• All About Rock Island Lake Club: A Gorg North Jersey Wedding Venue

    Written by:

    With the holiday season and Valentine’s day in our rearview, you may know more than a few people who have gotten engaged in the past few months {or you may have yourself}. Wedding planning can be a daunting task for even the most organized brides and grooms-to-be, and choosing a venue is one of the most important {+ potentially stressful} aspects of planning the big day.

    We have a treat for you in the form of hidden gem Rock Island Lake Club — a lakefront wedding venue located in the rural hills of Sparta, NJ {and less than an hour’s drive from Hoboken}. Read on to learn more about this picturesque wedding venue in Northern New Jersey:

    {Photo courtesy of Amy Rizzuto}

    All About Rock Island Lake Club

    Nestled amongst the beautiful wilderness of Northwestern New Jersey, Rock Island Lake Club offers an intimate getaway wedding that’s only 45 miles from Hoboken. The venue’s professional and ambitious staff provides couples and their guests with turn-key service from beginning to end by offering onsite coordinating, in-house catering {fair warning: the menus and options are to die for}, and unparalleled attention to detail. Rock Island is a wedding-only venue, meaning its staff is extremely experienced in wedding planning and knowing exactly what today’s couples want. The venue also holds only one wedding per day to ensure all focus is on the couple of honor.

    The lakefront venue is tucked into nature, yet is decked out with modern touches {no sign of gaudiness here}. Case in point: Rock Island is one of the only wedding venues in New Jersey that is outfitted with 100% hardwood floors, a.k.a no carpet in sight. The venue also has multiple decks complete with bistro lights and heaters, state-of-the-art lounges for the bride and groom, and sweeping views of foliage reflecting on the lake. If we’ve officially piqued your interest, keep reading to learn more about their unique ceremonies, receptions, and stellar catering packages.

    {Photo courtesy of David and Sarah Lynn}

    The Ceremony

    Rock Island’s beautiful setting provides couples and their guests with a fun, romantic, and unique vibe in which to celebrate. For obvious reasons, ceremonies at Rock Island are primarily held lakeside, but it offers an indoor option in case of bad weather {or if you’re more of the indoorsy type}. The indoor option has floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the lake and both indoor and outdoor ceremonies offer natural birch archways under which couples will exchange vows. The lakeside setting also provides a natural backdrop for couples to take the woodsy fairytale photos of their dreams {Rock Island even provides newlyweds with access to their rowboat for the ultimate romantic photos}. The venue holds weddings for up to 200 people.

    {Photos courtesy of David and Sarah Lynn}

    The Reception

    We all know after the couple says their vows the real party begins. Receptions at Rock Island kick off with a 90-minute cocktail hour held in the lounge area, outdoor cocktail deck, and throughout the grounds of the venue. The cocktail hour boasts three bars with 30 beers on tap including a large selection of craft beer, seasonal beer, local brews, and gluten-free beers. Cocktail hour also comes complete with a full cold display, passed apps, butcher blocks and more. Following the cocktail hour, guests move to the ballroom for a 3.5 hour sit-down dinner reception complete with dancing, drinking, and, of course, more eating. Receptions at Rock Island feature a champagne toast, choice of salads and entrees, artisanal desserts, and {basically} endless options for brides + grooms to customize their wedding to meet their every wish.

    {Photo courtesy of David and Sarah Lynn}

    tree of life

    {Photo courtesy of Tree of Life}

    Food + Catering

    Let’s be real, one of the most important parts of a wedding is the food {okay, maybe that’s just us…} and Rock Island definitely delivers in that department. Its fun, unique, and extensive menu options allow couples to bring even more authentic touches to their big day. Rock Island’s in-house chefs work with couples to create the perfect menu for them and their guests to enjoy and trust us when we say the selection at Rock Island is bar-none.

    The menu features hundreds {hundreds!} of options for brides to choose from, with fun and creative choices {like the “Friendsgiving” or “Wholly Guacamole” captain stations} that will have you smiling and drooling simultaneously. The menu also offers fun upgrades and add-ons like a sushi and sashimi bar or a lakeside bonfire pit with s’mores.

    + More

    Rock Island’s amazing attention to detail is not only evident in their reception and catering packages; it also offers brides + grooms endless options to customize their day to feature exactly what they want. These “bonus features” include:

    • Table numbers + birdcage for wedding cards
    • Valet parking
    • Personal doorman for guest arrival
    • Coatroom attendant (weather permitting)
    • Use of rowboat for wedding photos

    The venue also boasts two private dressing rooms that serve as the bride + groom suites, which come complete with:

    • TV’s {+ a Playstation 4}
    • Shuffleboard + other games
    • Freshly popped popcorn
    • Vintage soda bottles
    • Private balcony {in the upper suite}

    Rock Island doesn’t stop there – they also offer late-night upgrades like the “Grilled Cheese Sendoff” and will even deliver McDonald’s after the reception wraps up. And, in classic Jersey fashion, they have the “Midnight Diner Stop,” complete with disco fries and breakfast sandwiches (pictured above). That’s what we call service.

    To schedule a tour at Rock Island, click here or give them a call at 973-512-3995. You can also text I’M ENGAGED to 973-786-1615.


    Written by:

    Maggie, a born-and-raised Jersey girl, is a marketing professional and travel guru with an obsession for finding the best restaurant in town. After graduating from Elon University, Maggie visited Hoboken for the first time…and promptly moved in three months later. When she’s not working with or writing about local people + places, you can find Maggie seeking out the nearest live music, enjoying a cold beer with friends, or hanging out with her nephew, Finn.