Love in the Limelight
United by music, a couple weds at The Fabulous Fox Theatre.
It's hard to say what could happen when paths (literally) cross: Steve Litman when he saw April Marshall across the street at the corner of Central and Forsyth at the St. Louis Art Fair in Clayton. “She was standing there with a male friend of hers, and I thought to myself, ‘That is one gorgeous woman—and I don’t think she’s with him,'” Steve says. “Sometimes you have to grab life by the horns.” So Litman walked over, and—out of the blue—asked April and her friend to hang out at the art fair. “He asked me out, and I rejected him and said we could just be friends because he was out of my age range, and I didn’t like show business,” says April. “Over a couple months, that shifted, because I realized I’d rather be hanging out with him than doing anything else, including being on another date.”
It was four and a half years before Steve proposed. During that time, the couple bonded over their mutual love of art and music. “We came together through art and music—that’s a major theme for us,” April says. “I’m actually a bigger music fan than he is, even though he’s in the business. That was one of the major attractions for us: My collection of music is bigger than his.”
As executive producer for the Fox Theatre’s concerts and comedy, Steve was well acquainted with R&B singer Charlie Wilson and asked April one night to get dressed for dinner with Wilson and his manager. “We rarely go and pick them up and go to dinner,” says April. “More commonly, you get the act dinner and eat backstage.” Indeed, instead of driving toward a restaurant, Steve drove toward the theater (Wilson was doing a radio spot, he had told April), and brought her in through the backstage door, presumably to look for Wilson and his manager.
“I rounded the corner from the green room and there’s a completely darkened house and a spotlight, and I knew what was going on,” April says. Under the spotlight beaming onto center stage in the dark, empty theater, was a table with roses and a bottle of Champagne. At that point, she knew Wilson was just a cover.
“I thought, well, what would be a really special place [to propose], where I could create some drama appropriate to the way I feel about her?” Steve recalls. “It took about seven seconds for it to fall into place.”
Setting The Stage
Setting the date was easily done—early June is known for good weather—with special significance surrounding the number 7. Not only is it Steve’s lucky number, but it also played a role in their big dates: They were engaged on Jan. 17, 2014 (1/7/2014), and their wedding date, June 7, 2014 (6/7/2014) also has the diamond digit in multiple forms (1+6=7, double 7s in the 14s, the 7s themselves). “He’s an old-school promoter so he gambles for a living—everything’s a derivative of seven for him,” says April.
The couple handled the planning process themselves, enlisting a wedding planner, Jenny Kehm of Before I Do, to act as their “director” in the last month so they didn’t have to stress about last-minute items.
Ultimately, the choice of The Fox for the ceremony was also a given: “We got engaged there, Steve has an office there, and we spend lots of time there,” April says. Steve and April, alongside Jane Winter of Wildflowers, worked to design an altar at the top of The Fox’s grand staircase: Tall, allwhite calla lilies, white hydrangea and spirea popped against the theater’s Siamese-Byzantine backdrop.
The Starring Act
At 5pm, the intimate wedding ceremony began. Steve escorted April up The Fox’s grand staircase for the processional—the first time he’d seen her in her dress. “I spoke to her right before the ceremony and walked across the base of the staircase to walk her up,” Steve remembers. “She was a knockout. I mean, take your breath away.” As Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” played, April and her fiancé approached the altar—he in a classic black tux, she in a bespoke R&M wedding dress made by Marylyn Simpson with an art-nouveau belt made from a vintage piece of appliqué and gray pearl beading. The bride carried a truly classic bouquet of white calla lilies, white roses, white orchids, stephanotis and seeded eucalyptus. Their traditional ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Jay Kilb, after which they broke a glass in the Jewish tradition. Two confetti cannons showered the dozen attendees with red hearts at the end of the ceremony in honor of the wedding theme—”Love and Happiness,” after a song by the couple’s favorite, Al Green.
A chic, soulful reception with 75 guests followed at 7pm in the Missouri History Museum’s renowned Bixby’s Restaurant, where art deco touches and centerpieces of calla lilies added to a sophisticated but relaxed atmosphere. Butler’s Pantry catered the food for Bixby’s—to great success. “Many guests commented that ours was the best reception food that they had ever had,” April says. “The phyllo-encrusted salmon was a big hit.”
April gave a salute to the family that surrounded the couple by carrying a blue Lego of her oldest nephew’s as something borrowed in her clutch, and then the newlyweds took the floor to Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” after cutting an art-deco inspired cake by Sarah’s Cake Shop. Dancing—on a black-and-white dance floor the couple had installed—continued to live soul and R&B by Roland Johnson and Soul Endeavor. “We really loved an a capella rendition of ‘My Girl’ performed by a group of Steve’s friends and co-workers,” says April, who arranged it as a surprise for her new husband. Keeping with the couple’s shared love of soul, attendees signed an Al Green album cover instead of a guest book. “I don’t know how to filter down to ‘best,'” Steve says. “There were so many exceptional moments to that day.”
Photos by Greg Lappin Photography.
Photos by Greg Lappin Photography.