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15 October 2002

It was probably a good thing that the uncle of the bride didn’t punch out the bridesmaid after all, though I think he felt like it.  Up to that point things had gone very well.

We had all but taken over the motel, the Best Western-Jamaica Bay, in Marina del Rey.  There were relatives of the bride’s late father (whom we never knew until the wedding—the father died when the bride was very young), relatives of the groom (whom we didn’t know at all), and then all 17 of us obstreperous relatives of the bride’s mother, representing at least three, if not four, different generations.

There had been a rehearsal dinner, which Walt and I missed, since we arrived too late, but it had been a chance for people to get to know each other.  (We caught up with the family at a post-dinner dinner, since everyone was still hungry when the main event finished). 

 fleet.JPG (30775 bytes)During the day of the weddng (which was held Friday night) there was all sorts of activity involving manicures and pedicures (not for me) and running all sorts of errands.  At 5:15 we all met our caravan of taxicabs in front of the motel and took off for the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.

 There is a line in The Last Session, which says “….the 405 was a parking lot.”  I giggled when we came off the overpass headed toward the 405—a veritable parking lot!  Slowly we crept along, and rapidly the meter on the cab crept along.  By the time we were let out at the Pavillion, we had racked up >$40 in charges (depending on which cab driver you had).  (I was thinking about the return trip and realizing that we would have paid more in cab fare than we normally pay in motel bills!)

 The Dorothy Chandler Pavillion is a lovely place, with a gigantic fountain in the middle, and, at this time, a showplace for a display of “Angels over Los Angeles,” an art project raising money for…something (I’ve forgotten what now), but where local artists take an unadorned sculpture of an angel and get creative with decorations.  The result is on display for a time and then they are auctioned off, with the money going to charity.  Naturally I took a lot of photos.

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 The wedding itself was held on the top floor of one of the buildings, overlooking the fountain and the lighted trees, and all those angels, and beyond them, the lights of Los Angeles.  An absolutely gorgeous setting. 

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The rooms themselves were dark wood paneled with very high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, and huge crystal chandeliers.  Conversation was nicely muted by the plush carpeting.

 The room where the bride and groom said “I do” was lined with mirrors, and the priest stood in front of another floor to ceiling wall of windows.   Each chair was covered with white brocade material, tied with a huge white bow, and the red plush carpet was covered with a white runner for the bride to walk on.  The floor was strewn with rose petals and two of the most enormous floral arrangements (matching the larger one hanging over the bar in the front room) stood on either side of the platform. 

 The bridesmaids entered  to the strains “Seasons of Love” from Rent, each of them dressed in lovely mauve dresses and carrying bouquets of white roses mixed with gardenias.  The smell was wonderful. 

 ceremony.JPG (27074 bytes)Then the bride entered, on the arm of her mother.  The bride wore a lovely slim-line dress with enough beading that I’m sure several seamstresses went blinding sewing it on.  She looked radiant and I wondered if the groom’s chest would explode if it expanded any farther.

There were tears and laughter and hugs and kisses and then it was time to “eat, drink, and be married.”

The reception itself was opulence in every sense of the word.  There were three food stations, each with enough food to feed the assembled +/- 200 close friends and relatives.  At the first station were salmon in pastry cups, roast beef baked with tiny onions and cubed potatoes, some sort of fish chowder that was to die for, toast rounds with goat cheese, a couple of kinds of salad, a couple of kinds of veggies, and I think some sliced salmon (I could be mistaken on that).

At station two was roast lamb, pumpkin risotto, more salads, and lord I have lost count of what else.  Station three had ahi tuna, more salmon with some sort of corn/tomato mixture, and I don’t know what else because I was bursting by then. 

 cake.JPG (32087 bytes)The cake was filled with fresh raspberries and the buttercream frosting was better than any buttercream I ever made when I was decorating cakes professionally—and I loved my buttercream!  They had flanked the cake on both sides with photos of the bride's and groom's parents at their own wedding, cutting their own cake(s).

 They tell me that there were all sorts of high powered show biz types there—the behind the scenes sorts—but since I’m not into that sort of thing, I wasn’t aware of any, except Michelle Phillips, of course.  By now Michelle and I are old pals, since I attended the bridal shower at her house and sent her a photo afterwards (she even kind of almost sorta remembered who I was). 

 But the “really cool people” left early, leaving the dance floor and the partying to the family, and people danced up a storm (not me—I’m still too inhibited to get out on a dance floor—tho I enjoy taking pictures.  It’s nice to see young people enjoying themselves).

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Walt cuts a rug--or a floor--with his Mom

As things were starting to wear down a bit, Walt called on his cell phone to order four cabs for our group and we began to gather and head for the elevator.   Since things were wearing down, others began to leave as well and by the time we got to the plaza, there was an entourage following us.  We, however, were the only ones who had thought to call ahead for cabs.

 This is when it got a bit hairy. 

 About 40 people, and 4 cabs ordered.

One guy in the group behind us read the phone number off of the side of the first cab to arrive (which would be taking grandma and some others back to the hotel).  

“The next two are ours,” said the bride’s uncle, indicating that he had been in the Reserves and he would fight off anybody who tried to steal our cabs (the cabs had been delayed by, the cab company said, a “police action” and so we waited a good long time for the first cab to show up—somewhere around 30 minutes, I believe). 

That’s when the bridesmaid nearly got socked.

Apparently the cabs had come to the back side of the pavilion (which takes up several blocks) and didn’t find us there, so called Walt on his cell phone.  Walt told the uncle that the cabs were on the back side of the center and would be coming around the corner.  One of the members of the bridesmaid’s party took off and grabbed that cab and so when it showed up where we were waiting, he was already in it.  The bridesmaid (who had been asking if there wasn’t someone with some marijuana or some other mind-altering substance for her to take just minutes earlier), started yelling “Joe’s already in the cab!  This one is ours!” and she began to push her friends ahead of us into the cab.

 It was only because he could see two other cabs just making the turn that things didn’t get ugly, I think.  But then, I’m not sure he would have punched a girl anyway.  It’s just that we all pretty much felt like that.

Besides, the bride and groom were leaving at this point and getting into their limo and it probably wouldn’t have made a good end to the wedding.

 The ride back was…uh…interesting.  I sat in the front, reassuring myself that there was an air bag in front of me, that I rarely heard of taxi cabs getting in accidents, and that the guy was from the Middle East, where I hear they drive like maniacs anyway, so he probably was experienced.  Nonetheless, I have to admit to being very relieved to see our motel come in view once again.

 We made it back without crashing, the uncle hadn’t hit the bridesmaid and the bride and groom actually got hitched.  I’d call that one successful evening!

I've gone back and put pix in the entries for the last 3 days, so if anybody is interested in seeing some of the pix from the trip, start here and go forward.

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