A Rustic Waterfront Wedding at the Lake Valhalla Club in Montville, New Jersey

When medical residents Elizabeth (Lizzie) Vessio (27) and James (Jamie) Schiffenhaus (28) searched for their wedding venue, a cozy, relaxed vibe was at the top of their must-have list, which they found at Lake Valhalla Club. The couple exchanged original vows in a lantern-lit, lakeside ceremony under a smilax-covered arbor. At cocktail hour, guests drank Moscow mules, an ode to the couple’s alma mater, Muhlenberg College, where the mascot is a mule. The DIY escort card display was a family effort—Lizzie’s sister designed the cards hung from twine with clothespins, while her dad stained the board. Lizzie tied off her wild bouquet of roses, cosmos and dahlias with plum, lavender and ivory silk ribbons. Bridesmaids held a loose mix of roses, cosmos, dahlias, eucalyptus and pampas grass. The pair fell for the venue’s intimate feel, Lizzie says. “It was as if we were all in a big dining room together.” The newlyweds sat with their wedding party at a farm table overlooking the room. The bridesmaids’ flowers doubled as centerpieces and were placed on a linen runner among trailing vines and bronze décor. Lizzie and Jamie played up the venue’s relaxed atmosphere with neutral linens and wood accents. The semi-naked cake mixed red velvet with cream cheese filling and vanilla filled with chocolate pudding.