The Offbeat Bride: Kellie, Logistics Sales Assistant
Her offbeat partner: Russ, Controls Engineer
Date and location of wedding: The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, NV — April 1, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
There was no theme to our wedding. We just wanted to get married any possible way we could as soon as possible. We dated for six weeks about 25 years ago and then Russ, who was in the Navy at the time, had to leave to go on a ship for six months. The long-distance thing didn't work out, and we broke up. Twenty-five years later, we found ourselves living in the same town, 65 miles from our hometown, both divorced, and the minute we saw each other again, we knew it was meant to be. It was a second chance love. Our engagement was exactly four months — just enough time to save for and plan our elopement.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We got married at The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada on April Fool's Day 2015. The start of our wedding day was not what I planned at all. We lost track of time with all of the errands we had to run and suddenly found ourselves with so little time to get dressed, it was a mad dash to the venue. I had imagined a leisurely morning, sipping coffee and nibbling on scones and, well, let's just say, that's not at all how it happened.
We arrived quite late to our venue, but thankfully, there was no other wedding after us since it was a Wednesday, and no one was mad (which was my biggest fear). Pastor Pete, Courtney and Mike, our photographers, and Ian from The Neon Museum were all SO nice to us. A huge wave of relief washed over me.
We actually wrote our own ceremony because we wanted to incorporate a Red Thread ritual, similar to a handfasting. The Red String of Fate is an East Asian belief found both in the Chinese and Japanese cultures. The idea is that the gods tie an invisible red thread to two people who are destined to be together forever, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread or cord may tangle or stretch but never break. Since Russ and I felt so strongly that we were always destined to be together, the Red String of Fate called to us. Pastor Pete had not ever performed a ritual like this, so we wrote it up ourselves.
Tell us about your reception:
Our reception was actually six weeks later, back in Chicago with our family and friends at an Irish pub, Atlantic Bar and Grill. The bar catering was delicious. We got a cake from a local bakery, and my sister, Shannon, provided an amazing (and huge) sweets table.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Russ and I are in our mid 40s, and we've both been married before to other people. We both agreed that our other weddings were for others and not really for ourselves. There was no real planning challenge because this wedding was completely just for us, exactly the way we wanted it. Russ and I showed up to our wedding with our vows, our cake, a plate, four forks (to share with our photographers), and a red thread. That's all we needed.
After the ceremony, we had a few cake-cutting pictures in the parking lot of the Springs Preserve and had an awesome time. After saying good-bye to Courtney and Mike, we went to the Rio and had our wedding night dinner: a quick slice of pizza and large Coke before seeing Penn and Teller. After the show, still in our wedding attire, Russ and I found a local grocery store and bought more champagne, fruit, cheese, and crackers and took it back to our room. Changing out of our wedding clothes, we settled in to watch some Comedy Central and eat more wedding cake. We both agreed, our wedding day could not have been better.
- Las Vegas Photography: Mike L. Photography
- Bride's Dress: Macy's
- Groom's Suit & Shoes: Men's Warehouse
- Bride's Shoes: Fluevog
- Feather Wrap: Antique Lace Heirlooms
- Ceremony venue: The Neon Museum
- Reception venue: The Atlantic Bar
- Bouquet and Boutonniere: English Garden Florist
- Cake in Las Vegas: Las Vegas Custom Cakes
- Cake in Chicago: Swedish Bakery
- Pastor: Pete Starzyk
: Mike L. Photography