After visiting his daughter while having her hair done in a New Jersey salon, Larry Inserra called his friend Mitch to tell him, “I met the girl I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.” The salon’s general manager, Inez Gioffre, had greeted him at the salon and “her eyes and her beautiful smile just killed me,” says Larry. Little did Inez know that an invitation to a wine tasting that night from Mitch and his wife, Doreen, was actually a setup between her and Larry. “We met and felt we had known each other forever,” says Inez. “The connection we shared was truly amazing.”
With two very busy lives—Inez was working hard to support her two young children at the time and Larry led a stressful life as president of Inserra Supermarkets—the couple found in each other the opportunity to put each other first. “Our time together was spent full of love and laughter,” Inez explains, “relaxed and stress free.”
“I MET THE GIRL I’M GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH” - LARRY INSERRA, JR.
Committed for years, it wasn’t until almost a decade into the relationship that they decided to marry. On the last night of their annual February trip to St. Barths, Larry proposed. “I had to keep that ring on me all week,” he laughs, “I was so afraid I was going to lose it or Inez was going to find it.”
The New Jersey residents enjoy visiting New York City and hosting the wedding there meant it was close enough for two hundred family and friends to attend. The Mandarin Oriental is their favorite hotel when they visit, so it was a natural choice for the wedding reception. “I’ve never seen NYC views as spectacular,” says Inez, “as from the inside of the ballroom.”
The fun-loving couple wanted an upbeat, party atmosphere for their big day. At the 7 p.m. ceremony, all of the couple’s children—Juliana, Cassandra, Lindsey with husband John, and Lawrence—walked down the aisle to Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” and then Inez entered to the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”
It was again a family affair as parents and kids decided to dance the Hustle as the first dance. “Our guests were roaring with cheer!” says Inez. While the bride is a competitive ballroom dancer, Larry is often teased for his lack of dance skills.
Intense training leading up to the wedding allowed the couple to surprise guests with a highly skilled foxtrot performed to Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” The groom’s dancing journey was documented on video and as the couple changed into their dance attire, guests were shown the video before being wowed by the performance.
In addition to the wedding cake, Inez surprised her husband with a rhino groom’s cake—a nod to Larry’s ever-growing collection of rhinoceros-related gifts and trinkets. “It was a total surprise,” he says. The fun and festivities kept coming and guests partied until 3 a.m. Marrying in their fifties, Inez adds that, “We both feel extremely blessed to have found such love and such a strong bond at this point in our lives.”
Location: Mandarin Oriental, New York, New York, NY; Floral and Event Design: Tantawan Bloom, New York, NY; Linen and Rentals: Nüage Designs, New York, NY; Draping: Dynamic Drape & Décor, New York, NY; Lighting: design one, New York, NY; Stationery: Atelier Isabey; Entertainment: Hank Lane Music, New York, NY; Wedding Dress: J’Aton Couture