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Erika Slezak Library

Soaps in Depth-ABC
April 17, 2001
Volume 5, Issue 16

For Keeps One Life to Live's Viki and Ben November 13, 2000

by unknown

Outside St. James Church, the autumn air was crisp, as winter loomed on the not-too distant horizon.  Tree branches were nearly bare, as fallen leaves blanketed the ground like a rainbow-colored afghan.  Yet inside, a palpable feeling of warmth filled the air, as friend and family gathered in anticipation of the marriage of One Life to Live's Viki Carpenter and Ben Davidson.

Here Comes the Bride

The setting was intimate - perfect for what was to be a small affair.  Adorable flower bouquets decorated the sides of each pew, and a small bouquet hung from both ends of the altar, joined by a long wreath whose green hue perfectly contrasted the white walls.

When suddenly the organ blared, the guests turned their heads in unison, eager to get their first glimpse of the beautiful bride.  And boy, how beautiful she was!  Smiling from ear to ear, Viki looked absolutely radiant in her off-white gown.  She gave off a glow that was even more dazzling than her diamond and pearl earrings.  All too often, the word "breathtaking" is used when describing a bride on her big day.  However, on this occasion, there was no more appropriate term.

The Ceremony

Nervously, Ben stood at the altar waiting for his beloved.  He looked handsome in his own right, decked out in a black tux with a white bow tie and a pink corsage.  When he and his future wife locked eyes, the love between them was impossible to miss.

To set the tone for the ceremony, Ben's brother, Sam read a moving psalm, and the bride's daughter, Jessica performed a lovely rendition of "When I Fall in Love."  After saying "I do," the newlyweds marched out of the church to a rousing ovation from their guests.  The next stop:  the Palace Ballroom, for a reception and three-layer chocolate wedding cake with vanilla icing!

Unsung Hero

Of course, it takes more than just heartfelt performances by the cast to pull of a wedding like Viki and Ben's.  One of the important, and less heralded, people behind the scenes is costume director Susan Gammie, who, with her associate, Sally Lesser, designed Viki's gorgeous dress.  "I was just kind of given one word, and that was they wanted it to look regal," Gammie relates.  "I personally wanted it to be something that had a very timeless, eternal look."

One of the challenges that Gammie faced was finding a way to give the dress a modern look that also wouldn't have appeared out of place in the 1940's or 1950's.  What resulted was a finished product that was, as she puts it, "contemporary and timeless at the same time."

The Last Detail

Once the look was finalized, the dress was ready to be sewn.  "We had a lot of embroidery done for that dress," Gammie says.  "All the embroidery that was down the front of the dress and around the cuff and collars and all that...that was all custom embroidery."

Gammie turned her attention to the headpiece, which would provide the finishing touch.  "It was a tiara," she explains.  "That was purchased from a SoHo wedding vendor-Wearstatte.

"One of the reasons we gave Viki a tiara," she continues, "was that she doesn't have a lot of hair, and it just seemed so appropriate with the dress - you know, kind of fun on somebody with short hair."

So how long did the whole process take?  "We were really in a bit of a time crunch," Gammie said.  "I think it was three weeks on Viki's wedding dress." Still that's not a bad trade for a lifetime of memories.

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