Viva Las Vegas: The Elopement

We recently  spent 5 nights in one of  our favourite US cities, Las Vegas. How did we make our visit even better…..throw in a wedding of course!

Kris & I were able to organise the whole wedding within 2 weeks of the date, which I know for most brides would seem like an impossible task! Below I have listed what we did and how we did it as when looking around the internet I know I did struggle to find enough information to answer my questions.

Chapel Of The Flowers:

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We got hitched at the fabulous Chapel Of The Flowers in Las Vegas. I 100% recommend this chapel if you are after a Vegas wedding without all the Elvis and cheese. (Some people love that kinda thing, great for them…not so much for us).

Opting to get married outside in their Gazebo which was the best decision we made. 8PM at night was the ideal time as the searing desert heat had cooled and those famous Vegas lights were illuminated.

The reason we chose Chapel Of The Flowers was due to it’s world class photography. I mean just look at it:

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Booking the wedding online was as straight forward as it gets. If you have any questions they have a live chat facility which was great. We opted for the Gazebo wedding package which had various items included such as a bouquet for myself, a boutonniere for Kris, 12 printed photographs from the ceremony  & a rose petal pathway. We opted to add-on a 30 minute photography session along with buying the copyrights to the photos. It is expensive but in my opinion it is worth every single penny! Plus, in the UK you pay minimum £4000 for a half decent wedding photographer without any rights. Remember, these are what you will remember your day by! We also added on the videographer purely so we could send the DVD’s back home for our families to keep since they were not there.

At Chapel Of The Flowers you also have the option to live stream your wedding over the internet. As the Gazebo is outside they record your ceremony & upload asap, for most other venues the feed is live. We paid for 2 weeks worth of viewing & felt this was more than enough time for our loved ones to watch us say ‘I Do’.

Flowers that the Chapel provided were beautiful. With the flowers included in our package we could customise the colours and also pay a supplement for silk flowers if preferred. I was happy with my bouquet and wouldn’t suggest paying more to upgrade unless you really had your heart set on a certain type of flower.

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The Chapel do offer a contact for dress & tux hire however after looking into the company they used the reviews weren’t great. Comments such as ‘older dresses’ and ‘nothing modern’ kept appearing so we opted against this. They also offered a hair & make up contact but again, reviews such as ‘it only took 30 minutes to do everything’ erm…it takes me 20-30 mins on a reasonable make up wearing day….no way will wedding make up AND hair be done in that time!

As we are both UK residents we require a Certified Copy of our wedding certificate to give to the UK authorities so that our wedding can be registered at home. You can apply for this yourself but as we were not staying in Vegas for long we paid to have the expedited service which sent the certificate to the UK for us. It took around 3-4 weeks to arrive. Only certain countries require this. For the UK this is the only additional item you require in order to make your marriage legal. You do not require anything else.

The ceremony itself was even better than i imagined! Kris & I are not religious people so the ceremony was made to be really personal. The minister was fabulous. She came & chatted with us before the ceremony, asking questions about ourselves which she then put into the ceremony. The whole ceremony lasted around 10 minutes.

As soon as the ceremony finished we started with our photographer Philip (if you have the chance to request him please do!) He was outstanding! Neither of us like having our photos taken & he made us feel so relaxed, asked for our input if there were any shots we’d like. I mean look at the finished article…..

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For added luxury we opted for limo transfers between out hotel & the chapel….I know, a taxi or Uber would’ve been cheaper but it was so much fun! I definitely recommend it for the ceremony…especially if you have a huge dress like mine!

We returned the following day to attend our photography appointment. We were presented with a slide show of our snaps before sifting through them in colour, black & white and sepia to decide which prints we wanted. We then waited around 10-15 minutes and our photographs were in our hands along with the flash drive with all the digital images.

I can not recommend this place enough!

Renta Dress & Tux

This was the most difficult part of the whole wedding! As we were in Mexico we had no way of looking at any of the rental stores, we just had to rely on reviews such as Yelp & various wedding sites!

We booked the VIP package which included dress & tux hire, shoe hire for Kris, veil hire for me and i got to keep my shoes along with 2 pieces of jewellery.

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The shop is small and at first I was a little disappointed with the selection. The girl who was looking after me (I can’t remember her name but she was from Vietnam!) was trying her best to find me a dress but nothing was appealing to me. LISTEN TO THIS GIRL!!!! One of the first dresses she picked out i said no to without even trying it on. It ended up being THE dress!! We picked out a veil to match along with 2 pieces of costume jewellery. I opted for a cute bracelet & earrings.

The only issue I had were the shoes!!

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Being honest, the styles were a bit on the chavtastic side for me. Very blingy a la stripper or old lady shoes. Sadly nothing heeled would fit me as they were all super narrow. I ended up with the most disgusting pair of flat ballerina pumps o have ever seen in my life! The poor girl was really trying to find something but nothing would fit at all. I ended up telling her the pumps would be fine….little did she know they went straight in the bin when we got back to the hotel! I was actually travelling with a pair of blue trainer pumps. Perfect! My something blue! Not only will I be the worlds most comfortable bride, no one can actually see my shoes under the huge dress. Winner!

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Kris’s tux was arranged by the owner of the store. He wasn’t as impressed with the service as I was. He felt as though he had no choice. These were the only shirt, shoes and tux they had for him. Luckily it done the job we needed it to but he was treated nowhere near as good as I was!

Would I use them again….for myself yes, for Kris…out of convenience I would but if you were just looking for a tux hire then there are better places out there.

Fairytale Hair & Make Up

After looking into a few options for hair & make up I discovered Fairytale Las Vegas. So many websites I looked at were…well…crap! They didn’t have any prices or pictures of work they’d done. Really disappointing. Fairytale were great. Not only did they have pictures of styles they had done they also had a portfolio of the artists they use so you could read about them all & see if what the specialise in suits your needs.

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I did have to send a follow-up email to them as i had no response within 48hrs however when Tara got back to me she was apologetic & explained the situation. Had she just came back with a ‘here’s the quote’ I would’ve been less inclined to book with them. She answered all my questions and a couple of days before the wedding Sara got in touch with me. She had been allocated as my artists however she had a schedule class so her friend Andy ended up doing my hair and make up. Oh. My. God. I wanted to keep Andy forever! She was amazing! I showed her a few blurry pictures on my phone that I had got from Pinterest & she was able to create exactly the look I was after! If you ever decide to book Fairytale for any hair or make up event please request her!

Wedding Meal

I think a picture says a thousand words….

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Now we did have some big fancy restaurant booked but by the time we got back to the hotel we were both so hot that we wanted out of the dress & tux and into something more comfortable. This is one of the greatest pizzas I have ever ate! (The greatest is without a shadow of a doubt White Pizza which is found at Secret Pizza inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Vegas). We did eventually get our romantic meal for two. We heading down to Fremont Street the next night and ate at Top Of Binion’s Steakhouse. Amazing! Old school Vegas but boy did that steak taste good!

Elopements are great but also bring challenges. What if you don’t like the venue? What if the photography is awful? With how accessible the internet is these days you really can find out a lot if you are willing to look. Ask your potential vendors questions. If they don’t respond in a timely manner then how can you expect them to be on your actual wedding day? Go with your gut. I always take reviews with a pinch of salt but if  I read something that doesn’t sit right with me then I tend to avoid it. It’s YOUR big day, not theirs. They should be fighting to impress you! Always double-check every detail before confirming and don’t be afraid to ask for things a specific way.

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Have you ever thought about eloping abroad or did you have a traditional white wedding? Let me know in the comments below.

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