Category Archives: Las Vegas Wedding Flowers

Meet Viva Las Vegas Weddings’ Florist, Chauffeur, Wedding Planner, Chippendale, Hunky Beach Dude and Knight of the Round Table…Sonny!

Las Vegas Wedding Florists
Sonny, working on custom arrangements for Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey!

When you’re one of the resident florists at Viva Las Vegas Weddings, sometimes your job title doesn’t really cover all you do! Take, for example, Sonny, seen above. Sonny has been with the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel since it opened, nearly 20 years ago. After meeting chapel owner Ron Decar at the gym one day, Sonny was told he’d be perfect as a wedding character for the chapel’s themed weddings–playing a Knight of the Round Table in Camelot weddings, a Chippendale dancer in Las Vegas Themed Weddings, an Egyptian servant carrying brides down the aisle on Cleoptatra’s throne. That sort of thing.

Sonny was not only a great fit for those roles, but he also began answering phones and even driving the chapel limousines! During these early days, though, Sonny also had another career by night…

Sonny arrived in Las Vegas 30 years ago to perform as a gymnast in a show at the Desert Inn, Showstoppers. (He’d also worked with Olympic great Kurt Thomas in Gymnastics America.) Later, Sonny performed as a magician’s assistant in a show called Alakazam! and as an acrobat in the Siegfried and Roy show at the Mirage. All the while, Sonny “moonlighted” during the day at Viva Las Vegas Weddings.

Beach Party Vegas Wedding
Sonny as a surfer dude/groomsman in our Beach Party Themed Wedding

Over time, Sonny found himself hanging out in the onsite Viva Las Vegas Florist Shop. He’d admired beauty of the arrangements and appreciated the talent and skills required to make stunning bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. He learned his trade on the job, watching the other florists, and is largely self-trained in floral design.

After a few years, Sonny branched out and even bought his own successful shop, Red Rock Florist, where he acquired a reputation in Las Vegas as “florist to the Stars,” designing for Strip entertainers. After the economy took a turn, though, Sonny re-focused his business at the chapel. Today, Sonny designs flowers for all of our Traditional, Elvis and Themed Weddings (he’ll even do a custom arrangement, if you wish!) AND still creates arrangements for celebrities playing on the Strip. Among his clients are Elton John, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Reba McEntyre and Brooks and Dunn!

custom wedding bouquets in Vegas
Sonny takes requests for your custom bouquet!

When asked which of his many jobs he likes best, Sonny can’t settle on one answer. So we asked him, after all these years, what memory stands out among all his varied experiences at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. What was the most funny, touching, or even frightening thing he’d witnessed? “Well,” he replied, “There was that one time when I was driving limo many years ago. A car in front of me hit the brakes fast and hard. I had to slam on the brakes, too, to avoid hitting him. The beautiful bride who was sitting in the back of the limousine slipped out of her seat and rolled all the way to the front of the limo! Her legs were in the air, and her veil and hair were all thrown over her face and disheveled. I was mortified! Fortunately, her hubby-to-be had seen the car braking ahead of us, so he completely understood what happened. And, thank goodness, no one was really hurt. This couple had a great sense of humor. But I’ll never forget THAT ride!”

Rocky Horror wedding
Sonny (front and center) in a Rocky’s Horror Themed Wedding

When you visit our chapel, you may see Sonny stocking the floral case with bouquets, or dashing by costumed as a wedding character, but please feel free to say hello. And give us a call anytime to request an upgraded or custom bouquet for your wedding.702-384-0771 Sonny’s always up for a challenge to his creative talents! See our floral upgrade menu on our website at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com for ideas and inspiration!

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How Las Vegas Became the Wedding Capital of the World!

Vegas Wedding florist
Only in Las Vegas! The history of how Viva Las Vegas Weddings (and other Vegas chapels) got to where we go through a large cooler of wedding bouquets every day!

Traditionally, June is recognized as a popular month for blushing brides, marking the beginning of the summer wedding season. Las Vegas, however, is known as a more non-traditional wedding capital where it’s wedding season year ’round and where tying the knot with Elvis has become a Vegas phenomenon. Here at Viva Las Vegas Weddings, we DO perform an awful lot of Elvis weddings and Themed weddings, but our traditional ceremonies still make up more than half of our business. But how, you ask, did Las Vegas become the wedding capital of the world?

The city developed its reputation as a mecca for weddings as far back as the 1930s—long before Elvis—when several laws were relaxed during the Depression in order to stimulate the economy. Mining in Nevada was on the decline at the time, and gambling was legalized to compensate for lost revenue. The state also shortened its residency requirements for couples seeking divorces, and marriage laws became more lenient. The legislation was so successful that wedding chapels sprang up all over to accommodate the resultant demand.

Soon after residency requirements were relaxed to encourage divorce tourism in Las Vegas, the divorce and wedding trades benefited dramatically from the publicity of a national scandal related to the messy affair between Minnie (Mildred) Kennedy and Guy Edward “Whataman” Hudson. Guy had fled Los Angeles in July of 1931 after posting bail on a bigamy charge. Three weeks earlier, he had married Minnie “Ma” Kennedy, a California evangelist and mother of noted evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. The marriage was annulled soon afterward, but Minnie followed Guy to Las Vegas. (When she arrived, Minnie made a well-documented fire and brimstone sermon atop a blackjack table at the Boulder Club on Fremont Street.) After Guy’s divorce was finalized in August, the two again were united in matrimony on a cliff overlooking the Boulder Dam construction site at Black Mountain along the Colorado River. The marriage lasted only a year. “Whataman” went on to entertain in a Colorado nightclub as a “sexologist” and then disappeared from the limelight into relative obscurity.

Vegas bridal bouquet
Lilies, the most popular flower for wedding bouquets when Las Vegas was young!

By the 1940s, Las Vegas became rather notorious for celebrity weddings. Real-life movie star weddings began fairly early on and included Betty Grable and Henry James tying the knot in Vegas in July of 1943. Over the next several years, the trend continued, and in January of 1958, iconic film couple Paul Newman and Joanne Woodard married at the El Rancho. A memo to the publicity and promotions office at the hotel read, “Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, Hollywood motion picture personalities, will be married in the bungalow of Mr. Beldon Katleman…EVERYTHING COMPLIMENTARY, PER BK.” It’s touching to remember that despite Las Vegas’ reputation for short-lived marriages, the Newmans were married for 50 years at the time of Paul’s death…

Other famous wedding vows included those of Frank Sinatra’s daughter, Nancy, who married singer/actor Tommy Sands in September of 1960 at the Sands Hotel. The whirlwind romance made all the gossip columns and teen magazines, but the marriage lasted only until 1965. Perhaps coincidentally, in 1966 Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made for Walking” made it to #1 on the pop music charts. On March 2, 1963, Desi Arnaz Sr., who had been married to Lucille Ball from 1940-1960, married for the second time, also at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Desi and his new bride, Edith Mack Hirsch, were married until Edith’s death in 1985. Desi passed away the following year.

In the years since, many famous folks (and thousands of lesser-known couples) have been married at the dozens of chapels along the Strip as well as in chapels at the resort hotels. Big names have included Angelina Jolie, Michael Jordan, and of course Elvis and Priscilla, who were wed at the Aladdin Hotel, now Planet Hollywood!

Here at Viva Las Vegas Weddings, we’ve had our fair share of recognizable names and faces! Erin Brockovich (her story was made famous by the movie titled with her name) renewed her wedding vows with her husband, and more recently, Shia LaBeouf said “I Do” to bride Mia Goth in an Elvis Pink Caddy ceremony. Several other stars visited the chapel while performing their duties as attendants in the weddings of friends or family members. LeAnn Rimes was a maid of honor at a friend’s wedding, and Matt LaBlanc was best man at the wedding of his father. Talk and game show host Craig Ferguson was at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel as best man in a wedding that was also attended by Ringo Starr. Sara Ramirez from Grey’s Anatomy even did something of a group BFF “wedding” with all the girls from the show. Jillian Armanante from Judging Amy had the extra honor of having Angelia Jolie as her maid of honor here at Viva. And, Nick Wechsler from Revenge was best man to his best friend from high school.

We DO seem to be name-dropping, but…When you book your fabulous Las Vegas wedding with us—Traditional, Elvis, or Themed–you’ll at least know you’re in good company, historically-speaking. The walls of our lobby are filled with photographs of celebrity couples and guests from the past 18 years, all now part of the wedding history of Las Vegas, and of Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel!
www.vivalasvegasweddings.com
Las Vegas candlelight weddings

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Choosing Your Viva Las Vegas Weddings Bridal Bouquet

Las Vegas wedding flowers
Choose your colors, choose your ribbon color, or even upgrade to an exotic customized bouquet!

Once you’ve picked either a Traditional, Elvis or Themed Wedding at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, you’ll want to select the color of the flowers included with your package. However simple your wedding package, you can always choose to upgrade to a more elaborate or customized bouquet if you like. Our amazing onsite florists can accommodate special requests, too. For example, if you’d like a hand-tied bouquet with a particular color ribbon to match your color scheme, just let us know when you book your wedding.

bali-hai

If you’re having a Themed Wedding, consider having your bouquet styled to match the theme. Elvis Blue Hawaii Wedding Package? Upgrade to our Bali Hai cascade and select a tropical flower for the boutonniere. Alternatively, you can order fresh orchid leis! Having a Gothic Theme? We can do black roses, or perhaps a nice black and blood- red floral mix.

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Remember to consider the color of the bride’s dress when choosing your flowers. White against white sometimes doesn’t provide the brilliant contrast in photos that brighter colors do. A good solution is to ask for a colorful ribbon tie, or contrasting colors of flowers mixed into the bouquet.

Vegas florist weddings
Yellow roses are a popular choice for more casual Elvis or themed weddings.

Have a look at our bouquets, corsages and upgrades at http://www.vivalasvegasweddings.com/vegas_wedding_flowers.htm You can even order flowers to decorate the pews or altar, if you’re so inclined. Look for a future profile about our incredible staff florists very soon! (They design custom arrangements for celebrities all the time!) Questions? Give us a call at 702-384-0771 or live chat with us on our website at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com

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You’ll Have a Blue Christmas Without Our Elvis Blue Hawaii Wedding Package!

Elvis tree ornament
Elvis tree ornaments and other Elvis memorabilia are available in our lobby—perfect for wedding/holiday gift giving!

Planning a holiday time wedding in Las Vegas? Don’t have a Blue Christmas–have an Elvis Blue Hawaii holiday wedding or wedding vow renewal! Just before Christmas, things are quieter in Las Vegas, room rates are low, and the fabulous shops in all the mega-resorts are primed for holiday shopping! Perfect for when you want to combine your special day with a fun holiday-themed honeymoon in Vegas.

Our most popular Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding is relaxed and spirited–but did you know you can add Santa Claus (with or without Mrs. Claus) to your wedding? Add our unique Pink Cadillac entrance, with Elvis driving the two of you down the aisle into the chapel with Santa in the passenger seat, jingling his bells! At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, YOU can tell US what you want to include in your unique wedding package.The Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding comes with flowers, photography and video, beach fog and theatrical lights, Elvis singing three songs with a hula girl by his side…Even round-trip limousine service is included!

Elvis Blue Hawaii Wedding in Vegas
Elvis sings The Hawaiian Wedding Song during the vow exchange.

If you’re doing an Elvis wedding on a budget, we have several less elaborate packages (see the drop-down menu under Elvis Weddings at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com), but we can upgrade with any special holiday features you wish. Add a holiday song for a First Dance, add Santa to pass out small gifts or candy to your guests, add custom holiday-themed flowers…We take requests! Mrs. Claus can be your matron of honor, or, request an elf, angels, or…? as attendants.

custom wedding flowers las vegas
Go red for the holidays and, by special request, have our onsite florist make a custom holiday bouquet for YOU!

If you want a more traditional holiday wedding, we do that, too! We offer Traditional Weddings in packages beginning under $300. Add a classically trained singer to perform “Ave Maria” live, or any other seasonal song that brings a tear or two during your candle lighting ceremony. Please give us a call with questions and ideas for your December wedding to remember! 702-384-0771

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Plan a Wedding or Wedding Vow Renewal in Las Vegas for the Holidays!

Christmas Wedding Vegas
Red and white flowers make a stunning presentation for holiday weddings!

Christmastime and Holiday Season weddings in Las Vegas can be some of the most romantic and colorful…what with the red and white flowers, gold trims, and everything festively decked out at the chapel. Wedding couples benefit from off-season hotel rates, fewer crowds on the Strip, and the general glow of the happiest time of year. New Year’s Eve may be more to your liking if you thrill to fireworks and boisterous crowds…We do that, too! Those sparkly, little-black-dress-style weddings work well here. You might even choose a sexy James Bond 007 Themed Wedding for a sultry and sophisticated New Year’s ceremony!

Winter weddings are some of the most picturesque in our stunning Main Chapel setting

Choose a Traditional indoor Main Chapel Wedding, or one outdoors in the Garden or Gazebo Chapels with their twinkling white lights. Evenings are usually mild, and these venues are lightly warmed and sheltered on colder days and nights. White faux fur hats and stoles are PERFECT in this setting, too…think elegant long white gloves…or red!

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Customize your winter wedding with a custom bouquet, if you like. Consider asking for a holiday-themed minister to do the honors. Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, flying elves…Any holiday character you request can tie the knot for you! Just give us your ideas and we’ll do our holiday best to make it happen. You can select holiday music for your down-the-aisle theme, or book a live singer to carol during your candle lighting ceremony. Have a look at all our Traditional, Themed and Elvis Weddings at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com and, if a December wedding is what you have in mind, just let us know all the special touches you’d like to add to make your wedding or wedding vow renewal right for you and the season! Call us anytime with questions and ideas at 702-384-0771. Viva Las Vegas!

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Slow Dance to “Your Song” at Your Traditional Wedding in Las Vegas

11outside first dance
If the two of you have settled on one of Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel’s elegant yet-affordable Traditional Wedding Packages, you’ll discover that most are all-inclusive, from limo transportation to pictures to flowers. Whether you get married in our enchanting Main Chapel or in one of our romantic Outdoor Gazebo or Garden Chapels, feel free to add options that will personalize your ceremony. If you want to make your ceremony truly “your own,” we can offer many touches that will make your wedding stand apart from all others. Here are just few ideas that we’d be happy to arrange for your day:

1. Add “Your Song” to the ceremony. You bring your own music for walking down the aisle, either processional or recessional. Just let us know ahead of time. (This can be touchingly effective if it is arranged in advance as a surprise for the bride or groom. Let us know, too, if it is indeed a surprise, so we can keep it secret!) You may also add a “First Dance” to your song, so the two of you can dance during the vow exchange for the entire length of your special music. (Small additional charge for your first dance. Call ahead at +1-702-384-0771 to make arrangements for this. We’ll want to make sure it’s all set up in your paperwork before you arrive.)

Main Chapel at Viva Las Vegas
Customize your Traditional Wedding Package at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel with a first dance during the ceremony to the song of your choice!

2. Add live music. Choose a song by one of our classically trained solo singers, male or female, or add a pianist or organist to play for you. (Additional charges may apply if not already included in your package.) This addition is perfect for the lighting of candles, which you also may wish to include in your wedding.

Vegas Bridal Flowers
Choose the flowers that compliment the bride!

3. Upgrade your bridal bouquet. If your dress is formal and gorgeous, imagine gliding down the aisle with a cascade of flowers, or a bouquet of exotic blooms in colors you choose. Our talented on-site florists do custom bouquets for brides who request particular flowers and styles. Consider matching corsages for mothers and grandmothers, or pew flowers to give away to your lovely lady attendants at the end of the ceremony as a thank-you gift.

4. Consider booking extra time with our photographer. Would you like a wider selection of poses and locations to choose from? As long as you’re getting married in Las Vegas, you’ll want to capture all those memories to cherish later. Call our helpful wedding planners in advance to work out the details for giving your wedding photo coverage extended time. We’ll do all we can for your special requests.

Las Vegas Chapel Wedding

5. Check out our website for an array of extras for your limo ride back to the hotel. Small wedding cake, souvenir glasses, champagne. There’s almost nothing we can’t do to customize your perfectly special wedding day! www.vivalasvegasweddings.com

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