“Andre are I are both entrepreneurs in hair care and wellness,” shares Riqua Hailes, founder of Just Extensions hair – a collection of luxury extension salons in Los Angeles. “We randomly met when I stopped in his business to use the restroom. After that visit, he found me on social media and sent me a DM. I think DMs are corny and I initially didn’t pay him any attention; but he says he knew I was the one and handled our relationship as such since that day.”
The proposal was a picture-perfect moment that took place on “Proposal Bridge” in Aspen during a sleigh ride. Riqua’s realtor friend happened to be in Aspen at the same time, so she was able to capture photos and videos when Andre popped the question. Although Riqua typically wears her hear short and dark, she was donning a blond wig from an earlier photoshoot, which fit perfectly with the magical backdrop and scenery.
"The proposal was a picture-perfect moment"
Planning a Wedding in Three Months
Riqua and Andre’s wedding planning process was a whirlwind, especially with the pandemic still affecting travel and limiting the number of people who could attend events. Against all odds, the couple succeeded in planning a wedding in three months, thanks to the assistance of two wedding planners. Their guest list started off with 50 people, which was the maximum number permitted for their location; but that number soon changed to 150, requiring special permitting and three tour buses to transport everyone to and from the Las Vegas Strip.
A Dry Lake Bed Elopement
The couple’s ceremony location was at Dry Lake Bed in Nevada, which beautifully set the vibe and tone for the day. Although guests were present, they still experienced the ambiance of a Dry Lake Bed elopement, with its secluded location, intimate setting, and simple yet elegant décor scheme.
“I felt more than just love,” Riqua describes. “Andre and I really like and respect each other and have dated for the past five years. We worked with a team of people who really executed their task, and I felt relaxed and excited about our new life together. After recently losing my mother, Andre's support and love during that tragic time elevated my love and respect for our relationship and I was ready to say my ‘I do's.’”
A Wedding Reception at Waldorf Astoria
For a dramatic change from their wedding ceremony location, the newlyweds and their guests partied it up back in Las Vegas with a wedding reception at Waldorf Astoria. Since it was a late-night reception during Memorial Day weekend, guests were treated to comfort food favorites including a burger and fry station, a taco station, open bar, mini wedding cakes, and fresh warm cookies.
“Andre’s garter performance was the most talked about and humorous moment of the night,” Riqua adds. “And it was recorded! As a stand-up comedian, he absolutely put on a show and the crowd went wild!”
The next afternoon, everyone met up again for a daytime cabana party at the Aria Hotel, allowing Riqua and Andre some extra time to mingle and catch up with their guests.
A Honeymoon in Jamaica
After the wedding festivities, the newlyweds jetted off for a honeymoon in Jamaica, staying at the Gem Jam resort.
“We started our honeymoon wanting to relax,” says Riqua. “We toured the Blue Lagoon, enjoyed spa services, and isolation. For fun, we stopped in Miami and enjoyed a private yacht and more spa treatments at the 1 Hotel South Beach – our favorite go-to hotel.”
Ceremony Location: Eldorado Dry Lake Bed, NV; Reception Venue: Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV; Photography: Samantha Jacob Photography; Dress: Galia Lahav