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Faith4Keep's Wedding Review | Day 3 of 5 - WEDDING!! RECEPTION! Later: Group Tour of Strip

Sorry for the delay!! We've been busy busy this weekend wrapping up post-wedding items! Also my computer has been having issues so I lost the draft of this I started :( Here we go:

Continuation from Day 2: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1051950/faith4keeps-wedding-review-day-2-of-5-de-stress-rehearsal-and-photo-tour

Day 3 - Wedding Day - Saturday!

This is a very general timeline. I've stripped out much of the minute-by-minute pieces for the purposes of this thread. Would be happy to share if anyone is interested:

8am - 8:30am - Friends start to arrive, hair & makeup arrives, photographer arrives in hotel suite
9:15am-9:40am - Get in dress, photos, etc.
9:45am - First look photos
10:40am - Meet with officiant
11am - Wedding invitation time
11:15am - Actual wedding start time*
11:40am - Family photos
12:15pm - On a shuttle to Cosmopolitan
12:30pm - Grand Entrance
1:00 pm - Toasts
1:30pm - Cake
2pm - Must be out of room
2-2:30pm - More photos in suite at Cosmopolitan
7:45pm - Meet guests at Tropicana for strip tour
8-10pm - Strip tour on party bus

*Note: I had read a lot of conflicting advice about wedding time vs. invitation time. My coordinator gave me the great advice that most people, particularly people who have been married before, will arrive ~20 mins before the invitation time, so planning on a "late" wedding time is very rude. At any rate, although we went back to coordinating based on a wedding time of 11am, I planned my timeline based on the idea that we would run about 15-20 mins behind, so that is reflected in the above timeline.

7am - WAKE UP! I can't remember if I woke up to my alarm or not, but I do know I slept pretty soundly. Would highly recommend the sleeping pill method for night before the wedding. I got up, showered, and packed. I was checking out of the Tropicana and into Cosmopolitan...on my wedding day...with an 11am wedding...I know. But it ended up working out OK because we put 2 helpful friends in charge of getting both mine and my groom's bags from our current hotels over to the Cosmopolitan's bell desk. Once I was packed, I had quite a bit of time until everyone arrived. So I sat and reflected. I read some great advice that says "be emotionally present". I thought about the meaning of the day and focused on how I wanted to experience the day - happy, joyful, but while still making a serious commitment. After my friend started waking up, we set out all of our leftover food from the bachelorette party, which ended up being a great add to the morning. Quite a few people were waiting until the reception to eat, including me, so it was nice to have some cheese, crackers, hummus, etc. lying around.

8:15am - My little sister arrives with Starbucks in hand marked "For the Bride!" which made for great pictures. She also brought over a silky white robe for me to get ready in. While I was changing into that, hair and makeup arrive (GlamSquad). They were pretty adamant that I sit immediately so they could get to work. They had 7 other weddings that day but apparently, that's a slow day for them - normally they have 15! I asked for a half up half down hairstyle that was soft and romantic. He got to work on curling my hair. Our photographer arrived soon after and started snapping photos. Hair stylist ask for my veil and I told him about the hole the steamer found. One look at it and he said, "This is not a hole. It's a steamer burn.". The guy that was with him agreed. So- I'll need to figure that out at some point, and maybe ask the steaming company for some compensation? Not sure how to handle that situation since I have no real idea when the hole happened.

My soon to be SIL arrive and both my sister and SIL did a great job of keeping things light and fun. People had asked me if they should come dressed & ready and I had said that it was up to them what they wanted to do, but that there was plenty of space in our room to get ready if they wanted to. Photographer gave everyone a little prep session that they should always be acting like this is THE BEST DAY EVER so that she doesn't get photos of people randomly frowning. Haha.  I had my SIL turn on some music which I eventually asked for 80s radio, and that was a GREAT decision. Highly recommend 80s music for happy, light, airy, fun getting ready music!

I couldn't see my hair & makeup while they were doing it but my little sister was giving them direction, which was making me a little nervous that it wasn't looking right to her. Hair doesn't take too long so they start in on the makeup. I wanted something natural and simple. They did a great job glamming me up just a bit. I was a little shocked when I went and looked in a mirror for the first time because I thought I looked like a doll! But immediately I was not happy with my hair. They had a thick 2" section on both sides right in front of my ear that was just dropped "framing" my face in a very obvious curling-iron looking curl. I asked for them to pull those pieces back because I thought it looked REALLY weird. They did. Take 2. Now I notice that some of the "down" pieces are already flat or looked like they haven't been curled at all. Hair guy says some pieces of my hair are being "stubborn". He makes another effort. I'm happy, so they leave and move on to the next wedding. However, it wasn't long before I was finding almost-straight pieces of my hair again. I had already packed and sent away my straightening iron (that I use to curl) so..... c'est la vie. I noted that he put a lot of my hair "up" and there was only 6-8 sections of hair that were left "down". My hair is really thick and full naturally, so this looked odd to me. Overall, I was a little disappointed with my hairstyle and I'll admit that in some photos I've seen already, if there are straight pieces showing they really bother me. I remember during the first look photos (later) I was trying to push that side of my hair back behind my shoulder. So 1) I wonder if the GlamSquad folks are really that good?  and 2) I wonder if the fact that I had a blowout the day before, where she put smoothing products into my hair, affected the next day hairstyle. I'm not sure, but if I could do it all again, I would have done my own hair instead of getting a blowout the night before to avoid this mess. GlamSquad gets a C.

Somewhere in that time frame, around 8:45/9am, more guests started arriving to the suite. Recall that first look photos are at 9:45am so I really have to leave the suite by about 9:35am since it's a long walk.  Here's where I made a few timeline mistakes: for anyone that was going be in "help me get in my dress" photos, I should have told them to be ready by 9:00am to help me put on my dress. I had not given anyone specific timeframes and then I had to wait around and until they were ready for me to take my next step in getting ready. This was the cause of all the pre-wedding delays we had: people were waiting until my hair & makeup was done to get ready for some reason.

By about 9:20am everyone (stepmom, stepsister, and my friend) were ready for get-in-dress photos. I had also under-estimated the time it was going to take to get in the dress. My dress was very simple, but I had the alterations team add loops for all the buttons to give it a cleaner look and so that my "team" could have something other to do than zip me up :) Instead of taking about 3 mins to put on the dress, all those loops took about 10 mins. So that put us further behind.

We had to rush through all the other photos: me reading my groom's card (photographer had me wait until I was dressed), my grandmother giving me my "something old" for the day, me giving my friend a gift, and me giving my SIL a gift. At this point, photographer scrambled out of the room to meet my groom to position for first look photos.

I scrambled to grab everything last minute I needed: small purse with phone, tissues, ID and credit card, bobby pins, and hairspray. Also I was in charge of all the rings!

My sister was a LIFE SAVER that day. I didn't have official bridesmaids and while I was thankful for that throughout the planning process, throughout the wedding weekend I really, really wished I could have had some girlfriends to boss around. I know that sounds awful but I had this overarching feeling that people weren't really paying attention to me and my needs, and so they were enjoying their Las Vegas vacation and friends they were getting to see while I was absolutely freaking out and stressing about the event. My sister, however, was absolutely amazing and attentive especially throughout the wedding day. She was always near me and kept asking, "Do you need anything? Can I do anything?" and there were probably 10+ times throughout the day I was just like "Can you hold my purse? Can you come with me here? I need a bobby pin!". She really pulled through for me.

So when it was time to go down for first look photos, I was ready to go but then I realized how lonely and weird it would be to be a bride- in full hair, makeup, dress, veil- to be walking through a hotel by herself. As I was about to leave my sister asked, "Do you want someone to go with you?" and I was so happy she asked, and I had her come with me! It felt so much better to just have SOMEONE with me. So we got in the elevators and headed down to meet my groom!!

(Posting now so this doesn't get lost, I'll reply below with the next step in the story!)


Re: Faith4Keep's Wedding Review | Day 3 of 5 - WEDDING!! RECEPTION! Later: Group Tour of Strip

  • Originally, I really didn't want to do first look photos. But at some point I started getting really nervous about our timeline, and I wanted to have lots of photos to choose from of my groom and I. I had always wanted to see my groom's reaction to me while I was walking down the aisle, but I read up a lot on first look photos. One thing that spoke to me was that you can have a more genuine reaction when you have a first look because the bride and groom can actually talk to each other, hug, kiss, whatever. That really appealed to me so despite my traditional thoughts, we did the first look.

    My groom and I had joked beforehand that I should bring him a drink at the first look and that's how he'd really know it's love. So my sister and I stopped at a bar and we ordered a screwdriver. I couldn't believe they made a bride pay for the drink but it is what it is!

    10am - We got to the first look area about 15 minutes late due to the aforementioned delays in getting ready. We met outside at the garden/waterfall area at Tropicana. Our photographer got my groom all set up and then met me to start taking photos. This part was kind of awkward because she'd have me take a step, stop, look at the camera, look away, etc. when I was within 10ft and in earshot of my groom. So, that all didn't play out like I expected but it wasn't bad- just nice to know what to expect. It felt like a game of red light/green light.

    I finally reached my groom and his first reaction was a huge smile  Then he saw the screwdriver and burst out in a huge fit of laughter. We had some sips then set the drink down for some formal photos.

    Once our photo session was done, we started walking to the chapel!

    I'm attaching a photo from our portrait session, this is a "preview" photo from the photographer, I don't get all the photos for another 3-4 weeks.

  • This is great! I am really enjoying your reviews. Thank you.
  • Hurray! I haven't read yet, I'm saving it until the little ones in bed, but I've been checking in very now and then all weekend for this update! Thanks so much for all your effort x
  • Your reviews are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing about the timeline. I have finally figured out the photography timeline but not the full day. This was really helpful!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I also appreciate the detailed reviews and timeline! Looks like you had a pretty ambitious timeline! Were you exhausted at the end of it all?!
  • Loving the reviews!  It is definitely making me think about my day... and these details you are including are so helpful!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • @vegasbaby2015 - By 3pm, we were completely DONE. For some reason we had this idea that we were going to be drunk on mimosas and would want to be partying! But we were so exhausted from everything leading up to that point - so many different events, places to be, people to meet, SMILING FOR THE DAMN CAMERA...... we were so excited just to be together and say nothing!!!

    OK - I'm writing the next section now!
  • So we started the walk to the chapel. It was me, my groom, my sister, and the photographer. We got lots of looks throughout the casino!!

    As we approached the Havana Room, we saw a couple of our friends and family standing outside. I had sent an e-mail and posted on our wedding website to PLEASE be early because the Havana Room can be tough to find inside the hotel. We even heard some guests mention that they "found the chapel" but we weren't getting married at the Chapel in Tropicana. So while I did have request to have folks arrive early, the day before was the first time my coordinator told me that the doors wouldn't open until 10:45am. Only a few people knew we were doing a first look - not to say it was a secret, but I think the people standing there were a little shocked to see my groom and I together. The groom's mother was especially displeased but... ah well.

    We met our officiant in a side room and went through what we were looking for. As I had spoken about in another thread. I was little concerned about certain parts of the ceremony so we had written up what we wanted exactly but I had left it at home!! By this point we were sort of in a throw-your-hands-up-and-hope-it-goes-okay mode so if the officiant wanted to talk about how our unity candle represented the burning passion of love and eternity blah blah blah I was going to be OK with that. He asked us how long we knew each other and how we met. He also went through the ceremony step by step with us, when we would do rings and we practiced (I might have put the ring on the wrong hand!), and he asked if we would like prayer (no). I was also concerned because I didn't have a bridesmaid to hold my bouquet and nor a best man to hold the rings. This turned out perfectly fine as well because there was a table up front where everything would be set. They let us know the individual unity candles were in a candle holder and that we should use our other hand to steady it before picking up or setting back down the individual candles.

    The DOC provided me my bouquet and taught me how to hold it (at my bellybutton, not any higher). She managed to get corsages and buotonierrs to the right people without me ever seeing her do it!

    Somewhere in this timeframe, our DOC introduced us to someone who was the videographer. We were a little surprised since we had opted out of this service and had the money for that credited to other services but.....he was there....so we didn't feel like we could say no. By the way, this wasn't the first thing that we opted out of but received anyway - strawberries & champagne delivered to the room comes to mind. It seems like maybe the Tropicana has wedding day procedures that most people don't stray from. OK back to the videographer. We didn't want a video. We're never going to watch it. She said that the videographer would be up at the front and around us. I must have shown visual distress at this point, because the DOC assured us it would be nice and "not cheesy". My main concern was that we had specifically said to many people along the way we did NOT want anyone up at the front or in our faces during the ceremony. We told her we had opted out, and she seemed confused, but they were going to proceed anyway.

    But then I remembered that our photographer had specifically asked if there would be anyone else taking photos or videos at our wedding. We had also specifically asked guests to NOT take photos during the wedding so our photographer could capture them, not them taking photos. So I was really relieved when our DOC came back and asked if we didn't want the videographer. We said that no, we really didn't want him to film the wedding. Fast forward to later on, when our photographer told us the guy had been really rude to her, telling her where she could and couldn't stand so that he could get the best shots. You may recall from another post of mine that we paid $850 on top on the package price to opt OUT of the provided photographer, basically paid a fee to bring our own. We really wanted the best possible pictures. So, I'm not pleased that we had a videographer bossing her around, although he was probably used to working with whomever the hotel provides normally. I'm SO SO glad we got to opt out of using him, both for the sake of our photos, and because we really didn't want it anyway.

    The next 10 minutes seemed like the longest of my life. I didn't know what to say or do. I just kept walking around the room in circles. Finally, I heard our DOC say to me, "the string trio is now playing the last song before the processional, as you requested." I didn't even realize the string trio was playing up to that point - I was truly in la la land. I had asked them to play more pop/contemporary songs rather than classical music as guests entered. For the actual processional, here is what I was having them play:

    Pre-Processional - "When I fall in love" - Nat King Cole
    Processional - "A Thousand Years" - Christina Perri
    Bride's Processional - Canon in D
    Unity Candle - Somewhere Out There from An American Tale

    I asked for a pre-processional both because I really wanted that song to play at my wedding (and I didn't have a long group of people to walk down an aisle) and because I thought it'd be a good idea to have a good, long, final moment of "Okay, here we go", while listening to this song. It worked out great. I'm pretty sure the string trio or A/V team started amping up the volume, signifying to guests that something was about to happen. For me it was one of my favorite parts of the wedding, as all of us were standing in line waiting to walk, but all quiet and listening at the same time.

    Before I knew it, our small trail of people started heading down the aisle. My stepmom and my brother, my groom's mom and stepfather, the officiant, and finally the groom. They closed the curtains and it was my turn.

    Suddenly, I realized I hadn't looked at myself in the mirror in probably 20 minutes, because the side room to the Havana Room didn't have any mirrors except in the bathroom. I heard the officiant say, "Please rise" and the DOC asked, "Are you ready"? Canon in D began playing and I frantically asked, "Do I look okay?!". She rushed over and also noticed that my hair was not curling and did the best she could in about 10 seconds.

    The curtains opened and in front of me was a long, dark wood aisle covered in rose petals. I also had the Havana Room set up with lit candles for a romantic feel. All I could see (or at least take in) was all of our friends & family standing and looking at me.

    So a few things about this moment and those that follow:

    1) I didn't see my groom until I was standing right in front of him. He was kind of standing behind the guests instead of at the end of the aisle. But, I don't know, I think I was just so overwhelmed with everything at that moment that unless I had mentally told myself to look for the groom when the curtains were about to open, I would not have seen him or looked for him. This made me really thankful to have done a first look, because I didn't have whatever "that" feeling was that I thought I was going to have. I did have a rush of emotions when the curtain opened and the walk down the aisle, but it didn't have to do with how my groom was looking at me.

    2) I was SO afraid of falling on the rose petals. We had real rose petals on the wood floor and a few days before the wedding I had read on the The Knot that they can get really slippery. Sure enough, my DOC had told me to be careful because she had slipped and fallen on the petals (and she was wearing flats!). I told my dad to HANG ON and to not let me fall and I'm pretty sure I repeated myself as we were walking down the aisle, lol!

    3) I couldn't stop looking at my friends and family, all staring at me! It was so surreal to have all of them here, in one place, at one time. It made me, so, so happy. I mean, we have parties and we see people, and it's fun and all. But it really hit me (when they weren't yelling HEY to me ! ) that we were doing something ceremonial and special that day, and it was all about me and my fiance.

    4) Again I was in la la land because I don't remember the string trio playing Canon in D at all except right before the curtains opened. It could have been silent and I wouldn't have known the difference. But I'm still glad I chose that song.

    OK - one major to-do down. I made it down the aisle without falling! Woo!
  • I'm really glad to hear about your feelings in these moments! I'm SO nervous about my walk down the aisle, and I'm worried my heart will be racing all day! Any advice to lessen the anxiety?!
  • @vegasbaby2015 - I think that was just one bonus of me having an earlier wedding, I didn't really have much time to think about it!! But I do think the advice of "be emotionally present" is very good. Stress all you want until your wedding day but when it actually arrives, try to forget those feeling and remember that you're doing something really important that day: you are making a lifelong commitment. And that is far more important than a walk down an aisle :)
  • OK so I made it down the aisle!! Everything from here throughout the ceremony was a real blur. The officiant started the ceremony with "It all started 2 years ago with the borrowing of some books." which made our attendees all burst out in laughter. He took our "how long" and "how we met" story and incorporated it into the first line; which he must do for everyone but it immediately made everyone feel that this was a very personal ceremony. After that he said some things, kind of did a twist on "Love is patient, Love is kind" without actually reading the verse. Then, he asked is if we had anything we wanted to share with one another. That was a surprise! Looking back, we both think that he just probably was in the "zone" and accidentally said that. We both kind of looked at each other and said...ummm...no...?? So that was kind of interesting. 

    As I mentioned before we had a unity candle. It only takes a few seconds to light a candle so I wasn't sure how we were going to do that since I was having the string trio play a 2 minute song. What they did was begin playing when we started exchanging rings. So the second the officiant handed my groom my rings, they began playing. I thought that would be weird but it totally wasn't. Many people commented about how beautiful this part of the ceremony was. So then we walked over to do our unity candle....

    After watching numerous YouTube videos of brides catching their hair or dress on fire years ago, all of this fear suddenly came rushing into me. I remember both the officiant and the DOC to say to be very careful with the candles. What ended up happening was that once I picked up my candle, my hand was shaking SO MUCH the candle was going everywhere. The funny thing is that I wasn't nervous or anything for the wedding itself, so in my mind I couldn't understand why my candle was flying around in front of me. Plus my groom was having no problems at all, haha. I was doing some nervous laughter and the attendees were nervously laughing too. I remember trying so hard to get my candle to the middle candle and my groom patiently waiting for me....hahahaha. I recall whispering a comment like, "shit what is happening?!" and my groom saying, "it's okay sweetheart". I was reminded just yesterday that they had put a microphone on my groom for the would-be videographer and just to amp up the volume in the room, so anyone that was sitting right next to a speaker heard that entire exchange even over the string trio.... whoops! 

    Once that was over all we had to do was repeat the vows! Luckily neither of those flubbed those up, and despite our concerns that we would be vowing things we didn't believe or we felt were "not us", everything was fine. There was only one line that we wouldn't have included, "And I reserve my intimacy exclusively for you". We of course absolutely mean that as a part of being married, it was just a weird thing to vow in front of family. 

    Before we knew it, approximately 9 minutes later, we were turned around facing our audience and "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News came on and we were dancing our way down the aisle! 

    By the way - the wedding started right on time at 11am and ended at about 11:10/11:15am. So in terms of my timeline, we're way ahead of schedule!

    Officiant gets an A (I can get his actual name if someone wants), many people thought he did an excellent job both and not talking too much and saying the right things. 

    Overall, Tropicana Weddings gets an A-. I so hesitate to put the minus on there, but there were a few things that were just a little difficult to deal with (videographer, coordinating the included complimentary one night stay I never got - more info later, and of course the photography madness).Tropicana hands down provides the best value wedding we could find anywhere even close to the strip. We had what I think was the most expensive wedding package, and they allowed us to sub-in for things we weren't using (like bridesmaids flowers), so I didn't have to pay for things I wanted (like candles in the room). I wish that I could have had this same exact wedding closer to the heart of the strip, but quite a few of our friends did walk to/from Tropicana to the strip so it really wasn't that far away. Also, the fact that Tropicana isn't beautiful on the outside or a highly memorable hotel are both things that were bummers to me, but what mattered most was the wedding venue and value for our dollar, and Tropicana really offers a lot compared to everywhere else. Even with the added money for the photographer, we came in way under the package prices for Aria, Cosmopolitan, Bellagio, Paris, Wynn, etc. and got many other things we would have had to upgrade at those places, like the String Trio. Would definitely recommend you give them a shot. 

    So this was a tricky part - we had to get 1/2 of our guests onto a shuttle bus over to Cosmopolitan. We didn't have official ushers so I had written a program based on the "So You're Going to Sit Through A Wedding" that you may have seen on Pinterest and put all the info in there. Everyone was really well-informed after reading it. We also put our seating chart list in our program too, eliminating the need for an actual chart or really anything else at the reception. We had assigned one of the groom's friends to stay on our shuttle bus the entire time to "direct" the bus where to go- this was a requirement of the company. Overall this process seemed to go really smoothly. We had those we wanted in family formal stay behind (they would go on the second round of shuttling with us). Remember we didn't have huge amounts of family present so this only took about 10 minutes max. 

    Since the shuttle still hadn't arrived back from Cosmo, we decided to try to get some more of the bride/groom photos we wanted. We headed over to the casino. Recall that it is 11:25am! We first started at the roulette table and changed $100 and put some money on 2, 7, and 15 - our wedding date. Our photographer tried to take photos you know...kind of sneaky... but since the casino was pretty empty the dealers and pitboss crew saw her. They actually invited her into the pit to let her get a better angle!! That was a big surprise and a very nice gift of the Tropicana to do that. Next we went over to craps and had some photos taken there. The coupiers were not having it, but she got a good amount of photos before they told her to stop. Kind of funny, considering the craps table was just 2 tables away from the roulette table.

    We walked back over to the shuttle area and the bus arrived just a few minutes later! Here's a picture of me walking out the doors to the shuttle bus my stepmom took! Sorry I can't get it re-sized for some reason!! 

  • I love the Tropicana. Glad to hear it went well.
  • Thanks for the advice. That's exactly what I will try to do!

    You look beautiful! Love your dress!

  • Talk about an adorable dress! What a perfect mix of bridal glam and Vegas sunshine!
  • Thanks for the wrote up, great reading and gorgeous dress :) How big was your group for the strip tour?
  • @faith4keep the suspense is killing me - keep going with the rest of the day as soon as possible!!
  • Yes come on... We need more! :)
  • Sorry friends!!! I'm back!! We were just on a business trip / mini moon in Mexico. I should have warned you in advance :) 

    Also you GUYS!! My photographer came out with some preview photos of our wedding day!! Check them out! You can sort of piece together my story with the photos haha : http://www.joyelan.com/2015/02/20/married-pam-ted-destination-wedding-vegas/

    Transitioning back to wedding day story (insert smoke & fog & dreamy music here!)

    Our shuttle bus arrived in just a few short minutes- the timing of everything worked out perfectly. All of our guests hopped on and we got on last. We sat in the front seat for a short ride over to Cosmo. Our vendor for this was Bell Transportation and they were by far my husband's favorite vendor. Total cost was $72 (!!) for an hour's worth of a 20-person shuttle bus. It was probably the nicest shuttle bus I've been on. It was no party bus, but very clean, leather seats, pleasant driver... very nice. It was a great value and they were easy to deal with ahead of time. We only wished they did Strip tours too! A++!

    After arriving in Cosmo- our driver entered a back way, but still dropped us off at the normal taxi/car drop off area if that makes sense- we separated from our group once again for some pictures inside Cosmo. We took a few in the check in area, on the infamous purple couches, then headed up the escalator to the chandelier bar.

    In the meantime - our guests were enjoying bloody mary's & mimosas at Wicked Spoon while they did the guest book activity and mingled a bit. I'm not sure if I already mentioned it, but I had sent 2 friends ahead of everyone else (they took a taxi instead of shuttle) and they made sure everything was set up perfectly. They were in charge of setting placards on each table (we made each table a Las Vegas hotel), ensured the room was set up per contract, cake was set up, and guest book area set up as well.

    We took pictures in the chandelier area for probably 10 full minutes before a security person stopped us. I mean we were in full on photo shoot (not just quick snaps) and we think we got everything we wanted and much more in that little session. But- security did eventually kick us out. I think we just hit the area at the right time in the security person's rounds.

    Finally, we were ready to head to our reception! Early even. I had planned on us making it in around 12:30pm, but we made it there around 12:10/12:15pm.

    Since we were not adding anything to the private room (not even our own ipod of music) we just had a family member of mine introduce us. This is one of my favorite memories from the day! We walk in and the room goes WILD literally!!! Everyone was up and out of their chairs screaming and clapping and wooing!! And it just didn't stop! It was very overwhelming!!

    We calmed everyone down, thanked them for coming, and sent them off to the buffet!!

    Our wedding cake & cake topper was a huge hit - this was definitely the most photographed thing at the wedding. The cake was something that was originally not a big deal to me and ended up being a last minute item, and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. The cake tasted absolutely amazing. We took the entire first tier home - had way more than necessary (as expected). For decor, I gave them this image from pinterest: and told them to make it 3 tiers and square. Pretty good right (check out the photo link above)? The pastry chef at Cosmopolitan gets an A+!!

    We wanted everyone to get at least 2 rounds at the buffet in before starting toasts so that everyone was all settled. Toasts were planned to begin around 1pm. A couple of mistakes I made here: we did specifically ask people to give toasts, but never provided an order for these people, which made them anxious. Second, we never told them what time we'd be doing toasts. I told my Aunt to please start telling each table to not return to the buffet once they were seated again so we could do toasts. My Dad was to go first, and he was all ready to go, but we were mysteriously missing my friend who was giving a toast. I didn't want to start until she was back in case she was up but she wasn't there. People could see that (mostly) everyone was seated and ready and even started clinking glasses....but my friend still wasn't back. Her strange disappearance was never explained to me but we waited a good 10 minutes. Looking back, I should have told them all a specific time to avoid that awkwardness.

    The toasts were all amazing. They made me both laugh and cry!

    Immediately after toasts, we were going to cut the cake. Again, we didn't have an MC, so this was (for me) kind of an awkward transition. You know... "Yay toasts... OK.... now we'll go cut the cake". It seemed really awkward to me and looking back, I wish I had designated my aunt as the overall MC and let her sort of lead all of this. Anyway, we went to go cut the cake. There was a knife set out but no plates. We asked a server for some but ultimately went ahead with the cutting. This is another thing where I recommend you look up online about how this is supposed to go, because we had no idea and had lots of people telling us how to go about cutting the cake, haha.

    After the whole shoving cake in each other's face, we were ready for cake to be served. But- no servers were around. We had friends asking the servers and manager on staff for plates (...again) and help to cut the cake. It seemed like it took an extremely long amount of time to get anyone in the room to help us - probably 20 minutes or so... while we awkwardly made our rounds around the room again to keep guests "entertained". Finally we got a pastry person to help cut the cake and slices started going out. Again- the cake tasted wonderful. But at this point we were cutting it close on our room time - around 1:50pm. The manager said we could stay for an extra half hour if we needed, but I know how this goes. We needed to usher everyone out of the room as soon as possible.

    So I shouted, "OK, I'm throwing the bouquet!!" But we had to do this out in the hallway due to space. So I tried to corral as many girls as I could out in the hallway (and out of the room!!). Once I had a crowd I made a very nice, lofty toss if I do say so myself! Luckily one of the engaged ladies did in fact catch the bouquet :)

    I was ready to head on out, but I was missing my groom. This is where things start getting a little crazy. People kept trying to say goodbye but I was also trying to usher people to the hallway for a group picture and in the meantime, trying to get people out of the room! Ugh. That was kind of a cluster. Again, I probably would have structured all this a little more and put someone in charge of executing it all rather than being in charge myself.

    So let's talk Wicked Spoon: in terms of pre-coordination, they get a C or D. They were not fun to to work with, starting from the very first time we reached out to them and received two very different quotes for minimums (2500 from one person, 3500 from another person). I made my groom deal with them. I also had a lot of issues dealing with the cake as well - they charge per-person instead of quoting by cake size which drove me up the wall (i.e. when we changed our total from 50 to 40, our cake price dropped by $130 - for the SAME CAKE, number of tiers, etc.). They were not very responsive to e-mails and not responsive at ALL to phone calls. For day-of execution, maybe a B or C. Service was not great. We had one server for our entire room of 40. I realize that most drinks were pre-served and a buffet only requires cleaning plates off, but we could have used a little more attention. The whole cake service issue threw everything a little off schedule and we lost some steam. The actual food at Wicked Spoon was of course amazing, and gets an 'A'. Our guests loved it. But from an event planning standpoint, it was not easy.

    After saying our goodbyes, we went downstairs to check into our hotel room at Cosmo. Our photographer followed us there since the room was incredible- wraparound terrace - and we took some more photos on our terrace. As well as some specific photos I was looking for.

    Around 3pm we said goodbye to our photographer and relished in the silence. My groom helped me out of my dress, I helped him out of his suit, and we proceeded to crash on the bed. We laid in silence for a long while. It was really nice to just be quiet for a little bit, not have anywhere we needed to be or things we needed to do, people we needed to see or cameras to smile for. We had our first kiss without a camera in our face in about 2 days, and that was nice.

    Originally we had an idea to have our friends up to our suite before the Strip tour (scheduled for 8pm that night) but since we were staying at Cosmopolitan and most of our guests at Tropicana, we decided against it. We did have some friends come over to drop off the leftover cake for us and their reaction to our room suddenly made us regret not having everyone over.

    Next up was the strip tour - meeting everyone at Tropicana around 7:45pm!
  • Brilliant, you photos are wonderful and you look beautiful, thank you for sharing!
    I'm also using Glam Squad, and having Cosmo do my cake and having our reception in a Wraparound Terrace. Your reviews have been so helpful!
    [Deleted User]
  • Thank you for sharing your photos! What a beautiful day :)
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    [Deleted User]
  • WOW! WOW! WOW!!!!! Amazing! Love the pics.  What a fantastic wedding!  Love the drink you brought him, lol.
    [Deleted User]
  • @missbruiser I'm so excited for how the photos of that moment turned out, it perfectly represents us!! Ha!
  • Ohh I forgot to add about the reception:

    1) We had exactly 39 guests, 41 including us, so we did 4 tables of 10, and we sat at a booth together off to the side. That was SUPER WEIRD. Would not recommend. Find a way to sit at a table with your guests. Just my opinion.

    2) We did get to eat, unlike what most people say. I actually took two rounds at the buffet myself (but not the dessert area, sad!). Looking back I might not have eaten if it meant I got to spend more time with my guests.

    3) Due to the lack of service we received, I definitely would recommend the pitchers of mimosas on the table (we had to request this specifically). I thought this would look really tacky, but they put mimosas in these silver pitchers- not glass carafes as I had envsioned - so it looked fine.

    4) We came in way, way under the minimum. We had told people we would be covering bloody marys and mimosas, and that is all people drank. In reality, we would have covered anything else anyone had ordered, but no one did!! I plan on doing a post about all of our financials so I'll talk about that more later.

    5) We had one guest under 21, and Wicked Spoon was nice enough to not charge us the drinks fee for him. Of course it didn't matter (due to minimum) but a nice touch.
  • Strip tour! Strip tour! We want details on your strip tour!
  • Thank you for the reviews of wicked spoon. I don't think we will come close to the minimum either so we are just planning on having our dinner in the main restaurant.

    It seems really weird that they charge you per portion size but dont actually make the cake smaller if you have less people.

    We are having a maximum of 28 people including us (it will probably be closer to 21 once people have RSPV'd). Did you just order a portion of cake for everyone present or did you cut it down a bit lower? In our party we are going to have at least 3 children under the age of 7 as well. I can agree with you about Wicked Spoon being quiet difficult to deal with. Did you pay your dinner total before the wedding? They seem to be asking us to pay much of the total on the day of our wedding which is probably going to make my UK bank have a meltdown (even if I do tell them I will be doing this beforehand). 

    I love this review though thank you so much :D
  • Hi! Sorry I've been neglecting you guys. It's been crazy with business travel lately. I'll get a review done before the end of the week on the strip tour. Also I'm having an issue responding to the forum on my Surface (anyone else?).

    @lauradean89 - that's the thing! I wanted to do exactly what you are saying. They wouldn't let us order less cake! I wanted to order enough cake for say 25 of my 40 guests because I didn't think some people would eat cake. But they wouldn't let me. They were going to charge per portion based on my total # of guests who attended. So it seemed whether I ordered a two-tier 6" + 8" or a five tier monstrosity, they were just going to charge my guest count times the portion cost. It made absolutely no sense to me. When we changed the guarantee count the cost of the (SAME EXACT) cake changed.

    I'm sure you can work something out with them, especially since you have to guarantee a number in advance. We did pay the full bill on a credit card at the end of the reception.
  • Hi! Sorry I've been neglecting you guys. It's been crazy with business travel lately. I'll get a review done before the end of the week on the strip tour. Also I'm having an issue responding to the forum on my Surface (anyone else?).

    @lauradean89 - that's the thing! I wanted to do exactly what you are saying. They wouldn't let us order less cake! I wanted to order enough cake for say 25 of my 40 guests because I didn't think some people would eat cake. But they wouldn't let me. They were going to charge per portion based on my total # of guests who attended. So it seemed whether I ordered a two-tier 6" + 8" or a five tier monstrosity, they were just going to charge my guest count times the portion cost. It made absolutely no sense to me. When we changed the guarantee count the cost of the (SAME EXACT) cake changed.

    I'm sure you can work something out with them, especially since you have to guarantee a number in advance. We did pay the full bill on a credit card at the end of the reception.

    Regarding the cake situation... our venue is similar, except we are bringing our cake in from another vendor. We have 135 guests, but about 200 servings of cake... they charge us per guest (135) but will serve the ENTIRE cake if we want. Really, makes no sense, but not much about the wedding industry does!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Ha yeah this I am learning quiet quickly. 

    We don't mind paying the balance on the day its more because its going to be an international payment, even if I do tell my credit card company I am going away and will be making a big purchase they will probably decline it to start with and then I will have the stress of trying to call the UK to get them to allow the payment! (happens to us quiet a lot when we go abroad). They always think it must be fraudulent (which I suppose is helpful if your card has actually been cloned) less so if you are trying to make a genuine payment.

    I am sure we will work something out though. Keep the reviews coming they are amazing and exactly the kind of detail that is really really helpful :D 
  • I can't wait either!! Thank you so much for your reviews they are amazing.

    I can't wait to see your photos :-)
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