Long-time friends Soo-Jin Lee and Brandon Behrstock were on the path to wedded bliss, and the metaphor was not lost on Brandon. He had spent weeks planning a romantic proposal, which was to take place during a Saturday morning hike in Topanga Canyon. He called Soo-Jin’s father the night before, to ask his permission for Soo-Jin’s hand in marriage. He then confirmed all of his top-secret arrangements, (including finishing his hiking plan off with two dozen red roses, dinner at The Lobster and a night at The Fairmont) and relentlessly checked up on his bride-to-be, making sure she would be well rested and feeling healthy, as she had been suffering from a bad case of the flu. She was feeling well enough by Friday to join a few girlfriends for drinks that evening, which pushed her back into the “flu zone.”
Hiding outside in his car, Brandon used his cell phone to delay all of the arrangements for another seven days, which he hoped would be sufficient time for recovery. The next week was spent sneezing, sleeping, and eating chicken soup, as they both were sick now – and by the weekend, both were too weak to take on a hike. Brandon’s relentless romanticism prevailed nonetheless, and he was able to convince a reluctant and sniffling Soo-Jin to take a walk in the cold, windy April evening on the boardwalk at Santa Monica’s pier. He proposed at sunset, a romantic feat well done.
The couple took on the task of planning the wedding on their own, and in only three and a half months’ time. Their talent for quick-decisions, persistence, and a little luck, led them to their dream wedding at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Brandon and Soo-Jin’s clean, tailored taste shone through, with crisp white and champagne colors. Soo-Jin’s wedding gown was ivory silk, and was complemented by her bridesmaids’ dresses that shimmered in a sandstone hue.
All bouquets were in champagne and white with ivy accents. Even Brandon and Soo-Jin were impressed when they saw the heavenly reception table centerpieces: tall glass pilsner shaped vases and some low centerpieces containing tall, curly willow branches, onto which was hand tied an abundance of roses and dendrobium orchids in white and ivory tones. Touches of green moss were added to play off the flowering branches. Pin point lighting on each arrangement made the final dramatic touch.
The reception dinner was equally as breathtaking. For the first course, guests were served truffle risotto with basil oil, and for the salad, Italian frisee and baby greens, shaved pears, toasted walnuts and Gorgonzola croutons in a radicchio, pear juice and walnut vinaigrette. The entrée was a choice of either a pepper-crusted filet of beef tenderloin with French green bean salad and old-fashioned green peppercorn sauce, or John Dory with watercress and vegetable ragout, artichoke ravioli, and truffle butter sauce. Individual desserts were served at the end of the meal to alternating seats, of either a Riesling poached pear with vanilla sorbet and caramelized phyllo crust, and Costa Rican pineapple upside down cake and coconut sorbet with exotic fruit compote.
As impressive as the menu, decorations, and service were, this wedding ceremony was destined to be just as unique. With the bride’s traditional, Korean family and the groom’s Jewish family, a wonderful combination of joy and festivities brought out the best in everyone. During the reception, Soo-Jin was particularly struck when she witnessed her reserved parents dancing throughout the evening – including the traditional Jewish dance, the Hora! “It was a blessing to have been surrounded by so many members of our family and friends to share in the event, which was a public declaration of our vows to one another as husband and wife, and confirmation of the role that family and friends will play in our lives.”