The Wedding of Lori & Brian Notheis
As a wedding planner, I am always honored to be a part of a couple's day. But that honor means so much more when the bride is one of your best friends from high school.
Having met Lori in 1994 when I first moved to Las Vegas, I instantly fell in love with her. She is just as sweet as she is beautiful, and for years I have hoped that she would meet someone who would take care of her the way she has taken care of everyone else in her life!
A few years ago while visiting Lori in Tucson, Arizona, she told me that she would be bringing someone to dinner, and in walked Brian. All 6 foot 4 inches of him! He was handsome, charming, funny, and completely enamored with her.
It wasn't long before Brian asked Lori to marry him, and I was asked to not only serve as her destination wedding planner, but also to stand beside her while she took her vows!
Planning a destination wedding - and trust me, the Arizona Inn is a destination! - allowed everyone to spend so much time getting to know one another before the big day. It went beyond the bridesmaids and groomsmen and really extended to all of the guests that stayed on site. Throughout the day, friends and family popped in and out as Lori & Brian got ready.
Lori & Brian decided to make the most of their day by arranging for a first look. For couple's willing to forgo tradition, this really guarantees that you will get the most beautiful couple's photos without the rush of having to move from your ceremony to your reception.
Fall has always been Lori's favorite time of year, and she wanted a wedding that celebrated that with rich, vibrant colors and warmth. Having had a lifelong love affair with pumpkins, she wanted to incorporate them in a way that wasn't too literal, and more elegant than holiday-esque. With a stroke of genius, Lori bought pumpkins from a local store, painted them white, and then hand carved each one for an elegant, romantic look. They were a hit!
Lori was given away by both of her parents, and traded traditional vows with Brian.
The little one's stole the show, reminding guests to keep quiet until the first kiss!
While planning the wedding, Lori wanted to ensure that each element had a personal connection to she and Brian.
Books played another role in their wedding decor. Since the bride and groom met while Lori was reading, and having taken their engagement photos in a local library, Lori and Brian had stacks of books in the lobby, a cook book served as their guest sign in item, and books were even featured on each table as a way to add hight and interest to the centerpieces.
Lastly, to celebrate Brian's love of his native Tucson, where they met and fell in love, the couple tapped an organic baker from their favorite farmer's market to make biscuits with fresh, seasonal flavors.
After a series of toasts that ran the gamut from emotion and touching to funny and down right absurd, Lori and Brian took to the dance floor where they stayed for most of the night.
And instead of cake, which neither of the two like, they set up a pie bar that was to die for!
Have I done this wedding justice? This is one of those times when I almost feel too close to the story to tell it properly, so I asked Lori to send me something that I could share. To read more about Lori & Brian's wedding, as told by my stunning bride and most loved friend, please visit Style Me Pretty. I will leave you with one parting quote from my bride:
"Brian and I left for our honeymoon immediately after the wedding, and moved from Tucson to Port Angeles, WA on our return. Our wedding was the perfect way to say goodbye to the city where we met and fell in love."
Traveling to Washington isn't as easy as traveling to Tucson is, and so I don't get to see my friend nearly as often as I would like to. But on every phone call and through every text message I can feel how happy she is in her new life, and with her new husband.
And knowing that I was able to contribute to that happiness in even the smallest of ways is the best feeling in the world!
For more photos, please visit Lori & Brian's Real Wedding Gallery.
Thank you, Lori & Brian, for letting me be a part of your day and for being such amazing friends to me and my family. I love you both to pieces, and will cherish the memory of your day always...
Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito is often published, with works featured by the likes of BRIDES, Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, The NY Times, LA Times, Junebug Weddings, and more. With an eye catching style that shares not only the story, but the soul, of a wedding, Andrea's clients praise her for being their wedding planner, event designer, advocate, and friend.
An internationally acclaimed speaker, Andrea appears and speaks at events for the Engage! Luxury Wedding Summit, NACE, The Knot, the Wedding MBA, and more. Named the Best Wedding Planner in Las Vegas (2013, 2015, 2016), Wedding Professional of the Year (2011) and ranked as one of the top 50 wedding planners world-wide, Andrea works with celebrities, athletes, executives, and all people in love!
Based in Las Vegas, and working as a destination wedding planner world wide, you can learn more at www.AndreaEppolitoEvents.com.