Happy 4th of July, peeps across the Atlantic! This day is (or was, it’s next day here) our 11th Wedding Anniversary, we actually tied the knot in Las Vegas this day in 2006. Now, getting married abroad is not for everyone. But a lot of people do head to LVNV, it still is the Wedding Capital of the world with marriage licences issued 80,000 to 120,000 annually.
Why we decided to get married away from home?
As nightlife entrepreneurs we are constantly surrounded by people. We are more or less visible figures and we wanted our wedding to be something more private, small-scale, intimate. Mikaela had also been arranging large wedding events for years, working closely with wedding industry professionals and consumers planning their big days.
Why Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is one of our all time favourites and had many options for arranging a wedding. That’s why we chose Sin City. We chose a pretty traditional wedding package (chapel, ceremony, flowers, photos, music, on-line viewing possibility) from Caesars Palace, we had a dinner at Trevi and enjoyed drinks & dancing later. The next day, we took our guests to see “Love” by Cirque du Soleil. It combined our love for live entertainment & unforgettable Beatles music. Good times!
How To Get Married in Las Vegas
A lot of people ask about the process of getting Married in Las Vegas, here is a fantastic document on the official stuff to remember by a Clark County Clerk. If you are not an American, it is definitely important to find out about the paperwork you need to do in advance, during your trip and as you return to make sure you can get married and actually be officially married also as you get back home.
We’ve heard of cases where people return home and then realise they are only officially married in Nevada. It is, however, possible to request for the paperwork done afterwards. But it takes time, effort and obviously some money as well.
What the actual wedding will be like depends on things like
- What is your budget (including travel and hotel expenses for you, maybe to some family & friends?)
- What size wedding are you thinking about? Or is it just the 2 of you?
- Does your wedding have a special theme?
- How much you are willing to plan by yourself, carry stuff with you?
- Will the ceremony take place indoor, outdoor, at a casino, separate chapel, in the desert, up in the air?
- Do you want a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony?
- Will you have a reception or go for cocktails/lunch/brunch/dinner after the ceremony?
How We Planned our Las Vegas Wedding?
Our wedding package at the Caesar’s Palace included a personal wedding coordinator and Tameika was our new best email friend months before the big day. She sent us all the needed details of our wedding day and answered our questions. Tameika even asked the reverend to send us the text for our ceremony so we could translate it to Finnish for our guests.
All things went smoothly. We made flower decisions, booked the chapel (Caesar’s has several), set the time for the ceremony, booked our & family members’ rooms.
Even before making any bookings we had made invitations, of course. We only had a small wedding party, but let the rest of the friends and acquaintances know they could attend if their vacation plans would take them to Las Vegas. Well in advance we also had to get our official paperwork done in Finland to be able to get the Marriage License and make sure our marriage would also be official in Finland after returning from our honeymoon. Not to forget the wedding gown & shoes for Mikaela & suit for Pekka.
We had arrived Las Vegas some days earlier to get the Marriage License from the Clark County Marriage Bureau and to meet Tameika, check out our chapel, choose music, go through the day, photography & get the link to share with friends so they could view our wedding online. After deciding where we want to dine (endless options in Las Vegas), we went to book a table for the wedding day dinner. It was also nice that we had time to play tour guides for our wedding party, most of our guests had never visited Las Vegas before.
Believe it or not, we also met some Finnish people, guys whom we know but don’t really know that well. And they invited themselves to our wedding. Remember the movie Wedding Crashers? Life is a party. Crash it.
Our Wedding Day
In the morning of 4th of July 2006 we woke up at our Caesar’s Palace suite together, didn’t go through all the fuss of spending the last night separate.
We had drinks at Cleopatra’s Barge before heading to our chapel early in the afternoon. Romano Chapel is an intimate option, it can accommodate 35 guests. Before the ceremony we met Tameika and received our flowers, then we greeted the reverend and went through the ceremony with parents, maid of honor & bestman. Of course, we had to bring along the Marriage License to proof we can legally get married.
The ceremony was simple & beautiful. Because we had gotten the text well in advance for translation, we were also familiar with it. After the ceremony it was time for the signatures of the reverend, us and witnesses. (We had to take the certificate for Clark County clerk to proof it’s legality and they sent all paperwork to Finland). There was a photo session and we were informed when our photos and the video of our ceremony would be ready for pick up.
We did the traditional wedding bouquet toss and the wedding garter toss after leaving the chapel for some own photography around the casino, some drinks and then dinner. Amazing Italian food! Later that night, after changing clothes we all gathered at the Cleopatra’s Barge to dance the night away. A perfect, fun day it was!
Don’t hesitate to ask us more about our Las Vegas wedding experience! Send email to contact(at)dinkgo.com