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.
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Bently & Wilson Photography / Ceremony Venue: Chapel at Flamingo Las Vegas / Reception Venue: Maggiano’s Las Vegas / Wedding Planner: / Wedding Dress: Mia Solano, 9833L / Hair + Makeup: Leila and Marissa of LeiV Agency / Floral: The Palette / Cake: Retro Bakery / Entertainment (DJ): Pure Energy Productions / Day of Coordinator: Culinary Pros / Transport: Presidential Limousines / Videography: Langdon Video / Reception Decor: All About Details / Magician: Jason Bird / Elvis & Showgirls: Sin City Entertainment / Star Wars Characters: Neon City Garrison / Lighting: LED Unplugged / Photo Booth: Glitter Lens