Elegant Jewish Wedding at The Beverly Hills Hotel

Tracy and Brian
Photographed by: Dalal PhotographyLocation: Beverly Hills, California, United States

Close friends of Tracy’s parents had adored Brian Mitteldorf ever since he was a teenager, so when they all ran into him one night while out to dinner, a plan was hatched to introduce Brian to Tracy. Understandably, Tracy had her reservations about attending a blind date arranged by her parents, but, as she admits “the moment I met Brian they had all but disappeared.”

During their courtship, one of their favorite dates had taken place at the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara, and Brian felt it was the ideal spot to ask Tracy to be his wife. On July 11, 2003, Brian and Tracy became engaged and they began plans for their dream wedding, an event that would mark the birth of a new family unit that also included Brian’s two children, Ariella and Sam.

Celebrations at the Beverly Hills Hotel were somewhat of a beloved tradition in Tracy’s family. Her parents were married at the “Pink Palace” and Tracy’s own bat mitzvah had also been commemorated there, so when considering locations for their wedding, the legendary hotel became the natural choice.

From their invitations to their four-tier wedding cake, Tracy and Brian’s wedding was steeped in classic touches. An elegant palette of white and seafoam green was chosen to compliment their black tie affair with plenty of candlelight to enhance the romance. The chuppah, along with the trees surrounding their outdoor ceremony, was decorated with hanging glass lanterns housing flickering votives. Cascading arrangements of roses, hydrangea, lilies and amaranthus also framed the setting for the couple’s Jewish service.

Two traditional Kiddush cups were used during the proceedings, one that was given to them by Tracy’s grandmother and engraved with their Hebrew names and one the couple used during weekly Shabbat dinners with the kids which was also engraved with “Mitteldorf.” Ariella, the junior maid of honor, and Sam, the junior best man, stood by their father and Tracy to witness their deep commitment to each other and to their new family as a whole.

With beauty and elegance visible in every detail of their affair, the couple infused another aspect of their personality – their love of a great party - into their reception. The music set the tone for the hip and modern atmosphere encouraging guests to dance well into the night atop a custom designed white dance floor. The long, Tuscan style head table was also a departure from convention, and boasted two iron angel candelabras bursting with hanging arrangements and surrounded by thick white candles. During breaks in the festivities, guests were asked to “Make a wish for Brian and Tracy” on individual cards that became the bride and groom’s updated version of a guest book.

As a fitting finale to an elegant five course meal, the couple was presented with their classic white fondant wedding cake that featured their new monogram, a detail that was also found on their invitations, menu cards and ceremony booklet.

Even though a great deal of attention was paid to the beautiful details of their wedding, Tracy and Brian made sure that the true focus of their celebration was centered on family. To honor the true meaning of their marriage as the union of four people, Tracy and Brian had Ariella and Sam sign their Ketubah, too. As the official marriage document in the Jewish religion, they were, at that point, a unified family. “It was a meaningful moment for everyone,” remembers Tracy.

They did leave one thing to just the two of them: their relaxing honeymoon, which took them all along the California coast. They made several stops in their convertible, spending their final night where it all began, Santa Barbara.

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