The Wedding of ...
Lauren Pucciarello & Jeffrey Hochman
Ceremony: St. Thomas the Apostle
Reception: Nanina's in the Park, Belleville, NJ,
Gown: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaids: Jenny Yoo
Tux: Conroy's Tuxedo
Makeup & Hair: Glam Fairy
Florist: Conroy's Florist
Cake: A Little Cake
Photographer: Gabelli Studio
Band: The Time Machine
Invitations & Donation Cards: Invitations by Danielle
An Elaborate Cocktail Hour at Nanina's in the Park
I’m a registered nurse and Jeff is a police officer. We met when we were both having lunch at TGI Fridays on a random day. We really hit it off and were friends for a few months before we started dating. On our first big date, Jeff took me to a surprise dinner in Princeton, where we got to meet the chef who was on one of our favorite shows, Top Chef. Jeff proposed during a Las Vegas vacation. He took me to a nice dinner, and after, while we were watching a show on the water, the waiter came over with two glasses of champagne. At first I had no idea what was going on, but when I looked down, Jeff was on one knee.
I used to eat at Nanina’s in the Park all the time when I was younger, and I always said, “I’m going to get married there one day.” When we got back from Vegas, we went to visit with my parents, and we booked it that day! We worked with Vicky Iandoli, banquet manager, and she was amazing through every step of the way. We sent so many emails back and forth. She helped us with cakes, decorations, and any questions. The night of the wedding she was amazing. Anything we needed, she got it for us in a second.
We got married at St. Thomas the Apostle, which is where I went to school growing up. Jeff’s mom had attended the school as well and his aunt was the principal. It was also where Jeff’s parents had been married. Needless to say, it was a very special place for us to have our ceremony!
Jeff and I joined our amazing cocktail hour, but not before Vicky from Nanina’s brought some of the hors d’oeuvres up to the bridal suite so we could eat before we went down to meet everyone. There was so much food! There was a fresh mozzarella station where the chef made fresh mozzarella in front of our guests and included whatever they wanted in it, from peppers to pepperoni. It was a big hit! We had whole lobsters on the grill, a sushi station, a mac and cheese station, a mashed potato bar, and more. Our guests are still talking about our cocktail hour.
We got to see the ballroom for the first time before everyone walked in. It was amazing because everything we had designed was put together so perfectly. We wanted an all navy, crystal, and diamond ballroom. Our centerpieces were big and white with hydrangeas, roses, and diamond-encrusted accents. Dinner was amazing. Guests started with a Tuscany salad followed by a pasta dish. They had a choice of chateaubriand, Chilean sea bass oreganata, chicken saltimbocca, or eggplant napoleon for the entrée. Everyone raved about dinner, saying they left so stuffed but kept eating because the food was so good.
For dessert, we had a Venetian hour and our cannoli cream cake, and we gave everyone a special monogrammed box with a slice of cake to take home with them. In lieu of favors, we made donations to three charities: leukemia and lymphoma for my grandfather, breast cancer for Jeff’s mom, and dogs because Jeff and I love dogs. We gave each guest a poker chip to put in a jar for one of the three charities, and for each poker chip we donated one dollar to that charity. Our band was incredible. They had everyone up on their feet all night. I even sang with the band at one point!
Thanks so much to our parents for their never-ending support. Thanks especially to my mother, who was my wedding planner and worked tirelessly to make sure all details fell into place, and to Vicky at Nanina’s in the Park. She was a dream come true from the day we booked our wedding!