Andrea Eppolito Events is nothing short of a household name in the luxury wedding industry, planning and executing incredible celebrations for the most discerning clientele. We recently asked the Las Vegas-based event planner to share more about her methods, inspiration, planning ideas, and advice for couples who are in the midst of planning their own dream wedding.
GO: How would you describe your wedding planning style?
A: I exist to create extraordinary experiences for extraordinary people. To do that, I need to bend the universe to my will; or, rather, to my client’s will so I can create an environment built to their whims. To ensure that people walk away saying this was the best wedding they have ever been to, I walk through the experience in the same way a guest would.
I am absolutely a sensory planner. From a design perspective, I am constantly asking myself what guests will experience at each touch point. What is it they see? What do they smell, touch, and taste? What sounds will they hear and when? How do these elements come together to move the guests though the day? And what do they convey about my couple’s love story? Everything I introduce into a space has to have a specific function. I require that each element engages the guests in some way. If an item doesn’t serve a purpose, I remove it.
As much as I care about the pretty, I am also deeply invested in the process. A beautiful wedding is a beautiful wedding, but my clients must experience joy from beginning to end. It’s imperative that I take care of my couple and their family while we work. The planning process must be as exciting and joyful as the wedding itself. I’m invited into people’s lives to create a party, and that feeling of exuberance and excitement needs to be carried by my couple from the beginning to the end of the wedding.
GO: What are some of your favorite aspects of planning a couple’s big day?
A: Every couple I meet has a love story unlike any other. Each one has these intimate moments that they have shared with one another, and the vulnerability of the process is just really magical to me. I love how hopeful engaged couples are, how willing they are to put themselves out there, and I love how committed my couples are to transforming spaces. Together, we make the world a more beautiful place, one wedding at a time.
GO: What is your opinion on wedding trends vs classic décor?
A: I believe weddings should be both timely and timeless. We are a heritage brand; and creating something that lasts matters to me. I want my weddings to serve as generational benchmarks for my couples and their families. The images have to look good 20, 30, and 50 years from now. I always start with a classic base, and then I layer in edgier elements and a few fashion-forward pieces to stop the space from feeling stale. But I always, always revert to the classics.
GO: What wedding details are often overlooked when planning a wedding and designing the décor?
A: Services that engage your guests, like lavender scented towels, a shoeshine, or French table side service are often overlooked as extras and unnecessary; but any time you create an opportunity for people to interact and feel pampered, it elevates the experience.
When designing the decor, so many people forget how easy it is to fabricate things today. Whether it’s furniture or tables, wall units or flooring options, the ability to create something in your mind and have it made for one event is out there. I’ve commissioned everything from faux walls to floating cake displays, runways, and even custom couches and tabletops. These things stop a wedding from looking cookie cutter and allow you to really create an environment that makes sense.
GO: What transforms a “standard” wedding into a memorable, luxury event?
A: Luxury is never about money. Luxury is all about exclusivity and intention. Anything personal feels luxurious and transformative. Anticipate what your guests would appreciate at any given moment, and then give those things to your guests before they ask for them. For example, if you are getting married outside when it may be hot, provide your guests with beautiful paper fans. Or if you are hosting a late night wedding with an open bar, prepare snack bags and offer greasy food for when your guests are going to have the midnight munchies. Generally, everything and anything thoughtful is a luxury. Even handwritten personal notes left for the guests at their tables feel memorable and very upscale.
GO: What can a couple expect when working with you as their wedding planner?
A: First and foremost, our connection is absolute. I only work with a handful of couples each year, which allows me to get to know my clients very deeply. Every phone call is answered by me. I respond, personally, to every email, every text message, and every DM. I want my couples to feel incredibly coddled and taken care of. To that end, I am always reaching out and scheduling little “How are you doing?” meetings and calls.
Lastly, my couples need to know that I am going to push them. It’s so important to me to make this process feel fun, but it’s also my job to challenge my couples to dig deep and really think about who they are and what they want.
GO: Do you have any advice for couples who are going through the wedding planning process?
A: As exciting as it is to want to share your wedding plans, I recommend keeping as many details private as possible. By limiting the number of people you share with, you remove the unnecessary opinions and drama that come with “planning by committee”. So many things in life are overshared, and there are very few things out there that can surprise and delight us. This is your opportunity to do something for the people you love! By keeping some of the details a secret, you increase the wow factor for your guests, and you preserve the intimacy of the experience for you and your fiancé.