Lee Makofsky met Tim Groeger in 2001, when Lee attended college with Tim’s sister Missy. Years later, in 2007, they found themselves at the birthday party of a mutual friend. Though they spoke casually throughout the night, the conversation continued later that evening, and Tim couldn’t stop talking about her after she left. Up until then, Tim dating his sister’s friends had been a definite no-no. But Missy gave them the thumbs-up, and a relationship was born. Fast-forward four years, and Tim was looking for a new job. One day in early September 2011, he asked Lee if she would help him with his résumé in exchange for dinner. The dinner invitation turned out to be merely a ploy: When they arrived at the restaurant, Tim suggested they walk out toward the water to take pictures, when Tim grabbed her hand, spun her around and dropped down on one knee to propose.
Lee and Tim knew they didn’t want to have their October 26, 2012, reception in a traditional ballroom setting. In North Jersey, there are hundreds of venues, but not many that embody the “shabby chic” look they were going for.
After much searching, they found the Inn at Millrace Pond in Hope: a bed-and-breakfast with a 250-year-old gristmill pub, stone cottage and guest rooms, all located on 232 acres of woodland. “It has such charm, beauty and history to it,” Lee says, “plus a quaintness that made us feel like we belonged there.”
Then the real work began. Lee started small by creating a style board in a Word document, pulling things off the internet here and there. For centerpieces, the couple used distressed wood lanterns with pillar candles, flanked by white hydrangeas in lace-covered Mason jars. For the seating chart, Lee saw a picture on Pinterest of “these great, old window frames” that had the table numbers and seating assignments already written on them.
Lee wore a taffeta gown with hand-pleated floral details. “Our wedding,” she says, “looked and felt like it was created just for us—from the customized lighting that made it feel like a starry night, to the s’mores in a jar my mom made, to the framed photographs of us placed throughout.
It was like designing a dream room in our home, and then having a housewarming party to show it off.” After a honeymoon in Oahu and Maui, they are now at home in Cedar Grove.