As a wedding planner, I am often times dealing primarily with The Bride and the occasional in-law, with just a touch of The Groom sprinkled in from time to time. So when I received a call from Barry directly, I was thrilled!
From the beginning it was clear that Diane, a personal trainer turned chef, and Barry, a construction executive, wanted to take their guests on a journey and really share some of the most important things in their lives. These two were nothing if not a team. Through months of planning, more meetings than I can count and with more than a few late night phone calls and emails the results were nothing short of spectacular!
Diane & Barry envisioned a grand affair infused with deeply personal touches that spoke to their love of food, wine, Disney and each other. Our venue search took nearly four months as we visited locations on strip, off strip and everywhere in between. As soon as we arrived at The Southern Highlands Golf Club Diane immediately knew this was it! The majestic setting spoke to her and called upon her love of Disney, castles and romance. Everything from the curved driveway, the cobblestone walk, the stone, grounds and butler service let Diane know that this was the ideal space for she and Barry to wed. Having been sponsored by the resident golf pro (and long time friend of mine) they set their date for Saturday, October 20, 2012.
Diane & Barry proved to be a formidable team, attending each vendor interview together, taking notes and never making a decision without first consulting with the other. Often times the groom will simply say "yes" to the bride or only exert input on a few key elements, but Barry was truly Diane's partner in this - resulting in a wedding that was equal parts his, hers and theirs!
The wedding day began with Diane heading out ti have her hair and makeup done with her bridal party. Afterwards, all of the ladies joined one another at a private cottage reserved on the grounds to help Diane into her dress - A classically beautiful Enzoani. Her edged veil and Jimmy Choo shoes added romance and sparkle!
The ceremony was set on the green with the Las Vegas skyline behind them. Manzanita branch trees dripping with crystals and red rose petals anchored the aisle. After the bridal party emerged from the house, Diane descended from a grand staircase and made her way to Barry.
After the ceremony guests traveled upstairs to enjoy butler passed hors d'oeuvres and an open bar from the balcony overlooking the city.
Guests were then escorted into the main ballroom for the reception. The room was lit in soft amber, pink and red. The high ceilings, wood beams and arches added a European flare to the space and created an intimate setting.
One of the most important things to Diane and Barry were personal touches. They are known for hosting blow out parties in their home, and wanted to guests to feel a certain amount of comfort. To that end, we added residential touches throughout. Around the large fireplace we added photos of the two from their engagement session, candles, and signs that read "Friends and Family Gather Here". Small flags from their recent trip to London (where Diane also studied) were placed near the DJ booth, and items from their own home - photos, frames, candle holders, etc. - were brought in and placed on tables, ledges and even in the restroom. In addition to their guest book, smaller books were also left throughout so that guests could leave notes, record memories and leave wishes to the couple as well. These books were later collected and are to be placed in the mantle and book shelves of the couples' home.
In addition to the wedding cake, a five tiered black and white confection featuring three different flavors (S'Mores, Cookies and Cream and Pumpkin) Diane surprised Barry by having a groom's cake made that replicated the original mustang, of which his grandfather was one of the designers. A photo of the car sat nearby, along with a magazine which featured the automobile and an interview with the groom's relatives. This set up also allowed us to add a Disney touch, with the cake built to a scale for bridal Mickey & Minnie figurines. A fondant door reading "33" was set nearby in honor of the private club in Disneyland where Diane & Barry dined during one of their visits.
After dinner the couple was toasted by their bridal party, and took to the mic to graciously thank everyone for coming. Their wedding cake was wheeled out and the dance floor was opened to all of the guests. As cake was served an additional treat of cookies and milk "all grown up" was brought out featuring soft baked cookies and small shots of white Godiva liquor to serve as milk.
Barry and Diane enjoyed a dazzling sparkler send off. Guests were sent home with individual three-tiered wedding cakes crafted by famed baker Megan Romano of Chocolate and Spice.
Diane and Barry were unyielding in their vision and I was proud to give them their fairytale wedding in such a regal setting filled with personal touches and love.
Special thanks to all of those who worked on the wedding, without whom this would not have been possible: Southern Highlands Golf Club, Naakiti Floral, Alt F Photography, The Pros Video Team, Gimme Some Sugar (wedding cake), Sugars Bakery (groom's cake), Chocolate and Spice, DJ Twisted and my incredible task masters Doug & Layne!
And on a personal note ~ Diane & Barry will always be special to me! After all, we learned that I was pregnant with Baby #2 just moments before they finalized their date. Not only did they decide to continue working with me, but they graciously pushed their wedding date back 4 weeks to allow me a little bit of a maternity leave! Truly and completely, one of a kind!
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.