Kellie & Russ' second chance love created an amazing Vegas and Chicago wedding #Real Weddings: Western US#black dress#brides over 40#eloping#las vegas#nevada#plus size#second marriage Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Aug 6 2015) Offbeat Editors Photos by: Mike L. Photography Las Vegas photography by Mike L Photography 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. Vendors 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 This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: Mike L. Photography PREVIOUS How to thank people when "thank you" isn't enough NEXT Itty bitty heart wedding decor gives up your secrets Show/Hide comments [ 9 ] I just adore this! It is nice to see other 40-something couples featured (particularly when a black wedding dress is involved, as it will be for my September wedding!). It's so wonderful you found each other again after all those years. It was meant to be! 🙂 Reply Totally sweet and perfect! I'm so happy for you guys! Reply I did a similar thing back in June. Wedding in Vegas, party at home in Chicago, also in my 40's. So great to see older brides here. You both look so adorable and happy. Beautiful location in Vegas. Love the Neon Museum and love love your shoes! Reply As a native and current resident of Las Vegas I applaud your choice of venue! I love the Neon Museum. It's one of my favorite places to bring tourists. Your wedding was perfect! Congratulations! Reply I loved this beautiful story and the bride's killer style! Reply This whole thing is just so romantic. Reply Aww I love all of this! Your love story is just so sweet, I'm glad you guys found each other again! I also love your wedding style – especially the shoes and the fur! Reply Love, love, love this. You guys just look so happy! Reply Yay for couples in their 40s! This is similar to our story. We met years ago. Never dated but we were very good friends who flirted outrageously with each other. Fast forward about 15 years, we were both divorced, both living in the same city. We will get married next year and I can't wait 🙂 Very best wishes to you both! Reply Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. 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