Today’s sassy couple is the first real wedding post of 2015, and it’s such a great one. For starters, it’s an in-suite wedding, held in a super-sized V Suite at the former THEHotel (which changed into Delano in September 2014).
Also Jessica, the bride, wore an incredible Victorian-style corseted gown with a victory roll hairstyle. Since both she and her husband are gamers, so there was a Portal and Mass Effect themed wedding cake and an amazing space-themed shirt for the groom, Michael. Their military wedding followed by cake and Champagne reception were casual and intimate, and brought all the best elements of family and love together.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
I was a Las Vegas local for nine years before I got married, and a lot of the dates that my groom and I went on happened while I was still living in Vegas. His grandparents live there as well, so it made it convenient for him to stop by and visit me (we had a long distance relationship). The location was convenient and definitely fit into our budget. Plus the city itself just has so much to offer in terms of venues, so why not get married in one of the wonderful resorts? We chose to get married at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay before it got replaced by the Delano. It was absolutely beautiful; the contemporary styling fit in with what we wanted in an in-suite wedding!
When Michael and I planned our wedding, we knew we wanted it to be something about us and let people know who we are. In fact, Offbeat Bride inspired me to go all out for my wedding and to know that it’s okay to go against the grain! Besides, Michael and I were not much for the Wedding Industrial Complex in the first place.
THE CEREMONY — V Suite at THEhotel (now Delano)
I didn’t want to be walked down the aisle by my dad as there really wasn’t an aisle in our venue (which was held inside our hotel suite), yet my mother-in-law highly recommended that I do so anyway and that a makeshift aisle was fine. I’m glad that I went with her suggestion, as the conversation that my dad and I had before my procession helped me to bond with him and cope for the rest of the evening.
My family is Filipino, although I did not have my wedding inside a huge Catholic cathedral. So I couldn’t include many of the things that were typical of a traditional, Filipino wedding. However, both of Michael’s family and mine are born-again Christians, so we opted to do a unity candle-lighting ceremony instead. It brought together both families and was a nice blending of the cultures.
THE RECEPTION — V Suite at THEhotel (now Delano)
Initially, we did want a big wedding but to due time constraints, we had to improvise a lot. We were originally going to plan for a courthouse marriage first then a big fat ceremony later (as many military couples do), but even that wasn’t doable with only 3 months of planning available. Due to the entire nature of the military as well as the downside of everyone not living in the same area, only immediate family and close local friends were invited. The wedding was small, yet we managed to pull through and create the wedding of our dreams with just 18 guests! Michael’s mother helped to create our dream day a much more intimate one by providing most of the decorations, as well as cake and champagne.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
I was able to make my own bouquet! I used left over origami paper and other craft things I’ve saved up for years in order to make it. Everyone at the ceremony loved the way it looked and were amazed that I was capable of making my own bouquet (as opposed to just buying some fresh flowers). It made me feel good to know that the hard work I put into it payed off–even my Maid of Honor wanted one for her future wedding!
We wanted a wedding that showed off our personalities and shared interests: we both liked video games, so we included some of that in our ceremony. The Portal and Mass Effect games are significant to us because my groom and I first met when Portal 2 just came out, and he was the one who introduced me to the Mass Effect games. I also liked all things vintage and romantic, and my groom didn’t mind as well — so long as I wore a corset. ;) This worked out well for the both of us since I was able to wear a Victorian Steampunk-inspired, burlesque dress that was modified to go with my wedding theme. The wedding dress was a nice, wine red color instead of the typical white since I wanted to put at least a little bit of practicality to it. That way, I can re-use my dress for other occasions (such as Renaissance Festival or military dining-outs) instead of wasting money by wearing it only once and trashing it.
The most meaningful parts of my wedding were the ones I expected to have so much impact. I mean sure, everyone expects to have the bride and groom kiss to have the most impact — which is true for me. But there were so many other moments that had the same amount of impact, too. During my ‘getting ready’ session with my wedding photographer, my Maid of Honor wasn’t able to make it to my hotel suite on time to help me get dressed into my gown. I was a bit of a loss in what to do for my ‘getting ready’ shoot, as I did not want to further delay plans. Instead, I improvised by just having my groom help me out while our photographer took pictures of us in those moments. Just the whole session was quite intimate, and it helped me to be closer to my groom that day. The pictures that came from him helping me in my gown and undergarments were some of the best, too!
We didn’t have a rehearsal since we figured that it wasn’t needed for a small wedding, so everyone just winged it. However, that didn’t mean that we were free from slip- ups! Michael messed up some of the words when he recited the vows after our pastor, which initiated some chuckles and giggles from me and the guests. But it was all in good spirit; we all learned to laugh along and just roll with it. I also did not expect my groom to have a shirt with funny-looking sleeves underneath his Air Force mess dress! Everything thought that he was just wearing the standard white shirt, so him taking off his coat to reveal that was definitely a hilarious surprise.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM JESSICA AND MICHAEL
There was also a bit of tension with my own mother that comes along with wedding planning to the point of having me go into bridezilla mode. When it comes to planning a wedding where the families are from different cultural backgrounds, it can be a headache to plan. I almost wanted to just quit and elope instead, so that I didn’t have to worry about it all. Who knew that even small weddings were stressful to plan? Yet at the end of the day, it all worked out alright. All I just hoped was for my mother to understand that this is my wedding, and that it is okay for me to shape it into my own image.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Gin and Sake Productions, member of the LVW photography directory
CEREMONY + RECEPTION VENUE . V Suite at THEHotel
DAY-AFTER SHOOT VENUE . The Smith Center
CAKE . Manan Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Glamtasik, shoes – Chinese Laundry, jewelry – Kohl’s, accessories – / HAIR + MAKEUP . Shag Me Salon / BRIDESMAID . Alfred Angelo / CUSTOM CAKE TOPPERS . WTFcharms
Austrian Astrid and American Brad’s (from America) elopement highlighted all that is awesome about downtown Las Vegas weddings. Held in the Arts District, the bright backdrop of graffiti was the perfect scenery for this couple’s ceremony, officiated by none other than Elvis. Bring in some celebratory party poppers and this is one colorful and energetic little Vegas wedding!
I love the urban feel to these photos. Warehouses and skylines make the best wedding photos, in my opinion. Sometimes all you need is the love of your life, Elvis and cupcakes to get hitched…
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Mike L. Photography member of the LVW photography directory
CEREMONY VENUE . Downtown Las Vegas (Arts District)
Holly and Chris are a couple who met through work and decided to get married in Las Vegas because they wanted “a place our guests would remember,” in addition to their wedding. Their wedding day looked like an absolute blast, from the sweet first looks Holly had with her dad and her husband-to-be, to the retro-Vegas shots at the Fun City “pink” Motel which coincidentally matched their wedding palette! Blush pink and gold created a modern, airy and fresh atmosphere at both their ballroom ceremony at Mandarin Oriental and the reception that followed at Joe’s Stone Crab. Simply gorgeous.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
I was born and raised in southern California and Chris was born and raised in central Illinois. We both met while serving in the Marine Corps together and just decided Vegas would be a great place for everyone to travel to instead of one of our hometowns. Vegas is so fun and completely different from any city we have been to. We wanted a place our guests would remember … including our wedding!
CHOOSING THE VENUES
I knew I didn’t want anything cheesy. I didn’t want a chapel ceremony or outdoor since it’s so hot in Vegas. I wanted something elegant and classy. I felt that Mandarin Oriental and Joe’s Stone Crab provided that. The process wasn’t easy though. I researched and researched to find the perfect location!
THE CEREMONY — Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
The ceremony was very romantic! It was a basic room but Mandarin is so beautiful that it didn’t need many decorations. I did have blush uplighting which made the room pop! It was so pretty and flirty. I personally chose all the music myself. Chris and I love music and I knew I wanted something different and unique.
THE RECEPTION — Gigi Room at Joe’s Stone Crab, Caesars Palace
My theme was vintage classic. Not shabby chic vintage, but more Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. The Gigi room is so romantic and classy! I wanted all my guess to feel special. We only had 35 close friends and family there so we knew the Gigi room would be perfect for that. We also had blush uplighting which changed colors once dancing started. We also had beautiful centerpieces, a wonderful cake and a DJ.
WEDDING DAY CHALLENGES
I felt that everything went smoothly! I knew little things would go wrong but nothing extreme. I think all brides should know that a big event like a wedding won’t be perfect and it’s fine if it’s not. It’s about getting married in front of your best friends and loved ones. The only complaint that I really have is the heat but we knew there was nothing we could do about that, especially since it was the middle of July! We couldn’t take that many pictures outside so we went into a lot of hotel lobbies and in the shaded areas for pictures.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM HOLLY + CHRIS
Just to do your research. I felt that looking at blogs, websites, TV shows and anything about Vegas helped me with the wedding. I knew where to book hotels, limos, flowers, cake and everything else from the web. We did make a trip about a year before the wedding to look at possible venues which I think made a world if difference. Everything looks different in person!
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We planned on a very small wedding of about 20, but it grew to about 45. In the end 35 guests were able to join us, which was the perfect amount! I didn’t really have a budget in mind I just knew I didn’t want to go overboard and worked with a 10k budget. However that jumped to 16k, which was fine with us. That covered everything from my dress, plane tickets, flowers, an amazing dinner service and everything in between. I knew it was money well spent because my guest couldn’t stop talking about the food!! The only splurge I had was the ceremony flowers that I ordered through Mandarin Oriental but they were so big and beautiful!
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Unposed Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
RECEPTION VENUE . Gigi Room at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab
OFFICIANT . Rev. William McFarland III / DAY OF COORDINATION . Archel Rowling Events / FLORAL . The Palette / Ceremony Flowers: Mandarin Oriental / CAKE . Hott Cakez / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – David Tutera, Frew’s Bridal / HAIR + MAKEUP . Stevee Danielle / BRIDESMAIDS . Frew’s Bridal / TRANSPORTATION . Las Vegas Limo / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . Champagne Press / ENTERTAINMENT + LIGHTING . Bliss Entertainment
The city of Las Vegas is the natural complement to a swank nightclub wedding. LVW has featured a few through the years, but none as high-energy as Jimmy and Alice’s wedding today! Wedding planner Andrea Eppolito submitted their luxe wedding at Chateau Nightclub, and tells the story of the day so well. Feast your eyes on the gorgeous photos from Adam Frazier of this wedding held at the base of the romantic Eiffel Tower, which not only married a couple, but all the best elements of a Vegas wedding: incredible views, lots of dancing and vibrant similes. On an amazing side note, Andrea continued to work through the wedding despite sustaining a broken toe during as the day got started following a statue-related accident. Now that’s dedication…
More from Andrea Eppolito, the planner of this pretty purple party-tastic wedding:
Meet my bride Alice, a chef who owns a restaurant in Southern California, and my groom, Jimmy, who works in the tech industry. When Jimmy met Alice through mutual friends as an undergrad, he was immediately smitten with his bright eyes, big smile, and her vivacious, insatiable appetite for life. Alice was drawn in by Jimmy’s “swag” but wanted to make sure that the big man on campus was serious before she fell head over years. Ten years later, Alice & Jimmy finally decided to make it official with a Las Vegas wedding that was as bold and high energy as the two of them are.
With a strong color palette and the desire for a high energy, sexy wedding, Alice and Jimmy booked Chateau Nightclub & Gardens in Las Vegas, as the venue offers the best of the city – beautiful spaces, gorgeous views, top notch food and wine, and entry into one of the city’s hottest nightclubs for the post party!
After downtown bridal portraits, they returned to Paris, where they held a personalized ceremony in the interior of the club, sparing guests from the 105 degree heat! A friend officiated the ceremony, pulling together the sweet and tender moments from their last 10 years together.
For the reception, guests headed up to the rooftop patio, which was dressed in white drapes, purple linen, and teal accents. They feasted on butler passed hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed action stations, an open bar, dancing, and both a photo booth and a flip book station. After a toast by Alice’s father, her brother serenaded the couple with a beautiful performance of “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel.
As a surprise for the newly married couple, and to start the party properly, we showered them with confetti as they took over the dance floor, celebrating with their family and friends all night long!
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Adam Frazier
CEREMONY VENUE . Chateau Nightclub, Paris Las Vegas
RECEPTION VENUE . Chateau Nightclub, Paris Las Vegas
WEDDING PLANNER . Andrea Eppolito Events / FLORAL + DECOR . Naakiti Floral / HAIR + MAKEUP . Your Beauty Call / ENTERTAINMENT . DJ Mike Fox / FLIPBOOK . A Flying Camera / CINEMA . Lighten Films
Many of you marrying at locations where you cannot use an outside photographer for your ceremony often ask me if it’s worthwhile to hire a separate photographer in addition to the hotel photographer. My answer is always yes. Although your photographer often will not be able to photograph the actual wedding ceremony, they can get amazing photos like the ones in Madison and Matthew’s wedding today.
Their getting ready shots and first look were captured in that oh-so-stylish MGM Grand Skyline Terrace suite. (As well as Madison’s boudoir shots!) This super modern and sexy set of wedding photos set the scene for an intimate Vegas wedding with a host of events and parties over the week — my favorite kind!
WHY LAS VEGAS?
It seemed spontaneous and it was an easy access destination for our world-wide guest list. My husband is Canadian and at the time I lived in Seattle, Washington. We had friends and family come from all over: Whistler, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Barcelona and even as far as Sydney, Australia!
THE CEREMONY — Gazebo at Mon Bel Ami
The ceremony was magical! It was dark and the gazebo was lit up with candles and strung lights. We had 50 of our closest family and friends there to show their love and support! I walked down the isle to Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine. Our ceremony was short and sweet with so much personalization. We had prepared our own vows for each other and as we walked down as husband and wife Home by Edward Sharpe played throughout the gazebo.
THE RECEPTION — Firefly Tapas Bar
Firefly was amazing they had a room set up for us with linens matching our wedding colors, microphones for speeches, and beautiful candles lit everywhere! We ended up having 70 guests for dinner instead of 50 and they did not skip a beat! The service was superb, too! Our group was a very lively bunch and we continued the excitement to our rooftop terrace suite at the MGM where we had our first dance followed by many Champagne toasts. It was such a beautiful evening.
My stand-out moment was seeing my husband for the first time. The morning went by so fast with hair, makeup, and boudoir photos. I think the first time I really took a deep breath was when I met him out on the balcony of our suite, the sun was shining and I felt that our love was radiating which you can tell from our photos.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM MADISON + MATTHEW
I think people have a certain idea of what a Vegas wedding looks like, but honestly you can make it whatever you have been dreaming of. The first thing I had to tell people when I told them I was getting married in Vegas is, No…Elvis is not performing at my wedding. Vegas can be inexpensive (well, for a wedding) and still very classy.
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We ended up spending more money at the pool parties and clubs the days surrounding the wedding, thanks to an $8,000 MGM Wet Republic pool party ;) But all in all $9,000 for 50-70 people? Not bad at all.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Heather Elizabeth Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . Mon Bel Ami Wedding Chapel
RECEPTION VENUE . Firefly Tapas Bar
GETTING READY SUITE . MGM Grand Skyline Terrace
OFFICIANT . Regina Madiera-Gorden (bride’s mother) / CAKE . Freed’s Bakery / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Nicole Miller / HAIR + MAKEUP . Paige Dorans / GROOMSWEAR . Tuxedo Junction / TRANSPORTATION . VIP Transportation / AFTERPARTY VENUE . MGM Grand Skyline Terrace Suite