So many of you find Little Vegas Wedding because you are searching for the perfect setup for a wedding at a private estate or mansion. Well today is going to set the bar pretty high for backyard weddings. Geela and Kiel’s glamorous wedding took place in a tent, if you can believe it. DIY and professionally supplied decor made the magic happen. Amazing rustic tablescapes and elegant detailing elevated this wedding from lovely backyard affair to full-on luxurious Vegas wedding for them and 80 guests.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
We were so indecisive at first about where we would have our wedding. Kiel has such a small, tight-knit family while I had a huge amount of relatives scattered all over the place from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Kiel wanted a small destination wedding and at first I was totally on board. Who wouldn’t want to get married on the beach in Hawaii during sunset?! I liked the idea of having something more intimate, BUT being an only child, the thought that my parents would love to have a big wedding for me stuck in the back of my mind. So, we sat down and talked about other options.
I’ve ALWAYS wanted an outdoor wedding with a tent reception. So, we looked at venues where we were able to put up a tent and still keep it small and intimate. Our hopes were shut down because every place almost had a certain way of how we needed to do things. So one night we went out to dinner with Kiel’s parents and told them about everything going on. The first thing they said was, “Why not just do it in our backyard?” I was surprised because their home never crossed my mind. The more we talked about it, the more I knew it was the perfect setting.
THE DETAILS ON GEELA AND KIEL’S CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
I wanted to go with a romantic rustic theme. Being that the wedding was in the midst of summer and we were outdoors, I wanted to keep the colors cooler. We chose to do a blush pink rustic theme with an eggplant accent. We had an arch outside covered in flowers right under their huge oak tree where the ceremony took place. The reception was AMAZING! The flowers were perfect. They were so romantic. I only spoke with Dani, the florist, over the phone once about the flowers and she hit the nail right on the head! I told her what my vision and theme were and she made it into such a fairytale. I chose to go with the darker wood for the tables and chairs so that it would help the blush pinks pop and it was beautiful. From the table settings, to the glass dispensers, everything was just so simple and romantic.
Since the home was owned by Kiel’s parents it was SO much easier to plan the wedding and having his parents own a party rental company didn’t hurt either! They were such a HUGE help. It was as easy as telling them the idea I had in my head, and then walking into the tent to something that completely blew my mind. They were amazing in every single way possible.
FAVORITE WEDDING MEMORY
My favorite memory, as cliché as it sounds, was when Kiel first looked at me walking down the aisle. As soon as our eyes met, it was waterworks! There was actually one thing that happened that stood out to me because I thought it was so funny! I was waiting in the room for them to tell me it was ok to come out and walk down the aisle. Maybe five minutes before, Kiel’s mom comes in to tell me the DJ wasn’t there, but they had the situation under control. So, I took it as it was and since it was “under control” I didn’t let it stress me out. As I’m walking down the aisle, I see the DJ in his makeshift booth and I hear the music playing. It was only after everyone was seated and eating that they told me the DJ thought the wedding was the next day! He arrived 5 minutes before the ceremony started and had the catering crew helping him set up the sound system! Needless to say, everything was smooth sailing from there and everyone had a great night!
(Editor’s Note: If you want to see some behind the scenes set up, you need to head over to RSVP’s Facebook page. The VIP restrooms were incredible. It’s not often I steer you to look at toilets, but these are pretty amazing! —Kelly)
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Gin & Sake Productions, member of the LVW photography directory
CEREMONY VENUE . Private home
RECEPTION VENUE . Private home
OFFICIANT . Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions / WEDDING PLANNER . bride and the moms / FLORAL . Dani Mulhern-Brodsky of D Zines / CATERING . Soirees / CAKE + CUPCAKES . Retro Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – YP3344 from David’s Bridal / HAIR + MAKEUP . by the bride / GROOMSWEAR . Express Men / DECOR . DIY and RSVP Party Rentals / FURNITURE RENTALS . RSVP Party Rentals / TENT . RSVP Party Rentals / TABLESCAPES, PLACESETTINGS + LINENS . RSVP Party Rentals / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . Minted / ENTERTAINMENT . Kayle Stephens with Vegas Hot Traxx / LIGHTING . RSVP Party Rentals, Marquee Lighting – LED Unplugged / DELUXE PORTAPOTTIES . Full Circle Events
Have you seen the movie Up? It’s one of my favorite animated films, and although it makes me cry at times, it’s also so sweet. The couple in today’s engagement shoot, Chris and Michelle, also love the film and decided to theme their photos around it. After finding 40 balloons, the perfect venue and an adventurous photographer, these fantastic photos were the result. Too cute! Be sure to read the story behind the photos from the photographer, Cassidy Zellmann, at the bottom of the post!
More from the photographer:
Chris, who found me via Yelp, and I exchanged emails and phone conversations for almost two months before the shoot going over details, locations, propping, styling, and anything else that was going to help us make the most of their time for this engagement session. We settled on a location with a more vintage feel to it: The Clark County Heritage Museum! I adore shooting at this place because it has so many wonderful and different aspects to it. I have yet to have one session even resemble another.
Chris and Michelle gathered propping on their own end: suspenders, printables, and a helium balloon kit (oh that was fun lol!) And those glasses? They are actually Chris’ regular glasses which I must say were pretty awesome. I made sure to load up my car with any other vintage inspired propping me might use: luggage, a vintage 1940′s picnic basket (yes it’s that old, it was my great-grandmother’s) plus a picnic blanket to help pull this shoot off.
When we had finished with the shoot, Michelle had the thought to take them back to a child who was in a photo session with another photographer there that day. Little moments like that made this a beautiful session.
VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Cassidy Zellmann Photography
PHOTO SHOOT VENUE . Clark County Museum
If you have been reading Little Vegas Wedding for even a short time, you know I go nuts for a certain things: namely weddings with rock ‘n’ roll flair and a palette of red and black, for example. That’s why I did a little dance in my office when Michelle, the bride, contacted me to have her wedding featured. (I always feel SO lucky when brides and grooms contact me to share their wedding days!) And that was BEFORE she told me about her awesome idea.
Being that Michelle and Adam’s first anniversary is in just a few days, Michelle thought it would be fun to get their celebration posted on a wedding blog, then print the post out and give it as a first anniversary present to Adam (the suggested gift is paper, you see!)
Readers, you are going to love the punk rock theme that Michelle and Adam had going on. Red petticoats and retro ‘dos for the bridesmaids, a palette of black and white stripes with bold red accents and Michelle’s killer skull-detailed heels all add up to one glam, retro-style wedding. The touches of Halloween and goth-inspired goodness are also amazing. Happy anniversary, Michelle and Adam!
WHY DID YOU GO WITH CANYON GATE?
We were looking for a country club that had a great outdoor space for ceremony and a ballroom with a few vintage touches for around 150 guests. We fell in love with the patio set up overlooking the picturesque golf course and quaint water feature for the ceremony at Canyon Gate. Inside we saw the cocktail room was located directly indoors from the ceremony site, and that the ballroom was separate for the “Grand Reveal” of the reception space when it was ready for guests to find their seats. Add to that a great chandelier with panoramic windows displaying the Spring Mountains and golf course in the ballroom and Canyon Gate seemed too good to be true! We actually looked at many different venues (at least 10 more) after that in Las Vegas but nothing seemed to give us the same feeling that Canyon Gate did.
THE CEREMONY — Patio at Canyon Gate Country Club
Our ceremony was on the patio before sunset on a beautiful October day. I’m Catholic and Adam is Jewish, but we’re not very religious and wanted to showcase parts of our religions with our personalities intertwined into the ceremony. You could tell walking in it definitely wasn’t a traditional ceremony. The space was decorated with a black and white stripe aisle runner with candle-filled vases lining the aisle. At the end of the aisle was the traditional Jewish chuppah flanked by two black manzanita trees with crystals and clear orbs with red roses hanging from the branches.
As guests took their seats, they may have heard a classically arranged string quartet version of their favorite punk rock or classic rock song over the speakers by Vitamin String Quartet. As the ceremony started, the bridesmaids descended down the aisle to the Game of Thrones theme song, and when I walked down the aisle, the DJ switched the music to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri from the Twilight Soundtrack. I was so full of emotion as I walked down the aisle with my dad! Adam: “The anticipation of seeing my future wife walk down the aisle was overwhelming. I had heard whispers about the dress but it was hush, hush. When I finally saw her, she looked even more beautiful than I could ever imagine.”
We had two non-traditional readings one from Game of Thrones and another from Nightmare Before Christmas. We wrote our own vows; Adam’s were funny, clever and rhymed and I cried but made it through! Our recessional was walking hand-in-hand to Everlong by the Foo Fighters.
THE RECEPTION — Grand Ballroom at Canyon Gate Country Club
The room was decorated with black table linens with tables alternating black and white stripe table runners and damask table runners, and the tables were named for Bad Religion songs. There were three different centerpieces; a black manzanita tree with crystals and crystal orbs with red roses draped in the branches, a lantern with blinged-out skull and small white and black pumpkins, and a black and white pumpkin with a tea light skull candle holder. The sweetheart table had Victorian thrones with the damask letters spelling out “LOVE” with my brooch bouquet as the centerpiece. The reception started off with each member of the bridal party walking in to a different theme song from a TV shows that described them. We walked out to a Bad Religion song waving terrible towels: a Pittsburgh Steelers tradition. Our first dance was to Rise Against’s Swing Life Away.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
We met at a Bad Religion concert four years prior to the wedding. I always wanted a wedding with a black and white color scheme with punches of red accents, so we tied in punk music with all of our other favorite things (movies, HBO shows like Game of Thrones and True Blood, pirates, Pittsburgh sports teams, and vampires) throughout the wedding to make it fun and full of our personality. The majority of the budget went to the venue and catering and we did as much DIY as we could, from invitations and stationery to jewelry, tablescape details. There was lots of time spent in Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, dollar stores and Ross! Even the cookie favors were baked by family and friends.
MICHELLE: I joked with my friends that my wedding will look like my home “gave birth” to a child. I used a lot of décor that I already had and if I didn’t have it, I bought it because I knew I would use the décor in my home. I wanted to make sure I had a lot of fun planning the wedding, make sure that our wedding screamed with our personality and have a kick-ass party. Mission accomplished.
ADAM: Seeing all our personal touches that went into the décor was worth all the time and effort we put in. It wasn’t your average cookie cutter wedding. People kept coming up and complimenting how cool the room and tables looked, and that it was definitely our style.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM ADAM AND MICHELLE
Don’t sweat the small stuff while planning and be realistic. Nothing is worth fighting over and hating each other while planning your wedding. Most couples fight about how much everything is costing. When we planned our wedding, we set the budget, but we were realistic that it might go over. Know that the budget is there, but it isn’t the end of the world if you go over. Make the planning process as fun as possible for both of you.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Red Velvet Weddings
CEREMONY VENUE . Patio, Canyon Gate Country Club
RECEPTION VENUE . Grand Ballroom, Canyon Gate Country Club
OFFICIANT . Elegant Vegas Weddings / FLORAL . Enchanted Florist / CAKE . Cravin’ Cake Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Maggie Sottero from Bowties Bridal Boutique, shoes – Iron Fist, jewelry + accessories – DIY / HAIR + MAKEUP . Stevee Danielle / BROOCH BOUQUET + BOUTONNIERES . Bouquet Couture / BRIDESMAIDS . / GROOMSWEAR . Tuxedo Junction, Ties – Rok Gear / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . DIY / PHOTOBOOTH . Shutterbooth / VIDEOGRAPHY . Red Art Studios / CANDY + COOKIE TABLE . Cindy Ashley
This absolutely darling destination wedding is fun and fabulous. Sara and Rocky travelled to Las Vegas from the U.K. to get married in a chapel, infusing their wedding day with glitzy emerald green details, drawing inspiration from the bride’s engagement ring. Sara wore a vintage wedding dress and despite it being a destination wedding, this couple customized many parts of their day, including the playing card-style stationery and that amazing vintage brooch bouquet.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
I came across button and brooch bouquets on Pinterest. I thought they were amazing, but I couldn’t find one with the colours I wanted, and custom orders were very expensive. So I decided to make one for me, and one for my Maid of Honour. It took a lot of work.
Firstly I needed to find the brooches, many of which came from eBay. Some came from family, and some fit our theme, like red sparkly hearts to match my shoes and a little cat brooch, as Rocky and I have 2 cats. I used big gold ones for the first layer of brooches, and then lots of big sparkly green ones. The more sparkly the better! Some of them weren’t the right green, so I used a bit of green nail varnish on the enamel bits to get them the right shade. I was sat with a glue gun, florists wire, and florist stem tape for 3 solid days before I could even start putting them together! It was hard, but absolutely worth it. I got so many comments on them, and given that we were traveling it was great to be able to know exactly what my ‘flowers’ would look like before getting there. I also like having it to keep forever, and being able to give people in my family bits of it in the future when they get married.
THE CEREMONY — Garden Chapel at Vegas Weddings
The ceremony was exactly the simple and fun wedding we were after. We had a ‘first glance’ option in our package, so I arrived before Rocky and most of the guests and I waited in the bridal suite with my Mum and my Maid of Honour. Once all the guests had been seated my Dad came and met me and we walked down the aisle to the Star Wars Throne Room song.
The doors opened and the room felt full of our families and friends. The venue was lit with candle light, and had rose petals scattered down the aisle. All of this made it feel very intimate. Just what we had wanted. We were both a bit nervous, and the ceremony was short and sweet as we weren’t having readings or anything, so it passed by in a blur. Luckily we have a great video as part of our package to be able to watch it again and send it friends and family. A few friends from the UK were able to watch live online through the streaming service that the venue provided. Our recessional was Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.
I’ll always remember walking down Fremont Street for our photo shoot and having people woop and cheer and shout “Congratulations!”
One of the stand out moments was walking into the room in Maggiano’s and seeing how beautiful the team had made it. Spotting all the little decorations I’d given to the team around the room and seeing the beautiful flowers and cake. Overall we’ll remember how much fun the day was! When there’s so much organising and build up you worry that something will go wrong, but everything was so easy thanks to all the great people involved, that we were able to really enjoy it!
THE RECEPTION — Maggiano’s at Fashion Show Mall
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect venue for our reception, a private room at Maggiano’s. We’d visited the day before to give Beth (a manager) our decorations and when we arrived on the day she and the florist had made the room look beautiful.
Rocky’s family is Italian, and they were particularly impressed at the quality of Maggiano’s food. We had a family-style dinner, which meant we passed round shared plates, which was a great way to get everybody talking, and meant everybody could have as much as they liked. We’d selected a package with an open bar and everybody enjoyed it to the fullest extent. The music selection was perfect (lots of Frank Sinatra, jazz and easy listening, which we love) and we all felt so relaxed and comfortable thanks to our wonderful host who looked after us all the whole time. There is nothing we’d change and it was the perfect chilled out evening we’d hoped for.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
The day after we got engaged we started looking at venues. We didn’t want to wait as we knew venues book out far in advance so could be waiting a long time if we didn’t settle on somewhere soon. We knew we wanted to travel for our wedding and wanted something small and intimate, and the UK’s weather is so unreliable! It’s also a great way to start the honeymoon straight away (we went on to spend five days in New Orleans and eight days in New York). We both love the US, so where better to get married than the Marriage Capital of the World?
We looked at a lot of the hotel chapels, but most were either booked, or looked like a bit plain. Rocky found the ‘Vegas Wedding’ company, and saw they had a Garden Chapel. It was perfect!
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM ROCKY AND SARA
You just can’t get enough photos! It might seem tedious at the time, but take the time to get lots of combinations of you and friends and family members. And get individual ones too! e.g. just bride with maid of honour, groom with best man to make sure you have a full set to choose from.
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We had a budget of about £9,000 ($15,000) for everything (dress, ceremony, reception, and the honeymoon). We ended up spending about £11,000 ($18,500) and had 14 people join us. We were lucky that our parents helped, and our family and friends gave us money towards the honeymoon. We used HoneyFund to take contributions which was great as we could show people what we would use their contributions for.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Light Life Studio
CEREMONY VENUE . Garden Chapel at Vegas Wedding
RECEPTION VENUE . Maggiano’s
FLORAL . tablescape: The Palette, other: Vegas Wedding / CAKE . Freed’s Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – vintage from Saint Francis Hospice charity shop in Hornchurch, shoes – custom from MDNY, jewelry – engagement ring, Holts Gems, necklace + earrings, Cosmic Twist, accessories – TARDIS charm, Spiffing Jewelry, headband, Arsiart, phone cover, My Bling Thingz / ALTERATIONS . Gold Needle and Elite Alterations / HAIR + MAKEUP . I Do Updo / MANICURE . Barry M Emerald Green and top coat Barry M Green Glitter, Christophe Salon at MGM Grand / GROOMSWEAR . suit - Moss Bros, shirt – T.M. Lewin, tie + handkerchief – Tie Tack, shoes – Topman / TRANSPORTATION . courtesy Vegas Wedding / LIGHTING . marquee lights, The Letter Lounge / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . portraits, Kate Zaremba, Vegas skyline, Architette Studios, printing, Moo
Liana’s glittery gown and a luxurious waterfall orchid bouquet combined with Jason’s classic tuxedo to bring a whole lot of class to the desert at Red Rock Canyon. They chose to marry at the chapel at Aria, but wanted to add a bit of the natural desert scenery to their wedding photos and did a post-wedding shoot with Taylored Photo Memories there.
As the sun set, the colors come alive, in Liana’s hair and in the beautiful red rocks surrounding the shoot. Just a little bit of incredibly stylish proof that you don’t have to scrimp on glamour if you elect to have a Las Vegas elopement!
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Taylored Photo Memories member of the LVW photography directory
CEREMONY VENUE . Chapel at Aria Las Vegas
BRIDAL SHOOT AT . Red Rock Canyon
FLORAL . Aria Las Vegas / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – customized gown from Caché, shoes – Betsey Johnson / HAIR + MAKEUP . by the bride