Elopements are magical on their own, bringing a sense of intimacy and ocean of emotions. Karolina and Ross, today’s couple, eloped in Las Vegas a few years ago as Ross prepared to deploy.
These high school lovebirds celebrated again, three years later, with a marriage blessing and vow renewal at Joan of Arc Catholic Church and Venetian, in front of their friends and family. The mix of Old World charm and classic Italian architecture and gardens at the hotel appealed to the couple, Karolina especially.
A ballroom bubbling over with blooms designed by Naakiti Floral and event design from Andrea Eppolito brought the evening together in such an elegant European fashion. I am especially enchanted by the traditions and customs they wove into their day. From Polish toasts to serving dessert first to their guests at the banquet, life (and love) is sweet for these two.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Meg Ruth Photo
CEREMONY VENUE . Joan of Arc Catholic Church
RECEPTION VENUE . Venetian Resort & Casino
WEDDING PLANNER . Andrea Eppolito Events / FLORAL . Naakiti Floral / CAKE . Peridot Sweets / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Eve of Milady, shoes – Betsey Johnson / HAIR + MAKEUP . Makeup in the 702 / BRIDESMAIDS . Alfred Angelo / GROOMSWEAR . Men’s Wearhouse / DESIGN + DECOR . Sit on This Decor Rentals / ENTERTAINMENT . DJ Mike Fox & Co.
Perched on top of Mandalay Bay’s tower is the House of Blues Foundation Room. This showstopper of a venue was the location McKenzy and Cole chose for their wedding ceremony and reception. Feminine pinks and Champagne colors paired with the deep, exotic interior of the Foundation Room. The bridal portraits taken inside are super dramatic and moody.
Then of course, there is that spectacular view from the rooftop. If you are looking for a skyhigh venue for an outdoor ceremony, you should definitely consider Foundation Room as an option.
More from The Amberlight Collective:
The day started out in McKenzy’s Flamingo hotel room, where she, and her closest girl friends and family were primping and getting ready for the day. I knew it was going to be a fun day, all the girls were already laughing, taking pics and having a good time. We travelled via limo down the Strip to Mandalay Bay, where we made our way to the Foundation Room on the top level of the hotel which looks straight up the Strip. The view was incredible! The vibe of the Foundation Room is unreal, and unlike anything else I’ve seen in Vegas. The walls look to be made of hand-carved wood, as well as having woven displays of bejewelled cloth hangings all around.
The ceremony was gorgeous and casual. Guests were seated on lounge chairs on the patio, while the couple and their wedding party stood in front of an ornate fireplace decorated with jewels and peach floral displays, matching the couple’s wedding color scheme. The coolest part of the ceremony was that it wasn’t too big, with a lot of guests so you had this awesome intimate space, all while looking overlooking the entire Strip. Following their vows, the same space was transformed into a lounge area for their reception. The couple and their closest friends and family danced the night away until it was time to depart for some more late night partying on Fremont Street.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . The Amberlight Collective
CEREMONY + RECEPTION VENUE . Patio at Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay
FLORAL . Naakiti Floral Design Inc. / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Allure Bridals, shoes – Aldo / TRANSPORTATION . Enterprise Exotics
Submitted via Two Bright Lights
When you are coming all the way from Australia to get hitched in Las Vegas, you know it’s going to be in fine style. Stace and Dill were elopers who somehow convinced their near and dear ones to join them on a (long) trip to Vegas … and on the plane there, told them it was because they were getting married!
Both the bride and groom got ready at Cosmopolitan and chose to do their first look right on the Strip in front of the hotel. What an amazing idea this elopement was from surprise ceremony at the Neon Museum to the Strip photo tour to end the night.
Coolest, right? The colors, the emotion, the awesome photos of best friends hanging out at the Neon Boneyard who just happen to be getting married.
More from their photographer POPography about this surprise wedding:
This wedding was all about relationships, friendships and commitment. Everyone committed to be there and show their love and support. Hands down the coolest group of Aussies I know! In true Vegas fashion, we hit the Strip for two hours and enjoyed the oversized resorts, twinkling lights and gorgeous architecture. It is a true honor to be asked to shoot a wedding. It is even more overwhelming when someone from across the world ask you to join them for a destination wedding. A SECRET destination wedding!
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . POPography
CEREMONY VENUE . Neon Museum
FLORAL . DIY / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Rachel Gilbert, shoes – Betsey Johnson / HAIR + MAKEUP . Makeup in the 702
Wedding submitted via Two Bright Lights
I know a lot of brides and grooms stress about the “perfect” venue for their bridal portraits, but the truth is, if you have chosen a talented (and patient) photographer, you can get amazing photos. That’s the reason I’m highlighting this fairly simple bridal portrait session today. Shot on location in MGM Grand, this pin-up inspired series shows that you don’t need much to go glam.
These photos evoke old Hollywood drama — and were all shot in a ginormous hotel complex. But you’d never know it; fabulous lighting and careful angle choice help hide that. So don’t focus on running around Vegas trying to get as many famous landmarks as you can in your photos, just take a few minutes to consider working with what you’ve got and what you’re really trying to capture in your wedding photos…the background, or you.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Erin Usawicz Photography
SHOOT VENUE . MGM Grand
SHOOT PLANNER . Pete Wright / BRIDAL FASHION . Bella Rosa Bridal / HAIR + MAKEUP . by the model, Signe Kofoed
Shai and Kali both live and work in Las Vegas, and elected not only to have a very Vegas wedding … they had four days of Vegas wedding! After all, if you’re inviting friends and family from all over the world, best to be a good host, right? Their wedding itself took place in Tropicana’s chic Havana Room, which was a nightclub at one time but is now just for private events. Not surprisingly their wedding was full of music, very appropriate for the venue. Love all the moments and personal stories Kali shared from her wedding in this post.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
We picked our date solely because it was on a three-day weekend, so people could stay longer and enjoy time in this fantastic city. We had a dinner and table service for about 40 people on Thursday; a rehearsal dinner and hotel suite party on Friday; a fantastic wedding Saturday; and a private room with a bar and brunch for football Sunday.
Anytime someone asked me where we were getting married, I would say Las Vegas followed immediately by, “…but not like a Vegas wedding, we’re not getting married by Elvis!” In our own way, though, it was a very Vegas wedding. After all, we rented a venue on the Strip that used to be a nightclub! The Havana Room at the Tropicana is now used for private events and the moment we stepped into it and saw the incredible chandelier at the center we were sold. My husband, Shai, was born in Jerusalem and so while I am not Jewish, having a Jewish wedding was a no brainer for us.
THE CEREMONY — The Havana Room at Tropicana
While the venue was modern and glamorous, we had many personal and DIY touches, starting with my dress. I had three dresses for the evening, my ceremony gown, my mid-reception dress and my post-reception dress. We wanted to do a first look but I didn’t want Shai to see me in “my” dress before the ceremony so I wore my mid-reception dress … which just happens to have been my grandmother’s wedding dress from 63 years ago. My grandparents were too frail to travel to Vegas for the wedding so I had her dress altered ever so slightly (only change was to fit my bust) and it came out more incredibly than I could have ever imagined. All of our grandparents were/have been married for over 50 years and so they have been such strong examples of love and marriage for us.
Our ceremony was a sweet 20 minute Jewish ceremony. The ceremony was probably my favorite because it was so us. I loved looking around at all of our guests!
THE RECEPTION — The Havana Room at Tropicana
For our first dance, we had a choreographed routine to “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles. While it was always my husband who messed up when we practiced, it was me who almost messed up at the wedding and he saved us. There is one picture of us dancing when I am laughing that was from this moment. Everyone kept coming up to us saying how much they loved it. For the father-daughter dance we started with “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath; a song I grew up singing with my father, before fading into “Daughters” by John Mayer.
I had a garter with a mini flask on it so Shai took off the garter and took the shot! Then, as we are both in the Air Force, my groom and all of his groomsmen serenaded me with “Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” straight out of Top Gun.
With family flown in from Israel we did some Israeli fold dances as well as the hora, when they lift us up in chairs — that was such a blast! The rest of the night was spent dancing nonstop. We put the lighting and sound systems to good use.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
All of the signs were chalkboards that I wrote and some that I even painted. I also handpainted all of the candle holders throughout the venue (over 50) as well as painting all of the bottle and putting together all of the centerpieces. I also made all of the bouquets and boutonnieres. We had custom kippot (yalmukes) with our names and wedding date for the guests to wear if they wanted and to keep. I didn’t want a white aisle so instead I had a purple one with gold and purple petals, leading up to our beautiful chuppah dripping in crystals to flow with the chandeliers throughout the venue. In addition to wearing my grandmothers dress we had pictures of all of our grandparents framed on our card table. It was our way of having them with us.
My husband had a videographer for our engagement and so before the ceremony started, the projection screen came down and played our video. It was kind of like bringing everything full circle. When everyone else was out, my dad and I had a moment just to ourselves that was really special. I had him take a selfie so we could remember it. I think it really helped calm him. When we finally started walking the aisle (to “Hold On” by Michael Buble) I may have been the only one not crying! I was just so excited I could not stop smiling!
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM SHAI AND KALI
Our advice for couples looking for a wedding in Vegas would be to really take the time to look at all the venues. There is probably no where else in the country where you can find so many venues in such a concentrated area that range in every possible aspect. I had a binder of all the places I inquired with. From there we picked our top seven venues to visit, then we picked the one that fit us the best.
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We had about 120 guests and our budget was about $40,000.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . gaby j photography member of the LVW photography directory
CEREMONY + RECEPTION VENUE . Havana Room at Tropicana
CAKE . Layers Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Casablanca from Patricia’s Boutique, vintage; shoes – Christian Louboutin / HAIR . Hallee Chenowyth at Haute Fringe Salon + Spa / MAKEUP . Kim Katuniss at Square Salon / BRIDESMAIDS . New York and Company / GROOMSWEAR . Express / VIDEOGRAPHY . George Street Photo