Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sat 9 April - Las Vegas, NV - The big day...Elvis renews our vows after 10 years of marriage

Our big day...

We've were joined by Di's mum and step-dad, but also a Camino friend of Hans, Daina, and her partner Greg. It was lovely of them to fly down from Portland, Oregon for the event and helped make the day a real celebration. So 6 of us in total.

We met Daina and Greg for breakfast so we could catch up with them separately. The breakfast at the Venetian was OK but the company was great - with lots of chatting. A few hours passed very quickly. 

Daina and Greg then headed off to buy accessories for the "wedding" and we returned to our room to gather energy for the night. We needed to iron our "wedding outfits" and do a bit of catching up as we've been running the last 2 days. It also meant we were well rested for our big afternoon and evening. 

Lunch was salad bought from Walgreens (which has been our favourite store here!). 

The weather turned nasty. Floods and some thunderstorms. Uh oh! But we had faith it would not rain on our parade!

All dressed up we were in the lobby bar by 3.30pm for appropriate pre-celebratory drinks. Everyone had made a great effort to get dressed up retro and kitsch, which looked fabulous. 

Our limo driver Steve arrived right on time at 4.30pm. A long white stretch that took all 6 of us. The wet weather took a break...perfect timing. 
Our limo awaits...

Daina and Greg were definitely getting into the spirit of things. Peace man. Summer of 69.

Di's mum, Audrey, and step-dad Alan had waited a lifetime to ride in a limo like this and looked a bit flabbergasted by it all. 

The inside of the limo was all sleek black and blue flashing lights. Seats at either end with a sideways seat in the middle. Space for 8 passengers. We were only 6 so plenty of space.

The interior helped to distract from the exterior which showed we were clearly going into the more seedy section of Las Vegas as the limo drove north on the Strip (or North Las Vegas Boulevard as is its real name) Lots of bail bonds stores, pawn shops, adult stores, cheap motels and more. 

But we did love the shop next door to our wedding chapel. Looked like fun. But such a difference to our chapel (see photos of both below). 

This is the Graceland Wedding chapel. Jon Bon Jovi got married here! And they make a big deal out of that. 

All the arrangements for our vow renewal were made from Australia and we could not have been more pleased with the outcome. Everyone at the chapel that we dealt with was charming and professional. The photographer was a funny guy too. 

Then THE KING arrived and started our ceremony. 

The King is not dead. He is alive and was the best! And looked the part too. Elvis walked down the aisle with Di on his arm while singing "It's now or never". "Come hold me tight...". 

Elvis performed the full ceremony with lots of jokes thrown in. Everyone loved it and we were all laughing so much our jaws hurt!

The vow renewals were first traditional and romantic. And then we got the Elvis vows thrown in. Very funny and very tongue in cheek. Di had to promise not to treat Hans like a hound dog and Hans had to promise to love Di tender and be her hunka hunk of burning love!

Elvis sang and we sang along too. Well, we sort of did...

Everyone got into the action. 

Then our very memorable ceremony was over and we received our certificates.

A few more photos from outside Graceland Wedding Chapel after the event.

Then back into our limo with Steve and back to Caesars Palace for drinks and then dinner at Carmine's. 

No more of our own photos from this point on as we were too caught up in the celebrations. We borrowed a few photos from the Internet to give you a sense of the place and why we stayed quite a long time.

Excellent atmosphere and lots of groups were also celebrating. 
Some final comments on our choice of wedding dinner venue. Carmine's was an excellent Italian restaurant in Caesar's forum, which encourages sharing as pasta portions serve 3-4 people. The food and wine was excellent but sooo much. Way too much.

Our appetiser sized calamari was excellent but even 6 people couldn't finish it. 

Greg tried to finish the very tasty spaghetti and meatballs but eventually he too had to throw in the towel. The meatballs were huge. 

We finished up several hours later with everyone saying they ate and drank too much but had a fantastic time. It was. 

We are really pleased Audrey, Alan, Daina and Greg joined us for this big day. It made it perfect. 
All 4 of them will leave Las Vegas early Sunday morning and we will not. So we will not see them anymore on this trip. 

Bye guys. Safe trips. Thank you all for making our 10 years marriage vows renewal such a funny and memorable event.

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