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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Feb 17, 2022

Clarks Landing Yacht Club Fostering Relationships Beyond a Wedding Day

By Shanna O’Mara

Diane Kolanović-Šolaja and her husband, Vedran Šolaja, got married at Clarks Landing Yacht Club in 2012. Photo by Endless Wave Studios

Planning a wedding can be a daunting task – one that is stressful, beautiful, time-consuming and oh so exciting. When a couple has the right people by their side, including industry experts who ease the whole process, planning a wedding can ensure a beautiful day and sentimental experiences to come. 

At Clarks Landing Yacht Club, couples are welcomed into a stunning venue that offers more than wedding day amenities and a setting for one of the most important days of their lives. Couples who take vows at Clarks Landing become part of a community, a network of alumni who stay connected years after they say, “I do.” 

Diane Kolanović-Šolaja and her husband, Vedran Šolaja, solidified their union in 2012. During their search for a venue, the two felt something special the minute they stepped into Clarks Landing Yacht Club. They met with wedding coordinator Nicole Hoffman and the maître d’, with whom they instantly bonded.

Diane Kolanović-Šolaja said she and her husband chose Clarks Landing Yacht Club because of its proximity to the water and stunning sunset views. Photo by Shotwell Productions

“Both of our families are from Croatia, so we both grew up with a love for the sea,” Kolanović-Šolaja said. “We wanted a venue that fulfilled our vision of getting married at the beach but also to highlight the elegance of our day. The second we walked into Clarks, we knew. The combination of knowing the food would be impeccable and the surroundings, reminding us of being on a luxurious yacht, made this our perfect location. Also, speaking with Nicole and the maître d’ was the cherry on top to sign off that day. They made us feel comfortable, and they were so knowledgeable right off the bat. We felt like we knew them forever.”

When their day finally came, they were so comfortable at the location and with the staff that their wedding was one of pure bliss rather than uncertainty or stress.

“To this day, I can taste the mini lamb chops served on this huge silver platter that was served to us in the wedding suite,” Kolanović-Šolaja said. “Not to mention all the wonderful cocktails I had lined up at the sweetheart table but didn’t get to drink because I was having too much fun dancing! I wish we could redo our wedding every year so I can relive the best day ever. The service and focus on us two while planning and on the day made us feel like royalty. 

“But Clarks Landing is more than that. We felt like family. During the booking and planning process, Nicole was patient with all our questions. She truly listened and cared very much. Her suggestions of wedding professionals and advice truly guided us during the entire planning process. She made us feel like we were the only ones getting married there.”

Long after the wedding bells hung still and silent, Diane and Vedran have continued making memories at Clarks Landing. Each year, they attend alumni charity balls, holiday celebrations and holiday portrait nights. They even bring their baby girl with them now. Clarks Landing also often collaborates with local nonprofits, hosting drives to collect coats, toys and food for the community. 

The Šolajas brought their daughter to the 2019 holiday portrait session at Clarks Landing Yacht Club. Photo by Jarot Bocanegra Photography

“All of the events they hold for alumni are incredible,” she said. “We have made friends at the King and Queens Ball and always have a great time. It’s like reliving your wedding day but for a great cause! And our daughter’s first time meeting Santa Claus was at the Clarks Landing Brunch. Can you even imagine how special that is? [Her] first Santa photo is where Mommy and Daddy got married! Honestly, I think the best part is being able to call Clarks Landing our home. We visit as a couple every year near our anniversary and take a stroll on the dock and write our names in the sand. Clarks Landing is a part of us – and now our daughter gets to be a part of it too. No other venue continues the celebration of love for their clients as Clarks Landing Yacht Club.”

Clarks Landing Yacht Club is part of a premier group of wedding venues throughout New Jersey including The Mill Lakeside Manor in Spring Lake Heights and The Bradford Estate in Hainesport. To schedule a visit, go to ClarksLandingWeddings.com or call 732-899-5559.