Archive of ‘DIY’ category
Sometimes wedding planning can spin out of control and you find yourself with a wedding you just didn’t imagine. Erin and Mike originally planned for a wedding in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, but it started to consume their lives, and their bank accounts. So the couple turned to Las Vegas and planned the intimate, fun wedding they truly wanted, in a Bellagio Penthouse Suite. I’m obsessed with Erin’s Vera Wang White gown, which looked incredible in their couples shoot with The R2 Studio at the Neon Boneyard. Total fashion mag material!
Erin + Mike’s Top Tip for Other Vegas Couples
My tip to anyone thinking of getting married in Vegas would be to find the “venue” that fits your personality. We liked the elegance of the Bellagio and they have an unbelievable wedding team that handles every last detail. And the edginess of The Neon Boneyard and Museum matched our personalities! Also, we found their seems to be this negative “stigma” associated with getting married in Vegas and I still can’t figure out why this is. (VEGAS IS AMAZEBALLS!) If you get push-back from friends and/or family, just politely remind them that, this is your day with your soon-to-be spouse and in the end it is all about the two of you.
Why Las Vegas?
We have always LOVED Vegas, it has always been “our getaway city.” We had originally planned this over-the-top, outrageously priced wedding in Sedona, but it became a monster. A very expensive monster, that took over every facet of our lives. So we cancelled all of that and turned to our “getaway city,” VEGAS! We wanted simple, elegant and NO FUSS.
(Okay…are you ready for their first look? It’s kind of amazing… -Kelly)
The Ceremony: Bellagio Penthouse Suite
While we were dating, we’d stayed at many resorts on the strip, but never the Bellagio. We decided if we were going to do Vegas, we wanted the wedding to be in one of the most beautiful resorts. We cut the guest list down to immediate family only and Mike’s best friend/best man. We had already booked The R2 Studio as our photographer, and we couldn’t imagine anyone else capturing our wedding. The Bellagio would only allow their photographer for their chapels, etc; however we could do their “Suite Wedding Package” and R2 could still shoot it. The package came with a smaller suite, but we upgraded to the Penthouse.
Again, “no fuss,” so all I did for “setup” was have the House floral department arrange my bouquet and his boutonniere. The room had a rich dark color scheme and floor to ceiling windows, it spoke for itself. R2 suggested the ceremony be in front of the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Strip, and it worked out perfectly. The suite was so large I was tucked away in the bedroom, while everyone else took their places. My little brother walked me down “the aisle” and we said our own vows in front of our family; it was small, simple and perfect. It was just about us and our love.
Favorite Wedding Memory
There are a lot of great memories that stick out from that day. But one of our favorites was the morning of the wedding. We had room service bring us a great big breakfast. I don’t think we woke up that morning until 10AM! So we sat there in these glorious white robes, with this delicious breakfast spread, in front of a huge window overlooking the Strip, just the two of us. It was romantic, peaceful and relaxing. I loved the tranquility of that moment with my husband-to-be; no chaos…just us.
Post Wedding Vogue Shoot: Neon Museum
Because we weren’t able to shoot any photographs on the resort property, R2 suggested The Neon Museum for pictures. We arranged a limo to take us immediately following the ceremony. Our family hung out for “cocktail hour” while we snapped those amazing pictures amongst iconic Vegas history! When we got back to the suite, Bellagio catered a dinner for us and our family in the Suite. After that, everyone hit the Strip for whatever fun they desired! The next day we all met our guests down in the sportsbook for some betting fun!
Erin + Mike’s Las Vegas Wedding Guestlist and Budget
Just ten guests were invited to this $6000 affair (which included four nights in the Bellagio penthouse, but not photography and gown)
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: The R2 Studio / Ceremony Venue: Bellagio Penthouse Suite / Post-Wedding Bridal Shoot Venue: Neon Boneyard at The Neon Museum / Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang “VW351011“ Organza Fit and Flare with Flange Skirt in Blush Pink / Hair + Makeup: Allyson Stagg of Las Vegas Style Sirens / Bride’s Shoes: Nine West / Groom’s Suit + Menswear: Jones of New York / Catering: Bellagio / Floral: Bellagio Floral Department / Celebrant: Rev. Jerome G Blankinship / Transport: Bellagio / Corset Alterations: Janet Kirkman Bridal Redesigns (Scottsdale, AZ) / Purse: Charming Charlie / Earrings: Etsy / Gold Ring: Heirloom / Custom Wine Bottle Labels: made by a friend
Sometimes I’m not sure how I get so lucky, getting to feature the most creative, amazing couples who bring in so many personal details and DIY elements into their weddings. Laren and Sam’s wedding on a bright, sunny day at Las Vegas’s Gilcrease Orchard, photographed by Dennis Dayrit, is no exception.
Be wowed again and again by the bright pops of apple red, the gorgeous setting and the emotional moments at this rustic orchard wedding! Almost every detail of their wedding was handmade by themselves or by loved ones. As Laren, the bride, wrote: “It’s like that saying, it takes a village to raise a child, well it took a village to plan this wedding. We had so much help from our friends and family. People came out to help set up, cook, clean, prep, and design. I have the best friends and family.” If you want to see more of Laren’s creativity, be sure to check out her blog, The Little Lion Girl!
Gilcrease Orchard was an amazing setting for the ceremony and a Godsend. We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding but we were having a lot of trouble finding a venue. I had thought that I could use a picnic site from a camping venue only to find out that it wouldn’t be possible only a month before the wedding. That was my mini-wedding meltdown. I think everyone has one. So we emailed a few places, the lodge at Mt. Charleston, Springs Preserve, The Farm, and Floyd Lamb Park to name a few. We knew right away that Gilcrease was it.
Mark, the director, gave us a tour and when he walked us down that aisle through the apple trees it was like magic. We somehow found this little piece of heaven a few miles from home. Everything happens for a reason I suppose.
My mother passed away almost six years ago and before she died we talked about if I ever got married and how we would style it. She was an artist, which is where I got my Photoshop skills from, and told me that if I ever got married it needed to be really unique. She advised that I have no flowers and just do something out of the ordinary but fun. So when I was planning my wedding I kept thinking back to that.
Instead of flowers, and my bridesmaids and I carried umbrellas. Tablescapes had handpainted and dyed bottles and vintage tins from my mother-in-law’s home, filled with an assortment of different plants and feathers. We covered the tables in butcher paper and put pencils everywhere so people would draw on them.
I made my own dress and it cost less than $150, with a red striped belt that was a ribbon from Jo-anns. I designed all the invitations on Photoshop, printed them out on card stock and hand addressed them myself. The music was also all done by me just using good old iTunes and different playlists.
My husband and I built the wedding arch and wrapped it with twigs from a tree that had fallen down in a storm in my in-laws backyard. We also built the keg stand/bar with the help of my father-in-law. All of the candles and soy melt favors came from my dad and stepmom’s candle company, Collective Scents.
All the food was of course homemade. My amazing aunt cooked tons of chili a few nights before and we reheated it in big pots on portable burners. My sweet mother-in-law baked cornbread and after our disaster with the desserts threw together some batches of cookies and chocolate dipped strawberries and even had one of her friends make some cakes in jars, which got rave reviews.
The drinking jars were all ordered online and covered with chalkboard heart stickers that I cut out myself and the plates were all old pie tins that we collected over a year and a half with the help of friends. My in-laws built the photo booth area with the vintage doors and supplied all the dress-up items for the photos from their antique booth at Charleston Antique Mall. When our guests showed up they took photos with an Instamax and that turned into our guestbook. The day was such a success and my friends and family still talk about how much fun it was. I’ve even had requests for a repeat night!
I have so many amazing memories that its hard to pick just one. My 3-year-old niece who was my flower girl calling me a princess. Our groomsman Joe pulling out a unicorn mask and taking shots through it. One of my best friends surprising us with a floating candle ceremony where we lit candles for each other and the people we love and placed them in the pool. Being surprised with our cake. The funny butt picture of all the guys.
Two nights before the wedding my best friend, her fiancé, and brother all came over to help make desserts. It was a nightmare. The only dessert that survived to the wedding was the candied apples. We even tried to put together a cake and it was so poorly done that it ended up falling over. I laughed to tears. Some things are just better saved for the professionals. In the end her mom and dad, who are very much like my own parents surprised us with an adorable two layer cake from Albertsons that looked like a much better version of the cake that fell over. We topped it with a paper cut-out cake topper that was an homage to the haunted mansion. I had to have Disney thrown in my wedding somewhere.
But I think my all time favorite memory was the way my husband had to stop and take a moment just to cry as he was saying his vows, it was the most touching and overwhelming thing I’ve ever been a part of. I hope that everyone gets a chance to feel that loved. This was definitely a wedding put together with love.
Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions was our officiant and she was such a pleasure to work with. She was quick to respond, showed up on time and helped pull everything together and she delivered such a beautiful ceremony. I would recommend her to anyone looking for an officiant. And I can’t forget my photographer! The amazing Dennis Dayrit. His pictures were exactly what we were looking for, and his prices were insane. This guy can’t be beat.
Laren + Sam’s Budget and Guestlist
We were on a very strict budget. We were expecting around 200 people and had to stay under $10,000 for everything including the honeymoon, but I wasn’t willing to compromise on what I wanted for price so I made almost everything by hand.
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Dennis Dayrit Photography // Ceremony + Reception Venue: Gilcrease Orchard, Las Vegas // Wedding Dress: DIY by the Bride // Hair: Friend of the Bride // Makeup: By the Bride // Catering: Homemade, Alcohol from Costco, Total Wine & More // Cake: Albertsons // Celebrant: Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions // Stationery: Designed by the Bride // Chair and Table Rentals: RSVP Party Rentals // Vintage Furniture: Charleston Antique Mall // Portapotties: All American Waste Services // Candles: Collective Scents // Umbrellas: eBay // Suspenders: eBay
Obviously, I love to publish in-suite weddings on Little Vegas Wedding. The endless combinations of amazing suites with personalization makes them so fun! Mike and Sarah did things the DIY way and had planned their wedding to be a party right from the start, making the suite a great choice. They picked one of the coolest ones in Las Vegas to have their reception in, the retro Vegas Stardust Suite at Orleans, following a garden ceremony at Flamingo.
Why Sarah and Michael Chose Las Vegas
We wanted our wedding to be both an intimate affair and a wild party. We wanted a wedding location that worked for our tight budget but made us feel like VIPs. And most importantly we wanted an afterparty that was casual but that our guests would be talking about long after we came home to Boston. Vegas seemed like the obvious choice!
Ceremony – Flamingo Gazebo Chapel
We took a limo from the Bellagio to the Flamingo (we had already done our “First Look” photos in the elevator bay on our floor). We showed up to the ceremony site a little early (we even had time for a quick beer in the lobby while we were waiting for directions to the gardens!) so we were able to take our time and get some additional photos before guests arrived.
We met our officiant who was very down to earth and professional. We called Mike’s mom via FaceTime, who wasn’t able to travel to Vegas for the wedding, so she got to witness the ceremony after all. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Whatever It Is” by Zach Brown Band, one of our favorite songs. The ceremony itself was short and sweet, between 10 and 15 minutes.
After we were pronounced man and wife and had our first married kiss, Mike took two pairs of sunglasses out of his jacket pocket and we walked back down the aisle donning our shades.
Reception – Stardust Suite in The Orleans
The Stardust Suite at the Orleans is amazing and absolutely huge. Part of our package included overnight accommodations of the adjoining Presidential suite, so when we opened the doors between the two suites, we had 5000 square feet of party space! They had a dance floor set up for us and DJ Godzilla playing every song on our playlist; open bar for the night with Adrian the bartender taking great care of everyone; taco bar and hors d’oeuvres set up along the windows; Monday Night Football playing on the flat screen TVs scattered across the room.
Tracy, our photographer, set up an unofficial “photo booth” in one corner with a turquoise sequined backdrop. The views of The Strip from the small balcony were unbelievable. We used the Presidential Suite to set up a table for the Welcome Bags, and we took a TON of fun pictures in there. We didn’t have a typical wedding reception: there were no planned first dances, no wedding cake, no tossing of the bouquet or any speeches. However we did do several group tequila shots and lots of group photos! (Editor’s Note: And a pretty awesome pillow fight, it looks like!)
We didn’t have an announced first dance as a married couple, but when our wedding song came on, we knew what to do. Mike and I were across the room from each other but as soon as DJ Godzilla started playing “Whatever It Is”, we rushed to meet each other on the dance floor for our “impromptu” first dance.
This wedding was full of DIY details and handmade touches! I spent over forty hours glueing 3000 individual Swarovski crystals to a pair of shoes with blue soles to get that Louboutin look. The bouquets were handmade by the me and a friend out of feathers, crystals and ribbon. Welcome bags were created for each of the 46 guests and were packed full of very useful items: wedding activities, area info, and a Hangover Helper package with Advil, heartburn medicine, Emergen-C packs, gum and bottled water, plus a thank you note.
Sarah and Michael’s #1 tip for other couples planning a Vegas Wedding
Laugh at the things that don’t go as planned. The order of our wedding songs got messed up; the limo buses forgot us (the bride and groom!) at the ceremony site and had to turn back. Things go wrong. But you know what? Those are what make every wedding unique and memorable. Besides, every bride needs a picture of herself jokingly thumbing for a ride in her wedding dress!
Sarah and Michael’s Guestcount and Budget
The wedding party had 48 guests and the end budget was about $8000
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Tracy Sloboda, friend to the couple / Ceremony Venue: Gazebo Chapel at Flamingo Las Vegas / Reception Venue: Stardust Suite at The Orleans / Wedding Coordinator: Pamela Eddy from The Orleans / Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo with alterations and Alfred Angelo sash / Hair + Makeup: Melissa of Amelia C & Co. / Groom’s Suit + Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse, inspired by Bradley Cooper’s look in “The Hangover” / Feather Bouquets: DIY / Catering: The Orleans / Celebrant: Reverend Maria Romano of Love Knots / Entertainment: DJ Godzilla / Stationery: Mean Maharani / Transport: Bell Trans / LED Ice Cubes: Glowproducts.com / Swarovski Crystals: Rhinestonebiz.com
You have to think outside the box when it comes to Las Vegas weddings sometimes, especially if you are seeking the escape that old chapel cliche. Jessica and Gordon are graphic designers, so it’s probably not a surprise that their wedding had such a fresh, contemporary feel.
They were married in the modern Chihuly Gallery at Aria (which at the time was not even hosting weddings, trendsetters, these two!) and then had an intimate cake and cocktails party in a suite at Aria afterwards. So much was DIY I’ll just let Jessica take it away so she can explain all the choices she made with Gordon to make this Vegas gallery wedding come to life just as they envisioned it.
Why Las Vegas?
Neither of us necessarily like being the center of attention so we wanted our wedding to feel more like a party among close friends than a big to-do. That being the case, naturally Gordon and I decided to have our wedding in Vegas, and we knew two things: one, we were having our reception at Aria – although we weren’t sure of the logistics yet – and two, we didn’t want the typical Vegas ceremony that comes to mind when one pictures Vegas weddings.
The Ceremony – Chihuly Gallery at Aria
We flew out to find a ceremony location (and get our marriage license,) but quickly discovered that all of the chapels have contracts with local photographers, which you have to use for your ceremony. Period. Except we had already booked our photographer so that was a non-negotiable item for us.
After spending an afternoon trying to find the “right” location we decided to stop into The Gallery. The instant we walked in we knew it was the right spot for us. Since we’re crazy planners and do-it-yourselfers we asked to be put in contact with the owner and ask about private events. Luckily, he was available the next day so we got everything set up just from a conversation with him only hours before we flew back to San Diego. Easy-peasy. Of course now Aria offers wedding packages, which include The Gallery as a ceremony location option, but at the time we got married everything was still brand new and there was nothing in place yet. We had to contact MGM rentals on our own to set up chair rental for the space.
The Reception: Hospitality Suite at Aria
Our plan all along was to have our reception in one of the Aria suites, but again, Aria was brand new at the time and didn’t have wedding packages in place. So we toured a bunch of suites and the Hospitality Suite was perfect for the size and nature of our wedding; plus a view of The Strip wasn’t too shabby either. The rest was all DIY. We brought all the booze, desserts and decorations with us from San Diego.
Our reception was a cocktail and dessert reception so our guests were on their own for dinner, and what better place than Vegas? Most actually tried Aria restaurants, but a few ventured over to Cosmopolitan since it’s a quick walk. The DIY part actually took a ton of planning and preparation since we executed everything ourselves (while everyone was at dinner), but the result was exactly what we were hoping for! An super fun, intimate night with our closest friends and family, Vegas-style!
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Sergio Mottola Photography / Ceremony Venue: Chihuly Gallery at Aria Las Vegas / Reception Venue: Hospitality Suite at Aria Las Vegas / Makeup: Bobbie Pin Beauty / Floral: Lula Mae Flowers (San Diego, no longer in business) / Cake + Desserts: Sweet Cheeks Baking Company (San Diego) / Celebrant: Reverend Paula Gold (friend to the couple) / Ghost Chairs: MGM Resorts Events / Stationery + Graphic Design: The War on Mars (Jessica and Gordon’s company!)
Ashley & Blayne were married at the Las Vegas LDS Temple, and celebrated afterwards with friends and family in a fabulous backyard wedding with a carnival theme. And they went big with the circus theme: a kissing booth and other fair-style attractions and games, pony rides, an actual big top, a carnival-inspired menu and more. They really captured the feel of a real carnival, I think: fun for all ages, and a casual, memorable vibe for a backyard affair. The photos were taken by a new contributor to Little Vegas Wedding: Chauntelle Graf – welcome, Chauntelle!
More on the details of this DIY wedding from the bride, Ashley, follows…
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