Vintage Vegas Wedding at The Westgate | Brian and Chris
The Vintage Vegas Wedding of Brian Sauls and Chris Mancini.
Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito. Images by AltF Photography. All Rights Reserved.
April 17, 2015:
"Hi there. My partner and I planning a wedding in Las Vegas for jan 23 2016. We already have chosen our venue - the Verona suite at Westgate but need help with everything else. We are very low key but want an elegant, tacky, shabby chic experience for about 100-150 ppl. Need to find someone asap. Thanks. Chris"
I called them immediately, and the first thing out of Chris' mouth was , "Oh, hey, I was just going to send you another email....I forgot to mention, we want strippers, too."
Hmmmm....Elegant. Tacky. Shabby Chic. Strippers. I cannot say that this was the client I planned on when I started my wedding consulting business, but I was immediately intrigued. Our first phone call lasted nearly two hours, during which time I spoke to Chris, then Brian, then Brian and Chris on speaker, and back again. They told me their love story; how they met at a water fountain in the gym, traveled the world, built and sold companies, and loved each other through it all. Never having believed that they would have the right to marry, these two grooms wanted to celebrate their life and love in a place that felt like a second home to them; Las Vegas!
Having seen the world, Brian and Chris simply love Las Vegas; especially old Las Vegas. When searching for a venue, they wanted something that embodied the glitz, glamour, andOriginally known as The International hotel, this venue really put Las Vegas on the map with performances by Peggy Lee and Barbara Streisand. Elvis Presley played 58 consecutive sold out shows, during which time he took residence in the very room we booked for the venue. To Brian and Chris, The Verona Suite encapsulates old school Las Vegas, giving guests a chance to walk through time.
With their two darling Chinese Crested sisters in tow, Brian and Chris spent the morning together, snacking, and talking and laughing before their parents and siblings arrived for an intimate exchanging of vows, witnessed only by their immediate family.
While I am not a traditional crier, I freely admit that I literally was in tears from the minute Chris and Brain started sharing their vows until the moment that they finally kisses. The ceremony, officiated by their dear friend in day-glow pink, was personal, political, and full of the kid of history and hope you want in a marriage.
While the couple posed for portraits, the finishing touches were placed in the suite. Chris asked that the entry be "set on fire" with candles, and to that end we brought in nearly a thousand that were set throughout the space. Another request was for a small garden of yellow daffodils, their favorites.
As two grooms with a penchant for over the top displays and excess, we set 5 cakes around the pianist, who played contemporary love songs as guests entered. To the left was a dedicated "Dog Room" where guests could spend time with Flora and Petunia, while also getting caricatures drawn by the crazy talented Jessica Wallace, otherwise known as The Girl Who Drew You.
The great room was set with stations of food including an entire row of hibachi grills brought in from Benihana. Throughout the villa there were bars, dessert stations, waiters at the ready with trays of food, and passed wine. We even had vintage cigarette stations and an over the top bar stocked with every last liquor you could ask for! Not one need was overlooked or untended to. The new Mr. & Mr. took to the mic to thank their family and friends; not only for their attendance at the wedding, but for the love and support they shared throughout their lives. Then, the cut the cakes! Yes, cakes...As in five of them!
It was very important to me that the guests who were coming to the reception still felt as if they were a part of the wedding. It quickly dawned on me that we could have our friends at Something New Films do a same day edit, which we them projected above the pool on the side of the building. We projected the film in black and white, with minimal editing and no sound for a reel the felt raw, emotional,and intimate.
Brian and Chris wanted something progressive and irreverent for later in the evening; which is where the request for exotic dancers came in. To ensure that the party stayed on point, and that nothing too naughty took place, Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito worked with a booking agent to secure 5 entertainers that came and danced at the party. Three stunning women, two beautiful men, and almost 200 of the best party guests anyone could ask for! The tongue-in-cheek dances were polite and respectful, riveting, and just a little bit sexy. Even the parents enjoyed them!
McDonald's burgers and fries were passed out as savory late night treats while cookies, petit fours, and cotton candy was spun on the side. Celebrations ran all through the night, and into the early morning.
Now, I am not going to lie; on this evening I excused myself and said goodnight long before the last guest left as the couple were staying in the suite - it would have been weird for them to wake up and find me in their living room! But we connected the next day and have been touch nearly every week since to reminisce about the wedding, share GIFs, and comment on each other’s Facebook and Instagram pictures.
There are no words for how I love these men, their dogs, their families, and this wedding. A vintage villa, Benihana, strippers, and McDonald’s and naked little Chinese Crested puppies are not for everyone, but it was perfectly, beautifully, and romantically them. And I could not love them any more for entrusting their day with me.
To the next 18, 28, and 80 years together!