The Estate at Florentine Gardens in River Vale, NJ was the scene for Mariel and Eric’s July 4th wedding.  I could tell you about my experience photographing these two newlyweds, but wouldn’t you rather hear about the day from them? Me too!  Let’s see how they met, how he proposed, and what their most memorable moments were from their wedding day:

Their story, as told in their own words…

“Eric & I met at University of Delaware by crossing paths at parties and at weekly UDance meetings. UDance is a dance marathon that supports the B+ Foundation, which is an organization that raises funds to help those with pediatric cancer—an organization still near and dear to our hearts. Our good friend encouraged me to “give Eric a chance”. From then on, we developed an incredible bond that grew and lasted through post-graduation years. In 2014 we moved in together, and about a year later Eric was down on one knee proposing in our apartment! He cooked me dinner and right away was hungry for dessert. Now I know why—the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream carton said “Mariel, Will You Marry Me?” Of course I said yes, and we got right to work planning our Big Day.

When the day finally came, we were both surprisingly calm. (Even when I had to wait for Eric for our first look, since men apparently take longer to get ready!) We loved being surrounded by family and friends who traveled near and far. Danette captured both beautiful and silly moments from the day, which is awesome since now we can re-live this special occasion for years to come!

We had an intimate first look where we read special notes to one another.  Another one of our favorite memories was doing the hora, since it was the first time we could truly process seeing all the guests that were there to celebrate our marriage. It was surreal. Another favorite memory was when Mariel was standing with her parents before walking down the aisle; she was filled with butterflies. Eric loved our ceremony, especially being able to break the glass successfully on the first try. Our night ended with an energetic dance party with all of our friends!”

Thank you Mariel and Eric for sharing your story!!  What a day it was.  And now it’s my turn to share my favorite moments from their wedding day. Enjoy!


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Mariel & Eric’s other vendors include:

Hair & Make Up – Glamorous by Jennifer Rose

Wedding Dress – Pronovias from L’Fay Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses – Watters from Bella Bridesmaids

Tuxedos – Groomsmes: Men’s Wearhouse; Eric’s from Rothman’s in NYC

Wedding Coordinator – Denise Downing from Florentine Gardens

Videographer – LVL 13 Cinematography

Cake Artist – The caterer: Allan Janoff from Crystal Plaza (Kosher)

Band – The Groove Shop


Rachel and Tristan take the award for most adoring couple of 2016! Their wedding was this past Sunday at Riverdale Manor in Lancaster, PA, on one of the steamiest days this year. I say they are adoring because the way they lovingly stared at each other all day made my heart skip a beat more than once. They are 110% in love and it was beautiful to witness. Here are their teasers!


When I first met Gina and Justin they were in the early stages of planning their wedding with just 6 months to go until the big day. Gina was very detailed oriented and meticulous, and knew that she wanted this day of days to be as magnanimous as she dreamed it to be. Well the hard work and planning paid off! Because not only was their wedding day perfect, Gina let it all hang out and had a blast letting the day just be. Needless to say, Gina was a very fun bride.

The Madison Hotel in Morristown, NJ was the scene they selected for their gorgeous late June wedding. This hotel is not your typical hotel for weddings – the ceremony and reception both took place in a glass atrium, which provided abundant yummy light for the ceremony, and then gave glimpses of the stars at night.  Pretty awesome all day.

Both our bride and groom got ready at the hotel before seeing each other for the first time that day. They were incredibly fun to work with for their portraits! Easily one of the most funny this year. (I never know what to expect when I ask my couples to “free style”) See for yourself below!

From their portrait funzies, to their ceremony with warm and fuzzies, all they way to the last dance, this was one of those really good ones that people will talk about for a long time.

Enjoy my favorites from Gina and Justin’s wedding day!



Other vendors include:

Hair and Make Up –  Ashley and Christine from Pin it Up Bridal

Dress – L’fay Bridal in Chatham, NJ

Florist – Dawn Paruta, with Sweet Greens, Chatham, NJ

Officiants – Rabbi Deb Smith  and Deacon Elliot Stein with Assumption Church in Morristown, NJ

Maitre D –  Tim MacHale from the Madison Hotel

DJ – Chris Barrett with Elite Sound Entertainment

MC – Mike Montalvo

Cake – Rod’s Bakery, Madison Hotel

  • Marie Graczyk Thomas - August 1, 2016 - 5:26 PM

    as always – great pictures and looked like funReplyCancel

Last year when I met Julie & Gates it was pretty obvious that having fun together is a priority. They are playful and silly with each other, and photographing their engagement session was a lot of fun for all of us. So when their wedding was approaching I was looking forward to it as much as they were because I had the feeling it was going to be epic. And epic it was! The dance floor shenanigans alone makes their wedding stand out as one of the most epic receptions of 2016. But first! Let’s talk about the beginning of the day…

The First Presbyterian Church in Metuchen, NJ was where we all met up after their prep for their first look and portraits. Gates’s reaction upon seeing Julie for the first time that day was priceless! The ceremony was full of tradition and stories about these two souls, and it was a perfect tribute to their relationship. One of my favorite images from the day was taken within seconds of them walking back down the aisle when they realize it finally just happened! See for yourself below.

From the church we all made our way to the Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren, NJ where the real fun was about to begin. Their introduction as husband and wife and first dance set the tone for the rest of the celebration. The dance floor was never empty and in fact there was so much action happening constantly that I swear all I had to do was press the button on my camera! Their family and friends really know how to let loose and live in the moment and dance like no one was stalking them with a camera. (Ok, some of these folks liked being stalked!)

Gates and Julie were so much fun to work with, and it was my pleasure documenting this day for them both. These are my favorites from the day. Enjoy!


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