Archive of ‘Vintage’ category
Are you ready to go under the sea? That’s where Kari and Drew’s wedding today takes us, to the exquisite Seascape Ballroom inside Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. Small wedding ceremonies have been possible in the aquarium for a while, but recently a reception space has been made available, as well. Not only do the venue (and couple) look stunning, the theme chosen fits their destination wedding so well!
Choosing to build off the travel theme, Kari and Drew’s reception featured vintage travel props that brought everything together perfectly. Add in an amazing venue reveal, lots of dancing and delicious desserts — this is one of the reasons Las Vegas weddings are the best. (Then again, I’m biased.)
WHY DREW + KARI CHOSE LAS VEGAS
My husband and I have been to our fair share of boring weddings, and from the first day of the wedding planning process, we knew that our wedding had to be over-the-top, unique and most of all: FUN! Planning a destination wedding has its pros and cons, but overall, it really depends on the type of couple you are and what type of wedding you want. For us, having a vintage travel themed wedding made it easy to decide that we needed a out of town, worth-the-travel type of venue for our reception!
THE CEREMONY — THEWedding Chapel at Mandalay Bay
Originally, we were looking into having our ceremony at the Valley of the Falls at Mandalay Bay, however we decided to take the bulk of our wedding funds and use them in a better reception. After all, the ceremony is only 15-20 minutes long. Valley of the Falls is pretty, but the upgrade fee was pretty high, I wanted to avoid the heat and making our guests walk a longer way to our reception. So with the pros and cons, we decided to stick to a basic, beautiful chapel that was air conditioned, had a pianist and would be comfortable for everyone. During our original venue search in Vegas, my husband and I agreed immediately that Mandalay Bay has the nicest chapels and reception areas on the strip! We were impressed by how nice everything was and that it was affordable!
THE RECEPTION — Seascape Ballroom at the Shark Reef Aquarium
After searching high and low, on and off The Strip, we stumbled upon a brand new venue, the Seascape Ballroom, located in the Shark Reef of Mandalay Bay. It was gorgeous, unique and breathtaking. And the venue was so new we were actually the first wedding reception to have a DJ in the space. The good news is that the sharks loved our music!
All of our guests were escorted through the Shark Reef to the ballroom right after the ceremony. The space had curtains covering the glass to the aquariums, so it looked like there were plain walls. During our first dance to “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles, the curtains were slowly raised to reveal the hidden windows looking into the sunken ship inside the Shark Reef.
In addition to the room, we also had a patio, where we had the buffet line, bar and photo booth. We kept the desserts, cookie station and DJ inside and there was plenty of room for all 45 of us. We had a milk and cookie station with a chef baking fresh cookies for our guests — the room smelt like cookie heaven!
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
Being that this was a destination wedding, I tried to keep my DIYs to a minimum because traveling in the heat with breakables and bedazzled items just doesn’t work. You can see some more details about my projects here. To fit our vintage travel theme I made passport style programs, message in a bottle escort cards and 3D table letters with photos of us decoupaged on the edges. We rented vintage suitcases and cameras from Nostalgia Resources to complete the theme — Veronica was great to work with!
Our Grand Entrance/First Dance was absolutely one of the BEST parts of our entire day! We planned it our strategically with our wedding planner and I love how it was executed! For our Bridal Party, the DJ started by playing the theme song to Jaws to help draw the crowd’s attention to the doors. Everyone was laughing so hard! After everyone was introduced, it was our turn and we did our first dance to the version of “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles used in the Cirque du Soleil LOVE production. The song was perfect because in this version, they slow down Ringo’s voice and add some bells which was perfect for raising the curtains to. I can cry just thinking about it; everyone was shouting out things like, “WOW!!! LOOK AT THAT!! OMG!!” I looked at my husband and both of us were beaming from ear to ear. We knew we did this right. After about a minute, we invited all guest to come dance with us.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM KARI + DREW:
Before the wedding, we decided to do a first look. I would absolutely recommend this to couples that are okay with going outside of traditional wedding rules and want to calm their nerves a bit before the wedding. With our first look, we pulled some strings and were let into the beautiful Swan Court at the elegant Auerole restaurant at Mandalay Bay.
We also did a first look to reduce our cocktail hour. We did not want our guest waiting 1-2 hours for our reception to get rocking, so we did all our photos in the morning. Highly recommended! We had the energy still to walk around the Mandalay Bay property, my makeup was fresh, it wasn’t hot yet, tourist were still sleeping (no photo bombers!) and we got many intimate moments photographed that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Cashman Photo
CEREMONY VENUE . THEWedding Chapel at Mandalay Bay
RECEPTION VENUE . Seascape Ballroom at Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
FLORAL . Mandalay Bay / CATERING . Mandalay Bay / CAKE . Mandalay Bay / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – David’s Bridal WG9821, shoes – Payless Comfort Plus with DIY bling, jewelry – Charming Charlie / HAIR + MAKEUP . Perfect Hair and Makeup / BRIDESMAIDS . David’s Bridal F14865 in Coral Reef / GROOMSWEAR . Vera Wang Collection from Men’s Wearhouse / VINTAGE RENTALS . suitcases, centerpieces, vintage props + cameras – Nostalgia Resources / LINENS . Creative Coverings / PHOTOBOOTH . Party Pix of LV
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.
VENUE + VENDOR DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHY . Meg Ruth Photo
CEREMONY + RECEPTION VENUE . Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
OFFICIANT . Elvis aka Travis Allen of Tallen Productions / WEDDING PLANNER . day of coordination provided by Scheme Events / FLORAL . Layers of Lovely / CAKE . Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Sloan by Sottero & Midgley, jewelry – Sarah White Jewelry / BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES . Radical Thread Co. / HAIR AND MAKEUP . Amelia C & Co. / GROOM’S WEAR . Men’s Wearhouse / TRANSPORTATION . AWG Ambassador Limos / RENTALS . furniture + linens - Layers of Lovely / LIGHTING + LOVE MARQUEE SIGN . LED Unplugged / STATIONERY . Minted / ENTERTAINMENT . DJ Mike Fox
Although many couples opt for the neon and architecture of The Strip or even classic downtown Las Vegas for their wedding venue, the city is surrounded by the picturesque Mojave desert.
This landscape appeals to those looking for a more natural look and feel, and there are a variety of locations from a half hour to just over an hour’s drive outside the city. These desert wedding venues are a different side to Las Vegas, with majestic geological features, sand covered vistas and desert plant life like cacti and even Joshua trees.
Doing your wedding yourself at these venues requires a little bit of homework, in that you will need to purchase a wedding permit, and arrange for a wedding photographer and wedding officiant to meet you at the venue. The best time of day, for weather and photos, is sunset.
If that seems like a hassle, there are companies such as City Wedding Tours, Las Vegas Luv Bug Weddings and Cactus and Lace who provide packages to these locations that include photographer and minister, amongst other things.
It should be noted that none of these locations is really that well-suited to a full reception (the exception being Eldorado Canyon, and I recommend you use a planner if you do so) but that cake and a little Champagne toast might be in order.
Weddings at Eldorado Canyon at Nelson
This former gold mining town is popular with couples who want to combine rustic vintage buildings and whimsical props (crashed plane or antique trucks, anyone?) with their wedding vows. Eldorado is a great spot for those seeking a rustic, retro wedding style. This “ghost town” has been featured in the movie “3000 Miles from Graceland” and offers indoor and outdoor venues for your wedding ceremony.
Details: Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours
Venues: Say your I Do’s surrounded by the antiques in the barn, or just outside amongst the cholla cacti and antique vehicles
Theme: Whimsical western with a vintage twist
Travel Time: 60 minutes south of Las Vegas
Fee: Starting at $100 for 10 people for up to two hours, $150 for up to 20 guests for up to two hours, $50 an hour after that
Inspiration: real weddings at Eldorado Canyon
Weddings at Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock is a gorgeous area just west of The Strip, boasting amazing views of — you guessed it: incredible red rock formations. The area is popular with adventure seekers and includes a scenic drive loops, 30+ miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and a variety of outdoor activities including rock climbing, horseback riding and mountain biking. There are two fabulous outdoor spots to get married, including a scenic overlook and Calico Basin. Red Rock Canyon has been featured in the Little Vegas Wedding Venue Spotlight series.
Details: Red Rock National Conservation Area
Venues: Calico Basin offers a boardwalk surrounded by greenery and petroglyphs, while Scenic Overlook is a panoramic vista of the nearby sandstone mountain formations
Theme: Natural mountainous wonder with green details
Travel Time: 30 minutes west of Las Vegas
Fee: Wedding permit is $200, and must be arranged at least two weeks in advance
Inspiration: real weddings at Red Rock Canyon
Weddings at Valley of Fire State Park
A little more remote is the Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest state park with vivid red rocks, just north of Las Vegas. The dramatic whorled sandstone formations, natural arches and petrified wood as a wedding backdrop will wow you. The Valley of Fire has been seen in scenes of “Transformers” and “Planet of the Apes.”
Details: Valley of Fire State Park
Venues: There are only four approved venues for weddings at Valley of Fire: Seven Sisters, Rainbow Vista, Visitor’s Center or The Cabins. Some sites host as few 15 people, some up to 100 people
Theme: Mother Nature on fire
Travel Time: 75 minutes north of Las Vegas
Fee: Wedding permit is $100-175 depending on the size of wedding, and must be arranged at least three weeks in advance
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