Ever dreamt of a Vegas Wedding? Here is the wedding story of Christopher and Jessamine who were married in Las Vegas and then celebrated with a reception party in Australia with their closest family and friends. Here is their love story.
Jessamine: I work for Chandler Macleod Group- an international HR services company. I organize our internal and external events, am involved in project support, admin support and any cultural events.
Christopher: I work at UnitingCare Community for the Holiday Program. We provide care for children who have a diagnosed disability or special needs during the school holiday periods. I supervise the program during the weeks it operates, and facilitate its organization during the rest of the year
We were engaged only two months after meeting, and married 6 months later! Christopher made truffle pizza and sat me down in the back garden where he delivered the most beautiful speech. I cried, and said yes obviously! I don’t have immediate family, and Christopher’s family travel with the circus so we were lucky in that we had a lot of freedom to choose where and how we wanted to get married, without upsetting any parents! We both felt strongly about getting married somewhere that gay marriage was legal, so we decided on the USA… which led to planning the ceremony in Vegas, under the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign!
To celebrate with our friends, we decided to have a reception back in Brisbane when we arrived home. I did still want some bridal party-esque photos, so I sent notes to my best girlfriends asking them to wear black to the reception, so that we could get special photos together. (They called themselves my non-bridesmaids) I also had silver infinity knot rings made by an etsy store to give to all the girls, and our photographer was brilliant- he loved the concept and we ended up with the most amazing photos that captured our vision perfectly.
Vegas was 40 degrees celcius, so we went with light comfort! I made sure the florist I was working with knew that we were getting married outdoors, so the flowers were appropriate to last in the heat for a few hours! We hired a town car to take us to the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign, and met the minister and photographer there. My hair and make up was also done along the same lines- styled to withstand a few hours of overbearing sun!
When we got home to Australia for the reception, it was winter and rainy! We chose a restaurant on the Brisbane river that is hugely special to us, undercover (!) and had excellent photo op spaces nearby. The restaurant itself was a sort of French provincial style so the decorations we decided on were rustic and simple- flowers, mason jars, twine and wooden cutlery!
Oh my goodness there are so many! We both chose to repeat traditional vows, but insert our own few lines at the end. I loved that we were able to keep with tradition but personalize it a touch. Since we had the legal ceremony in Las Vegas, we found a website that links public webcams to a live streaming website. We gave the address to our friends and family so that they could watch it happen in real time!
With some help from an etsy provider, we made ‘hangover kits’ as our wedding favours, for guests to take home. These included a bottle of Fiji water, a lollipop, a sachet of hydralyte, a bandaid and two panado, all in a little hessian bag with our wedding details on the front. My bridesmaids and I made 60 of them a few nights before the reception! As people came in there were welcome cocktails (elderflower spritz), along with a sign asking people to take a cocktail on their way in, and a hangover kit on their way out! We also framed and hung photos from our ceremony in Las Vegas, at the reception.
No religious aspects. The only thing Christopher asked to be included somehow was something about the Chinese ‘Red String of Fate’ legend. It’s always resonated with Chris, who believes strongly in fate and kismet. I found a jeweler who makes titanium rings, with a strip of enamel colour set through them- so was able to get one with a red ‘string’ for Christopher.
We spent a long time speaking about this before the ceremony. Both Chris and I were aware that we were getting married relatively quickly, but knew that it was the right decision. For us it was about celebrating finding that person, who you are a better person with together, than you are separately. And then making a commitment to grow together. Making these vows at the ceremony was definitely the most meaningful part of our wedding, and while we missed having friends and family there- we both felt that it was almost more significant, and special, that we got to do this by ourselves.
I was so lucky with this aspect- because I wanted something short and lightweight for Las Vegas, and short but lined for Brisbane- it was a lot easier hunting for white cocktail style dresses than for a full blown bridal gown! As beautiful as wedding dresses are, my style is definitely less formal and much more casual.
My Las Vegas dress ended up being an Elise Ryan kaftan from the UK, and the reception dress was white lined lace cocktail dress from Vividress
I’ve racked my brain, but honestly everything was smooth sailing, and completely wonderful!
If you can- elope! Then have a reception at home with your friends. You get to combine your ceremony and honeymoon, there’s so much less stress and pressure, not to mention huge financial savings, and you get to celebrate twice!
Ceremony – Public venue! “Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign, LV Nevada
Transport – Presidential Limousine.
Celebrant & photography – Reverend Daniel Peck & Pia Peck.
Flowers – Flowers of the Field, Las Vegas.
Hair and Make up – Kelly Moore.
Bridal gown – Elise Ryan
Shoes – Country Road
Grooms suit- Country Road shirt & tie, Tarocash pants, wife’s fedora.
Reception – Jude’s Kitchen, Brisbane QLD.
Stationery designer – Minted Design.
Photos – Bryce Harvey, Harvey House Photography
Hair and Make up – Katharine Donnelly.
Bridal gown – Vivid Dress.
Shoes – Witchery
Grooms suit- Country Road shirt & tie, Tarocash pants, Best man’s jacket after wife rubbed half her face of make up off on his shirt.
Catering – Jude Kitchen.
Cake – The Cupcake Taste, Graceville QLD.
Wedding favours – Clementine Weddings.