After many years of feeling “eh” about marriage, the reasons to say “I Do” piled up, and Lee Ann Westover and Steve Siegel decided that 2011 would be the year they became husband and wife. Their wedding on September 17, 2011 at Brooklyn Winery was worth the wait.
Lee Ann is the singer and a songwriter for a band called the Lascivious Biddies, and a children’s spinoff called the Itty Biddies. Steve is an audio engineer for Joe’s Pub and Charlie Rose. Their careers crossed paths after a series of Biddies concerts in 2004 at the now-defunct Makor where Siegel was working. Before their first gig, Steve saw the band’s picture in the venue’s show catalogue; something about Lee Ann’s fun pose and “uplifting energy” stood out to him. He thought to himself, “I bet she’s the singer.”
The singer, meanwhile, asked her bandmates, “Who’s the sound guy?” as soon as she spotted him. They struck up a conversation after the show, but a sense of professionalism kept Steve at bay—until their second gig, when he asked her to call him. “I almost lost my mind when he gave me his number after a show,” said Lee Ann. “I called a few days later, and we talked for an hour and a half. For me, it was all over. In a good way.” She happened to call during the Grammy’s, and over their running commentary about the performances and musicians, the two made a love connection. They had their first date on February 13, 2004, and have been together since.
The wedding was the first booked at the one-year-old Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg, a beautiful backdrop for the Long Island City couple’s talents and tastes. (“The events manager, Jenesy, clearly knows what she’s doing,” said Lee Ann. “She definitely gets mad props.”) Lee Ann, a self-taught seamstress, made her own leg-baring gown out of textured rosette fabric, silk satin, and silk charmeuse. She then used the leftover fabric in the flower arrangements—a bouquet and boutonnieres—along with Swarovksi crystals on wire and old music paper. The groom looked equally hot—his friend, a fashion director for a high-end clothing label, hooked him up with a designer, tailored suit.
On the tables outside, romantic candles flickered in an eclectic array of jars, votives and vases picked up by Lee Ann and her friends—a nod to the couple’s collection of old mason jars and glassware. (“I guess there’s a bit of a hoarder in both of us,” said Steve.) And rather than go for the typical (expensive) catered wedding, the couple hired the Schnitzel and Things truck, which backed onto the patio of the Winery and served three kinds of schnitzel and delicious sides to order. In lieu of a cake, the Wafels and Dinges cart came afterward to dish out their Belgian sweets for dessert.
The two chose the Magnetic Fields song, “Book of Love,” with the apropos chorus, “You oughta give me wedding rings” for their walk-in music. It was performed live by John Foti, who sang and played accordion, while Lee Ann’s bandmates in the Biddies, Deidre Rodman Struck and Saskia Lane, sang the harmonies. Carey Bertolet was her maid of honor and officiant. After asking Lee Ann and Steve some questions, she wrote the couple’s memorable vows, which wove together a classic John Hughes film and the theme of finding refuge in your partner. “She’s a great friend and we trusted her completely,” said Lee Ann. “She managed to quote Ferris Bueller and make everyone tear up in the space of five minutes.”
After the ceremony, The Engagements, an eight-piece wedding band who can perform every one-hit wonder from the 80s, turned the main room into a dance party. Not surprisingly for a couple whose lives are imbued with music, the band was the first vendor they hired. “Most wedding bands will play a lot of Motown. Even if they’re great, they’ll still play ‘My Girl’ or something played out,” said Steve. Finding The Engagements, he said, was “a relief.” The couple chose “How Deep Is Your Love?” by the Bee Gees for their first song; as the night wore on, the band performed hits from the vault like Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance” and “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder. At one point, Lee Ann took the mic for a powerful rendition of the Heart song, “Alone.”
“It truly was the best night of my entire life,” says Lee Ann, whose only complaint was that it wasn’t an hour longer. “Then I could have really enjoyed my schnitzel, but not miss one second of dancing.”
The next day, the couple flew to Austin for two days to celebrate (Lee Ann is a UT Austin alum and a Lone Star native, Steve is a native New Yorker). It was a mini-moon until they take their real honeymoon in Spain this winter.
After so many years together, marriage hasn’t radically changed their relationship. “I really love that it IS different though,” says Lee Ann. “In the eyes of our family, friends, and the government. I felt more of a shift when we got engaged. I am definitely very happy.”