A Wedding Weekend in Los Angeles

The wedding guests of Marin Hooper and John Goldstone at Tony Duquette's Dawnridge in Beverly Hills. Photo: JH.

Friday morning. Cold and wet in New York with snow promised. Boarded Jet Blue at JFK 11:20 flight to Long Beach. If you’ve never flown into Long Beach: it beats LAX for sheer stress-less convenience; more like landing at a private airport if such a thing is possible in a metropolis in these times. Love that no-frills Jet Blue. New plane; clean, smells clean, comfy, wonderful flight attendants. Arrived 2:05 PCT, about twenty minutes ahead of schedule.

On Sunset and Doheny Road
Disembark using those old-fashioned steps from both the front and the back of the plane (SO convenient and fast). Walk across the tarmac with the Jet Blue staffer bidding us a good day. Walk through the tiny terminal, across the road into the car rental lot. Picked up a silver Mustang convertible, put the top down and headed up the 405 to Los Angeles. Staying in Bel Air at our friend Donna Estes Antebi’s hilltop hacienda.

Dinner Friday night with friends at Al Uzielli’s La Dolce Vita on Little Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills where Frank Sinatra used to eat almost every night he was in town (and not dining at home or at friends). Placed was packed. JH had the Steak Sinatra. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Newhart in the banquette across the way, dining with Janet (Mrs. Freddie) de Cordova.

Saturday morning awoke to a fogged in Bel Air (see below). Down to Book Soup for books and the papers (the NY Post, the NY Times, the LA Times) and on over to Mel's on the Strip (JH wanted a real diner type breakfast) for Rancho Huevos. By noon, brunch over, sun now shining, we took a short trip through the hills to see what's been abuilding since we were last hear several months ago. It's springtime in Los Angeles and the air is thick with the powerful and sweet fragrances of the jasmine, the potisporum and the eucalyptus
A foggy Bel Air morning view from the driveway
And mid afternoon, same location
A Bel Air playhouse
Bouganvillea on Stone Canyon
Sunset Plaza hillside in West Hollywood
A Sunset Plaza gate
Back alley off Doheny
LAFD in Beverly Glen teaching parents and their children fire-safety lessons
Santa Monica Blvd at Doheny Drive
Looking west towards Beverly Hills from atop Sunset Plaza
Fire hydrant in the hills
Spring has sprung in a Ralph's supermarket parking lot
Saturday afternoon: the reason for the trip. The wedding of John Goldstone and Marin Hopper who were getting married at 4:30 in the garden of Dawnridge, the exotically eclectic estate of the late great set designer and interior designer Tony Duquette way up in Beverly Hills, guests of Duquette's protégé and heir Hutton Wilkinson and his wife Ruth.

It was a real Hollywood wedding.
The late Mr. Duquette and his wife Beegle were lifelong friends of the principals and their forebears: Ms. Hopper is the daughter of Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward Duchin — Mr. Hopper, the film star, producer/director/ photographer and internationally famous contemporary art collector, and Mrs. Duchin, a child of Hollywood herself, daughter of the late film star of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, Margaret Sullavan and agent/producer (Sound of Music, Gypsy, etc.) Leland Hayward. An all Show Biz affair including stepfather-in-law orchestra leader Peter Duchin, whose beginnings were immortalized on screen years ago in a film about his mother and father, The Eddy Duchin Story starring Tyrone Power and Kim Novak.

About a hundred friends and family congregated including Brooke's sons by (her first husband) New York writer Michael Thomas, Jeffrey Thomas, Willie Thomas and their families. Champagne and hors d'oeurves were served while we waited for things to get underway. And then: A Steinway grand, its shiny black case looking so elegant amidst the flora and fauna and Duquette created background, had placed in the garden and Peter Duchin played for his stepdaughter, while her father walked her down the aisle (steps really and then across the brick pavement) to the waiting groom. The ceremony was relievedly brief and warm and personal along with the Will you; I do, I do, ending in applause, more waiters with champagne. The bride and groom were then joined by their curly and raven-haired little one, Violet Goldstone, no more than a year old but full of the bright and outgoing personality that distinguishes both sides of her family.

At the Wedding Ceremony at Dawnridge
Peter Duchin
Victoria Hopper, Brooke Duchin, Dennis Hopper, and Dagny Corcoran
Amy Trumpeyter-Siebert and Dennis and Victoria Hopper
The wedding bubbly
The guests toast the bride and groom
Bride and groom and little Violet
Matt LeBlanc
Anna, Jeffrey, and Cooper Thomas
Michael Costigan and Bobby Harling
The Bride and Groom and Violet right after the marriage vows
Guests leaving the wedding
Waiting for the valet parkers
Then it was back to our cars for the short drive down to the Sunset Strip and the Chateau Marmont for the wedding dinner. Cocktails were served on the hotel's terrace. Brooke Duchin's good friend Alex Hitz from New York (and at times Los Angeles) oversaw the dinner and décor, keeping it chic and simply elegant: two long tables, with placement for the 110 guests; silver candelabras, several hundred votive candles, long tall vases of peach and orange tulips and a Duchin-inspired trio fill the air with music.

The wedding cake
It was a Hollywood wedding but a real family affair with lots of old friends who've known the groom and the bride for much of their lives, as well as friends of the bride's parents and in some cases her grandparents, including legendary art dealer Irving Blum and his wife Jackie, interior decorator Leonard Stanley, art maven Dagny Corcoran, Barbara Pallenberg, Connie Wald, restaurateurs Dan Tana, Michael McCarty and his artist wife Kim McCarty, Mandolyna Theodoracopoulos, film producer Michael Costigan who has two sensational scripts about to go into production, the film version of Dallas written by Bobby Harling (who scripted Steel Magnolias and was also present for the nuptials) and Annie Proulx' Brokeback Mountain with a script by Larry McMurtry and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger; Matt LeBlanc whose production company is headed up by the groom, as well as lots of friends of both bride and groom, many of whom are native New Yorkers now living in Los Angeles and working in the Industry.
The courtyard of the Chateau Marmont
The wedding dinner tables at the Chateau
Wedding hosts Hutton and Ruth Wilkinson
Lisa Henson, and Michael Besman
Barbara Pallenberg, Lisa Eisner, Roman Alonso, and Brooke Duchin
Brooke and her old pal Irving Blum
Doug Inglish, Stephanie Ittleson, and Michael Costigan
Caitlin Scanlon and Stokely Chaffin
Connie Wald and Alex Hitz
Dan Tana, Curtis Harrington, Gaby Tana, and Tom Cohen
Leonard Stanley with Jackie and Irving Blum
Dagny Corcoran with Michael and Tim McCarty
Mandolyna Theodoracopoulos and DPC
Marin and John with Halla Timon
Ruthanna Hopper with Marin and John
Marin and John take their wedding cake
Brooke congratulates the bride and groom

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Sunday brunch on the Sunset Strip
L. to r.: Artist Bob Schulenberg peers out of his Beverly Glen cottage; Mels Drive-In on Sunset; Andy Reznik celebrates his birthday at Mels.

March 22, 2004, Volume IV, Number 45
Photographs by Jeff Hirsch/NYSD.com


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com