Dana Lipsic really took the term “modern bride” to heart while planning her more-than-marvelous wedding to David Garfin. Though their method of meeting – an introduction by mutual friends while attending college – was fairly traditional, the instant chemistry between Dana and David was anything but ordinary. After graduation, the couple moved to New York City, and their apartment was the site of their surprise engagement. While Dana admits to having expected the proposal for several months, her beau somehow managed to take her completely off guard when it came to the actual time and place. Dana brought home a friend after work one day, not expecting to open the door to a room filled with roses and candles and David down on one knee. Needless to say, both Dana and her friend (and probably David, as well) were shocked at the sight!

During their eleven-month engagement, the couple not only planned their wedding from the opposite coast, but also moved from New York to Los Angeles just a few months before the big day. Dana discourages other betrothed couples from taking on such a huge endeavor in the midst of wedding plans, but she did manage to keep herself organized with lots of lists, notebooks and files for all of the event details. Also, even with the added chaos and stress, David and Dana never forgot that the most important thing was the two of them as a couple, and they stayed true to themselves and to their vision.

The couple was married in an evening ceremony in the Taper Courtyard of the Skirball Cultural Center. The unique location was chosen for its modern architecture and atmosphere as well as for its cultural connection to Dana and David’s Jewish upbringing. They loved the contemporary feel of the venue, but wanted to slightly modify it for their event. Thus, a lush chuppah softened the courtyard by giving it a garden look, and meshed perfectly with the mountain views and lily pond. The guests surrounded the chuppah in a semi-circle, for an incredibly warm and intimate ceremony. Dana entered the courtyard from above, taking in the fantastic view of her friends and family as she began her extremely long walk down the staircase and then down the aisle. Looking back, Dana treasures her last promenade as a single girl, which gave her a unique chance to view the site and take in the moment rather than rush through it.

The bride and groom wrote their own vows and also personalized their ceremony with several family treasures. Dana’s great-grandma’s kiddush cup was used for a unity prayer to honor her memory and Dana was married in David’s grandmother’s wedding band, just as each of his cousins and his mother were married in it. Even the kiddish cup and talit from David’s Bar Mitzvah were put to use. Following the meaningful ceremony, guests enjoyed an outdoor cocktail hour and then adjourned to the formal dinner reception in the Center’s acclaimed Ahmanson Hall.

The couple used lots of silver accents to complement the Hall’s modern ambiance, making the event classy and elegant with a bit of an edge to it. Dana and David chose a modernized monogram and incorporated it in many ways including the programs, menus, napkins, matches and even the martini ice bar.

The white florals were loose and flowing rather than structured, with a blend of traditional flowers such as Casablanca lilies and roses and modern looking flowers like orchids and calla lilies. With such a huge museum-like space, it was important to keep the eye moving. This was accomplished by using high centerpieces for two-thirds of the dinner tables and low centerpieces for the remaining third. Lemon leaves, jade roses, hydrangea and phalaenopsis orchids gave a splash of color to the whites, and the containers were cut glass with a silver base. The warm lighting, votive candles and flowers worked with the venue perfectly.

The highlight of the reception was the couple’s first dance, which carried out the non-traditional theme. Knowing that a slow, mellow song would just not fit their personalities, Dana and David decided to wow the crowd with a sexy, lively dance to Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Rock With You.” With their choreographer-perfected moves, the fearless couple started the night off with a bang and gave their guests something to talk about for months afterward! Dana and David loved the fact that as gorgeous as the room was, it was also filled with such fun and energy and they had their guests on the dance floor the whole night.

A cigar “after party” followed the spirited reception, which allowed the bride and groom to unwind with their friends and prolong the party past two o’clock the next morning! As if any of the lucky guests could ever forget such a night, adorable wedding mementos were the perfect balance to the polished fete: packages of delicious mini-scones paired with miniature jars of gourmet jams were emblazoned with “For our ‘Sweet’ Friends… Enjoy!”