The Wedding of ...
Dawn Cassano & Robert Wiseman
Ceremony: Our Lady Queen of Peace
Reception: Nanina's in the Park, Belleville, NJ,
Gown: Paloma Blanca
Bridesmaids: Bari Jay
Tux: Calvin Klein
Makeup & Hair: House of Trends
Florist: Flowers by Bernard
Cake: Palermo's Bakery
Photographer: Milton Gil Photographers
DJ: Music 2 The Max
An Enchanting Cocktail Hour at Nanina's in the Park
I work in advertising and Robert is an accountant. We met one summer at the Jersey Shore where we both had houses for the summer. Our mutual friends were dating at the time and introduced us. A year later we were reunited once again down the shore and began dating. We’ve been together ever since.
Robert proposed at Rosa Mexicano, where we had our first date. He had asked the restaurant to seat us at a back table away from the crowd to ensure we would have privacy. We ate a delicious dinner and began talking about how we had not been back to this restaurant since our first date. I joked and said, “And you have been stuck with me ever since!” Rob quickly replied, “How about being stuck with me for the rest of our lives,” pulling out the ring from his pocket! I was stunned and overwhelmed with excitement. Our waiter instantly appeared with champagne to congratulate us. When we left the restaurant, I discovered he had arranged for all our friends and family to be at a lounge nearby to celebrate with us.
For our reception, we wanted a venue that held one wedding at a time and had an outside garden area. Nanina’s in the Park was perfect, having everything we wanted and more. It was exactly what we were looking for in terms of service and ambiance, giving us the feeling that we were in a personal residence. We met with Tom Casella, the general manager, who was great to work with throughout the entire process. He always answered all our questions and concerns keeping me at ease throughout my planning. Every time I had a new question, he would always say, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.”
We got married at my childhood church which also had personal meaning to Robert. As soon as I saw him in the church, my nerves disappeared. Our cocktail hour was both outdoors and indoors. Our guests enjoyed the grand fireplace and bar, as well as being able to take advantage of Nanina’s beautiful outside gardens and white footbridge. Everyone raved about the food. We had sushi, an Asian stir-fry station, a crêpe station, passed hors d’oeuvres, and so much more. The macaroni and cheese martini glasses also were a big hit.
For our reception, I wanted a romantic and enchanting feel to the ballroom and it took our breath away. Everything was perfect, and exactly how we envisioned it. We had two types of centerpieces, tall high glasses for the upper level tables and low centerpieces for the tables by the dance floor. The flowers were an assortment of hydrangeas, roses, and orchids in shades of pink, purple, and green, a perfect accent to the room lighting which was a flushed blue.
For dinner, we started with a Tuscany salad with arugula, Asian pear, candied toasted walnuts, and crumbled gorgonzola drizzled with port wine balsamic vinaigrette. Robert and I are both from Italian families and Tom helped us create a dish featuring two different pasta varieties. For our main course, we chose the chateaubriand with shrimp Nanina’s, a fried shrimp with special house sauce. For dessert we had a Viennese display with treats like bananas foster, a Belgian waffle station, cookies, pastries, and our wedding cake. My husband, a huge chocolate fan, took the lead on choosing our cake. It had two different layers, one chocolate with Oreo frosting and the other vanilla with chocolate frosting. It was a chocolate lover’s dream.
We both love to dance, so we wanted to be sure everyone was up dancing the entire wedding and our DJ was amazing. We also organized an after-party at Nanina’s, which was back in the lounge and garden areas where they served sliders, nachos, and French fries, giving it an after-hours pub theme. The night was perfect! We want to say a special thank you to our parents, who helped us a great deal to make our wedding day everything we ever wanted. Tom at Nanina’s in the Park and all our other vendors were great to work with. We would recommend them to everyone.