Mid-Century Modern Pan Am Wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center

Pan Am Wedding

Photography by: Visuals by Arpit

This Mid-Century Modern Pan Am wedding is featured today on The Knot!

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

As collectors of Pan Am memorabilia, Joe and Adam wanted to host a wedding inspired by the iconic airline. They included plenty of mid-century modern details, as well as actual décor from the airline and the Pan Am Experience. This one of a kind wedding took place at Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Planning and design by Anything But Gray Events.

History of Pan Am

Pan American Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier and unofficial flag carrier of the United States beginning in 1927. Pan Am is considered one of the most luxurious and iconic airlines in history. Pan Am’s sense of style, hospitality, in-flight fashion, and design is legendary.

The Invitations

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

The wedding invitation suite, designed by Gilded Swan Paperie, incorporated the signature Pan Am blue and gold. All the paper goods and signage were based on the original Pan Am Airlines imagery and were meant to be keepsakes.

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

The Fashion

Joe and Adam donned matching blue suits and brown shoes from Friar Tux, along with custom-made floral yellow ties with accompanying pocket squares. Adam went for an added vest while Joe went sans vest!

  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball

Don’t forget the fun socks!

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

The Ceremony

The couple stood beneath a metal chuppah decorated with whimsical yellow flower arrangements. “Yellow in the flowers popped and strongly complemented the blues and whites, especially in our boutonnieres against our cobalt blue suits,” the couple says.

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

“Our florist, Flower Duet, even incorporated the Pan Am logo in the chuppah design.”

The custom-made Ketubah mirrored the colors and circular Pan Am symbol seen throughout the wedding design.

The Program

Although guests didn’t have a seatback pocket in front of them at the ceremony as they would on an actual plane, we used the opportunity to create wedding instructions in the form of a tri-fold Safety Instructional pamphlet. This included information about the wedding party, memorials, Jewish traditions, as well as fun facts about Pan Am Airlines.

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

While most wedding programs are left by guests on their chairs or the ground at the conclusion of a ceremony, these guests were thrilled to take home this memorable keepsake!

Pan Am Wedding Skirball
Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • pan am wedding
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball

Due to religious reasons, the ceremony took place right at dusk. For this reason, outdoor lighting was crucial. Lights for Nights created a soft, romantic glow with overhead and spotlighting.

Cocktail Hour

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

Guests were directed from the ceremony site to the cocktail hour by Pan Am Flight Attendants in original uniforms. All the authentic Pan Am items and aviation rentals were courtesy of The Pan Am Experience.

Pan Am Wedding Skirball
Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
Custom Napkin
Pan am wedding skirball
Pan Am Wedding Skirball

Guests made their way through the cocktail hour to the Arrivals/Departures board. Here they found their name and destination airport (aka seating assignment) listed.

  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan am wedding skirball
  • Pan am wedding skirball
  • Pan am wedding skirball

The Design

This wedding was one of my favorites to design to date! From start to finish it threw me into creative overdrive. As I have shared in previous blogs, sketching is a big part of my creative process as a wedding planner.

  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
    Original Sketch by Anything But Gray Events
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
    Final Product for Paper Moon Shoppe

The image on the left was my original sketch for the backdrop. The image on the right is the final product created, built, and hand-painted by Paper Moon Shoppe.

Before Take Off

I always incorporate a preview of the reception room with my couples in the final timeline. This is a chance, typically during cocktail hour, for them to see the finished space before guests enter.

Having Adam and Joe see the reception room completed was one of my favorite moments of the whole night. Their priceless reactions were so heartwarming.

The Reception

From the start of planning, we knew the primary design would be focused in the reception room. Transforming it from a fairly stark and modern space to something a bit more colorful & mid-century.

The Before & Afters

The massive backdrop spanned 12ft high by 24ft wide and was erected on-site and was the first thing guests saw as they walked through the entrance.

Keeping the chairs slim and sleek let the focus be on the table design. Guests stepped back in time and prepared to board the Pan Am 747 Clipper San Francisco.

The domed ceiling skylight cast a cool glow over the reception room. We wanted to recreate the feeling of looking out a plane window while on an evening flight.

DJ Señor Amor, tucked away in the clouds, was the evening’s “Captain” blending a mix of modern, classic, and crooner musical hits!

Table Design

Adding elements to the tables like custom menus, chargers, and cookies from Adam’s hometown of Baltimore, incorporated a personal touch.

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

The table florals were low to promote conversation throughout dinner. Each table was a specific destination and those seated at that table had a personal connection to that city.

Pan Am Wedding Skirball

Sweetheart Table

Sweetheart tables don’t have to feel like islands in the middle of the room. In keeping with the aviation theme, our lovebirds dined in the clouds.

Pan Am Wedding Skirball
Pan Am Wedding Skirball

The Clipper Class Lounge

  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball

Photo Booth

Paper Moon Shoppe designed this custom photo booth installation complete with original Pan Am seating and props from The Pan Am Experience. The removable nameplate now lives in the couple’s home.

  • Pan Am Wedding
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball
  • Pan Am Wedding Skirball

Planning a wedding?

Anything But Gray Events is here to help. Contact us today!

Pan Am Wedding

Vendor Team:

Venue/Catering/Bar: Skirball Cultural Center / @skirball_la

Planner/Designer: Anything But Gray Events / @anythingbutgrayevents 

Photography: Visuals by Arpit / @visualsbyarpit

DJ: Señor Amor / @thesenoramor

Backdrop & Photobooth: Paper Moon Shoppe / @papermoonshoppe

Lighting and Chuppah: Lights for Nights  / @lightsfornights 

Florals: Flower Duet / @flowerduetla

Paper Goods & Signage: Gilded Swan Paperie / @gildenswanpaperie

Cake: Susie Cakes / @susiecakesbakery 

Pan Am Rentals & Flight Attendants: The Pan Am Experience / @panamexperience 

Lounge: Town and Country Rentals / @tacer_losangeles

Male Grooming & Beauty: Betsy diFrancesca / @betsybmu 

Suits: Friar Tux / @friartux 

Napkins: For Your Party @foryourparty 

Grooms: @jgoldca & @agreensfo 

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