The most clichéd thing you could possibly do was to get hitched in Las Vegas, but I was desperate to not have my wedding become a spectacle. I didn't want the circus antics. I didn't want random people coming out of the woodwork pretending we were the best of friends. I wasn't even a fan of getting married in the first place and it wasn't even for the romantic nature of it.
For awhile, my husband (my best friend) had a chronic bout of ending up in the hospital. I've heard too many stories of significant others getting kicked out. One of my greatest fears is leaving him to fend off the sharks by himself especially when he's suffering from a specific ailment that leaves him incapacitated. I've become his health advocate. I've gone to pretty much all of his doctor's visits.
I've heard of unfortunate cases where the hospital kicks out significant others who aren't legally married and some stories have ended in tragedy. His frequent visits to the hospital made me rethink marriage. There was no magical proposal. I literally said we should get married in the middle of traffic on a very busy highway.
I wanted to get married at the courthouse. My husband has a little more of a romantic nature than me and he put his foot down at that idea. He was fine with a small wedding even an elopement if it was special. Scratch that idea then... no courthouse wedding. I had looked into places to elope in New England where we are located intending for it to be a very small affair -- an elopement.
Except one of side of the family objected wholeheartedly to not being involved so we had to scrap the elopement idea. I pushed for an intimate affair with only immediate family and to make sure there wasn't any funny business, I decided on Las Vegas. Well, I decided on Las Vegas randomly after testing out possibilities for Maine. There was a couple ideas for Maine, but none of them was extravagant enough for a wedding. The only one I wanted was an elopement package I found up in Maine for right on the beach. Since it was an elopement package, there was only room for the bride and groom and few guests.
I didn't want the chaos involved with a wedding. I didn't want to become a Bridezilla so I totally became a Bridezilla and drove my husband-to-be and my maid-of-honor insane. We couldn't afford any of it. I think that was why I wanted an elopement, because I wanted something simple, affordable, and private. I wanted something just us.
Our wedding was... chaos. The wedding chapel we settled on didn't compare to the original wedding chapel we decided on, but we had to make sacrifices. People were coming to Las Vegas and they needed to eat and be entertained.
On a Wednesday at the end of September, my husband and I got up early to start the day. We got breakfast at Starbucks before we headed to our separate hotel rooms. Everyone was getting ready for the wedding. I'm in my maid of honor's room and we're trying desperately to get dressed. I'm trying to instruct her on how to tie up a corset back and I once again wonder why I decided a corset back was the best idea. I had decided to make my own dress out of a failed wedding dress attempt. I can definitely tell you it was one-of-a-kind. It was my style, but it was very much like a wedding dress costume.
Why not? It was Vegas.
In the middle of my best friend trying to help me with getting dressed, my husband called me angry that nobody was helping him get dressed. I made some calls and finally people were on the way to help my husband. Unfortunately, I was still trying to lace the shoulder straps in place and freaking out had become a norm by then. Miraculously, my best friend and I made it downstairs to the lobby of the Luxor Hotel to wait for everyone else to show up. We were all taking a limo to the wedding chapel.
It looked like my husband got married to himself according to the chapel broadcast. The other video (the one that wasn't broadcasted) came out much better. The photographer wore jeans and his photography skills were just as professional as his attire for a wedding. I will always remember our song playing as I walked down the aisle with my dad to give me way to my husband. I will always have that memory to cherish.
The wedding itself wasn't what we wanted. It was memorable. Both of us messed up and tried to put our wedding band on the wrong hand. Yes, the both of us did that, because messing up once wasn't enough. Our wedding was eclipsed by the post-wedding activities. Right after the wedding and viewing the photography, we went to Wicked Spoon and that was the right step in the right direction. I remember walking around in my wedding dress and taking the bus back to our hotel. I had a tourist take a picture on the bus with me in my wedding attire.
After a two hour gap, we missed the first bus to make it to the pizza place we were all supposed to meet up at. We were late for that. Our wedding cake looked like a child's birthday cake made for one. We actually made it to the limo on time to start the light tour. At night, that was where all the magic happened. We got to see the Bellagio fountain lights, the Hollywood sign, the Mirage Volcano explosion, and Fremont Street. We were driven around to each event by a stretch limo decked out with lights.
Our wedding day was not what we planned. It was definitely a spectacle. I became a Bridezilla. It looked like my husband married himself. I don't even remember our vows or what the actual chapel looked like, but I do remember the lights. I remember the one-of-a-kind moments that could only happen when you're in Las Vegas.
I hope that snapshot with that tourist made her day.
P.S. We still haven't bought our marriage certificate to prove we're married. We no longer have the wedding bands we originally had when we got married. I've never run into an issue with the hospital. Knock on wood.