Living the Las Vegas Wedding Dream…by Best Man Baz

Our Best Man contributor Baz from Best Man Beacon is back on the blog today telling us all about a very important Las Vegas wedding…

As to Alan’s historical conundrum “Did Caesar actually live here?” The search for truth continues.

This is my account of my Best Man experience for my legend of a cousin. Viva Las Vegas, you are a monumental slice of incredible.

Ta-ta Wales, hola U, S of A.  Every one of my senses were titillated to the max by Planet Vegas.

We landed around 9pm Nevada time, dropped our luggage off at the ‘Vdara’ and ‘The Wynne’ respectively and within half a hour I was attacking a ‘Half a yard’ of beer at Planet Hollywood.

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Everywhere I looked, everything I heard, tasted and touched was a little slice of “Wa-wa-weewa”.  Just incredibly barmy and magnificent. Everything is so absurdly over the top that my little brain couldn’t keep up.  Just to add an extra banana skin to the weak minded and easily influenced gentleman there are no clocks anywhere. Everything is bright 24/7 and I swear they must pump oxygen in as alertness levels were Meerkat-esque.

The Cocktail Waitresses were hotter than a leather convertible car seat on a mid-summer’s afternoon. You are plied with free drinks as long as you are gambling. The question “Would you like a drink Sir?” to which I replied “You bet.” grew thin on several Cocktail waitresses throughout my week. Oh well, when in Rome.

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I spent three days livin la vida loca until the Wednesday lunch time when I crashed ‘Mr Magoo’ style half way through my Club Sandwich.  After an extended trip to the ‘Land of Nod’ in my King Sized bed in my bedroom which had a glass wall overlooking part of The Strip, I was ready to attach the wheels back on to the wagon and have another bite at the Vegas cherry, just in time for the Wedding preparation.

The Stag Do consisted of a cheeky visit to Mandalay Bay to watch an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event. Not too shabby I might add. An electric atmosphere, gifted sports people and pints of Rum made for a ruddy ace experience.

As for the hen do, the ladies ventured to a Cirque De Soleil tumbling spectacular which they loved.

The wedding took place on the Friday in the Wynne’s wedding chapel. The atmosphere and environment were opulent and classy. The hotel wedding crew were so professional, stress free and tailored the day to the couple’s requests. The morning of the wedding was arguably the most chilled out wedding day preparation I’ve ever experienced.  It was Makeover o’clock for the ladies; while the Groom and I had a few steady tipples and played a little Roulette.

The wedding was uploaded live on the internet so that the family could all watch it back home in the UK. My duties consisted of the basic formalities of looking after the wedding rings and making a congratulatory toast post wedding breakfast. Simples.

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The only negative experience I had was that I got hit on a number of times each and every night by women who am not ashamed to say were solid 9’s compared to my ‘6 on a good hair day’. “Poor old you.” I hear you say. The conversations usually took the path of “I love your British accent” “Wow you must look after yourself” “Are you going to buy me a drink” to… “So, I’m $300 for the first hour then $250 dollars for each additional hour”!!!

They were ‘Ladies of the Night’ (or Ladies of the day, it was hard to know without a clock) If you don’t weigh in, you don’t Wrestle. I had no intentions of weighing in and my self-esteem was lowered no end. On numerous occasions I was nearly caught in a trap and by the end of the week I couldn’t tell if I was coming or going when talking to women. Were they ‘Painted Ladies’ or just tipsy hot women who were lowering their standards a tad? One thing’s for sure, I had a suspicious mind with each and every conversation.

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“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody wedding shoot.” Mr Caine offered his congratulation during the Wedding photos, no big deal. Top bloke.

In a nutshell

Planet Las Vegas is amazing. It comes at a pretty penny and if you’re not a drinker, gambler or appreciator of beautiful people then shy away from the idea. It’s a Stag haven. There is nothing you can’t do. The rule-book has been thrown out. In fact I would go a step further and say the rule-book has been buried in an unmarked shallow grave in the Mojave Desert somewhere. The Wedding Day experience was finely tuned, stress free and stunning. ‘Viva Las Vegas’.

 

Traditional Groomsmen and Best Man gifts- by Best Man Baz

Our Best Man contributor Baz from Best Man Beacon is on the blog today talking all about Groomsmen and Best Man gifts…

If you imagine your average Joe stereotypical bloke; they are usually as emotionally forthcoming as a grizzly with a Migraine (Not very)

Therefore when it comes to a Groom making a grand warm gesture, there’s no bigger sentiment than choosing your Best Man and Groomsmen for one of the most important days in his ‘Big Boy’ life. This public declaration displays the love, admiration and trust the Groom (and maybe the Bride too, maybe) has for the wedding guy crew.

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Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

When you consider that from the moment the Best Man and Ushers accept the accolade they have entered a verbal contract to ensure that the Groom will be chaperoned to the Wedding venue sober, in one piece, looking presentable and metaphorically wrapped up in cotton wool like a new-born Panda.

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Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

As with any Super Power, with great power comes great responsibility. Therefore in the spirit of Karma just remember that ‘It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.’  You may well be a Groom in the future and in need of some trusted allies.

Best Man gifts

From my experience in the role of being a Best Man on four occasions I have been spoilt rotten. I have been given two engraved silver Hip-Flasks, a watch and an engraved Handle Pint glass.

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Hip flask found here

Groomsmen gifts

From my days of being an Usher I have had ace gifts ranging from Wedding Shoes, Hip Flasks, Cuff-links, Pocket Watch and Tie Clips. All of the above gifts have taken pride of place on my mantelpiece and all have been used and been with me on further occasions. I always remember where they came from and they regularly remind me of some life long memories.

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Pocket watch found here

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Cufflinks found here

Other gift ideas veering away from the traditional.

If you are a quirky non-traditionalist why not have a think about one of these Bad Boys –

Personalised alcohol bottle, Golf tees, engraved money clip, personalised Cuff-links box, personalised Collar Stiffeners, Cigar, personalised socks, engraved Shot glasses, Best Man medal, Home Brew Kit, a professional caricature, personalised wine bottle Stopper or a personalised Drink Decanter.

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Drinks decanter found here

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Money clip found here

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Stainless steel collar stiffeners found here

In a nutshell

Just remember, the biggest and most precious gift a Bride and Groom can give to their Best Man and Ushers is the proverbial ‘tip of the cap to them’ in acknowledgement of how important they are in their lives and they want to celebrate this by inviting them into the inner circle of loved ones on one of the most important days of their lives.

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Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

Any additional tangible mementos are a bonus. When you consider that the journey of the Best Man and Usher involves anything from being a Stag Do babysitter to dealing with Cold Feet, to surviving a Bridezilla or snarling Mother In-law then they deserve all the honours they receive.

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Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

 

 

 

A Gentleman’s Tea

Ladies. Think we are the only ones that care about our appearance on the big day? Think again.

Today we are heading west from Cwtch HQ to Llanelli where on the back of the success of afternoon teas and hen parties The Stradey Park Hotel have spotted a gap in the market for our grooms to be and introduced a Gentleman’s Tea and grooming package.

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Daniel Bayliss, Design and Marketing manager told us how they are finding men are more prepared to try something new and are definitely looking after themselves more.  A third of all spa goers are now men.

With this in mind, they have started putting together Bachelor parties to match up with the bridal showers they currently offer. They have teamed up with local business, 6 Men’s Hub Grooming and offer a package including a hot towel shave/beard trim, haircut and nasal wax with complimentary drinks.  “These are proving really popular as a gift from the groom to his best man, ushers and fathers of the bride and groom” Damian Hart, Managing Director told us.

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IMG_05186 HUB44 Now let’s get to the most important bit, the food. Gentleman’s tea has shaken up the traditional dainty sandwiches and cakes to a heartier focused menu sending their chefs out to the wilds of Carmarthenshire to assemble the finest ingredients in selection of manly treats, both savoury and sweet served on a slate board – all  washed down with a cup of tea or coffee in a moustachio’d cup and saucers.

The savoury heartiness includes

~ Chargrilled beef burger topped with Welsh cheese, rocket and apple chutney served in a crusty roll

~ Corned beef rissole served on sweet red onion marmalade

~ Coronation scotch egg with mango salsa

~ Cumberland sausage roll

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And Sweet treats

~ Warm caramelised apple tart

~ Lemon sponge cake

Yum!!

Gentlemans Tea 2Moustache Cup

For more information please email marketing@stradeyparkhotel.com and Daniel will be more than happy to help

The Home vs Away Debate by Best Man Baz

Our Best Man contributor Baz from Best Man Beacon is debating the merits of getting married at home vs getting married abroad. It can be a difficult decision for some people so do read on…

Traditional Church Weddings versus eloping to an overseas paradise

This debate is as contentious as what’s best, ‘radiator undies’ in the winter months or getting a cwtch from your mum after you’ve fallen off of your BMX in your primary years? Let the deliberation commence.

Argument ‘for’ tying the knot off into the wide blue yonder

I’ve been a lucky sausage and attended a hat-trick of overseas weddings. I’ve toasted to the happy couples in Brisbane, Jamaica and Las Vegas. Being a Welsh man, the sun is as likely to be seen in the sky as much as a vegetarian is likely to be seen in an abattoir. Therefore a wedding in more tropical climates than in Abercwmnosun is a guaranteed people pleaser. “The sun isn’t everything” I hear you old fashioned partisan traditionalists say. Well, when you have a Mojito in one hand, you’re perched on a seat in a pool up to your waist at a ‘swim up pool side bar’ and scantily clad beauties are frolicking around you then I beg to differ. Jamaica’n me nostalgic mon…

Jamaica. Image Source

Jamaica. Image Source

Another winner is that a wedding abroad in my experience has been as relaxed as a melted Choc Ice. Particularly in Jamaica. Our airport transfer bus driver on arrival was more laid back than a broken deck-chair. He was the most chilled out man I’ve ever encountered. It was fair to say he hadn’t ‘shot the Sheriff’, however he had most definitely blazed up a ‘Fatty’ while driving the bus. A cliff top wedding overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean was one of the most stunning weddings I have ever experienced. Yea mon.

If I could personify the Oz wedding as a Sheila, it ‘banged like a dunny door’. It was epic. Once again I experienced an outdoor wedding, this time overlooking a pristine Golf Course near Brisbane. The traditional free bar was a humdinger and with my pastey complexion I stood out like a Bull Dog’s balls. As soon as the locals realised I wasn’t a ‘Pom’ they gave me a fair suck at the sauce bottle and many a bond were formed. This provided its own uniqueness. Another benefit of a wedding in foreign climes is that you can explore new and amazing sights. Home based weddings, as beautiful as they can be, can often blur into one another. A wedding abroad most certainly will not be forgotten.

Arguments ‘against’ flying the coop and keeping it gangsta in the hood

If you’re like me and you’re ideal temperature is 20 degrees Celsius, then being dolled up in your Penguin Suit while hotter than a mid-summer terracotta Otter in 30 plus degree heat isn’t the most comfortable of times. At least a home wedding provides a cooler climate so that you aren’t sweating like a Sumo Wrestler on a cross-trainer.

God's Country. Image Source

God’s Country. Image Source

It’s more inclusive to all. Apart from a wedding gift the guests don’t have to cough up an arm and a leg for a flight. Also, you don’t have to experience great aunty Gladys unkempt foliage in a bikini if you handle your nuptials in your shire.

In a nut shell

On a foreign encounter you can contain your guest list to a chosen tight knit squad, so uncle Plonker and aunty Wassock can fall by the wayside and chances are you will not need your umbrella-ella-ella.

Getting married in your shire will keep the traditionalists happy and you won’t have to guilt trip family or friends into spending top dollar on a jet away. Your ‘it’s insanity if it’s not Christianity’ relatives will be happy that you may choose to do the deed in the big man’s house. Mo wedding guests mo presents..

The Role of the Usher

Baz the Best Man has returned this week with some great advice on how to handle the responsibility of being an usher. Ladies pass your laptop, phone or other device to the men in your life (or the men in your wedding!) and just put your feet up.

Groomsmen - Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

Groomsmen – Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

 

The Usher’s Parable

I am going to share my adventures and the experiences that friends have had down the route of being an Usher/Groomsman. A ‘Parable’ is defined as – A story that is used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. I can’t fathom a more appropriate explanation of the Usher’s role. Arguably, bar the speech, this is a tougher job than being a Best man. As the Best man chills at the alter grinning like a Cheshire Cat with the Groom on the Wedding day cwtched up on their cotton wool wrapped pedestal, the Ushers are getting their hands dirty on the front line. The Ushers are doing anything from Car Parking duties; showing the guests to their pews; acting as the last line of defence by the church door in case a volatile ex attempts to rock up; to shepherding the guests for photos; to acting as a peacemaker should any evening guests get a little fighty; to even cleaning up the potty should an excitable, petite guest try to chug two bottles of vino on an empty stomach in an hour and leave ‘Exorcist’ style projectile carnage in her wake. It was like a scene out of ‘Nam’ and not Chelte’nham’.

Last line of defence

The entire wedding expedition can be as unpredictable as a drunk Elk in an orchard long after apple picking season is over. If un-planned expect more cock-ups than in a Red Light District. If you are clued up on what is expected of you and are alert in case of any outlandish surprises then that will stand you in good stead. (See 7Ps blog) If the Best man is the Striker and in pole-position to score then the Ushers are the defenders at the back preventing any slippery attackers from hitting the back of their net. Initially you have the Stag Do juggernaut to contend with. The Stag Do (previous blog) can get unruly faster than you can say “Ow, that nipple tassel just hit me right in the eye.” Unless you’ve got a Best man who’s a total legend then be prepared to step up to the mark and help out when required. I’m not suggesting you do a ‘Donnie Brasco’ and snitch on all of the reveller’s shenanigans. I would suggest that if any ‘Loose Cannons’ (See blog) go Bat Turd loco then help the Best man out and reign them in a touch. On the Wedding week the best approach is to communicate clearly with the rest of the team so that everyone knows their roles. Whether that be directing traffic or ferrying around for last minute pick-ups at the Florists, Tailors and so on and so forth. If you avoid stepping up and taking on responsibilities expect to be as successful as the chat-up line “I like your eyes. Can I keep them?”

Too many bowls of ‘loud mouth soup’

On the Wedding day people are in the unusual scenario of being seated for an extended period of time, they’re dolled up in their best bib and tucker, have access to ‘free alcohol’ (to an extent) and are often seated with friends who they haven’t seen for ages. Inevitably some people will get excited. Enter Giggly Drunk, Tipsy Wipsy, Emotional Drunk, the Hulk Smash, Look at Me!! and the Projectile Canon. If you can go above and beyond and keep an eye out for the last three drunkard styles then you can avoid either separating fisticuffs, awkward moments or cleaning up the aftermath of projectile fine dining and ‘Time Travel Juice’. The most appreciated Usher involvement in my opinion is definitely if a guest plays the ‘Look At Me’ card. The Best man has a tough enough job with the speech so if someone heckles him in a menacing way it can be as awkward as Rain Man on a Speed Dating night. Be a metaphorical “excellent driver” and discuss with the other Ushers and Bridesmaids on a tactical pre-emptive strike.

In a nut-shell

Communicate with the Best man and Groom to make yourself aware of your expectations. Don’t get yourself stuck in a hole and try to dig yourself out. Get your ‘dancing daps’ on and live the Ushering dream.