The Wedding of ...
Kimberly Garen & Justin Schneider
Ceremony & Reception: The Estate at Florentine Gardens
Gown: Custom Design by Casablanca,
at Bijou Bridal, Paramus, NJ
Bridesmaid: Bari Jay
Tux: Calvin Klein
Photographer: Milton Gil Photography
Hair: Vogue Salon NY, Cassi Livsey
Florist: Adam Leffel Productions
Cake: Palermo’s Custom Cakes
Band: Sal Travis Entertainment
"Glamour & Flair"
Kim: We met one summer while attending the Firefly Music Festival, each of us driving down to Delaware with our college friends. Parked just a few spots from each other, our groups intermingled and we found ourselves driving home with a budding romance. Creating traditions and great memories together, we spent the next year falling in love in Hoboken, NJ and then moved to Manhattan together. I now work as an associate director of ratings and Justin is a corporate finance manager.
Justin: About three and a half years later, the night before Kim’s birthday, I had just cooked us her favorite dinner. I was nervously killing time until midnight when we would have our usual NYE-esque birthday countdown, traditionally followed by a small gift. This birthday, a few minutes before midnight, I asked Alexa to start playing “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and went into the bedroom to get her “small” gift.
Kim: He emerged dressed in a suit jacket and sweat pants, carrying two dozen red roses. Somehow still oblivious, I was completely surprised when he got down on one knee and began his proposal. It was a wonderful evening we will never forget.
Justin: The Estate at Florentine Gardens offers traditional glamour with a modern flair. The gorgeous ballroom, beautiful garden, and location near New York City made our choice easy. Every room, from the ballroom to the entryway, was stunning. We loved being the only wedding of the day and were thrilled to have robust food options. We worked closely with Ciro Daidone, the event consultant, who was an absolute pleasure. Everyone was accommodating, friendly, and detail-oriented. The process was stress-free and the staff made us feel like family!
Kim: Our ceremony, in their picturesque garden, was intimate and personal, led by a Catholic priest to honor our faith. I walked down the aisle in my custom gown to “XO” by John Mayer, originally by Beyoncé, played by a pianist and a flutist. We wrote our own vows and had our first reading from the Corinthians and the second from Game of Thrones. We lit a memorial candle to honor our loved ones and a unity candle, helped by our mothers.
Justin: We wanted an abundance of food, enjoyable drinks, and personal touches. A “Firefly BBQ Station” represented where we met and “Nanny’s Sunday Dinner Station” and “MiMa’s Grilled Cheese” incorporated family traditions. Each station featured a photo showing how it was tied to us. We had a “It’s Not About The Pasta” station, a cheese bar with wine pairings, a prime aged steakhouse station, and a never-ending supply of passed hors d’oeuvres. Our signature drinks were “The Bride’s Pleasure,” the NYC Mule, and “The Groom’s Poison,” the Botanist Gin and Tonic. We selected special beers, Schneider-Weisse and 420, and a martini bar with an ice luge. We loved having the patio available so our guests could better enjoy the gardens.
Kim: Going for timeless chic, we had ivory linens and alternating centerpieces of white hydrangeas, quicksand roses, white orchids, and snowflake spray roses. Every table was adorned with floating candles and the room was lit in a dusky blush color. The windowsills and fireplace mantel were decorated with votive candles, a neon light saying “The Schneiders” lit up the bar, and personal photos of us were throughout the room. Favors at each place setting were an engraved mixing spoon and liquor to create The White Lady cocktail. The ballroom felt elegant and inviting.
Justin: Our first course was poached pear salad with goat cheese and caramelized walnuts. Our guests chose from chateaubriand with porcini pancetta; free range French-cut chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, and ricotta; or miso-glazed Chilean sea bass. We had our four-tier wedding cake, a full Viennese hour, and a cigar bar on the patio. The 10-piece house band was amazing. They projected a slide show of our favorite memories, played current music and oldies, and kept everyone dancing. We entered the reception to a mix of “Bound 2” and “Touch the Sky” by Kanye West and “Thinking Out Loud” as our wedding song. At the end of the night. we played Florentine Garden’s signature “wrap up” video, featuring our wedding throughout the night. As guests were leaving, a munchies station was set up with coffee, pretzels, and donuts.
Kim: Thank you to our parents for your love and continued support. To Justin’s parents, thank you for throwing us a gorgeous rehearsal dinner. To my dad, thank you for being by my side and walking me down the aisle. To my mom, thank you for so many long nights and for being there every step of the way. Thank you to our friends and family for bringing your A-game to help us celebrate our best day ever! The Estate at Florentine Gardens and our vendors brought our dream to life. We would do it all over again!
The Estate at Florentine Gardens, River Vale, NJ