Kaitlyn & Joseph | Estate at Florentine Gardens | River Vale, NJ

Kaitlyn & Joseph's Wedding at Florentine Gardens

The Wedding of…
Kaitlyn McCluskey & Joseph Portella

Their Vendors

Ceremony & Reception: The Estate at Florentine Gardens, 201.666.0444, florentinegardens.com
Berta, at L’FAY Bridal, Chatham, NJ
Dessy, at Bella Bridesmaids, Florham Park
Karako Suits of Union
Derek K Photography, derekkphotography.com
Willow Tree Films
Tori Balsamo, The Beauty Suite
Kristen Okaly, Hairstyledbyk
A W Flowers; Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
DJ: DJ Tony Gia
Day-of Coordination:
Detailed Events by Lo
Love and Light Wedding Officiants
Content Creator:
So Bridal Social

“Everything We Wanted”

We worked for the same company, Prudential. I was in the cafeteria one day and saw a very handsome man and I went and sat by him. We had eye contact here and there but did not approach each other. I went back to work and asked my boss how did you meet men at work without being non-professional and she said, “If you see him again, just introduce yourself.” But it was a huge company with 18 floors and I had never seen the same person twice during lunch.

A few days later I was scrolling on Instagram where I saw a NYC club promoter who posted a photo with a group of guys and I saw the same man I had seen in the cafeteria at work. I looked him up on LinkedIn and messaged him. We hit it off. A few weeks later we went out on our fist date to a little restaurant in Morristown NJ. We talked for hours and I never really wanted the night to end.

Kaitlyn & Joseph's Wedding at Florentine Gardens

Kaitlyn & Joseph's Wedding at Florentine Gardens

That was in December of 2019. Covid hit in March. We thought it would be a couple of weeks and I said why don’t you spend a few weeks with me at my parents’ house and we can quarantine together. That turned into months! In September of 2020 we bought our first home in Lake Hopatcong and by May of 2021 we got engaged. Joe proposed in our house. He had my best friend show up at our doorstep with a little sign that said, “He’s proposing tomorrow.” Joe left for the night to stay with his parents and had set up a few activities for my friend and I and would see me in the afternoon.

My friend and I went to all the things Joe set up for us. After lunch we came back to our house and went up to our roof deck, where Joe greeted me with a stunning proposal. He had my brothers there, who are in the film industry and who captured the whole moment. It was very special and now I never want to move from this house because it is such a special place for us!

We chose Florentine Gardens, which was everything I wanted. The people there are phenomenal. It is family-owned and they truly make you feel you are part of the family. We booked two years before our wedding, before their new renovations, so now it is even more beautiful. We did a tour with Ciro Daidone, the son of the owner. We got in our car to leave and I couldn’t even drive out of the parking lot without booking! So we got right back inside and booked.

We emailed back and forth with Samantha, but our interactions were mainly with Ciro. They had the answers to all my questions before I even knew I had the question! They give you their personal phone numbers and I knew I could trust them from our first meeting.

The ceremony was at Florentine Gardens in their new ceremony space and it was just beautiful. I worked with our day-of coordinator, Lo, from Detailed Events by Lo, and she ran the whole event. You’re on a cloud all day at your wedding, but at the ceremony it felt so great. Joe and I did a private cocktail hour in the bridal suite. It was a special moment for us to connect. We heard phenomenal things from our guests about the food and the outdoor space. Choosing stations for our cocktail hour was the hardest part. You want everything!

Kaitlyn & Joseph's Wedding at Florentine Gardens

Kaitlyn & Joseph's Wedding at Florentine Gardens

The reception was a blast. We had a choreographed first dance to “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” a cover by Boyce Avenue which is a slowed down version, super romantic. We had the clouds and the sparklers. Our DJ, Tony Gia, was recommended by Florentine and he was phenomenal. Once I gave him the few songs I did or did not want played, he completely understood my vision. For décor, we had the normal bridal florals and beverage napkins that had our first message exchange on them, which our guests really loved.

We had drink toppers with our wedding logo, bar signs, and of course the special dances with our parents which are moments you remember forever. We also had a choice of entrées: NY strip steak,French cut breast of chicken, and miso glazed mahi-mahi. I am so pleased with how much fun everyone had and that everyone felt our love radiating through the room.

I don’t remember our desserts because I was too busy dancing! The cake was delicious. We went to Palermo’s Bakery which is included in the Florentine package. We did a standard white cake with pearl detailing. We also had warm chocolate lava cake, NY style cheescake, and Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée. Joe and I had dinner at our head table which was another moment we got to talk with each other. Every guest I talked to about the food and desserts were blown way.

Our wedding day was a fairy tale. From our phenomenal venue to our vendors, to our friends and family, our day was filled with love and support. We would like to thank the whole team at Florentine Gardens, who felt like family since our first meeting. Every one of our vendors went above and beyond and we couldn’t be happier with how the day turned out. To our friends and family, we want to thank each of you for celebrating with us. The love we felt on our wedding day was unlike anything we've felt before. We are so excited to continue to share our journey with you all!

The Estate at Florentine Gardens, River Vale, NJ, 201.666.0444, florentinegardens.com