It wasn’t too terribly long ago that Las Vegas was known (especially here in the South) only for its debauchery and sin. Gambling, drinking, drugs, and excess had been the name of the game for as long as I could remember. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that most of the people who thought like that had never actually visited the city. They took what they knew from movies or TV and ran with it; always too afraid to actually see for themselves what all the hype might be about. Suffice it to say, when my husband, Dane, and I announced that we wanted to get married in Las Vegas the inevitable questions followed:
- Are you going to elope in one of those little chapels?
- Is an Elvis impersonator going to officiate?
- Is anyone else invited?
- What casino will you have it at?
- Are you pregnant?
I’m not sure why I was asked that last one so much just because of our chosen location, but ask they did.
Our wedding was beautiful and sophisticated and took place neither at a little chapel nor in a casino. Elvis was not there, but many of our friends and family members were. We were married at a gorgeous private estate called The 2810 on May 31, 2018 which, no, is not a casino. We chose Vegas because we wanted to throw the ultimate party, and where better to party than in Vegas?? That, I suppose answers that last question.
The ceremony was set for 5:15 p.m. and Dane was pretty adamant that he did not want a first look. You know…where he and the bride sneak off somewhere so the photographer can take pictures of the groom’s back turned to the bride. Then she taps him on the shoulder and he turns around all wide-eyed and grinning from ear to ear. He wanted the first time he saw me in my wedding gown to be as I walked down the aisle. He also wanted us to take pictures in the desert, which was about 40 minutes from the wedding venue. We had some things to work out logistically so that we could have the ceremony, leave our guests to have the desert photo shoot, and return for the reception. That meant leaving the guests for about two hours.
Something I learned from every other wedding I’ve ever been to — if you’re going to make the guests wait on you to take your pictures, give them plenty to eat, drink, and do while you’re gone. And so, we did. We had a walking magician, game tables going, hors d’oeuvre trays being passed, and an open bar. Not only did the guests not notice how long we were gone, I heard actual moans when we returned because it meant that the magician and the gaming had to come to an end.
We had a DJ and an open area for dancing. The meal was set up in food stations (tacos and noodle bowls) so that the guests could eat at their leisure. There were several sitting areas for lounging and chatting, and we opted for cupcakes rather than a traditional four-tier cake. I wouldn’t say there was too much about our wedding that was traditional. I did wear white and Dane did wear a tuxedo. I guess that’s pretty traditional. But we didn’t have a wedding party — no bridesmaids, no groomsmen. There was no rehearsal dinner. No garter toss. Even our ages are not the average age to get married for the first time (I was 37, he was 33).
And maybe that’s another reason we opted for Las Vegas. This city that some would say has a tradition of wickedness was the perfect spot for our non-traditional nuptials.
PS – Please watch our wedding video to see even more of our special day.