Today’s sassy couple is the first real wedding post of 2015, and it’s such a great one. For starters, it’s an in-suite wedding, held in a super-sized V Suite at the former THEHotel (which changed into Delano in September 2014).
Also Jessica, the bride, wore an incredible Victorian-style corseted gown with a victory roll hairstyle. Since both she and her husband are gamers, so there was a Portal and Mass Effect themed wedding cake and an amazing space-themed shirt for the groom, Michael. Their military wedding followed by cake and Champagne reception were casual and intimate, and brought all the best elements of family and love together.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
I was a Las Vegas local for nine years before I got married, and a lot of the dates that my groom and I went on happened while I was still living in Vegas. His grandparents live there as well, so it made it convenient for him to stop by and visit me (we had a long distance relationship). The location was convenient and definitely fit into our budget. Plus the city itself just has so much to offer in terms of venues, so why not get married in one of the wonderful resorts? We chose to get married at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay before it got replaced by the Delano. It was absolutely beautiful; the contemporary styling fit in with what we wanted in an in-suite wedding!
When Michael and I planned our wedding, we knew we wanted it to be something about us and let people know who we are. In fact, Offbeat Bride inspired me to go all out for my wedding and to know that it’s okay to go against the grain! Besides, Michael and I were not much for the Wedding Industrial Complex in the first place.
THE CEREMONY — V Suite at THEhotel (now Delano)
I didn’t want to be walked down the aisle by my dad as there really wasn’t an aisle in our venue (which was held inside our hotel suite), yet my mother-in-law highly recommended that I do so anyway and that a makeshift aisle was fine. I’m glad that I went with her suggestion, as the conversation that my dad and I had before my procession helped me to bond with him and cope for the rest of the evening.
My family is Filipino, although I did not have my wedding inside a huge Catholic cathedral. So I couldn’t include many of the things that were typical of a traditional, Filipino wedding. However, both of Michael’s family and mine are born-again Christians, so we opted to do a unity candle-lighting ceremony instead. It brought together both families and was a nice blending of the cultures.
THE RECEPTION — V Suite at THEhotel (now Delano)
Initially, we did want a big wedding but to due time constraints, we had to improvise a lot. We were originally going to plan for a courthouse marriage first then a big fat ceremony later (as many military couples do), but even that wasn’t doable with only 3 months of planning available. Due to the entire nature of the military as well as the downside of everyone not living in the same area, only immediate family and close local friends were invited. The wedding was small, yet we managed to pull through and create the wedding of our dreams with just 18 guests! Michael’s mother helped to create our dream day a much more intimate one by providing most of the decorations, as well as cake and champagne.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
I was able to make my own bouquet! I used left over origami paper and other craft things I’ve saved up for years in order to make it. Everyone at the ceremony loved the way it looked and were amazed that I was capable of making my own bouquet (as opposed to just buying some fresh flowers). It made me feel good to know that the hard work I put into it payed off–even my Maid of Honor wanted one for her future wedding!
We wanted a wedding that showed off our personalities and shared interests: we both liked video games, so we included some of that in our ceremony. The Portal and Mass Effect games are significant to us because my groom and I first met when Portal 2 just came out, and he was the one who introduced me to the Mass Effect games. I also liked all things vintage and romantic, and my groom didn’t mind as well — so long as I wore a corset. ;) This worked out well for the both of us since I was able to wear a Victorian Steampunk-inspired, burlesque dress that was modified to go with my wedding theme. The wedding dress was a nice, wine red color instead of the typical white since I wanted to put at least a little bit of practicality to it. That way, I can re-use my dress for other occasions (such as Renaissance Festival or military dining-outs) instead of wasting money by wearing it only once and trashing it.
The most meaningful parts of my wedding were the ones I expected to have so much impact. I mean sure, everyone expects to have the bride and groom kiss to have the most impact — which is true for me. But there were so many other moments that had the same amount of impact, too. During my ‘getting ready’ session with my wedding photographer, my Maid of Honor wasn’t able to make it to my hotel suite on time to help me get dressed into my gown. I was a bit of a loss in what to do for my ‘getting ready’ shoot, as I did not want to further delay plans. Instead, I improvised by just having my groom help me out while our photographer took pictures of us in those moments. Just the whole session was quite intimate, and it helped me to be closer to my groom that day. The pictures that came from him helping me in my gown and undergarments were some of the best, too!
We didn’t have a rehearsal since we figured that it wasn’t needed for a small wedding, so everyone just winged it. However, that didn’t mean that we were free from slip- ups! Michael messed up some of the words when he recited the vows after our pastor, which initiated some chuckles and giggles from me and the guests. But it was all in good spirit; we all learned to laugh along and just roll with it. I also did not expect my groom to have a shirt with funny-looking sleeves underneath his Air Force mess dress! Everything thought that he was just wearing the standard white shirt, so him taking off his coat to reveal that was definitely a hilarious surprise.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM JESSICA AND MICHAEL
There was also a bit of tension with my own mother that comes along with wedding planning to the point of having me go into bridezilla mode. When it comes to planning a wedding where the families are from different cultural backgrounds, it can be a headache to plan. I almost wanted to just quit and elope instead, so that I didn’t have to worry about it all. Who knew that even small weddings were stressful to plan? Yet at the end of the day, it all worked out alright. All I just hoped was for my mother to understand that this is my wedding, and that it is okay for me to shape it into my own image.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Gin and Sake Productions, member of the LVW photography directory
CEREMONY + RECEPTION VENUE . V Suite at THEHotel
DAY-AFTER SHOOT VENUE . The Smith Center
CAKE . Manan Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Glamtasik, shoes – Chinese Laundry, jewelry – Kohl’s, accessories – / HAIR + MAKEUP . Shag Me Salon / BRIDESMAID . Alfred Angelo / CUSTOM CAKE TOPPERS . WTFcharms