An intimate affair that featured exquisite attention to detail was the vision Manhattan residents Anne Leman and Andrew Baker had for their wedding. “We wanted every guest to feel very special,” asserts Anne. “This was very important to me and Andrew.” Limiting the number of attendees to 20 allowed the pair to spend concentrated time with their loved ones and focus on creating a memorable experience for each. “I wanted the wedding to be about our love for each other and for everyone we invited,” adds Anne, who chose to marry in Los Angeles so her grandmother – who no longer travels – could attend the celebration.
A gorgeous setting was first on the list of the bride’s desires. “I really wanted an outdoor ceremony in a very intimate environment that was also classically romantic,” emphasizes Anne. The Polo Private Dining Room at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel fit the bill beautifully, boasting a lovely garden patio and private entrance. Seating comprised of crisp white sofas and settees made a striking contrast to the emerald lawn during the pre-ceremony cocktail hour. “We thought it was a nice way to break up the evening, especially as we had an elaborate dinner menu planned,” says Anne. A chuppah wreathed in white blossoms stood at the end of an aisle patterned with rose petals, and blond chiavari chairs added an additional touch of elegance.
The bride wore a dress of her own design, accenting the shirred silk tulle and lace of the gown with a creamy bouquet of roses and stephanotis blossoms. Although the couple opted to forgo a wedding party, Anne’s two closest girlfriends were on hand. “It felt like they were my bridesmaids, but without any drama or pressure!" The bride and groom were each accompanied down the aisle by their parents, and exchanged vows before a rabbi while their beautifully detailed Jewish marriage contract was displayed in the foreground.
A seven-course tasting menu was served at the indoor dinner reception. “As we had a small wedding, we really wanted to make sure the food was outstanding,” says Andrew. “Anne and I enjoy fine dining in New York and when we travel, and I was glad we were able to recreate that experience and share it with our guests.” Canopied by hundreds of yards of flowing fabric, a single, oblong table was set with clear beaded chargers topped with fine china and accented with single orchid blooms. Menus were edged in the same warm shade of ivory as the fitted overlay with shirred detailing that covered the expanse of the table. Coordinating chair covers parted in the back to reveal similar shirring, above which floral appliqués added a subtle touch of sparkle.
Flowers in delicate shades of blush, crème brulee, and white liberally enhanced the space. Lush hydrangeas, peonies, dahlias, roses, and orchids were packed in silver vases and julep cups, and arranged atop vintage-style candelabras. Additional blooms accented the gathered columns of fabric that surrounded the space, the table upon which the towering wedding cake stood, and a lovely après-dinner display of desserts. A pair of oversized mirrors reflected and multiplied the candlelit beauty of the exquisite décor. “I really wanted it to be romantic, lush, and beautiful with lots of ivory and touches of soft pink and green to tribute the surrounding setting,” explains Anne. “I am a romantic, and I think the wedding reflected that.”
The result of the couple’s ideas and intentions was a celebration they will cherish as distinctly their own. “Everything together really made for a memorable wedding from start to finish,” says Andrew, and Anne firmly concurs. “Many people have ideas for their dream weddings that are different than yours, and that difference is what make weddings so special and personal,” she says. “My best advice is to stay true to your vision.”