Taking you behind the scenes at Hayley and Bryan's Wedding is bitter sweet for me. This wedding was everything that I love in the world - stunning, opulent, romantic and timeless, with modern touches and a lot of glamour. But most importantly, it was a wedding that joined two people truly in love, two families, and two sets of friends that all became a part of my life for the last nine months. Writing this blog post means that our wedding planning is over, and that makes me sad. But looking back on my photos, seeing what we created together, and knowing that there will never be another night quite like this gives me such a feeling of...happiness.
Parents always talk about how they love their children equally, yet differently. That's how I feel about my couples. My relationship with each one is so different, and I love them all, but in very different ways. In the case of Hayley and Bryan, her entire family moved our of state within weeks of our planning together, and so I stepped in and adopted her in a way. Beyond the traditional wedding planning meetings, I went with her to her dress fittings (there's a blog post coming about that), was there for hair and make up trials, met her for lunches, dinners, and coffee breaks. We even remotely watched Scandal together. In a lot of ways, Hayley became my bonus child - one that I am clearly much too young to have! But still, we moved around in each other's lives with ease and freedom, and she became part of the family. Or, as my son called her, "the bride with the Elsa hair". Watching their first dance, which I cannot even begin to tell you about, my husband looked at me and said, "I've never seen you with this look on your face!" Indeed, it was a very special moment for me, and every person in that room.
During our first meeting I asked Hayley what she wanted for her wedding, and her answer was pretty classic: "I want a wedding that feels really glamorous and sparkling, but I want it to be different. I don't want the same wedding that all of my other friends are having. It has to feel like me." Awesome! I knew we were a good fit. When I turned to Bryan, his list of demands boiled down to one thing: "I don't want it to feel stuffy. It has to be a party.”
And so we set off together with her family moving between Las Vegas and Texas, with trips to Mexico, Ohio, and Montana in between, and began planning a Las Vegas wedding that saw family and friends coming in from all four corners of the country.
When looking for a venue that screamed “you’ve never seen anything like this” we landed on The Keep Memory Alive Events Center. With it’s Frank Gehry design and world class audio visual, lighting, and kitchen set up, we knew we had found the perfect canvas to start with.
Our ceremony planning proved to be more difficult. While the initial plan was to have Bryan and Hayley marry in church, we ultimately realized that the desire for something fun and unusual was going to win out! Hayley and Bryan loved the outdoor Bavington sculpture with all of it’s colors and hight. We booked it and began the process of designing a ceremony that really played up the outdoor installation. However, with just weeks to go, construction threatened the ceremony, and we had to relocate into courtyard of the Smith Center. I hated seeing their dreams dashed, and wanted to do something special to give them an emotional connection to the space, and so we insisted the help of our friends at the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum. Despite the space being closed, they had security open up a side door and gave us access to a balcony, from which we were able to shower Hayley and Bryan with rose petals during their first kiss. It was s complete surprise, and the look on their faces were priceless!
When you put the right team together for the right couple, magic happens! As always, none of this would have been possible without the hard work, patience, creativity, and flexibility of some of the best people I have ever worked with! A big thank you and so much appreciate and love to our all star team:
The Personal Touches
To Mina Olive - Megan, you designed and hand made the dress of Hayley’s dreams. She stunned and will forever love her wedding gown.
To Bella Bridesmaids - Jamie, you are a rock star with the patience of a saint! We ran girls through your salon in rapid fire speed, and you made sure that each one looked better than the next! Stunner after stunner, and such fun to work with!
To Make Up in the 702 - Megan, your girls did trial after trial, until they got it right! And on the day of the wedding, the entire team was on point, on time, and on their A game. Thanks to them, we had a bevy of beauties that looked spectacular all night long!
The DISCOVERY Children’s Museum - Elise and Chris, you made all the difference in the world! The petals thrilled everyone, and gave the bride and groom that moment of delight that all couples deserve!
Keep Memory Alive Center - David and Gina, you are wonderful beyond words!
Naakiti Floral - You didn’t even flinch when, half way through the planning process, Hayley wanted to shift the design and bring in some darker, more dramatic touches. You scratched it all and started from the beginning with the same level of excitement and fun that we started with. And when our ceremony plans were tossed to the side with just days to spare, you rebuilt on the fly and made certain that the venue was beautiful, and that everything was purposeful and personal. No one would ever have guessed that this was a last minute change, and while I almost feel guilty mentioning it now, seeing how beautiful it was is a testament to your work! And I can’t when it comes to the reception! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Paper & Home - Every printed piece from the invitations to the menus were flawless, classy, and elegant.
Hi Note - Best. Escort. Cards. Ever. That is all!
DJ Mike Fox - Another epic evening of 200 people out of their seats and out on the dance floor! You never fail! And I truly believe that "Mirrors" will go down as one of the greatest first dances of my career!
To the Taste Makers
Master Chef Gustav Mauler - Your enthusiasm for food and desire to tell a story with your menu was contagious! Your flexibility and encouragement helped Hayley and Bryan make bold choices that their guests loved!
Peridot Sweets - Tiffany, from our first tasting and up through having you make desserts and cakes for everything from the shower to the rehearsal and the Sunday pool brunch, you just killed it. That seven tiered wedding cake with seven different flavors and seven different (lucky 777!) and all of those crystals will go down in history as one of the most exquisite cakes of all time. And to tell people that it tasted even better than it looked almost cannot be believed! Three days later, my take home piece was just as fresh and moist! My kids thank you! My waistline does not! But oh, was it worth every bite!
The Keepers of Memories
Alt F Photography - From the first time Hayley and Bryan stepped in front of your cameras, they felt immediately at ease and totally comfortable. We are cannot wait to get a glimpse of their wedding photos, and I know that they will treasure their photos for the rest of their lives.
Lighten Films - From day one, square one, Hayley and Bryan knew that they wanted you to "Lighten Up" their wedding. There was never a question as to who would be on hand to document this moment for them and their families. And I for one cannot wait to see what you do with the footage of their day!
My deepest thanks and my love to Hayley and Bryan! Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for inviting me into your lives, for always trusting me, for making me your "framily", and for becoming a part of ours. You came into my life with an email while I was working on one wedding, and so it is only fitting that we end our working relationship where we started! Celebrating love and having the best time ever!
Enjoy a peek behind the curtain with my photos and a little video to give you a glimpse of what's to come!
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.