Amanda Lebow, an agent at Creative Artist Agency, first met David Distenfeld, an SVP of production at Annapurna Pictures, naturally at an industry event. “We were both at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin for work and waiting separately in line to watch the premier of Short Term 12,” Amanda recalls. “David was standing behind me and uncharacteristically struck up a conversation.” They hit it off and their friendly conversation continued long after the movie ended. “At the time I was in a long-term relationship and David was focused on work. I was living in Brooklyn at the time so he got my work email to keep in touch.” Years later, their friendship eventually turned into something more.
And just a year and half after getting together, David popped the question with a big Hollywood proposal. “David wanted a big yet intimate gesture, so he recruited the entire cast of Short Term 12, which included Brie Larson, Rami Malek, John Gallager JR. and Kaitlyn Dever, to record personal video messages that instructed me to go to the roof of our apartment building for a surprise,” Amanda explains. “There, as the sun set over LA, David was waiting, ready to get down on one knee. It was the perfect way to celebrate that first unexpected meeting three and a half years earlier.” (No wonder he works in show business!)
Amanda, who was born and raised in Palm Beach, Florida, never though she would be a “Breakers Bride,” but she admits that as soon as she talked to the famous hotel’s wedding coordinator, Jeff Fowler, she immediately knew it was the right fit. When figuring out the wedding’s aesthetic, Amanda worked with planner Trina Chaney-Hoo of The Planning Company and florist Reed McIllvaine of Renny and Reed, to create a warm and inviting, yet also clean and modern environment. “Coming from Florida, I wanted to try and keep the authenticity of our environment so my mom, Reed and I designed a room filled with 10-12 foot tall palm trees painted white to keep it bridal,” Amanda explains. “In addition to the palms, the room was peppered with our shorter centerpieces of hand painted monstera leaves and dendrobium orchids. Each centerpiece was surrounded by fringe and white parrot tulips and amaryllises plus a ton of candles.”
For her stationery, Amanda went with Jonathan Wright. “His process was so easy and he’s a total creative genius,” she says. “I would recommend him to absolutely anyone and everyone.” For their save the date and the couple’s welcome bags, Jonathan created a beautiful orange motif. He also worked on Amanda’s new monogram. “We would be lost without Jonathan and his amazing team.”
When it came time to go wedding shopping, Amanda admits it was fun trying on all of the different bridal styles. “It was definitely harder to find a dress than I thought it would be,” she says. “But as soon as I tried on the Mira Zwillinger my mom and I knew it was the one. It was super light, too, which really helped and I knew that David would love it.” As for her look for the rehearsal dinner, Amanda chose a gown her father had bought her mom back in the 70s. “It’s an off white chiffon dress with a silk bow and incredible feathers on the bodice,” she adds. For her jewelry she wore pieces that were also a gift from her father to her mother, a sapphire and diamond bracelet and diamond earrings, paired with a Cartier necklace her mother gave her for her 30th birthday.
For his wedding day look, David chose a tuxedo from Bonobos, Ferragamo tuxedo shoes, and on of Amanda’s father’s bow ties, while Amanda’s mom bought him white mother of pearl cuff links from Gearys. “His shirt was custom from Klein, Epstein, & Parker, which I bought him as an early wedding present,” she adds.
Ever since she was a little girl, Amanda always loved the Gold Room at the Breakers. “It is such a beautiful old world place and I knew that if I ever had the chance to get married at the Breakers, that would be the place. It just feels magical.” After once seeing her mom officiate a wedding in a circle, Amanda wanted to try the same setup for her ceremony and arranged all of her guests around the chuppah, which was treated with white and cream flowers including roses, hydrangea, lisianthus, and orchids mixed with textural greens. “We accented it with gardenias and added such a beautiful fragrance to the room,” says Amanda.
When the big day finally arrived, Amanda walked down the aisle to “The Way You Look Tonight.” The ceremony was short and sweet. “As soon as I got under the chuppah, we did not let each other go; I gripped on to David’s hand for dear life,” she says. “The ceremony was by far the happiest moment of my entire life.”
From there on, guests went to the Mediterranean Ballroom, where The Social band played everything from Motown to a Spanish pop set. The bride’s mother and David’s sister both gave toasts during dinner, but it was David’s speech, which quoted a Jerry Seinfeld line, that really brought down the house. While Amanda’s father had passed away a few years ago, she still found small ways to honor his memory during her wedding. “I wrote a dedication in our ceremony program and I also worked with our stationary master, Jonathan Wright to create a collection of love poems in honor of my dad and husband,” she says. “My father loved to recite poetry and I wanted to make sure that everyone coming to the wedding could have a little bit of his memory to take home. The poetry book was in every welcome bag and given to all of our guests.”
After dinner, the newlyweds enjoyed dessert, which included strawberry shortcake, key lime pie (the couple’s favorite), and a surprise groom’s cake which included all of the characters of the animated film Sausage Party, which David had recently produced. After much dessert and dancing, another surprise was in order: an after party with a secret location. “In order to let our guest know where it would be, Jonathan Wright designed this amazing tiny bell shape Champagne glass cut outs as invitations that were placed under everyone’s chargers,” Amanda explains. “When the waiter came by to remove the charger for the main course, the invitation was then revealed!”
At midnight, guests headed into the Gold Room where the couple’s chuppah had been re-purposed and a jazz band awaited. “We transformed the ceremony room into a really sultry lounge,” she says. “We served espresso martinis with chocolate monkeys and had servers passing mini pizza silces, milk & cookies, egg sandwiches, and more. In the final hour of the evening, i changed into a really comfortable Missoni dress and felt incredibly relaxed at last to just be with our friends. It was such a sigh of relief that the evening went off without a hitch!”