Ever thought of ending your honeymoon with a wedding? Today’s newlyweds did just that, marrying after an around-the-world trip together! Stuart and Debbie travelled through several countries in southeast Asia as well as China, Australia, Fiji and a large chunk of America in 2013 and 2014, making Las Vegas their final stop to get married before heading home, alongside 18 friends and family members who joined them.
The most amazing thing to me is that their wedding was planned almost completely from the road and decorated with little items collected from their journey! Brilliant Imagery joined up with the pair just following their ceremony at Flamingo and before their restaurant reception, photographing the dinner and ensuing celebration around Las Vegas in their massive party bus! Read on for Stuart and Debbie’s wedding day details…
The Ceremony – West Lawn at Flamingo Hotel and Casino
We chose to have our ceremony at Flamingo on the West Lawn because it was a beautiful outdoors setting with a lovely white wooden gazebo and lots of garden flowers. It reminded me of home amongst a crazy setting! The staff at the Flamingo were fantastic and very efficient and made our whole experience easy. Hannah, my best friend since I was 4-years-old, was my bridesmaid & our 4-year-old nephew William was our pageboy and he held a sign saying “Uncle Stuey here comes your bride” when he walked before me. I walked down the aisle (a brick path!) to “At Last” by Etta James, a little joke on Stu because we have been together for 12 years!
The parasol Debbie is holding was one of the souvenirs collected on their global trek — it was purchased at the Great Wall of China!
The heart flower-patterned fan? You guessed it, another souvenir, this time from Thailand.
The Reception – Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas
After our ceremony none of our guests, other than our best man, knew a thing about our reception, which kept it more exciting for us! Our reception dinner was at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris, we had a lovely small private room looking out towards the Bellagio fountains. We chose to have a cheese board served as soon as we arrived along with a French cocktail. Cheese is my favourite food and I am always too full at the end of a meal to eat it, so I decided to have this served first! Followed was a three course menu with plenty of wine for the girls & beer for the boys!
Before dessert was served we had our speeches, with words from my Mum and a lovely poem on marriage, a moving speech from Stuart and an amazing speech from our best man Darryl. He even performed a song he wrote on an acoustic guitar as a surprise! He had hid the guitar behind a curtain to keep it a secret from us.
DIY and handmade touches:
Our theme was 1930′s vintage, with blush pink & golds as our colours. I made all our place setting cards with pink tassels and I did all our flowers for the two reception tables. My Mum made me a book with messages from home and photos from family & friends that couldn’t make the wedding. My Nan sent me her pearl scarf pin as my something borrowed, which I pinned it to the back of my dress where the buttons ended, covering the hidden zip. My brother, sister-in-law and two nephews, George & Alfred sent me an antique blue brooch as my something blue that I pinned on my bouquet. My something new was my dress and my something old was a vintage clutch bag I had for the evening.
Our wedding invitations were designed by myself and my friend Anna who is a fantastic artist. Her style suited our wedding of modern vintage but with a twist of the craziness of Las Vegas. We decided on a postcard style to represent our travels before our wedding and a luggage tag as our RSVP.
Favorite wedding day memories:
The first time I saw Stuart standing there smiling waiting for me to walk down the aisle, when my nephew William & sister-in-law Jenny gave me a handmade rosette stating “Mrs Allerton”, and the excitement of our guests when they saw the limo!
After dinner we headed to the north entrance of Paris and waiting for us was a 26-seater mammoth limo, stocked to the brim with all our favourite alcohol! We partied for three hours and made stops to the Bellagio, the Vegas sign and Fremont Street and Rachel took amazing photos along the way. We were dropped off just before midnight at Paris, with our last surprise being a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Debbie and Stuart’s top tip for other couples marrying in Vegas:
Research! At first I felt deflated because I couldn’t find anything to suit our budget or needs! But A LOT of research paid off and I am so thrilled to have found the vendors we did!
Debbie and Stuart’s Las Vegas Wedding Guestlist and Budget:
Our guests numbered 18 plus Stu and I, so 20 in total. We didn’t have an exact budget but we were very aware to keep costs low after spending lots on our travels!
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Brilliant Imagery
CEREMONY VENUE . West Lawn at Flamingo Las Vegas
RECEPTION VENUE . Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas
FLORAL . Flamingo / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Clematis by MiaMia, shoes – Dune, earrings - Swarovski, headpiece – The Wedding Trousseau / HAIR + MAKEUP . Smooth Brides / BRIDESMAID . Coast / GROOMSWEAR . suit + shirt - Next and Laura Ashley, bow tie and suspenders: Chadds Menswear of Norwich, pageboy’s bow tie and suspenders – Etsy / TRANSPORTATION . Elite Transportation / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . just married sign – Rifle Paper Co., handdrawn invitation – Bullrush Art
Rolf and Danielle are from Providence, Rhode Island — this pair of music lovers met when they worked together in a record store. The reason they decided to get married in Vegas was because of the unique venue at Cosmopolitan — the seasonal wedding chapel that opens from time to time there. While the Pop Up Chapel didn’t open this year, I couldn’t resist featuring this incredible elopement with a dash of vintage Vegas style.
That hot red retro dress Danielle wore? She rocked it. Instead of scattering petals, the bridesmaids blew noisemakers, and the soundtrack was eclectic: the processional was “This Wheel’s on Fire” by Siouxsie and the Banshees and the recessional was Harry Nilsson’s “Cuddly Toy.” Perfect.
More from the photographer, Heather Parker:
This small destination wedding was casual but still stylish and personalized. The traditional wedding chapels in Vegas weren’t that exciting for the bride, but the Pop-up Chapel was great for this special occasion. It was modern, and sleek, and located in a chic hotel on the Vegas Strip.
Close friends came together and the big project was a handmade bouquet out of felt and brooches including letters of the names of the bride and groom. The colors of the wedding were red, black and white drawing inspiration from a roulette wheel, which was perfectly fitting for a Vegas destination wedding. Gold horseshoe earrings were given to the bride by a friend, as a symbol of good luck. The groom kept his cool personality while rocking out down the aisle in his Chuck Taylors as Siouxsie and the Banshees played.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Heather Parker Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . Pop Up Wedding Chapel at Cosmopolitan
GETTING READY HOTEL . HRH Suite Tower at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Honey, in Red by Trashy Diva, shoes – Crane Pumps by Vince Camuto, earrings – Little Luck By Boe, necklaces - Katy Westcott, fascinator - Batcakes Couture / VINTAGE BROOCH BOUQUET . Handmade / WEDDING RINGS . She Weld / LEATHER RING POUCH . Gypsy Tailor / GROOMSWEAR . Iron Maiden t-shirt by John Varvatos, slip-on gray Chuck Taylors by Converse
When you mix a picturesque (and historic!) country club just off The Strip, rustic wedding decor and an amazing couple, you get gorgeous results. Caity and Bryan were married at the Las Vegas Country Club this spring, and provided perfect hospitality for their wedding guests. Casual lawn games the couple made themselves such as beer pong (which was signed by guests to become a guestbook) giant Jenga and a photobooth kept guests entertained during the cocktail hour while the thoughtful couple captured amazing wedding pictures with Jenna Ebert Photography.
The rustic-style decor was primarily handmade by Caity and Bryan themselves, including chalkboard signage, the mason jar and woodslice centerpieces and other burlap touches. Even the bridesmaids dresses were custom made by a seamstress, ensuring everything was just as this couple wanted. The reception was accented with bistro lighting and pops of yellow sunflowers — even a country-fied vintage Chevy truck perfect for photos was provided by Bryan’s father! A simply gorgeous spring wedding.
Why Caity and Bryan chose Las Vegas Country Club for their wedding:
We chose the LVCC for multiple reasons, the most important being I knew it was going to be our venue the moment I walked out onto the open terrace. It was so big and beautiful, completely took my breath away. The LVCC also covered a lot of my concerns when picking a venue, such as a pretty backup indoor location in case the weather went south, my guests only had to drive to one location for both the ceremony and reception, and there wasn’t a lot of walking for them to do, but most importantly it is gorgeous!
We chose not to add much to the ceremony because the site was already pretty on its own. I love the look of white picket chairs on green grass and as we didn’t want a fancy arch or anything like that, so I simply had my florist line the sides of the aisle with fully bloomed sunflowers to frame our perfect moment, and it was just that, perfect. Immediately after the ceremony we had Allie (the second photographer at the wedding) take a group shot to make sure we included and remembered everyone who shared in the wedding including our main photographer Jenna, my new sister in law!
The Reception — Grand Terrace at Las Vegas Country Club
We kept the reception fun and had plenty of things for the guests to do, including yard games, a photobooth and memory video. The bistro lighting and chandelier that the LVCC supplied for me really tied all the magic of the night together. I think one of the most important parts of the reception is the music and the MC, and ours did the most fantastic job, he played the music we wanted and we never heard anything we didn’t want to. He really helped the night run smoothly with the help of Selena (the Las Vegas Country Club wedding coordinator.) All of my handmade decorations and signs really helped tie in the theme and feel I was going for and made everything so worth it.
What were some of the DIY and handmade personal touches at your wedding?
Everything was handmade! From my save the dates, invitations, all signs, banners, mason jars, and even the lawn games were made by Bryan and I with a little help from family and friends.
What was one of the most memorable moments of the wedding?
One of our favorite parts of our wedding was once all the major events were finished, we were just able to celebrate, dance, play games and go in the photobooth with all our friends and family.
Caity and Bryan’s #1 tip for other Las Vegas weddings:
I was so afraid of my guests being bored while we were taking our photos! To help time pass and entertain our guests, we decided to make the lawn games, have a photobooth and play the memory video all in this time. Our games included a handmade cornhole, giant lawn Jenga, and even a beer pong table that people could sign. Everyone was so happy and having so much fun! We had no complaints.
Caity and Bryan’s Guestcount and Budget:
The budget was somewhat based around the LVCC minimum fee. You had to reach a minimum of $10,000 in food and alcohol for the night, with a $2,250 venue fee as well, which my parents kindly paid for, and we took care of all the other vendors. Our wedding included an open bar and amenities for 140 guests.
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Jenna Ebert Photography / Second Shooter: Alison Claire Photography / Ceremony + Reception Venue: Las Vegas Country Club / Wedding Planner: Selena Stern at LVCC / Officiant: Tom Mattick / Wedding Dress: Bowties Bridal / Hair: Raena Overton at Salon Salon / Makeup: Elle Belanger (bridesmaid) / Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Custom by Juanita Chitay / Groom’s Suit + Menswear: Jos. A Bank / Floral: ACS Florals and Events / Catering: / Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes / Bistro Lighting and Chandelier: LVCC Entertainment and Other Lighting: Perfect Vision Entertainment and DJs / Stationery: DIY by the Bride / Vintage Chevy truck: owned by Groom’s father / Chalkboards: DIY / Mason Jars: DIY
I am head over heels in love with this evening wedding at Historic Fifth Street School, photographed by Amberlight Collective. Stephanie and Mark infused their September destination wedding in downtown Las Vegas with bright colors and bits of retro snazz in the stationery and favors with help from the ladies of Scheme Events.
Bistro lighting from LED Unplugged infused romance into the courtyard, which hosted both their ceremony and reception. There are many gorgeous details at this wedding, but my favorite part is probably the Quaker-inspired “voicing of support” portion of their ceremony. Friends and family were invited to share a story about the newlyweds, share advice or otherwise celebrate the new marriage. A beautiful way to involve everyone in the wedding! Read on for more details and tips from Stephanie and Mark…
Why did you choose the Historic Fifth Street School for your wedding?
On the day we visited Fifth Street School, we had seen several venues across town and it was the only one that we walked into and immediately felt excited about. When we walked in to the courtyard, we both knew it was the place for the casual, fun atmosphere we were going for. I am a Las Vegas native, and my mom actually went to school there when she was growing up. That added significance, combined with the fact that it is perfectly restored and such a unique historical space that is so incongruous to its surroundings, made it exactly what we were looking for.
I am from Vegas, but Mark is from Ohio and more than half the guests would be traveling, (we referred to our wedding as “half-destination’). We wanted to pick a place that was fun for the people traveling, but also not a pain for the locals to get to. It was important to us to find a place that would highlight Vegas as a fun place to visit, but that also showed visitors another side of Vegas they might not get to see otherwise. Being inside the courtyard feels like you’re in a completely different kind of Vegas, and it was that side of the city we wanted our guests to see. It was perfect.
The Ceremony — Historic Fifth Street School Courtyard
We did a lot of research trying to find a ceremony format that we felt fit us. We weren’t huge fans of the traditional format – the thought of walking down an aisle gave me heart palpitations and neither of us could stand the idea of being married by someone who had no idea who we were. And, most importantly, we didn’t like the idea that our friends and family would spend a large part of our wedding celebrating without us. Whether at the beginning, when we would be separated before the ceremony, or the actual ceremony where we would stand in front of everyone and not get to interact, or afterward, where you leave for ages to get pictures taken. We didn’t want any of that – so we decided we would scrap it.
When we got engaged, Mark laid down only one request – that his friend Tim would to be the one to marry us. Tim is one of Mark’s oldest friends, and since it was important that we be married by someone who knows us and knows who we are as a couple, that was a no-brainer. Ahead of the ceremony we did a cocktail hour/photo session where Mark and I would greeted our guests, gave hugs, and took pictures with all the groups of family and friends who attended. This was a little stressful, as I wanted to make sure that we got pictures with everyone, but I preferred it to sitting in a back room somewhere freaking out. When the time came, we had our DJ announce it by playing the first part of Queen’s “The Wedding March,” which set just the right fun, lighthearted tone we wanted.
As everyone took their seats, Mark and I held hands and walked across the courtyard with everyone else and took our places with Tim at the front, with our family and friends seated all around us. We decided to do a Quaker-style wedding after finding the format on a wedding blog – it basically involves the initial exchange of vows, followed by a voicing of support by friends and family – which invites anyone to come up and voice their support for our union by telling stories, giving advice, or just telling us they love us. This was my favorite part of the day, as our parents and friends came up and made us laugh and cry. We were able to hug each of them and have them as a part of our ceremony pictures, which was incredibly important to me.
The last person to speak was Mark, who made a toast to his father, Michael, who is no longer with us. Everyone in the crowd was given a shot of either Crown Royal (Michael’s favorite) or Coke, and all of us toasted him and all of our family who weren’t able to be there on that special night. Taking the laughter and love from those stories, we ended the ceremony with a ring exchange where Mark’s mom Chris handed me his ring, and my mom Pam handed Mark my ring, and the rest is history.
The Reception — Historic Fifth Street School Courtyard
First of all, because we were planning from across country, I really gave the Scheme Events girls and their amazing team of vendors free reign on the space. Bistro lights were the splurge that I really wanted, and since we were using the space both for ceremony and party, it was important the seating could transition easily. We did picnic tables, scattered with some circles of lounge seating, but Traci & Scheme really did whatever they thought best and they did an incredible, incredible job. The lighting was absolutely perfect. And the flowers by Layers of Lovely were staggering. I gave them barely any guidance – basically just preferred colors – and they created the most beautiful, perfect arrangements for the space and the atmosphere we wanted.
After the ceremony, Mark and I went off for a little time by ourselves and to take a few pictures with Danette. Have I mentioned she is amazing – everyone should hire her right now. We wandered over to East Fremont to get some neon pics in the meantime, our guests went right into eating and partying – the food was done masterfully by Masterpiece Catering, and everyone was raving about how amazing the food was. As is the story for most weddings – we didn’t really get a chance to eat.
Everyone’s favorite part of the reception was the ice cream sandwich and popsicle desserts, which we did in lieu of cake – since neither of us are that big on it. For a warm Vegas evening, it was divine.
When we came back from photos, we had our first dance to “Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space,” by Spiritualized – which carried over our Vegas theme since it is a futuristic cover of sorts of Elvis’ “Fools Rush In.” We did our Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dance together to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long as I Can See the Light,” and after the first part of it, invited everyone to dance with us.
This resulted in my favorite picture of the night, where my Dad is looking over at Mark dancing with his Mom, and everyone is grinning from ear to ear. After this, dancing dancing dancing, and along with our awesome photobooth and wonderful friends, it was pretty much the best party I could have imagined.
Was there an especially memorable moment of the day?
Every time I tell this story people recoil with horror, but it was such a surreal and hilarious moment, it’s definitely one of my favorite moments of the entire week. I had my dress custom made by a really lovely and talented woman in Cleveland, at A Bride’s Design. The dress was amazing, a simple camisole top with a skirt of layers peach and champagne organza that she had washed over and over to give it a spectacular unfinished look.
We love road trips, so Mark and I drove from Cleveland to Vegas the week before the wedding, as a last road trip before we got married, so the dress rode in the back of our car and got a little rumpled. We took it to a well-meaning dry cleaner in Vegas (who will remain nameless) and asked them to gently steam the skirt to get the big creases out, but not to iron it, since the skirt was supposed to look a little rumpled. When it arrived at my house, gorgeously wrapped in paper and ribbon, it looked perfect. However, when I put it on the afternoon of the wedding, it became clear that the dry cleaner had pressed the organza back to its original sleek finish, not only ruining the effect it was originally meant to have, but also ruining the carefully-cut hem that had been measured precisely for my shoes. My dress was now nearly 12 inches too long.
It was impossible to walk in, so I had my lovely, lovely, PETRIFIED friends get down on the floor and CUT A FOOT OF MY DRESS OFF. They did an amazing job in a blink of an eye, we got in the limo and off we went. It was a hiccup in an otherwise perfect wedding festivity week – but at the time, I didn’t even care. Just cut the damn thing off and let’s do this! The pictures of this are also my favorite, I’m laughing my head off as my friend Amanda cuts my dress!
Were there any DIY or handmade details?
We didn’t really do the DIY thing, since it was tough planning a Las Vegas wedding from across the country. The Scheme girls were amazing and we let them take care of nearly everything. I am a graphic designer, so I did design and create our invites, programs, favors and our VIP passes we sent to guests. We didn’t really have a “theme” to the wedding, but for the paper I took our initials from iconic Vegas signs of the past – so the M was from the Moulin Rouge and the S from the Sands. After I did that illustration, we used it across everything, including some fun VIP passes that were sent as the invitation to our guests – inviting our VIPs to the party of our lives.
Stephanie and Mark’s #1 tip for other couples marrying in Las Vegas
Make sure you have some time to just be together before the wedding. Planning and family and friends can get overwhelming in those days leading up, and you don’t have that time to reflect or talk or laugh together much when things get going. Our road trip out to Vegas before the wedding was the best decision we ever made. It gave us some great time before to just be together before the insanity began, and since we were driving we were out-of-pocket and mostly out of touch. We both agree having that calm time before was just as good as the honeymoon, and I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance – even if you aren’t travelling. Take a weekend before, tell everyone you are turning off your phone, and just be together.
Stephanie and Mark’s Wedding Guest Count and Budget
We had 90 people at the wedding, and my advice here would be this: I was really worried about guest count. I didn’t want to go over on the number we had budgeted for, and in the end I was a bit brutal about cutting our list in order to get within the number. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have done that – because in the end I felt like I had excluded people who should have been there in order to stay within the budget number, and I regret it. The difference between those extra 5-10 people being there and going slightly over budget compared to feeling like they should have been there… it’s just not worth it.
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Amberlight Collective / Ceremony + Reception Venue: Historic 5th Street School, Courtyard / Wedding Planner + Event Design: Scheme Events / Wedding Dress: A Bride’s Design, Cleveland, Custom / Floral: Layers of Lovely / Catering: Masterpiece Cuisine / Celebrant: Friend of the Couple / Entertainment: Harry O Productions / Stationery: Invitations, Programs and VIP Passes Designed by the Bride / Printing: jakprints / Photobooth: Shutterbooth Las Vegas / Vintage Rentals + Props: The Wooden Trunk / Bistro Lighting: LED Unplugged / Transport: Earthlimos and Buses / Custom Playing Card Favors: MakePlayingCards.com / Welcome Bag Champagne: Korbel
This might be the first time I’ve ever gone gaga over a hat, but I love the bride’s look in today’s post. Rebecca and Christopher were married in Las Vegas this past Halloween, traveling from Minnesota to tie the knot. For their wedding they went a route that did not allow outside photography, but chose to do a pre-wedding portrait session with JamieY Photography. The results are stunning — Jamie chose a fantastic locale for this couple’s photos going with Rebecca’s wish for something urban and featuring graffiti: the downtown Arts District. It suited their 1960s vintage Vegas look perfectly!
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: JamieY Photography / Photo Shoot Venue: Arts District, downtown Las Vegas / Hair + Makeup: Shane at Making Up Las Vegas / Bride’s Shoes: Eclectic Company by ModCloth / Groom’s Suit + Menswear: Custom tie, Michael Kors shirt / Floral: Layers of Lovely / Blue Pillbox Hat + Jewelry: Vintage from Etsy / Purse: Vintage
Chris’s tie was custom made with 1960s style fabric, which was also used in Rebecca’s bouquet.
More from their photographer, Jamie: I could gush about these two all day. We had a great shoot. We had lots of luck and so many people were super friendly. Usually photographers are not a business owners favorite person to see, but on this day everything was going our way. An artist let us into his office and use his items as props, perfect vintage pieces to go with Becky’s vintage look. We also got to sneak into my favorite huge warehouse that I have never seen open. Everything was just perfect. Becky & Chris are so photogenic and so in love. The way Chris looks at Becky says it all.