Monday, June 23, 2008

I Now Pronounce You...

Never Go to Bed Mad… Stay Up and Fight

There are weddings and there are Weddings: Mrs. Dr. Forgot and I have been friends for decades with Harvey and Linda. Harvey and Linda were blessed with two wonderful daughters, Katie and Susan. Susan has pretty much behaved herself recently but Katie decided to get married. That wedding was one that must be preserved in print. Hence, today’s post will be devoted to the wedding of Katie and Greg.

The Bride and Groom: Katie and Greg have plenty in common. Neither are starry-eyed youngsters. Both work in the music and entertainment business. Katie’s grandpa was the late Cliffie Stone, a legend in the production of country music and performers. In fact, many is the time that “Uncle” Tennessee Ernie Ford babysat the girls. It was only natural that Katie would pursue a career in the music business – not as a performer, but on the business side. It was at work that she met Greg, whose profession includes evaluating and signing new talent, although he enjoys his drum-beating band gigs. The talent he signed last weekend when he put his own signature on the dotted line next to that of Katie, seems to be a perfect match. I did notice that Greg wore a metal stud in his ear during the wedding. That is good preparation for marriage. It shows he can stand pain and is used to buying jewelry.

The Setting: The bride and groom chose Avalon for their wedding. It has been a place that Katie and her family have enjoyed as a regular vacation spot since the 1960s. Avalon is further west than Pasadena, but not as far west as Hawaii. It is the main (ok, the only) village on the island of Santa Catalina, which you will remember from the song “26 Miles Across the Sea...” The island can be accessed by helicopter, of course, but most wedding goers joined other tourists to take the Catalina Express on the one-hour journey to the island. Catalina Island is Europe off the shore of California. The ambiance could easily be from the south of France, Croatia, or even one of the Greek Isles. Residents travel for the most part by golf cart as it can take up to 15 years to get permission to bring a car to the island. Besides, at $ 6.00+ per gallon, golf carts make more sense. Oh, and since they’re street legal they must be licensed and insured.

The hundred or so wedding crashers who attended stayed at one of the Island’s several European style hotels. Friday evening they were treated to dinner at one of the excellent Mexican cuisine restaurants and after dinner walked around the corner to Hotel Catherine which had been booked for a private party. In keeping with the music-band theme, an “All Access” pass was required which allowed entry to “Greg’s Cosmic All Star Family Jam” The host pounded the drums as friends danced their buns off and caused mayhem until the wee small hours of the a.m. Dinner and dancing alone was worth the price of admission. Privacy was assured by security guard Phil, born on the island, and except for a few weekend jaunts into the jungle of L.A. he’s been an island resident for his entire 51 years. Many Catalina natives have lived nowhere else.

The Wedding: Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. Those who thought it had been a spectacular weekend up to that time; they ain’t seen nothin’ yet! The event was not only the epitome of class, as evidenced by the hosts chartering the entire Avalon Taxi Company fleet for transportation to and from the Country Club for the wedding, but according to everybody to whom we spoke, the most spectacular, yet tastefully-done wedding any had ever attended – and there were quite a few folks who’d attended quite a few weddings. It began with exquisitely selected wines served as the guests filtered into the Club, followed by an eclectic mix of light music whose appeal crossed all age groups in attendance. The ceremony was performed by Greg’s brother, an official with the county who, as the result of Katie’s research it was discovered he was legally permitted to perform marriages. It was his first, and he did a grand job (perhaps he has a future in the wedding business).

Greg looked like the classic groom in his wedding suit but unique with special band theme cuff links. The bride was stunning in a strapless eggshell dress with a long train. Her hair down was down and her neck was accented with tastefully done classic pearls. Gorgeous mixed flowers accented the altar and lined the stairs and sides of the patio setting.

The ceremony was simple yet moving. The outdoor patio was decorated in subtle colors of red brick and marigold yellow, including wrought iron chairs and settees with pillows and cashmere shawls alternating in the selected colors. French Market umbrellas kept the late afternoon sun from spoiling the ladies makeup and individual Japanese parasols were discretely scattered among the chairs for those who wished additional shade. The ceremony was brief, personal, and classy, after which the congregation retired to tables for dinner.

As each person had arrived and was acknowledged, each was given a place card with their name, table assignment, and a personal, individual note, done with perfect penmanship by the bride. Each table had a Polaroid camera and several packages of film. Wedding denizens snapped each others photos then slid the photo into a guest book and wrote a message to the couple. It was another of the personal touches so elegantly done by Katie. Each table had several sets of candles of various sizes in frosted glass holders.

Dinner began with salad followed by a dual plate of fresh halibut, citrus lemon grass buerre blanc & petit filet mignon, herbed demi glace, goat cheese and fresh herb stuffed potatoes along with lemon scented asparagus spears. Dinner was paired with excellent Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay wines. Dessert was a 3-tier square cake, red velvet with crème cheese and white with chocolate mousse.

The Evening ends and The Morning After: Memo to Greg: The best way to always remember your anniversary is to forget it once. Katie served the wedding cake wearing another dress, her hair up and ready to dance. After the wonderful wedding, dinner, and dancing until late into the perfect summer night the wedding party and attendees finally retreated – but not for long. A brunch was hosted the following morning at The Landing. Guests and hosts got to see each other in the sunlight one final time before boarding the Catalina Express for the trek to the mainland. It could have been the mist from the sea or it could have been tears of joy that caused dampness on the faces. Regardless it was a wonderful wedding weekend that will be etched in the memories of all who were fortunate enough to attend.

A Toast: To Greg: May you keep your head as you lose your heart. To Katie: May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

A little blogging music Maestro… “Power of Love” by Jennifer Rush.

Dr. Forgot

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