The Wedding of ...
Caitlin Murray & Daniel Serra
Ceremony & Reception: The Estate at Florentine Gardens,
Gown: Allure Couture
Bridesmaids: Adrianna Papell
Tux: Michael Kors
Photographer: Anthony Ziccardi Studios,
Makeup: FullBlown Beauty Lounge
Hair: Sue Fusiek
Florist: Adam Leffel Productions
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery and My Daughter’s Cakes
DJ: Sal Travis Entertainment
Both of us over 600 miles away from home, Daniel and I were living two houses down from each other at our college in Ohio. We finally met the last day of junior year, packing to go home for the summer. That’s when we learned we only live a couple exits away from each other in New Jersey! I spent that summer traveling, but when we came back to school for senior year, we began dating.
Four years later, we moved into our second New Jersey apartment together. Less than 24 hours after moving in, I found a “Caution” banner taped to the door. I walked in and found rose petals all over and a scavenger huntwhose last clue was a lottery ticket, which revealed “Will you Marry Me?” when I scratched it off and an arrow to the room where Daniel was waiting for me on one knee! Daniel got the ring from Ohio’s C Sterling Jewelers. The owner is a good friend of ours and was at our wedding.
Working in the luxury jewelry industry, I am always meeting with brides and was excited to finally be one myself.
Before I was even engaged, I knew I wanted to get married at Florentine Gardens. With the venue’s classic elegance and warm ambiance, delicious food, spectacular ballroom with 50-foot windows and sparkling chandeliers, and attentive service, they are the best in the business. Denise Downing, event coordinator, Maria Daidone, general manager, and Sal Travis, director of entertainment, helped us organize everything from start to finish. Our priest came to Florentine to officiate an intimate Roman Catholic mini-mass in Florentine’s ballroom. The fireplace and windows made for a beautiful backdrop. The ceremony included both Italian and Irish traditions, with a wine tasting and an Irish blessing.
Daniel and I shared a private moment downstairs before joining our guests upstairs for our cocktail hour, which had everything you could think of, from an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and food stations to a pianist, saxophonist, and ice sculptures! Some of our favorites were the martini ice carving bar and the Sommelier and Fromage station with various wines, cheeses, and flavored vinegars.
Florentine’s setup had plenty of seating for our guests to relax and enjoy themselves. For a warm and inviting ambiance, Sal suggested changing the room lighting throughout the night, starting with amber and ending with a beautiful midnight blue. To complement the grandness of the ballroom, our centerpieces were tall crystal vases with champagne, blush, and white flowers on all the tables, surrounded by floating candles.
Dinner started with a tomato and mozzarella salad and then guests had a choice of three entrée options: a New York strip steak with pink peppercorn cream, chicken stuffed with spinach and Fontina cheese, or a Chilean sea bass with teriyaki buerre blanc. During dinner, Sal played artists like Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel, and when we started to party, he played everything from rock to techno to country. Two 15-foot TV screens came down from the wall and Sal was quick enough to have our wedding montage video already playing for our guests!
Our Viennese hour was held in the cocktail hour room, with all types of pastries, dessert bars, and even a personalized cigar station. We also had our delicious wedding cake as well as a surprise groom’s cake for Daniel, dedicated to his favorite sports teams. For our favors, we gave out cake-shaped cookies made by Samantha Lev. My uncle also surprised us with a bottle of wine, signed by Bobby Valentine!
Thank you to our parents and our siblings for all their hard work in making this day possible. Thank you to our bridal party for being part of our day, and a special shout out to Dominic in heaven. We are so glad you were there to be with us. Thank you to all our vendors and to Denise, Maria, and Sal at Florentine Gardens for making this day absolutely perfect. We feel blessed to have spent this day with all our wonderful family and friends.
The Estate at Florentine Gardens
97 Rivervale Road, River Vale, NJ 07675