Real Weddings

Laura and David at Brooklake Country Club

A Wedding at Brooklake Country Club

They were friendly in college, but became an item after school, bonding over their shared profession, their New Jersey roots and a common love of sports. With similar interests yet different personalities, David Drechsel, 29, of Cranford, and Laura Shelman, 28, of Westfield, became the perfect combination. “He is very calm and even-keeled,” Laura says. “I am passionate and very emotional. We’re definitely a good balance.”

A Wedding at Brooklake Country Club

David, a high school math teacher, proposed to Laura, a middle school principal, during a winter getaway to the Poconos as they sat before the fireplace. He gave Laura what he pretended was a belated birthday present, only for an engagement ring to tumble out. “I kept saying, ‘Is this really happening? You didn’t get one knee,’ so I made him do it again,” she said, and he good-naturedly obliged.

A Wedding at Brooklake Country Club

The couple tied the knot on June 28, 2014, at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park. “It was just beautiful,” Laura says. “The whole day, overall, was amazing.” She walked down the aisle in a strapless Monique Lhuillier gown while David was decked out in a tux as they said “I do” on the lush golf course. Inside for the reception, the mood was romantic, with candles flickering and flowers in peach and white. “My style is classic and elegant and simple,” Laura says. Guests enjoyed a traditional sit-down dinner followed by a fun night of dancing. The party didn’t stop for dessert, as the couple skipped the white wedding cake and had a delicious tower of mini cupcakes and passed treats instead.

A Wedding at Brooklake Country Club

A highlight of the night was the first dance, when the couple were finally able to share a few private words. “It just made everything real,” Laura says. “You could feel all the love in the room, and we started to have a lot of fun.”

A Wedding at Brooklake Country Club

The one aspect of the wedding they couldn’t have gotten married without? Their families. “They were so overjoyed it made everyone around them feel overjoyed,” Laura says. “They were so supportive.”

A Wedding at Brooklake Country Club

Laura’s advice to brides-to-be: Try not to worry about anything going wrong because if it does, you likely won’t notice or care. “You’re only going to remember the good,” she says. “It’s not worth stressing out, especially on the day, when everything is in place.” And remember to take it all in. “It goes by really fast,” she says, “so you should enjoy every second of it.”

A Wedding at Brooklake Country Club

The couple honeymooned in Paris and the south of France, and are back home in Hoboken.

wedding details


Cranford and Westfield

Ceremony Location

Brooklake Country Club


Sarah Merians Photography

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