Estate at Florentine Gardens wedding photographer
Susan Stripling Photography
»
Susan Stripling Photography

Estate at Florentine Gardens wedding photographer

The Estate at Florentine Gardens is a wedding venue in River Vale, New Jersey.  With a meticulously cared-for Estate, an expansive ballroom, and a beautifully appointed garden, this NJ wedding venue is a delight to work at for a variety of reasons.

The Estate at Florentine Gardens

The main structure at this venue is the Estate itself.  Purchased in 1989 and lovingly restored by Thomas Daidone, the Estate itself is proud to be a family owned business.

This love for family and beauty extends into the entire Estate itself.  From the staircase that swoops up the right side of the Estate lobby to the meticulous care the staff gives to the presentation of the space, it's easy to see why this venue is extremely popular with discerning New Jersey brides and grooms.


The Ballroom at the Estate

One of the most striking features of the Estate at Florentine Gardens is the grand ballroom itself.

You can have a wedding reception of up to three hundred and sixty guests in this expansive space.  This is pretty spectacular for larger weddings, since many popular venues cap the guest list at one hundred and fifty or two hundred guests.

I especially love the tall ceilings that arch upwards, dotted with beautiful chandeliers.  The Juliet balcony in the grand ballroom gives wedding photographers a great vantage point to photography first dances, parent dances, speeches, the reception room decor, and the overall reception party itself.


The Estate Gardens

As a wedding photographer, I am especially drawn to the gardens outside the Estate.

Many wedding venues have small outside spaces, but the Estate at Florentine Gardens goes big in all ways.  The beautifully landscaped outdoor garden takes up four acres - plenty of space for your wedding day portraits!

I've been to the Estate at Florentine Gardens in both the summer months and the winter chill, and there is always somewhere beautiful outside to take pictures!

Whether or not you choose to have your ceremony outdoors, you can use the gardens as the backdrop for your couple's portraits, family formal images, and wedding party group shots!


Wedding Photography at the Estate at Florentine Gardens

I've photographed several weddings at the Estate at Florentine Gardens, and have enjoyed every one.  Notable things that, as a wedding photographer, I love about shooting at this particular venue are:

  • There is ample space to have your ceremony indoors or outdoors without infringing on your cocktail hour space.  If you have your ceremony indoors, they can flip the space into your reception while your guests enjoy cocktail hour in another part of the Estate.
  • The staff is extremely nice.  They are helpful to guests, clients, and vendors alike.  It's always wonderful to work somewhere who cares for you like you're a guest!
  • I do love the Juliet balcony in the ballroom.  It's situated perfectly between the chandeliers and really does give me an excellent vantage point for reception room shots and long exposures of the party dancing at the end of the night.

At this particular wedding, we were really racing against the sunset to get images of the bride and groom together.

I love it when my clients give me time on the wedding day to create portraits for them, and I especially love when they're willing to hurry outside to get those last rays of light!

We were finishing up their portraits when I saw that the sun had already set behind the Estate gardens.

I knew that I wanted a few more images with that beautiful orange sun as it dipped below the trees, but it was already gone in the gardens - what was I to do?

I looked out across the parking lot and saw that there was still the tiniest shred of sunlight dancing on a shrub near the parking lot entrance.  The bride, groom and I hustled as fast as we could across the parking lot and were able to take a few more portraits there just before the sun finished setting.

I love how the setting sun burns through the bride's beautiful cathedral length veil (my personal favorite veil length!).  I love how joyous and exuberant she is in this moment.  I love that you can see the Estate at Florentine Gardens behind her, a subtle part of the scene.

Most of all I love that I had clients who trusted me enough to run across a parking lot for one final picture!  What more could any wedding photographer hope for??

1/800; f/1.4; ISO 100; 105.0 mm.