White on White Luxe Wedding at the Waldorf Astoria for Danielle & CJ Watson
Designed and Produced by Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito. Images by Brian Leahy.
Today we celebrate the first anniversary of Danielle and CJ Watson. This wedding is hands down one of my all time favorites; not only for it’s beautiful production, but for the relationship that I have with my bride and groom.
Danielle and CJ first appeared on the blog when we showcased their engagement photos, and again later when I shared the amazing #BTS video that was created during their set up and the production of their wedding. It was featured so beautifully in the Winter Issue of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine (check out Page 122!) and now, as they celebrate 1 year of marriage, I want to take you back and revisit the absolute stunning wedding the we produced for them.
Danielle and CJ connected with me a full 22 months in advance of their wedding. Having been together since high school, and with two beautiful daughters, Danielle and CJ wanted to host a wedding that celebrated the lifetime of love that they already shared. Danielle, a stay at home mom, supported CJ while he traveled throughout the world as a professional basketball player for the NBA.
They moved back to Las Vegas to raise their family, which allowed Danielle and I to spend a lot of time together. We took over 15 interstate trips during dress shopping, spent countless hours at lunch, and really got to know one another, which helped me design a perfect day for she and CJ.
When we first spoke, they thought they wanted color, and so we began by working with purples and reds, but when I visited their home for the first time I saw that everything was white and grey. They didn’t live with color, and so instead we went with a very chic, clean palette of white on white, with metallic accents. The gold and mercury glass really brought the space to live, and the grey marble accents matched the rooms in their home that they loved most.
Both the bride and groom love couture and they have an over the top style that allowed me to really play with size and scale. They loved the Mandarin Oriental (now Waldorf Astoria) for the absolute privacy that it offered, but the entire building only has one ballroom, which meant that we needed to flip the space and redecorate between the ceremony and the reception.
Set up began a day early, as we cleaned and cleared the entire ballroom before laying down a thick, white carpet. Next, we draped the entire room in white, and then we built two stages - one at each side of the ballroom - and we connected them with a runway. The risers and the runner were hand finished in marble, and then covered once again with yet another layer of carpet.
Next came the florals. Three interlocked arches were constructed onsite and hand covered with flowers. The entire build out took over 36 hours and took place overnight. We offset all of the white with a grey starburst drape that radiated out from the center. Then we set aisle markers, chairs, and candelabras to ensure that every inch of the space was absolute perfection. As a final touch, the aisle was covered in petals so thick that you could not see the floor beneath it.
Danielle emerged in a classic bridal gown by Ines di Santo and wed CJ in front of 220 family and friends. Their daughters were by their sides, and the entire room erupted into applause as they shared their first kiss as husband and wife.
Guests enjoyed a heavy reception with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and stations while the newlyweds took photos. But the most exciting thing was the color! To give the couple a hint of what they originally wanted, we did the entire cocktail hour in shades of purple. A vibrant purple and fuschia escort card table topped with orchids and roses was at the entrance, while a gold and mirrored circle bar was built around a large golden tree that was dripping in blooms.
When they were welcomed back into the ballroom, we had transformed the ceremony by removing the petals and rolling up the very top layer of flooring to reveal the marble runner underneath. We pulled back drapes to showcase the band’s stage, which was custom constructed and backed with a black and white rose pattern.
The ceremony space itself now housed the bride and groom’s sweetheart table, which was topped with all living roses and flowers. Each side of the aisle featured mirror topped tables with gold and crystal bases, and we featured a mix of florals. Some tables had a high runner with smaller clusters of candles and flowers beneath it, while other had a trifecta of different white flowers, and a third had towering centerpiece of white roses, hydrangea, and orchids.
In the corner was a towering cake wrapped in lightly marbled fondant and dressed in hundreds of hand-made sugar flowers. Inside, the pastry chef made a custom butter cake with pecan and buttercream mouse.
The Jordan Kahn Orchestra welcomed the guests into the space, and they were absolutely blown away by the transformation. Danielle and CJ shared their first dance, before CJ and their daughters took to the floor. Parent dances, toasts, and a lot of laughs lead us all into dinner, and while the guests were busy dining on their feast, Danielle slipped out quietly to change into a Berta reception dress and cape. She was escorted back into the reception by Mirrored Men and electric dancers on hoover boards - so extra! The entertainers lead she and CJ to their cake for the cutting, after which the lights went down and the rest of the night was just one big dance party.
The couple left for Fiji in celebration of their honeymoon as I waited not so patiently for them to return so we could celebrate together over lunch while pouring through their photos. Since that time, their wedding has been featured in magazines, on blogs, and they are officially Instagram famous as their wedding images have been tagged, shared, and saved tens of thousands of times.
It was during this wedding that my husband suggested that I bring along a dedicated videography team to document the behind the scenes process. The videos we created have become the bedrock of our YouTube Channel and a great way for us to pull back the curtain on what really happens behind the scenes at a wedding.
And so on this first anniversary, I wish Danielle and CJ nothing just a life filled with love and laughter, and I cannot wait to continue celebrating with them year after year.
Luxe White on White Wedding at the Waldorf Astoria in celebration of Danielle and CJ’s marriage. Designed and produced by Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito and photographed by Brian Leahy, this real wedding has been featured in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, on Carats & Cake, and more.
Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito | Images by Brian Leahy Photography | Venue Waldorf Astoria | Flowers by Butterfly Floral | Rentals by Palace Party Rentals | Flooring and Entertainment by DBD Las Vegas | Dressed by Lovella Bridal Salon | Styling by Wedding Fashion Expert | Video by Elysium | BTS Video by M Place Pro | Band Jordan Kahn Orchestra | DJ Nate Nelson