LaRocca-Hochman Wedding

LaRocca-Hochman Wedding

It started with Bart.

In November 2015, Angela LaRocca arrived for a business meeting at the “Wydown Starbucks,” at the corner of Hanley Road and Wydown Boulevard, to meet an acquaintance named Bart. He spotted and then introduced her to the new St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Benjamin Hochman, who swapped business cards with the bubbly blonde. 

Around that same time, neither Benjamin nor Angela knew that two octogenarian family friends were cooking something up.

Lou Cohen and Paul Gallant, both 84, shared a realization – Irene and Mark LaRocca’s daughter and Jere and Josette Hochman’s son would make a perfect match (or, they realized that the LaRoccas’ daughter and the Hochmans’ son were the only single 30-somethings in Clayton, so they might as well just date each other).

Lou Cohen, who is the father of TV channel Bravo personality Andy Cohen, continually told Irene about the potential match. Excited about the existence of this Benjamin, Irene called Angela in June 2016, not knowing that her daughter already had been in contact with Benjamin, thanks to the Bart introduction.

Irene: “Lou says you must meet this Benjamin Hochman guy.”

Angela: “I’m going on a date with Benjamin in like four hours.”

What happened next was pretty awesome. Benjamin and Angela, who is an actress and director and also works as “chief catalyst” for Bigwidesky, a Clayton-based business development and branding agency, discovered love. They were both so similar — goofy and comfortable in their own skin, irrationally enamored with St. Louis and just good humans who loved their families, friends and 1990s hip-hop. 

The couple, who are both 37, got engaged in April 2017 at Booches Billiard Hall in Columbia, Mo., a hamburger joint and pool hall, which was a favorite place of Benjamin’s from his college days at University of Missouri. He had taken Angela there several times during their courtship, and she fell in love with the place, too.

On July 1, they got married at a historic Central West End residence belonging to Steve and Nanette Wisniewski, whose children Angela babysat as a teenager. Her brother, Mark LaRocca, Jr., and Benjamin’s sister, Emily Hochman, having been recently ordained by the Universal Life Church, presided over the ceremony.

All of the attendants were friends of the couple. The maid of honor was Susan Caciano and the best man was Geoff Gloeckler. Members of the bridal party were Candice Hill and Patrick Murphy while Michael Slomin and Jonah Keri served as groomsmen.

The bride’s grandparents are John and Virginia LaRocca of Creve Coeur and the late John Forrest and the late Marceline Ailworth of St. Louis.

The groom’s grandparents are Joan Hochman of Clayton and the late Bernard Hochman and the late Bettye Rose Levy Hochman Pankewer and Josephine DelPriore of Dallas, Penn. and the late James DelPriore.

After a honeymoon in Coronado, Calif., the couple resides in Clayton where they continue to bring out the best version of each other and make each other laugh all the time. They plan to attend Central Reform Congregation.

To find out more about the couple’s love story, go to and read the New York Times Vows column by Light editor Ellen Futterman, which ran Sunday, July 30.