Who isn’t in the mood for a feel good, chick flick, big ol’ wedding movie? With, of course, some of my favorite rom-com actors, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigel, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams. It’s about time we pumped some fresh air into this heavy atmosphere we’ve all been living in lately. A nice light comedy about love and weddings and all that gushy stuff actually comes at the perfect time since my own wedding anniversary is just a few weeks away.
With an all-star cast led by Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams, THE BIG WEDDING is an uproarious romantic comedy about a charmingly modern family trying to survive a weekend wedding celebration that has the potential to become a full blown family fiasco. To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin (De Niro and Keaton) are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son’s wedding after his ultra conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend. With all of the wedding guests looking on, the Griffins are hilariously forced to confront their past, present and future – and hopefully avoid killing each other in the process. Screenplay by Justin Zackham. Directed by Justin Zackham.
I love movies like this that allow me to reminisce about the moments that lead me down the aisle to my RockStar husband. We all think our stories are the best stories out there- all with a twist, something unexpected, remarkable, whatever the outcome, it shaped our memory of our own wedding day. My story looks something like this:
My husband and I are four years apart. Both born and raised in Las Vegas. Attended many of the same activities, but never even knew of each other until the day we met. I like to remind him now and then that when he was a sophomore in high school, I was playing on the monkey bars at the elementary school located right next door. He was in college while I was in high school. He graduated from college in 1993 and moved back to Las Vegas. I graduated high school in 1993 and left for college.
When I was 20 years old, my parents moved into a new neighborhood. His parents happened to live in the same neighborhood. On the same street. Our younger siblings went to high school together, and were friends. Six years later, we met at a party, thrown by our parents’ philanthropy group. We had both traveled all over the world. Studied in different countries. Went away to school. At our engagement party two years later, my favorite line was from my dad’s toast, “I sent Stefanie away to schools in California, and France. Sent her to Europe every summer for the last four years. Helped her find an apartment when she moved to Los Angeles. And, what does she do? She marries the boy next door. Imagine all the money I could have saved.”
We were married on May 4th, 2002. Our ceremony took place in a Catholic church, but the reception was a grand event held at the Four Seasons Las Vegas. Limos filled the valet area, as did the various painted cows from the CowParade. I thought my dad was going to flip when he saw a sculpture of a red cow with red hearts and boxer shorts greeting my guests. May 4th also happened to be the same night the De La Hoya fight was rescheduled due to him injuring his hand the month prior. Needlesstosay, it was quite a busy night.
And it was. Talk about The Big Wedding, having both been born and raised here, we happen to know quite a few people. Not to mention, my family alone, a large Irish-Italian clan, is 25 members alone, and that was before significant others and offspring! We invited 425 people. We partied all night long with 315 guests from Las Vegas and around the country.
The room was just how I imagined it would be. Subtle elegance. My girls wore a strapless ball gown in a color called Candlelight and carried a mixture of cream, golds and green flowers. My dress was by Reem Acra. It was the dress I dreamt about…an ivory, sweetheart strapless, beaded bodice, full ball gown, long train with embelishments, and a vail that reached almost the length of the church aisle. (Ok, not really, but in my romanticized version it did.) I carried a bouquet full of Black Magic roses. At the church, a couple sang, “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, and also “The Wedding Song,” by Peter, Paul and Mary, the song my parents walked down the aisle to at their own wedding.
At the reception, our guests enjoyed a sit-down dinner with impeccable, Four Seasons service, while one of the best Frank Sinatra impersonators in town, set the atmosphere. My husband and I ate dinner in our suite (yes the Sunrise Sunset panoramic one), enjoying our first moments as a married couple, during the cocktail hour, so at dinner we could mingle around the tables and thank our guests for coming. Our first dance was to “Someone Like You,” by Van Morrison, played by a phenomenal 10-piece band. After many wonderful toasts and other memorable dances, we cut into our Limoges inspired cake with a personalized white chocolate version of our monogram.
The following morning, we enjoyed a good-bye brunch with as many who could stay. Later that night, we were whisked away, First Class, to our honeymoon that lasted three weeks covering Bali and Thailand. It. Was. Absolutely. Amazing.
I will never forget the details of our wedding. Not just because I have 1000 copies of our wedding video covering every detail of the year leading up to it- bachelorette party in Santa Barbara, wedding gown fittings in Newport Beach, California- but because it is the one instant in time I always wish I could go back to. When I hear people say, “I wish I would have just taken the money and bought a house, or saved it, or whatever…” I always think, “Nah-ah, nope, not me. If I could go back and do it again, I would do it the same exact way, not leaving out one little detail. The good or the bad.” It was the one time in my and my husband’s lives, where everyone we knew and loved and cared about was in one place, happy, celebrating, enjoying life. Every picture we have in our album, people are smiling from ear to ear. Friends and family still tell us it was the best party they ever attended. I love that. I love that the people in our lives who have now passed, were there with us. And, they were 11 years younger, full of life and vigor- dancing and carrying on.
There are few moments in my life I would want to relive if ever offered the chance again. The births of all of my children, and my wedding day.
Doesn’t that make you want to relive your wedding story? Or, at least just escape into someone else’s for a few hours? The Big Wedding opens on April 26th, and they have cordially invited you to attend with a plus 1. All you have to do is follow this link to a special offer to get your tickets. Enjoy the show!
Tell me what your fondest memory is from your wedding day?