The Wedding of ...
Alyssa Pietanza & Matthew Chiappa
Ceremony: Our Lady Star of the Sea Church
Reception: The Estate at Florentine Gardens
Gown: Pnina Tornai, at Kleinfeld Bridal, NYC
Bridesmaids: Dream Dresses
Groomsmen: Dante Zeller
Photographer: Mike Gloria Photo
Cinematographer: Premier Digital Weddings
Makeup: Alex Simone Makeup Artistry
Hair: Stepht.Hair, Stephanie Tripodi
Florist: Eltingville Florist
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
DJ: Dash of Class Platinum Entertainment
Wedding Coordinator: Lavish Occasions
Transportation: Romantique Limos
"Everything We Wanted"
Matt and I grew up with a lot of friends in common, but our paths crossed November 7, 2012, on social media. I was beginning my senior year at St. Joseph Hill Academy and he had just graduated from St. Joseph by the Sea when we said our first hello. We had a lot in common and started dating soon after. We went to separate universities but continued dating.
When I studied abroad in Rome my sophomore year, Matt visited me as a surprise! We realized then that we had a forever thing since the distance hadn’t changed a thing between us. We wanted to be together and started talking about the future. After I graduated with my MBA, Matt proposed on our five-year dating anniversary. He proposed at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, where we had one of our first dates.
We wanted a winter wedding with a whimsical vibe and a big, lavish Italian-wedding atmosphere. We heard great things about The Estate at Florentine Gardens, and seeing it in person, we were absolutely certain it was where we wanted our wedding! The beautiful ballroom, with gorgeous windows showcasing the manicured grounds outside, was everything we wanted. We met with owners Ciro Daidone and Maria Daidone, and knew our wedding day was in great hands. They’re family-oriented and we immediately gravitated towards them. Their menu options are amazing and we could tell they could see our vision and had the ability to bring it to another level.
They were always responsive, insightful, and helpful, never hesitant to accommodate our wishes. They even secured the same special November 7th date for us, despite us having to postpone our wedding a year due to Covid. They called to let us know they had the day open, and we’re so grateful for their respect for the importance of that day to us. They treated us like family from the beginning, doing everything to make sure we had the wedding we always dreamed of. In hindsight, we wouldn’t have had our wedding anywhere else!
Our ceremony was at Our Lady Star of the Sea, where I went to school, where we were married by Father Anthony Giacona. We had a traditional Catholic mass and ceremony, with many family members involved as a personal touch.
Our cocktail hour was incredible. There were so many choices when building our menu. Our guests raved about how much food there was. We had sushi, a live mozzarella station, an artisanal flatbread station, a raw bar with lobster tails, a champagne/prosecco guest greeting from Dolce & Gelato Catering, and so much more. Our bridal attendant was catering to us all night, even bringing us our own plates to try each dish from our cocktail hour!
The ballroom was everything we wanted; the big, sparkling chandelier, the Juliette balcony, the trees lit in the garden, the recently renovated white dance floor. It was the ambiance we’d always imagined. We put our monogram on the dance floor and kept our décor to a navy blue, white, and silver palette. We had our bridal party at tables around the dance floor, chairs were wrapped in white sashes, a flower wall, and our little décor signs, which were the perfect accent pieces.
Our DJ and MC had been with us since our engagement party and had worked with Florentine Gardens before. We were so comfortable working with them and everyone had a great time dancing to a traditional Italian, upbeat, dance music mix. Florentine Gardens has uplighting in their ballroom, and they changed the uplighting for different vibes easily throughout the night. We kept it going for seven hours straight.
The service and the food were excellent. Everyone was taken care of and our guests appreciated the attentiveness of the staff. We selected chateaubriand, Chilean sea bass, and chicken stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella as our entrée options. Matt loved the steak. I heard lots of great things about the sea bass as well, but my dinner was just for me. I wanted chicken fingers, and they gave me what I wanted! Matt and I were treated like royalty. Our wedding cake was exquisite, personalized with our monogram. Our Viennese hour included a cigar roller. We also chose exit stations with glazed donuts and bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches.
We thank my parents for throwing us the wedding of our dreams, and both our parents for such wonderful examples of marriage. We appreciate you so much! To our friends and family, you made our day by being there with us. All our vendors went above and beyond and worked together so well. Everyone at The Estate at Florentine Gardens was exceptional. We couldn’t have done this without them!
The Estate at Florentine Gardens, River Vale, NJ, 201.666.0444, florentinegardens.com