Nikki and Alex’s Flood Mansion Wedding was an absolute feast for the eyes and soul. This, of course, came as no surprise to me. When I first met Nikki and Alex, we connected immediately. Both were avid lovers of design and fashion and not only wanted to throw a beautiful wedding, but have an incredible party. We also had already done an editorial style Fairmont Penthouse engagement session. Fortunately, my good friend Shaunte Dittmar was able to come down for the weekend from Tahoe to work along side me for this spectacular event.
The celebration began with an intimate welcome dinner on the eve of the wedding hosted at the Fairmont Kennedy Penthouse Suite. The guests were treated to multiple food stations themed around some of Nikki and Alex’s favorite cuisines. After dinner, family and friends gathered in the main living room for toasts and musical performances.
The following morning, the wedding party got ready in the Fairmont Penthouse. Nikki and Alex sequestered themselves to separate areas of the Presidential Suite. The morning started calmly and quietly, Alex penning some last minute notes and Nikki having breakfast with her son. In another room, bridesmaids slowly trickled in to have their hair and makeup done. Soon the rest of the guys arrived to get ready. Soon minutes felt like seconds as the tempo of the day sped up. Cloudy skies gave way to sun and by the time Nikki and Alex were dressed and loading up the limo, the sky was blue.
In spite of weather reports threatening rain, the ceremony was staged in the courtyard of Flood Mansion. Floral arrangements elegantly softened up the austere exterior of the mansion. A pre-ceremony drink station served up some signature cocktails as guests entered. Alex came out to greet the guests. Meanwhile, Nikki and her entourage made their way up the stairs and stole a glimpse of the action below. Guests got seated and the musical change indicated that their Flood Mansion wedding was about to begin. Alex walked down the aisle with his mom followed by the family sponsors. September Song, by Agnes Obel faded away to Bon Iver’s Holocene as the wedding party processed down the aisle. Finally the crowd stood as Always Remember Me, by Ry Cummings & Sara Bareilles began playing. Nikki appeared by herself beyond the gated entrance to the courtyard. All eyes fell on her as she made her way to the center aisle and greeted her parents who were there waiting. The three walked down the aisle while Alex waited as his beautiful bride moved ever closer. The ceremony, officiated by Alex’s uncle, included some traditional touches such as readings, a candle ceremony (where they fought the winds a little bit), and a veil/cord ceremony. Partway through, Alex and Nikki presented their mothers with roses as a symbol of their love and gratitude. After saying their “I Dos” the newlyweds made their way down the aisle, celebrating with their friends and family. Flood Mansion wedding receptions are typically held in the great hall–a grand, central space that runs the length of the mansion. At the end of the hall is a floor to ceiling bay window that delivers a breath taking view across the bay. A renown pianist, Antonio Gastillo de la Gala, was positioned at this point providing a musical backdrop to the evening’s dinner. As dusk turned to night, the party moved into the adjacent room for Nikki and Alex’s first dance. Before the wedding, Nikki told me that ballroom dancing held a special place in the hearts of her and her father. There was no choreographed dance–they simply improvised as her father led and it was beautiful! After Alex and his mother shared the floor, everyone else joined in as the energy kicked up another notch. I don’t often stay for the after party, but Nikki and Alex wanted no part of the story left untold. When the official Flood Mansion wedding came to a close, Shaunte and I jumped on the party bus and continued on at the Matrix. After catching their collective breaths over a couple more drinks, the music charged up the remaining party-goers as they closed out the night.