The Wedding of ...
Maria Daidone & Jason Koziol
Ceremony & Reception: The Estate at Florentine
Gardens, 201.666.0444, www.florentinegardens.com
Gown: Galia Lahav
Bridesmaids: Jovani, Amsale
Tux: Jack Victor
Photographer: Milton Gil Photographers, also, Stark Studio Photography
Cinematographer: Sal Travis Entertainment, Soloffilms
Makeup & Hair: AMA Artist Makeup Academy
Florist: Adam Leffel Productions
Cake: Palermo’s Custom Cakes & Bakery
Band: Sal Travis Entertainment, The House Band & DJ
Wedding Planner: Creations by Christine Events
Cigars: La Casa Grande Cigars
Stationery: Durante New York
Dance Floor Wrap: Bombshell Graphics, 862.210.8408, bombshellgraphics.com
"A Flawless Event"
Jay and I met in high school. We dated our junior and senior year and went to prom together but went our separate ways during college. We remained in each other’s lives through mutual friends, and years later we rekindled our relationship at a friend’s wedding. Everyone was asking us if we were together, and we weren’t, but we haven’t been apart since!
My father has owned and operated The Estate at Florentine Gardens for over 30 years. I was there working one quiet Friday afternoon when my sister and mother came to the office and told me to come to the lobby. As I followed them, I heard the piano playing and a beautiful voice singing, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” I descended the grand staircase, which Jay had lined with candles, to see him standing in front of the fireplace. As I approached, he knelt on one knee and asked me to marry him.
The Estate at Florentine Gardens feels like home to me. I’ve gone from running through the gardens as a child to working there as an adult. The grounds are gorgeous and the ballroom is stunning with three large crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the gardens. It was exciting to finally be on the bride’s side of the planning process.
I knew the team at Florentine Gardens would create an amazing wedding day for us, but I was blown away by how much attention to detail every member of the staff displayed. Everyone did their part to give us our dream wedding. Jeffrey Lepselter and Jorge Chiriboga, our maître d’s, ran a flawless event. Laila, my bridal attendant, was so kind, patient, and constantly there to help me.
The goal of our cocktail hour was to create a full Florentine Gardens experience yet show off some of our favorite dishes. Our stations included pasta, risotto, Italian Sunday dinner, prime aged steak, fresh mozzarella, sushi, seafood, and for Jay’s Polish roots, pierogies!
For the sit-down dinner we selected our executive chef’s summer burrata salad which is our favorite appetizer. As an entrée our guests chose a chateaubriand of beef forestiere, double-cut roasted rack of lamb, stuffed French-cut breast of chicken, or a pan-seared Chilean sea bass. For dessert, Palermo Bakery created the most beautiful nine-tier wedding cake. Our guests were each served mini wedding cakes personalized with our monogram and tri-color Italian cookie filling. We also had a Viennese table full of cookies, pastries, chocolate-dipped fruit, crêpes and more!
Our guests did not get off the dance floor thanks to our band and DJ! We had a mix of genres, including classic, contemporary, and country. If guests did take a break, they could go outside and have a freshly rolled cigar. We ended the night with late night munchies of pizza and rice-balls for our guests as they headed home!
Thank you to my amazing family, friends, and staff at The Estate at Florentine Gardens! I have the privilege of working with my team every day to make wedding dreams come true and it was an absolute pleasure to be on the other side. Our event consultants, Denise Downing and Jason Gentile, reviewed our details over and over to make sure everything was perfect. Sal Travis, our director of entertainment and leader of The House Band, knows how to work a room! To Jamie Milkman, our executive chef, and the entire staff behind the scenes – nothing would be possible without your hard work and dedication.
To my family, my father and owner, Thomas Daidone, and my sister and brother, Amanda and Ciro – thank you for being a part of this amazing day and giving us our dream wedding! Both Jay and I are forever grateful.
The Estate at Florentine Gardens
River Vale, NJ, 201.666.0444, florentinegardens.com