A Summer Wedding at Rock Island Lake Club in Sparta, New Jersey

Since Priscilla Choi (23 and a children’s fashion designer) and Daniel Shao (23 and a data analyst) started dating, summer has been a reminder of how

Since Priscilla Choi (23 and a children’s fashion designer) and Daniel Shao (23 and a data analyst) started dating, summer has been a reminder of how much fun they have together. So they turned their laid-back, carefree days into inspiration for a lakeside wedding at Rock Island Lake Club in Sparta, New Jersey. Combined with guests and Priscilla’s business partner at Juniper + Lavender Events, they mixed custom watercolor stationery with garden-style flowers and natural details to pull off the chic seasonal theme. Every program, invitation and escort card had pink watercolor roses in the background and bold calligraphy by Rachelle Tan, her cousin. The notes went with their organic florals from Adel Strauss. Loose bunches of garden roses, dahlias and various greenery overflowed from the satin wraps and breakaway vase. (Their photographer, Cly by Matthew, also captured their flower girl wearing a matching, over-the-top rose headband.) To tie the decor to their natural setting and summer fete, Priscilla and Daniel used breakaway wooden vases, a birchwood arbor and custom animal-inspired table markers. “All of this represented us as a couple,” Priscilla says. “The mix of the soft, sophisticated and whimsical touches with bright pastel colors and rustic details made this evening all the more magical for us, and for our guests.”

Priscilla’s cousin Rachelle Tan designed every part of their stationery, including the invitations. Each romantic card had hand-painted watercolor roses, her signature calligraphy and a classic black font along the front. Its gold glitter-lined envelope also gave the suite a glamorous touch in contrast.
Taking advantage of the venue’s birchwood arbor, Priscilla and Daniel covered their natural accent in romantic details. Blush silk chiffon draped over every post. To fit their garden-style arrangements, the couple’s florist draped fake ivy between each strand of fabric as well as pink flowers.
Breakaway boxes made by Daniel marked their ceremony aisle with lush arrangements. Pink roses, blush garden roses, greenery and soft yellow dahlias all filled the pastel display. Rose gold lanterns marked the end of the aisle for a modern touch, highlighting the contrasting garden-style aisle decor and arbor.
Although she loves peonies, the price and summer heat caused Priscilla to fill her bouquet with a different flower. She switched out the grand blooms for similar pink garden roses, eucalyptus, succulents and green roses. The lush display brought out their natural style with a chic mix of colors and textures.
Priscilla and Daniel bought his suit before they even got engaged. “We were casually shopping at Zara one time and came across a very cool textured navy suit,” Priscilla says. “He bought just the pants and after the engagement, he went back and bought the jacket.” He looked dapper and fit for the outdoor fete in a navy suit, white shirt and blush silk tie. His tie also matched the groomsmen's looks.
Before they entered the ceremony, guests were given all the information they needed. The entrance table explained the couple’s wedding hashtag, prompted everyone to take a custom program and explained that there was no seating plan. It also had a more personal accent. "I bought applewood-scented tissues from Hong Kong as another touch of home for me,” Priscilla says. “The table was decorated with a handmade tassel garland, which consisted of blush, cream and copper tissues.” (Bubbles and confetti for their recessional and natural repellent were also set along the table.)
The bridesmaids wore different blush dresses, bringing their looks together with the same lush bouquets from Adel Strauss. Each garden-style arrangement overflowed with greenery, Queen Anne’s lace, pink garden roses and pastel dahlias. The designs resembled mini versions of Priscilla’s own bouquet.
Priscilla and Daniel's ceremony program added a more personal touch to the day. Designed by the couple, each one included fun facts about how long they dated and the number of dresses Priscilla tried on. A few praise lyrics were also on the card for their service. The entire project was DIY! Her cousin added only rose watercolor flowers to the vellum pamphlet to match the rest of their stationery. Both bubbles and paper confetti (inside the programs) were handed out to guests so they could take part in the recessional.
The couple's youngest attendants stood out during the processional with their own personalized looks. The flower girl stepped down their aisle in a glam blush dress with sequins along the bodice and an A-line tulle skirt. Her flower crown was the ideal match with bunches of pink fabric roses. As for their ring bearer, he matched the groomsmen with navy pants, navy suspenders and his own blush bow tie. But he also welcomed their summer fete with a neutral, seasonal fedora. “They are the cutest little 3-year-olds I know,” Priscilla says.
Instead of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, Priscilla and Daniel opted for a custom unity paint ceremony during their wedding. Together, they poured rose gold and navy paint over a white S, representing his last initial. (The tea ceremony came later at their second reception, in Hong Kong.)
Before the ceremony at Rock Island Lake Club in Sparta, New Jersey, the couple greeted guests with a custom pamphlets, small bottles of bubbles and paper confetti inside the  programs. As Priscilla and Daniel walked up the aisle, guests showered them with the festive accents.
Although they traveled from as far as Hong Kong to attend, every woman looked romantic in a blush knee-length dress. Priscilla and her co-owner of Juniper + Lavender Events picked each one so they could have a unified look. The groomsmen, who live in New Jersey, had a more hands-on experience with their looks. They chose navy pants, matching suspenders and white shirts from Club Monaco. Their blush ties matched the bridesmaid dresses while their boutonnieres brought out the same greenery as the women’s bouquets. The entire eight-person group was ready for the summer party.
Priscilla and Daniel got creative when designing their guest book. Instead of signing a page, globe or poster, guests were asked to take a Polaroid "selfie!" Every guest grabbed a camera and took a picture of him or herself for the couple’s banner guest book.
Designed by Priscilla’s cousin Rachelle Tan, the table numbers were a nod to their natural setting. Instead of numbers, they marked each seating with a custom illustration of an animal. Rose gold-painted animal figurines also decorated the tablescapes.
These were no ordinary place cards. Hand-cut by her cousins, each one mimicked the animal-inspired table numbers with bear ears, deer antlers and other animal ears. The pop-up cards also featured the handwritten names of all 100 guests. “Rachelle Tan developed her signature calligraphy while crafting for our wedding,” Priscilla says. “We loved it so much, we put it on everything.”
Priscilla and Daniel covered the sweetheart table with decor. On top of a DIY tassel banner, mixed pattern love sign and rose gold-sequin runner, the couple set up a backdrop for their reception. "The string lights made the space look even more magical and delicate, setting the mood for our theme,” Priscilla says.
In addition to a string-light backdrop and double banner on the sweetheart table, Priscilla and Daniel made their reception chairs stand out with twin wooden signs. rnThey had "wifey" and "hubby" written on them in white and hung from the back their chiavari chairs.
Priscilla and Daniel's aisle decor doubled as centerpieces. After the ceremony, they moved each DIY breakaway box of roses, dahlias and greenery onto the tables’ rose gold sequin runners. “If your venue will help you with transporting decorations from ceremony to reception, definitely take that into consideration,” Priscilla says. They surrounded each accent with a gold lantern and tealight candles in glass votives for a romantic feel. (The low design also allowed guests to see one another from across the table and keep up conversation.)
With three cakes, a gelato and sorbet bar, lemon bars and peach cobbler all at the reception, Priscilla and Daniel wanted to ensure that their wedding cake stood out. They had the chocolate sponge confection from Haydee Alegria covered in pink vanilla bean frosting and then accented with a sweet gold topper. Found at PS Wedding & Events, it read “Love you more.”
Priscilla stood beside Daniel in a romantic dress that was exactly what she wanted. “I was looking for something ethereal, soft to touch and gentle," she says. "I just wanted something to complement my personality." Her ivory Penelope dress from Willowby By Watters brought out every quality with a pleated tulle skirt and classic lace along its illusion bodice. Priscilla even paired the look with a chic beaded belt for some extra sparkle.