For couples lucky enough to stay at Cosmopolitan, you know it’s the right amount of sexy and chic with romantic and intimate, making it perfect for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or, in the case of today’s couple, a vow renewal.
Damon and Alemnesh celebrated 10 years together with an Elvis renewal followed by a cake cutting and Champagne celebration with their closest loved ones in a stunning wraparound terrace suite. There were little thank you bags with hangover recovery kits for guests and sweet treats, too, all in a classic red and black palette. They went for a fun theme with little reminders of The Hangover around the suite. Can you spot all of the references?
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Clivabeth Photography
CEREMONY VENUE .
RECEPTION VENUE . Wraparound Terrace Suite, Cosmopolitan
WEDDING DESIGN . Tracey Thomas / FLORAL . Elizabeth Dantus / CATERING . Cosmopolitan / DESSERTS . The Pink Cupcake LV / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Oleg Cassini, shoes – Betsey Johnson – / HAIR . Lacy, Salon Couture, styling by Perla at VaVoom Studio / MAKEUP . MAC Cosmetics / NAILS . Mikal at BeLoved Nails 365
Christy and Nick had a double-header for their wedding day, choosing two iconic locations for their two sets of vows. I think that’s the beauty of Vegas — you can have your (wedding) cake and eat it too. Desire an intimate desert wedding in a one-of-a-kind location with a customized ceremony? You got it. Also want a kitschy, over-the-top Elvis drive-thru ceremony? Yup, they’ve got that too.
And despite travelling thousands of miles, they still managed to incorporate personal details into their wedding day. Christy’s dress was reworked by her sister from some lace their mother has had for several decades. The bouquet brooch? A nod to the couple’s cat, Sumo. The ringbearer was a stuffed lamb named Wilbaaa who has been Nick’s travel buddy for some time and also served as Best Lamb. He also sported an outfit created by Christy’s sister.
More from JamieY Photography:
Instead of having mainly posed pictures, they opted to do fun pictures with themes and include their family in them. They brought some wild west themed clothes. They had a fake roulette game set up and had the dad playing for the girl. Nick won of course. Christy’s parents even put on some Property of Las Vegas jail shirts for some fun pictures of Nick capturing them as the sheriff.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . JamieY Photography
CEREMONY VENUE 1 . Eldorado Canyon
CEREMONY VENUE 2 . Tunnel of Love at A Little White Wedding Chapel
OFFICIANT . Angie Kelly with Peachy Keen Unions
So let’s talk about wedding stress. Maybe you’re going through this right now, even.
Planning a wedding is tough. Slow RSVPers and menus and budgets and what to wear and looking your best and cousin Jo can’t sit next to aunt Mary and … well you get the idea. Livia and Mike sidestepped all of that when they decided that the big wedding they were planning at home in Canada was just not their style.
What WAS their style? A funky vintage-inspired downtown Vegas elopement at a drive-thru, turns out. And you can’t do a drive thru wedding in Vegas in just any old car. They did it up in style, and rented an awesomely appropriate 1965 Cadillac convertible, wore some awesome outfits and did things their way through A Little White Wedding Chapel’s Tunnel of Love. I feel like the creative, artsy backdrops and murals of downtown and the Arts District suited them perfectly, especially when the Caddy is used like a photo prop!
WHY LAS VEGAS?
After we got engaged (December 6, 2013), we decided that we wanted to elope because we really wanted our ceremony to be an intimate one — just vows between the two of us. At the same time, we also knew that we wanted the day to be fun, light-hearted, unique and capable of capturing an old-school vibe. Las Vegas, with its fantastic reputation for hosting incredible weddings, and its rich entertainment history seemed like the perfect spot. Plus, as Canadians, we appreciated the promise of a warmer climate. We also loved that, after the wedding, Vegas offered endless opportunities for celebration and relaxation, all in one exciting city.
THE CEREMONY — Tunnel of Love at A Little White Wedding Chapel
We got ready in our suite at the Hard Rock Hotel. We ordered room service, put on some records (we had brought along a portable record player) and just enjoyed the experience of being together. When we were ready, we drove to our venue in our rented silver Cadillac convertible. Prior to exchanging vows, however, we had to shuffle ourselves to the backseat of the car, which took some coordination, particularly for me, as I wore boots with six-inch heels. The photos of this coordinated effort may be some of our favourites, because we look as though we are engaged in a ritualistic jovial jig.
The ceremony itself was short (about 10 minutes in length), but incredibly meaningful. The vows provided by the officiant were beautiful and truly reflected what the day meant to us. We could not have written them better ourselves. Also, with only us in the car and no other guests, the whole thing felt incredibly personal and intimate despite the casual nature of the setting. The drive-thru part of the wedding balanced out the formality of the ceremony and truly captured the relaxed ambiance for which we were hoping it. Not only did a ceremony in a vintage Cadillac feel quintessentially “Vegas”, it was also a little quirky and offbeat — a fantastic alternative to traditional options that we had hoped to sidestep by eloping to Vegas.
After the ceremony, we drove along the Vegas strip in our convertible, dressed in our wedding best, with the sun setting. In a literal sense, we drove into the sunset. What we didn’t expect was the amount of attention this little journey would garner. Tourists and locals snapped photos, shouted out congratulations, and ran out into traffic in hopes of getting a closer look. It was a great way to be greeted into married life! When we arrived back at our hotel, we enjoyed some pink Champagne before heading out for old-fashioned cocktails and steak tartare at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Paris. After dinner, we returned to our suite, where we ate our custom-made cherry crumble pie in bed (thanks to the Bouchon Bakery!). It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
Although our ceremony and overall wedding did not have an explicit theme, the elements included in our day all had a vintage, throwback, rock-and-roll feel. Between Mike’s classic 1950s look, my bohemian 1960s style, the classic car, our beloved vinyl records that had made the trip over in a suitcase and the perfect Vegas backdrop, everything came together to create an eclectic old-school atmosphere that felt truly authentic.
Livia’s dress is amazing, isn’t it? They ended up using one of these fab Amberlight Collective photos to announce their wedding on Instagram two weeks after the elopement. No fuss, no muss.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . The Amberlight Collective
CEREMONY VENUE . A Little White Wedding Chapel – Tunnel of Love
OFFICIANT . Reverend Mike Rodrigues / WEDDING PIE . Bouchon Bakery / TRANSPORTATION . Fantasy Car Rentals / HAIR + MAKEUP . By the bride /
Wedding submitted via Two Bright Lights
Although I feature so many amazing weddings on LVW, behind the photos sometimes there are tales of drama and stories that will be told for years to come. Sudden illness; bad weather (or bad vendors); weddings that did not go off perfectly; surprise events that caused what is meant to be a dream day go wrong. But, behind every cloud is a silver lining, because many of these couples get to have a wedding do-over, like today’s couple, Kristyn and Jay.
The day before their original wedding (in Miami) their car was broken into while they were doing pre-wedding photos with their photographer. The photographer’s equipment was stolen, as were wedding rings, family heirloom jewelry, clothes for the weekend, custom wedding sneakers, timelines, paperwork, purse, wallet and more. The couple persevered, even though the bandits were never caught and the wedding went off with the help of friends and family.
So how does Vegas tie in? The bride had entered a contest from Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to win an “I Do Redo” on the High Roller in Las Vegas for 12/13/14 and they won! Included in the $14,000 prize were flights and accommodation for them and five friends, the ceremony and more, including: a rehearsal dinner at Joel Robuchon, beauty treatments at the Salon at Vdara, a Richard Petty Driving Experience for the gents and a post-wedding dinner at LAVO Italian Restaurant at The Palazzo and VIP table seating at TAO Nightclub at The Venetian.
Can you think of a more deserving couple? Many couples choose to get married on specially numbered days to increase their luck, but seems like Kristyn and Jay’s luck is already on an upswing.
More from the photographer, Lindsay Collette
Climbing high into the air (550 ft!), Kristyn and Jay exchanged their vows in front of a group of their nearest and dearest … and a full news crew! During the ceremony, Jay surprised Kristyn with a replica of the heirloom ring which was stolen in Miami. The entire pod was in tears!
More champagne, more cheers, more food. When we came down from the High Roller, we celebrated at LAVO with a truly magnificent meal before we were whisked away to TAO Nightclub to celebrate in style with bottle service and VIP status.
The entire experience was out of control, and for sure a once-in-a-lifetime happening. We are so grateful for Visit Las Vegas for this trip.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Lindsay Collette Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . High Roller Observation Wheel at LINQ
REHEARSAL DINNER . Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand
RECEPTION VENUE . LAVO Restaurant + Lounge at Palazzo
AFTERPARTY VENUE . TAO Nightclub at Venetian
CAKE + DESSERT TABLE . Wonderland Bakery and Joel Robuchon / HAIR + MAKEUP . Salon Vdara
Some of us just know we want a Vegas wedding. Whether it’s the built-in party atmosphere, the incredible food and venues or the glitz, glamour and neon that draw us to the city, we have just always known.
Such is the case with Gregan, the bride in today’s post (who is actually a Vegas local!) She said she just always wanted a Vegasy wedding, and what she got was Vegas…and then some. Although this wedding was held at the epic location of Westin Lake Las Vegas, many touches of The Strip and old Sin City completed Phillip and Gregan’s wedding. Vegas-themed centerpieces, showgirls, an incredible Vegas in text cake and a bridal portrait session at The Neon Museum did not let people forget they were in Las Vegas.
And I agree with the bride, I also wish there was a surprise for every couple getting married. And if it’s Elvis to sing to the guests? All the better.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
I didn’t know sparkling, red-feathered showgirls or an Elvis wearing more makeup than I was would show up at my wedding reception. Or that I would start crying before I ever stepped onto the aisle. I didn’t know if the bridesmaids’ colorful dresses would work out. I didn’t know there would be Lego figures on the cake. But what I did know is that I’ve always wanted a Vegas wedding.
Or I had joked as much. Really, I never thought I’d get married. And then I met Phillip. After a couple years he popped the question on a sparkling beach in Greece one hot August vacation. When I was in college I would always say if I ever did get married I’d want to have a Vegas themed wedding. Not a drive-thru or a chapel, but something with glitter and lights. Phillip took my enthusiasm for this glitzy theme and let me run with it.
THE CEREMONY — Lotus Court at Westin Lake Las Vegas
Phillip and I wanted a ceremony with a beautiful backdrop and all of the people we love there. That was our dream wedding.
The Westin Lake Las Vegas was one of the first venues we choose to tour because Phillip and I had our first kiss there overlooking the sparkling man-made lake.
After touring dozens of other wedding venues — making lots of calls and rejecting several contracts — Phillip and I signed with the Westin. We loved the idea of getting married outside near a body of water at a place that meant so much to us.
The ceremony (besides being in August) was perfect. The set up was simple and gorgeous. Everything ran smoothly thanks to the venue co-ordinators and the seasoned vendors we hired. If only I could have stopped crying sooner.
THE RECEPTION — Baraka Ballroom at Westin Lake Las Vegas
I think the new trend for weddings should be that surprise moment. Something the bride and/or groom doesn’t know about. That moment for us was definitely when the King of Rock himself walked into the room, ushered by two glamorous showgirls. It was so Vegas!
DETAILS + DECOR
Phillip and I spent a whole year thinking, planning and saving for this wedding. So we both had plenty of time to think about the decorations and how much we could spend.
My brother, sister and I helped created the Mr. & Mrs. sign that decorated the head table. It was really easy, with this DIY. We also made our runner using two LED light strips. So the aisle had a touch of Vegas.
I made my glittering brooch bouquet from lots of sniper bid wins on Ebay. I also asked my bridesmaids make their own bouquets.
We also decided to print our invitations, save the dates, seating cards and table markers on the backs of playing cards. For the program, a family member helped by writing the schedule of events and bridal party names on two vintage mirrors.
Also, our centerpiece, though very planned out, were all tossed together that morning. We piled casino chips, dice and playing cards around these inexpensive fiber optic lights we bought for each table. Many of our guests ended up pocketing some of the good luck charms at the end of the night. We also wrote our own vows!
The whole wedding had so many moments. The ceremony to me was unforgettable. I really couldn’t stop crying. The whole day was emotional. Also, I don’t think Phillip has ever looked so sharp. So our first look was definitely a standout moment for me. Our photographer Edina suggested a first look photo opportunity because Phillip and I did take photos in the Neon Boneyard back in the springtime when the weather was much cooler. So Phillip had already seen me in the dress.The first look photos were a great chance for us to see each other in a special way before taking family photos and the ceremony.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM GREGAN AND PHILLIP
Start saving now. Also, talk with your partner about the most important things about your wedding. There may come a time when sacrifices have to be made, decide early on what’s most important. And trust me, some aspects you feel are essential to your big day really are not. We didn’t have any flower centerpieces and no one minded. However, photos are something that were very important to me and Phillip, so we knew we had to get an exceptional photographer.
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We had approximately 140 guests for around $25,000
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Images by EDI
CEREMONY VENUE . Lotus Court at Westin Lake Las Vegas
RECEPTION VENUE . Baraka Ballroom at Westin Lake Las Vegas
OFFICIANT . Rev. Linda Venniro / WEDDING CO-ORDINATORS . Mae Morimoto and Rod Arnett / CAKE . Gimme Some Sugar / HAIR . Sola Salon Studios at The District in Henderson / ENTERTAINMENT . DJ John D, Wedding DJs of Las Vegas