Lately I’ve been hearing some rumblings that perhaps Calico Basin and Red Rock Canyon aren’t as accessible to weddings as they once were, due to some recent changes to the permit system.
However, there is no denying the place is gorgeous. Incredible rock formations, beautiful colors and a special intimacy that can only come from getting married in the natural beauty of the desert. Kelsey and Adam chose to marry (after getting engaged) there before joining friends and family at a festive reception after. Sounds perfect for this down-to-earth couple who also chose to support artisans where ever they could in their wedding day.
THE CEREMONY — Calico Basin at Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is our favorite spot in Las Vegas. We wanted an outdoor wedding and Red Rock is such a beautiful location it was the obvious choice. It was the location Adam proposed to me as well, so it holds a lot of memories for us. We also wanted the reception festivities to stay within the Summerlin area, so Red Rock made an easy venue to get between the different locations for the wedding festivities.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
(We were going for) simple, natural, and as DIY as possible. We wanted to keep it small and intimate with a personal touch. We wanted our actual wedding ceremony private to keep it as intimate as possible, but we opened up our reception to close friends and family. We kept it simple by holding the reception party at Adam’s parent’s house. We had an open bar so people could make their own drinks as they pleased, and the majority of the food was homemade. All decorations were either handmade or purchased through Etsy to support independent artists. We had a succulent/desert theme which we incorporated through our colors (greens and purples with highlights of gold and silver) and flowers (succulent centerpieces and succulent bouquet and boutonniere). We made our own wedding invitations, centerpieces and signs.
My favorite part of the planning process was just being able to enjoy the reward of all of our hard work at the great reception party we had. While we kept our wedding simple there was still a lot of planning involved. It was nice to be able to enjoy all of the work everyone had put in to make our day so special. Another part I enjoyed was being able to support independent artists. Etsy was a great resource and I feel like a lot of our wedding items were truly unique and original.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM
Make a lot of lists! The only thing that kept me organized was making lists. It felt satisfying being able to mark stuff off as we went along. At the end of everything there was only one or two things that I had forgotten, but they were minor and not really significant. If I had not used lists to keep myself organized a lot more would have been forgotten! Another good thing to remember is that everything will still be okay even if something is missed or goes wrong. There’s always something that’s going to go wrong but it’s such a big day and you are surrounded by such loving and supportive people that no one would really care if you forgot to put out a certain favor or sign, etc. No one knows the difference and they’re most likely having a good time anyway!
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . City Wedding Tours
CEREMONY VENUE . Calico Basin at Red Rock Canyon
RECEPTION VENUE . Private home
OFFICIANT . Norma with City Wedding Tours / WEDDING PLANNER . City Wedding Tours / FLORAL . Succulently Urban / CAKE . Nothing Bundt Cakes / BRIDAL FASHION . Adrianna Papell
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
It starts with a true love story – Thuy met her French husband Jonathan while in Paris, and they fell head over heels for one another. With family and friends all over the world, the couple chose Las Vegas to bring everyone together at the Springs Preserve for their wedding.
Their wedding mixed a number of different themes and styles, true to this jetsetting couple’s lives: desert garden combined with tropical Vietnam with a touch of European elegance. The ceremony featured floral details: a calla lily lined aisle, and an arbor strung with glass bubbles filled with chrysthanthemums. Thuy and Jonathan also provided a tea ceremony service for their guests.
The desert garden wedding transitioned into Paris in the jungle, with huge philodendron leaves and orchids at each table setting. Seafoam green and grey dominated, with white and silver to complement the palette. A photobooth with tonnes of fun props entertained guests and the bride and groom, and to end the evening, the newlyweds changed into traditional Vietnamese wedding attire!
Why Jonathan and Thuy Married in Las Vegas
We chose Las Vegas because it is a great city that is fun and tourist friendly. My husband is from France so we wanted to pick a place where his friends and family can easily entertain themselves, party to the wee hours of the morning, and for our guests to have a great vacation as well as joining our wedding. Also, Vegas has special meaning to us as it is the first place I took my husband to when he first visited me from France when we started dating. We picked Springs Preserve because it is such a beautiful venue that is not your typical idea of a Vegas wedding. Springs Preserve has a nice mix of modern, elegant, and natural elements that makes this venue truly unique.
Thuy’s Favorite Wedding Day Memory:
There were many stand out moments from our wedding day. We did our first look which I enjoyed very much because it allowed us to spend some alone time before the ceremony and seeing my husband’s reaction to seeing me for the first time was priceless. Another stand out moment was when my husband was trying to comfort me when I was crying during my father’s reading of his poem. It was a very emotional and fun ceremony that will forever be remembered. We also loved that we were able to get the Skyline Terrace Suite at the MGM Grand Hotel for our rehearsal dinner and after party, allowing us to spend more time with our friends and family in a relaxed setting with an amazing view.
The Ceremony — Gardens Arboretum at Springs Preserve
The ceremony was officiated by my sister’s husband who made it very personal and heartfelt. We incorporated the tea ceremony to honor my Vietnamese culture and parents. The purpose of the tea ceremony is for the bride and groom to honor our family elders and receive their blessings. During the ceremony, my father read a Vietnamese poem that he wrote in which it was translated in English and French. My bridesmaid read the English version of the poem and my mother-in-law read the French version. We thought it was a nice way to include our parents and friend into the ceremony.
The Reception — Gardens Terrace at Springs Preserve
There is a gorgeous view of the Vegas strip skyline at this reception site. My mother and her florist friends did an amazing job with the flowers and decorations. Our guests enjoyed a buffet dinner and open bar catered by Divine Events. We then danced the night away to the music provided by Elegant Entertainment.
DIY Details and Wedding Decor:
My mother and sister are very creative and talented people. They pretty much did everything themselves. My mother designed and did the flowers and decorations. The wedding favors/escort cards were made by my mom. My sister made the programs, menu, and designed the logos on the backdrop for the “red carpet” pictures. I made the table numbers incorporating our color theme of sea-foam green and silver.
Thuy and Jonathan’s Tips for Other Couples Marrying in Las Vegas
Do your research on your vendors to make sure they are reliable and professional. We would highly recommend reading the reviews. We heavily relied on our vendors since we are not from Las Vegas. Also, ask your vendors for recommendations for other vendors. Our photographer, Gaby J, was very helpful in recommending us to some great vendors. Try to plan multiple events for the wedding weekend in which Vegas is great place to allow that. We had multiple events like the rehearsal dinner, after party, a meet up in downtown Vegas, and a dim sum brunch after the wedding day to allow us to see our friends and family from near and far.
Thuy and Jonathan’s Guestcount + Budget
We had 90 guests with a budget of $25,000 for the wedding weekend celebration
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER gaby j photography, a LVW photography directory member
CEREMONY VENUE . Gardens Arboretum at Springs Preserve
RECEPTION VENUE . Gardens Terrace at Springs Preserve
OFFICIANT . Bride’s brother-in-law / WEDDING DESIGNER . Bride’s Mother / FLORAL . Bride’s Mother, Assisted by Absolutely Flowers and Balloons / CATERING . Divine Events / CAKE . Retro Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Augusta Jones, shoes – Nina, / HAIR AND MAKEUP . Cristophe Salon at MGM Grand / BRIDESMAIDS . Vera Wang / GROOM’S WEAR . Hugo Boss / LIGHTING . Elegant Entertainment / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . invitations – Indian Wedding Card, menus – DIY by bride’s sister / ENTERTAINMENT . Elegant Entertainment / PHOTO BOOTH . Elegant Entertainment / VIDEOGRAPHY . Neat Event Video
Lauren and Dwight were married at Red Rock Country Club on one of those spectacular evenings with a desert sunset where the sky turns cotton candy pink. Although this was technically a destination wedding since the bride and groom live in California now, the couple met in Las Vegas and Lauren’s father is a chef at Red Rock Country Club.
Little touches of Vegas whimsy were included in decor details including the guestbook, seating cards and wedding favors, many of which were handmade. The wedding palette of bright pops of pink and lime green carried over into the florals and amazing candy bar. I can’t stop drooling over the amazing photos of the food though… Read on for more details on this wedding from the bride!
The Ceremony – Red Rock Country Club
The ceremony was on August 3, 2013 at Red Rock Country Club. It was a beautiful evening and our family pastor married us. We handed both of our mothers roses during the ceremony, we had my cousins and uncle sing before the wedding, and the pastor had us make a sculpted heart out of clay, which represents our love for each other. The Emerics showed up before the wedding and we hit it off from the start. I felt very comfortable with them and they took amazing photographs of our day.
The Reception – Red Rock Country Club
Red Rock and their wedding coordinator did an amazing job and the food was unbelievable. All of their vendors were great and professional and my father is the chef there, so we had a buffet style menu with beef, chicken, and fish and the cocktail hour was filled with amazing appetizers from sushi to shrimp. Naakiti Floral decorated the reception with fresh flowers and we had a candy bar and a DJ from The Music Solution.
I had a cake topper of the bride dragging the groom, which everyone thought was really funny and the cake was delicious. Since I am a photography teacher, we incorporated a lot photography into the wedding such as: pictures of our grandparent’s wedding, a Las Vegas photo clip to hold the guest names, and a photo booth from ShutterBooth, which was a hit. Everyone loved getting into all the fun costumes and we received a memory book with all the images that our guests took.
A stand-out moment was the amazing sunset and the heart that was in the sky while we were getting married. We had a hummingbird fly around the altar, just before I walked down the aisle. And the food! People are still telling us how amazing it was. I was lucky to work so closely with the chef.
DIY Details and Decor
Since I am an art teacher and photographer much of the wedding had DIY touches. Lots of photographs of friends and family surrounded the cocktail hour and cake table. We handmade the fans, which also doubled as the wedding programs. My table numbers and the guest seating were handmade and designed by my matron of honor. I had handkerchiefs embroidered for all the men to wear in their coat pocket with a special message on the one for my husband and the sashes for the flower girls were DIY.
We also had pink and green cotton candy as a favor and I designed the label with a photograph of us with Elvis in front of the Las Vegas sign. We designed our invitations and inserts for the guest arrival to Red Rock and my throwing bouquet was handcrafted with pink and green paper flowers.
The couple’s #1 tip for other couples planning a Las Vegas wedding
When people plan weddings, most people don’t go off The Strip however, most of the guests stayed at the Red Rock Resort & Casino. It was great having friends and family together for the long weekend and spending time together before and after the wedding.
Also, when planning out all the details: double and triple check everything. We had a shuttle service pick-up and drop-off people from the hotel to the country club and they lost our confirmation and almost didn’t pick up the guests from the reception. That was almost a disaster, however we straightened it out before anyone even knew what had happened.
Also, if you are having people come from all over and traveling into an area they’ve never been, make sure they feel welcomed have services available to them. We had a list of things for people to do and we made sure to have a room block available to our guest, so no-one would have issues with their room. Our guests loved the hotel and venue and we had a fabulous weekend together.
Wedding Guest Count + Budget
We had around 100 people and since some of my family and friends live in Las Vegas it was a great place to get married. Dwight and I met in Vegas, so it was the most logical place to have our wedding. The cost for everything was around $30,000 with the long weekend and little touches that we incorporated into the day.
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: The Emerics / Ceremony + Reception Venue: Red Rock Country Club / Hair + Makeup: The Salon at Red Rock Resort + Casino / Floral: Naakiti Floral Design / Catering: Red Rock Country Club / Cake: Las Vegas Custom Cakes / Celebrant: Pastor Craig Michaelson / Entertainment: DJ from The Music Solution
The Springs Preserve is a marvelous spot get married at in Las Vegas, but did you know it’s also an eco-friendly wedding venue? That is one of the reasons environmentally conscious couple Heather and Jose chose to be married there in their gorgeously green wedding!
Their photographer, Kristen of KMH Photography writes: “Say hello to the coolest eco-super-couple around! Heather & Jose are friends of mine, and I was absolutely delighted when they asked me to be their photographer. They are ardent hikers, mountain climbers, organic produce consumers and friends of the environment. I knew their wedding would be super cool, DIY and earthy-themed, with Heather’s fabulous flair added to it.”
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