The Ketchup Packet That Almost Ruined the Wedding at the Oviatt Penthouse in Los Angeles

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I never imagined that a packet of ketchup would end up being part of a wedding ceremony. But if you know me somehow it was bound to happen.
I arrive to the Oviatt Penthouse about an hour and a half early. I had a fairly complex ceremony so I wanted to make sure that everything was set and ready.

As I pull up, the wedding party is outside taking pictures. I go up to greet them and see panic in all of their eyes and look at the bride dress to see a bunch of red splotches on the bottom.

Apparently, accidentally as they were crossing the street, the groom stepped on a packet of ketchup that squirted all over the bottom of her dress. 

Quickly her bridesmaids and coordinators worked get the stain out of which they were successful doing so with a combination of shout wipes, tide pens and soda water. 

I knew I couldn’t let this go by without mentioning it somehow in the ceremony, so I went on the search in the neighborhood to find a packet of ketchup. I finally found one at a 7-11 around the corner. I put it in my pocket to save it for just the right moment.

Their guests were so much fun to work with and were looking to have a good time. I did not disappoint. 

We did the ceremony underneath a Chuppah, which I explained to their guests its significance. 

The ceremony was a Christian – Jewish combo ceremony. It included first Corinthians and the blessings over the wine and the challah which I did in both English and Hebrew.

They read their own beautiful vows to one another, and at the end of the ceremony, I was about to pull out the glass to be crushed but instead I pulled out the ketchup packet. They both laughed uncontrollably as well as their wedding party. It’s a moment that I know was talked about lovingly throughout their reception. 

Then I pulled out the actual glass to be crushed in its pouch  and with the 3-2-1 countdown, he stomped the glass whereupon everybody shouted Mazel Tov!

Then they kissed and made their way down the aisle.

This is one wedding I know I will never forget.

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The Theme of The Wedding: “A Voyage to the Great Attractor”

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Alan Dressler, Author of Voyage to the Great Attractor.  Along with other top scientist, they began the project of mapping the Universe, as we know it today with the Hubble Telescope.  Alan is also on the team that is building the world’s largest telescope, which will take astronomy to the next level.

The Great Attractor was at work when Alan met Charmeen.  Their mutual love of Art, Music, Poetry and nature made a permanent connection to soul.

The ceremony included a blend of Jewish and Chinese traditions.  My three favorites were the Tea Ceremony, presented to the only parent, Charmeen’s Mother.  The other notable event was at the end when, traditionally, I wrap the couple with a Tallit for the Benediction, they selected a beautiful Red Shall to wrap the two of them in.  Afterward, all the guests will sign the Stoll for their keepsake.  The breaking of the glass was also impacting. Alan had from his Mothers possessions, a set of 8 Antique Orrifores Crystal glasses.  One of these treasures was what they used for the breaking of the glass.  It demonstrated that even the most valuable material possessions, pale in comparison to the love that is celebrated in this moment.

One more thing, I was able to surprise the groom by using the title of his book as the theme of the wedding, “A Voyage to the Great Attractor”.

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A Beautiful Afternoon at the Pasadena Westin Hotel

It was a beautiful afternoon in Pasadena as Miriam & Chris said their vows in the courtyard at the Pasadena Westin Hotel. Both Muslim and Christian readings were shared as the couple began their married life together. We not only honored the start of a marriage, we celebrated the oneness of God as understood through different religious expressions.

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