The Wedding of ...
Alyssa Picinich & Mariano Rivera III
Ceremony: Refuge of Hope Church
Reception: The Rockleigh, 201.768.7171
Gown: Dennis Basso
Bridesmaids: Christina Wu from Sisters Bridal Boutique
Groomsmen: Michael Kors
Photographer: Jorg Windau
Makeup: Beauty On Demand, Sara Saboura
Hair: Mary Tarabocchia
Florist: Preston Bailey
Cake: Carlo’s Bakery
Stationery: The Write Occasion
Transportation: Moonlight Limo
Aisle Runner: Original Runners
Mariano and I knew of each other for some time before formally meeting. We were at a college party and he introduced himself. We talked for only a few minutes, but the next morning I had a message from him, saying he’d like for us to get to know each other. We discovered our mutual love of football and went to a Giants vs. Cowboys game with his father and friend as a buffer. Our first official date followed shortly after, with a night spent seeing the NYC Christmas tree and going to Delmonico’s Kitchen for dinner.
About two years later, Mariano planned a weekend for us in the city. He brought me back to Delmonico’s Kitchen before going to see a play. When we sat down, I remarked it was the same table we had for our first date, but he said he hadn’t realized.
We ordered, and as my plate was set in front of me, instead of my steak, there was a box with a beautiful diamond ring in it, and in chocolate syrup was written “Will you marry me?” Mariano got down on one knee and popped the question! I cried tears of joy and said yes and a professional photographer appeared to capture the moment. We went to take photos in Times Square, and Mariano said he had one more surprise at the hotel before the play. Our family and friends were in the adjoining room next to our hotel room, ready to celebrate! The play was an elaborate cover story.
After seeing The Rockleigh at a prior event, Mariano knew he wanted us to have our wedding there. The food was delicious, the staff was amazing, and the place itself was absolutely beautiful. When we went to see it together, I knew he was right. We worked with Bari Puli, our event manager, who was extremely helpful from day one. We felt comfortable that she, and everyone else on staff, was going to take care of all our needs. They were so accommodating and always ready to go above and beyond. The excellence of their staff helped make our wedding day spectacular.
Our ceremony was held at Mariano’s parents’ church, Refuge of Hope, in New Rochelle. It was so sentimental to have our marriage ceremony in a place that means so much to his family. Pastor Mark Vega helped us create our ceremony with a lot of tradition and some personalized touches. Our guests always tell me our cocktail hour was the best they’ve ever been to! We had every kind of food imaginable. We had eight delicious stations – a caviar station, a wine station, and a carving station, to name a few – and even more passed hors d’oeuvres. It’s hard to pick favorites, but the rock shrimp, coconut chicken, and mini Kobe beef sliders were a few of the variety! While we took photos, The Rockleigh made sure we got to try everything by bringing us little plates of the food.
Our ballroom had fall colors of oranges, maroons, dark reds, yellows, greens, and leaves mixed in. We had tall centerpieces that looked like chandeliers with crystals hanging down around them with floating leaves and flowers. We had two long rectangular family tables that had long, tall, overhead centerpieces with the same concept and color scheme. Our entertainment included a 20-foot LED video wall and a piano DJ booth. The dance floor was occupied the whole night! The DJ kept everyone on their feet as Spanish, Croatian, and everyday pop music was played.
Dinner began with a champagne toast, followed by roasted pears served with crumbled goat cheese, field greens, and roasted walnuts; a second course of penne a la vodka; and lemon sorbet lollipops as an intermezzo. Entrée options were filet mignon served with a Madeira wine reduction, shallots, and truffles; a polenta and herb-crusted Asian sea bass; a Tuscan roasted chicken breast coated with truffle butter served with a ragout of exotic mushrooms; potatoes au gratin with vegetables; or a vegetarian option. At the end was our seven-tier cake and a full Viennese dessert table!
Mariano and I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding. Thank you to everyone who was part of our special day. You made it all possible. Bari worked with us until the very end to make sure we were happy. Preston Bailey, our ballroom designer, is the best in the business. The Cake Boss impressed! To our family and friends, thank you for being there to celebrate the best night of our lives!
Rockleigh, NJ, 201.768.7171, www.therockleigh.net