Destination DIY weddings make my heart go pitter-patter, so it just about exploded when Gaby J Photography contacted me about Scott and Sarah’s Vegas wedding. Just 16 guests were invited to the couple’s incredibly stylish and personal in-suite ceremony and restaurant reception, where much of the design and ideas were conceived and created by them.
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, the thoughtful details Sarah and Scott included in their intimate wedding are astounding, including Sarah’s vintage-inspired Sue Wong gown, a choreographed dance routine and an amazing art deco cake. Even the venues were thoughtfully chosen with the theme in mind. The vintage dining style of The Barrymore and The Laundry Room, a private speakeasy bar inside Commonwealth, kept the Gatsby-esque wedding going well into the night.
Why Sarah and Scott chose Las Vegas
We had an intimate wedding and we really wanted to pick a location that was easy to get to from all over the US and could act as our wedding venue! Vegas was perfect because it allowed Vegas to be the venue and us to hop around town. We felt less responsible for making sure everyone was entertained because… it’s Vegas!
Why they chose “The Great Gatsby” for their theme
We felt a Vegas wedding was the perfect excuse for a theme. I am a librarian and Scott and I always felt very fascinated by the roaring 20s and art deco design. “The Great Gatsby” is a book on decadence and lavishness, not the most romantic book actually, but one of our favorite novels. Plus, if there is one time to be lavish, isn’t it your wedding? We felt like celebrating literature and our love, plus everyone looks so great in 1920s clothes!! Scott really wanted all the men in bow-ties.
The Ceremony – Venetian Prima Suite
The ceremony set up in the Venetian Suite was one of the scarier aspects of our wedding! The Venetian doesn’t “allow” weddings in the suites and we had to be a little sneaky about it. Our family drove all of the flowers and decorations in a van and our guests helped us move everything to our room without having the help of bellboys. We were worried our cover would be blown if the maid service or bellboys saw the room decorated.
The Venetian Prima Suite was huge and we booked the room for the day before the wedding and the wedding day. We spent a few hours early the day before the wedding moving the furniture into the bedroom we didn’t need for the ceremony. It took some time rearranging before we checked out, but it was surprisingly easy.
The room had enough seating for all of our 16 guests! We didn’t need to rent or borrow anything. Even the altar was a console table in the room. It all turned out perfectly. I made the aisle runner so it would look more like a wedding than a hotel suite.
We had a Jewish ceremony and two of our friends read poems “I carry your heart with me” by E.E. Cummings and “Touched by an Angel” by Maya Angelou. Our cousin Michael played “Canon in D” on the guitar while I walked down the aisle. Afterwards we toasted with champagne! Very Gatsby. It was a beautiful and meaningful ceremony. Having it in our hotel suite made the space feel very sacred because it was also our room for our wedding night.
Our wedding dance! We went to secret private dance lessons (with choreographer Gigi Burton) and did a two song routine with rumba, swing, and the lindy hop. We found the perfect spot in the Venetian and just busted it out. Only a few people knew and we just blew everyone away. It was such an amazing feeling and a relief when it was over – we were so worried we would mess up and fall because we were in our wedding clothes for the first time!
The Reception – The Barrymore and The Laundry Room|
Let me tell you, I contacted about 50 places but my mom found The Barrymore. We wanted somewhere classic, vintage, and intimate: The Barrymore was just right. They only have room for 50 people at a time and had amazing prices on pri-fixe menus. The pictures looked amazing online and we just trusted their event coordinator Heather with all of the details. The cake was AMAZING and the food beyond delicious. We are so happy we chose them.
Afterwards, we reserved the private speakeasy inside Commonwealth called The Laundry Room for two hours of open bar. All of the drinks were 1920s inspired and they allowed us to play music on the sound system that Scott and his best man Chris had curated. After our stay there was over we just wandered down to the Fremont Experience dancing and taking pictures. This is what Vegas is about.
Scott and Sarah’s #1 tip for other couples planning a Las Vegas wedding
Research! Go with your gut and if you have a bad vibe at all with a place or vendor, listen to it. There are so many options in Vegas it can be overwhelming. We wanted to make it our wedding and used different vendors rather than one for the ceremony, dinner, and drinking. Let the city be the venue and have FUN!
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Gaby J Photography / Ceremony Venue: Venetian, Prima Suite / Reception Venue: The Barrymore / Cocktail Party: The Laundry Room, inside Commonwealth / Wedding Dress: Sue Wong / Hair + Makeup: Makeup in the 702 / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani / Groom’s Suit + Menswear: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / Cake: The Barrymore / Celebrant: Rabbi Mel Hecht / Dance Choreographer: Gigi Burton / Bouquet: LaPlumeEthere / Ketubah: Doodlage / Wedding Favors: Copies of “The Great Gatsby” by Penguin House / Ornaments: Mama Made Them