Two young interns, Robert Young and Vanessa Jackson, met while working at one of Wall Street’s preeminent law firms. “One afternoon, Robert knocked on my cubicle to introduce himself,” describes Vanessa. “I recall immediately recognizing that I had just met someone incredibly special – reserved, yet confident, and discernibly one of the most intelligent people I had ever met. I remember feeling out of place at a big NYC law firm, but Robert made me feel safe and gave me confidence that I was right where I belonged.”
Though the pair didn’t start dating right away, they remained friendly for the next few years. Robert remembers, “Vanessa was unbelievably beautiful and not at all standoffish, which made her even more attractive.”
Three years later, their long-budding romance began with their first official date at restaurant hot spot Buddakan, the same location where Robert would eventually get on bended knee. “Our chemistry was undeniable, and despite working grueling hours most days, we would forego sleep for the opportunity to spend time together, cooking, talking and laughing late into the night,” confesses Vanessa. It became clear to Robert that everything he wanted out of life involved Vanessa, so with the help of her family, he planned a romantic, surprise proposal.
The couple desired a stunning, memorable style for their nuptials in Robert’s hometown of Las Vegas. They were incredibly disappointed to have had to postpone their May 2020 affair due to Covid. “In hindsight, the delay gave us more time to crystallize the vision for our wedding and really make the day as magical as we both wanted it to be,” affirms the bride.
Guests entered the elegant ceremony space through a series of jaw-dropping floral arches. The impressive entryway introduced the refined, romantic concept of the big day that featured a soft color palette of champagne, taupe, and blush. Gilt chairs faced the raised altar that was bedecked in artfully crafted floral arrangements, in addition to the garlands of blooms suspended from the ceiling. “Our guests were wowed… The florals were over-the-top, just as we’d hoped,” says Robert.
Vanessa and her father made their way down the petal-blanketed aisle arm in arm. The bride wore a feminine, fit-and-flare lace gown complemented with a cathedral veil featuring embellished appliqués. “Seeing Vanessa as a bride for the first time will live in my mind forever,” reminisces the groom.
Unbeknownst to the other, the bride and groom respectively mentioned Robert’s late father in the handwritten vows they each shared during the ceremony. Another special component was that their toddler son, Lucas, who they had after the postponement of their original wedding date, was able to take part in the day.
“Our guests were wowed… The florals were over-the-top, just as we’d hoped.”
Guests shuffled to the cocktail area where they enjoyed listening to hip-hop, R&B, and pop music played by a live violinist. Shortly after, loved ones enjoyed a sit-down dinner service followed by slices of the immaculate eight-tier wedding cake. Mirrored tables were heavily decorated with gorgeous centerpieces featuring a tall, lush mix of light pink and peach roses and ivory hydrangeas and orchids, blended with smaller bunches of similar arrangements at the base. Each place setting featured a gold-rimmed charger plate, a personalized menu, and a bouquet as a favor.
Then, the revelry began! “We wanted our reception to be a dance party,” declares the groom, who adds that they flew their DJ in from New York and curated a playlist of Top 40, hip-hop, and popular R&B, as well as a touch of bachata. “For many of our guests, this was the first significant event they’d attended in over two years, and I think the collective, pent-up desire for meaningful social interaction showed, as our wedding turned into an all-out party,” tells Robert.
Vanessa recalls all the memorable moments from the celebration. “I would be remiss to not say that the wedding planning and day all came together because of our incredible wedding designer – Andrea Eppolito – who really deserves all of the credit,” confirms the bride. “She helped us form our vision, then brought it to life and nailed the execution. She is the best of the best in the wedding-planning industry without question.”
Robert recognizes that he and Vanessa are very blessed and fortunate to have hosted an event of this magnitude. “For me, what stands out as most unique, is that our family and friends don’t necessarily come from a background or socioeconomic status that would allow them to take for granted events like our wedding, including the food, location, service, ambience, beauty, and overall attention to detail,” he reveals. “Often at luxury weddings, the guests are accustomed to that type of experience, as it’s typical of their lives. Seeing our guests being immersed in such a luxury atmosphere, knowing that it’s not necessarily customary, created a lifetime of lasting memories for not just us, but for all of our loved ones in attendance.”
This real wedding was originally published in the Winter 2023 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.
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