March 2013 archive

Ultimate Las Vegas Wedding Mix Playlist

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If you are having a budget in-suite wedding reception or even a cocktail party, one of the most popular things to do is queue up a playlist on an iPhone, iPod or other music player and let it play DJ for the night. Keeping with the Vegas theme, if your wedding is a destination affair or if you are hosting people who have come to your Vegas wedding from out of town, something fun to do is to throw in a few Vegas-y songs into the mix.

Here are some links to various different styles of Vegas themed songs on iTunes – from the very swinging retro sounds of Sinatra to the club anthems you’d hear at the newest Strip pools and bars. Something for every guest’s taste! The tracks range in price from $0.99 to $1.29.

Some hit you over the head with the Vegas theme, others are a little more subtle. Pick and choose and sprinkle a few onto your Vegas wedding reception party mix or for your next “driving to Vegas” playlist to get into the mood!

Retro

  • Elvis – Viva Las Vegas {listen}
  • Elvis – Night Life {listen}
  • Dean Martin – Ain’t That a Kick in the Head {listen}
  • New Vegas All Star Crooners – Luck be a Lady {listen}
  • Elvis - It’s Now or Never {listen}
  • Frank Sinatra – Luck Be a Lady {listen}
  • Dean Martin – You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You {listen}
  • Frank Sinatra - I Could Have Danced All Night {listen}
  • Nat “King” Cole – Stardust {listen}
  • Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – The Lady is a Tramp {listen}
  • Michael Bublé – Come Fly with Me {listen}
  • Hollywood Session Singers – Honeymoon in Vegas (All Shook Up) {listen}
  • Dixie Cups – Chapel of Love {listen}

Country

  • Faith Hill – Let’s Go to Vegas {listen}
  • Gram Parsons – Ooh Las Vegas {listen}
  • Rodney Hayden – Vegas {listen}
  • Kenny Rogers – The Gambler {listen}
  • Southern Culture on the Skids – 40 Miles to Vegas {listen}
  • Two Tons of Steel – Vegas {listen}
  • Buck Owen – Big in Vegas {listen}

Dance + EDM

  • Calvin Harris – Vegas {listen}
  • Elvis – A Little Less Conversation {listen}
  • John Legend – Sin City {listen}
  • Baby Bash (feat. Smoke Jumpers) – Vegas Nights {listen}
  • Felt - Life Vegas {listen}
  • Midi Mafia (feat. Chanel) - PHamous {listen}
  • Clubstrophobia – Vegas {listen}
  • Daft Punk – Get Lucky {listen}

Rock (Punk, Classic and otherwise)

  • Rolling Stones – Tumbling Dice {listen}
  • Wilco – Casino Queen {listen}
  • Billy Idol – White Wedding {listen}
  • Killers – Somebody Told Me {listen}
  • Motörhead – Ace of Spades {listen}
  • Steely Dan – Do It Again {listen}
  • Jimmy Ray – {listen}
  • AC/DC – Sin City {listen}
  • INXS – Pretty Vegas {listen}
  • Manafest – Married in Vegas {listen}
  • New Found Glory – Vegas {listen}
  • Sheryl Crow – Leavin’ Las Vegas {listen}
  • Davinport – Vegas {listen}
  • Brandon Flowers (of The Killers) – Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas {listen}
  • ZZ Top  – Viva Las Vegas {listen}

Pop + Top 40

  • Lady Gaga – Poker Face {listen}
  • Bone Thugs n Harmony – Vegas {listen}
  • Katy Perry – Waking Up in Vegas {listen}
  • Sara Bareilles – Vegas {listen}

Down Tempo + Classical

  • The Weeknd – Heaven or Las Vegas {listen}
  • Holly Cole – Viva Las Vegas {listen}
  • Belle Plaine – Vegas {listen}
  • Cirque du Soleil from “O” – Desert {listen}
  • Liberace – Mack the Knife (Instrumental) {listen}
  • Elvis with Marie Mai – Love Me Tender (Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva ELVIS”) {listen}

Fun, Alternative + Quirky

  • The Thrills – Your Love is Like Las Vegas {listen}
  • Size 14 – People Get Really Drunk in Las Vegas {listen}
  • Tom Waits – Straight to the Top (Vegas) {listen}
  • Richard Cheese - Fight for Your Right {listen}
  • The Clintons – Fan of the Bean {listen}
  • Gomez – Las Vegas Dealer {listen}
  • The B-52s  – Queen of Las Vegas {listen}
  • Dead Kennedys  Viva Las Vegas {listen}

With so many choices, we were bound to miss more than a few. What’s your go-to song for Las Vegas, for a wedding reception or not? Leave a comment!

Incredibly Entertaining Red, White and Black Wedding {Bellagio}

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Today’s meticulously planned wedding in red, black and white took place at the Bellagio and was photographed by Charles Le Photography. The wedding (and the bride and groom, Tanya and Paul) took complete care of their guests, entertaining them with a Cirque du Soleil performer, a “Dancing with the Stars” choreographed dance on top of delicious food  and a chocolate fountain as well as beautifully staged decor. Almost all of the work was taken care of by the staff at the Bellagio, from the floral and uplighting to the cakes and linens, after 14 months of thoughtful preparation and choice decisions made by the couple.

It was absolutely stunning, as you will see below. This one will wow you!

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I love the homage to “Crazy Girls” at the Riveria with this photo!

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Tanya and Paul chose Las Vegas as a destination wedding for a few reasons. Tanya says:

Paul and I felt that Las Vegas was like our second home. We used to travel there 3-4 times per year and felt we wanted this to be a destination wedding since all his family is in Canada and mine is in California (we made everyone travel).  We felt Bellagio was the perfect setting for us as that has always been our favorite hotel. We picked 2 of the Monet rooms as they had patios.

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I love that everything was chosen by the bride and groom from the MGM Resorts prop warehouse. It sounds like an amazing warehouse of fun – with drapery, lighting, sofas and other decor details to choose from.

Tanya writes:

MGM owns Bellagio so they were our vendors that took care of everything. We met our reception designer artist (Jim McCoy) who designs a lot of Bellagio’s projects throughout the hotel (he is amazing!) He took us “shopping” at the most amazing warehouse ever! MGM’s prop warehouse where we pretty much picked everything that we wanted in the reception hall including: couches, chairs, blinds, photo op area, patio seating, king and queen chairs, type of dance floor, tree that we hung the guest’s names for the table, etc.

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The cake was designed by Tanya and brought into reality by Bellagio pastry artists.

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The couple practiced their surprise tango routine for a year ahead of the wedding.

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And Tanya closes with a little bit of advice:

Number 1 tip for all of you getting married in Vegas: Stick within your budget as it can get out of control really fast. Our budget was $35K and it ended up costing over $100K.

But it’s so pretty! Thank you for sharing, Tanya and Paul! Congratulations on your wedding and your twins!

 – — – — –

Wedding + Reception Venue: Bellagio / Photographer: Charles Le Photography / Wedding Planner: Jim McCoy and Bellagio staff / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero / Tango Dress: Pnina Tornai replica /  Makeup + Hair: Makeup Hair Artistry by Summer Barker / Floral: Bellagio / Catering including Chocolate Fountain and Gelato Bar: Bellagio / Cake: Bellagio / Stationery: Brenna Catalana Rhodes / Linens and Lighting: Bellagio / Choreographed Tango by Bride and Groom: Tony Meredith from “So You Think You Can Dance” / Hoop Performer: Elena Lev of Cirque du Soleil / Card Magician: Bram Charles

Better Know a Vendor: Wedding Officiant Angie Kelly

Angie Kelly is a name that is synonymous with intimate, personal wedding ceremonies in the Las Vegas area. She has a unique angle and reason for making wedding ceremonies as memorable as possible. Her passion comes based on a reason that may surprise you!

She performs wedding ceremonies all over the Las Vegas area – from the tops of hotels in the most extravagant of suites to exotic gardens to the desert landscape. And she prides herself on providing intimate, personal wedding ceremonies to couples she may not have even met face to face!

In this interview the wonderfully warm “Doctor of Matrimony” explains why she loves learning about new wedding customs and culture, why she uses Pinterest to “stalk” her clients and what makes HER heart beat a little faster…


For those readers out there who may not know who you are, please introduce yourself and Peachy Keen Unions!

Hi there, I’m wedding officiant Angie Kelly, owner of Peachy Keen Unions in Las Vegas! I specialize in performing contemporary marriage ceremonies. I am the wedding minister for modern-day couples!

Are you originally from Las Vegas?

Uniquely I am; which has given me an advantage within the industry. I’ve watched the evolution of Vegas weddings since I was a child and am thrilled to embrace my home town as the wedding capital of the world!

How many years have you been in business and how did you initially get into officiating?

Peachy Keen Unions was established two years ago after gritting my teeth during my own marriage ceremony. My husband and I experienced the regret of not having a ceremony that best represented our viewpoints on love and marriage. I am a very passionate, cultured and open-minded individual…who left the altar underwhelmed and a bit embarrassed. Not only did I vow to my hubby that day, but I also made the promise that no bride would feel this way under my watch…here I am, a couple hundred weddings later, with several awards under my belt!

What were you doing before you got into performing wedding ceremonies?

For several years I worked as a private flight attendant traveling internationally, which is where my interest for (wedding) customs and traditions spawned from. Prior to becoming an ordained minister, I work in social services. The day I started Peachy Keen Unions was the day I stopped consulting for various mental health practices in the valley.

Is there any time of year that is particularly busy for you?

In Vegas, weddings are performed seven days a week! I try to stay under 30 hours a week, but March-July are off the charts!

What is your preferred way to work with clients – email, in person, telephone?

I keep odd hours, so routine communication is done via email. However, for custom wedding ceremonies, I need to see the engaged couple’s chemistry to really get a sense of who they are together. So my consultations are done in person or through Skype (for international or out-of-state clients).

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Ms. Kelly tweaks the wording of a ceremony. Photo: Taylored Photo Memories

I know you pride yourself on providing as personal a ceremony as you can. What is the process like for fine tuning a script with the couple, especially if you’ve never met them before?

You’re correct; the key to my job is representing personal love stories! That task usually means reducing a 3, 5, or 10 year history down to an 8 minute narrative nestled amongst the legal verse and traditions we all come to expect. During the consultation, I look for relationship themes and brainstorm creative elements – always conscious of getting emotional “buy in” from guests to prevent monotony. To achieve this, I also exchange questionnaires with the couple post consultation…plus, I stalk their Pinterest boards to see what I might have missed!

I am most proud of my early business decision to provide clients with a draft copy of their ceremony in advance. I encourage couples to make edits, ensuring I’m conveying the perfect tone for them. It is not my marriage, so my beliefs are immaterial; I think having this stance is what sets me apart.

Do you have a favorite Vegas venue to officiate at? Do you perform ceremonies all over Las Vegas?

My heart throbs to have a barefoot groom on a boulder at Red Rock, watching as his gowned bride walks towards him while an acoustic guitar plays in the background. Equally, I love walking through an unexpected venue (museum, school yard, dirt lot) as it prepares to transform and hold 200 guests whose energy will feed me for days!

It’s always exciting to encounter high-quality production elements coupled with an intimate ceremony setting. I feel the Mandarin Oriental encapsulates that best and has stellar service. I perform ceremonies of all sorts in all spaces; everything from houseboats to penthouses (love the one at the Trump International Hotel)!

In addition to performing wedding ceremonies, what other services do you offer?

I perform commitment ceremonies and vow renewals too – they are handled in the same process as a typical wedding. So, though they are slightly different, I view them as an almost identical service.

Different states have different legalities for ceremonies. Should a couple be unable to find an officiant back home that fits their style, or maybe they desire a friend to officiate, I help them by offering my writing services. We go through the consultation process all the same but, instead of me performing the ceremony, we use my time to “coach” their designee. My words, their delegate. It is a wonderful option for couples who are DIY but have no clue where to start or how the formalities occur.

 As a hidden value, I provide ceremony “design” advice if my clients desire assistance. I am not a wedding coordinator or planner, but it is nice to collaborate on chair positioning, ceremony lighting, processional, microphone selection, music timing, etc. All those choices influence the ceremony’s ambiance.

Do you have a favorite style of wedding to officiate at?

I have been immersed in “cultural fusion” ceremonies lately and I hope they keep coming my way. Fusion ceremonies are when my bride and groom have different cultural or religious upbringings and we represent them both at the altar. Having the families acceptance and seeing all the components adapt is a challenge which gives me great reward.

What is the one thing you wish couples wedding in Vegas knew?

If you’re having a minister come into your hotel room for an quick elopement, TIDY YOUR ROOM!

And of course, a few fun questions:

On a typical Sunday you are usually….canning food and couponing. Or reading work email in the car while my hubby wants me to rock-out to his iPod playlists. What exciting past times!

If you weren’t an officiant, you’d probably be…a venue owner. It will happen one day, just need a few acres on the outskirts of town. Investors welcomed!


Wow, thank you Angie! Her approach to weddings and her dedication to the actual wedding ceremony are incredibly inspiring. I love how she is so conscious of weaving various wedding cultures and traditions together with others to make a truly memorable and important ceremony.

It is worth mentioning that Angie’s Twitter feed is highly entertaining and interesting to read as she prepares her couples and herself for wedding ceremonies, and great for insight into the Vegas wedding industry. Love it!

Modern Engagement Shoot {Aria}

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Etambuyu & Noah got engaged after meeting at college in Idaho. Because the groom-to-be is from Las Vegas, the couple hooked up with with Rachel from Brilliant Imagery for some engagement photos around the water wall feature at ARIA and then headed downtown for some more sweet engagement photos. Their plan is to have a wedding in California followed by a honeymoon in Africa. So exotic!

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Better Know a Vendor: Scheme Events

I’m super excited to present today’s Better Know a (Vegas) Vendor interview because you are getting three for the price of one! The three powerhouse ladies at Scheme Events: Traci, Rissa and Tara, were kind enough to answer a few questions about themselves and their abilities and services, which really run the gamut and are not just limited to weddings. From planning birthday parties to intimate engagements or full ballroom wedding events, they specialize in personalized event planning, in Nevada and elsewhere.

But without further delay, I’ll let Team Scheme take it away!

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Rissa, Tara and Traci of Scheme Events / photo: chelsea nicole

LVW: For those readers out there who may not know who you are, please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about Scheme Events.

Scheme Events is a trio of talented Las Vegas wedding and event planners. We bring a contemporary sense of style and design to weddings and events. We find inspiration in everything from rustic hanging bistro lights to an avant-garde ballroom; a succulent desert experience to a glamorous Gatsby soirée; custom crafted backdrops to a lace antique gown. We listen to your wants and needs to design a personalized event. The three of us want to create a lasting friendship with you that extends beyond the planning process.

 Are you originally from Las Vegas?

Traci: No, I am actually originally from Kansas. “There is no place like home.” I have been a Las Vegas local for almost four years now and loving every second of it!

Rissa: No, I was born in Vancouver, Canada and age seven I moved to the Salt Lake City area. I have been in Las Vegas for seven lucky years.

Tara: Originally from Orange County California and moved to Las Vegas with my family 16 years ago! I still dream about the sand and the sun.

 How many years have you been in business and how did you get into event planning?

Scheme Events has been in business for three years. Each of us came from a different background, and graduated from different universities across the country. We all attended an extensive certification course in Wedding Coordination and Design. Following the class we decided to join forces and brain power to start Scheme Events together.

What were you doing before you got into planning, and how did the three of you come to work together?

Traci: I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors in Strategic Communication and a Bachelors in American Studies. I moved to Las Vegas in July of 2009 and realized I wanted to work in weddings and events and began the certification course where I met these two amazing ladies!

Tara: I went to UNLV and studied Meetings and Events Management while working at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. I learned the ins and outs of concerts and large conventions and then became the Sales Manager at Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar where I gained experience in food service and banquets. I met the girls through the certification course we took together.

Rissa: Before owning Scheme, I graduated from UNLV in Meetings and Events Management while working at Fountainebleau. I previously worked in events for a local non-profit organization and managed a small business. I used these various experiences to collaborate with Tara and Traci.

What is your preferred way to work with clients – email, in person, telephone? 

We communicate with clients however it is easiest for them. Many clients find it easiest to email as they are in different time zones, overseas and in different countries so the time difference is hard to reach us by phone. However, if the client likes to call us, they have our office and cell phone numbers so they are able to call us or text us when they have questions or need something.

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photo: studio n

What is it that makes a Scheme Event a Scheme Event?

A Scheme Event is really up to the couple. We love to “scheme” with them and make their wedding a reflection of who they are as a couple.

Do you have a favorite Vegas venue?

We love unique venues and are always on the search for the next new place, but we search for a venue that is a perfect fit for the couple and love working at where they choose to have their wedding.

Where do you find your daily inspiration?

Traci: I am inspired by my closet. I shop often and very likely have a shopping addiction, but when I open my eyes in the morning. My inspiration is immediately drawn through what I wear, whether it be more rocker chic, bold patterns or colors or just jeans and a band tshirt. I am inspired.

Tara: Home décor stores! I window shop quite often, it really is just an excuse to shop.

Rissa: I am inspired by unique food and beverage presentation. Coming up with new ways to present food and beverage is something I always look for.

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the overall trends people are choosing for their wedding events in the past few years, from “offbeat” to rustic and so on. Do you see any big trends popping up for 2013?

We think that Art Deco will be a huge. With the style of the cakes and colors, it is looking to be a great 2013 trend. Honeycomb patterns and graphics will also be a huge trend in the near future… keep an eye out for it.

Are there any themes you find particularly timeless?

A traditional all white wedding is always going to be beautiful and timeless no matter what the year.

What is the most challenging task you were asked to produce for a wedding?

We were asked to plan a wedding in the middle of a dry lakebed! Such a cool idea and we planned the entire thing around the weather being flawless and perfect.When April rolled around and their wedding day came, it was W-I-N-D-Y, ok let’s be real…70 miles per hour winds! We drove out to the dry lake bed to meet the rental companies and begin setting up; we were then told that they were unable to unload the trucks due to the high wind speeds, nothing would stay in place. We had to completely recreate the feel of the wedding in a warehouse. The couple still said ‘I Do’ out at the dry lakebed with several of their guests in attendance and came to the warehouse for their reception and partied all night long… where there was no wind.

 What is the one thing you wish couples wedding in Vegas knew?

It is hot in the summer! If you are looking at tying the knot in June through August, make sure the ceremony and reception are inside, or reconsider. Your guests will be miserable if they are sitting outside sweating.

Looking back, I really wish I had incorporated some form of planner for my event – and it was just 40 guests! Why do you think brides and grooms who have not considered using your services should reconsider? 

There are always going to be questions the day of your wedding. Do you want everyone asking these questions calling your phone and asking them while you are trying to get ready, take pictures, etc? We take care of that for you. We let the vendors know to contact us if they have any questions… not the bride and groom.

Favorite part of the wedding day?

Traci: The toasts! I love watching guests enjoy stories about both the bride and groom.

Tara: Watching the groom when the bride walks down the aisle.

Rissa: Seeing the first look. I always try to sneak-a-peek when this is happening.

Where can we see more of your work? 

You can view more work at http://www.schemeevents.com or http://www.schemeevents.com/blog. Stop by and see us!

 And some fun questions…

On a typical Sunday I am usually…. but I’d rather be …

Traci: If it is after a wedding, I am hopefully getting a manicure and pedicure!

If you weren’t an event planner, you’d probably be:

Tara: Probably something really boring; I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing!

Favorite place for breakfast:

Rissa: My kitchen—when my husband makes breakfast crepes!!

Tara: The Grand Lux café at the Venetian.

Last book you read:

Rissa: Does this mean the last book I completed?? I currently have 4 books on my nighstand that I’m in the process of reading…but that process has lasted months and months. Usually I’m a speed reader but I haven’t had much spare time to catch up on leisure reading!

Coffee or tea?

Traci: It depends! I switch back and forth so often. I drink coffee religiously for a couple months and then drink tea for a couple of months. Overall, I think iced tea is my favorite of all time though!


Thank you so much ladies!  It bears mentioning that the Scheme Events portfolio and blog are amazing. The portfolio (organized by color!) offers a snapshots of the event that paint a picture of what they are able to do.

Their blog, which is not just limited to photos of their events, is absolutely inspiring, even if you are not thinking about planning a wedding. These women have their fingers on the pulse of trends – not just in event planning and weddings, but fashion, decor and more, and this comes out in their very personal blog posts, and are excellent resources to use.

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