AUTHOR: linda TITLE: Story about a Carmel wedding DATE: 7:35:00 PM ----- BODY:

I was a wedding date, accompaning the lovely violinist of a swanky wedding weekend in Carmel Valley, and at the pinnacle of harvest-season... warm weather, wine, smiles, lovliness... especially for all kinds of prime emotions to converge in a glorious mash-up of dreams, fantasies, loves, families, prides, and heightened charge.

The event took place at the prestigious hideaway
Bernardes Lodge and Winery with about 150 guests from the West Coast, East Coast, and Australia. It was a Jewish ceremony -- which I'd never seen before -- including some personal elements such as a Kahlil Gibran reading (one of my favorites: "The heart's affections are divided like the branches of the cedar tree; if the tree loses one strong branch; it will suffer but it does not die; it will pour all its vitality into the next branch so that it will grow and fill the empty place"), lots of laughs from the wisecracking groom, and lots of tears and face-holding by the strong and thin bride. Then: to the booze!

These two are known partiers and boy did they prove it, with hours and hours of dancing to the enthusiastic
Wonderbread 5 -- belting out everything from Van Halen and Prince, to current pop hits and even a Beastie-Boy montage with crazy-colored live instruments, decked out in orange-and-silver suits and enormous afro-wigs, with suburb delivery that kept the dance-floor full till the very end.

The bride and groom then returned to join guests in the hotel bar in jeans and flip flops, sharing smiles and towels for a late-night dip in the pool. The groom took a moment to thank my lovely violinist date and breathe a sigh of relief about the day, saying "we just wanted to make it the best party." Yes!