You never know who you will meet—or when. Three years ago, Lauren handled the deal that put my husband and I into new cars. During the deal, as I gave her my card, she said, “Wow! A wedding planner. I’ll be calling you when I decide to get married.”

And now, just as my lease term came up, the phone rang. Lauren wasn’t trying to put me in another Lexus, she was trying to close a deal of her own! Just eight months after meeting Erika, another retired veteran, she just knew. The way you know. And when she did, she called me.

I had barely one week to put together the proposal of a lifetime. We devised a plan to get Erika all dressed up for a faux award ceremony. We wrangled the ring, booked the space, adorned it with roses, candles, and a stunning free formed structure under which I set Lauren.

We told Erika that Lauren was needed for honoree photos. She waited patiently while we got Lauren ready. Moments later, I went to fetch Erika, telling her that Lauren asked her to join the rest of the panel in a photo. We chatted as we crossed the pathway about their service, their businesses, and their altruism.

Just before I opened the door for her, I adjusted the strap on her dress. She looked at me and said, “Thank you, but I don’t think anyone is going to care what I look like!” I smiled, opened the door, and then this happened.

After Erika and Lauren took photos beneath their arch, on the strip, and in a private room called The Edge at the top of the Mandarin Oriental. For now, the two are simply enjoying being engaged. They will start wedding planning soon and hope to tie the knot in 2019.

—Andrea Eppolito, Andrea Eppolito Events

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Photographer: Fabio and Adri

Floral Designer: Flora Couture 

Reception Venue: Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Lighting: LED Unplugged 

Event Planner: Andrea Eppolito Events 

Second Shooter: Fabio and Adri

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