I was a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding this past weekend. The rehearsal was on Friday night, and although I was teary-eyed during the second run-through (their vows were perfect), James' speech at the rehearsal dinner caused tears to stream down my cheeks. The whole affair reminded me again why I love living downtown.
Our dear friend Adam was the wedding planner and the ceremony took place in his beautiful penthouse apartment in downtown Los Angeles. I hadn't seen Adam's apartment prior to the rehearsal. His last apartment in the Santa Fe Building was stunning, but nothing could've prepared me for the amazing space that he occupies now. His patio is huge and has amazing, unobstructed views of the downtown skyline. He also has impeccable taste and his pad was beautifully decorated.
Leslie, Laurence, and Ryan threw the rehearsal dinner in yet another beautiful downtown apartment. Candlelight, wonderful downtown views, grilled chicken and asparagus with polenta with mushroom ragout, family, friends - it was intoxicating. It felt as if we were in a beautiful and sophisticated romantic movie, as if everyone were moving in slow motion with the laughter and conversation mixing with the music to make the most enchanting soundtrack. James speech was touching, but I saw the look on my sister's face, how happy and radiant she looked, and it brought me to tears. I'd never seen her so happy.
So many things went wrong for me on Saturday. Laura and I went to the Flower Mart early that morning. Okay it wasn't that early, but it sure felt like it after all the wine I drank at the rehearsal dinner. I managed to stab my finger with many thorns from the orange roses we bought. Not that painful when it happened, but an hour later my forefinger was the size of my big toe and throbbing to a disco beat. Laura said I'd be fine, just take something for the pain and to make the swelling go down. I didn't realize it would knock me out for a few hours.
I was half-asleep later that afternoon when the Elvis impersonator called to ask me out. He was so funny and charming and I was still in a cloudy dream state that I said yes to dinner with him later in the week. I realized the lateness of the hour and started running around, getting ready and beating myself up for saying yes when I swore that it was over, that I was ending it. That's when I ran face-first into my bedroom door. It hurt, but more importantly, I had a huge purple bruise on my nose. Perfect, just what I needed. I put on some makeup, trying to cover my bruised and purple clown nose. I gave up and got dressed, wrapping myself in a black sari with gold accents, which took a little longer than I anticipated. I was determined to not use any safety pins, but with the way things were going I was afraid of coming undone in front of everybody. So I folded and tucked fabric carefully, hoping it would all stay put, then walked two blocks to Adam's pad.
As soon as the elevator doors opened to Adam's apartment, a photographer snapped my picture. The patio looked amazing. It was dusk, the lights of the city were the perfect backdrop, and all the guests were dressed in black and/or white. We moved inside for the ceremony, where everything seemed to sparkle and everyone was bathed in soft candlelight. It was a very non-traditional ceremony, but so fitting for Laura and James. It suited them perfectly. The bride wore a beautiful strapless beaded gown in a stunning shade of orange. She borrowed my Indian necklace, a matte gold chain-mail drop which makes this soft, very subtle, chiming musical sound when you move. It is almost imperceptible, you have to either wear it or standthisclose to hear the necklace. It is a joy to wear and she looked like she was enjoying it.
When it was my turn to read, I stood next to our friend Allan, who was officiating. I was surprised to hear the sounds coming out of my mouth, was that really my voice? The crowd was laughing in all the right places, sighing "Aww" when appropriate, and I don't think anybody was thinking, "What the hell happened to her nose?" Halfway through the reading, I turned to see Laura and James smiling at me. Wow, that's what pure happiness looks like. The rest of the ceremony went by in a blur, except that time seemed to stop as Paul Marshall sang "Time After Time". Beautiful. After the ceremony, we all went back to the patio for cake and toasts. We all grabbed candles on the way out and walked down the street to Cole's for the reception.
My astrologer and the winner of a Pat Benatar look-alike contest joined me at the reception, which was incredibly fun. It was an attractive crowd populated largely with creative types - artists, photographers, filmmakers, writers, dancers, fashion designers, TV and film producers, and the people who love them. I danced with handsome men, was felt up by more of the same, drank everything that was set in front of me, smoked all that was passed to me, popped every pill that made its way into my hand and shared with all who wanted. Good times. On the way out, we noticed the guards at the Santa Fe Lofts watching us careen drunkenly down the sidewalk. I don't know what happened, but I slipped and fell on my ass, breaking my shoes in the process. I was thoroughly anesthesized, so I didn't feel a thing and laughed my ass off. We went back to my penthouse and drank all my booze and marveled at my view of the downtown skyline. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful night.
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who emailed or IM'd with stories of what else went down that I forgot. Visiting dignitary from Chicago gave lapdances to a select few, Adam was drumming on light fixtures, and while I can't walk down the street without assistance, I can samba loaded while swaddled in six yards of fabric. A speaker fell from the ceiling and shattered upon impact, inches away from my head. Apparently I was unfazed and kept drinking. Mystery solved: Craig left Cole's with us but didn't make it to the penthouse because the little white pills I gave him started to kick in and he couldn't find my pad - again. Craig, just because I gave you three pills doesn't mean you have to take them all at once. The bride writes about it on her blog. If you were there and blogged about it, email the link to me and I'll post it here.