The actual wedding was at a very cool art deco restaurant called Cicada in the historic Oviatt building in downtown Los Angeles. Scenes from many movies were shot in that building including DOUBLE INDEMNITY. And Cicada gets a lot of screen time too. Many scenes from MAD MEN were filmed there, and it served as the primary set for last year’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY (but we had them clean up all the blood before the ceremony).
Everyone stayed at the nearby Biltmore – it’s one of those classic old European-type hotels. Think: the Plaza in New York (although I told Annie “Don’t even think about recreating the wedding scene from PLAZA SUITE).
Downtown has undergone a real transformation over the last decade. Parts are becoming gentrified and hip, but there are still enough homeless people and psychotics shouting obscenities to ensure that the real downtown remains preserved.
My wife and I had a suite so that we could use the sitting area to provide hair and make up for the bridal party. We had a fabulous view of Pershing Square right across the street. Unfortunately, on Saturday they had some sort of salsa festival and it was like the bands were in our room. But that only lasted for eight hours… both days.
But we all got lovely gifts from the happy couple and no one asked “What is my motivation?”
Later that afternoon we held a reception for all the out-of-town guests. I offered suggestions on what attractions to see in LA. Jon’s relatives wanted to know which studio tour to take; mine wondered where they’d see the most celebrity graves.
The Emersons hosted a muy bueno rehearsal dinner at a fun nearby Mexican restaurant. Gracias Michael & Becky. I have no idea what was in those tacos (or drinks) but they were delicious. We parents gave our speeches and there was not a dry seat in the house.
Cicada was beautifully decorated. Alas, no Angie Harmon sleeping it off in the men’s room.
Otherwise, we had about 135 friends, relatives, and ten of the best unemployed comedy writers in Hollywood.
A harp player accompanied the wedding procession with theme songs from classic sitcoms. These out of work writers wrote on most of these iconic series.
The ceremony itself was touching, emotional, and joyous. Annie & Jon each wrote vows that were both heartfelt and hilarious. I’d tell them to write RomComs if RomComs didn’t now suck.
Then came the Hora, the Jewish line dance of celebration and confusion followed by maybe my least favorite tradition, raising the bride & groom and then parents in chairs. Safer is Wile E. Coyote getting on an Acme rocket.
So all and all, this was a magic night of love and laughter. Annie and Debby did a spectacular job planning this wedding. Every tiny detail was taken care of. And we'll appreciate their efforts even more when we see what a clusterfuck these upcoming Olympics in Brazil are.
Now Annie & Jon start their lives together. I know they'll do great. As I said in my speech, I look forward to the day – and this will happen – that I’ll be known in the industry as Annie Levine’s father and known in life as Annie Emerson’s father.