Good times and great food were the key ingredients for the nuptials of Gina Roth and Daniel O’Donnell. The bride, who had formerly worked at Patina Catering, had a specific vision for the wedding and knew exactly what she wanted for her and Dan’s special day.
The two met in March 2000 through mutual friends while in college. Though Dan was attending Brown and Gina was studying at Washington University in St. Louis, the future bride and groom felt an uncanny connection and hoped that their paths would once again cross. (Part of the “uncanny” connection may have been due, in part, to the fact that their fathers had been in the same freshman dorm at The University of Vermont). Fortunately, graduating at the end of that semester, Dan was offered and accepted a job in Los Angeles, where Gina had lived. The two began seeing each other, kindling a romance and friendship that now had no obstacles of distance, and enjoyed an exciting courtship that included extensive travel, which became one of their shared passions.
Dan’s wedding proposal nicely befit their special bond and reflected their mutual appreciation of fine food and love for family. Plotting without Gina’s knowledge, Dan staged and tightly executed a romantic ruse to ask Gina for her hand in marriage. With the help of Gina’s parents, Dan pretended to be going on a golf getaway to Palm Springs with Gina’s father. Meanwhile, with the guys out of town, Gina’s mom offered to treat her to a sumptuous meal at LA’s Matsuhisa, one of Gina’s favorite restaurants.
Upon entering, Gina was escorted to a private dining room, where she found Dan, who proceeded to drop to one knee and ask Gina to spend her life with him. Gina was completely shocked, and more than a bit befuddled by the presence of a sushi chef, who snapped photos of the surprise event, and then prepared a most sumptuous meal for the two.
The luxe St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles was the site of the ceremony and the reception. The ceremony was deeply moving, and was conducted by the same Rabbi that had converted Dan to Judaism and had counseled the couple for two years before the wedding. Knowing Gina and Dan so well, the Rabbi conveyed an incredibly warm, genuine depth to the nuptials.
Matched with clean, modern lines and a slight Asian influence, the color red provided the basic theme for the event. The centerpieces utilized square silk dupioni linens, placed on rectangular tables, and consisted of dark wood boxes filled with red roses. Flanking the dance floor were unique bamboo arrangements for an exotic touch. The wedding cake was four-tiered, each layer separated by red roses; and a delicious croquembouche was offered as well.
Guests, seated at tables named after Gina and Dan’s favorite restaurants around the world, were treated countless culinary delights. The hors d’oeuvres included beluga caviar and chive crème fraiche; gazpacho with bay shrimp served in a shot glass; and tuna tartare wontons with avocado and wasabi. An Asian sian station offered wild mushroom potstickers with sweet Thai sauce, shrimp and vegetable wonton rolls, and assorted dim sum. A salad course consisted of fennelpoached Maine lobster with mango remoulade and vine ripened tomatoes and watercress with grapefruit chervil dressing. The trio of pastas was a succulent mushroom ravioli with crème based truffle sauce, pesto risotto with spring peas, rediatore with Amantriciana sauce, followed by an entrée offering of ginger soy glazed black bass and grilled New York Strip Steak with Bordelaise sauce. Krispy Kreme doughnuts were on hand at the end of the evening, ensuring a late night sugar rush for the partiers. Even the wedding favors were the perfect complement to the gourmand evening: guests received bottles of olive oil with the couple’s favorite recipes attached.
Adding to the festivities, Gina’s father opened a ’77 (Gina’s birth year) Graham’s Port he had been saving since her childhood precisely for this occasion. In making their first toast, the bride and groom used the same pewter champagne goblets that Dan’s parents had used at their wedding, a moving testament to family.
Agreeing a wedding should be about fun and good food, the bride and groom carried their celebration by honeymooning, and dining, at the W Hotel in Hawaii, Princeville in Kauai, and the Four Seasons in Maui.