Flashback Friday: The Wedding

This starts a new segment on the blog. I see a few other blogs have a Flashback Friday with their own spin on it, so this is mine. LET IT BE LAW.


After 7 years of dating, the hubs and I got engaged. Before we started wedding planning, I suggested we go to Las Vegas, but the hubs shot down that idea because his family is on the traditional side. I’ll admit, I was bummed. A destination wedding sounded awesome, but this relationship thing is a two-way street, so I started doing research in the Orlando area. And by research, I mean I just asked all my friends where they got married. Shortly after grilling all my friends, we found the Maitland Art Center.

I loved it!

Meet the chapel.

I really liked the idea of my future wedding pictures in that chapel. I pictured it decorated with lots of white flowers. It just has this old school feel to it like monks in long, brown robes should be walking around with their heads bowed. The picture really doesn’t do it justice.

I booked the chapel at the Art Center for the wedding and booked the Winter’s Park Farmer’s Market for the reception. The Farmer’s Market is indoors, unlike the Art Center, to account for unpredictable Florida weather. Also, if I broke a sweat in my wedding dress, I would flip out.

The Farmer’s Market used to be an old train station, so the inside is really charming.  Shortly after we booked the wedding and reception, we booked the caterer, photographer, and the cupcake tower wedding cake.

I tried to keep the wedding as affordable as possible because hubs and I were splitting the bill. I often reminded him of what he owed and would ask his opinion on different things (even though he pretty much left the planning to me) because it was his money too.

Seven months before our wedding and after $2000 in deposits, hubs realized that the portion he owed for the wedding was indeed his portion and not the total for the whole wedding.

Meet Las Vegas. Open-mouthed smile

Hubs decided Vegas didn’t sound so bad after all. (Insert I told you so here.) First, I threw something heavy at him. Then, I was annoyed because I had already done so much work, but then realized I was getting my way so that annoyance didn’t last long. I canceled everything I had booked, did a bunch of research on Las Vegas wedding packages, and ended up booking our wedding at Mandalay Bay. We got all but $300 back from our deposits (whew!) and ended up saving 6k by going to Vegas.

Before the wedding, the bestie and I had our hair done at the salon in the hotel. I don’t recommend wearing a tight-necked t-shirt when you’re getting your hair done unless your wearing that same tight-necked t-shirt for your wedding (lesson learned).

Hubs and I got married in the outdoor area of Mandalay Bay called Valley of the Falls instead of the chapel. It was an extra cost, but totally worth it. We also saved money by getting married on a Monday instead of the weekend.

Over 20 of our friends flew out for our wedding which blew my mind. You mention Vegas to people and they go crazy. I’m sure half of them still don’t know they were there for a wedding. Everyone started buying plane tickets like they were going to meet Cher and Celine Dion personally.

Our guests had to wait an hour for the ceremony to start because the minister that was supposed to marry us was in a car accident on the way to the wedding.

I decided not to take that as a sign and had a beer with my brother and best friend in the lobby while we waited. 🙂 When another minister finally showed up, the wedding was on and my brother walked me down the aisle.

No, we didn’t get married by Elvis (our most asked question). But I’m pretty sure Roy Orbison lives and now plays the violin at weddings.

My best friend was my Maid of Honor and the only person in our wedding party.

The little dude that married us sounded like an evangelist. I’m surprised he didn’t slap our foreheads at the end. The falls were so loud, he had to use a microphone so our guests could hear, which just amplified his corniness.

The photographer who took our pictures was awful (he was part of the wedding package we booked). We took over 200 pictures with him and we liked 15 of them. All our other pictures came from our friends.

He did manage to take a few good ones. This was our favorite.

Now it’s a little over 2 years later and I don’t think I would have changed anything. The ceremony was short, we had dinner at Rumjungle in Mandalay Bay afterwards, and then danced at Cathouse in the Luxor most of the night. I had so much fun and it was much more relaxed than your typical ceremony and reception.

If you’re married, where did you get married?

If you’re not married, would you get married in Vegas? 🙂


Filed under Wedding

45 responses to “Flashback Friday: The Wedding

  1. i wanted to get married in Vegas!!! seriously, i wanted a destination wedding @ the Venetian. but my hubby & his family, like your hubs, were far more traditional. (ha, & we got saddled with the entire wedding bill….but that’s a whole ‘nother bunch of nonsense). so we had our wedding at our church…the night before our wedding we had a huge bash so that was my favorite part.
    i’m jealous! your pictures look great!! ha, lesson learned on hair huh? button up shirts are a must 🙂

  2. Sara

    I would TOTALLY get married in Vegas as it seems more budgetary and fun! Alas, I am going to Vegas in three weeks for a mini vacay. Yay!!

  3. Not married but I would totally get hitched in Vegas. Good restaurants, lots of beautiful hotels, sounds good to me!

    PS Love your wedding dress, you looked beautiful 🙂

  4. Michelle M

    My hubby and I got married in Vegas. Loved it! So much more fun than stressing about all the little details involved in a traditional wedding. We had a blast!

  5. I am getting married in 35 days. I wanted to elope. I STILL want to elope. I am marrying an Italian and he is hearing none of that.
    I feel like my wedding is going to play out like a scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding – but Italian style. I am bracing myself. I am worried about the bill. I am worried that I am going to trip down the aisle. I’m worried about lots of things. (I’m a worrier.) My plan is to drink lots of bubbly and celebrate in that fact that my best friend of five years is now my husband. That is going to rock 🙂
    PS. You looked beautiful and what a pretty dress!

  6. I love flashback Fridays (b/c I’m a nostalgic fool)! I didn’t realize you got married in Vegas, how fun!! I’ve always said I want my wedding to be a fun occasion and not a traditional stuffy affair. So yes, I’d totally be up for getting married in Vegas. You dress was beautiful!

  7. Stefanie

    I should have gotten married in Vegas. SO much cheaper. I got married in the culteral center (i.e. the gym) of our church. Not classy. Then again, I was 18 so I didn’t really care at the time. I wish I could do it all over again!

  8. I got married on the beach and had a tented reception with BBQ afterwards 🙂 Both mine and my hubs family are traditional. We talked about running away more times than I can count though. Big weddings=stress+drama.

  9. If anyone ever decides to marry me (ha!) I want something more traditional. Vegas would be soooo fun…but I think I’d want something slightly closer to home, so more of my family and friends could make it 🙂

    I love that photo in front of Mandalay Bay!

  10. Amy

    Even though you didn’t have your reception at the Winter’s Park Farmer’s Market….great minds sure do think alike! Brian and I had our wedding reception there! I loved the old charm of the building…it was a great place for a reception…but then again….so is Vegas! 🙂

  11. I love looking at other people’s weddings! (I guess I’m just creepy like that.) Your hair and dress are to die for! The Rabbi was late to my wedding, but he had just written the time down wrong.*

  12. Just lovely! I tried to talk my husband into getting married in Vegas but it wasn’t up his alley. I love Vegas, but he’s not a big fan. I know, right?
    We did a ton of research and decided to elope to Barbados. It was just the two of us and it was a lovely, quiet, simple ceremony on the beach. And even traveling, we saved a ton of money.
    I’m trying to talk him into a vow renewal by Elvis in Vegas someday. Preferably in a drive-thru! ha ha! We’ll see. 😀

    • Katie

      Did you have any issues with not being able to have family or friends attend? Or did you do a reception at home afterwords?

      • We were going to have a reception at home, but then never did. Only one of my brothers couldn’t attend. But he couldn’t travel because of back issues, so he wouldn’t have been able to make it to Orlando either. A few friends couldn’t fly out but most friends and family made it. We just decided that the wedding was for us – so we totally understood if someone didn’t want to foot the plane ticket.

  13. Megan

    I am an asbolute sucker for wedding talk of any sort and I Love Your Dress! My husband and I got married last year and I always wanted a traditional wedding, BUT I didn’t know what I was getting in to when I started dating a Greek Guy. We definitely had a ‘Big Fat Greek Wedding’, it was a long Greek ceremony, followed by a reception with lots of Greek dancing and plate breaking, and I loved it all! There are times I wish we would have went to Vegas and done something on a smaller scale (less stress), but overall I’m glad we took the route we did!

  14. Totally lovin’ that dress! If I had it to do all over again I would totally get married on the beach in Jamaica! Oh yes, and fly a fantastic photographer with me. It was after the fact I decided the perfect photographer was almost as important as the perfect groom!

  15. We got married at a place called the old timer’s cabin (it’s not a retirement home I promise!) in Edmonton, AB. We loved it! It is run by Ukrainian, so we had lots of pierogies! So good.

    I loved your wedding dress…it looked awesome on you!

  16. my husband and i joked about getting married in vegas during bloggers in sin city, but it didn’t work with our plans. We decided we wanted to get married the first week of March, and on April 2 (three weeks later) we were married. Just got married in the courthouse, had a reception at my parent’s house. IT was nice and I think I’m finally getting over the fact that I won’t have a huge wedding–but I just don’t think I could justify the cost either. I will feel ZERO guilt taking a stellar honeymoon though…we have yet to go on a real one!

  17. I can’t believe you got almost all of your deposits back! Just another sign your way was the right way from the get-go. B’s family friend got married at Mandalay last year (we didn’t go) and loved it, too. Your dress is freaking incredible, too btw.

  18. yay paula I love this!!! you look amazingggg!
    and hells yeah, id get married in vegas. esp since my boyfriend lives there now!

  19. Marriage is NOWHERE in my near future – but I am going to a wedding in Vegas this November and your pictures made me so excited! I love the idea of a small intimate wedding followed by TONS of celebrating 🙂

  20. I’m not married, but would certainly consider a cheaper option than the traditional. I have heard destination weddings are the way to go – more fun, less money. I am all about the party. 🙂 Accentuate the best part and keep the ceremony short and painless.
    Sounds like a great wedding – glad it worked out that way!

  21. Katie

    I would get married in a destination wedding, including Vegas potentially. The biggest hesitation is not being able to have family/friends there (my family couldn’t afford to come, and there are too many to pay for them all)!

  22. I’m not married and I would totally get married in Las Vegas. It would save us money plus it would be SO much fun.

  23. Lisa

    My husband and I love Vegas! We were married on Cape Cod, small scale “destination” (1.5 hours average drive time)…. I would get married in Vegas, but we would of had to have a reception back at home, for sure.

  24. Mary

    I got married at The Maitland Art Center on September 12, 1987 at 4pm. It was very warm. It was a beautiful venue. The husband…..not so much.

  25. First of all, you look gorgeous. Secondly, I love–LOVE–that this wedding is so you. Unpretentious and beautiful.

  26. I totally would have eloped to Vegas but both sets of the then-future grandparents who live nearby would have dis-owned us and well, we figured we’d want them as future babysitters (smart move on our part as we now have a 7-year old daughter) So… we kept it VERY small… IMMEDIATE family only so less than 20 people. Found a guy to marry us out of the yellow pages (I know!) but he was awesome… small ceremony + just dinner at a beautiful restaurant on Siesta Key in Sarasota which sadly has since been torn down. Like you, kept costs down ’cause our priority was to have the $$ to spend on our honeymoon (went on a cruise for a week) … that was 10 years ago.

  27. Heyyyyyyy….look it’s an iJ…errr….5 Guinness post! 😉 Mrs. 5 Guinness and I got married in South Florida at the church she grew up with and then we partied at the Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale where my best man ended up falling off of the pool’s waterfall rock into some bougainvillea a couple hours after the wedding. He thoroughly enjoyed his plane ride back home the next day. I try to send him seeds or a plant at every anniversary. 🙂 My avatar and first pic in my banner is actually of me having the first drink at our reception. It wasn’t until a couple days later that I realized I never made one trip to the bar that night. Yeah, I have awesome friends! 🙂

  28. OK, your commentary is classic. Would have loved to see you manipulate the T-shirt and the hair. LOL!

    Looks like a beautiful day and you were a beautiful bride.

    Me, I got married in Atlanta … on TLC’s “A Wedding Story.” GASP! Fun, but a little crazy.

    Winks & Smiles,

  29. My hubby and I got married in Vegas we were so nervous and stressed that we somehow never got over the time change and were passed out every night by 10pm. We have to go back someday to make up for it 🙂

  30. In my opinion, that looks like the perfect wedding. I will certainly have to refer back to this post if my day should ever come 😉

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  35. We definitely have a lot in common haha. I would much prefer to go to Vegas to get married but my bfs family is a little on the traditional side. I see a compromise in our future 😉

  36. Chuluotababe

    We sort of did the same thing – got all our deposits back but went to the Keys and got married… just the two of us. No debt and no regrets! 🙂

    Love the dress! Got mine from David’s too.

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