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.
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!
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!”
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!