Category Archives: Las Vegas Wedding Planning

Viva Las Vegas Weddings’ Reverend Daphne Dishes the BEST Wedding Advice!

Las Vegas Wedding Minister
Meet the lovely Reverend Daphne, who knows a thing or two about Las Vegas weddings!

At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, we don’t just do Elvis weddings and weddings with themed character ministers. We also have on staff several friendly and caring traditional wedding officiants, too. (And, at Viva Las Vegas Chapel, you can always ADD Elvis to sing at your traditional ceremony!) With us from DAY ONE–for nearly twenty years now– is the UK-born Reverend Daphne. She has just a touch of a British accent, and a heart filled with loving words and helpful advice for our wedding couples. We’ll share some of her answers to some oft-asked questions here. 🙂

1. What advice do you have for couples who may want to personalize their ceremonies at the chapel?

Some couples (mainly from the South) end a ceremony with “jumping the broom.” Of course, they have to bring the broom! This tradition dates from late 18th century England, and it experienced new popularity with couples in this country after it was seen on the iconic TV series, Roots. I’ve sometimes seen another fascinating wedding ritual. Instead of lighting a unity candle, couples will pour different-colored sand into a vase making a personalized design. (Again,they have to bring vase and sand.) If you’d like to do something meaningful and original along these lines, just let the staff know your plans at the time you book your wedding. That way, we can arrange for any special music or other elements you might need during the ceremony. Also check for all our special upgrades on the Viva Las Vegas Weddings website. http://www.vivalasvegasweddings.com/wedding-upgrades

2. What can brides can wear to their summer weddings to stay cool and still look beautiful?

There are many short-to-ankle-length dresses out there that are beautiful. The long, frou-frou dresses with looooong veils are not comfortable or suitable in the summer for quick Las Vegas weddings. Keep that for the outdoor-at-a-mansion wedding. REMEMBER, just because you LOVE the dress, it may not love you!. Keep in mind what fits your body. DON’T go with any style just because you fall in love with the gown! I have seen too many brides that look really bad in a beautiful dress that simply doesn’t flatter them. Know your body type and the styles that show you off positively. Many full-chested women want strapless gowns. But when you find yourself constantly pulling up the dress, this results in being self-conscious and VERY uncomfortable. Try a halter bodice or Grecian style (over one shoulder). Take the time and bring the dress with you to buy CORRECT under garments i.e. bra, corset, waist cincher etc. that are necessary for the dress. You’ll feel slimmer and cooler. I have seen too many brides pass out in the heat during the ceremony from too tight waist cincher or corset. OR a dress smaller than her body to appear slimmer. Remember the groom is marrying you, not the dress. By the way, WARNING – black undergarments under a white dress– NOT SEXY!!

Rev. Daphne at Vegas wedding
Rev. Daphne does the honors in an elegantly traditional Main Chapel ceremony.

3. Can you offer any advice for writing your own vows to each other?

Often couples don’t exactly write wedding vows but simply have words they want to say to each other. I always say the traditional vows at every ceremony, then I ask the couple if they have words to share with one another. KEEP IT SHORT. If not pre-prepared, just “I love you” or “I’m so happy that we are here today” is more than enough. That said, MOST couples prefer just to repeat the vows that are part of my ceremony. That’s perfectly okay, too. We like to give everyone the opportunity to personalize their wedding vows if they wish.

4. Can you recommend any romantic places for a special wedding night dinner in Las Vegas?

The “Top of the Stratosphere” is my first choice–just a few blocks away from our chapel. It’s a revolving 360-degree restaurant with a fantastic view of Las Vegas, especially at night. It’s a little pricey, but well worth it for that “special day.”

Outdoor Garden Vegas Wedding
Daphne performs romantic evening wedding vows in our picturesque Garden Chapel.

Do YOU have a question for Daphne?  Need expert wedding advice? What is the most unusual wedding Rev. Daphne has ever seen? Can she tell if a marriage is going to last, judging by the behavior of the couple on their wedding day?  Look for past interviews with Reverend Daphne in our archived blogs, or feel free to post a question in the comments. She’ll get back to you in a future post!

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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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Anniversary Vow Renewal in Las Vegas? Bring the Kids!

Darth Vader minister wedding
Themed weddings–like this Intergalactic ceremony– are fun for all ages!

Viva Las Vegas Weddings’ Elvis and Themed Weddings make loving and light-hearted wedding vow renewals, so it’s no surprise that couples celebrating 10, 15 or 20 years of marriage include the kids on their special day! Young ones love wearing costumes as part of a themed vow renewal, and even if the ceremony you choose is more traditional, they feel very grown up dressing in fancy duds for the occasion as they take part in the proceedings.

We see a lot of tiny Elvi going down the chapel’s aisle (see below), but our Superhero, Blue Hawaii, and Intergalactic weddings also bring out some junior-sized luau wear and character costumes. Ring bearers and flower girls strut their stuff as gangsters, wizards, space princesses, and mini-zombies. For kids who are less outgoing, though, themed and Elvis ceremonies are casual enough that shorts and t-shirts are fine, too. Some just add a tropical lei, or Elvis sunglasses, available here in our gift shop.

Little Elvis Wedding in Vegas
A little Elvis leads the way down the aisle!

At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, we encourage creativity. We still remember an entire family who came dressed as Vikings, and another where all the male family members wore kilts. Other families and their guests have arrived dressed as space aliens of every ilk. Needless to say, we don’t have many boring days here at the the chapel! While Themed and Elvis Weddings are not for everyone for their first weddings, vow renewals bring out a whole different side–and a lot of imagination–in couples.

Elvis diner wedding in Vegas
Hanging with The King in the Doo Wop Diner

Consider adding-on a casual Doo Wop Diner reception if your wedding is a family affair. We’ll serve up sliders, hot dogs, sundaes/soda fountain fare in our retro 1950s setting. We take requests for all weddings, vow renewals, and receptions. Just give us a call with your ideas and special needs, and we’ll do all we can to make it happen for you! 702-384-0771

Darth Vader wedding

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Glasgow Couple Crosses the Pond for a Viva Las Vegas Gazebo Wedding!

Vegas Wedding LImo
The limo treatment and a photo op like this one make a Viva Las Vegas Wedding truly unique!

On a recent summer evening, Patrick and Kim came all the way from Glasgow, Scotland to be married in Las Vegas in our Viva Las Vegas Outdoor Gazebo. (You might be surprised to learn that nearly 20% of our wedding couples come from abroad to get married in Las Vegas, with Elvis…or…not.) The couple had only just become engaged two days before their arrival in Vegas–on a road trip from Seattle to Dallas.

We asked how they found Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel and they said they were Googling chapels and loved our Outdoor Gazebo as soon as they saw it. Kim and Patrick added that they appreciated our clear and friendly website. They also spent some time with our vivacious and helpful wedding staffer, Olivia, chatting online.

According to the new Mr. and Mrs., “We loved our wedding! Everyone at Viva Las Vegas was so friendly and welcoming and made things so easy. Other couples from abroad probably have more time in Vegas arranged and we only had two nights, but in that time we planned an awesome wedding. In fact we arranged our wedding from scratch on the same day thanks to you guys!” And WE loved hearing such positive feedback. Kind words from brides and grooms always make us want to try even harder to make EVERY wedding that special.

Many couples find that our many all-inclusive and affordable wedding packages in Las Vegas make it possible for them to travel from around the world, visit several of the States, then be married, all for the price of a “regular” church wedding back home. While many family and friends might not be able to come along, they CAN watch the wedding streaming live online from anywhere in the world.

Outdoor Vegas Wedding
The outdoor Gazebo chapel makes for a romantic setting for an evening wedding.

Patrick continued, “We’ve been together 11 years, and Kim didn’t see the proposal coming. Being married just the two of us in Vegas felt just right for us and we loved the personal touch the minister put into the vows. When the great photographer showed us our names up in lights outside the chapel, that was amazing. We’ve been on the holiday of a lifetime and we’re going home married. You guys were a huge part of that. We thank you.” Thank YOU, Patrick and Kim! We wish you all the best for a happy lifetime together. We hope you’ll come see us for an anniversary vow renewal one day, and a road tour of the OTHER half of the country. 🙂

Vegas Wedding Chapel marquee

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Christmas Wedding in July? No, But Now’s the Time to Book Your Holiday Wedding in Las Vegas!

Santa and Elvis Wedding in Vegas
Choose Elvis as your “minister” or have Santa himself perform your wedding or wedding vow renewal ceremony!

We don’t really do Christmas in July here at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, but it IS time to start planning your holiday wedding, if December suits your matrimonial schedule. Did you know that New Year’s Eve is second only to Valentine’s Day for a romantic Vegas wedding? Holiday time in general–especially Christmas Eve–makes for stunning traditional weddings that often feature red and white gowns, bouquets, bowties– accented with silver and gold, of course!

If you’re up for a more fun-filled holiday wedding, choose any of our Elvis Wedding Packages and add Santa and Mrs. Claus as backup dancers! They’ll appear in a cloud of fog behind our gold curtain as Elvis sings, “Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me.” The whole effect makes an awesome holiday surprise for your guests, especially anyone back home watching your ceremony streamed live online!

Christmas Santa Wedding Vegas
Surprise your friends and family with Santa and the Mrs. at your holiday time Elvis wedding in Vegas!

Not Elvis fans? You can opt to have Santa Claus himself perform your ceremony with holiday music in the background. (Maybe “Christmas Bride.” Perfect!) Just choose any of our Traditional Wedding packages and ask your friendly Viva Las Vegas wedding planner to substitute Santa as minister. Santa (and Mrs. Claus, too) can be added to any of our other Themed Weddings, too. Really adventurous couples will get a thrill out of mixing Darth Vader and Santa, the Bluez Brothers and Santa, or even Liberace and Santa. We can customize any aspect of your wedding you can imagine!

If you’re celebrating an anniversary in December and are planning a trip to Vegas, this is the lighthearted wedding vow renewal ceremony for you. Best of all, room rates in Las Vegas are at their lowest in December. Up until New Year’s, the crowds are a lot lighter in Las Vegas, too. Give us a call with questions and any assistance you may need in planning and booking a Viva Las Vegas Wedding for the holidays! 702-384-0771 Or visit us online at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com We’ll keep the mistletoe in the cooler until then!

Christmas Wedding in Vegas

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So You Want to Elope to Las Vegas? Pointers for a Non-Traditionally Traditional Wedding

Traditional Wedding in vegas
Even if it’s just the two of you, you can have the traditional wedding of your dreams!

Believe it or not, nearly half of our Viva Las Vegas Weddings ceremonies are full-on, traditional style weddings with most of the lovely bells and whistles of a church wedding back home. Some are very intimate affairs with just the couple, whether they’re eloping in secret or just wanting something personal. But–in case YOUR cozy wedding-for-two turns into a big one once everyone finds out you’re tying the knot in Vegas–our Main Chapel can comfortably seat nearly 100 guests. (It’s amazing how many friends and family members don’t mind a trip to Las Vegas for your wedding day!)

Whether you’re eloping to Vegas or it’s simply your wedding destination of choice, here are a few traditions you may (or may not) want to keep for your Viva Las Vegas Wedding. First–the ring! Did you know that about 70% of brides wear a traditional diamond ring on their left hand? Others opt for a sapphire, representing a happy and harmonious union, or an aquamarine stone that bodes for a long and prosperous union. We’ve also seen tattoos in place of precious metal rings, and even lollipop rings– when couples choose not to exchange “real” rings at all. (Your “traditional” style wedding can include only the elements that have meaning for YOU.) Your personal wedding coordinator will ask ahead of time if you’ll be exchanging rings. If not, the minister will work around this seamlessly.

A bit of Las Vegas trivia here! Priscilla Presley’s engagement ring was 3 1/2 carats! Your rings–and the size or presence of their stones– are a very personal choice, but just be sure to bring them to the chapel! (One bride lost her ring and the ceremony had to be performed without it. On the way back to her hotel in the limousine, the bride discovered the ring had gone down the front of her dress and lodged in her bra!)

wedding rings for Vegas wedding

Next–the dress! Wondering what to wear to your traditional Vegas wedding? Many brides still choose to wear white, a trend said to have been started by Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century. But in Las Vegas, that white is often in the form of a summery off-the-shoulder dress, or something a bit sassier. (We’ve even seen white bikinis for our clearly non-traditional Beach Party Themed Wedding!) But, in Las Vegas, where many weddings are distinctly different, brides wear almost any style or color down the aisle–even jeans, for a casual yet still “traditional” wedding.

Even in the most kicked-back of Viva Las Vegas Weddings, where jeans and even shorts are worn, brides often keep the veil, a traditional started in ancient Greece and believe to have protected brides from evil spirits.(You wouldn’t want that!) Brides in jeans (or bikinis) look fun and fabulous in a veil, and we even rent them here at the chapel. For more formal weddings, we also rent tuxes right on the premises!

At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, you also have the option of adding a traditional reception afterward, from a simple cake and champagne toast to elegant dining and dancing with live music at our adjacent Ron Decar’s Event Center. If you’re eloping and just want wedding cake for two to take back to your hotel, we do that, too, and we’ll pack it to-go!
Vegas Wedding Chapel Kiss

For more information on ways to include your own traditions in a customized Viva Las Vegas Wedding, visit our website (www.vivalasvegasweddings.com) and then give us a call with questions at 702-384-0771. We’ll be delighted to help you start your own wedding tradition!

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