It's not everyday a loved one calls to say they are eloping-- in Las Vegas! After my initial shock and excitement that these two love birds were finally tying the knot, I admit, my next thoughts turned to fat Elvis ministers, drive thru chapels and tacky plastic flowers. Not a pretty picture but I figured whatever works for them, works for me.
Since Las Vegas is just a hop, skip and jump away; and since I truly love the Bride and Groom with all my heart; hubby and I jumped in the car and decided to crash their wedding. We made the 5 hour drive in under 4 1/2 hours and boy were they surprised to see us-- In a good way! Phew.
We stayed at the beautiful Wynn Hotel-- What a great place; comfy beds, lush pillows and huge bathrooms! Ahhhh. We needed a little vacation or at least that was my excuse to my husband for making the spur of the moment trip.
To celebrate the occasion, I finagled a last minute dinner reservation at the fully booked SW Steak House by mentioning the wedding about to take place and well, a waterfront table was immediately available for us!
Moments after being seated, champagne was flowing and a fantastic water and light show with-- and this will sound crazy-- a beautiful, giant, tropical frog lip syncing "What a Wonderful World" began! I know, I know, Vegas Baby, but it was really spectacular, and that was just the beginning of the music and lights and giant dancing puppets while we dined. The Bride and Groom were thrilled and there was nothing tacky about it. Honest!
The next day was "the big day" and something really amazing happened. Instead of the usual, and totally normal, pre-wedding jitters, the Bride and Groom weren't the least bit stressed, nervous or anxious! There was no matri-mania, no bridezilla, no freaking out, no meltdowns and not an ounce of drama! Instead, we all had a huge breakfast together and they laughed and giggled like a couple of teenagers going to the Prom! It was the greatest thing EVER!
But the really surprising part was the Groom. Somewhere over the last several years spent with his lovely Bride, this 40-something guy became a hopeless romantic; a gushy, mushy, love-struck hunk, who is head over heels in love and not afraid to show it. It was seriously impressive and incredibly sweet. After my shock and awe at this revelation, I realized that, since meeting his Bride, our Groom had become a better man. I love that and I'm so proud of him.
The Bride, also madly in love, was relaxed, calm and absolutely radiant! She was 1000% confident that the two were meant for each other and couldn't wait to meet the preacher!
But this was not your stereotypical Las Vegas "Quickie Wedding". Oh no, no, no! There were having none of the often joked about tacky weddings in Nevada.
Instead, a stretch limo picked us up and drove about an hour out of town to the Valley of Fire State Park. We drove up and over the hills and turns, deep into the Park, before we stopped at Rainbow Ridge. And there-- right there-- in the distance, was the Grand Canyon in all her glory! On that very ridge, surrounded by gorgeous red rocks and a spectacular view, the Bride and Groom exchanged wedding vows at sunset before a minister that reminded me of Andy Griffith.
She wept with joy; he beamed with love; we took a few hundred pictures and a video to show the family back home in Ohio. It was all so beautiful, so glorious, so loving and so joyful that I am now a confirmed fan of Las Vegas weddings! Swear to gawd, I'd get married in Las Vegas if I had it to do all over again-- And so would my husband! It was that perfect.
Yes, next weekend they are having a big gathering back home with family and friends to celebrate their marriage. Everyone is very excited and happy for them. They'll show the video and pictures and share their special day with everyone. But on the actual day of their wedding, it was just the way they wanted-- simple, stress-free and all about LOVE.
I've talked to the happy couple several times in their first six days of marriage. You can tell by their voices that they are still blissfully happy!
Did I mention they've been together for nearly eight years-- living together for the past four? The Bride says she didn't expect things to "feel different" now that they are married, but she says they do-- She says they feel GREAT, happier, and just plain MORE or everything.
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