The Wedding of ...
Alyssa Michella & Chris Uhlmansiek
Ceremony & Reception: Nanina’s in the Park, Belleville, NJ,
Gown: Stephen Yearick
Bridesmaids: Studio Suite 201
Tux: Glenmar Formal Wear
Makeup: Gianna’s Bridal Work
Hair: Dominique Zebrowski
Florist: Perla & Co.
Cake: The Little Cakes
Photographer: Glenmar Photographers
Band: Sal Travis Entertainment
A Dual-Level Ballroom
Chris and I, both medical sales representatives, met through work in California. I was taught the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so I cooked him dinner for our first date. Later that year, right after Christmas, Chris got down on one knee and proposed in front of my family in New Jersey. Shortly after, we had to fly back to California, but we wanted our wedding near my hometown so my mom could be our personal wedding planner.
Living in California, I was anxious about planning a wedding on the East Coast, but the team at Nanina’s in the Park was exceptional. They had top reviews online and we decided to give them a call. I spoke with Tom Casella, the general manager, and Peter Palmieri, a manager, who told me about Nanina’s over the phone, and without even seeing the venue in person yet, I was sold! I had my heart set on a New Year’s Eve wedding and they described their ballroom setting and how they could show the midnight ball drop. It sounded perfect. It was also appealing that they only have one bride in the venue at a time. Tom and Peter promised us the best day of our lives, and exceeded all our expectations.
When Chris and I visited Nanina’s that February, we were greeted with a huge hug from Liz Simonski, the hostess. The staff even put the holiday décor up for us so we could see what it would look like on New Year’s. From the Christmas decorations to the blazing fireplaces and grand piano, Nanina’s made you feel like you were in the warmth of your own home. We loved the elaborate dessert bar, the indescribable bridal suite, and most importantly, the ballroom. The dance floor, which was on a lower level from the main seating area, displayed large TV screens that would allow us to watch the ball drop from Times Square.
Our ceremony was held in Nanina’s elegant ballroom, featuring two levels of seating and a gorgeous walkway lined with candles. When my father walked me down the aisle, he whispered an inside joke between us to make me laugh and prevent me from crying. We filled a unity box as a special addition to our vows. My godfather did a special reading during the ceremony and added his own touch to the poem, bringing many to tears.
Guests were greeted with champagne at our cocktail hour. We’re still hearing about the mac and cheese bar, which served helpings in martini glasses with lobster, shrimp, Buffalo chicken, or bacon! We also loved the carving station featuring Vermont turkey and marinated flank steak. And what’s an Italian wedding without a pasta station? We also created signature martini drinks for the cocktail bar, like our RumChataTini.
The ballroom was decorated with ornate centerpieces of white hydrangea and orchid florets, hanging crystals, and branches. For dinner, our guests could pick two from Chateaubriand, chicken sorrentino, or the house favorite, shrimp Nanina’s. The Viennese dessert table featured a chocolate fondue fountain, a crème brûlée station, and a homemade gelato bar. Our dance floor was never empty, thanks to the 10-piece band for our reception and the DJ for our after-party.
Ringing in the New Year with our best friends and family was a truly special moment. We all gathered on the dance floor and watched the ball drop on the room’s LED screens, live from Times Square!
Our wedding would not have been possible without our friends and family. Thank you to our West Coast family for making the trip, to my sister, cousin, and mom for helping plan the wedding of my dreams, and to my father, for dealing with us and always making us laugh. Chris and I would also like to thank the staff at Nanina’s, especially Liz, who was readily available to answer our never-ending questions, and Cyrus, the maitre d’, who made sure our wedding was absolutely perfect!
Nanina’s in the Park
540 Mill Street, Belleville, NJ 07109