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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 ❤️

 

For Adventure Seekers, Recent Posts, wanderings

From Corporate to Cloud Nine

“In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take”

Daydreaming at your desk, screensavers of far away paradises pop up on your computer screen and you can almost hear the beautiful and soothing sun-kissed jams floating past your ears! That is until you are interrupted by the trilling sound of the telephone reminding you exactly where you are-sound familiar?

Meet Tyler Rosolowski- an I.T expert from Auckland in New Zealand.Tyler made the life changing decision to leave the corporate world behind him and travel to cloud nine, Buka to be exact. Buka is an Island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea. The region is also known as Bougainville Province or the North Solomons.

Tyler 1 Tyler has been volunteering as an Information and Communications Technology Network Adviser with the Division of Education in Buka since July 2013. He will complete his assignment in January 2014.

I asked Tyler to be a part of my Corporate to Cloud Nine Blog Post because of his particular situation. Before Tyler set out on his adventure he represented the essence of Corporate. A very successful I.T expert working the 9-5 job, like countless others Tyler had toyed with the idea of giving it all up and travelling. Here is Tyler’s story on how it all started:

“After arriving home from holiday in South Africa with close friends, one of whom was volunteering in a remote village in Africa, I made one of those lifestyle choices. The ones we all dream of in the quiet moments between phone calls and new emails.

On the night of my return I lit one of those big candles on my deck in Parnell. I decided that by the time it burned down, I would leave New Zealand on an IT adventure to volunteer my skills.

I found an excellent volunteer agency in Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA). I feel humble and honoured to follow at least a little in Sir Edmund Hillary’s footsteps and try to help others as he did.

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After many leaving parties, a rather painless short set of flights, and a day in Port Moresby I arrived in Buka. This is where I rested for my first night before going to a less exotic inland location. I was the only white man I saw all day in Papua New Guinea, and soon got used to the locals looking at me, the people are really friendly.

ImageWhen’s the last time you experienced travellers saw a hand written ticket? Computers are not down, they just don’t have computers. Once you pass security there are open windows where you can chat to people in the car park and pass things to. Only in Buka!

I sit here now in the heat on a beach on Buka Island, Bougainville, the breeze on my face and arms, making the layers of dried sweat pleasant again. There is the sound of kids playing and waves gently breaking on the reef.

bukaI’m looking out at the golden sands and crystal clear waters, kids playing in a traditional dugout canoe and cooking smoke from villages lazily drifting up between the plantations and lush green forest. The taste of fresh, sweet pineapple is lingering in my mouth. I regret nothing of my escape, except not putting some rum in my coconut, which I’m told is delicious.”

When I ask Tyler how his life is still treating him volunteering on a tropical Island 5 months on-his response “Amazing!”. We can all make that escape whether it is to volunteer your skills, start a fresh or just travel.Yours, Ever The Wanderer

Recent Posts

A Full Guide

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The art of Bartering was something that was very new to me when I first visited Bali in 2006. It was during my University summer holidays that my friends and I decided to flee the unpredictable English summertime and board a jet plane to Indonesia.

Bali is not only a cheap destination but offers a tropical paradise packed to the rim with culture. With culture there comes new lessons to be learned and the art of bartering is one that you will experience hands on, literally as soon as you land and drag your bags outside the airport to hail your taxi.

Here, at the taxi rank in the sweltering humid heat of Denpasar Airport was where I put in place my bartering technique that I had learned from a fellow University friend who had travelled to these parts in previous summers.

Tip number 1: When the taxi driver asks you if you have been to Bali before-always answer YES, even if this is your first time in the tropical paradise. They use this as a technique to see if you are familiar with their tricks to determine how much they will say it costs.

Tip number 2: Once you have decided which taxi driver to go with out of the swarms that surround you ALWAYS divide what they say is the charge by at least 2 sometimes even 3. I knew from my friends that the typical cost of a taxi from Denpasar Airport to Kuta was at the time 35,000 Rupiah, now when my taxi driver said it would cost 120,000 Rupiah I knew I was being fleeced.

The general rule with bartering is that you can do it with almost anything, even hotel rooms! However this has become a little more difficult in recent years as Bali is becoming a more popular destination since it has recovered from the negative effects of the Bali bombings.

Menu items in restaurants are a set price but if you walk into street shops ( more like a market stall) you are welcomed to barter here. Arranging transport around the island is also a good opportunity to barter as there is much competition between varying establishments. If you walk into Billabong in Kuta there are set prices but if you fancy that shell bracelet that someone has shown you whilst you are sunbathing on the beach you can definitely barter there.

As a general rule it is a customary experience to barter with the locals, it is their culture- so get involved but also don’t let them take too much advantage. It is also easy to get too sucked into the whole experience. Try to remember what it is that you are bartering for and how much that extra 2,000 rupiah means to you (approximately 10 pence or US 20 cents).

Even after I was given advice by my friend I still made mistakes, after buying a bag from a stall I was sure I had bartered correctly and gotten a bargain. £6 for a bag in my opinion was cheap but when I spoke to some friends who had been in Bali a while, they let me know that I could have got it for a third of the price still!

Generally items are pretty cheap, think 20,000-35,000 Rupiah for a pair of sunglasses-even if they have an Oakley label on them. These are fake after all.

My words of wisdom- go with the flow and make mistakes so that you can learn from them but only ever pay what you are comfortable with. If you think it is too expensive then there are always other stalls selling exactly the same thing.

Yours, Ever The Wanderer