Sexy Moroccan-Inspired Wedding at Skirball Cultural Center

Opal and David

Photographed by: Robert Evans StudiosLocation: Los Angeles, California, United States

Although they liked each other from the instant they met, David Judaken and Opal Anchel took their time in getting to know one another. Over several years, their friendship developed into a romance, and during a trip to their favorite spot in Cabo San Lucas to celebrate Opal’s birthday, David planned a proposal that set the stage for what would be an intimate wedding. On a private stretch of beach accessible only by boat, a picnic was laid out next to birthday wishes drawn in the sand. As the sun set, they were the only two people in sight, and David asked Opal to become his wife.

As the owner of the L.A. nightclub Garden of Eden, David and Opal both know their way around a party. For an event as special as a wedding, they thought their newest nightspot, Mood, which was at the time poised to open its Balinese-themed doors, would be the perfect setting. Construction was delayed, however, and after postponing their wedding several times, the natives (a.k.a. their friends) were getting restless. They finally decided that April 2 would be the big day, but one week before the event, it became evident that Mood would not be ready in time. With the help of their event planner, the couple hastily secured a new location: a unique amphitheater at the Skirball Cultural Center. It had never before been used for a wedding, and its pure white steps and adaptable design were a blank canvas upon which they could create the warm, sexy and personal atmosphere they envisioned. “David and I are in the business of parties, so when it came to our wedding, we wanted a romantic, intimate and hip party. I wanted to look into the crowd and know every face,” says Opal of her intent on throwing the perfect wedding.

Using a hot color palette—rust, red and burnt orange—and a variety of fabrics, pillows and lanterns, the amphitheater was transformed into a stylish Moroccan lounge. It was the perfect backdrop for a relaxed ceremony, which they planned as a tender tribute to one another. As the sun sank lower in the sky, Opal and David’s 80 guests casually sipped drinks and witnessed the couple kiss and snuggle while wrapped in the traditional Jewish Tallit, taking in every moment of the very personal service.

And once David broke the glass, the DJ set the mood for their equally hip reception by spinning Billy Idol’s “White Wedding,” a move still talked about by the couple’s friends. The sumptuous theme was continued throughout the party with billowy, draped walls and deep red linens. Each contemporary centerpiece was a distinctive arrangement of the same collection of orchids, lady slippers and calla lilies in warm, rich colors. The flowers were also used to adorn a three-tier wedding cake, a vanilla confection filled with fresh berries and topped with luscious butter cream. It was a delightful ending to the Cal/Moroccan-themed menu that featured fish in lemon sauce, lamb chops and an inventive vegetable Wellington.

As a wonderful addition to their collection of memories, Opal and David offered a station where guests could pen a page for their album or snap a souvenir photo to serve as a favor. The table was set with a beautiful leather book, Polaroid cameras and some scrapbook tools, and throughout the night, guests left their congratulations while capturing candid moments on film. It was a true symbol of the unconditional support that surrounded the couple. Especially during the challenges they faced right before their wedding, the presence of family and friends

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