Hannah & Nick's whacky-tacky Las Vegas ceremony & London reception

Updated Mar 15 2021
DSCN0552
Photos by Illuminations Photography

The offbeat bride: Hannah, Teacher

Her offbeat partner: Nick, Document manager

Location & date of wedding: Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada and a boat on the river Thames in London, England — October 20, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We ran off to Las Vegas during the school holiday and got married. Elvis walked me down the aisle and serenaded us to his best tunes. We had two witnesses with us.

DSCN0192During the ceremony, there was a torrential downpour (in Las Vegas!) and a lightening storm — we are electric!

We spent a week in Vegas and went to see my childhood hero, Cher, at Caesar's Palace.

The day after our wedding, we flew to the Grand Canyon and drank champagne.

On our return to England, we held a small reception for about sixty people on a boat. The boat sailed the waters of London's River Thames, past all the famous landmarks, all the way out to the Thames Barrier. It was amazing to see London all lit up at night.

IMG217

Our DJ played all the loudest, rocking tunes he could find. Our DJ is a local rock night DJ who only asked for travel expenses.

I wore a £100 purple bridesmaid dress, Vivienne Westwood shoes, and a gold veil for the wedding ceremony. For the reception, I wore the same dress teamed with a black cloak and big white goth boots.

The boots themselves have their own story! I saw them eight years ago in Camden and made my mother purchase them for me. I was adamant that I would wear them at my wedding! I was only nineteen (and single) at the time. I saved them for all this time just for this day.

Nick wore an amazing, old-west style outfit for the ceremony, and for the reception, he wore the trench coat he has had since he was at school. He loves it so much he wants to be buried in it!

The wedding, including our trip to Vegas and the party, cost us just under £5000.

IMG061Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was our music. We initially had planned a registry office wedding, a meal and party at a venue in Kent. The main problem with that was being allowed to play our favorite songs.

Our "dream" venue insisted that we used the in-house DJ and we were unable to request songs. We love heavy metal music and our biggest fear was having our first dance to ABBA or the latest pop starlet. Not really us, because music is such an integral part of our lives.

The boat was such a great idea — we could make as much noise as we wanted, because we were moving along the river.

Another challenge was taking no family with us to the wedding. We got around this by having the ceremony posted online!

My favorite moment: The wedding was so quick; the most meaningful part was waking up the next day and taking a helicopter ride with my new husband over the Hoover Dam and landing in the Grand Canyon. The other most meaningful thing was all the people who made an effort, put on their finery and boots and enjoyed the party!

IMG140

My funniest moment: Being serenaded by Elvis!

IMG039

My advice for offbeat brides: Do not spend a fortune on your wedding day. The wedding itself was over in a blur. Spend the money on a holiday combined with the wedding, it will make the whole time more memorable and relaxing.

Post requests on student photographer forums. We paid £40 for our photos and we were extremely satisfied.

IMG019

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Nothing matters more than having a bloody good time! It was our two-week celebration and we loved almost every minute of it! (Although the helicopter ride was a tad scary for me.)

IMG042

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. LOVE the Elvis officiant and your purple dress! It's great to hear you had a wonderful time on a budget.

  2. Does everyone see the photo below the second video with the man showing off is gold underwear to the right. That alone made my day.

    Congrats to the couple.

  3. This is officially my favorite offbeat wedding. I came for the groom in the Horrorpops shirt and stayed for the Elvis serenade.

    Honestly, there's so much about this that I want to squeal about and compliment, but my fingers would get tired after all that typing. Let me just say: Good fucking job, folks. Good fucking job.

  4. ahhgh! you wedding video made me cry! because it's so REAL and you two are so HAPPY and it shows. seriously loved it. congrats!

  5. loveitloveitloveit!! I'm loving how Elvis gave you away – what a great way to avoid crying during the ceremony but how did you manage not to wet yourself laughing??

    My fiance proposed in the Grand Canyon and I had to resist the urge to go to an Elvis wedding chapel when we got back to Vegas. Congrats to you both, Vegas is so awesomely OTT for a wedding (or for anything really). Beaut dress and groom's outfit too 🙂

  6. Graceland is my favourite chapel in Vegas! My now husband and i came so close to getting hitched there in August but i couldn't get in contact with my family while i was over there and i couldn't do it without their blessing(after we got home and told them they said they would have been so happy for us!) You look like you had heaps of fun! Congrats!

  7. AMAZING!!!
    FH and I are from the UK and getting married in may at the Graeland Chapel, then having a UK reception the following week so when I saw your wedding I was like 'WOW!!!', do you have any hints, tips etc to share? Are you a OBBT member as I searched for Hannahdowns and couldn't find you 🙁
    You looked amazing in your dress too!

  8. love your wedding video! I think it's an amazing idea to get married in Las Vegas! I and my future husband are going to Vegas in April…I'll let you know if we get married while we're there, by Elvis in a pink Cadillac!:)) Congrats guys!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.