It was March of 2005 and I began my new job as an analytical chemist at Schering-Plough. Socrates works for the same company as a pharmaceutical scientist. We locked eyes in the cafeteria at lunch. He came over to my table to ask if I was interested in playing for the company's softball team. After exchanging emails we had our first date.
We got to know each other over the next year. In May 2006, Socrates called and asked if I would come by his house to see the progress of the garden we had planted together. The next morning we went outside early and on one of the branches of the fig tree was a ring. I said yes through my tears.
We knew we wanted a traditional wedding venue that was elegant, close to the church, and big enough to fit 350 people. The Wilshire Grand Hotel was the first place on our list and we never went anywhere else. When we walked in we were impressed with the decor, the size and the atmosphere. We especially liked that there was a hotel on site because we knew that many people would not be driving home. Further, they assured us there would be only one event at a time. The Wilshire Grand Hotel was the place for us.
I am of Jordanian descent and Socrates is of Greek Cypriot descent. Bill Zolna at Wilshire Grand Caterers was incredible. He helped create a menu that incorporated both our cultures into both the cocktail hour and reception. During our cocktail hour we had spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves, hummus and babaganoush. In addition, we had a suckling pig station, shrimp station and a caviar station that included smoked salmon, capers and vodka.
Our reception room was set up beautifully with 28 tables and two of us in the center at our own table. For entrees our guests enjoyed prime rib, chicken valdostano with cheese and prosciutto and grilled salmon with a dill sauce. For those guests who were vegetarian there was a special pasta and vegetable dish.
When it came to drinks and liquors, Bill asked us if there were any special kinds of liquors that we would like to have. This we especially liked since we wanted to provide special drinks for our guests.
For dessert each of our guests received a plate with a piece of our chocolate cake with cannolli filling, tiramisu ice cream and a chocolate covered strawberry. It looked beautiful and tasted amazing.
Everything from the service to the food to the location was perfect. The staff at Wilshire Grand Caterers went above and beyond our requests to make our night magnificent and unforgettable.
Leyana and Socrates K.
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