Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009 | 11:48 a.m.
“It really is the happiest day of my life,” Playboy model and The Playboy Morning Show radio host Andrea Lowell told me last night. “I started to cry during the ceremony,” groom James told me.
Andrea and James’ last-minute marriage capped an eight-year romance for the happy couple who celebrated yesterday’s Strip chapel wedding with dinner at Kerry Simon’s Palms Place restaurant Simon and then champagne and cake at The Playboy Club in the Palms.
Their relationship began when both were studying biology as their college major, and Andrea saw his papers and decided that he was as brainy as she! “He’s been so good for me,” Andrea told me contentedly. “He’s so supportive of my career, and yet keeps me right in line.
“We’ve known for a long time we were right for each other. We only started changing the relationship to make it more positively binding when we got engaged this past June, and then right after Christmas, we both decided to go for it and get married.”
I received an urgent phone call from Andrea on Monday asking me how she could get a Las Vegas wedding organized in less than two days! I recommended a few chapels and called my friends Palms mogul George Maloof and celebrity chef Kerry Simon, whose restaurant Simon is at Palms Place. Within minutes, nearly everything was set -- except now Andrea and James couldn’t get flights in or out of Las Vegas.
So the couple drove across the desert in heavy traffic with friends in a convoy of cars and by Tuesday afternoon had arrived just in time to get the wedding license and a white wedding dress for Andrea. Yesterday at lunchtime, they said their “I Do’s” at the Chapel of the Flowers and then returned to their fireplace suite at Palms Place.
Last night, Kerry set out a stunning wedding dinner in Simon. The newlyweds enjoyed blue fin tuna tartar, crispy creamy rock shrimp, macaroni and cheese gratin, bone-in filet, banana leaf halibut and a bottle of Pinot Gris. After dinner, they joined me to party with friends and family in The Playboy Club. Along with a bevy of festively costumed Playboy Bunnies, we greeted them with champagne and a beautiful wedding cake that Kerry made filled with red rose confections.
Leading lens lady Denise Truscello was there for the couple’s wedding reception photos. Andrea showed me her stunning wedding ring, and I received a big lip smack for helping organize the Las Vegas end of the trip.
Andrea summed up for me: “It truly is the happiest day of my life. It was all a last-minute rush, but it went off without a hitch. Everything ran clockwork smooth. I’m so pleased we went ahead with it, even though we thought we’d never make it here at one point. What a great party! Every time I come to Vegas in the future, I will always remember the wedding day.”
The newlyweds and their group are returning on the desert drive back to Hollywood this afternoon in time to celebrate their first New Year’s Eve as husband and wife.
“We wanted to get married to start the new decade right,” Andrea laughed.
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