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
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
The coral color the bridesmaids are wearing above just pops in the photo, doesn’t it? Well get your eyes ready because this classic Las Vegas wedding at M Resort is full of the beautiful shade. Vegas locals Monika and Doug had a wedding full of love … with a heavy dash of modern style.
Round bouquets stuffed full of roses for the ladies, live music and stunning view of the Vegas valley and mountains from the top floor wedding venue, LUX at M Resort kept things classy, but didn’t take away from this adorable couple.
More from the bride, Monika:
Our love story didn’t start like those typical romance novels or “love at first sight” movies. Our first encounter was at Wells Fargo Bank! Doug being the outgoing, charismatic guy he is invited me out to a Justin Timberlake concert; which inevitably would be our first date. The great ending to this first date is that the tickets Doug bought on Craigslist turned out to be counterfeit! I can always remember his face thinking, “this girl will never go out with me again.” That night didn’t faze me and we still had so much fun.
Shortly after that night I moved in with Doug right after his second kidney transplant and we both can attest that we’ve been through so much in those four years before our actual engagement and marriage that no force could ever come between us. We are both surrounded by a loving family and friends and because we were both born in Las Vegas I feel we will always have a special bond to this city we still reside in today.
When our wedding day was finally here; I still couldn’t’ believe it was happening. All the anticipation and stress over one day was well worth it because we both married our other half.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Denise Burridge Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . LUX at M Resort Spa + Casino
RECEPTION VENUE . LUX at M Resort Spa + Casino
FLORAL . Blossoms by Gayle Logan / CAKE . Freed’s Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Couture Bride, shoes – Valentino “Couture Bow”
Despite high winds, locals James and Lesley celebrated their wedding in fabulous modern outdoor style poolside at The M Resort. Bright yellow floral accents complemented both the azure blue of the pool water and the purple uplighting at LUX, the top floor wedding venue at The M. I can’t get over the gorgeous views and stylish, slick design of this hotel. It’s got to be one of my favorite hotel wedding venues in Las Vegas!
WHY JAMES + LESLEY CHOSE M RESORT
We are Vegas locals and chose to have the wedding at M Resort because it’s a fun and easy destination for out-of-towners. The M is close to home and we love their modern decor and beautiful views of the Las Vegas Strip.
THE CEREMONY — Villaggio del Sole Pool at M Resort
Our ceremony was by the beautiful Villaggio del Sole pool with the aisle running between the two main pools. I regret wearing my hair down because the wind was insane that day but the the ceremony was still lovely and luckily the pictures turned out great!
THE RECEPTION — LUX at M Resort
We had the reception at LUX inside The M. It is located on the top floor of the hotel with amazing views of the Strip. We had a great time with our green screen photobooth, plenty of dancing, delicious food, and fun with our friends and family.
How fun are the green screen photo booth images and Vegas-y props? Love them!
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM JAMES + LESLEY
Have fun and don’t worry too much about the details – ask yourself if it is something guests will really appreciate or if they’ll notice it at all. Stick to your budget but if you can afford it, hire an expert. It is no fun to spend the day of the wedding worrying about assembling centerpieces, decorating, etc.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Byron Roe Photography
PHOTOBOOTH PHOTOS . Joy Squad
CEREMONY VENUE . Villaggio Del Sole at The M Resort
RECEPTION VENUE . LUX at The M Resort
OFFICIANT . Phil York / WEDDING COORDINATOR . Mariann Clemens at The M Resort / FLORAL . BY Dzign / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – David’s Bridal, shoes – Badgley Mischka / ENTERTAINMENT . DJ RumpleSkilton / PHOTOBOOTH. Joy Squad
Rebecca and John’s Vegas wedding encapsulates the versatility of having a wedding on The Strip. Starting with a romantic wedding ceremony officiated by a friend in the tropical gardens of Flamingo, they moved with their guests over to the chic lounge at Chandelier Bar. Handcrafted cocktails, hors d’ouevres and cupcakes fuelled the guests up for a full night of Sin City adventure, and they had little Vegas survival bags to take back to their hotels afterwards. I’m in love with Rebecca’s incredible silver Tadashi Shoji dress, too. A perfect choice for this stunningly modern wedding!
WHY REBECCA AND JOHN CHOSE LAS VEGAS
We decided to get married in Las Vegas because we didn’t want a traditional wedding and we knew that all our guests would have a great time there. It’s almost impossible to not have fun in Vegas!
THE CEREMONY — Gazebo Chapel at Flamingo Las Vegas
The ceremony was held outside at the gazebo chapel at the Flamingo hotel. My best friend was the officiant, and we had a very personal ceremony with our closest friends and family. We wrote the ceremony as well as our own vows.
THE RECEPTION — Chandelier Bar at Cosmopolitan
The reception was at the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan hotel. We had passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails all made by the amazing catering staff at the hotel. We then held an after party at Cleopatra’s Barge at Cesar’s Palace where we danced until the wee hours of the morning.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
I designed the invitations and gift bags and then professionally printed. I also made the programs for the ceremony and the card holder box that was placed at the reception. Although there weren’t many decorations needed because we chose venues that were gorgeous on their own, I wanted to make sure that there were some personal artistic touches. I’m an artist so having my hand in the design of the invitations and gift bags was really important to me. Some items in the wedding that we’re special to me were my grandmother’s purse and handkerchief that had her initials embroidered on it. The hanky definitely came in handy when we were reading our vows!
It’s hard to pick just one! I think the most memorable thing for us was when we read our own vows. We each wrote them privately, so they were a surprise at the ceremony. Proclaiming our love and commitment to each other in front of our closest friends and family was such a powerful and moving experience that we will never forget. Also doing a Soul Train dancing line at the after party was pretty epic!
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM REBECCA AND JOHN
Our number 1 tip for planning a great wedding in Vegas, is to pick a location and vendors you love. There are so many options to choose from, and most venues make it pretty simple to plan a wedding. It was like one stop shopping for us. John and I both love to cook, and food and cocktails were the most important aspect of the wedding for us. The Chandelier Bar is so spectacularly beautiful and know for their mixology program, that hands down, there was no other venue in our mind that would have been as perfect.
REBECCA AND JOHN’S GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
I really wanted to keep our wedding around $15,000. I think we were pretty close to that, but I honestly lost track after a while. In reality it was probably closer to $20,000. We had about 75 guests that travelled from all over the country to be with us.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . JamieY Photography, member of the LVW photography directory
CEREMONY VENUE . Gazebo Chapel at Flamingo Las Vegas
RECEPTION VENUE . Chandelier Bar at Cosmopolitan
OFFICIANT . Christine Glanert, personal friend / FLORAL . Flamingo Las Vegas / CATERING . Cosmopolitan / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Tadashi Shoji / HAIR . Marie Dillenbeck, Expressions Hair and Nail Salon / MAKEUP . Violet Hour Salon at Cosmopolitan / GROOMSWEAR . MICHAEL Michael Kors / VEGAS SURVIVAL TOTE BAGS . designed by the bride, printed by Indyink / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . designed by the bride, printed at Colpa Press / FAVORS . chocolate poker chips – Personalized Chocolate, Elvis sunglasses – Oriental Trading Company, cookies and snack mix – DIY