The Estate at Florentine Gardens wedding reception of Kevin & Peter | River Vale, New Jersey

More from Kevin & Peter’s gorgeous wedding reception…

Who proposed to who and how?
Pete proposed to Kevin during the fireworks at Disney World.

Pete had a work related trip to take to Orlando and Kevin had been hinting that the two of them should go a few days before Pete’s conference and have a “mini-vacation.” Pete had been brainstorming with friends and family about how to propose to Kevin, and when this trip came up it just felt like the best time to do it.

So Pete chartered a pontoon boat to take him and Kevin out onto the seven-seas lagoon during the fireworks. To keep the proposal a secret, Pete designed a flyer about the fireworks cruise. This flyer was made to look like the hotel we were staying in was chartering the boat, and that they had limited space available – on a first come. Pete left the flyer in the hotel room, and the trap was set. Kevin found the flyer and indicated to Pete that this would be a great thing to do. Pete agreed, and called the front desk to book the trip for that night. (Little did Kevin know, but Pete didn’t actually call anyone.)

When they arrived at the dock, The boat captain greeted them and escorted them to their pontoon. Already aboard was another couple. The captain, who was in on the proposal, indicated that only 4 people would be traveling tonight, and we were on our way. At this point it should be mentioned that the other couple on the boat, were professional photographers that Pete hired to capture the moment.

When the fireworks began, the captain positioned the boat and the photographers got into position. Then Pete got down on one knee and proposed. Kevin had no clue. It was magical.

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Why did you choose the Estate at Florentine Gardens?
We have been to many weddings together, but we can only remember a handful of them. Seven years ago, we attended a wedding at The Estate at Florentine Gardens and to this day we are still talking about it. When it was time to pick a venue, we checked out a number of places, but none of them compared to the uniqueness of the Estate at Florentine Gardens.

Having never planned a party of this size (160 guests) we were nervous about where to begin or how it would all come together. The venue provided us with a wedding coordinator, Denise, who held our hand the entire process. She told us what to do and not do while planning our wedding. She told us what to do if things didn’t work out the way we were hoping. She told us how to handle the vendor and guest issues that arose. She was our partner throughout the entire process. She was genuinely invested in our special day being perfect. By the day of the wedding, she felt like family to us. Speaking with Denise weekly will be the one thing we will miss now that the wedding is over.

What inspired your decor or theme?
We wanted something that represented us, Kevin’s favorite color is navy, and we wanted and Elegant and Classic theme, so we thought gold would perfectly compliment navy.

Tell us about your décor, flowers, etc.
Our décor consisted of gold Moroccan lanterns, and gold and crystal candelabras for the table centerpieces and white and cream floral arrangements of roses, lilies, hydrangeas, spider mums and snap dragons. Our color theme was Navy and gold and it was used in everything from the cake filling to gold frames around our photos in the lobby.

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Our cake was from Palermo’s Bakery. We had two flavors, chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and vanilla cake with raspberry and French cream. We requested that one of the layers be dyed blue to go with our color scheme. The icing is buttercream with fondant accents. We wanted the cake to tie in with the gold Moroccan lanterns we had as our table centerpieces. Our cake topper was a 3D model of the two of us. It was so life-like, our guests were lined up by the cake just to get a picture of it. We got it from Doob3d in New York City. It was Pete’s idea to get a 3D printed cake topper that would be unique and something we could keep as a keepsake, so we replicated our wedding tuxes and even went as far as renting the exact tie and vest and having our florist make boutonnieres for us. The cake and topper are definitely something people will remember about our wedding.

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What’s next for the two of you?
VACATION! After planning and hosting the largest party of our lives, it’s time to get away. We chose to honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico and we opted to travel in January, to get away from the cold and snow in the northeast.

Venue: The Estate at Florentine Gardens – River Vale, New Jersey
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery – Little Ferry, New Jersey
Flowers: Bill O’Shea’s Florist – Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey
Invitations: You’re So Invited – Westwood, New Jersey
Venue Coordinator: Denise Downing
Officiant: Matthew M. Morales
Band/DJ: Sal Travis Entertainment – River Vale, New Jersey

New Jersey wedding photographer: Leslie Barbaro