Thursday, August 23, 2007

Behind the Wedding

Behind the wedding - the true life tales and behind the scenes look at Viva Las Wedding.

It all started while on vacation in Oregon. I get a phone call from Jason and the conversation went something like:

Jason: Are you doing anything next weekend?

KO: Uh, no

Jason: Can you come to Vegas?

KO: Are you getting married?

Jason: Yes

And so it began - the scramble to find the best price on a plane ticket. After some searching we found a good deal on a combo package through Expedia. It only cost an arm, not an arm and a leg.

We flew out Saturday morning 8/11. Because we booked so late we were both in middle seats and in different rows. I took the second row and Michael headed farther back. I ended up between some of the nicest and most fun people I've ever sat next to on an airplane. Karen and Anthony from Brooklyn. They were travelling as part of a group of 9, with plans to stay in Vegas for a week. They purposely booked one seat in the aisle and one by the window, probably hoping no one would take the middle seat. They were so friendly! Karen had cookies from a fabulous Italian bakery in Brooklyn for the flight attendants, pilots, her friends - and me! She also had fresh fruit, bagels, and plenty of liquor. They kept me in food and cocktails the entire flight. My new favorite drink from my NBFs - vodka and Sprite Zero, clear and delicious. Karen even went back to check on Michael and make sure he had some of the Italian pastries too. Anthony was a retired police officer and Karen sold cars. They had some great stories, it made for a quick and lively trip to Vegas. Karen even sent a box of cookies with me to share with the family. Little CJO took a quick liking to the cookies.

Once in Vegas we headed straight to Imperial Palace (IP). Almost everyone was staying at IP. Jason and Sahra and the kids were all at Venetian and Michael and I were staying at the Monte Carlo. After going through a maze of corridors we found wedding prep central. Now as we were walking through IP we noticed many young (some burly) women dressed in short shorts, knee socks, and shirts that said things like 'Derby Princess'. Yes, it was roller derby weekend in Vegas and a majority of the girls were staying at IP. Apparently Friday night was their 'Black and Blue Ball'. From what Jason described we missed quite a show.

Of course any time family and large groups of people are involved confusion reigns supreme. While figuring out the pre-wedding plan everyone helped me finish up the favors. Michael and BDO secured the needed supply of Venetian poker chips. They were able to get brand new $1 chips, straight from the cage, the chips never touched the casino floor. It was a nice touch.

The favors folded up and ready for presentation.

The inside of the favors read "May you be as lucky in life as we are in love"

Once the favors were done Michael and I headed over to the Monte Carlo to check in to our hotel. We had a few hours to relax and then it was back to IP to do the flowers and get ready for the main event.

We had a tight time plan and it all went out the window once we got back to the IP. There were major elevator problems and it seems every roller derby queen and hotel guest was headed back to their room at the same time we were headed up to the florist suite. It took us over 20 minutes to get from the lobby to my parents room.

We had to bump up our departure time (to allow for the slow elevators down), which left about an hour for everyone to get ready and the flowers to get done.

Luckily Michael was there to keep an eye on the baby. Oh, I don't think I mentioned that - my parents had the baby in their room for the weekend. Of course little CJO wanted to get in to everything having to do with the flowers - the scissors, the plastic wrap, the ribbon, and the flowers themselves. His ghetto busy baby activity center consisting of a cardboard paper box and 5 plastic cups kept him pretty entertained - but he still managed to scoot around and find trouble.

Mom O had already cleaned and prepped the flowers, which meant everything came together pretty quickly (luckily). Mom got ready while I wrapped up the boutonnieres. When the bridal bouquet was done, she found a nice cool place to keep it out of baby's reach.

Here I am hard at work on the MOH bouquet.

Does this look OK?

With flowers in hand and baby on the hip, we made it to A Elvis Chapel at 7:25 - 5 minutes ahead of our planned arrival time of 7:30. Somehow we were the last to arrive, but at least we weren't late! And from that point on you've already seen the photos.

Michael and I stayed in Vegas until Monday. Along with JasO and his family, we spent Sunday afternoon at the Monte Carlo pool area. The kids loved the lazy river and the wave pool. So did I - Monday I was not ready to check out, but it was back to work on Tuesday.