Reason to Celebrate

January 2021 View more

It was love at first lunch for Nancy Smentek, 39, and Rocco Salerno, 38. “We were both in previous relationships that didn’t work out and both took a chance with online dating,” says Smentek, who grew up in Naperville and works as director of talent acquisition for Senior Lifestyle in Chicago. In July 2019 they met for lunch at On the Border in Naperville and made plans for a second date the very next day. “We were pretty much inseparable from the time we met,” says Lombard native Salerno, owner of Drivers Golf Car Rentals, which supplies golf carts for Naperville’s Last Fling and other local events.

Because Salerno proposed the following year on Smentek’s birthday, May 1, it seemed fortuitous when they discovered Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, had an opening on Salerno’s birthday, September 6. They loved the rustic vibe of the resort’s Ski Chalet and appreciated its ample outdoor space for guests to safely celebrate during the pandemic. “Times were kind of dark all around us, and it was a bright light for our families to look forward to,” Smentek says.

As an homage to his late mother, Salerno made all of the decorative signage and floral arrangements. “My mother was a very artistic lady … and if she was here, she would have been doing it for us, so this way, my mom’s presence was felt there,” Salerno says. And of course, the day wasn’t complete without a ride around the resort in a golf cart with a “Just Married” sign on the back.


Venue and catering
Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, Lake Geneva, Wis.


Costco flowers arranged by the groom

D. Diamante Limited, Chicago

Groom’s attire
Liz Claiborne suit from JCPenney, Lombard

Bride’s attire
Madison James gown from Here Comes the Bride, Glendale Heights

Hair and makeup
Julie Jump, J&M Hair Studio, Naperville; Allina Macko of Pure Addiction Cosmetics, Naperville

Grand Geneva Trolley and Lake Geneva Cruise Line (rehearsal dinner cruise), Lake Geneva, Wis.

Photos by Matt Mason Photography