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Louise and Phil’s Vegas celebration

Louise Hill and Phil Graham married at The Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada

Louise and Phill – Las Vegas

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Why Las Vegas?

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“We moved to the Caribbean in February 2008 and originally thought we would get married here,” says Louise. “However, flights to the British Virgin Islands aren’t easy or cheap so we ruled that out for the sake of our guests travelling over from the UK (and one from Norway!). Phil had proposed in October 2007 at the Grand Canyon during a holiday to Las Vegas, so we decided that we should return to Vegas for our wedding and combine it with having another awesome holiday! We viewed some venues and fell in love with The Bellagio, where some of Ocean’s Eleven was filmed with Brad Pitt and George Clooney.  They offer so many all-inclusive wedding ceremony packages that come with a personal wedding co-ordinator that it made the perfect choice for us as we were organising from a distance.”

Louise and Phill – The Ceremony

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What was the ceremony like?

“We were married in the South Chapel which seats around 120 guests.  The chapel looks exactly like a proper chapel should, with pews and flowers (which you choose with your package). We opted for a non-religious ceremony which ordinarily lasts around 10-15 minutes but as had friends and family watching via a live weblink, we decided to fill it out a bit. We had friends do personal readings about us as individuals and us as a couple and we also had a unity candle. Both The Bellagio and the minister were very flexible and didn’t once say that we couldn’t have something that we asked for.”

Louise and Phill – The Reception

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What was the reception like?  

“One of the reasons that we chose The Bellagio over the other hotels that we viewed was because of the choices for holding the reception. We had around 45 guests so we didn’t want a large reception room that they would look lost in.  We also decided that as we were already breaking with tradition in getting married in Vegas, that we should do something a little bit different. The hotel has large suites for entertaining called Executive Suites, where you can host a reception for up to 60 guests.  It was perfect for what we wanted and just the right size. The suite had a large lounge/entertaining space, a dining room and the all-important bar. The Bellagio catered for us – we had a carving station, a fajita station and a pasta station. The Bellagio also provided our cake, which was huge and delicious! We didn’t completely break with tradition – we had speeches and a first dance followed by dancing in the living room and a conga! Phil did the music himself on the MP3 player and we played it through the amazing speaker system in the room. We finished up around 1.30am, very tired but we had an incredible time!”

Louise and Phill – Arranging Their Wedding Abroad

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Was it easy to arrange?

“Given how far away we were from the venue I was really nervous about giving up a lot of control, but it turned out to be incredibly easy to arrange as our wedding co-ordinator handled everything over email and was incredibly patient, especially towards the end when I was getting nervous! The wedding package included a limo to the Registry Office, my bouquet, all the chapel flowers, two photographers (who were excellent), champagne and toasting flutes, a DVD of the ceremony (which was ready as soon as we left the chapel) and lots, lots more. We had a catering manager to arrange the reception and they even arrange for the chapel flowers to be taken up to reception room for you.”

Louise and Phill – Tips

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Any tips?  

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“We weren’t sure what to do with our guests while we were having our photos taken, as hiring the patio for your usual canapés and champagne was a really expensive option and not much fun given we were in Vegas.  We therefore decided to hire two “party buses” and sent our guests on a tour of Las Vegas for a few hours with a lot of champagne! They all had a fantastic time and it worked really well. Another tip would be to make the most of your wedding co-ordinator. It’s their job to help you out and they really will go out of their way to make things easy for you.”