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Colorful Las Vegas Elopement with DIY Details

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When they started planning their wedding in Tennessee, Katie + Ryan decided it wasn't really what they wanted. With only 3 months left to go until the big day, they started over from scratch and designed the perfect Las Vegas wedding!

Kate + Ryan

Las Vegas, Nevada
- 02/03/2023
Total wedding budget $5,750

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Stationery
  • Alcohol/Bar
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Flowers
  • Miscellaneous
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Transportation/Travel
  • Catering
  • Photography
  • Partner 2 Attire
  • Total wedding budget

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

My “something old” was the handkerchief I wrapped my bouquet in – it used to be my great grandmother’s!

My “something new” was my dress and my shoes. I got the dress on sale for $300 at David’s Bridal two months before our big day. It was on sale because a couple of sequins had snagged, but it worked out because I didn’t have time to order a new one anyway – and you couldn’t even tell! I paid $80 to have the slit added. My boots were Betsy Johnson on sale for $50. The minute I saw them I knew they were my wedding shoes! I had to do some online sleuthing to find them in stock in my size but it was worth the effort. I still love and wear them!

My “something borrowed” was my cathedral length veil. My best friend wore it on her wedding day in 2017, and it meant so much to me that she let me use it!

My “something blue” was the blue topaz necklace. My dad bought it for my mom when I was born because it’s my birthstone. My best friend also made sure I had two pence for my shoe. (I’ve never heard that part of the poem before, but apparently, it’s a thing!)

We had my husband’s suit custom made. I think he looks so good in green! The handkerchief in his pocket was made from his mom’s wedding dress and I gifted him a lapel pin with a picture in it of his parents on their wedding day. They’ve both passed away, so it meant a lot to him to have them represented at our wedding.

We also had one of our friends who introduced us be our officiant! He was able to make the ceremony so personal and I loved every second of it.

Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?

I created the invitations and vow cards on Canva and printed them myself. My Matron of Honor finished and printed the vow cards in Vegas so I wouldn’t see Ryan’s vows to me. It was super easy and saved us a boatload of money, especially since we only needed 9 invitations.

I also created and printed stickers that looked like a poker chip that had our initials on them. That and the holographic envelopes I used for the invitations were a really nice “Vegas” touch!

I also did my own makeup. I love doing my makeup and I knew I could do the look I wanted, so I spent what I would have spent on hiring someone and bought makeup I can keep and reuse. I loved how it turned out and I would do it again!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Elope! We were actually planning a more traditional wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee when we realized that it wasn’t what we really wanted. We canceled everything (luckily, we only lost $50) and started planning our Vegas wedding a little over 90 days out.

We met in February, so the first idea was to get married on the anniversary of that, but it was too close to his sister’s wedding. We chose February 2nd because we both loved that our anniversary is 2/3/23.

What was your biggest splurge?

Traveling to Vegas from Georgia was definitely a splurge. We stayed for a whole week, but I didn’t count the plane tickets, or the full week hotel stay in our budget because that was just part of our vacation for the year! Even with that, we spent less than we would have on our Tennessee wedding, and we have a week of memories in the wedding capital of the world!

We also splurged on my husband’s custom suit because I wanted him to have something special, too (not just a rented tux), and since he’s 6’6″, buying off the rack is difficult! Now, he’ll be able to re-wear it.

What was your favorite detail?

I had a custom lip stick made at the Lip Lab when we got to Vegas. It says “Vegas 2.3.23” on the case and every time I wear it I remember our wedding! We both also got a new perfume and cologne for the day, and the smells take me right back to that day.

What was the most memorable moment of your day?

We hired a party bus to take us from our hotel on the strip to Seven Magic Mountains where we had the ceremony. It was so much fun to drink and scream-sing our favorite songs with all of our friends. My only regret for the whole day is that we didn’t book the party bus for longer to drive us up and down the strip, because we were having so much fun! I also caught the driver listening to one of my favorite podcasts which I thought was such a fun coincidence!

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

It’s your day, so do whatever you want! Don’t let other people’s opinions effect how you spend your day or what you do.

If you feel like someone on your guest list will cause drama or you know they will stress you out, don’t invite them. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to invite anyone – not even family!