"Celebrating life, luxury, and above all else....Love."
This credo has been a guiding principle for my only my personal life, but my business, for as long as I can remember. Finding like-minded clients and brands is always so exciting, and when given the opportunity to partner with one of my long time favorites, The Fairmont, I jumped at the chance.
Many years ago, when my husband and I took our son on his first little weekend getaway, we booked a suite at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel Santa Monica. Nestled amongst the bluffs of Santa Monica beach, and just steps away from the ocean (with ocean valet services available, natch!) The Fairmont Miramar has stood out as a historical landmark and a secluded retreat for the glitterati of Hollywood since the 1920's. Everyone who was anyone, from Greta Garbo who moved into a bungalow to Marilyn Monroe, President John F. Kennedy, and even our modern day masters such as Steven Spielberg, have sought refuge on the grounds. With 32 private bungalows, expansive views of the coast, and a level of luxury and service that is unparalleled in the industry, the property is both tranquil, elegant, perfectly appointed, and celebrated as a beacon of luxury and the standard of an era gone by.
Doesn't sound like a "kid friendly" hotel, does it? Oh, but it is! Upon arrival, my son received his own little stuffed animal, and when we checked into the suite we were greeted by a baby butler" who offered our little one small cookies and mini cupcakes. A small little robe was laid out, and his name was spelled out in squishy bath toys. He took his first real steps in that suite, ate an adult portion of Beet Risotto in their restaurant, Fig, and has his first taste of the sea and sand on their private beach. So many years later, I look back on this weekend away as one of the best times we have ever had.
And so when the creatives at The Fairmont wrote to congratulate me on my "lovely blog" and ask if I would style an inspirational wedding piece for them, I just jumped at the chance. My mind immediately went back to the time I spend there and to the history that I felt connected to.
Immediately, I knew that the wedding would have to take place in front of the massive fig tree that greets you as you pull into the property. I worried, however, about the prying eyes of guests and the movement taking place all around. I would want the space to feel intimate and secluded, just like the rest of the property, but still very sexy and yet sweet. Hedges would be brought in to create a surround, and crawling white roses would be installed against them and at the base of the tree. To mimic the gates of the property and to highlight the entry way for guests, I would add two large, black wrought iron gates with mirrored inserts. As guests walk through, they would hear the sounds of a fountain, water trickling to off set any traffic noise pollution. In place of the garden chairs, I would bring in old world brass chiavari chairs with crisp white cushions. Organic bundles of garden roses, ranunculus, and sweet peas would be placed low along the aisle....They could brought inside and added to the centerpieces later. And because I believe that candles are never wrong, even in daylight, I would drop a few golden candles in between just to create some movement. Finally, the branches of the fig tree would be dressed with hanging chain lamps.
As the Miramar was considered "home" to so many celebrity guests, my design took on a residential fee. I believe that your wedding should, in many ways, feel like coming home. For as long as it's been opened, the Fairmont has been "home" to many a glamorous guest, and so I imagined a space full of large pieces of tufted furniture, shimmering metallics and crystals, and a black and white palette to evoke the film noir of early cinema.
Long banquet tables made of mirrors and glass would be set throughout the ballroom, which would come to life with crystal candle holders and shimmering votives, and a romantic blend of light, pastel groupings of roses, dahlias, and orchids. Guests would take their seats at thick, sturdy dining chairs of black velvet for the ultimate in luxe seating.
But what of the bride? What kind of woman plans a wedding such as this? In my mind, she is the perfect mix of elegance and edge. All at once Marchese and mystery. I would imagine a woman in a fashion forward yet traditional style wedding gown, such as this deeply embroidered strapless dress. Her accessories would be all kinds of glamorous and specifically bespoke, with a nod to history. Think the quintessential Harry Winston emerald cut diamond engagement ring with a matching wedding band and a vintage hair clip. Still, I can't believe that this woman wants to be styles like any other bride, and I would love to see her choose black accents. A sexy stiletto. Slightly oxidized chandelier earrings, and perhaps a fashion forward Maison Michel lace "veil" for her reception or bridal portraits. And, of course, a bit of Oscar de la Renta to offset the the chill of the ocean while walking from the ballroom to her bungalow.
After all the time that I've spent at the Fairmont Miramar and playing with this design, it's hard to believe that it isn't real! Oh, how I wish I could see it come to life!
What do you think? Could you imagine yourself as this bride? At this wedding and in this place? Leave your comments below.
And PS - Enjoy this little pic of my once baby boy taking his steps in-suite!
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.