August 27, 2016
She looked beautiful without a doubt, perfect Victory Rolls in her hair and pin-up style makeup, but what stood out most was her assuredness. She truly had a confidence about her I have never witnessed before.
She was comfortable. And it set the tone for the day.
Comfortable with being a bride, ready to walk down the aisle and very much ready to be married.
The style of Leah’s dress fit with the decor of the gorgeous venue; a strapless A-line cut to the knee that she added a tulle halter neckline to and was covered in beautiful beads. A midnight blue sash sat snug around her middle. She wore sensible blue suede shoes to match and changed into adorable Mrs. Brungardt flip flops at the end of the night.
Just a few short blocks from the hotel we stayed at, the Oviatt Penthouse is in an Art Deco style high rise designed in the late 1920’s. The building is a Los Angeles treasure. Although a bit musty and dank, taking the wood paneled elevator to the top floor was like stepping back in time. The walls of Mr. James Oviatt, popular haberdasher held secrets and much of the penthouse was off limits. Signs warning, “do not touch” were displayed in several places. The original fixtures were delightful, especially the ones in Mr. Oviatt’s bedroom; his dressing table and antique lamps, the lime green tiled sauna in his bathroom, tiny sinks and other toiletries.
The LA skyline was the star of the evening and much to our surprise it turned out to be a very cool evening, in fact heat lamps had to be brought out by the nights end.
Leah put a lot of work (and Etsy purchasing) into planning a perfect wedding day and small significant details chosen with love were used on the dinner tables; delicate paper flowers made out of old maps were part of the centerpieces, personalized thank you notes were tucked into each guest napkin, small chalk boards described the signature drink, (purple lemonade) and directed people where to go and what to do. Every song played by the DJ had a love theme.
Leah painstakingly made her own bouquet after seeing a friends. A round globe about the size of a volleyball covered in trinkets and special items representing her and Aaron’s lives together and mementos of those around her; a penny minted the year our parents were married, a Thomas the train cupcake topper, Lego and many of our elementary school teacher mom’s colorful earrings. I’d like to think the Corona Light bottle cap was a nod to me. It’s a unique piece of art!
Months earlier when lamenting over her guest list, the names on their A and B lists, I gently reminded Leah that everyone that should be present, would be and that a good rule of thumb was if she hadn’t looked someone in the eye in a year or less, she might want to reconsider inviting them. She took my advice in some cases and not in others, which resulted in last minute cancellations and disturbing texts from friends who could not attend.
Undeniably her guests, the ones who did attend, each and every one sang her and Aaron’s praises. Leah is so very loved and has built a network of friends that have become family over the years.
The Sister of the Bride
I had the distinct honor of spending the entire day with Leah, beginning with breakfast, just the two of us and then giving her away a little before 7:00 that evening.
It was over mimosas (and bacon) at Bottega Louie that I shared the toast I would give that night. I was worried about it being too melancholy and knowing it was going to be an emotional day, I wanted her to hear it first, to prepare her in some small way. I had struggled so much to find the right words in the weeks leading up to this monumental occasion.
We cried and laughed and then cried some more. And then ordered another mimosa!
Someday I’ll share the words I read with trepidation, shaking hands and a lump in my throat the night of my sister’s wedding here.