A few short weeks ago Flight Centre consultant Eva Martin told us how and why she had planned her dream wedding in Las Vegas. Now she is back in the UK a happily married woman and tells us how it went!
Our wedding In Las Vegas was everything we could have imagined and more! Flying with British Airways, we upgraded to Premium Economy on the way out as a treat so we could toast to our new life with some champagne. We were too excited to sleep and like any couple about to marry, we were running through the last minute checks to make sure we had everything.
We pulled up at the Paris Hotel and had an instant “wow” moment. We were so glad we had chosen one of the “Big 4” hotels. The Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomphe were so authentic, we really could have been back in Paris where Jon had got down on one knee. We checked in to the hotel in the very grand lobby, complete with chandeliers and it was obvious that no expense had been spared. We walked along the cobbled street to the elevator and got to our room and breathed a sigh of relief, glad to have finally made it.
That evening, we met up with our families who were already there and dotted about in various hotels. Most were only there for a few days so we really hit the ground running with everything we wanted to do! The next day, we headed off to the court to get our wedding licence and finally let everyone know back home that we were intending to get married whilst out here. There were quite a few surprised faces! It was strange to be outside the court and be offered a place to get married or hire a dress. You really can leave everything to the last minute here! We took a taxi to the wedding chapel as we wanted to go through a few things with them. There are 5 chapels to chose from at the Little White Wedding Chapel and the lady took us around to a few. For anyone else thinking of doing the same, although they do have ceiling tiles and green carpet outside to imitate grass, Big White Wedding this is not! But if you are looking for a laid-back day free from all the worry and conventions that have become custom in the UK, this is perfect. We spoke through a few other things such as the complimentary limo on the day and the music we wanted to play. We handed over all of our paperwork rather than doing it on the day and headed back to the hotel.
The next couple of days were spent with family, soaking up the glitz and glamour of Vegas. We each had our bachelor and bachelorette parties. Mine was in the old part of Vegas along Fremont Street. It has such a great atmosphere and really felt like the Las Vegas of old. It offered something that the enormous hotels and attractions of the Strip just couldn’t compete with. We joined up with a bar crawl that takes place on the 3rd Thursday of every month. It took us to 6 different bars and was one of the best night’s out I’d had in a long time. Needless to say, both Jon and I had sore heads the next day!
The day before the wedding, we chilled out at the rooftop pool at the hotel and I went to the Mandara Spa for what can only be described as the best massage of my life! That night, we went for dinner and I went back to the room alone, whilst Jon went to his brother’s so we could keep with tradition. I hung up my dress and tried to steam out the creases but the air conditioning kept sucking out the steam from the bathroom so I resorted to giving it an iron the following morning.
I woke up surprisingly free from nerves. It dawned on me that a lot of bride’s nerves are not to do with their feelings, but the hope that the day they have planned will be great for everyone else. So much time is spent worrying if Great Aunt Jemima is going to be warm enough/like the food/like the entertainment/like the venue. It’s easy to forget that this day is about the 2 of you and no-one else.
Room service arrived followed by my brother and my mother to help me get ready. After a few heart to hearts, the photographer came along to capture us getting ready. Hiring Yaggi Photography was our biggest investment for the day but they were worth every penny. Having seen the standard of the photos that the various chapels offer, we knew it was important that the day was captured in the right way for everyone that couldn’t be there with us. It was also the way we would remember our wedding for years to come so dodgy angles and bad lighting were not wanted!
I got to the chapel and it was complete mayhem! There were brides everywhere and we were put in to various rooms so Jon and the rest of the family didn’t get to see us. My brother went in to check on Jon who was sat in a tiny chapel with his brother and another random bride; surreal to say the least! It dawned on me that they were very unorganised despite our earlier visit in the week, but thankfully my brother was there to shuffle people around and make sure that we got the chapel we had chosen.
The music began playing with a big build up and just as I was about to walk in, it cut short. The registrar had forgotten to press play on the video recorder! Take 2 and I walked in with a huge beaming smile to see Jon, looking nervous but as handsome as ever. The first few minutes passed in a blur as I took in the situation with Jon. I then tuned in to what the registrar was saying and it soon became clear this was a very American wedding. As she blundered through promises about our house being filled with books, poetry and art of our own choosing, it seemed like it was turning in to a comedy of errors! Jon couldn’t get the ring on and an auntie began to cry quite loudly during his vows – but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We wanted our day to be special but not formal. I loved that we were all at ease and without the pomp that comes with British weddings.
After the ceremony, we had some photos on the fake grass. My family broke in to every wedding song they could think off to give us a send off. Something that quite shocked the more pensive American couples! We then had a Mexican Wave before heading off to Fremont Street to have our photos taken.
Every person we walked past congratulated us or warned “Don’t do it!” We were even joined by a fat Elvis who just so happened to be walking along the street. We had photos in front of Bill’s Gamblin Saloon and there were so many characters in the back of our photos to make us look back and laugh! There are great photo opportunities everywhere in Vegas and we got some really creative and unusual shots that will always help us remember our day fondly.
We joined the family in the Cosmopolitan which was breath-taking. A bar inside a huge chandelier? We played on the slot machines then headed for dinner at the Fleur restaurant at Mandalay Bay. The food was gorgeous and we toasted with speeches.
We managed to keep the most important parts of the day in. Speeches, vows, dress, tossing of the bouquet and just did away with all the added extras such as seating plans, favours, matching napkins etc. One of the best things was that I didn’t feel like my time was compromised or anything detracted from the purpose of the day. I didn’t have to flit between groups of friends to make sure everyone was ok. I didn’t have to worry that people weren’t going to like the food because they chose it themselves. I didn’t even care that my dress had got dirty from the streets of Vegas! Jon and I got to do exactly what we wanted and enjoyed every second of our day.
The following day, we met for breakfast as most of the family were flying home. We relaxed in to married life with a whirl on the slots, walks up the strip to take in the rest of the hotels, a visit to the car museum and lots of good food. All that was left to do now was the honeymoon…
Watch this space for details of Eva’s honeymoon which she will be sharing very soon. To speak to Eva directly about planning your own Destination Wedding or travel requirements pop into Flight Centre Canterbury Store or email her!