Tag Archives: rehearsal dinner

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:

Getting Hitched: Path to the Rehearsal Dinner

I took some time off from the website, as some of you may have noticed.  All that energy around getting the wedding event to be just perfect (well, at least to a close-to-perfect state) was exhausting.  Larry & I didn’t head off for a honeymoon or anything, we just basically went back to work.  We did both take off the Monday following the wedding weekend, and then Larry went back to work that Tuesday while I took that day off too.  Sure, I could have started posting then, but I decided videogames had to be played and things had to not be done.  🙂  Anyway, here we are.  I’m quite ambitious in what I want to post on this site, but I’m going to pace myself.  So what I think will happen is this:  I’m going to post pieces of the whole wedding thing in various posts, and eventually collect them into a sorted list of links on one master page.  It will serve as not only documentation of the whole bloody affair for our purposes of reminiscing, but also if someone stumbles upon this here site and is planning a wedding, they can see and maybe be inspired by what we did.  As I do want to reach back into pictures I’ve been taking all this time (the last 6 months) but was reluctant to publish on this site as I wanted to really have a lot of the event be a surprise for people.   So this post is a return to the site but it isn’t comprehensive by any means yet.  Small moves, Ellie, small moves.  BTW, we haven’t received our official photographer’s pictures from the wedding yet, so don’t worry and think you’re missing anything.  Let’s begin!

Venue #1 – Terroni Restaurant

Larry’s mom, Fran, happily and blessedly took this event on for us, so it was one massive event that we didn’t have to directly deal with.  YAY.  It wasn’t without drama though – maybe not “drama” per se, but we had a few venues lined up which fell through for various reasons.  Our first restaurant that Fran found was a wonderful Italian restaurant in the Beverly Blvd/Grove area called Terroni.  It had a back room that was good for hosting groups and was even hidden behind a secret bookcase door.  Larry & I went with Brian & Nicki to go taste the menu and it really was fantastic…the only thing was that it only held about 30 people and that was definitely going to be too small for us.  But here’s us going there back in January!

Once it was clear that we needed a bigger space, Fran moved quickly and found a place even closer to the hotel where many of the out-of-town guests were going to stay, the Hotel Wilshire.

Venue #2 – A Food Affair

A Food Affair was a great French restaurant that also had a very cool back room perfect for hosting larger groups.  Larry & I went there to sample the delicious menu one night in February and had a great time – I also managed to finish the bottle of wine we brought by myself since Larry was still on alcohol lockdown.  I also lost the cool wine bottle tote that we had bought in San Francisco because you can’t trust drunk people with holding onto belongings.  They’re the worst.  So what happened?  Well, as I alluded to above, we brought wine with us as A Food Affair is a restaurant that lets you bring your own bottles and they’ll open it for you, charging a corkage fee I think.  Very New Jersey.  Well, they were a restaurant that could do that as all of a sudden in March, Fran got called by the restaurant as their license to do that was no longer valid.  No longer could you have alcohol there – and so that was a no-go for us.  I wonder if the place is still in business?  You can’t have French food without wine, just saying.  Anyway, here’s pictures from our journey there in February, including some shots of the back room.

So Fran was once again forced to find a new place, and in a Hail Mary, called the Hotel Wilshire.  Turns out, they were only too happy to help her out, and in fact let her know that their 2nd floor lounge area has made for a wonderful place to have gatherings.  Fran was sold, as were Larry & I.   It ended up definitely being all for the best, as for those of us who were staying at the fabulous Hotel Wilshire (More on that in a separate post), all you had to do was come down to the 2nd floor!

Friday, April 29, 2016 – The Rehearsal Dinner @ the Hotel Wilshire

Larry & I had checked in just earlier that day.  We had expected to check in on Thursday night but due to having plenty more to do in terms of preparations, we delayed.  I’ll get into the “Road to the Hotel Wilshire” in another post too, but that certainly was eventful in itself!

The invite list for the Rehearsal Dinner was a much smaller subset of the wedding guest list, mainly for those who had traveled in from out of town.  I’m so glad we had this opportunity to meet up with everyone like this as certainly at the wedding, we certainly wouldn’t have had this kind of quality time.   So most of the east coast folk were there, as were my Dad & Pat, along with most of the wedding party, our Colorado Springs friends, as well as my Mom.  It was a good group!

The hotel set up that lounge area into a nice buffet with plenty of tables to sit at and meet up with people.  There was also a seemingly unending flow of wine, as I definitely partook in way too much.   Alright, let’s try to see if I can present the pictures from that night in some ordered manner:

It was quite a night.  One particular part that made it extra special, besides of course seeing everyone there all in one place, was getting to watch Alyssa & Jon’s video that they made for us.  They weren’t going to be able to make it to the wedding as Alyssa is pregnant and too far along to travel that far.  They surprisingly made this very amazing video indicating what things I need to be ready for when marrying Larry.  It’s pretty stunning, and super cute when their daughter Stacey tells us “may the force be with you!”

Many emotions!

Needless to say, this was one helluva way to get into the spirit of what that weekend was going to be all about.  I definitely drank a shitton of white wine, happily though I never wavered from white wine so my hangover the next morning was pretty minimal and easy to recover from.  What’s funny as I’m typing this is that I recall that Larry & I really didn’t spend much of this event together.  We had obviously been hanging out during the time leading up to it, but once we got down there, I ended up talking a whole lot with Larry’s cousins, CS friends, NY friends, my family and the wedding party, while Larry was working the other half of the room.  Divide & Conquer!

Okay, so yeah, the Rehearsal Dinner was a great success, thanks to Fran’s tireless efforts and the Hotel Wilshire putting on a great event.  It helped ease Larry & me into thinking this wedding might actually go off without a hitch, and spoiler alert, it pretty much did!  But more to come in further posts, which I promise to get out on at least a daily basis.  I don’t promise chronological order though.  🙂

Wedding Links:

Goodbye, Leap-Year February!

It wasn’t all that terrible of a month, but I think I wasn’t all that compelled to write about it in this here blog, that’s for sure.  Larry & I did get some wedding planning progress made though, and that has gone a long way towards hopefully making April 30 go off without a hitch.  We’ve happily received many of the RSVPs and sent out some additional invitations as we got a sense of how many more people we can bring in.  I really think it’ll be a good time and I can’t wait to see all the friends and family who join us.  Let’s just see if El Nino can not be a total asshole and save all its rain for April and/or May.

Random Hits:

  • This year’s Oscars were kind of okay.  I’m glad Spotlight won Best Picture over Mad Max: Fury Road.  For obvious reasons with regards to the fact I really wasn’t a fan of Fury Road, but also because we did see Spotlight and it was amazing.  Also, Mark Rylance winning for Bridge of Spies was a sensational surprise.  He was soooo good in that movie and when you’re watching him in it, you just think, man, he should win awards for this role!  Of course, Bridge of Spies ended up being kind of an under-the-radar movie especially for a Tom Hanks / Steven Spielberg collaboration, but by all means, go see it!
  • We went to Nicki’s yesterday to watch the Oscars, and it was a lot of fun.  I drank all the wine.  That was actually my theme for this weekend, which may be what’s driving my mindset about saying peace out to February.  I’m possibly hungover still.  Ugh.
  • On Saturday night, Larry & I went to what is likely the now for-reals venue for the rehearsal dinner – a French restaurant called A Food Affair.  It was wonderful and had a ton of charm.  The manager, Babette, was as French as you could imagine and so fun to talk to.  I took pictures but I’ll put them up tomorrow or something.  I just wanted to get this post in on LEAP DAY.  eyeroll..
  • Tomorrow I finally get to meet our wedding coordinator, who is also a coworker of Larry’s.  We’re all going to be at the Oviatt for our final walkthrough of the venue and wow, it’s crazy to think we’re just over 2 months away!!!  Here goes nothing!

Alright, that’s it for now.  I’m sleepy and need my beauty sleep.