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A ‘Happy Camp Vibes’ Wedding With a Lakeside Ceremony at Lake Mohawk

Posted on May 29, 2024 by Laura Wallis

Shanice grew up going to summer camp on a Connecticut lake, and the couple wanted a venue that recalled those happy camp vibes. They found it at Lake Mohawk Country Club in Sparta, with its elegant yet rustic ballroom and perfect beach for a lakeside ceremony.

Their Story

A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography
A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography

The conversations always came easy for Shanice Bland and Jason Margeotes. Though the pair met in 2016 when working at the same New York City media company, it was two years before they went on a date. In the interim, they clicked as colleagues and friends: both New Jersey natives living in Queens and both, crucially, cat lovers. “We weren’t shy about talking,” says Jason. “I was drawn to her. She was so confident but also so silly.” Once they began dating, says Shanice, “I told my friends immediately that I was going to marry him.”

The Proposal

A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography
A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography
A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography

In April 2021, the pair moved from Queens to North Jersey, and Jason proposed the following Christmas Eve with a ring tucked into a tree ornament. “I didn’t understand what was going on,” says Shanice. “Then he dropped down on one knee.” The couple shared happy tears.

The Venue

A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography
A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography

Shanice grew up going to summer camp on a Connecticut lake, and the couple wanted a venue that recalled those happy camp vibes. They found it at Lake Mohawk Country Club in Sparta, with its elegant yet rustic ballroom and perfect beach for a lakeside ceremony.

[RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Venues in New Jersey]

Their Lake Mohawk Country Club Wedding

A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography
A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography

Their September 30, 2023 wedding date inspired an autumn theme: Shanice’s mom gathered leaves and pumpkins from home stores to adorn the tables. The florist chose a palette of muted purples and creamy pinks for the bridesmaids’ and venue blooms. After hours of rain—and stress—the weather cleared for the couple to meet by the lake for their first look. Both were nervous, but “the first look made all that go away,” Jason says. Like their first dance song—“Stand by Me” by Ben E. King—suggests, the bride and groom stuck by each other for the rest of the day. “We wanted to experience the whole wedding together,” says Shanice.

Bridal Style

A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography
A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography

Wanting a boutique with dresses to complement her curves, Shanice visited Brides by Young. Her dress was a ballroom A-line style with a nude underlay. “My mom wept when she saw it,” says Shanice.

The Vendors

As a Black bride, it was important to Shanice to book people of color or women vendors as much as possible. She was particularly focused on finding the right hair and makeup team for her diverse wedding party. “I wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable,” she says. Her coordinator helped her find the perfect pros. “Never in my life have I felt that pretty,” she says.

The Menu

A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography
A Lake Mohawk Country Club wedding.
Photo: Rosemary Green Photography

Lake Mohawk’s in-house catering—featuring abundant cocktail hour offerings—was “so good people were talking about it later,” recalls Shanice. For dessert, the couple served carrot cupcakes from Maplewood favorite the Able Baker. Jason’s family are the longtime proprietors of Holsten’s, a confectionary and ice cream shop in Bloomfield famous for being the site of The Sopranos finale. Their chocolate-covered pretzels accompanied the cakes on the dessert bar, and guests left with Holsten’s chocolate lollipop favors. Custom cocktails and napkins honored the couple’s cats, Meaner and Ratzen.

Advice

Work with a coordinator you really connect with. “You don’t know how to plan a wedding until after you do it,” Shanice says. For the grooms? “Don’t procrastinate!” says Jason.

Honeymoon

The couple honeymooned in Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii.


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the details

Reception Location

Lake Mohawk Country Club

Photographer

Rosemary Green Photography

Bride’s Gown

Allure Bridals from Brides by Young

Bride’s Shoes

Betsey Johnson

+ more