly hot end of September day (it was 87 degrees!) with not a cloud in the sky. We wanted a rustic, romantic vibe to our wedding – nothing over the top or too formal. The Farmstead was perfect! We had our ceremony at the gazebo by the lake decorated with lush greenery and pops of orange calla lilies. I wore a romantic, feminine lace gown with a crystal embellished veil, rhinestone jewelry (for a bit of bling) and satin navy t-strap pumps. My bouquet was a mix of orange calla lilies and white flowers with the stems wrapped in the lace handkerchief my mother used at her own wedding.

erin-darren-farmsteadMy bridal party wore a mismatched collection of navy cocktail dresses mostly from Rent the Runway and carried simple calla lily bouquets. Darren wore a charcoal grey Vera Wang tuxedo with pops of dark orange (bow tie, pocket square and boutonniere). His groomsmen wore light grey suits with same orange accessories. We then moved inside for the cocktail hour and reception.

erin-darren-farmsteadSince the Farmstead already had such a great, warm and rustic look to it, we didn’t need to go over the top with decorations. We used simple black lanterns as centerpieces to which my florist added a wreath of white flowers and eucalyptus leaves. Each was surrounded by mercury gold votives. The table were covered in navy linens with dark orange napkins. The wedding wasn’t too big, 85 guests in total. We just wanted to be surrounded by those nearest and dearest to us.

erin-darren-farmsteadWhy did you choose your venue? Darren and I both love the outdoors. His family even owns a farm up in the Catskills. So we both wanted a venue that offered an outdoor and indoor option, and felt very close to nature. Being an old dairy farm that has now been turned into a beautiful golf course, the Farmstead offered those rustic touches we wanted. The main reception building is the original barn just renovated to accommodate events. As soon as we saw it, we knew that was the one. The staff was amazing throughout the entire planning process and day of the wedding. They made the whole wedding seamless.

erin-darren-farmsteadWhat was on your wedding menu? The cocktail hour had a large variety of savory dishes including shrimp empanadas, potato latkes, mini hot dogs and so much more. Our bar featured two specialty cocktails: hers – Moscow Mule; his – White Russian. For dinner we started with a delicious tortellini carbonara, followed by a salad and then choice of NY Strip, Chicken Saltimbocca, Filet of Flounder with crab meat or a Vegetable Napoleon.

erin-darren-farmsteadWhat about your cake? The wedding cake had layers of white cake with either lemon custard or strawberry mouse filling and buttercream frosting.

erin-darren-farmsteadHow did you know your gown was “the one?” My gown was exactly the feel I was looking for – soft, romantic, feminine and elegant. It was an all lace ivory mermaid gown with an illusion neckline, scalloped v-back and scalloped hemline. The team at Macy’s did an amazing job at fitting it perfectly to my body. I wanted to show off my curves while still being comfortable enough to sit and dance. I knew the second I put it on that this was my gown. I finished my look with a crystal embellished fingertip length veil. Since my gown didn’t have any sparkle or embellishments, it was a great balance to the overall look.

erin-darren-farmsteadFavorite moment? Our favorite moment of the day was probably the first look. With all of the craziness of the day, it was the one moment that was just ours. The second I saw him standing there, any nerves I felt just melted away and I knew I was ready to marry my love. And the look on his face when he turned around and saw me was incredible. For months, all I had wanted to see was him see my in my gown for the first time. Our photographers and videographers just gave us our time and space and let us have our moment. We didn’t even realize that they had been capturing such great photos throughout.

erin-darren-farmsteadDetail you couldn’t live without? My mom walking me down the aisle was a must. I grew up as an only child of a single mom so to have her walk me down the aisle was one of the most special moments. We even had our own mother-daughter dance at the reception.

erin-darren-farmsteadDid anything go wrong? The day was nearly perfect. The staff at the Farmstead had everything running so smoothly. The only hiccup was that my DJ forgot to give out the favors we had purchased. But this wasn’t a big deal and went completely unnoticed.

erin-darren-farmsteadFirst dance song? My Prayer by The Platters

Advice for other brides? Take your time with planning. Try and do things little by little in the months leading up to the wedding so you’re not feeling overwhelmed in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Also a day-of coordinator is a must!


View more photos of Erin and Darren’s day in the gallery above!

the details


Butler, NJ

Reception Location

Farmstead Golf and Country Club


Classic Photographers


Celia Milton

Bride’s Gown


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