After nearly 20 years together, Carol Leifer and Lori Wolf married in a personal ceremony featuring Jewish traditions. Planning the wedding in just three months, the women had to make decisions quickly. Luckily, the venue was an easy choice. “Lori and her family have been members of the Brentwood Country Club for 50 plus years,” shares Carol of its sentimental value.
Instead of a traditional bridal party, the brides each had their own “posse” of loved ones participate in the processional, which included rock classics “All My Love” by Led Zeppelin and “’Till There was You” by The Beatles. The couple’s son, Bruno, served as ring bearer, with their niece Lilly as the flower girl. Carol wore a lovely knee-length ivory lace dress for her walk down the aisle and carried a bouquet of tangerine calla lilies that popped in perfect contrast to her ensemble. Lori chose to wear a sharp, pin-striped pantsuit with a crisp white blouse.
The two brides stood beneath a striking chuppah bedecked with seasonal curly willow and tangerine florals. Along with the rabbi’s homily, Carol and Lori read aloud heartfelt vows they had written to each other. “That was the most meaningful part of the ceremony and the element that resonated with all our guests,” reveals Carol, who is an Emmy-nominated comedy writer. The handwritten sentiments illustrated the personalities of the fun-loving pair. Lori confirms, “[The] vows brought the house down in laughter, which was no easy feat with every iconic comedian in the room!” Once his ring bearer duties were complete, Bruno joined Lori in the Jewish tradition of the breaking of the glass.
After the service, their wedding planner and her team turned the room into a lavish reception space in just under an hour. Tables were set with centerpieces made from wooden boxes that held orange sunset roses, curly willow, dusty miller, succulents, kumquats, and persimmons. Carol and Lori eschewed current trends by keeping centerpieces low to the tabletop to encourage conversation. “[That] has always been a pet peeve of ours at other people’s [events] – the flowers are always so big and extravagant that people can’t converse with each other,” explains Lori.
The sumptuous menu featured selections from three food stations. Delicious options ranged from sliced beef tenderloin, miso-glazed salmon, and sweet potato frites to duck and vegetable pot stickers, chicken and beef-steamed baos, freshly prepared sushi rolls, and made-to-order pad Thai. The four-tiered chocolate confection featured a cream cheese filling and was frosted with alabaster buttercream. “One side of the cake [was] adorned with fresh ranunculuses,” describes Carol “[… while the other side] showcased replicas of our four rescue dogs on each tier.”
After dinner, guests flocked to the photo booth that the couple’s wedding planner had encouraged them to include in the entertainment. “[It was] the surprise hit of the party!” exclaims Carol. The brides advise other couples to opt for an open-air photo booth instead of one in an enclosed space. “It opens up the entire experience to everyone and makes it fun,” Lori notes. And it’s not a surprise that the celebration was full of amusement and laughter, considering the notable guest list of comedy legends. Larry David, Jay Leno, Jane Lynch, Bill Maher, Paul Reiser, Henry Winkler, and the beloved late Garry Shandling are among the friends in attendance to celebrate the love of Carol and Lori.
Because they had created a home together long ago, the happy twosome did not feel the need to create a registry. “In lieu of gifts, we asked guests to consider a donation to Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services,” explains Carol. For favors, attendees were offered delightful toffee sets that declared, “Mazel Toffee!” in addition to the newlyweds’ names and wedding date.
Having faced a dilemma that plagues many brides and grooms, Carol and Lori offer sage advice for those soon-to-be-married: “Make sure you find time to eat! We didn’t eat an entire thing at our whole wedding except the salad.” Aside from missing out on their delicious fare, the brides were wholly satisfied with how their big day turned out. They encourage couples to stay true to themselves when going through the planning process. “Have the wedding you want. Don’t let anyone else sway you from your instinct and what you know you both like,” advises Lori.