Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bravo bride

Lawrence resident’s wedding wishes come true on reality hit ‘Top Chef’

J.P. and Corey Marchetti

J.P. and Corey Marchetti

May 7, 2008


J.P. and Corey Marchetti cut her lemon-flavored wedding cake at their wedding reception catered by the contestants of Bravo&squot;s "Top Chef," a cooking reality show. The bride is a Lawrence native who was married in Chicago.

J.P. and Corey Marchetti cut her lemon-flavored wedding cake at their wedding reception catered by the contestants of Bravo's "Top Chef," a cooking reality show. The bride is a Lawrence native who was married in Chicago.

Pulled pork sandwiches were some of the comfort food on the bride's buffet.

Pulled pork sandwiches were some of the comfort food on the bride's buffet.

Every bride wants her wedding to be her special day - a day to spend with friends, family and her new spouse.

For Lawrence native Corey (Smith) Marchetti, her October wedding included all of those things ... plus 80 crew members, eight top chefs, four judges and about 2.3 million of her, um, closest friends.

Her Chicago wedding to J.P. Marchetti is getting the reality show treatment on tonight's episode of Bravo's popular cooking competition "Top Chef" (9 p.m., Sunflower Broadband Channels 43 and 211).

Yes, the bride puckering up her face at her wedding cake in the show's tension-filled promo is a 1999 graduate of Lawrence High School and a 2003 graduate of Kansas University.

"We're glad that it's finally here,'" she says of the episode. "It's been like excruciating the past six months waiting for it to come on."

The producers

So, how did the couple end up as special guests on such a hot reality show? It all comes down to a phone call from the show's producers and a date, Oct. 21.

Producers were in Chicago filming this season's series and were trying to find a venue for a "Wedding Wars"-themed episode. The producers were exploring the possibility of using Galleria Marchetti for the show, a prospect J.P. Marchetti, who runs the venue/restaurant, and his then-fiancee Corey, who does the marketing, found very exciting as "Top Chef" fans. J.P. Marchetti returned the producers' message as fast as he could.

"Usually when people ask us about a date, they want the date to be open," he says. "And I said, 'Well, there's nothing going on that day,' so I was hoping you know, they'd move forward. And the guy told me, 'Oh, that's too bad.'"

The producers were looking for an existing wedding on that date so the chefs could take over the catering as a show challenge. Upset that despite holding 70 weddings per year they didn't have the right date, the couple began discussing what they could do to make it work.

"And I was like, 'Well, you know, we could get married.' And we thought about it for a minute and we were like, 'Yeah, we could get married,'" Corey Marchetti says. "So we called back and just kind of threw it out there, thinking maybe they'll be interested, but probably not."

Turns out they were interested and got the OK from the network.

But, of course, the couple couldn't escape a reality show-type hitch ... they had just 27 days to plan a wedding in Chicago that had been planned for April in Kansas. They already had everything set in Lawrence - a church, reception site, florist, photographer and cake.

"I could not describe to you how stressful the month leading up to the wedding was," Corey Marchetti says. "Someone actually said to us that if they had gone through all the stuff we were going through before they got married, that they wouldn't have gotten married."

Going on with the show

First up on their to-do list? Making sure her family was OK with the switch. The bride's father, Michael Smith, is unable to travel because of a severe brain injury. It was decided the bride's mother, Marcia Smith, would walk her daughter down the aisle.

"She would not have done it if I couldn't have been there," Marcia Smith says.

With her parents' blessing, the couple sent out a wave of invitations asking people to a wedding weeks away in a different state and, oh, yes, guests would have to sign a release form if they wanted to come.

"We weren't supposed to tell people what it was for exactly," Corey Marchetti says. "Per Bravo's instructions, we had to include this special sheet that says, 'This is being filmed for a reality show' like in the invitation, which is kind of weird. So then we really had people calling and being like, 'What are you guys doing?'"

In the end, the show - like the backup wedding dress the bride had to order because her original one wasn't ready - turned out to be a perfect fit, too.

The couple says the food was as good as it looks on tonight's episode, which features dueling bride and groom buffets. The Marchettis didn't get into too many details, but they say that as part of the show's weekly elimination challenge, the chefs were split into two teams of four and each team was responsible for everything from appetizers to the wedding/groom's cakes on each side. Someone from what the judges deem the losing team will be voted off the show. However, the Marchettis say the judges should have a hard time as the food on both buffets was "unbelievable," with the groom's side full of Italian goodies and the bride's a mix of down-home treats.

"I ate like a pig," J.P. Marchetti says.

So, what better way to watch the big show than with food? Lindsey Hoover, the bride's sister and matron of honor, knows she'll be watching tonight with friends at her Eudora home, but you'll have to excuse her from trying to recreate what she ate from the buffet line for her guests.

Says Hoover, "I will probably order pizza."


Jake Angermeier 10 years, 1 month ago

I've known Cory and the smith clan since I was a kid. This is going to be awsome, as I was un-able to crash Corey's wedding, but managed to crash Lindsay's. I whis the happy couple the best of times!

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 1 month ago

It made me sad to read that her father was unable to attend the wedding due to the change of venue. :(

person184 10 years, 1 month ago

Lots of trite judgments today. Congrats to the couple on the wedding and the show. I'm going to try and catch it. If you have ever watched the show you would understand that it certainly is newsworthy!

mom_of_three 10 years, 1 month ago

Eride,do you always have to call people names......It was a chance they would only have once in a lifetime, and if the dad was okay with it, then I don't know why anyone else would have a problem.....i wish the couple best of luck in the future

Evan Ridenour 10 years, 1 month ago

So do you disagree with me that they commercialized their wedding or do you disagree with me making a post that points it out?Either way I don't care. People can do whatever they want, but I reserve the right to make jokes about whatever asinine thing people do.

fairylight 10 years, 1 month ago

Why is this a story I wonder. It's very sad her Father had to miss his daughters wedding for commercial reasons. That had to hurt.Woudln't the alternative have been to have your wedding as planned and then- since it's TV and can be as pretend as you want! - Have the fake wedding so you can be in this stupid reality show?Some people just don't care about family it seems.

chalngd 10 years, 1 month ago

Thank you d_prowess. I am the mother of the bride, and you are correct. Corey's dad insisted she have the wedding in Chicago when she discussed it with him. He has seen the videos, pictures and of course we will watch the show. We are an extremely close family and spend lots of time together. Corey visits often. My daughters and son-in-laws are the best! My husband of almost 40 years is doing well. The wedding was perfectly lovely and a lot of fun. I think the Jr. World did an excellent job.

Gareth Skarka 10 years, 1 month ago

Nice. Throwing your father under the bus just so you can be on television.He must be so proud.

vern_728 10 years, 1 month ago

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mkrockchalk 10 years, 1 month ago

Best of luck to the Smith family! So sad that a nice article is bashed by others. With all of the negative things going on in the world, I enjoy a nice article like this one.

penguin 10 years, 1 month ago

yeah I was thinking the same thing Raider. She said she was from Georgia and then repeated again that she loved Southern food because she was from the South.

Buggie7 10 years, 1 month ago

Chalngd I hope that you had a wonderful time and congrats to the bride and groom.I really hope though for her sake that she gets to have a small ceremony here that her father can participate in personally. My father died before he got the chance and Its such a wonderful thing to have him there. No offense to you of course. I have not seen the show because I dont watch the reality stuff much and im sure you were a great support for her but its a daddys lil girl thing and I really hope that she can do something here that involves him. I also hope this finds him in better health.

Taxpayer 10 years, 1 month ago

I believe this is the same Michael Smith that was featured in a JW story a long time ago. Try some compassion for the family.

Raider 10 years, 1 month ago

I thought the bride was from Lawrence. On the show she just said she was from Marietta, GA.

morganlefay 10 years, 1 month ago

Must have been one hell of a slow news day for this to make the front page. Who cares?! Image must be everything with these people. This is pathetic LJW!

Evan Ridenour 10 years, 1 month ago

Nice to see a couple commercializing their wedding. That is capitalism at its finest!

Raider 10 years, 1 month ago

Penguin:I'm glad i'm not the only one that caught that. If she's from here, went to LHS and KU, then why would she say on national TV that she and her family are all from Georgia? Is she ashamed to say she's from Lawrence, KS? Curious.

d_prowess 10 years, 1 month ago

Wow. A lot of people seem to have drunk their hater-ade today. Perhaps they still had a ceremony and reception here in Kansas. Perhaps the father was 100% in support of this and urged them to do it. I guess my point here is that there could be a lot more to this that was not included since this was a bit of a fluff piece just to highlight a local person will be on a very popular show...

coreysmith10 10 years, 1 month ago

I was completely shocked today to read so many hateful comments about my wedding, which was such a happy event. It seems people have many misconceptions about what actually occurred and maybe that is sparking some of the judgment. As far as the "capitalistic" comments, I'm not sure where that is coming from. We certainly didn't get paid to be on the show, and if anyone else has been paid to be on a reality show, please speak up because I don't think that is typically the practice in the industry. Perhaps those who think this was motivated my money should consider our real motivation, which was just to have fun and do something different. In our business, we plan about 70 weddings each year, so we were excited to be part of something like this.As for the comments about where I'm from, anyone who knows me knows that I bleed Crimson and Blue and extol the virtues of Lawrence to anyone who will listen. As viewers, you have to understand how much manipulation is done in the editing room. Because JP wanted Italian food, they wanted to partner him up with the chef who does Italian food. So, they needed to partner me up with someone. When the chef's introduced themselves, one of the chef's said he was from Atlanta, I told him where I was born, which is just outside of Atlanta. The show used this as an angle to partner myself up with that chef. To say that I am ashamed of Lawrence couldn't be further from the truth. It would have been nice if they had shown all my comments about Lawrence, but we had absolutely no editorial control. Now for the last issue I had with the comments, which concerns my father. The car accident that paralyzed my father occurred almost 15 years ago. He is a quadriplegic and it is a miracle he is even here to see me get married, even if it is only on tape. Yes, we considered having a fake wedding for television and then doing the real wedding in Lawrence, but that hardly seems in keeping with the spirit of the event. Also, our families wanted no part of the "fake" wedding. We agonized over not having the wedding in my hometown. If I had the wedding in Lawrence as planned, there is no guarantee my father would have been able to attend. My mother would have walked me down the aisle regardless. I am not sure why I feel the need to justify my wedding to total strangers, but I think it is because I was so surprised at some of the reactions. Most people have been very supportive and complimentary, but some people are downright nasty about it and that certainly isn't something I expected. Almost exactly 10 years ago to the day, there was an article in this paper about my father and how my family adjusted to his injuries. That article was met with a lot of support and encouragement. I would never have thought an article about my wedding that included mention of him would be met with so much cynicism and vitriol. I sincerely hope this helped to clear up some confusion and perhaps quell some unnecessary bitterness.

newsreader 10 years, 1 month ago

Rock on Corey, don't worry about the haters!

kansas_o_kansas 10 years, 1 month ago

Best Wishes to the Happy Couple! Top Chef is a classy show and thank you for participating.Please do not let the comments found on this website get to you - some people tend to spend too much time wallowing in their own miserable lives.

Jake Angermeier 10 years, 1 month ago

It shocks me that complete strangers have the gall to pass judgement on the Smith family to have this wedding in Chicago. Gareth, your comment about "throwing the father under the bus"? Mabye you just didn't know ( or are to inane to care) that Corey's mom has been taking care of her husband, FULL TIME, for around 15 years. I would like anyone to try such dedication. They sold their beautiful home just so they could have one that is handicapped accessable. Unlike most people faced with such a task, they did not send Mr. Smith to a "home" or get a full-time nurse. They did it themselves, and with love. What this family has been through! How dare anyone with no such inside knowledge think that they were passing on their fathers wishes to opt out for a commercial wedding! It was a fun thing to do, so they did it. Simple as that. Let Corey have her day, like every bride should, and just show an ounce of compassion and spare the judgement. I'm sure you would expect the same if you were in a simialar situation.

morganlefay 10 years, 1 month ago

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realityshowjunkie 10 years, 1 month ago

Ok, so I wanted to know what the buzz was all about so I checked out the show last night on a replay and then I re-read the article. I just want to ask one when you file for divorce, are you going to call Judge Judy to get on that show too? This was for sure a ploy to get on t.v. Man, what some people will do for a spotlight!

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