The Wedding of…
Nicole Wanunu & Igor Smolianski
Ceremony & Reception: The Brownstone, 973.595.8582, thebrownstone.com
Gown: Marina Bukhman, the bride’s mom
Bridesmaids: Amaze; Tux: Tuxedo by Sarno
Photographer & Cinematographer: TMT Weddings, tmtweddings.com
Makeup & Hair: Verve
Florist: Olga Aleksandrova
Cake: The Brownstone; DJ: Elegant Music Group
Officiant: Rabbi Mendy Herson
Live Guest Artist: Kathryn McCabe
Photo Booth: Life Moments; Sign Rentals: SAJ Events
“Incredibly Happy with the Food”
Nicole and I met online through Hinge. We hit it off right away and met for our first date at a Spanish tapas bar. We immediately connected on our ambitions and prospects for the future. A little less than a year later, peak pandemic, she had moved in with me. Soon after, on a weekend getaway, we learned just how much of a movie our relationship really was.
Scrolling through some old baby pictures, we stumbled upon a trove of pictures of the two of us together as kids at the Bronx Zoo and the Wax Museum. Lo and behold, after we questioned our families, we learned that our lives had intertwined for a couple of years when we were five years old. After that, it has been a fairy tale. During a trip to Costa Rica a year later, I proposed to Nicole at the end of a hike through the cloud forest, with my best man, Ilya, and his wife, Sofiya, by our side.
We chose The Brownstone for our venue because they had everything we were looking for. We love nature and the ambiance that plants can bring to a space. The Grand Conservatory at The Brownstone feels like a luxurious greenhouse as soon as you walk into it.
Working with Albert Manzo, the owner, immediately felt very easy and natural. We had a lot of special requests, from having a family style dinner to also flipping our ceremony room to then be the reception room as well. Our ceremony was in the Grand Conservatory room. We had a Jewish ceremony that was both modern and traditional and we had a chuppah.
Our cocktail hour was in the “Red Room” and its attached outside area. Both Nicole and I did not eat very much on the day of, but all our guests were incredibly happy with the food. My personal favorite was the lamb chop which was incredibly tender and cooked perfectly.
We worked with Albert to bring many of the dishes regularly served during cocktail hour to our reception. Starting from the cocktail hour we brought in a painter who did personal paintings of our guests as party favors for them to take home.
The reception was also in the Grand Conservatory room, with its dramatic glass walls and ceiling and its abundant greenery. For our family style dinner, my favorite dishes were the fried calamari with tomato sauce and the pan-seared Chilean sea bass. Guests could also choose potato and cheese pierogies, cheese tortellini Alfredo, penne all vodka, chateaubriand, and chicken piccata.
Weddings which Nicole and I have attended are served banquet style, but working with Albert we were able to pull off our family style dinner without a hitch. Our wedding cake was a Nutella cake with cannoli cream filling. We also had a brownie sundae bar, churro platters, miniature pastry and cookies, plus a fruit display.