I love stories about weddings. Courtships, love...I think its because they form the basis of everything we plan, do and hope for. Plus, everyone has a story, and each one is the best soap opera ever.
Heres mine. I was the girl next door. Not as in the farmhouse down the road, but rather the apartment in Westwood. We met in the stairwell. I was walking down, miniskirted, white high-heel patent-leather boots, long blond hair. He was on his way up and looked right at me. I was not interested in men going up the stairs; he was interested in the miniskirt, boots and that long blond hair. I was finishing my graduate work; he was older, just returned from a round-the-world journey, third class, through Afghanistan, Iran, India and Cambodia. (We refer to these trips as B.A.before Annie.)
Our first date was to a UCLA basketball game. Yes, I was at USC, and he was years out of school in Michigan and Londonbut UCLA was the team (Bill Walton ring a bell?), and I loved basketball. He couldnt believe he had found a miniskirted, leather-booted blonde who loved basketball. He forgave that Indian food was not my choice, and later, when I went on a Halloween date with someone else and needed a costume, he was there to show me how to wrap a sari.
The wedding was in New York, 3,000 miles from Westwood. I gave up control (not easy for me), because my mother has the best taste and because I was busy finishing my thesis. Besides, all I wanted was to design my dress, and all my fiancé wanted was to be in charge of the graphics (architect that he is). We each got our wishand the wedding was beautiful and especially meaningful, as mine was the first among the children of a community of Holocaust survivor parents.
Weve now been together more than 30 years. People say they work hard at their marriage, but ours hasnt been work. It hasnt been all easy, either, but thats life. The many years brought joy, sadness, some pain, kids who are our best friends, some gray hair for him, still long blond hair for me, no more minis, occasional boots...and I still dont love Indian food.
And Ill tell you one other thing: He never actually proposed. We had been dating for more than a year, and one day I said, Are we going to get married? He said, I guess so. All these many years later, it still pisses me off, that I guess so. Now, whenever I see a proposal in a movie or hear about some guy filling a hotel room with roses to pop the question, my eyes tear. Funny how such a minor thing, when compared with a lifetime together, still makes me wistful.
I am not alone. Ask Jim Moret. Or better yet, read his story. The former CNN anchor, now on Inside Edition, recalls how he, too, never actually proposed to his wife. And when he describes how 20 years later he surprised her with a second weddingand finally got down on one knee and proposed properlyyou will shed tears as well.
In this wedding-themed issue, we have what you might expecta beautiful collection of gowns and veils, picks for presents and thank-yous for your wedding party. But my favorites are the stories. Here at LA, storytelling is the ultimate art form, and so our wedding album, The Pleasure of Your Company, is rife with tales of love and marriage: Mary Murphy on how people get paired, Gustavo Arellano on the erosion of Mexican wedding traditions and Jod Kaftan on why a confirmed bachelor chose to take the plunge.
Theres a true love storyMavis and Jay Leno continue to find humor and honor in their marriage after 28 years. Howard Rosenman takes you to Israel for his nephews nuptials, an arranged ultra-Orthodox pairing cemented after seven dates and exhaustive genetic testing. Josh Radnor, of How I Met Your Mother fame, revisits Ione Skye and Ben Lees spiritually riveting wedding in India. Konstantin Kakanias (our own cartoonist) recalls his L.A. neighbors wedding in Greece with a rabbi, a Shinto priest and a Catholic priest officiating. And speaking of officiants, find out how Sue Smalley handled the job.
And once your heart is full, read the conversation between Eli Broad and David Bohnett on why giving money away makes them happy.