Unplugged!  When the World Isn't Watching...Behind the Scenes at A Luxe Las Vegas Wedding at Mandarin Oriental
Mr. & Mrs. Graham enjoying a (semi) private moment during their reception. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Mr. & Mrs. Graham enjoying a (semi) private moment during their reception.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Unplugged Wedding Update!  Given how much I love giving moment by moment updates on social media (have you seen my Instagram account?) during a wedding, I have to say that the idea of going unplugged for Jess and Juan's breathtaking wedding at the Mandarin Oriental literally made me sweat!  Because, after all, if it isn't on social media...did it ever really happen?!?!?

And the answer is...YES! It did.  In the most beautiful and romantic and stunning of ways!

Oh, hello gorgeous ring!  Jessica's stunning cushion cut engagement ring featured a double halo, and micro pave diamonds along the split shank. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Oh, hello gorgeous ring!  Jessica's stunning cushion cut engagement ring featured a double halo, and micro pave diamonds along the split shank.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Jessica Valentin and Juan Graham have a love that is simply infectious!  You cannot be around them and not be seduced by every look and every laugh they share.  They are simply perfect together, and I wanted so badly to give them the world and more on their wedding day.

Our morning started with a visit from the beauty team of Make Up in the 702.  I don't know why I love this photo of Jess as much as I do, but the golden highlights make me smile.

I don't know why I love this photo so much!  My bride Jess is a golden goddess! Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

I don't know why I love this photo so much!  My bride Jess is a golden goddess!

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Alt F Photography was on hand in full force!  With both John Michael Cooper and Dalisa Cooper on hand, we also had Danielle with us for part of the day, grabbing detail shots and making certain that we missed nothing!

I love watching John and Dalisa work.  The mind of an artist is a mystery, and I try to learn as much as I can from them.  When they set this shot up, I had to steal a snap for myself.  The bright whiteness, the veil, the ring and the bustier were all so sexy and seductive, but still romantic and timeless.

Alt F Photography set up this beautiful shot, and I snapped a picture for myself as well!  I love how light it all is! Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Alt F Photography set up this beautiful shot, and I snapped a picture for myself as well!  I love how light it all is!

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Make Up in the 702 somehow made Jess look even more gorgeous than usual, and this shot is just everything I love about the moment a woman becomes a bride! Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Make Up in the 702 somehow made Jess look even more gorgeous than usual, and this shot is just everything I love about the moment a woman becomes a bride!

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

And so it begins...The little flower girls were mesmerized by the bridal process, and clung to each other while Jess was getting ready. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

And so it begins...The little flower girls were mesmerized by the bridal process, and clung to each other while Jess was getting ready.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

In s display of modesty and respect for the wedding ceremony, Jess had a detachable illusion neckline added to her Marina Liana gown. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

In s display of modesty and respect for the wedding ceremony, Jess had a detachable illusion neckline added to her Marina Liana gown.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Most weddings require the basic amount of install, set up, and tear down when it comes to tables, chairs, and decor.  Other weddings are a full blown production.  This was one of those weddings...And it yielded the most spectacular results.  

Talking about what goes into wedding design and production is one thing.  Seeing it is quite another.

The bride watched from her penthouse suite as the pool deck was transformed into the ceremony.   Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

The bride watched from her penthouse suite as the pool deck was transformed into the ceremony.  

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

To create the experience that Jess and Juan wanted to share with their guests, the Mandarin Oriental pool was closed early to guests and residents.  It took 3 crews with over 30 people to completely transformed the pool deck, removing all of the lounge chairs and umbrellas, and replacing them not once but twice to give her both a ceremony and a reception.

It took three full crews and over 30 people to transform the pool deck of the Mandarin Oriental into Jess and Juan's ceremony and reception site. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

It took three full crews and over 30 people to transform the pool deck of the Mandarin Oriental into Jess and Juan's ceremony and reception site.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

My darling David of Naakiti beheaded roses, placing each one by hand into a plexiglass display for the couple's escort cards.  Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

My darling David of Naakiti beheaded roses, placing each one by hand into a plexiglass display for the couple's escort cards. 

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Naakiti Floral created a breathless display at the couple's ceremony gazebo, with glass pedestals topped with clear vases and bundles of hydrangea, orchids, and roses. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Naakiti Floral created a breathless display at the couple's ceremony gazebo, with glass pedestals topped with clear vases and bundles of hydrangea, orchids, and roses.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

At 4:00 PM the guests took their seats, and out bridal party took their places.  It was truly a family affair, with both sets of parents taking an active role in the processional.  Jess' step father served as the officiant, and her father walked her down the aisle towards the alter, where Juan was waiting not so patiently to finally marry the girl he loved from the moment he saw her!

The Man of Honor and Jessica's twin brother Justin escorted Maid of Honor, Monica, down the aisle.  The bridesmaids dresses were Alfred Angelo, and the bouquet and boutonniere were by Naakiti Floral. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

The Man of Honor and Jessica's twin brother Justin escorted Maid of Honor, Monica, down the aisle.  The bridesmaids dresses were Alfred Angelo, and the bouquet and boutonniere were by Naakiti Floral.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

When the time came, my bride Jessica emerged and was walked down the aisle by her father.   Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

When the time came, my bride Jessica emerged and was walked down the aisle by her father.  

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

The bride's father proudly walked her down the aisle. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

The bride's father proudly walked her down the aisle.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

It goes without saying that I love photography.  Whenever possible, I recommend having two shooters at a wedding.  What I love about working with JMC and Dalisa is that we get to look back at the wedding through two different, but complimentary, sets of eyes.  There is a masculine, a feminine, a romantic, and a darkness and light feel to their photos that you rarely see in a lot of today's more popular wedding photography.

Both Dalisa and John Michael Cooper of Alt F Photography were on hand documenting the wedding ceremony and reception.  I love having two photographers - You get such a great selection of shots!  And these two are just amazing together! Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Both Dalisa and John Michael Cooper of Alt F Photography were on hand documenting the wedding ceremony and reception.  I love having two photographers - You get such a great selection of shots!  And these two are just amazing together!

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

When the ceremony was complete, guests moved to the other side of the deck, where they retrieved their lavish escort cards from a rose petal filled table and were entertained by a band of Mariachi's from a local school.  We have a taco station, passed hors d'oeuvres, music and photo opps....

A look at the full stationary suite designed and produced by LasVegas' Paper & Home.

A look at the full stationary suite designed and produced by LasVegas' Paper & Home.

Escort Cards in various shades of ivory, gold, and platinum were created by Paper & Home, and nestled lovingly into the rose petals set up by Naakiti Floral. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Escort Cards in various shades of ivory, gold, and platinum were created by Paper & Home, and nestled lovingly into the rose petals set up by Naakiti Floral.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

A Mariachi Band greeted and entertained guests during the cocktail hour. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

A Mariachi Band greeted and entertained guests during the cocktail hour.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

I have been DYING to do a cheese wheel cheese cake.  Juan and his love of food gave me the perfect opportunity, and the team at Mandarin Oriental as all too thrilled to put this together.  Did all of the cheese get eaten?!?!?  Of course not.  But this isn't about eating - this is about making a statement and doing something super cool and different to delight your guests.  It was a hit!

Cheese Cake!  I love cheese.  I love cake.  And so does the groom, leading us to work with the chef to create this wedding style cheese display accented with fresh fruits and florals. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Cheese Cake!  I love cheese.  I love cake.  And so does the groom, leading us to work with the chef to create this wedding style cheese display accented with fresh fruits and florals.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

The cocktail hour was over the top for more reasons that one...Mainly, we needed a smoke and mirrors hat trick which would allow us time to bring the crew back to the deck for yet another transformation.  The bride and groom asked for something that was timeless and romantic, with pops of color and lush florals.   They wanted people to feel as if they were in a Midsummer Night's Dream, a fairytale, and a love story.  To that end, we brought in long banquet tables and dressed them with blush linens.  Vases overflowing with roses, hydrangea, and orchids were everywhere.  We sough out surfaces and materials such as wood, plexiglass, crystals and mirrors that would convey both old world charm and modern romance.  Stadium seating allowed us to use all sides of the pool, and the different elevations made sure that everyone had the best seat in the house with a view of our showpiece - a mirrored, glass top bridge that floated over the pool, set there to provide Jess and Juan with an island of their own for their first dance as husband and wife.

The ceremony gazebo was transformed into a sweetheart table and lovers retreat for the bride and groom, allowing them to spend some time alone together during dinner and the reception. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  |  Decor:  Naakiti Floral

The ceremony gazebo was transformed into a sweetheart table and lovers retreat for the bride and groom, allowing them to spend some time alone together during dinner and the reception.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  |  Decor:  Naakiti Floral

Long Banquet Tables were dressed in blush linens and topped with lush florals, high and low arrangements, and gold candelabras. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  | Decor:  Naakiti Floral

Long Banquet Tables were dressed in blush linens and topped with lush florals, high and low arrangements, and gold candelabras.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  | Decor:  Naakiti Floral

A mirrored bridge hovered over the water, connecting guests on each side of the pool. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  |  Decor:  Naakiti Floral

A mirrored bridge hovered over the water, connecting guests on each side of the pool.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  |  Decor:  Naakiti Floral

The set up wasn't the only change taking place!  As guests mingled and the crew took to the deck, Jess and Juan headed back up to the suite, which she transformed from the picture perfect blushing bride into the sexiest version of herself!  She shed the demure illusion neckline, replacing it with a hand made custom piece from Tesserella House in Australian.  Make Up in the 702 took down her hair, giving her dramatic curls and a deep side part with a stunning piece of head jewelry.  Her make up got darker, with a deep lip and smokey eye.  And before she and Juan were introduced to their guests, we finally got a shot of her to die for shoes by Manolo Blahnik! 

After the ceremony, Jess removed her illusion neckline, replacing it with the most insane necklace by Tessarella House.  And she literally let down her hair, with a second styling form Make Up in the 702. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  | Bouquet:  Naakiti Floral

After the ceremony, Jess removed her illusion neckline, replacing it with the most insane necklace by Tessarella House.  And she literally let down her hair, with a second styling form Make Up in the 702.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  | Bouquet:  Naakiti Floral

These shoes...I can't even talk about them!  We managed to have them released early from Manolo Blahnik, and they are just hitting stores now.  Jessica was literally the first to wear them.  I wish we were the same size. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  

These shoes...I can't even talk about them!  We managed to have them released early from Manolo Blahnik, and they are just hitting stores now.  Jessica was literally the first to wear them.  I wish we were the same size.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  

They say that music is a language all it's own.  And while I don't speak Spanish and don't know the words to their first song, I can tell you that watching them dance above the pool was a magical moment for every person on that deck, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house!

The bride and groom were announced, and took their place on the glass topped bridge, enjoying their first dance as husband and wife surrounded by friends, family, florals, and the stunning Vegas skyline. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

The bride and groom were announced, and took their place on the glass topped bridge, enjoying their first dance as husband and wife surrounded by friends, family, florals, and the stunning Vegas skyline.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Family members toasted the new Mr. & Mrs. Graham, and I snuck around the back to steal a pic while they stole a kiss!

The groom stole a kiss from his new wife while speeches were being given. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

The groom stole a kiss from his new wife while speeches were being given.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

One of my favorite things about this wedding from a design standpoint was that each and every element was strong enough to stand up to the others.  When you have such a magnificent venue, such beautiful flowers, and such an epicurean experience with your meal, you simply cannot afford not to go all out with your cake!  I wanted to come up with something that was personal to them and specific to this wedding.  I was sketching at home after out tasting in July, and decided to try my hand at a cake.  below is the sketch that I submitted, along with my serial killer hieroglyphics, and below it is the chef's interpretation come to life!  It was more than I could have ever asked for, and Jess and Juan loved it!

Having never sketched a cake before, this could have been worse!  I can't tell you how it felt to sketch something that they loved and see it come to life!

Having never sketched a cake before, this could have been worse!  I can't tell you how it felt to sketch something that they loved and see it come to life!

The six tiered wedding cake was crafted by the pastry team at Mandarin Oriental.  The crystal detailing was inspired by Jess' necklace, the roses echo her centerpieces, and the petals at the base call to the softness of her dress.  It was a dazzling display.   Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

The six tiered wedding cake was crafted by the pastry team at Mandarin Oriental.  The crystal detailing was inspired by Jess' necklace, the roses echo her centerpieces, and the petals at the base call to the softness of her dress.  It was a dazzling display.  

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Could she be any cuter?  The couple cut their wedding cake in a gazebo surrounded by their guests. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Could she be any cuter?  The couple cut their wedding cake in a gazebo surrounded by their guests.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

These faces right here...Those smile make everything we do worth it! Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

These faces right here...Those smile make everything we do worth it!

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Jess and Juan decided to forgo the tossing of the bouquet and the garter toss, taking to the dance floor instead!  The danced the night away to DJ Mike Fox and our percussionist, Pepe, provided by Classical Entertainment.

Post dinner they took to the dance floor, whereDJ Mike Fox accompanied by world renowned percussionist, Pepe. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Post dinner they took to the dance floor, whereDJ Mike Fox accompanied by world renowned percussionist, Pepe.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

I know this pic is blown out and over exposed, but the smile on her face and the way he holds her makes my heart skip a beat! Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

I know this pic is blown out and over exposed, but the smile on her face and the way he holds her makes my heart skip a beat!

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

But before the night was over, Alt F decided to steal them away one last time.  The deck and the sky line gave JMC the perfect back drop for a dramatic bridal party portrait lit beautiful by Dalisa.

Behind the scenes as Dalisa lights a magnificent and dramatic bridal party shot.   Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Behind the scenes as Dalisa lights a magnificent and dramatic bridal party shot.  

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

We created a world all our own on the pool deck surrounded by the towering lights of City Center. Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

We created a world all our own on the pool deck surrounded by the towering lights of City Center.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

And in the end, when the last bite of cake had been eaten and the last few guests were lingering about, we found Jess...my darling, adorable, bride turned friend...taking a private moment with the other man in her life, her twin brother and man of honor, Justin.  He was helping her with her shoes and she was about to dip her feet in the pool when she saw me and gave me that mega watt smile.

Caught you!  At the end of the evening we found Jess sneaking away to dip her feet into the pool, her dutiful Man of Honor and twin brother helping to remove her shoes! Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Caught you!  At the end of the evening we found Jess sneaking away to dip her feet into the pool, her dutiful Man of Honor and twin brother helping to remove her shoes!

Las Vegas Wedding Planner:  Andrea Eppolito Events  |  Wedding Venue:  Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas  

Soon I will be featuring the professional photos by Alt F and the video by Lighten Films, but for now you can catch a preview on the Alt F Blog!  

I hope that my behind the scenes series helps you get to know my couples better, and gives you an idea of what goes into being an event designer, a wedding producer, a creative partner, and a lover of all things wedding!  I love doing what I do, and I am the luckiest woman in the world to get to do it for couples like Jess and Juan!

Always...

Luxury Wedding Planner Las Vegas  | Celebrity Wedding Planner  | Destination Wedding Las Vegas



Creative Credits

Wedding Planner: Andrea Eppolito
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Mandarin Oriental
Floral and Decor: Naakiti Floral
Rentals: Sit On This, Inc.
Photography: Altf 
Video: Lighten Films
DJ/Music: DJ Mike Fox
Percussionist: Classical Entertainment
Hair and Make up: Make Up in the 702
Bridal Gown: Martina Liana
Bridal Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Custom Jewelry: Tessarella House
Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Angelo
Grooms Tux: Ermenegildo Zegna

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.