Los Angeles Wedding Photographer: Kelly Berg & Andy Moses’s Art Deco Wedding at Lloyd Wright’s Wayfarer’s Chapel & The Cicada
When Kelly and I first got to know each other, we were a couple of broken-hearted young RISD grads lost in the city of Los Angeles. She was a fledgeling painter, and I a fledgling photographer. We’d had a few mutual friends back in art school, had never really gotten to know each other. Not too many RISD grads ventured all the way out to California from the east coast though, and when she decided to move west some friends put us in touch. We bonded over a shared love of David Bowie, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and became the best of friends and confidantes almost overnight. A six-foot tall willowy bombshell, she’s almost too perfect to be real, and I wound up nicknaming her “Ladytron” after the Roxy Music song. Needless to say, the name stuck.
When I remember that first summer we hung out in LA, it’s with a wave of bittersweet nostalgia. I was still very much in love with my college boyfriend at the time, but the city of Los Angeles had eaten our relationship alive and I felt like the world was crumbling from beneath my feet. Kelly was experiencing the nightmare that is dating in LA for the first time, and was reeling from the whole experience. We spent long, warm summer nights roaming the streets of Echo Park, drinking cheap champagne, blasting Bowie, Morrissey, and the Psychedelic Furs, consuming every cheesy 80’s teen movie we could get our hands on, and staying up late talking, playing dress up, having impromptu midnight dance parties, and weeping inconsolably. We crammed as many gallery openings in to our weeks as we could, and concerts on the days in between. We listened to David J and Kelly’s brother, Mike, play Bowie songs in his living-room and twirled in circles feeling like we’d landed in Wonderland. We felt like such grown-ups, but looking back now, I realize that we were still so, so young.
By the time Kelly and Andy met, she and I (along with one of our other favorite people on the planet, Molly, a third tall, red-headed RISD girl) were roommates in a little place just up the street from the Echoplex. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little wary of him at first; sure, there was an age gap, but I’d also come to feel like a protective big sister, and wasn’t about to let anyone pass without a healthy dose of scrutiny.
And then I actually got to know Andy. If ever there was a definition of a true gentleman, this was it. Kind, generous, level-headed and charming, I’d never seen anyone treat Kelly better. And the change in her was amazing to watch. Suddenly, the lively, happy, vivacious Kelly that I’d catch flashes of from time to time, became the Kelly who walked into our apartment every evening. She has the kind of smile that lights up an entire room. And happy Kelly is an amazing thing to be around.
After she’d moved to the westside to be closer to Andy and I’d started working more and more in San Francisco, I got a call from Kelly saying that she had news, and before she could even tell me what it was, “ohmygodyou’reengaged!!!” came rushing out of my mouth. And I was right. “I want you to be in the wedding,” she said “but… I’d kind of rather have you photograph it. Is that okay?” And my response was a resounding “yes!!!”
Their wedding was amazing. Of course. They share a love for Art Deco and carried it through in every detail. Kelly designed the invitations herself. She originally ordered a simple satin dress with the intention of painting an Art Deco pattern into it, but when the shop sent her the wrong size and color at the last minute, she was able to find a gorgeous Zuhair Murad designer gown from a runway rental shop. With a skirt made of feathers, she was every bit the White Swan. She wore two necklaces from the period, one that had belonged to her grandmother, and one that had belonged to Andy’s. Her wedding ring is a gorgeous antique Art Deco piece that Andy found at a local antique store specializing in Deco jewelry. Kelly got dressed at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel. They had the ceremony at Llyod Wright’s incredible Wayfarer’s Chapel in Palos Verdes, with a gorgeous reception at the 1928 Cicada in downtown Los Angeles. Andy did the flowers himself, and the guest list was like a who’s-who of the LA art scene. David J of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets was their DJ. I had tears running down my face during the toasts, and halfway through the reception, the front panel of Kelly’s dress came off, like Stephanie Seymour from the November Rain video, and she came down the stairs in a high-low gown to the sound of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”. Hey little sister, indeed!
I can’t wait to see what’s next for the two of them. To encounter any one person as talented and creative as either Kelly or Andy is pretty amazing. To have two of them together? Sky is the limit.
All my love, Mr. & Mrs. Ladytron! I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings.