By ALISON BONN — Inside Weddings
Stacey Janks had no idea that the DVD she was about to watch with her film-composer boyfriend, Eric Jasper, would change her life forever one fateful “movie night.” The standard MPAA message appeared as expected, and everything seemed quite normal at first. Soon, however, a montage of photographs featuring the pair began to run, set to an original score written by Eric. When the montage ended, the words “coming to a hand near you,” flashed across the screen, at which point Eric dutifully knelt on one knee and officially popped the question.
With just over a year to prepare for their wedding, the couple began by selecting their perfect location. The bride knew she desired a full-service venue in Los Angeles that could host a beautiful outdoor ceremony as well as offer a kosher meal. A luxury Beverly Hills hotel met all requirements with flying colors, and planning got underway. The musically inclined groom was put in charge of the entertainment, while all other decisions were left up to the bride, her mother, and the couple’s expert consultants.
“We wanted our wedding to be fun and feel like a big party,” states Stacey, who achieved a sophisticated-yet-celebratory atmosphere by employing a black-and-white color palette with silver accents and flashy overtones of hot pink. Four varietals of fuchsia flowers decorated the chuppah, while hot pink roses rested atop tall metallic structures that had been placed on either side of the ceremony aisle. The bridal bouquet was an arrangement of peonies in the same vibrant shade as the floral décor. Bridesmaids wore short, single-shoulder black dresses and carried ivory nosegays, while groomsmen wore black suits with silver ties. Two flower girls donned snowy dresses with colorful sashes fit for a pair of princesses.
In addition to observing tradition, commemoration was a priority to the couple, whose Jewish ceremony featured many religious customs and personal touches. “It was very important for me to find a way to incorporate something that belonged to my late grandfather into the wedding,” says Stacey, who found the perfect opportunity to do so during the bedekin (the ceremonial veiling of the bride before the ceremony). In a symbolic gesture representative of him “taking possession” of the bride, Eric took a handkerchief that had belonged to Stacey’s beloved relative from the hand of the rabbi.
Eric also contributed his talents by composing an original song set to an ancient Hebrew text for the cantor to sing during the service, and went to great lengths to select the perfect quartet to accompany his arrangement. The same musicians would later entertain during the cocktail hour with well-known show tunes and classic rock as the evening’s festivities got underway.
Four giant letters that spelled the word “l-o-v-e” served as a base for the escort card table. After locating their seat assignments, guests made their way into the hotel ballroom, which had been transformed with cheerful pink lighting. Alternating tables were draped in either black- or white-sequined linens, then set with charger plates of the opposite shade. Fuchsia flowers and napkins bound with sparkly rings unified the theme. Centerpieces consisted of either groupings of vessels in varying heights boasting flowers in tones of hot pink and magenta, or tall, shapely obsidian vases supporting explosions of beautiful mixed blossoms.
A chic ebony-and-ivory dance floor featured the couple’s custom monogram. Polk-dot ribbons encircled each layer of a towering wedding cake with five square tiers. A jovial topper featured a groom on skis hoisting his snow-bunny bride.
Though Stacey had gone to excruciating lengths to ensure every detail of her wedding was perfectly executed, she is the first to admit that an event about which she was completely unaware turned out to be the most memorable moment of the day for her. Eric had written a song entitled “Dreaming of You, Stacey,” and had secretly arranged for the band to perform it during the reception. To top it off, in the middle of the tune, the gifted groom suddenly jumped on stage to perform a trumpet solo.
“I was completely surprised,” the bride beams. “I had no idea he had been working on it for weeks and coordinated everything with the band. The whole thing completely blew me away.”
In lieu of traditional wedding favors, the bride opted to host a delicious candy buffet that offered a selection of childhood favorites. Guests were given black-and-white take-out boxes to transport as many sweets home as their hearts desired.
Though many brides and grooms report feeling as though their wedding day passed too quickly, Eric is happy to report that both he and Stacey managed to live in the moment and enjoy every aspect of the event to its absolute fullest. And although he fondly recounts the lively dancing, the delicious dinner, and the fabulous décor, what will remain forever etched in his mind is standing beneath the chuppah holding his bride’s hands and looking into her eyes. “We felt completely at ease and focused on each other,” he recalls. “We could not stop smiling.”