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What you didn’t know about Eloping in Las Vegas

DSC_6039Ever wondered what it’s like to get married in the wedding capitol of the world? Then my little blog post should hopefully shed some light on our awesome experience for you.

If this is the first time that you have been on everthewanderer.com – firstly welcome and thank you so much for taking the time to explore my page. Let me give you a little background on how Phil (my now husband, I still love saying that!) and I decided to elope.

Phil and I have been together for 12 years, we met at University and instantly had a mutual intense love for travelling the world. We have lived and worked in New Zealand, Australia and Canada as well as travelled to many other countries. When Phil proposed, whilst we were snorkelling on a trip in New Caledonia we couldn’t wait to plan our wedding.

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Low and behold 6 months later we got married…in Las Vegas. Now this was not my first choice of venue – I wanted to get married in the UK in a very traditional way and was swept away with the romanticism that came along with planning a big white wedding. The problems with this idea – we were living in New Zealand so really far from home and a lack of expendable money!

One day Phil said that we should get hitched in Vegas (I thought that he was joking) so didn’t think much of it! I didn’t really want to get married in a tacky chapel with Elvis singing “Viva Las Vegas”. But the idea did grew on me the more I researched and realised that A) It was amazing value and B) You can get gorgeous wedding packages with phenomenal photography.

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After hours of looking for advice on wedding blogs and scrolling through numerous wedding photography websites we finally found a company that was able to create an elopement package that our dreams were made of.

Cactus Collective Weddings create elopement packages to suit many budgets and offer the photography quality that we were after (just look at our photos ) You can easily get married in Las Vegas for $200 including photo’s with other companies, but if quality is what you are wanting then I wouldn’t opt for this.

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So after making our deposit and setting a date we planned the remainder of our trip. We decided that we would elope with just the two of us, no family or friends in May of 2017, when the weather in the desert is just right and not too hot. 6 months after getting engaged we flew to Los Angeles where we embarked on a Californian Road Trip of a lifetime. Getting married was to be the finale to our trip and it was seriously worth the wait.

On our wedding day we woke up from our Suite in Caesars Palace (which we got a complementary upgrade to – more on how to do this in the Las Vegas blog post coming soon) and walked over to The Bellagio where we hired a black convertible Ford Mustang for the day. After driving back to the Caesars Palace valet with the roof down (honestly felt like we were in some Hollywood Movie doing this) we made our way down to the pool, and these pools are insane!

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I can honestly say that never in a million years did I imagine that on my wedding day I would be lying on a plush sun lounger by the pool at Caesars Palace, listening to sweet DJ music and drinking Margaritas before midday (my all time favourite cocktail) We swam, ate lunch and bathed in the Nevada desert sun before making our way to our room to get dolled up for our sunset ceremony.

If you were ever curious to what it might feel like to be famous then all you need to do is wear a wedding dress and walk arm in arm with your other half through the hotels of the Las Vegas strip. The amount of kind well wishes and compliments we received was so heart warming.

Of course on your wedding day something has to go wrong. Our sat nav did not entirely know the destination of our ceremony- possibly had something to do with the fact that we were having it in the middle of the desert about a 40 minute drive out of the city. Luckily road signs still exist and we made it to the venue, albeit only 20 minutes late.

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One of the amazing things about booking an elopement package is that pretty much everything is done for you. All we needed to do was pick up our Marriage Licence (which is super easy to do) the day before and bring this with us.

When we arrived at our chosen venue – Nelson Ghost Town,  we were greeted by our photographer and minister who had our floral arrangements. After receiving a talk on the dangers of the cactus plant and signing a waiver we made our way to our “alter” to say our vows. This was a wooden archway with stain glass overlooking a Cholla Cactus garden at sunset in front of a stunning red rock canyon.

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Within 10 minutes of arriving we were saying our vows to each other. Bonnie, our minister had asked us to complete a questionnaire on our relationship prior to coming and this enabled her to create the most personal and passionate service, we were so moved by her words. It felt like she had known us for years.

As the sun set and the ceremony came to an end we had 2 hours of photography to celebrate becoming Mr and Mrs.  Nelson Ghost Town sits in Eldorado Canyon and is a deserted gold mine. Host for many photo shoots this truly unique location is home to many old vintage cars, barns and trinkets. Exploring the site was so much fun and we ended up with some breath taking photos.

Once the shoot was done we rolled down the roof on our convertible and drove back to the city with the bright lights of the strip leading the way.

If you like the sound of this elopement, consider Las Vegas. I wouldn’t have changed a thing ❤️

 

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Thinking about packing it all in and venturing out there into the great wild world? Well, there is no better time than right NOW. As my favourite saying goes:

“Repeat after me-I am free”

After all, we are the makers of our own destiny. Sometimes this feeling can escape us and we need to be reminded of what we are capable of along with what we really want.

Phil and I made the decision to start travelling the world when we were 21 and newly graduated from University. We gave up the decision to succumb to corporate life and 9 years later we are still enjoying the cultures and beauty that the world has to offer. An opportunity that we have not regretted for a second.

So where do you start I hear you say? Well that is the easy part!

  • Decide where you want to go, do some research, buy a ticket and pack your bag; easy as that.

There are so many ways you can travel around the world and on all budgets. If you want to backpack across Europe or become and expat in Asia there are travel resources out there to help you do just that, right at your fingertips. The only thing that will ever get in the way of you carrying out your dreams, is YOU!

Fear of the unknown, fear of quitting your job and not knowing what the outcome might be, or fear that you won’t be successful or have enough money. Trust me these are all fears that have crossed my mind at some point in my past. Mistakes will be made but you learn from them. Here are a few of mine-

  • The first time I lived on the Gold Coast in Australia, I got the date wrong that I was being paid by my job and had to ring my boss to ask for a lift to work because I couldn’t afford a bus ride!
  • On the same adventure in Australia after returning from an amazing month long trip in Bali we neglected to think about the repercussions of trying to sell our camper van in Sydney (in winter!) When every traveller had migrated up North for better weather, we ended up having to change our plane ticket and fly home because we ran out of money. TIP check out our post 11 Tips on why you should buy a camper van instead of hiring
  • Organising visas too late so that the cost of your plane ticket is twice the price of what it should be normally by the time you have bought it- in the end i didn’t care because the end result was me on a plane on another adventure.

These mistakes range from pretty minor to pretty major but all you have to know is that it is possible and it is so easy to achieve your dreams.

A few months ago someone said to me “You are so lucky”, this struck me as odd as I replied “I am not lucky, I made the conscious decision to quit my job, buy a one way plane ticket and travel”. It is a mindset that you have that can make you think it is hard, or it’s about luck when really all you need to do is make a dream and plan it.

Once you start deciding where to you want to travel to, you can research costs and make arrangements for tickets and accommodation etc. I could give you a comprehensive list of trusted travel resources but that can take the fun out of the planning. If you do need help we offer Trip Planning services where I can help you along the way. Once you book your ticket, the rest will come naturally and the excitement will follow. All those fears you had will disappear and be replaced with excitement for the future and what is to come.

For those of you who have more ties with mortgages, belongings and jobs; it too is an easy dream to achieve once you know how to achieve it. There are an abundance of companies out there willing to help you with shipping belongings, putting them into storage or helping you rent out your house or flat. It may seem like a big task to start with but the end reality is what is so important-achieving your dream of travelling the world-doesn’t that sound so exciting.

Ever find yourself daydreaming at your desk with screen savers of far away places? Make that dream into a reality and start planning your trip of a lifetime now. If we can do it-you can too.

Yours, Ever The Wanderer

 

cocktails in Rarotonga
Cocktails at Muri Lagoon, Rarotonga
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Is it OK to be 29 and still not know what to do with your life?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life! I have lived in Australia, Canada, UK, France and am currently in New Zealand…for the 2nd time. Over the last 5 years I have had more than my fair share of time off exploring new places even whilst living abroad. I have been with my partner for 9 years and we travel together. We are not poor (neither are we rich) but we can’t help feeling like something is missing. For us the ideal lifestyle that was the epitome of success in the 1950’s and even today’s generation (career,marriage,mortgage,kids) doesn’t float our boat. Of course we want all of these things but in sweet time and definitely not before we are 30 (a bit too late for that now anyway as Phil turned 30 last month).

Our generation was lucky in so many ways. We had access to so many new and exciting products that our parents didn’t have. But we also grew up in a society where anything is possible. An impression that the world is your oyster and you can achieve the unachievable. You want to be famous-you got it, You Tube will help with that. You want that dream job you have always thought about-no worries just go to University and it will land in your lap. No one ever told us that there weren’t enough jobs, that rushing to a degree at 18 for a career in something that will no longer interest you in 10 years let alone the rest of your life is not the best path. We didn’t know what life would be like in 10 years time and how much the economy would shape our decisions. We are the generation that has it all we just can’t figure out what it is.

Now at 29 we look back and think what would I change because I want to change something now. It isn’t a sense of dread or regret but that we simply want what’s best for our lives. The unachievable life. I once read a book called the Happiness Project about a lady who was happy but wanted to be happier. She set out on a year long project to try and improve her life’s happiness. The only hard part is trying to figure out how to do this.

I am currently writing this blog post in a gorgeous park in Auckland, under clear blue skies.It is 27 degrees with light winds and so peaceful. This scenario is one that ticks every box when It comes to being perfect. Yet there is something missing- I want more! So here is the ultimate question- why are we seeking perfection-the perfect life, when perfect doesn’t exist?