My love story starts like most do. Boy meets Girl at a time least likely. Call it a happy accident, fate or just the serendipitous result of being in the right place a the right time. To this day I don't know which it is. What I do know is that I walked into a restaurant for dinner with friends, and walked out with a business card that would change my life.
I have always said that I have been married to Tony from the moment he kissed me. There was never any doubt as to whether or not we belonged together. One would think that for a wedding planner the end game would be, in fact, a wedding. But life doesn't always travel in a straight line, and so instead of a wedding we built a marriage and a family. We always intended to get married in a "someday" sort of way, and then one day, we did.
The last thing that either of us wanted was a wedding that turned into a networking mixer or, worse, a business decision based on our companies and professional endeavors. And so, without a word to our extended families or even our best friends, we planned a little elopement that shocked pretty much everyone who knew us.
Our wedding started with champagne. Is there any other way? Dennis Silknitter and his team of fairy godmothers and wish granters at The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas certainly know how to set the tone for a once-in-a-lifetime event. And the truth is, having been up with a sick baby on the night before the wedding, champagne was exactly what the doctor ordered!
I wanted the morning of the wedding to be as relaxed as possible. The amazingly talented LaVey Kindred and Janine Cali of Your Beauty Call were scheduled for hair and make-up, which allowed me to just relax with my mother and sister, along with all of the children! Even Tony's mother joined us for a day of beauty, and my adorable niece got into the pampering, completing the all-girls afternoon!
My dress, the Stephanie from Ulla-Maija, which I had fallen in love with nearly a year earlier, was rush ordered for me by the amazing Ann & Dawn of Couture Bride, hung patiently in the hallway. I wouldn't have been able to get into it without my mom and sister!
Meanwhile, just a few floors down, my husband to be got ready with our son, his parents and both of our brothers. I love that he paired the watch I gave him on our first anniversary with the cufflinks that I had made for him years later featuring his birthstone and the birthstones of both of our children.
We decided not to see one another before the wedding, and took our formal family portraits separately. Doing this with two small children was quite the adventure! Especially since the little girl was so startled by all of the commotion, and our son suddenly decided to be a Mamma's Boy!
Big, huge thank you to John Michael Cooper and Dalisa Cooper of Alt F Photography for capturing some of the sweetest moments of the day. Our Littles won't be little forever, and seeing them so wrapped up and fancy and in love with us will bring tears to our eyes forever!
Tony and I both know how incredibly lucky we are to have such incredibly close relationships with some of the very best wedding professionals that the world has to offer. And the best way to honor those relationships was to put my trust completely in their hands and let them do what they do best. Words cannot describe what Randi and her team from Naakiti Floral did for us! It was as if they crawled around in my head (and on my Pinterest) and pulled the very best of everything I ever loved and wanted!
Music was provided by Nicky D of Dance The Night Away. Fun fact - He went to high school with my father in Brooklyn way, way back in the day! Our little boy and our nephew took our new baby girl down the aisle in a white tulle covered wagon!
The only heartbreak of my day was that my father, whom I love and adore, was physically unable to be with us. Still, I could not have imagined getting married without him, and while my baby brother escorted my down the aisle it was my father who ultimately gave me away by phone!
Tony and I both took a moment to say something personal to one another, and then exchanged rings and traditional vows.
After the rings and the vows, somewhat suddenly, we were married! We shared our first kiss, then another, and then more! Knowing that we would not have a traditional reception, our family allowed us a few private moments to dance to the end of our song.
Once our song ended all we could think about were our kids. We just couldn't wait to hold them and hug them and love them!
As our guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, Tony and I went off to take a few formal portraits together. John and Dalisa (along with Dennis) kept it light and fun for us while managing to take some seriously gorgeous photos that were a perfect combination of light and dark, serious and sweet, and even a little sexy!
There were more surprises in store for us as we joined our family on the poolside patio of the Verandah Room. The space was romantic, ethereal, sparkling and elegant all at once. Naakiti Floral took care of everything - From the towering candelabras overflowing with orchids, hydrangea and roses and to the gilded chairs, satin table-cloth, mercury glass votive holders, crystal vases, and more; there was an attention to detail that has yet to be surpassed! Even the napkins were dressed with their own individual buds of flowers.
Tony and I held tight to our babies while we were toasted by our younger brothers.
And then, finally, in the grand tradition of Tony and I doing everything "backwards" we cut our cake before dinner! Which was a very good thing since our little boy knocked into it just moments later - Putting a giant hand print deep into the fondant!
Thank you for allowing me to share our day with you all! I struggled with this post - it felt oddly indulgent! But reliving the day was amazing and I could never thank those involved enough for making each and every dream we had for ourselves and our families come true.
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.