Tag Archives: wedding

Weekend Update

Larry & I got our first experience with the latest incarnation of Virtual Reality (VR) through Brian, as he finally got his HTC Vive VR kit.  We went over to his place, along with Nicki and Kevin, and after a great lunch at Aroma Cafe, got to finally experience what is truly only the beginning with how things might go in terms of immersion.

tweedievrYou do have to wear that contraption on your head and hold those controllers in each hand, but seriously, once you turn the system on it is utterly mind-blowing what happens to your sense of reality.  You’re really feeling like you’re there – I mean, I get it, you’re basically shoving two screens right up against your face, but it’s fucking amazing.  We got to play a few different games, with one especially cool as you’re in this platform in some space city and flying drones come at you.  The two controllers in your hand become laser pistols, seriously, and you have to try to shoot the drones down.  When a shot is coming your way, something like the Matrix’s bullet-time happens and you can then dodge the lasers.  Oh yeah, the Vive setup includes two camera sensors that you use to define your play area, so you can walk around for real immersion.  It’s pretty damn awesome.  I’m not quite tempted yet to buy one for our house, as I would want the Vive and we definitely don’t have a dedicated space for something like that.  But we certainly are ready to go visit Brian again and play!

weddingpartyAnd OH YEAH, the photographer got back to us with our wedding pictures, and they’re fucking amazing.  At the moment, I don’t have electronic versions to share, but our copies are on their way.  In the meantime, we have access only via a locked-down website, but I was able to get this version by screenshotting the display.  It’s only a hint of the amazingness though.  Seriously, our photographers managed to capture our wedding wonderfully.   Once I’ve got our digital copies, I’ll be sure to share.  So good.

WtPwyTuOqAzj.878x0.Z-Z96KYqAs for video games I’m currently addicted to, that would definitely be XCOM 2, the sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown / Enemy Within.   I recently got sucked back into those first games and focused on beating the game as the last time I got to the final level, got hopelessly obliterated.  Well, this last time I won, and it was glorious.  It’s funny though, that most players never do beat the first XCOM game, so in XCOM 2, the story assumes you did lose and the Earth got taken over by aliens.  Now it’s up to you to overthrow the alien government.  The graphics are improved, the game is just as challenging if not more so, and the customization of your crew is pretty damn fun.  Yeah, I have a Steve Rogers character who doesn’t wear a shirt.  So what?

Sunday run - 22 May 2016 - 7 miles

And yesterday, Larry & I went for a run, and I got over 7 miles.  Hells yeah.  Sure, there were some brief periods of having to walk, but they were short and I always got back to running.  It’s awesome to be able to run this much again!

Alright, that’s the weekend, I guess.  Now it’s a week of work that I’m feeling might have lots of things to think about.  Will soon see, I guess?

Getting Hitched: Party Time!

Now that all was said and done and the hard parts were all over, it was time to eat, drink, and dance!  Right after the ceremony, Larry & I went up to the upper deck area where we were going to take our official pictures with the photographer, while the guests were invited to go into the penthouse to partake in the opening of the bar!  Yay!   We provided just wine and beer for consumption, hopefully to avoid people getting too wasted (better luck next time!).  During the cocktail hour, we had tray-passed hors d’oeuvres available for everyone, including:

  • Vegetarian spring rolls
  • Kahlua pot stickers with a sweet soy dipping sauce
  • 4-cheese macaroni and cheese on Asian spoons
  • Mini crab cakes with a dill and cocktail sauce
  • Kobe beef sliders with cheddar cheese & caramelized onions on a pretzel bun

YUM.  We had a chance to eat all of these back in January during our menu tasting – knowing full well eating was going to be a luxury during this day, as everyone told/warned us!

So in addition to the bar being open, the Photo Booth was also available and that ended up being something truly surprising, as not only did we get a great book that collected copies of all these pictures, but people also signed that too.  We recently just got all the electronic versions of these too, but I’ll refrain from putting all those up as there were a ton.

Magically, during that cocktail hour, the ceremony setup was transformed into the reception tables and dance floor area!  Larry’s seat map helped guide everyone to their tables, and the wedding party soon made our entrance into the area, with Larry & I immediately beginning our first dance to The Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe.”  We did spend a little time working out which song would make the most sense for us and we ultimately came down to this one, which we both just love!

Happily for everyone else, after that dance, dinner was available!  We had it buffet style, with these courses available:

  • Served Caesar salad (which we were glad was done, as that way everyone did have some food to eat while waiting for their table to get called)
  • Breads
  • Prime Rib carved by a chef
  • Fresh King salmon marinated in olive oil and herbs with a lemon herb sauce
  • Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
  • Carrots & Broccoli in soy-ginger glaze
  • Penne pasta, broccolini, sun dried tomatoes and arugula

YUM, again.

The toasts from Nicki & Michancy started that next period off, and I know we were blown away by what was said.  Kelly Dean came up next and informed the world of Harry & Lobie, as did Cousin Erin and Cousin Jamie.  But maybe the real star of the toast section was Aunt Helen, who everyone certainly remembered and wanted to know if she was available for parties!

Dances with the moms followed, with Larry & Fran dancing to Carole King’s “So Far Away” while my mom & I danced to The Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow.”  Dancing dancing dancing then began in earnest, and we then got to what I had been waiting nearly 40 years for, dancing the Hora for our wedding.  So much fun….until the terrifying part where we then got lifted into chairs…let me just say, that’s terrifying as fuck.  See below the fun/horror!

Sometime around 10:45pm, we finally got the cake, and MAN, it was good.  We had gotten our cake from Porto’s and the top layer was vanilla cake but the middle layer was chocolate…so when we cut into that top layer, people were happy to get some cake, but when they saw there was also a chocolate layer, a lot of people got a 2nd piece.  Yum.  Of course, when cutting the cake, there was cake shoved in each others’ mouths.  YUM.

I guess after that, it was just dancing under the stars, drinking, and enjoying the end of a 6-month period of planning and stress and realizing the damn thing had gone off fantastically.  We loved our wedding so much.  We wouldn’t have changed a thing.  As people started leaving, and things started to get cleaned up, we said our goodbyes and thank yous, and found that we had the dance floor to ourselves and the DJ still kept playing.  Our last dance ended up being happily ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and it was just a perfect way to end the night.  So much fun.  So much family and friends around us to share in the love and joy.  It really was just a great day.

Anyway, here are various pictures from the reception taken by friends and family – I think today will finally be the day when we take a look at our professional pics.  Fingers crossed!

Wedding Links:

Getting Hitched: Getting Hitched!

There’s happily a whole YouTube recording of the ceremony because we wanted our friends and family who couldn’t make it, yet still wanted to see it, to have that ability.  Marie, our wedding coordinator, suggested this as an option and it worked pretty great.  It streamed live while it was happening while also recording it – which is how I can embed it here in this post.  Note, you can watch it here by just clicking the Play button, but it won’t let you watch it in full-screen unless you click on the YouTube icon on the bottom right to open up the video in a new tab.

Some timecode notes:

  • The first 22:30 minutes are of people arriving and sitting down, so while that actually is kind of cool to see, at least to me, you can drag the slider over and past that point and start to see when everyone is mostly sat down and Cantor Kerith comes out.
  • The entrance’s music is a little hard to hear as it comes in and out…not sure why, especially when the cantor’s words come out pretty clearly.
  • At 38:15 is when both Larry & I realize that the wedding rings are safely back in the “getting ready” room, followed shortly after by Kerith smoothly handling it and reassuring us it wasn’t a big deal.  Erin then offers to go get the rings and finds them like a champ!
  • 47:20 is when the MVP Nicki single-handedly catches the chuppah from collapsing in on itself due to increasing winds!  Still can’t believe her reflexes there, and she suitably impresses Kerith, who deftly includes some praise for good, quick friends!

We loved the ceremony and were so happy it went as well as it did!  I am so happy that Larry ended up finding the music we used to have as entrance music:  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s medley of “Waterloo”, “Fernando,” and “Dancing Queen.”   There were a couple of possibilities we bandied about leading up to this decision, but once Larry found this I think we were both immediately sold.  And the exit music of “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” was almost a no-brainer.

Here are some pictures from others during the ceremony!

I think there’s one more post ahead to post stuff related to the reception, and then after that will likely be a giant post, or set of posts?, to show the actual professional pics.  Still haven’t looked at them yet.  🙂

Wedding Links:

Getting Hitched: Those 2 Hours Before the Ceremony

Everything that looks effortless in fact takes a TON of work. This wedding was no exception.  It’s amazing how much time, money, and effort went into what could be called relatively small in size and attendance – you’d think it’s just book a place and it’s done.  HA!  HARDLY.  The invitation start time was 6pm on April 30, with an expectation that the actual ceremony will start around 6:30pm.  Of course you don’t put THAT on the invitation as then people won’t show up until then.

Anyway, the Oviatt only allowed people into the venue, even those who were setting things up, at 4pm.  So we had 2 hours to do whatever it was we needed to do before guests started arriving at 6pm.  Boy howdy, were those 2 hours packed.

Larry & I left from the Hotel Wilshire around 3pm to try to get through LA traffic – and driving on the I-10 east on a Saturday guaran-fuckin-tees you’ll be in traffic.  Our initial plan had been to Uber there so we didn’t have to worry about cars, but we had so much of the centerpiece stuff and other signage in Larry’s car and we tossed our initial idea of moving everything into some random Uber out the window once I started realizing that was taking a risk.  So we drove.  Of course, we hadn’t thought about making the valet available until 5:30pm, so oops, wedding party, you’re gonna need to park yo’selves!  Luckily there was an empty parking lot conveniently directly across the street from the Oviatt and that’s where pretty much everyone in the wedding party, as well as our wedding coordinator, parked.  Sveta had actually gotten there a bit early and told us that the curb area in front of the Oviatt wasn’t even clear – there was construction equipment blocking it.  I MIGHT HAVE HAD A SLIGHT MELTDOWN?  Happily, when we arrived there, we saw that equipment, but it was in the process of getting carted away.  WHEW.

Happy things we noticed while arriving – the entire wedding party was there and on time!  Also, the alcohol vendor was already there and unloading the boxes!  SWEET – people will be able to drink!!!  Sure enough, right at 4pm, they started letting us up.  Nicki then gets there and we see the chuppah’s pieces for the first time, and I know I was a little overwhelmed at first to see the giant posts/tree trunks, along with all the cement bases she decided on getting.  Wisely, she realized having the wedding party hold these massive trunks up was NOT gonna work.

During the course of that first hour, we schlepped all the signage and chuppah stuff up, along with our suits as we did not wear them there knowing we’d have to likely get dirty.  But the photographers arrived and they’re like, you need to get dressed and we want to document that too!  Ohhhh-kay!?  So we started getting dressed, started taking some pictures, and then our amazing cantor and officiant, Kerith, arrived and before we knew it, it was time to sign some legal documents.  Shockingly – Larry & I were married long before all you guys saw us in that ceremony as we signed the paperwork at 5pm or so!

4pm – 5pm on April 30, 2016 @ the Oviatt Penthouse

Some family started arriving in the 5-6 pm hour too, and luckily the Oviatt has plenty of places for people to wander around in.  All the parents were there so it was then time to sign the Ketubah with parents and the cantor.  That was quite an amazing and emotional bit of ceremony that not everyone got to see – I’m so glad we did that.  We’ll post a picture of the Ketubah eventually as it is quite beautiful to see.  (sidenote:  The photographers just sent us today the link to all the official wedding pictures they took – we’re waiting to look at them just a little bit longer….but I know they probably took some great photos of this occasion.)

5pm – 6pm on April 30, 2016

We were getting down to the wire and happily Nicki was able to knock out the amazing ketubah in enough time for us to do a dress rehearsal of the ceremony entrance.  I had already written out the musical cues when each wedding party member would enter the ceremony accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s ridiculously awesome and perfect ABBA medley of “Waterloo”, “Fernando,” and “Dancing Queen.”  So great.  The first run-through was a bit messy as we really hadn’t figured out who would go on what side, and then we wanted to balance the dress colors between the sides.  Happily, our second time doing it went perfect, and was the baseline for getting out the door for the real thing.

And of course, it must be said that this day went as smoothly as it did not just because of Larry and/or me, but DEFINITELY because of our tireless wedding coordinator, Marie.  She brought her husband, Nick, along with her to help out with the technical stuff, as well as just a second set of hands, and they took care of absolutely everything related to the vendors and making the ceremony go off without a hitch.  SO MANY THANKS TO HER.

Alright, that’s it for now – the next post, we’ll be talking about the ceremony!!!

Wedding Links:

Getting Hitched: The Hotel Wilshire scene

I wasn’t immediately sold on staying so far west and away from the Oviatt Penthouse – there were lots of hotels closer and in DTLA, but as Fran was learning, most of the east coast folks were going to be staying out near Beverly Hills, so she wanted to be closer to them while also having a good base for being able to do touristy things if needed.  With that in mind, the Hotel Wilshire was a pretty great place to be as it was just a few blocks away from LACMA, the Grove and Farmer’s Market, as well as the Peterson Automotive Museum.  So plenty to see, and as we also learned, the hotel was pretty damn great.  The staff there definitely took care of Fran with regards to the Rehearsal Dinner space and event, but the rooms and roofdeck were fantastic.

We booked a great top-floor suite that had lots of space and was wonderful as a wedding suite.  Funny story about the Hotel Wilshire – there’s a ridiculous suite there with it’s own roof deck and is basically just awesome and would be perfect for having an event there.  Larry & I were totally ready to book it for ourselves as why not?   We’re getting married!  Larry reaches out to the hotel POC we’ve been working with to get a price estimate, and she tells us it’d be $1500 for the suite.  You know what, let’s do it!  That’ll be fun.  So Larry lets them know to book it for us and then he gets the invoice and it’s $6000. Oh.  They meant $1500/night.  Ha, PSYCH.  We’ll take the still-fantastic suite without the private roofdeck, please.  🙂

As anyone who did visit the Hotel or stayed there, they know that the roofdeck was pretty great.  There’s a very small pool up there surrounded by lots of tables for the restaurant that’s also up there.  Very cozy.  Very LA though.  When Larry & I got there on Friday afternoon, we grabbed lunch up there and sat next to these two cute guys who were in the midst of some kind of entertainment deal.  It was hard not to eavesdrop.  And look.  🙂

Pics from the Hotel Wilshire – Rehearsal Dinner Day, April 29, 2016

Man, just getting to the hotel was an ordeal.  We had actually planned to get there on Thursday evening as that’s when Fran was arriving.  But we ended up still having things to do for the wedding and the idea of getting out there just was not making any sense and was only stressing us out more.  For me, I hadn’t finished the photo video stream that would end up being projected during the reception, amongst other small things.  So we did end up getting over to the hotel early Friday afternoon – and the drive over was just nuts.  Traffic was of course insane, but then we get a call from the guy we were paying to put up the overhead lighting at the Oviatt – we apparently hadn’t paid him the remaining amount.  At first he sounded a bit gruff, but he soon admitted he hadn’t properly followed up and had mixed things up on his end.  Regardless, he was going to get the lights up as requested that day and we were going to Paypal him the money once we got off the crazy streets of LA.  Nothing like that kind of stress the DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING.

We then got there and had some lunch as you could see in the pictures above, and after getting slightly settled, my mom and Fran visited with us in the room for a little while.  Happily my mom was there in one piece as she also had had her own adventure in LA traffic that day too.  We almost could take these things as signs, but guess what, neither of us are superstitious!

Before we knew it, it was already time for the wine hour that the Hotel Wilshire provides nightly since it’s a Kimpton and they always hook you up with free wine!  That’s when cousin Erin showed up thinking the party was at 6, but she had mixed up the wedding time (from the next day) with the rehearsal dinner.  C’est la vie!  Anyway, it all worked out, and then people started showing up and sure enough, it was a fantastic Rehearsal Dinner party!

Pics from the Hotel Wilshire & environs, Wedding Day! – April 30, 2016

The next day, Wedding Day, was not ridiculously stressful, although there were certain factors in play.  First, I was a bit hungover as I had drank ALL the white wine the previous night.  I had a damn good time, so that was the important thing.  So there was some recovery needed but that was helped by having breakfast up top with mom, some coffee, and just some time.  Second, Larry had forgotten to bring a white undershirt in the hecticness of our schlepping all the things we’d been building to the car.  There had been 10 lanterns, 6 wedding party bags, all the clothes, all the signs….it was a crazy schlep.  Anyway, since we did have time as we didn’t need to be at the Oviatt until 4pm, we decided to go for a walk to the CVS because according to Larry, they sell white undershirts.  I’d never heard this nonsense before but he was pretty sure of himself, so off we walked.  Our journey east on Wilshire to Fairfax meandered by the Peterson Auto Museum which is so cool to look at, then north on Fairfax through some crazypants parts of town.

We get to CVS and lo and behold, I’m not crazy, but Larry might be.  CVS doesn’t sell undershirts.  Luckily, there was a KMart in the same shopping center on the other side of the Whole Foods (what a fucking mix of stores, amirite?) and they certainly had undershirts.  As well as also having realllly slow checkout lines.  It’s still strange to think that on our wedding day, we were schlepping around LA looking for undershirts and going into a KMart for the first time in what had to have been decades for me.  So yeah, that was our morning and early afternoon of the wedding!  🙂

As for the day after the wedding, I didn’t take any pictures but we did have a chance to get breakfast again and with Fran & Joel as well as Allan & Nancy before everyone went to the airport to head home.  These eastcoasters weren’t messing around and were getting promptly out of dodge, although at that time, NYC was getting rain so they were definitely getting a raw deal in leaving the beautiful weather we were so lucky to get around April 30.

Alright, I think the next post, we’ll FINALLY get to the Oviatt Penthouse on the day of April 30!  I think there’s still a few posts in just that, likely the Setup and Pre-Ceremony stuff, the Wedding Ceremony, and then of course the Reception.  So glad so many people were taking pictures!

Wedding Links: