Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

How to Get Married in Las Vegas

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Janneke Storm (full wedding here)

There are always a lot of questions in the Rock n Roll Bride Facebook group about getting married in Vegas – how to do it, if its legal when you’re not from the US, recommendations for suppliers that will do a good job… So I thought a post going through all the ins and outs of the process would be helpful.

In the interests of keeping things simple, I’m going to write this in a Q&A format. If you still have questions after reading this article, or you have any of your own advice or recommendations, feel free to pop them in the comments!

Do you have to be a US resident to get married in Vegas?
No, and other than book your chapel there really isn’t anything else you have to do in advance either. You can go and get your marriage licence as soon as you step off the plane and then get married straight away if you want to! Your marriage will be recognised back home in the UK (and pretty much everywhere else in the world).

How do I get a marriage licence?
When you arrive, you and your partner will need to go to the Marriage Bureau of Las Vegas (located at 201 E. Clark Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89101). You can fill in an application form online to save time once you get to there. The office is open from 8am to midnight 365 days of the year and a license costs $77.

You will need to bring your passports as proof of identity (at least one form of ID is required but I’d suggest bringing two just in case, a drivers license or birth certificate would be fine). If you are divorced, you will also need to know the exact date and city of the divorce. A copy of the divorce decree is not required.

You must be 18 to be married in Vegas however if you are 16 or 17 you can get married if a parent or guardian gives consent in person at the time of application.

There is no waiting period for the license to be granted so as soon as you have it in hand you can head to a chapel and get hitched! The licence is valid for 60 days.

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Kristen Marie Photography (full wedding here)

How do I know where to get married?
There are so many chapels in Vegas and a spot of Googling should set you right. You can also see all the Vegas weddings we’ve featured on Rock n Roll Bride here! I’ve listed some of the most fun chapels at the end of this post.

I’d suggest booking your chapel before you leave the UK to make sure you get the date and time you want.

How long does the wedding ceremony last?
Usually around 15-30 minutes but it depends on the chapel.

Do we have to get married in a chapel?
No! The great thing about getting married in the US is that unlike the UK it’s the minister that’s licensed to perform the ceremony, not the physical location (in the UK both need to be) In America you can legally be married ANYWHERE you like! Some popular Vegas spots are the Neon Graveyard, Nelson Ghost Town and random spots in the desert..! You can really use your imagination – fun!

Will my marriage be legal in the UK?
Yes! You won’t need to go to the register office when you get back to the UK. The marriage certificate that you’re issued in Vegas will be all the proof you need to show that you are married.

When do I get my marriage certificate?
The minister has up to ten days to register your marriage. You can then get a copy of your marriage certificate for $10 from the Clark County Recorder. You can either pick it up in person, or have it sent by post if you’re heading home.

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Forged in the North (full wedding here)

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Feeling Body Confident for Your Wedding

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While body confidence isn’t something you’ll just magically be able to come across just in time for your wedding (it’s a life-long struggle for a lot of us), marriage counsellor and founder of Mindful Bride to Be, Collin Christine, is here today to talk us through some ways you can have a positive body image, for your wedding day and beyond.

Congrats! You’re engaged. Now you’re probably experiencing what most women experience when they get this happy news: “I am SO happy but now I am going to be on display for my friends, family, photographers, and future husband… I better look hot.” At this point a lot of women start to feel overly conscious of their body and start to do crash diets, exercise like crazy, and restrict themselves in mind and body. During this time even of the sweetest of brides might be a tad bitchy because they’re trying to hard to be perfect.

If you want to feel confident in your body on your wedding day it’s time to look a little deeper and make some healthy adjustments. Want to break up with bad body image before your wedding? Try these four tips to have you truly shining on the inside and out.

1. Comparison is the thief of joy

Everyone at some point has something that they wish they could change about their body. When you notice yourself wishing that you had someone else’s body, you’re taking for granted what is uniquely you.

You’re very rare and special and so is your body! Perfect is an illusion so try and ditch that mentality before your big day, and while we all have areas we can improve on, that has nothing to do with your value as a person or how much love and gratitude you deserve.

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2. If the only prayer you said in your life was “Thank You”, that would suffice

Rather than spending your energy on wishing you were thinner, redirect your focus to something you already have at this very moment – whether it’s something like your beautiful eyes that allow you to take in the world around you, your ears so you can hear the sound of the ocean or the magic of a great song, or just your arms so you can embrace loved ones and cuddle with your pet.

It really doesn’t matter; the act of expressing gratitude actually has a chemical effect in your brain and makes you happier! Just thank the universe for what you have and you will feel its gratitude in return.

3. You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it

When you’re physically uncomfortable in your body, it’s important to wear clothes that you feel good in. This doesn’t mean you have a license to go out into the world wearing your PJs every day (not that there’s anything wrong with that once in a while), but you should consider clothes that make you feel physically comfortable so you aren’t tugging on them all day.

There is also value in dressing to how you want to feel. If you want to lose weight so you can wear the latest fashions, then wear them already as you are. You will look hot if you feel hot!

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Things I’ve Learnt Whilst Planning My Sister’s Wedding

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In less than a week my baby sister will be married. Next Saturday she’ll be standing up there and all the stresses and strains of planning The Wedding Of The Century (fact) will have been worthwhile.

I got married in 2008, and without wanting to sound 672 years old, things were so different then. Back then, the fact that my bridesmaids wore black and we made our own cake was considered pretty unconventional. These days most people (ourselves included) would look at our wedding and think it was actually very, very traditional.

So needless to say I have learnt a lot in the past 12 months. It’s given me a brand new perspective of what it’s really like down in the trenches, and I’ve a new found respect for anyone who’s having a completely DIY or budget wedding. This shit is stressful you guys!

You’re going to offend and disagree with people… and probably feel guilty a lot

Arguments will happen. Whether it’s between you and your significant other, your parents, or well meaning (but, at times, irritating) friends. Emotions are high and there’s a lot to do so they are pretty unavoidable. If you get through your entire wedding planning experience without a single raised eyebrow then you must be a saint. Report to the Vatican immediately.

Having a wedding is just like throwing a big party. That’s stressful on it’s own except this party is the party, everyone’s invited and there are no do-overs. Also everyone has an opinion about it and their own expectations.

You need to attempt to strike a balance between realising the wedding isn’t just about you but also knowing that at the end of the day, it actually is. You have to consider other people’s feelings (because if you don’t you’re an arsehole) and understand that doing so doesn’t mean you’re ‘selling out’ or that your wedding won’t be cool/ alternative/ the most perfect day ever.

If you are arguing a lot, don’t take it as a failure and try not to feel bad about it. It doesn’t mean your wedding day will be in any way less awesome. It probably just means that everybody cares, and (in our case anyway!) everybody has their own, very strong opinions of how they’d prefer things to be done.

Compromise is key, which brings me onto my second lesson…

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You won’t necessary get everything you wanted 

This isn’t a wedding from a movie, this is real life. There are other people’s desires to consider and, as frustrating as it can be at the time, you can’t just stick your head in the proverbial sand and do everything to satisfy yourself.

For example, parents. This is an important day for them too and (especially if they’re contributing financially) you should consider what they want as well. They might have different priorities to you, but that doesn’t make them automatically wrong. Sure, they might think all the extra stress of hand making the favours is pointless, whereas you can’t think of anything worse than asking your guests to stand in a receiving line. As frustrating as it is, try to see things from their perspective. And remember, letting them ‘win’ certain things will not make your wedding any less special.

In the same vein, budget constraints might mean that you aren’t able to have everything you initially wanted. Make a list of the things you absolutely can not live without, and ditch or consider cheaper options for the rest.

You’ll spend more than you planned to

Its very rare that I hear about a wedding that came in under budget. Whether you have £500 or £50,000 to spend, there are always costs that you don’t factor in. I don’t really have any advice here other than to let you know that this probably will happen so brace yourself!

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Bridal Body Confidence with Harnaam Kaur

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Harnaam Kaur has polycystic ovary syndrome, which meant she started growing a beard from aged 11. Battling to remove her hair every day, and bullied at school, she started to self-harm and considered suicide. Harnaam is now a body-confidence and anti-bullying activist. She fully embraces her unique look and hopes to encourage others to do the same.

I absolutely love weddings. I grew up attending Sikh, Hindu and western weddings and although each event was very different from the next, each time I would look at the bride in awe, transfixed by her beauty and elegance. Each and every one of them looked like a goddess, and I remember feeling excited about dressing up and being a bride myself one day.

Wearing the most gorgeous dress, carrying the prettiest floral bridal bouquet and marrying the man or woman of your dreams – there is so much to look forward to at a wedding! However I would imagine that for most of you, making preparations for your big day can be quite stressful, not only because you’re concerned about how it will turn out, but because of anxieties about your body or appearance.

Although there are pressures for woman to look a certain way whatever their race, in talking to my friends I have found that Asian women are put under a very particular kind of pressure to look perfect when they walk down the aisle. One of my friends who got married recently spent so much time in the morning worrying about if her make up was perfect (and if her skin looked light enough), whether she looked bloated from breakfast, and if all her body hair was removed properly that she was almost two hours late. I had another friend who told me that her future husband said he would only marry her if she had laser treatment all over her body to remove her excess hair. I’m pleased to say that she didn’t marry him in the end!

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Now, I understand that most brides want to look perfect on their wedding day, but it’s a fine line between wanting to feel happy and confident, and making yourself look a certain way because friends, family or society tells you that you should! Why do so many women feel the need to conform and fit into what other people say is beautiful?

Another added pressure I’ve noticed in Asian culture is the desire for brides to not only please her future husband, but his family as well. Too many times to mention I have overheard Indian mothers saying certain girls were too short/ too fat/ too tall/ too hairy to marry their sons. Every time I am absolutely horrified. I have always been shocked by how much women are judged for the way that they look, and although it happens to men too, it certainly doesn’t to the same extent.

I started growing thick hair on my body and face when I hit puberty. At 11 years old I was diagnosed PCOS which is a condition where there is an imbalance in hormones within the female body. This led me to have more male hormones then female ones which meant my hair grew like a man’s and I developed beard. I used to shave and wax my face but at the age of 16, after years of being bullied, self-harming and feeling suicidal, I thought enough was enough and I let it grow out. Since then, I have never felt more content, happy, and in love with my body.

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Unhelpful Husbands-to-Be

Dear Kat, I’d love some advice on how to get my fiancé more involved in the wedding planning without being accused of harassing him or being a bridezilla!? Essentially, I want to know how we can make it fun for both of us and not appear to be a chore. I’m happy doing most of the organising, but when it comes to the stuff I can’t really do (such as his suit) or things I need his input on (the guest list, the music, the food) he just rolls his eyes, huffs and gets annoyed! Help!

Men are such interesting creatures aren’t they? I have to admit, at first I was completely stumped on how to reply to this because its something I struggle a bit with too! I am very action-oriented. I hate to sit on things that need doing, whereas Gareth will take forever to motivate himself to do something and it drives me fucking insane. Granted, when he does get to whatever the task is, he always does a brilliant job (whereas my penchant for rushing right in sometimes ends up with a bit of a haphazard result!) But sitting around waiting for him to do things is very frustrating. I guess what I’m saying is I totally feel your pain!

Instead of trying to answer this myself, I actually decided to chat to Gareth about this, as he’s much more likely to be able to see things from your fiancé’s point of view. Here’s what he had to say. I hope this helps.

“Well, it’s a tricky one with such little info, because there’s going to be an underlying issue which is causing him to get so easily annoyed. It could be as simple as he’s got something on his mind which is really bothering him (finances, health, work) or it could be more difficult to tackle problem like anxiety or depression.

The trouble is, once a subject like picking a suit is raised frequently enough at the wrong time to cause anger, it becomes a trigger point forever more. So even mentioning it at a good time can lead to a reactionary outburst.

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Can We Please Stop Booking Cheap Photographers and Moaning About Them ‘Ruining’ Our Weddings?

Deep breath.

This week, yet another news story about an amateur photographer ‘ruining’ a couple’s wedding photos hit the headlines. “Poor couple!” the comments read, “What a terrible woman this photographer is!” “She deserved to get sued!” The comment threads (including on the photographer’s business social media accounts, which have all now been deactivated) read like the modern day equivalent to the Salem witch hunts. They might as well have been chanting “BURN THE PHOTOGRAPHER!”

Now I’m not saying the photographer was wrongfully called out here. In this particular instance the photos that we made public were, for all intents and purposes, utterly terrible. There are also always two sides to any story so I’m not even going to get into the claims that she was 45 minutes late, only took 15 photos of the reception and spent more time in the photo booth than doing anything else. That’s really all superfluous to the point I want to make.

However, what is important is that when these types of stories come out, the recurring theme always seems to be that the couple hired a cheap, brand new or (as in this case) student photographer yet still expected their photographs to be of the same quality that a seasoned professional charging ten times more might deliver. There appears to be a complete lack of value placed on what a professional wedding photographer actually does. And believe me, its way more than having a fancy camera, lighting equipment and retouching software installed on their computer.

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