For Your Cocktail Hour, Get Creative. They had a Chinese “take-out” station, a New York steakhouse station, a pasta station, hand-rolled sushi, and fine wines paired with a great selection of cheeses.
Have a Special After-Party. For their after party, the tented ceremony space was converted into an intimate area with white lounge furniture, high top tables, a DJ, extreme dance lighting, a cigar roller, a photo booth, and a candy bar!
Celebrate The Holiday. “Fifteen minutes before we rang in the New Year, we lowered our two 12-foot screens from the ceiling and broadcast the ball drop from Times Square."
Get Married on New Year’s Eve
“This is a fabulous business,” says the director of sales at The Estate at Florentine Gardens. “We help people celebrate, and every event is different. What could be better? Tom & Annie Daidone’s New Year’s Eve wedding was special because Tom is not only my boss and the owner of the Florentine Gardens, but he and Annie are my friends. It was an honor to help them plan their day!”
“It’s the special details that make each wedding unique, so my challenge was to ‘wow’ Tom, Annie, and their guests with innovative ideas, while also honoring their vision to incorporate their families, traditions, and heritage into an elegant affair.”
They announced their engagement about five months before the wedding, so planning started immediately. “First, we compiled the guest list, of about 400 friends and family. We designed the invitations and sent them out as soon as possible, so guests had enough time to make arrangements, especially since some were traveling from abroad.”
Selecting the wedding vendors was easy. “We used the same in-house vendors we recommend to our brides, including Sal Travis’ exclusive house band and DJ, Reel Moments Video, Petals Premier, and Stark Studio NJ.” They arranged complimentary hotel rooms at the Woodcliff Lake Hilton for anyone who wanted to stay the night and also scheduled a New Year’s Day brunch the following morning to give Tom and Annie more time to celebrate with friends and family.
A Tented Ceremony, A Unique Reception
“Tom and Annie wanted a unique ceremony space, so we installed a five thousand square foot tent near our cocktail room. To create a magical winter scene, Petals Premier designed a backdrop of lit trees, hanging crystal chandeliers, soft blue up-lighting to wash the sides of the tent, and lots of candles.
“Annie loved the idea of alternating centerpieces in the Grand Ballroom, so half the tables had five-foot tall gold branches suspended with roses, crystals, and candles, while the other tables had three different heights of crystal and gold pedestals that held blush and cream colored roses.” At the base of every centerpiece were beautiful gold candle holders and votive and pillar candles. Candles were also placed on the 15 windowsills throughout the ballroom, and they also used their in-house LED lighting to accent the room with a warm gold tone.
“We have a very talented management staff with many years of hospitality experience, so it was important to Tom that everyone help in planning their day, and we all had a great time customizing the wedding menu.”
A Glorious Cocktail Hour
They decided on an hour and a half cocktail hour, with a martini bar, vodka bar, mojito bar, and an eight-foot ice bar. “We had lobster tails, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, and clams and oysters on the half shell.”
They also had a Chinese “take-out” station, a New York steakhouse station, a pasta station, hand-rolled sushi, and fine wines paired with a great selection of cheeses. “We had Italian chefs making fresh mozzarella and a few genuine Sicilian dishes for Tom’s family members who had traveled from Italy.”
Dinner was followed by an Italian Viennese display with chocolate fountains, homemade zeppole, Belgian waffles, gelato, cakes, pies, pastries, “and a gorgeous multi-tiered fondant wedding cake, decorated with crystals and rhinestone flowers, that was made by Tom’s cousins, who own Palermo’s Bakery.”
For the after party, the tented ceremony space was converted into an intimate area with white lounge furniture, high top tables, a DJ, extreme dance lighting, a cigar roller, a photo booth, and a candy bar.
Wired for Fun
Technology has been a big part of the Florentine Gardens since they added their new Grand Ballroom in 2002, “and New Year’s Eve is a great night to showcase everything. We had a live feed throughout the wedding, so families and friends who could not attend could enjoy the festivities."
“Fifteen minutes before we rang in the New Year, we lowered our two 12-foot screens from the ceiling and broadcast the ball drop from Times Square. We even showed a video recapping the entire wedding, from the arrival of the bride and groom to the cutting of the wedding cake.”
Just before midnight, they served champagne and displayed a table overflowing with horns, noise makers, sequined black top hats, and handmade hairpieces with large feathers and rhinestones. “The moment the ball dropped, our house band played Auld Lang Syne as cannons blasted confetti throughout the room from our Juliet balcony!
“At the end of the day, it’s not one person who made this wedding a success. All of us played an important role in giving one more very special couple the wedding of their dreams. Like I said, what could be better?”
The Estate at Florentine Gardens
97 Rivervale Road, River Vale, NJ 07675