Denise Vasi, star of VH1’s hit series Single Ladies, is officially off the market. The gorgeous Puerto Rican, Dominican and Greek model-turned-actress married acclaimed celebrity photographer/music video director Anthony Mandler (Shakira, Beyoncé) last October. A month before she got hitched, we tagged along for the Brooklyn native’s bridal shower in New York City. Cheers to being a single lady no more and be sure to catch the show Mondays at 9 pm EST on VH1.
Vasi boards a flight from Atlanta, where she’s shooting Single Ladies, to New York. “For Raquel, my character, there is a huge turning point this season,” says the 30-year-old actress of her role as a hopeless romantic in Atlanta’s sizzling social scene. “What you will see from her is a definitive answer about how she wants to live her life. And she’ll follow through with it.”
After you’ve just flown to NYC on no sleep, what do you do? Buy shoes! Vasi makes a beeline straight to Saks Fifth Avenue to pick up a few (or five) possible shoe options for her wedding. Vasi still needs an outfit for her bridal shower later that night. “I didn’t have anything to wear to my bridal shower because I have been on this crazy work schedule and wedding planning all at the same time.” Luckily, she manages to find the perfect outfit—a black pencil skirt and ivory peplum top with black pumps—in about an hour.
A Family Affair
Vasi meets her mom, Maria, at Kleinfeld Bridal for her final dress fitting before the big day. She adds a bunch of ruffles to her Mark Zunino-designed dress. “When I went to pick my wedding dress, everyone had to come,” she says. “It was my mom, my grandmother, my two aunts, my cousin. They all had to be there and I think that speaks very much to our Latin culture in that we all like to do things together.”
Vasi arrives at her bridal shower, hosted by her friend Victoria Flores, on her Chelsea apartment building’s beautiful rooftop, with the New York City skyline as a backdrop. The intimate gathering of 20 includes family and Vasi’s closest friends. “Honestly, when me and my fiancé got engaged, we were in Greece and we thought it would be so nice to get married right then and there,” she says. “I thought that’s totally my style because I wasn’t the girl who grew up planning her wedding from six years old. But I couldn’t rob my family of that experience.”
Shine Bright Like a Diamond
The night’s highlight: Vasi’s mother gives her a beautiful diamond necklace she plans to wear down the aisle. Mandler, her fiancé, arrives just in time for the games portion, which includes a quiz in which the couple answer questions about each other. Vasi scores 14 out of 18—not bad. The shower is a great success. The bride-to-be’s only complaint: she didn’t have enough time to post many pictures on Instagram.
After the shower, Vasi and girlfriends head over to Meatpacking District hot spot Catch. The ladies exchange old stories and laughs over a medley of cocktails. Yet the night ends promptly at 10 p.m. Vasi needs some shut-eye!