10 years together requires a certain level of celebration, if you ask me. And what more appropriate way to mark a decade of marriage than with a renewal of vows from an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas? You can’t help falling in love all over again.
Tisha and Cory went all out for their vow renewal, tacking on a tour of the city and hitting all the big photo spots. A sexy shimmering gold dress and hot red heels for her, a suit and tie for him. An epic renewal, for sure. Be sure to get the low down on these Vegas vows from the photographer, Leana, below!
More from Leana, the photographer:
Tisha and Cory are a one of a kind couple. It was a shocker and an honor to be flown into Las Vegas to shoot their 10 year vow renewal. Tisha and I once were elementary teachers together. We have been in each others lives for nine years and continue to be great friends. Cory definitely grew on me too! I know the conservative parental side of these two, but Vegas brought out a whole new side!
We all gathered the afternoon of the big day. Our pockets were empty from slot machines, but our excitement was through the roof. Tisha was at Aria getting ready with hair and make up while Cory continued to gamble away in his well-fitted suit. It was priceless when Cory came up to the room and saw Tisha in her sparkly gold dress. He walked across the room to give her a kiss and finish zipping her up. They continued to get ready together before we left for the Neon Boneyard.
The Neon Boneyard was ridiculously awesome. We were surrounded by old neon signs from the Las Vegas Strip. How cool is that? There was so much history and vibrant colors. It was a magical moment right before the sunset.
The limo then picked us up and took us to downtown Vegas where we were to meet up with Elvis before traveling to the Vegas sign for the vows. Surrounded by tourists, other photographers, other weddings and what would normally be a distracting scene…it was like Tisha and Cory were the only ones there.
Mixing the fun and frivolous side of Las Vegas with a modern, luxury venue is one of the best things about having a wedding in Las Vegas. For fun-loving couple Seth and Kaitlyn, this combination turned out to be perfect! This pair road tripped from the northeastern United States to Vegas for their wedding with their travel companion Harry, a Chinese Crested, and a car full of DIY’d details and decor. Everything else came from an array of some of the city’s top vendors: images by Meg Ruth Photo, LED Unplugged for that amazing marquee LOVE sign and floral, and Kaitlyn’s whimsical feather and succulent-filled bouquet from Layers of Lovely. And don’t forget the Elvis officiate!
A day filled with love, laughs (doesn’t Kaitlyn look like she’s having the time of her life in every single photo?) with friends and family capped off this vintage glam wedding day for this couple.
Why a Las Vegas wedding? Las Vegas was our first vacation together when we first began dating over 5 years ago. We just love everything about Las Vegas. There’s something for everyone, and the same goes for when you choose to have a wedding in this city. Seth and I wanted a very intimate get together with just family and close friends. We wanted our day to feel more like a party than a wedding. We just wanted to have fun- it’s Vegas! However, we also wanted to showcase our relationship and have a ceremony/ reception that really embodied our friendship, love, and individual personalities. The Mandarin was both elegant, yet fun; modern yet had remnants of Old Vegas. We fell in love with the venue. We also knew that we needed to have our dog, Harry, involved in some part of the day. We were incredibly excited when we found out the Mandarin Oriental allowed dogs! That was the deciding factor. So, we packed up the car with all our DIY decor and road tripped it from Massachusetts to Las Vegas so our pup Harry could come along for the ride! We made a vacation/ honeymoon out of this entire trip. It was incredibly romantic to drive across the country, just us, knowing that the end result would be our marriage!
Kaitlyn’s favorite memory Seeing Seth standing at the aisle with our little dog, Harry, dressed in his Elvis suit. Harry looked so adorable and he was such a good boy! I couldn’t stop laughing!
The Ceremony – Ballroom at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
We wanted a fun ceremony, nothing serious. After all, a wedding is supposed to be a celebration! And we knew, if we had a wedding in Vegas, we needed to have an Elvis officiate! Travis is so incredibly talented. He sang 4 Elvis renditions: “The Wonder of You”, “Love Me Tender”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, and “Viva Las Vegas”! Our ceremony was quick, sweet, and fun-loving! Guests have told us they have never laughed so hard at a wedding in all their lives!
DIY Details + Decor
I hand wrote all the chalkboard signs: the menu, guestbook signs, and seating charts. We made our escort cards out of playing cards correlating to the table numbers and placed silver labels with each guests’s name on each card. We also wanted to pay a tribute to our amazing grandparents (all but one are now deceased) so we made a table with vintage gold framed photos from all of our grandparents’ weddings. It gave a personal touch to the whole wedding, and everyone really enjoyed viewing the gorgeous black & white photos of our loved ones. I purchased many of the frames and small decor items at vintage shops. We also made adorable welcome bags filled with bloody mary fixings, snacks, a travel guide, Vegas magnet, and transit schedule to assist guests in exploring the city. We dropped these off at guests’ hotels when we first arrived in Vegas. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority was incredibly helpful with sending us free maps, travel guides, and show schedules to help fill our welcome bags!
The Reception – Ballroom at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
The Mandarin Oriental’s ballroom is absolutely breathtaking. When you enter, you are taken aback by the wall to wall windows providing an exceptional view of the strip. That, in and of itself, was decor enough. But we also wanted to play on those incredible Vegas lights with bright pops of color in the flowers, linens, and lighting. We wanted our reception to be reminiscent of Old Vegas: a bit of a vintage glam vibe. My favorite part of the reception decor was the huge marquee lights spelling “L-O-V-E”. Just beautiful! Our reception naturally turned into a great dance party fairly quickly, and our DJ was so awesome: he even passed the microphone over to me to do a rendition of the Little Mermaid (Seth, myself, and the bridal party guests had a wild night at Dino’s singing karaoke the Thursday before our wedding)! We also purchased our own props for all our guests to wear during our dance party: Elvis sunglasses with sideburns, Stunner shades, and Groucho Marx glasses- A Must! A total party!
Seth + Kaitlyn’s Vegas wedding tips
HAVE FUN!! Just remember, you are getting the best of the best when it comes to vendors in this town. This is the wedding capital of the world! Keep reminding yourselves that these people know what they’re doing! I’m a bit of a control freak, so it was hard for me to give up all the reigns, but these vendors are literally professionals. I had so much fun planning this destination wedding. It doesn’t matter what your budget is: this town has something for everyone. Shop around and email vendors. Ask them as many questions as you can, and when you find a right fit, you will know. It was such a pleasure to work with everyone- I’m so glad I planned this wedding in the age of email – it really made planning from a distance so easy!
Seth + Kaitlyn’s Wedding Guestcount and Budget Originally we had invited about 180 guests, but due to it being a destination wedding, we only ended up with 50 guests, which was actually perfect. It made the evening very intimate yet fun. We were able to visit with everyone and still had a chance to dance and enjoy ourselves. My parents were incredibly gracious and helped us pay for everything. The total spent was about $40,000.
Mo and Casey travelled from Down Under to get married in Las Vegas! Coming from so far away, this couple did things up right and included all the little Vegas touches they wanted, including a mini-concert from Elvis (with showgirls) and a roving magician that delighted guests during cocktail hour. Mo went the extra mile and even surprised her new husband with some surprise guests and a light sabre battle with the Dark Lord, Darth Vader himself. Bently and Wilson Photography captured all the epic moments.
The coolest thing I think they did was a same-day vow renewal (yes, you read correctly) where they did things in that classic Vegas style, at the Graceland Chapel with an Elvis impersonator! Be sure to come back on Wednesday to see their day after wedding “encore” bridal shoot!
Why did you choose Las Vegas? Casey and I (Mo) live in Brisbane, Australia. We met online and just knew it was love from our first date in July 2012. Fast forward 8 months and we decided to get married. Las Vegas was initially a bit of a joke, “Hey, lets go get married in Vegas!” but once I started to Google venues and Vegas weddings – I was hooked. Even though it was literally on the other side of the world, Vegas was exciting and offered a lot more variety for our wedding than what we had at home. It didn’t take much to convince Casey either. We set our date, booked our venues, set up a wedding website then sent out save the dates to 100 friends and family all around the world.
The Ceremony – Chapel at Flamingo Hotel We picked the Flamingo Hotel as a ceremony venue because they allowed outside vendors for a reasonable fee. We also loved the gardens there for a photo opportunity. Initially we were booked to get married outside at the Gazebo but on our scouting trip we fell in love with the newly remodeled indoor chapel. The chapel was so beautiful we didn’t have to add any additional decor. Looking back we are definitely glad we chose this venue.
We didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony so we traveled separately from our hotel to the Flamingo. I waited in the bridal suite until the start of the ceremony and my 6 year old son was our ring bearer and looked great in his little tux. We are so glad we had a videographer as we can hardly recall most of the ceremony. We spent most of the time just grinning at each other truly madly deeply in love and so excited to be finally getting married. We chose to have a civil ceremony and wrote our own vows. It was such an amazing moment when we were announced as husband and wife and our first kiss was electric.
We hosted guests at Carlos n Charlies in the Flamingo Gardens for a short cocktail hour following the ceremony whilst we did a quick photo shoot around the Flamingo. As entertainment we hired Jason Bird to do some strolling magic and our guests are STILL talking about his amazing tricks.
The Reception – Di Carlo & Calabria Rooms at Maggiano’s, Fashion Show Mall We couldn’t go past Maggiano’s for their incredible reputation for great food, value reception packages and the hardwood decor. We dropped off all of our decor two days before the wedding and were very impressed with Maggiano’s set up of our reception. The decor, food and premium open bar absolutely wowed our guests. The ‘LOVE’ lights and uplighting from LED Unplugged transformed Maggiano’s Di Carlo & Calabria room.
Our guests were greeted by Elvis and the Showgirls who performed during the first course of dinner. After the main course we had speeches, our first dance then cut the cake. The rest of the night was a blur of cocktails, great music and amazing desserts. Our last dance was to Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore’ and it turned into a great drunken sing along with all of our guests. Nobody wanted to leave when the lights came up.
Any standout memories from the wedding day? The absolute stand out moment from our wedding was the groom’s surprise wedding visit from Darth Vader and some Storm Troopers. Casey is a huge Star Wars fan and loves all things sci-fi and fantasy. He had absolutely no idea that this was even planned. The DJ, who also happened to like Star Wars, transformed the visit from simply a meet & greet photo-op into a full blown epic light sabre battle between Casey and Darth Vader. A truly memorable ending to a perfect wedding day.
And what about that same day vow renewal?
Throughout all of our wedding planning, Casey and I were constantly asked whether our wedding would be in a little chapel with a hip-thrusting Elvis officiant. Unfortunately the stereotype of a Vegas wedding as it is portrayed in the movies is well and truly alive in Australia. To feed the stereotype, and because we think Elvis is super cool, Casey and I decided to have a same day vow renewal at the Graceland Chapel. We were in and out of there within 15 minutes while our guests were on a party bus tour of the Strip. In contrast to our traditional ceremony, Casey and I were able to completely let loose and just have fun. Our Elvis was amazing and made the experience unforgettable. We loved it that much we posted the video on YouTube for all the world to see!
Did you DIY or make anything yourselves for the wedding? Having an international destination wedding made DIY decor really difficult. Luckily, I was able to ship items to our wedding coordinator at Culinary Pros. We really wanted feather centrepieces at our reception but the quotes were outrageously expensive at between $120 – $180 per centrepiece. So we decided to DIY, I purchased everything through eBay and had 13 feather centrepieces at a total cost of $400.
Mo + Casey’s #1 tip for others marrying in Las Vegas
Our top tip for international couples planning to marry in Las Vegas is don’t count on the exchange rate! Unfortunately for us when we started planning the wedding the Australian dollar bought $1.07 US Dollar. About 6 months before our wedding the Aussie dollar crashed to just 80 US cents. So in essence the cost of everything planned for our wedding went up by 27% + the added expenses of international transaction fees. Needless to say we totally blew our budget – but we wouldn’t change a single thing about our perfect day.
[Also] We were completely blown away by Langdon Videography and they were an absolute stand out vendor for us. In my personal view – videography is a MUST for destination weddings because pictures alone just don’t do the event justice particularly when sharing with friends and family who couldn’t travel to the event. Initially I was quoted over $3000 by some of the bigger, more popular cinematic companies in Vegas – but our $1200 package with Langdon Videography went above and beyond our expectations.
Mo + Casey’s Guestcount and Budget
We had 30 guests and our wedding day cost approximately $15,000US not including any attire or travel expenses.
If you are getting married in a chapel, and are on the fence over whether or not you should hire an extra photographer outside the chapel’s package, look no further than this post as to the reasons why you should!
Isaac Wu Photography followed Colorado transplants Tiffany and Gavin around Las Vegas as they primped and primed before their wedding at Mandarin Oriental. But he also got some great group portraits on the Strip, downtown in Fremont and captured the spirt of this cool, calm and collected couple who were married by Elvis as witnessed by six of their closest friends.
More from their photographer, Isaac:
After roaming around the various floors in the hotel, we took over the Las Vegas Strip. Being that this couple met while living in New York, it only made sense to hit the mini-Brooklyn Bridge at the New York-New York casino and of course Elmo and Bert decided to drop on in to celebrate the occasion. We then decided to hit downtown or the “old” Vegas, which is always bound to bring a few surprises (which it did). The Fremont Street Experience (the “experience” part is accurately named) is full of life, colors, lights, and apparently that’s where you can also find a scantily clad blonde devil along with a younger and shorter Elvis.
Indeed they did…
The color of the day was blue, as worn by the bridesmaids, Tiffany’s manicure and even their officiant. I wonder if he wore blue suede shoes, too..? Tiffany’s ultra modern, funky trapeze style dress came from AllSaints – there is a location in Cosmopolitan! (I’m always lusting after the leather there…)
Totally fabulous, totally modern and totally unforgettable – that’s a Las Vegas elopement for you!
Since the Neon Museum began hosting events at their boneyard last year, I’ve heard of weddings being held there, but this is the first one shared on the blog! The venue is a popular spot for engagement and post wedding portraits, but is a pretty special place to hold an event as well. You are surrounded by the sights and signs of vintage Vegas, making for a great atmosphere for a reception with a built in theme and decor!
Kristin and Corey held their modern wedding ceremony and reception at the retro museum recently, and threw in an Elvis officiant for good measure. I love the modern mix of Kristin’s glitzy gold sequined kate spade dress and stylish low decor of the reception surrounded by the glowy neon lights.
Read on for more from Kristin on planning a wedding at the Neon Museum and for lots of photos from Brilliant Imagery of the wedding, plus the welcome dinner at the Sugar Factory and the trash the dress shoot in the arts district of Vegas with all the girls post-wedding!