I’m going to let planner Andrea Eppolito share her experience in planning this Las Vegas wedding – it’s one of the most elaborate and unique weddings I’ve ever photographed, but with one of the most down to earth couples. I mean….mermaids and floating cake!!
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“What is the one thing you have always wanted to do, that you have never done?” Joti asked on our first phone call.
“I want to float a wedding cake in water, and have it brought to the side of the pool by two mermaids.” I replied.
“You’re hired. Let’s do that.”
And off we set to create a whimsical wedding complete with larger than life bird cages, edible cocktail, white and gold velvet chairs, and….yes…a floating cake.
Joti and Field came from two seemingly different worlds. She is Indian, and the head of a large restaurant business. Field is Serbian and in politics. Yet when they came together, their worlds blended seamlessly. With an avid love of travel, strong work ethics, and a shared passion for food and entertaining, Joti and Field have hosted the most incredible parties in their home during their years together. When they decided to wed, running off to Las Vegas was an easy decision. Not only would the destination wedding keep the guest list in check, but they city itself provided unlimited opportunities for their guests to turn the wedding into a mini vacation that offered food, shopping, shows, and gaming.
From the beginning, Joti and Field were adamant that the wedding be planned with the guests in mind. “I hate being the center of attention,“ Joti told me. “I really want everything to be about the people we love, instead of about us.”
I love this! I always approach a wedding from the guest perspective , and layer in all the elements that they will experience. What does the space look like? How does it feel? What are the smells, sights, and sounds that they will be treated to?
A floating cake requires water, and for foodies like these I needed a venue that would do literally anything they asked for. It became clear early on that only the Four Seasons would do. Not only was a the outdoor space an oasis away from the desert, with a curvaceous pool and waterfall features, but I knew that the culinary team would work side by side with my epicureans to ensure that all of their foods – from the Western offerings to the cultural items – were on point.
Having a bride put total and complete faith in me was thrilling. I allowed my imagination to run wild, and assembled an all star team of creatives that worked for over a year on a few crazy thoughts I had been playing with. First, I was having a Phantom of the Opera moment and really wanted to add chandeliers and light to our pool. Sadly, you cannot legally have glass or electric power near water in Las Vegas. Something silly about not electrocuting people and keeping them safe! Kevin of LED Unplugged loved the idea, however, no crated a collection of hand wield acrylic chandeliers and pendants that we were able to hang. They were lit by spotlights and battery operated vortices, and were everything I could have asked for; never taking away from the cake, but kissing the water with a touch of light.
My friend and partner at Destinations by Design, Ashley, had been playing with these large, free standing birdcages. Wrapped in flowing ribbon and strong enough to support hanging chandeliers and florals, these structures activated Joti and became the inspiration for her luxe Ceci New York wedding invitations. Hand wrapped in ombré ribbon which held delicate feathers, and featuring a tag which read “A simple hello….” these origami masterpieces were the most fun that Joti had in the process. We worked side by side with Ceci team, each version taking on more and more detail, and more meaning. This was a masterpiece that would certainly not be discarded, but treasured. In fact, many guests actually carried it with them to the wedding.
We wanted the ceremony to feel pristine and very clean. The ultimate in bridal romance, we worked with beautiful white on white color palette. We added texture with wooden tables and small orbs of glass filled with blush roses. Golden accents were abound, a nod to the bride’s Indian heritage.
On the day of the wedding, Joti and Field got ready in different rooms in their suite at The Cosmopolitan. Joti, in her lace Berta wedding gown with pearls falling down the back, looked stunning as she waited for Field, who was dapper in his beautiful blue tuxedo. As they pulled out of the garage, the skies opened, and rain began to fall. My phone rang, “Is it really raining on my wedding day?” Joti asked. “Nope,” I lied. “No rain at all.” It would stop. It had to….
And moments later, it did. A team of nearly 40 wiped down furniture, dried the floor, and reset florals as guests began to enter the Fountain Terrace. They were greeted with Molecular Cocktails, little bits of alcoholic delights courtesy of The Grand Bevy. Joti and Field were there, welcoming their guests, giving kisses, enjoying the beautiful, clear skies.
In a move that could only feel organic in Las Vegas, the couple hosted their cocktail hour before their wedding ceremony. Once the bride and groom had spent time with each guest, making them feel welcomed and loved, they nodded to me, signaling that they would like to begin. The guests gathered round, some taking their seats in the open air bird cages, while others perched on benches and couches. Field led Joti up through the crowd to the center of the space and there, in front of the fountains of the Four Seasons, the two exchanged vows under a chandelier dripping with flowers.
They shared their first kiss as husband and wife to the thunderous applause of their family and friends. Now, it was time to party! Our newlyweds lead guests around the pool though a path lined with trees, which opened up onto the pool deck. There, guests found tables dressed in white flutter linens. Surrounded by gold rimed chairs and topped with jewel toned florals, we gave a nod to the bride’s Indian heritage. Across the pool we built a stunning, deco inspired bridge that allowed guests to move from one side of the space to another. It also served as the dance floor upon which our newlyweds shared their first dance to – who else – Elvis.
After the dancing was complete, Joti and Field invited their guests to dine from a series of stations which were set to their exact specifications. There was traditional Indian fare, of course, but also a western style carving station, sliders, and a taco truck. Everyone ate, and drank, and danced. Toasts were made throughout the evening, and friends performed traditional dances to the delight of the crowd.
When it was finally time to cut the cake – and yes! That cake was real! – two mermaids pushed it to the edge of the pool, presenting it to Joti and Field! A removable top layer was brought to the bride and groom, while sliced it and lovingly fed one another before our mermaids pushed the cake around the edges, giving all guests a chance to see it, touch it, and pose with it.
Technically the party was set to end at 11, but I sweat we still had a full house at 1 AM! With DJ A Plus performing for the crowd, I wasn’t surprised! Still, we had to wrap up some time, and we sent the guests back to the Cosmopolitan for late night Secret Pizza in-suite.
Each and every photo from Joti and Field’s wedding is pure perfection. Not a detail was missed, no sense overlooked, and – most importantly – each and every person that made their way to Las Vegas spent time with the bride and groom. They were catered to, coddled, and loved…As they should be!
Joti and Field’s destination wedding will forever be remembered. Not for the floating cake and candles and mermaids (although you have to admit they were crazy cool!) but for the fact that these two put their absolute faith in me, and gave me a chance to do something utterly wild, wildly romantic, and romantically beautiful. I think of them always, love them to death, and thank them for giving me a once in a lifetime kind of experience!”