A Las Vegas Vow Renewal

Effortless and iconic

Manya, Director of Communications and New Business Development for a nonprofit in Kenya & Brian, Global Director of programs for an international nonprofit

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: An epic anniversary date night filled with congratulations, pictures, and handholding. Plus, it was fun to go around Vegas looking sizzling HOT!

Planned Budget: $500

Actual Budget: $500

Number of Guests: 0

Where we allocated the most funds

Almost everything about our wedding was recycled. I wore my reception dress and jewelry, and Brian wore his own tuxedo, which he had made for another event. Other than paying for the ceremony and photography ($250 total), I spent the most on shoes that I have been aching to buy (and will wear over and over), and professional hair and makeup, which I wished I had done the first time around. We also splurged on renting the red convertible. It was a bit hot for it during the day, but cruising around at night on the strip was great fun.

Where we allocated the least funds

The flowers cost almost nothing: $6.99 at Albertsons, plus duct tape and a bit of curling ribbon. I made my little fascinator for less than ten dollars.

What was totally worth it

Renewing our vows was really, really fun and meaningful. Since we have children, and they were such an important part of our first wedding, we never had a honeymoon. This time around we were in Vegas all alone and so the whole thing had this dreamy quality to it. Also, I totally enjoyed the splurge of the Glam Squad 702. Getting ready in our fancy suite with those awesome guys was just so much fun. We literally got dressed to the nines and then went and got married. It was that simple.

What was totally not worth it

I can’t think of anything. Since we had done this before, we knew that on the day the details really become secondary. So this time we just focused on details that we would use again and that would make us feel special.

A few things that helped us along the way

Eloping in Las Vegas has to be the easiest way to get married. Las Vegas Strip Weddings made it so easy—especially since we were so relaxed about the whole thing.

My best practical advice for my planning self

Break in your shoes in advance, girl, use valet parking, and make a dinner reservation for Pete’s sake! There is such a thing as being TOO laid back… I thought to myself as I hiked up and down the strip in new shoes and a too-tight corset.

Favorite thing about the wedding

Right after we said our vows, we goofed around with the minister and our adorable photographer. A bunch of tourists wanted to take pictures with us and “kiss the bride.” One guy came up and told Brian over and over what a lucky man he is. It was really a party atmosphere, with our love at the center. It was also so much fun to go and ride the Gondola right afterwards. We felt so elegant in our classic garb, and I was really glad to be able to wear that adorable dress again. But my favorite thing of all was that our officiant pulled me aside and said that the way Brian looks at me is really special, and that she could see the love and devotion shimmering between us. That got me choked up.

Anything else

Eloping in Las Vegas seems like it would be silly—but it wasn’t. Our re-wedding was a complete blast—not cliché or trite in the least. When we looked into each other’s eyes and said the traditional wedding vows (again), all of the summer heat and tourists and clicks of the camera melted away. I could only see my beloved looking back at me with devotion. I did not believe it was possible to love my husband more than the night we first got married, but each year that goes by, I love him more. Saying our vows again felt great because we HAVE been loving each other through all of the messy, snotty-crying sicknesses and healths and joys. It was so joyful to stop for a moment and ritualize the awesomeness of finding each other again.


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