Celebrating a wedding at the legendary Hotel Bel-Air is an enchanting experience.
Stepping foot on the extravagant and exclusive enclave sends you right back in time to a glamorous old Hollywood of the 1950’s where guests such as Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn once walked the lavish hotel grounds.
When Catherine & Son of legendary rockabilly rockstar Lee Rocker of “The Stray Cats”, Justin Drucker, decided to get married pre-pandemic, their plans were thwarted two different times. Initially they had their hearts set on a destination wine country wedding at Meadowood in Napa Valley. After Covid pushed their plans a year, the couple received devastating news of the California Glass Fires burning Meadowood down. This tragic news forced the couple to re-route their plans yet again. Usually a traumatic derailing of wedding plans forces couple’s into giving up on a big wedding and eloping instead, however Catie & Justin were determined to celebrate their love for one another in style amidst all their closest friends and family.
The couple gathered their inspiration from the historic hotel making sure their colors stayed in a classic and timeless palette.“We wanted our wedding style to be elegant and simple with a touch of glamour. We leaned towards a very clean look but also more traditional rather than modern. It was important to us to showcase our beautiful venue and not cover up too much of the natural foliage of the hotel. Having a large city wedding was not our style, hence, picking a beautiful sanctuary in the middle of busy Los Angeles, we knew Hotel Bel-Air was what we were looking for.”
“A fun surprise that also contributed to our vision and theme was that at the time of our wedding, the Hotel was actually hosting an exhibit of Burt Stern’s final photoshoot of Marylin Monroe. The photoshoot, known as “The Last Sitting,” actually took place at the Hotel in 1962, and these stunning prints of Monroe’s final days placed all over the lobby, was a surprising and beautiful touch to our special day.”
Throughout history the infamous “Swan Lake” that rests on the hotel grounds has been where the magical birds have witnessed many couples exchange vows. In a romantic, verdant, and spacious lawn featuring a towering 100 year-old Sycamore tree the couple said “I do” to a life together in matrimony, with the sounds of the swans. Being that swan icons made a gentle presence throughout the hotel, the bride and groom wanted to incorporate swans in their wedding details. “The British racing green and swan watercolor liners were a must for the envelopes. We went with a very traditional invitation with our wedding colors: British racing green, crisp white and a touch of gold.”
The bride also brought a porcelain swan that had been in her family for a long time to add to the invitation flat lay.
The bride wore a classic Marilyn Monroe inspired gown by dress designer Stephen Yearick.
“It was the third dress I tried on. I loved the vintage feel and it was something I had always pictured myself in.”Justin looked dapper as ever in his custom tailored Gucci suit. “He wanted something that was a rich blue. Justin’s maternal grandfather, Severin Wunderman, was a timepiece creator at Gucci so there was that family significance to Justin’s suit.”
The Bridesmaids dresses by Monique Lhuillier were chosen in a dark Racing green. “It was the color and the velvet fabric I chose, however I wanted to have the dresses suit the individual, so we chose different styles for the girls.”The florals were romantic and whimsical with white and ivory flowers consisting mainly of roses, calla lilies, ranunculus and ivy. The calla lilies were an ode to the bride’s mother, whose wedding was also flowing with calla lilies.
The reception was held in the most picturesque setting surrounded by gardens and the quintessential Hotel Bel-Air blush buildings. The Couple shared a memorable first dance to Santo and Johnny’s 1959 instrumental classic, “Sleepwalk,” which really accommodated the “Old Hollywood ” feel of the venue.
A live band performed a mixture of 1950s & early 60s classics. “The genre of music was something that we both identified with, and wanted to tie into our theme.” The night went from amazing to incredible with a live performance by father of the groom, Lee Rocker, of the infamous Stray Cats.
“Our music was very important to us. Justin’s father, Lee Rocker, is an extremely accomplished musician and we were fortunate to have him treat us to an intimate, acoustic performance of Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways,” a personal favorite of ours.”
Guests were brought to their feet when the band closed the dinner by bringing the house down with Lee Rocker performing the Stray Cats hit song “Rock this Town.”Energized by the performance, guests headed out to the afterparty in the hotel’s Palm Room where the couple made another grand entrance in style. Catie had an outfit change into a cocktail suitable dress by Justin Alexander.
“I loved having this dress for dancing. It was so much fun and the lattice design on the bodice reminded me of a mermaid.”
Check out the incredible movie we made…