The Wedding of ...
Lauren Sarti & Daniel Simone
Ceremony: Notre Dame Church
Reception: The Estate at Florentine Gardens, River Vale, NJ,
Gown: Kenneth Pool
Bridesmaids: Sorella Vita
Tux: Tom Ford
Makeup: Flights of Beauty
Hair: Trinity Salon
Florist: Crest Florist
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
Photographer: Ron Soliman
Cinematographer: Evan at Sal Travis Entertainment
Band: The House Band/DJ at Sal Travis Entertainment
A Candelit Ballroom
At my best friend’s bachelorette party, I got very close with her soon-to-be mother-in-law, who told me her partner in real estate would be perfect for me and she was going to give him my number. When Danny called, it immediately felt very natural and comfortable. We went to dinner the next day at Tarazzo’s in Nutley, NJ and then to a bar, where we stayed all night until it closed at 4 am. After that, we were inseparable.
Two years later, Danny took me to a beautiful restaurant for my birthday called Highlawn Pavilion that overlooks the skyline. We were on the balcony getting drinks before dinner, and all of a sudden, he’s on one knee with a ring and a photographer to capture the proposal! I could not believe it! I was on cloud nine. When we walked downstairs to the private dining room, I was surprised again to find he invited our families to dinner to celebrate!
Being Italian, choosing our venue was about the food. We knew Florentine Gardens was known for their amazing cuisine. Danny and I also wanted a venue that could be only ours for the night. When we visited Florentine Gardens, we loved the stunning grounds, impressive architecture, beautiful ballroom, and traditional ambiance. Working with Denise Downing, our event coordinator, was such a pleasure. I did not have to worry about anything. She was always so excited and took care of everything. Sal Travis, director of entertainment services, was fantastic. He took care of all the lighting and music for us.
We got married at my childhood church in NJ. My mom decorated the altar with two large candelabras accompanied by large flowers and lined the pews with flowers. Danny surprised me by having a man release beautiful doves when we left the church. People are still talking about our cocktail hour. We got every single extra you could offer in terms of food! We had a seafood raw bar presented on a three-tiered ice sculpture which included king crab legs and oysters (my favorite), a tapas bar, a Chinese “take-out” station with a make-your-own stir-fry option, and more! Our ballroom had romantic rose and plum uplighting. The entire room and the window sills were lined with candles. Our initials were lit up on the dance floor. Our centerpieces consisted of four types of tall vases, filled with flowers of blushes, plums, and violets to match the room’s coloring.
We started dinner with a small dish of pasta with marinara sauce. Our intermezzo was a grilled cantaloupe with prosciutto and fried brie arugula salad. Our entrées were a selection of Chateaubriand of beef, halibut, or French cut chicken breast stuffed with spinach and fontina. Our guests loved our Viennese Hour display. We had everything from cake to ice cream to zeppoles. We sent guests home with pastries and waffles!
We had Florentine Gardens’ 10-piece house band for the entire night but extended it into an after-party with their DJ. I have never heard a better band. They were so eclectic. It made our life so easy that Florentine Gardens had all these amazing vendors in one place.
A huge thank you to Denise, Sal, the staff at Florentine Gardens, and Sal Travis Entertainment as the house cinematographer, band, and DJ! A shout out to all our amazing vendors, especially our photographer Ron and his wife, Bless, and Matt at Crest Florist. And a special thank you to my mother for helping plan the entire wedding while I was at law school. Thanks to all our friends and family for celebrating with us!
The Estate at Florentine Gardens
97 Rivervale Road, River Vale, NJ 07675