Cardiff dwelling couple Jemma & Jim got married in fabulous Las Vegas in April last year. As always we love to hear the reasons behind choosing a destination wedding and are so thrilled to be able to share these super cool images by Joey Allen with you! We asked Jemma a few questions about their big day.
What was your budget? We didn’t have a specific budget but we knew we didn’t want to spend loads of money on our wedding – we wanted something small and simple. Getting married in Las Vegas may not seem like a simple wedding, but we already had a Vegas – San Francisco road trip planned for my 30th birthday which we didn’t want to sacrifice in order to save for a wedding, so getting married whilst we were out there and turning the rest of the road trip into our honeymoon seemed the perfect plan! We were very lucky that most of our nearest and dearest were able to join us too.
I should point out that destination weddings aren’t necessarily a cheap option – if you get married abroad in a hotel, it is pretty much as expensive as most wedding venues in the UK. You might have fewer guests attending so costs are reduced there but when you factor in flights etc it all adds up. In Vegas you have options other than hotels, there are chapels everywhere and their prices are competitive – our ceremony cost around £900 and included limo transport from our hotel, flowers for me (24 roses) and my bridesmaids (8 roses each) and corsages, webcasting of the ceremony, a CD of photos from the ceremony, the dvd video of the ceremony, and a canvas print. We kept other costs down by having our wedding breakfast in a private room at one of the hotel buffets which didn’t incur a room cost, and we booked a large hotel suite as our accommodation and had our evening reception in there, buying in the drinks from supermarkets a couple of days before the wedding.
How would you describe your wedding theme? We didn’t really have a theme; other than being in Vegas we just wanted to keep things simple. Our wedding colours were red, pink and white – that’s about as far as our theme went!
What was your favourite part of your wedding? Every single second of the day was amazing – everything went so perfectly to plan, I don’t think I can pick out one part. The best thing is that we were surrounded by our wonderful family and friends who made the amazing effort to be there – the 5 days that we were in Vegas were like one awesome group holiday! The minute we arrived we were meeting up with our guests who were already there for drinks and food. I had a Champagne afternoon tea with my ladies the day before the wedding and Jim went to a shooting range with the guys. Most people were staying in the same hotel as us, so they joined us for breakfast on the day of the wedding and hung out with us at our pool cabana the day after. It was all so much fun.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress In keeping with the simplicity of our wedding I wanted a fairly understated dress and did not want to spend very much money on it. I knew I wanted a lace dress that was short, and there were quite a few options out there for me on the high street. The one I bought was the second one I tried on and cost a bargain £100. It was so comfortable to wear all day (and again at our home reception). I love it so much that I’m trying to work out ways of being able to get more wears out of it!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? We weren’t sure that we were going to have bridesmaids or a best man – again we just wanted to keep things simple. But when I knew that both of my sisters were going to be able to make the trip out to Vegas I knew I wanted to have them as my bridesmaids and by my side all day. The same went for Jim and his best mate Charlie.
Why did you choose your venue? Our Chapel – we fell in love with this place the moment we saw photos of it, the whole thing is made of California redwood, including the seating, and it is the oldest chapel on the Strip. It has so much charm and character compared to most of the other chapels in Vegas.
Venue for the Wedding Breakfast – The Wynn hotel buffet is one of the top rated hotel buffets in Vegas and has a private room that doesn’t have a budget minimum or added cost for the room. The whole buffet restaurant is lavishly decorated so we didn’t need to add any of our own decorations in the room.
Venue for the Reception – The Mirage hotel had the most suitable and affordable suites for our needs. They are bigger than most other hotel suites of a similar price and the layout was perfect for what we wanted for our party. We booked a suite with an additional adjoining bedroom so that we could go our separate ways after breakfast and get ready separately, but then open it all up for more space during the party.
How did the proposal happen? Jim proposed to me on the evening of our 4 year anniversary – we were in London for a few days and he brought the ring along with him. He had it with him when we went out for our anniversary meal, but waited until we were back at our hotel room to pop the question – it took me completely by surprise but I immediately said yes!
What was your first dance & why? We danced to ‘It’s Always You’ by Chet Baker. When Jim proposed in London we’d been in our hotel room drinking wine listening to Chet Baker, I remember shortly after the proposal hearing the words of the song that was playing and it stayed with me, so when it came to picking a first dance that was the first thing I thought of.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Not a thing!
Do you have any advice for future couples? For couples thinking of getting married in the USA, get on theknot.com forums! They have state-specific sub forums and the Nevada one was full of Vegas brides and brides-to-be sharing tips, advice, and their reviews of vendors, it was invaluable. Also one of the men on the forum (there aren’t many!) has a website with loads of useful information too. Also, give people a good 12 months’ notice so that they can plan accordingly in terms of their travel costs and annual leave if they’re going to join you. Most of our guests worked our wedding into their own trips – some started in Vegas and went on elsewhere afterwards, others ended their holiday there after visiting places in California, and some had a week of pure Vegas!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Spending time with Jim discussing plans and watching videos of possible venues, and locations for our honeymoon road trip, watching movies that feature Vegas and pointing out locations that we knew we were going to visit or that were going to be part of our wedding.
Photographer: Joey Allen
Ceremony Venue: Little Church of the West, Las Vegas
Reception Venue: Wynn, Las Vegas; The Mirage, Las Vegas
Bride’s Shoes: Nine West
Bride’s Jewellery: Etsy
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon
Hair: Las Vegas Wedding Make-up
Make Up: Las Vegas Wedding Make-up
Stationery: Stationery design by Jimmu, Invites printed by Overnight Prints
Transport: Earth Limos
We had a ‘home reception’ when we got back from our honeymoon so we could celebrate with those who didn’t come to Vegas.
Cakes: Cakes 2b Seen
Band: Capital City Ska
Balloon centrepieces: Rolfes the Florist
The Wedding Album
I absolutely LOVE this wedding! Am suffering from destination envy! Are any of you lovely cwtchers planning a destination wedding? Drop a comment in the box to tell us where and why :) xx