- Sep 28
Afton + Chad: Las Vegas Destination Wedding
Today is my one year wedding anniversary, so what better time to re-live the day and invite you all to come along? When my husband, Chad, and I got engaged, we knew we wanted our wedding to be different. I wanted the best of both worlds - gorgeous al fresco wedding and a fun, party-filled weekend. Las Vegas was the perfect destination. #VivaLasVangsness
I started the day getting ready at the wedding location - The Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. If you're not familiar, this is located off the strip in a picturesque oasis. While we had everyone stay on the Las Vegas strip at The Cosmopolitan to truly get the Vegas experience, we wanted a different vibe for the wedding itself.
My morning consisted of the usual - mimosas, music, and my girls. Makeup was done Makeup by Rose C and hair was done by Amelia C & Co. My dog, Monster, was by my side the whole time as well. Fun fact: He actually peed on the train of my dress the morning of the wedding. I could never be mad at him though, as he was simply marking his territory. I'm all HIS!
The best part about getting ready on site was that the control freak in me could watch the setup from my balcony, since the ceremony and reception was being set up in the courtyard of the venue! Although, I did not need to because Angelica Rose Events had every detail taken care of!
The guys got ready on the Las Vegas Strip, and then headed to the venue for some photos (and drinks) prior to our first look.
For so many reasons, I always recommend a first look. It allows more time for photos, it gives you a moment just the two of you, and it lets you hang out all day! We did our first look, and then Monster joined as well.
Our wedding party consisted of just our siblings and best friends. They were dressed in classic black tuxedos and dresses. Pops of color came from our stunning moody bouquets by City Blossoms, and Chad's burgundy tuxedo.
We provided transportation for our 75 guests to take them from The Cosmopolitan to the Hilton Lake Las Vegas for the wedding, which is about a 30 minute drive. On arrival, guests were greeted with champagne and Elegant Strings playing classical versions of modern hits. The ceremony was set up in the courtyard utilizing one of their built in green arches. Floral was added to the arch to compliment my secret garden aesthetic. And of course, Monster walked me down the aisle.
Our ceremony was non-traditional and full of personal elements, all officiated by the fabulous Peachy Keen Unions. We exchanged our own written vows, did a wine ceremony, kissed, and we were officially Mr. and Mrs. Vangsness!
Cocktail hour took place on a bridge overlooking Lake Las Vegas. While our guests and wedding party enjoyed that, Chad and I went off site to take some epic photos thanks to J. Anne Photography. I kid you not, we trespassed, hiked, and pretty much destroyed the bottom of my dress to get these. I am a firm believer in doing anything for the shot!
Not surprisingly, I had a very clear vision of exactly what I wanted for the design of the wedding. I knew I wanted moody colors, edgy elements, yet still a sophisticated look. Since everything was set in the courtyard, which had multiple quadrants with green arch entrances, I called it my gothic secret garden.
Two of the quadrants were used for guest tables. Half of the tables were farm tables with black sequin runners, black taper candles, and three lush floral arrangements. The other half were rounds with black linen, silver taper candles, and oblong floral arrangements. All tables had burgundy napkins, black menu cards, an agate place cards. The table decor was from RSVP Party Rentals.
The other quadrant was used for the bar and our lounge area, filled with vintage furniture in rich colors from Modern Vintage Rentals, who also provided the farm tables. We also had our custom neon sign from Echo Neon Studio as a statement piece and photo backdrop. We incorporated a ton of unique and personal elements to ensure everything was exactly like our style - like the black wedding cake from Freed's Bakery.
Dinner and dancing was after sunset under the cafe lighting installed by LED Unplugged. We danced to a rendition of 'The Luckiest' by Ben Folds, performed by our amazing band - Patrick & the LVB. To this day, everyone from our wedding talks about how great our band was, and they truly kept everyone on the dance floor all night long (and even for a couple encores)!
After the wedding, we provided transportation for all of the guests to go back to the Strip to keep the party going!
Overall, our wedding day was everything I wanted and more. I am so incredibly grateful for every single person that helped make that day happen - to the vendors that brought my vision to life, to the people that traveled to be a part of it, and to my husband... I can't wait to keep the party going for the rest of our lives!
I hope you feel like you were officially part of our wedding day! Now, I'm off to Las Vegas to a little anniversary getaway!
Vendor Team -
Photography: J. Anne Photography
Planning: Angelica Rose Events
Floral: City Blossoms
Furniture Rentals: Modern Vintage Rentals
Tabletop Rentals: RSVP Party Rentals
Makeup: Makeup by Rose C
Hair: Amelia C & Co
Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions
Band: Patrick & the LVB
Ceremony Musicians: Elegant Strings
Lighting: LED Unplugged
Transportation: AWG Ambassador
Accommodations: The Cosmopolitan
Bridal Shop: a&be Bridal Shop
Dress Designer: Made With Love Bridal
Alterations: The Alterationist
Veil: Untamed Petals
Crown: Emma Katzka
Jewelry: Sara Gabriel
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
Groom's Tuxedo: Indochino
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Brideside
Groomsmen's Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse
Leather Jacket: XO Art & Design
Neon Sign: Echo Neon Studio