Tacos & Tattoos: A Quickie Yet Fabulous Las Vegas Elopement

Heather and Riley are met in Afghanistan in 2013 when they were both deployed to Kandahar from their respective countries (Riley from Australia and Heather from the US). At the time of their wedding Riley was still deployed in Iraq and flew out to Vegas for their ceremony! He then had to return to Iraq immediately after their honeymoon, just two weeks later. They wanted their wedding to be a bit of old Hollywood glam mixed with some of their favourite things including tacos, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Batman and tattoos!

“The inspiration for our wedding was everything that we love,” explained Heather. “We are foodies and my favourite food is tacos, hence our reception at the two story Taco Bell Cantina/Club on the strip! We had accessories with touches of characters we love such as Harley Quinn, the Joker and Batman. We got matching tattoos to commemorate our special day and I carried a paper flower bouquet which was custom created to tell our love story. Each flower was made of paper that has some significance; my favourite bible verse, lyrics from the song I walked down the aisle too, our country’s flags, Batman and Joker comic book, Wonder Woman comic book, Star Wars characters, a ‘junk food’ flower (that had tacos, pizza, burgers, and fries on it), and flowers made of maps of important locations to us. My bouquet is my most favourite accessory from the whole day!”

Although they were eloping, the lead up to their ceremony wasn’t as quiet as they’d hoped it would be. “We wish we’d known how busy the wedding chapel was going to be on 7-7-17! Although we had a reservation, the ceremony started late and the chapel was flooded with people – apparently all the ‘7s’ in 7-7-17 made it quite a popular day to get married! There were over 100 other ceremonies prior to ours at our chapel alone!”

Their actual ceremony was (luckily!) very small with only five people in attendance plus the bride, groom, and officiant. “’Elvis’ escorted me down the aisle whilst serenading us to his classic Can’t Help Falling in Love with You. Our wedding script was anything but traditional including a part where the groom and I played ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to decide who would read their vows first. We each wrote our own vows and Riley’s wedding vows are the most memorable part of the day! He is quite witty and portions of his vows talk about being ‘a well sculpted shoulder to cry on’ not forcing me to eat pineapple on pizza, and always promising to let me nap whenever I want.”

“There are so many photos of me laughing during our ceremony and they are all because of his jokes and terrible puns in his vows. The ceremony concluded with a reflection on that day and the happiness we each felt in that moment. After we kissed and were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, we walked down the aisle to the song Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Our favourite part of our wedding day was the ceremony. It was intimate and perfect. The focus was 100% on us and the commitment we were making to one another.”

The most difficult part of planning a wedding for them was having the groom in a completely different country for the whole process. “The worst thing about our planning was that Riley was in Iraq the entire time so communication with him was difficult. He wanted to be involved as much as possible but it was difficult between a huge time difference and connectivity issues. The best thing about planning was searching Pinterest for inspiration though! I spent hours researching all kinds of ideas to figure exactly what would be perfect for us. And, in retrospect, the only thing we would have done differently is arrive in Las Vegas sooner so we didn’t feel rushed in confirming wedding plans on site.”

“Our best piece of advice for future brides and grooms is to have fun and enjoy the planning”, Heather concluded. “Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. It is YOUR wedding and you should have the ultimate say in what goes down.”

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