Yes, I admit it, I am a TLC and WE network junkie. I will sit and watch “Say Yes to the Dress” or “Four Weddings” episodes back-to-back, all day long, even if I’ve seen them before (which, I usually have). My husband can’t understand it at all because the last thing he wants to do when he gets home is watch television shows about what he does all day at work. I’ve explained to him that being a Wedding Planner is more than just a “punch-in, punch-out” kind of job. It is an ever-changing, always evolving, opportunity to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for people that they will remember for the rest of their lives. I think that he, like many people, was under the assumption that getting married in Las Vegas was what you see in movies like “What Happens in Vegas” and “The Hangover.”
While this may be true somewhere in this city, it is not what we do here at Chapel of the Flowers. Sure, there are the occasional couples that walk in to the office looking to “just get married, right now,” but more often than not, our Brides and Grooms are contacting us months in advance to actually plan their Las Vegas wedding. Destination Weddings are a growing trend and something I hear mentioned quite often in those cable television shows that I am so fond of.
Being a Wedding Planner at Chapel of the Flowers for more than two years now, I have learned that the real difference between an Elopement and a Destination Wedding is more about the details of the day rather than your guest count. The term “elopement” makes me think of that old “Joanie Loves Chachi” episode where they crawl out the bedroom window on a spur-of-the-moment decision to get married. There is no concern with flowers or photos, or even what they will do after being pronounced “husband and wife.” As romantic as this might seem, while crawling out of the window, I am afraid that when it’s all over a Bride might be left feeling a little cold and possibly even a little cheated. Remember those couples that I mentioned before, looking to “just get married, right now?” Did I mention that four out of five times it’s the Groom talking with the Bride standing quietly beside him? I love to see the change on the Bride’s face when I start to tell them that even our smallest wedding package will include a flower for the Bride and photos from the ceremony.
On the other end of the wedding spectrum, there are the couples who plan their Wedding as if they were Kate and William with the budget for the special day soaring higher than a down payment on a house, a new car and their future children’s college education all put together. These are the couples that barely even know each other by the time the wedding day comes because for the past two years, the only thing they have talked about are guest lists, caterers, venues and color swatches to match the flowers to the chair covers, to coordinate with the up-lighting, to reflect the overall “theme” of this special day. While I am all for the personal touch, I also think that getting too detailed can overwhelm and suck the fun right out of what should be a wonderful experience.
This is where the Destination Wedding comes in. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard couples tell me that they were already planning a wedding at home when they decided that it was just too much. It usually starts with either the family or the guest count getting out of control, which made the budget grow out of control, which made all the small details seem more important than they ever intended them to be and they are “Just. Over. It.’ The Couple will usually start discussing the possibility of just “running away and not telling anyone.” The next step is browsing the internet to see what’s out there. Once they find Chapel of the Flowers, they realize there is a happy medium, the Destination Wedding. We are here to guide you through the important details, while keeping the focus on the Bride and Groom. You can still have a wedding in Las Vegas that incorporates your personal style, includes those closest to you, treats you like a princess and leaves you with beautiful memories not only in your head, but also with amazing photos. You can still have all of this, without being forced to eat hot dogs and ramen noodles for the first two years of your marriage.
More often than not, the first time a couple calls Chapel of the Flowers, they are not 100% certain of what they want or how to do this yet. That is why we are here for you! Every Couple that marries at Chapel of the Flowers has a Personal Wedding Planner to help them figure it all out. Usually the initial questions asked are “do you have this date available?” and “what will it cost to get married there?” I think that sometimes the callers are shocked to find out that the Wedding Planner they are speaking to wants to make sure she is giving the caller a qualified answer by finding out what the Bride and Groom are looking for, rather than just saying “Yes” and quoting the lowest possible price just to hook them. It is very important to us that the couple’s expectations are met, their questions answered honestly and their budget used appropriately. We typically will ask you questions about your vision; i.e.: guest count, bridal party, flowers, photos, transportation, hotel, reception and budget. The answers will lead us to the right package for you. Once we build your ideal package, I can usually hear the fear on the other end of the line, which always makes me smile. I’m not smiling because I have scared you….I am smiling because I know what is next, the shock and relief in your voice when I give you the quote that is under what you were expecting for everything we have included! For a fraction of what you were going to end up paying in your home town, we have put together a plan with limos, flowers, DVDs, photos, music and more!
For those Couple’s that are truly planning a Destination Wedding in the truest sense of the term, we have three new and AMAZING wedding packages that will go as far as including Hotel Accommodations, transportation to and from all Chapel related events, and even a Stylist to take care of hair and makeup for the Bride in her hotel room! These are truly the stress-free, think-proof, “I don’t want to worry about it” packages that are perfect for those Couples who want to enjoy every moment and not spend countless hours online sorting mundane details. I personally am so excited about being able to offer these new options to my Couples.
The Cara Mia includes not only the bridal party flowers, but also fresh decor in the Chapel. It has our best onsite Photo Session that includes an a large number of prints. Not only does it include two Limos to take you to and from your hotel room, it INCLUDES THE HOTEL ROOM! I also love that we have added a Romantic Dinner for two that can be used before or after your big day (what a great way to unwind together). Keeping with the “no thinking required” theme, this plan includes the transportation to get your Marriage License as well as to come back to the Gallery for your photos, and it even includes all of the recommended gratuities and donations.
The Vero Amore takes the Cara Mia up a notch. The included bridal party flowers become bigger and even more customizable. The chapel decor is even more impressive. And, not only are your photos now digital with copyright ownership to all of your images, they include two hours on the Strip or Downtown, or even at your Reception! This package is the first to offer a Wedding Rehearsal with your Bridal Party, as well as time for the Bride to use our Bridal Dressing Room before she walks down the aisle. Two additional upgrades from the Cara Mia are one more limo and one more night’s hotel stay.
If the Vero Amore turned it up a notch, the Bella Eleganza breaks the sound barrier. In addition to all of the amazingness of the Vero, Bella bumps up the chapel decor even further, including even more videography, and taking your Photography to a whole new level. This package not only gives you the Digital Copyrights like the Vero, it includes TWO Photographers for FOUR full hours! This time can be split before and after the ceremony, onsite and offsite, and long enough to take photos at your Reception too. Oh, and did I mention that the Reception for you and up to six members of your Bridal Party/Family is INCLUDED, complete with a Wedding Cake?!?! How awesome is that? The only thing you have left to think about is how many additional guests will you be inviting and adding to this plan!
Of course, these ceremony and wedding packages include much more than what I listed, but I didn’t want to bore you with mundane details. After all, that is why you are planning a Destination Wedding, right? To avoid worrying about every little thing. And that is why you are planning this with Chapel of the Flowers, right? Because you know that you have me to take care of these little things for you!