BONNIE + MIKE
Even though Mike and I shared countless friends in common, we somehow never really hung out during my early years in Los Angeles. I had met him once or twice in passing at parties and he always seemed busy with other girls or other things. After a difficult year of being single in LA I decided to pack it up for a new job back in New York. Mike was the DJ at my going away party at our mutual friend's house and for some reason that night we just clicked.
After the party ended he suggested we continue to talk at Venice Beach, which was nearby. There were hours of conversation and our first real kiss on the beach that night. At one point I was standing with his arms wrapped around me and I remember thinking that I fit so perfectly, and that he was the person I was going to marry. We went to an Italian restaurant that same week, which I guess was our "real" first date. Our courtship did kind of stop and start a bit. I remember doing karaoke near his apartment and drunkenly inviting him to join us and he said something like "I can't. I have to write." I was like, "um, what?" But I gave him another chance. After that, I decided not to leave LA.
A year or so later Mike walked me to the same spot at Venice Beach where we spent our first evening together. There was a blanket and a bottle of champagne. I remember thinking how nice it looked not realizing he had set it up for us until he actually proposed. I started looking for a wedding dress pretty soon after. I found something that was really plain and simple and just got it on the spot. We had the wedding at my dad's farm in Wisconsin. The rehearsal dinner was in the horse barn. We made giant hay bale structures, had big long tables, and served local corn. My sisters and cousins and I all painted little signs that pointed everyone to all the different areas. It was supposed to pour the entire next day, but I knew somehow that it wouldn't.
We were married in front of a lake and during the wedding these herons flew over and were just skimming the water. It was a Jewish ceremony, and at one point the rabbi said "you have to look out at your friends and family and see the warmth of the community around you." And that just meant the world to me.
We had a cocktail hour after the ceremony, and by the end of the night literally every single person was on the dance floor. We actually paid the DJ extra to stay longer. I didn't exactly envision myself fist pumping to "Living On A Prayer" at my wedding — but what can you do.
Pics by Doug McGoldrick