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2,000 Cookies—And Almost as Many Peonies—Were at Lidey Heuck’s Wedding in Pittsburgh

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Kate Headley

New York Times Cooking recipe contributor and soon-to-be cookbook author Lidey Heuck first crossed paths with Joe Piscina at their friend David’s birthday party in 2014. Two years later, again at David’s birthday party, Joe finally asked Lidey out to dinner.

After four years together—during which the couple had what Lidey calls a “short-distance” relationship with Joe living in New York City and Lidey in East Hampton—Joe proposed on Cape Cod. He had originally planned to get down on one knee on a surprise trip to Anguilla, which was booked for April 2020, but due to the pandemic, they quarantined with his family on the cape. “The ring was burning a hole in Joe’s pocket, so he went for it and proposed to me one day when we were on a walk at the beach,” Lidey shares. “It was simple and perfect, and some friends came over that night to celebrate with pizza and Champagne on the porch.”

The pair waited until they could responsibly throw a large wedding, and ultimately chose to host the day at Fox Chapel Golf Club, just a few minutes away from the bride’s parents’ home in Pittsburgh. “Our wedding venue was very traditional, and we did black tie for the dress code, so I knew I wanted to balance that formality with lots of color and fun decor,” the bride shares. “Loosely inspired by an English country garden theme, we put flowers all over the place in various shades of pink—including my favorite, hot pink!—and used bright green-patterned table linens.”

To set the tone for the weekend, Scribe and Co. created a classic invitation suite. And Julie King Studio was behind the whimsical day-of stationery.

After several visits to various New York bridal salons, Lidey thought she had found “the one” at Lela Rosea classic sleeveless v-neck design—and kept returning to try it on. During one appointment there, she spied a new off-the-shoulder silk dress with a ruched neckline, a cinched waist, and a big ballgown skirt. “It was completely different from what I thought I’d want to wear on my wedding day, but I immediately knew I’d found my dress,” Lidey shares. “It felt old-fashioned and current and feminine at the same time, and it was totally me.”

The rehearsal dinner was held at Bar Marco in Downtown Pittsburgh. “Since many of our guests were visiting Pittsburgh for the first time, we really wanted the Friday night events to be downtown, so they could get a sense of the city,” Lidey explains. Alison Aronne planned the rehearsal dinner and the welcome party a few blocks away. The menu and decor were inspired by the couple’s shared love of traveling to Italy and Italian food.

On the day-of, the bride got ready in a Lake pima robe with Beauty Justified and Wendy Vario, who made her feel like the best version of herself. Lidey completed her bridal ensemble with a pearl veil, also from Lela Rose, her mother’s diamond earrings, a pearl bracelet that Joe gifted her as a wedding present, and Loeffler Randall heels. At the end of the night, she switched into a sequin shift mini dress by Milly and sandals from Schutz.

Bridesmaids complemented Lidey in satin dresses from Amsale in various styles, and the bridesman, Simon, wore a black tuxedo with a cluster of family heirloom brooches. For the ceremony, Joe wore a custom tuxedo from Alton Lane, Brioni tie and cummerbund, and dress boots from Crockett and Jones.

On June 11, 2022, guests gathered at a beautiful country church, just down the street from the reception venue. “Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing big smiles on the faces of all the important people in my life is a moment I’ll never forget,” Lidey recalls. “We made a point to choose readings that were personal and particularly special to us, including a poem by my favorite poet, Billy Collins, and a Bible reading in Italian to honor Joe’s family.”

Once officially wed, a close family friend drove the newlyweds to the reception in his vintage Land Rover. Anne Dickson of Fox and the Fleur decorated the vehicle with florals and cans to make the ride more memorable. 

Cocktail hour began on the terrace, and then everyone was called inside for the seated dinner. The club prepared one of the bride’s own salad recipes for the first course, followed by filet of beef and crab cakes served with salsa verde and pasta alla vodka for vegetarians. The wedding carrot cake was made by Lidey’s Aunt Candace and was decorated with buttercream pearls and fresh peonies walnuts. The wedding day happened to fall on Joe’s mother’s and grandmother’s birthdays, so smaller, individual cakes were made for them and the whole room sang “Happy Birthday” after dinner. “Joe and I also got up and thanked everyone for coming,” Lidey recalls. “I love a microphone and couldn’t resist!”

Knowing that there’s a Pittsburgh tradition of asking family and friends to bring homemade cookies to weddings, Lidey put her own spin on it and ordered sweets from her and Joe’s favorite bakeries and cookies that represented all the places meaningful to their relationship. They also asked a few family members to contribute their own confections for people to take home at the end of the night. “We basically filled an entire room with cookies and kept it as a surprise until we opened the doors after dinner,” Lidey shares. “And to add to the wow factor, we had a massive balloon installation from Funk Balloon in our wedding colors. This took a LOT of coordination—I think we had over 2,000 cookies!—but choosing and ordering cookies is my kind of planning.”

Lidey and Joe had their first dance to “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding, and then Philadelphia-based Motown band York Street Hustle kept everyone moving. At one point, Lidey’s bridesman, Simon, joined the band for a heart-melting rendition of “Fool’s Rush In.”

After the reception, the party continued at Lidey’s favorite local bar for pitches of beer, pizza, and karaoke. “One of my favorite memories from our wedding was the 2:00 a.m. shuttle bus ride from the after-party back to the hotel,” Lidey admits. “The bus was packed to the gills, and we blasted music and danced the entire way home.”

Want more from Lidey? Read her top registry tips for the best kitchen, and stay tuned for her cookbook!