Andrea Eppolito Events

Luxury Wedding Planner, Las Vegas

Hayley’s Custom Bridal Gown by Mina Olive - The Making of a Dress

A wedding dress is the most important garment a woman will ever buy in her lifetime.  No piece of clothing will ever mean more or hold the significance of the wedding gown she chooses to be married in.

Wedding Gown designers offer so many beautiful options for brides of all heights, weights, shapes, and sizes.  But for some brides, such as Hayley Freeman, off the rack and even couture just won’t do. 



Wedding Gown designers offer so many beautiful options for brides of all heights, weights, shapes, and sizes.  But for some brides, such as Hayley Freeman, off the rack and even couture just won’t do.  Hayley had a very specific vision for her wedding, and knew that she needed a dress that would stand up to the drama and romance of her venue.  Equally important was that the dress have movement that would enhance their first dance, support for her awesome curves, and enough sparkle to catch the eye and captivate from every corner of the room.

The only place to secure such a gown in Las Vegas is at Mina Olive.  Designer Megan Thompson specializes in one of a kind gowns guaranteed never to be seen on anyone else again.



So when a day of shopping lead only to frustration, I lead Hayley and her family directly to Mina Olive’s shop in Tivoli Village.

Founder and Designer Megan Thompson was amazing!  She talked with Hayley about her vision and her concerns, asked a ton of questions, and then asked some more.  She presented Hayley with fabrics, accent jewels, talked through styling options, and finally presented Hayley with a sketch…



The dress was, in a word, everything!  With a bodice built of a sparkling champagne fabric and dense beading, with soft, sheer pleated straps, and with a skirt of hand cut, hand sewed ruffles and rosettes, Megan’s design incorporated every one of Hayley’s wishes while addressing her concerns and never once sacrificing fashion for function.  

The design even included buttons down the back and space for an heirloom broad that Hayley had been gifted with, which ultimately became a part of her veil.



The design was finalized in November 2013, and production started in January just after the new year.  Megan began by building the foundation of the dress and a mock up muslin.  It may not have been the prettiest part of the process, but we immediately saw the fit and shape coming together.



Like many bride’s, Hayley’s upcoming wedding inspired her to get serious about her diet and fitness.  She and her fiancée decided to tackle Shaun T’s fitness regime as outlined in the T25, and it worked!  Actually, it worked too well!  And by Hayley’s next fitting the dress needed to be taken in over 10 inches all around!  Can you imagine!?!




Finally, the day came for her final fitting.  The look on her face says it all!  Look at her smile!  Her hands!  I love everything about this moment - It is just pure joy!



And on her wedding day, Hayley stunned in her custom made, one of a kind creation by Megan Thompson and Mina Olive.



I could note imagine Hayley in any other dress!  Thank you, Hayley, for having such a strong vision and for never settling for less than exactly what you wanted!  And thank you, Megan, for bringing this gorgeous creation to life.

For more information on Megan Thompson and Mina Olive, click here.

Always…


In just 3 weeks these two take the most important walk of their lives down the aisle!

#MandyLovesPhillip

In just 3 weeks these two take the most important walk of their lives down the aisle!

#MandyLovesPhillip

Ask Andrea - Why Do I Take Behind The Scenes Photos at a Wedding?


Behind the Scenes Photos and Videos….I love them!  Love them!  And I’ve become known for them over the past few years.  Recently, I received the following Direct Message via my Instagram account:

Q. Beautiful weddings! Do you also work as the wedding photographer for your couples?  

It turned into a whole series of messages back and forth…”If your couples have their own photographer, then why do you take so many photos?”  and “Did you ever take photography classes?”  

Where does my obsession with behind the scenes photos comes from?

The not so pretty answer is that once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was working at a venue when one of our client’s photographers had a mishap resulting in all of their wedding photos being destroyed.  All of them.  Every. Last. One.  Now, this was before the days of cell phones.  All the beautiful bride and her groom had were cobbled together from those cheesy throw away cameras people left on the table.  I don’t even think they have a full length photo of her in her dress, or a clear one of them together.

Heartbreak.

Years later, when I first started my own wedding planning business, I took on a client who’s photographer I wasn’t quite comfortable with.  A rash of panic came over me…What if something goes wrong?  What if this photographer isn’t good, and the bride doesn’t get the photos she is hoping for?  And, selfishly, what if all the beautiful detail that we’ve worked so hard to put together goes undocumented, and then I don’t have anything that properly shows my work?!?!?

Cold Sweats.

Thank God for my very patient, brilliant, and resourceful husband.  He jumped online and the next morning a J1 Nikon arrived at my door.  ”The only way to be sure that you get the pictures you want,” he said, “is to take them yourself.”

See why I married him?

Let me state something for the record:  Since starting my company, I have never (knock on wood) had an issue with any of the professional vendors that I have hired showing up.  In fact, all I have ever been is blown away by the talent, the craftsmanship, and the amazing results we have gotten.  My couples all enjoy stunningly photos and video that are certain to stand the test of time and become heirlooms, beloved by generation.

So why do I still do it?

Well, to start with it’s become somewhat of a passion project for me.  After months of planning, I become invested in each wedding I do.  Being able to capture the day through my eyes, the way that I see it, has been a very special experience for me.  

I find that I also tend to get one shot that the couple loves.  I get to know my brides and grooms so well, I develop a sense about what they want to see, and how they want to see it.  It makes me happy to get that one shot that they love that they can put up on Facebook or Instagram really quickly.









I also love getting a photo of the photographer working.  So many times these awesome people are behind the camera.  People don’t realize what goes into taking the perfect photos. Capturing someone I love doing what they love is always a treat, and over the years I’ve gotten some spectacular pics!  It’s always nice to be able to share a cool photo with someone who spends their life taking photos of other people.







But most importantly, in the event that there is ever a “God-forbid” moment, I know that my couples will have at least a handful of high-res, in focus, and clear photos that document their day for them.  But honestly, I worry about that less and less, because the teams that I work with are so beyond good…They actually have double cards in their cameras, so they won’t loose anything!

And the truth is that no one person can be everywhere at one time!  And that means that, occasionally, to get the “money shot” there are secondary shots can get missed.  For example, in the moments before the ceremony starts, it’s most important that the photographers get great photos of the ceremony location and take their places to shoot both the bride coming down the aisle and the look on her face when the groom sees her for the first time.  That leaves her final moments unattended to and undocumented.  That’s where I come in…





Side Note - Beyond a few classes in high school and a life long love of documenting everything, I have never formally studied photography.  The only teachers I have had are the tremendously amazing professional wedding photographers in Las Vegas that put up with my lurking and who have provided me with thousands of photos as inspiration.   And after seeing their work, I would never presume to serve as anyone’s wedding photographer.  I’m happy to simply serve as the best wedding planner I can be!



Word to the wise - no matter how much you, your best friend, your cousin, or your neighbor’s sister’s roommate loves photography and weddings, always leave photo and video to the professionals.

Always…




Ask Andrea - Why Do I Take Behind The Scenes Photos at a Wedding?


Behind the Scenes Photos and Videos….I love them!  Love them!  And I’ve become known for them over the past few years.  Recently, I received the following Direct Message via my Instagram account:

Q. Beautiful weddings! Do you also work as the wedding photographer for your couples?  

It turned into a whole series of messages back and forth…”If your couples have their own photographer, then why do you take so many photos?”  and “Did you ever take photography classes?”  

Where does my obsession with behind the scenes photos comes from?

The not so pretty answer is that once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was working at a venue when one of our client’s photographers had a mishap resulting in all of their wedding photos being destroyed.  All of them.  Every. Last. One.  Now, this was before the days of cell phones.  All the beautiful bride and her groom had were cobbled together from those cheesy throw away cameras people left on the table.  I don’t even think they have a full length photo of her in her dress, or a clear one of them together.

Heartbreak.

Years later, when I first started my own wedding planning business, I took on a client who’s photographer I wasn’t quite comfortable with.  A rash of panic came over me…What if something goes wrong?  What if this photographer isn’t good, and the bride doesn’t get the photos she is hoping for?  And, selfishly, what if all the beautiful detail that we’ve worked so hard to put together goes undocumented, and then I don’t have anything that properly shows my work?!?!?

Cold Sweats.

Thank God for my very patient, brilliant, and resourceful husband.  He jumped online and the next morning a J1 Nikon arrived at my door.  ”The only way to be sure that you get the pictures you want,” he said, “is to take them yourself.”

See why I married him?

Let me state something for the record:  Since starting my company, I have never (knock on wood) had an issue with any of the professional vendors that I have hired showing up.  In fact, all I have ever been is blown away by the talent, the craftsmanship, and the amazing results we have gotten.  My couples all enjoy stunningly photos and video that are certain to stand the test of time and become heirlooms, beloved by generation.

So why do I still do it?

Well, to start with it’s become somewhat of a passion project for me.  After months of planning, I become invested in each wedding I do.  Being able to capture the day through my eyes, the way that I see it, has been a very special experience for me.  

I find that I also tend to get one shot that the couple loves.  I get to know my brides and grooms so well, I develop a sense about what they want to see, and how they want to see it.  It makes me happy to get that one shot that they love that they can put up on Facebook or Instagram really quickly.









I also love getting a photo of the photographer working.  So many times these awesome people are behind the camera.  People don’t realize what goes into taking the perfect photos. Capturing someone I love doing what they love is always a treat, and over the years I’ve gotten some spectacular pics!  It’s always nice to be able to share a cool photo with someone who spends their life taking photos of other people.







But most importantly, in the event that there is ever a “God-forbid” moment, I know that my couples will have at least a handful of high-res, in focus, and clear photos that document their day for them.  But honestly, I worry about that less and less, because the teams that I work with are so beyond good…They actually have double cards in their cameras, so they won’t loose anything!

And the truth is that no one person can be everywhere at one time!  And that means that, occasionally, to get the “money shot” there are secondary shots can get missed.  For example, in the moments before the ceremony starts, it’s most important that the photographers get great photos of the ceremony location and take their places to shoot both the bride coming down the aisle and the look on her face when the groom sees her for the first time.  That leaves her final moments unattended to and undocumented.  That’s where I come in…





Side Note - Beyond a few classes in high school and a life long love of documenting everything, I have never formally studied photography.  The only teachers I have had are the tremendously amazing professional wedding photographers in Las Vegas that put up with my lurking and who have provided me with thousands of photos as inspiration.   And after seeing their work, I would never presume to serve as anyone’s wedding photographer.  I’m happy to simply serve as the best wedding planner I can be!



Word to the wise - no matter how much you, your best friend, your cousin, or your neighbor’s sister’s roommate loves photography and weddings, always leave photo and video to the professionals.

Always…




I love walking into @naakitifloral and seeing this photo from my wedding by @altfphotography *sigh* I wanna do it again!

I love walking into @naakitifloral and seeing this photo from my wedding by @altfphotography *sigh* I wanna do it again!

Wedding at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas - Happy Anniversary Laura & Adam

It was two years ago yesterday that Laura wed Adam, celebrating their marriage with a glamorous wedding at The Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. 

Congratulations, Laura & Adam Wolter!  You are no longer newlyweds, but look just as in love today as you did on the day you were married.  I send you, Walter Wolter, and your families all my love!

Thank you to our friends at the Hard Rock Hotel, to fab wedding photographer Deidra Wilson, and to Naakiti Floral.  And a very special shout out to Gimme Some Sugar who created the perfect cake!  Two years later, and people are still talking about (and pinning) it!

Always…





How cool is this Facebook shout out?! Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Bernard!
 #HalonaAndRocky

How cool is this Facebook shout out?! Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Bernard!
#HalonaAndRocky

A wedding ring isn’t the only thing my groom @rockybernard is rocking…

A wedding ring isn’t the only thing my groom @rockybernard is rocking…

In The Groom’s Corner - Cufflinks with Class & a Touch of Bad Ass

Ladies and Gentlemen - I am super excited about presenting you with my latest find for the Groom’s Corner…



Luxury Cufflinks by Bond47



 

 

And super cool, bad-ass cufflinks by their sister company, UniCuffs!


While ladies agonize and pin for hours and days, considering every element and accessory of the wedding party’s look, men are often overlooked and limited to a few variation of tuxedo and suit style, the occasional cool set of socks, and maybe a debate over the merits of facial hair versus no facial hair.  One of my favorite ways for men to personalize their wedding looks is with cufflinks.  Eternally classy and with that 007 debonaire feel, cufflinks are often overlooked as jewelry that menu can wear on their wedding day and beyond.  

Bond47 and UniCuffs are two sister companies that are doing cufflinks in a while new way.  



Bond47 is my newest obsession!  A luxury French-inspired cufflink shop, Bond47 seeks to provide customers with quality designed and crafted cufflinks, while simultaneously empowering them to change the world, one pair of cufflinks at a time. For each pair of cufflinks you buy, Bond47 donates to the charity of your choice - allowing you to help a vast array of causes.  Your purchase can go to support any number of organizations,  from cleft surgeries and pain relief for children with cancer, human trafficking victims,  providing a session of legal aid to a refugee, providing a daily meal for six months to a child in Liberia, or providing a year of drinkable water to a family in India, you decide. You can even support a rescued bear!  And if one of these charities don’t tug at your heart strings, you can name your own, and Bond47 will make a donation in honor of your purchase. 



​Now, perhaps you don’t take yourself too seriously.  Maybe your groom is a hipster, a major photography buff, or an undercover super hero.  If that’s the case, the look no further than UniCuff.  



According to the website, UniCuffs is the only quality cufflinks shop entirely dedicated to SICK MISMATCHED CUFFLINKS. And it’s run by someone who likes to call him (or her?) self the “ANGRY UNICORN” - an internet sensation dedicated to adding a little bit of naughty to the every day lives of menu in jobs with boring cufflinks.  Apparently, mismatched cufflinks are the new glitter for those dull days in your cubical.  



I don’t necessarily know if these cufflinks will change your life, but I can definitely see them eliciting a giggle or two, and starting a conversation at the water cooler.  Or, better yet, with that hot, single bridesmaid.



I cannot think of a cooler gift for your groom, groomsmen, friends, and men!  After all, what man doesn’t love feeling like a bad-ass?!?  But most importantly, whether you go with the gorgeous, high end Bond47 cufflinks or the cheeky cufflinks by Unicuffs, these cufflinks are guaranteed to be worn time and time again, forever reminding the wearer of your wedding.

If you want to make an ethical statement and major impact, check out Bond47 Paris.  And if you want bad ass cufflinks for your groomsmen and friends, visit my friends at UniCuffs!

Always…






Retired NFL Player Rocky Bernard Weds the Love of His Life at The Four Seasons Las Vegas


Twelve years ago in a small Seattle sports bar, Halona Grimes met Robert “Rocky” Bernard.  The years that followed took them from the northern Pacific coast to New York, New Jersey, and Texas.  They built a family, having five - yes, FIVE! - children.   He has a Super Bowl Ring, and a year ago, he gave her a diamond ring while visiting with her family in Seattle.

When I began planning with Halona & Rocky, she was pregnant with Baby #5.  The couple decided on Las Vegas as a central meeting place for friends and family from around the world, and in honor of Halona’s mother, who loved the city of Las Vegas.  We had a wonderful time together, and I could hardly wait to share my behind the scenes photos with you.

With a beautiful and big bridal party, Halona was surrounded by her family and friends when she donned her Marisa Bridal Gown and Badgley Mischka shoes - which I die for!  Rocky and his groomsmen were dressed to the nines in Michael Kors.  






After spending the morning in hair & make up with her girls, Halona was ready to see her groom for the first time.  On the way, our NFL Bride was caught up in a whole different sport - the NBA Summer League was in town and staying at the Four Seasons as well! To avoid the craziness, we brought Halona & her bridesmaids down in a private VIP elevator…



Having safely avoided the players and her guests, Halona and Rocky met at the base of the grand staircase for their first look. Afterwards, they were whisked away while guests filed in for their romantic indoor ceremony. 





Halona wants a wedding that is timeless and elegant, with pale pinks and romantic touches. Rocky’s biggest concern is that his guests are well fed and taken care of.  As a retired athlete, Rocky and his friends can certainly eat!  They fell in love with the Four Seasons Las Vegas, and asked them to put together an amazing summer menu that would feed everyone fully without making them feel too hot or heavy!





Once the dinner finished, we will turn the night over to DJ Mike Fox and the ladies from The Joy Squad.  Guests couldn’t get enough of the photo booth and were lining the wall waiting for their chance to get some fun photos!




Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Rocky Bernard!  We wish you love and many happy years ahead!

Always…





Thank you to our friends Dennis and Aliison for helping to plan and execute the wedding at Four Seasons Las Vegas, along with our friends at Naakiti Floral, Alt F Photography, Memory Lane, Joy Squad, DJ Mike Fox, and Make Up in the 702 for being on hand and making Halona and Rocky’s day so wonderful.  Bridal Gown: Marisa Bridal Gown  |  Veil: Weddings by Debbie, Texas  |  Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff  |  Groomsmen: Michael Kors  |  Flower Girls & Baby: David’s Bridal