So the four of us set off late Wednesday morning after a large starbucks each thinking we would be married within a second and that we would spend the rest of the day partying Vegas style and wasting a load of cash…Vegas style, but Nooooo…it just aint as easy as we thought it would be!
Here’s the full story!
We left the Mandalay Bay and set off to the ‘Little white Chapel’. Clearly one of many in Vegas but the only ‘little white chapel’ that offers a drive through wedding! We ompershad decided through the poll we put out on the blog and through speaking to friends and family that if we were going to have a wedding in Vegas it was probably the only place that Peggy could ‘give us away’! Hence we decided on a drive through wedding! Peggy has been such a huge part of our journey we wanted her to be part of at least one ceremony!
We arrived there and explained to the extremely busy enquiry desk what we were doing and what our plans were. She promptly told us we could not be ‘married‘ there without being legally married there and then or if we were already legally married
We left, tail between our legs and set off for the number 2 drive through wedding venue! (Yes there is more than one, they just aren’t all ‘little white chapels’!) Alex went in this time and explained our situation and yes they would do a ‘commitment ceremony’ for $149 with a rose…but…the drive through looked like someones garage! It was 3 brick walls and road! It just didn’t imbue the cheesy romance that the first one had! It did have a cute little gate on the wall though with hundreds of padlocks on it which was a great idea. You basically (for a grand sum of $100) get a padlock with your names engraved on it to lock to the gate and throw away the key as a symbol of your commitment! We loved the idea and ‘locked it’ away safe for future weddings!
We ummed and arred about what to do and Megan finally suggested we check out the third and final drive through chapel. At $199 for the cheapest package it was a little out of budget but we said ok, we will give it a go…we weren’t ready to give up yet! We got there and Alex again…(the British gent) went in to enquire and came back disgruntled as the woman had been totally unhelpfull! We were just putting in the address of the original drive through into the satnav when there was a knock at the window…it was Carlos. He introduced himself (through the passenger window as Peggy wouldn’t let Alex open his) and said we could have a drive through wedding there for $35! he told us his life story…he is the brother of the president of Costa Rica and his other brother is no longer with us or else he would have given us the most amazing tour! anyway…we loved him instantly and said OKay then…we decided to go get flowers and get ready and come back. We drove to get some lunch (Pizza and beer) and then went to the florists for a bouquet and button hole. The florist was a lovely guy and gave us a bargain price and as Megan and I waited for the flowers Alex had spotted a locksmiths across the street and had gone and asked the poor unsuspecting guy to engrave a tiny $4 padlock! He had never done it before but was happy to give it a go. He disappeared into the back and reappeared with our names on one side and had even tried to date the back. When that had failed he had printed us a price ticket with the date on instead! Alex thanked the bewildered man and skipped back to show us his treasure! I couldn’t believe how it had all come together, we even had the padlock!!
We got changed on a back street into my fabulous sparkly gold dress (lent by Megan) and Alex wore his crazy ivory chino’s and his white shirt and gold waistcoat! The flowers were gerberas in gold and orange and were perfect for the ceremony!
We returned to Carlos’s drive through, ran in to say were here and they turned us away as they had misunderstood what we were doing! We got back in Peggy and panicked. It was 4pm already! We had spent the day driving around Vegas TRYING to ‘pretend’ to get married! How could this be possible? We never for a minute thought that getting married in Vegas would be this difficult! We finally decided just to go back to the first place and tell them we were married and renewing our vows.
We arrived and had to squeeze Peggy under the over head canopy that was all painted with cherubs and twinkly lights. I didn’t think she was going to be make it but she did…by millimeters! We pulled up and the minister came to the drive through window. We told a lil white lie and said we were already married…I mean who else has been married 10 times to the same person…right?? Anyway she went on to get us to fill in several forms explaining this wasn’t a ‘legal ceremony’ (stop panicking Mums…we didn’t do it without you) and off we went!
Megan and Coco ran around snapping away and people gathered at the front of the van filming on I phones! We were totally lost in the moment and felt every word of the gorgeous ceremony that was completely from the ministers mind. No notes, no promts, just for us! We asked for a copy and she said every ceremony is different and this one was just for you! We needed a witness so Megan put down her camera for a moment to sign for us!
After the ceremony we had a few pictures and then tried to get Peggy out of the canopy but the exit was too low so Alex had to reverse her out, around a pink Cadillac waiting to go into the drive through and out of the entrance! I guided him back in my sparkly gold wedding dress and heels and we sighed a sigh of relief when she was all the way out without a scrape!
We drove round and took some pictures in front of the Vegas sign and with some of the fabulous murals that are painted all over the place and then headed back to The Mandalay to celebrate.
Then we put a few dollars into the slot machines…it doesn’t quite have the same feel feeding them dollar notes but nevertheless. I pulled the arm and watched the wheels spin and thought of my Grandad who loved to spend a rare afternoon at the bandits. It was lovely to remember him in a place he would have absolutely loved and on a day we would have loved to have him with us. He was obviously cheering for us as we doubled our money and the bandit screamed and whizzed and cheered and lights flashed as the digital display stacked up our winnings!
We collected our token and decided to be rash and put it all on the roulette…big mistake, we lost it all but it was $6 well spent for the fun, the memories and the pictures!
The four of us decided to hold our ‘reception’ at the Irish bar with a good old Guinness and Steak stew and a pint of the black stuff. Coco had fish and chips and a yard of some kind of alcoholic slush and we were all as happy as clams as we tucked in and laughed about the drama of the day. Nothing is ever plain sailing but that is half the fun! We sadly had to part ways with Megan and Coco as they had to drive all the way back to LA that night. We were so happy to have been able to extend our time with them and in such an awesome place! We are already planning on popping back to see them on our route back up America once we have been to Mexico and South America! We miss them already!
We spent the night in the cheapest hotel ever ($18 a night!!!!!) and as per usual completely crashed! We had promised ourselves we would see the sights of Vegas before we left so we decided we would get up early to see the sights before driving further into the desert on route to Mexico for our next adventure!
Photographer : Megan Finley