Anna and Angelo hosted their gorgeous Gatsby wedding at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito. Images by AltF Photography. - All Rights Reserved.
Anna and Angelo’s love story was presented to me by the groom, who wrote:
“We welcome those closest to us to celebrate not promises of commitment, but an acknowledgement made with the utmost certainty that we have found within each other our life's true partner.”
With an introduction like that, I knew that the wedding needed to be filled with romance, beauty, and drama.
"I want it to be romantic, elegant, and beautiful," the bride, Anna, told me. "I want people to dress up and be "fancy" but I don't want it to feel like Halloween. I just want it to feel like just the biggest party ever."
To ensure that guests dressed in their black tie best, we went with a Gatsby, old-hollywood themed invitation and designed the day to feel very elegant, very upscale, and very film noir. And everyone - from the bride and groom to the very last guest - showed up in their Gatsby best!
With two Stephen Yearick gowns waiting in the wings, along with a to die for pair of black, jewel encrusted stilettos, Anna and her family was made up by the team of Your Beauty Call.
While the bride and her family were tending to their beauty, Angelo slipped into his tuxedo and took a moment to pen hand written vows to his bride.
The bride and groom wanted to share a private moment before the ceremony, and we arranged for a first look to take place in Twist. Angelo was overcome when he saw his bride, and the two were able to take a few photos and relax together before the day swept them away.
In the meantime, the team at The Mandarin Oriental partnered with the extraordinary creatives at Destinations by Design to set up the wedding ceremony in the ballroom. The goal was to start with a wedding that was stark, very clean, and romantic. Sometimes too much white can feel stark and cold. To create something really warm and inviting, we staged two pony walls lined with hurricane candles at varying heights at the entrance. Between those lights we laid a high gloss, white aisle way which lead to a custom made circular stage with steps on one side, and a ramp on the other. Hand draped crystals cascaded from the top of the circular light feature, hugging the stage.
Two showgirls greeted guests, offering them programs. Audible gasps were heard as guests entered the room. Then, finally, once they were seated the bridal party entered and took their places.
When I opened the door for my beautiful bride she was actually stunned for a moment. Anna looked and me and said, "Wow." It was just the sweetest, briefest moment we were able to share before she walked down the aisle to marry her groom.
The bride and groom's beautiful wedding was officiated by Reverend William MacFarland and included readings along with the couple's personal, hand written vows.
Immediately after the ceremony, the guests gathered for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while Anna and Angelo posed for a series of portraits.
As the call to dinner bells chimed, guests were gifted with individual bottles of champagne with their escort cards tied around the bottle.
As they entered the ballroom, they found that it had been transformed from a light, romantic ceremony into a dark, Artdeco wedding reception. Tables with inky black linens were set around a white dance floor featuring gold and black corner patterns. Each place setting featured a gold beaded charger plate with a circular dinner menu, satin napkin, and open rose. Tall, glass bases gave way to centerpieces with full roses, hanging orchids, and crystals. For the bride and groom we set a golden table high atop the platform, and fitted it with the only color in the room in the form of red roses; a nod to the bride's bouquet.
But the true show stopper of the room was the cake. Tall and imposing, this gold, black, and red confection featured geometric shapes and sculpted deco details, blood red fondant roses, and three different cake flavored and fillings.
Anna and Angelo were presented to their guests and immediately took to the floor where they shared their first dance to Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful" - fittingly, the love song from Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. A series of emotional toasts followed, leading to a multi-course dinner and many dances celebrating the bride's Armenian roots as well as the groom's Greek ones.
While the bride slipped away to change into her reception dress, the groom and his friends prepared for a surprise of their own. The boys had secretly been taking dance lessons and performed to a mix of the best that the boy bands of the 90's could offer! In the end, our groom, Angelo, remained on the floor himself to dance for his bride, a la Magic Mike style! It was quite the performance and even included a confetti explosion!
Towards the end of the evening the bride and groom cut their cake, thanking their guests for coming and expressing the warmest of wishes to all that attended. They ended the night in a photo booth with slow-motion video.
This wedding was unlike any other that I have ever had a chance to plan and design. It was both light and dark. It was romantic and sexy. There were cocktails. There were cigars. There were less than 30 people and it still felt like the biggest party ever!
My bride was a dream to work with, and the groom was just funny and sharp as a tac!
But I have to say, my favorite part of this wedding was the very end. All of the guests had left, and I was in our "war room" breaking down the rentals and packing up the couple's personal items when the bride and groom wandered in, pulled up a chair, and joined us. It was super late, and we all just sat around, telling stories, sharing iPhone pics, and making each other laugh for hours.
Anna and Angelo were such a wonderful couple, and now they are just the dearest friends. Anna will send me the sweetest texts, and Angelo and I share the same distorted sense of humor; tagging each other in super-awful Instagram posts that keep me laughing for hours.
I absolutely cannot wait until they return to Las Vegas so we can spend some more time together. Until then, we have these gorgeous images!
Do you just love this wedding? Is the ceremony not to die for? I read all of the comments and messages that you send in, and my couples LOVE to hear your thoughts! Please give them a little love and leave them a message below.
Venue & Creatives Credits
Wedding Planning and Event Design by Andrea Eppolito Events
Luxury Las Vegas Wedding held at The Mandarin Oriental
Florals and Decor handled by Destinations by Design
Photography by AltF Photography
Wedding Film and Videography by Pure Light Creative
With Music and Entertainment by Mike Fox & Company
Hair and Make Up by Your Beauty Call
Photo Booth and Video Screen by The Joy Squad
Stationery Laura Damiano Designs