Howdy! I got married on 02.20.2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Being a micro-wedding, as in, immediate family only, I booked the ceremony through The Little Church of The West, who handled the photographer and whatnot. I could have booked a more expensive package and had the photographer for the reception too, but I only had him for the ceremony. The reception was a sit-down multi-course dinner at Canaletto restaurant at the Venetian resort. I couldn't justify the added expense of a photographer for a sit-down dinner, where there wouldn't be any dancing. Still, the guests took photos, and honestly, I think they did a great job. I debated putting together a wedding album, and still might, but a scrapbook sounded more fun. I've never made one before, and what's a better occasion than a wedding?! The following spreads contain pictures from the overall Vegas trip, with an emphasis on the wedding, which was why we all flew in. Without further ado, the book!
The first spread was arrival themed. After checking in at the Strat, and handling marriage paperwork, we visited Zak Bagan's Haunted Museum with my sister and her boyfriend. They got here a day before my husband's family began trickling in. If you haven't been, I really enjoyed the museum. Though, my husband did make eye contact with the doll they advised specifically against doing that with, and he was nauseas the whole rest of that day. We didn't pay extra for the bonus exhibits, and honestly, I don't think we missed much, (crawling through a tunnel between rooms in the building that once belonged to the sacrificey kind of Satanists and looking at some haunted mirror in a basement...Meh).
We also got to check out the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace . They're expensive at $80is/plate, but the food was worth it. Highly recommend. 11/10. You're going to want a reservation, if you go. Book a while in advance because they have a waiting list.
My husband's (and now mine <3 ) family began arriving and we explored some of the strip, checking out the mall and restaurants at the Venetian.
We got to watch the fountains at the Bellagio a bunch. It goes off every half hour. We also tried to memorize the route from the entrance of the Venetian, to where we'd be having the reception dinner, at Canaletto Restaurant in St. Mark's Square on the second floor. Not to be rude, but after a lot of walking in not super comfortable shoes, I much prefer The Venetian over Caesar's Palace, just because the directional signage is better. I will spare you the car hunt saga. Suffice to say, I love walking, but after an hour of looking for a car, I'm ready to give up an call an uber.
We checked out the Marvel exhibit. I'll be real. I'm still salty over that Black Widow movie. Women can behave badly without needing some excuse marking them innocent! But I digress. The one child amongst us really enjoyed himself, and seeing the costumes up close, was pretty neat. And, after a justified break from Marvel, I'm ready to be hurt again. I'll be seeing that Dr. Strange film soon. WandaVision was pretty good.
The Strat was less family friendly than my research suggested, so my husband's family swapped to the MGM hotel after their first night. Those pictures above are after the switcheroo. If you have kids, MGM's a much tamer location. Apparently Nevada is cool with weed now, and while I personally don't partake, many folks ~in~ and around the Strat did. The smell was a bit much. Also, some wackadoo called a member of our party the n-word. Like, I'm an adult. I can handle hearing a bad word. But my husband's family brought young kids, and they're better off not knowing that word for as long as possible. If you've got youngens, don't stay at the Strat. Point blank. It's going to cause problems.
If you don't have littles and don't mind l'eau de Mary Jane, then go for it. The Strat has a smaller mall than the other major hotels, and it isn't very close to the Strip, but it's affordable. Definitely double check the math though on the price difference and compare that to ubering back and forth from the strip every day of your stay, before booking. We ubered a lot (Never drink and drive!), and it would have been more cost-effective to stay near the strip. Lesson learned for next time!
The Bellagio has a cute little Botanical Garden and they redecorate it seasonally. They had a Chinese New Year theme going when we went. The following page includes a postcard from The Little Church of The West, grabbed by my in-laws. Thank goodness for them! I would've never thought to ask for one, and look how pretty it is, on the page? I collaged our wedding invite around it.
I'm not the best public speaker, and I woke up every hour the night preceding our wedding, feeing like I was having a heart attack. Chest pains, trouble breathing, you name it, I had it. As I've explained to my husband a billion times before and since, I wasn't nervous about marrying him. I was nervous about speaking in front of a lot of people. That's a big factor in why we kept our wedding so small. There were others, sure (Covid-19!), but my stage fright meant no matter what, a big wedding was out of the question. Sorry fam.
Anywho, I got up at 4am to do my make up. It did need touching up right before the big to-do, but I think I captured the look I was aiming for. Had my dress had a tighter neckline, I'd have been forced to don it, then do my hair and make-up. Luckily, the neckline was wide.
When the hairstylist texted that she had arrived, my face was done. I'd pre-warned the ladies that she'd be arriving at 6am because she wanted to get all of our hair done with plenty of time for the wedding. She did mine first and I let the others know she was there, so they could give themselves a chance to wake up before joining us. My super sweet sister arrived last because she was getting me a basket of chocolates and champagne, plus a bouquet of roses. I don't know how to add emoticons here, but like, insert touched crying face with your imagination.
Our guests were super responsible about arriving at the venue a half hour early, as we'd requested. Unfortunately, there was an unexplained issue with our limo so we were chilling out front of our hotel, dressed to the nines, while the church sought another means of transport. My husband called twice, just to make sure we would still be able to get married that day. On their website, The Little Church of the West warned that if the couple was late, they might have to forfeit their slot. Thankfully, as the fault wasn't with us, they held our spot and sent us the vehicle they had available. So, while we did not actually have our ceremony at 2pm to emphasis all the 2s in our fun marriage date, we're gonna keep pretending we did.
I do feel a little bad for anyone who was watching our live stream. I'd shared the church livestream link over Facebook, but having left my phone in the hotel room (the dress didn't have pockets), I was unable to post an update explaining the delay. I know that caused at least one of my husband's cousins to miss the live showing, as the real wedding began as it was scheduled to conclude. In apology, the church didn't charge us anything for our on-site photoshoot, which was very kind. They also, after the ceremony, allowed our guests to join us in the party bus to the reception, rather than leave them to hire ubers to get to the Venetian.
When we arrived, we went straight to the front office, letting them know we were there. There was another bridal couple and their family in the gazebo area and I'm guessing they were waiting on our ceremony to have their own. My husband was lead inside the chapel while the photographer and wedding coordinator helped pose me outside, before my walk down the aisle. They let me know when to head in.
The ceremony was mercifully quick, and the pastor, who definitely doubles as an Elvis, faced us away from our guests (audience) which helped with the whole speaking-in-front-of-people-thing. Feeding us lines helped too.
At one point, the photographer snuck a tissue into my hand, and while he absolutely meant well and I appreciate the gesture, I then had no clue what to do with this random tissue. I bunched it in my bouquet hand and hoped it wouldn't show in pictures. I don't think it did, so that worked out.
The photographer later told us we have Wonder Twin rings. I've always loved coats of arms and wanted a fun cool one I could look back on with pride, and be all, yeah, our line's from, such-a-place, famous for such and such. Except, upon researching, I found no such sigils for my father's line. There are some for my mom's, but being unsure which is hers, given how common her maiden name is, I made one for myself and my husband. Now, whenever we send our mail, we include a wax seal with our family coat of arms.
Here are our first pictures as a married couple.
We got to do a fun little photoshoot with all of our guests.
Here are more pictures from the photoshoot. Like, isn't this more personal than an album?
The photoshoot probably lasted as long as the ceremony. When we took pictures outside, little white flowers blew from the tree into my hair, which was 90% hairspray by then. I didn't notice until later, but I'm gonna assume that's good luck.
Thus concluded the wedding shoot.
Afterwards, we all piled into the party bus (wrong words but I don't know what the shuttle bus thing was called) and headed to the Venetian. Turns out, all that practice was worth it and my husband(!) and I navigated the resort maze correctly on the first try, which was lucky, because I was in very unforgiving heels.
Canaletto Restaurant had great food. I ordered the risotto, and while, risotto balls are peak appetizers (totally get them!), the steak was great. Unless you don't eat meat, get the steak.
Here we have drunk babies and cake cutting. I found out we were cutting the cake during the reception and was not prepared. On video, my husband is explaining the right way to hold the knife, and I'm being very careful. We meant to do the whole, save-the-cake-in-the-freezer-for-a-year-thing, but the uneaten layer didn't travel well and my husband ate the mess of it, with his hands, before we flew out. That was the correct call. We didn't want to waste it, but I couldn't have fit it in my luggage, even had it not collapsed prior.
I included a bonus page of the canals at the Venetian. Next time we go, we'll hit the gondolas. Our nephew was in a cute suit that whole day, so that shot of his is actually from a different day.
After the reception dinner, my sister had an early flight out, so we went with her (she was the only one with a rental car) and ditched our wedding attire at the hotel. Then, after changing into much more comfortable clothing, we returned to the strip where we wandered, first with my father in law, then with my sister in law and her son. Who, by the way, is super fun and incredibly smart. Gonna be one hell of a paleontologist one day, that boy.
The following day, while my sister and her boyfriend were flying back to New York, we all hit the Las Vegas sign. There was a lovely gentleman there, taking pictures for a suggested donation which I believe was going towards a local charity. Even if it wasn't, the man was providing a service and I am all for paying people for their labor.
Then we went to the Pinball Arcade. Full disclosure, I don't think I've ever paid pinball, but they had other games too. Namely, claw machines, full of pre-2000 ty beanie babies. I spent many dollars trying to get one. The goal is not to go online and order the vintage beanie. The goal is to come across it at random, win it, then take it home. No cheating!
Obviously, I did not win. Now I have a goal for next time!
Do you see the sleeping kitty nestled in that second spread? He even has a little plushie sign!
My husband was super interested in the pinball machine from some world's fair. Also, I grew up with that big fancy Pacman machine. That was in my uncle's upstairs bar for ages. Not sure if he still has it. In the previous spread, you can see my father-in-law playing it, in the far right-hand corner. This picture, while brighter and more readable, was actually cut from an American dolls catalogue, hence the doll arm.
Afterwards, we went to Area 15. My sister had already been by and highly recommended it. As did the majority of our uber drivers. As a non-gambler, I think Area 15 (specifically OmegaMart) is the coolest part of Las Vegas. It's like an urban art venue had a baby with a rave and that baby was sneakily building an adventure park when their folks weren't looking. The main space has a single ride, which is fun, but OmegaMart is a whole walkable, climbable, experience.
This spread is vaguely OmegaMart inspired. I'm not giving away the story. You have to go there and explore yourself. As is, I doubt I've figured it all out. The plan is to go back and schedule a whole day just for OmegaMart so we can give it our full attention. When we went, we only had a few hours before we needed to meet our family for dinner.
Thus concludes OmegMart. After, we went to a western themed restaurant that cards people after a certain hour. Then we saw Cirque Du Soleil: Mystère, which was awesome. My sister-in-law said there's a plot to the show. If so, I wasn't watching for it, and didn't catch it, but the performance itself is stunning.
We made sure to go to a karaoke bar before my husband's family flew back to New York. My father-in-law is a musician and he loves to perform. We explored a little more after they left, but I insisted on being early to the airport for our own flight, in case there were last minute changes. There were not, then away we flew.
Thanks for stopping by and looking at a project I've been working on for 2 months. While I was able to utilize what scraps remaining from our trip, much of this came from free catalogues, donated/forgotten fashion magazines, and anything else vaguely crafty that I could get my hands on. I did order a scrapbook, and two sticker kits, one Vegas and one wedding themed, for this project. They helped, but the magazines served to build the majority of these backgrounds, and provided almost all of the type. The x-acto knife is an artist's best friend.
This is my first attempt at scrapbooking and I feel like I did a good job. The whole book is bigger than I realized it would be. The scrapbook I ordered, blank black hole-punched pages included, was 1.5 inches thick. When I was done with my spreads, these pages sat at 2.5 inches thick. There was some trial and error, in building a new cover from scratch. These binder rings are 2.7 inches wide, and the cover-base was cut from a box of chocolates we ate most of a year ago. Glad I finally got to put it to good use!
The fake daisies came with the original scrapbook, the cover of which, unfortunately, must wait for a future project. The pale yellowish petals are dried from the white rose bouquet my sister got me the morning of the wedding. The other real flowers are carnations from my bouquet. I was able to integrate my husband's boutonniere, the ribbon wrapping my bouquet, leftover invitations, our wedding favors (a personalized deck of cards), event/activity tickets, merchandise tags, promotional stickers from when we handed in our marriage paperwork, greeting cards, and our fortunes from the Pinball Arcade in this book. I also used the bow that came with my bridal accessories and another that wrapped a wedding gift from my sister. This scrapbook is big, heavy, handmade, and all ours.
While I gave hot-gluing a shot, what worked for me was painter's-taping all of the elements of each collage-page down. Then, when the entire book was done, I used toothpicks to apply Aleene's clear gel tacky glue to every element, for a more permanent hold.
If you're planning a trip to Vegas, or want to start scrapbooking, I hope you found any of this helpful. I put out a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!