Sunday, June 17, 2012

Elvis Wedding Day

Las Vegas June 13, 2012

Another hot day, 35 degrees at 8.20am. After a shower in the RV park (even the bathrooms are air conditioned) I walked up to the Golden Nugget and got us checked in early. Our next job was to secure pirate costumes.

Williams Costume store was something of a drag queen's wonderland. So many sequins, feathers, glittery things and crazy dress-ups. The costume hire section was amazing, I wanted to stay and play all day. So, it seems, does everyone else, which is why they only let you try on a maximum of three costumes. It's perhaps a good thing that sizing meant we didn't have a huge choice. I only tried on two pirate wench costumes and I went with the first one, the green wenchy raider costume. The second one fitted better but was itchier and more matronly. Luke's Captain Hook outfit was spectacular. The hat didn't quite work but we improvised and bought an extra feather.

Quality costumes aren't cheap... the whole thing cost us $170 plus $200 deposit. We had to go to an ATM around the block to stock up on cash. Luckily the machine only gave out $20 notes. So Luke was withdrawing hundreds of dollars, with people queued up behind him, in a dodgy Las Vegas neighbourhood. Makes you feel good to be alive.

Costumes secured, we were all ready for a swim in the shark tank pool at the Golden Nugget. Unfortunately it took a long time to get the RV parked. The hotel didn't have a space, the Plaza wanted $20 so we ended up back with our good friends Main St Station, three blocks away. Still cost $10 to park. The security guard, with gun on hip, knocked on the door of the parking lot and asked what we were doing there. He didn't want us sleeping in the vehicle. He was happy once we explained things and he said he'd make sure no one stole our bikes.

Before long it was time to get dressed and then, resplendent in our costumes, we took a taxi to the Graceland Wedding Chapel.

It wasn't a huge place. We crammed into the "staging area" office, handed over far too much money, my online friend Holly and her family arrived and then bam, we were in the tiny chapel with it's dovey stained glass windows. Before we were psyched the doors had closed and Elvis was there, in a pale blue jumpsuit. He really did look and sound like Elvis. The video guy was lined up ready and so it was on. Elvis walked me up the aisle singing "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You."

And suddenly I was all choked up. It was such a silly thing we were doing but right at that moment I got rather emotional and thought about when we first got married 17 years ago. So I was trying not to cry.

It was a very short sort of thing, very funny, also rather sweet. Elvis was great and Luke was lovely and Holly cried. I nearly cried but held it in, thankfully. We said our special "Elvis Vows" which were hilarious. The whole thing ended with a rendition of "Viva Las Vegas. And then suddenly our guests got ushered out a side door onto the street, we were posing for photos, meanwhile the DVD was burned and it was all over. So we effectively blew $500 in 15 minutes but it was SO worth it.

After that we went to the restaurant Holly had chosen. With us were Holly's son Spud, Spud's Dad Clifton and his wife (both of them were from Jamaica). The food was upmarket Mexican, very nice. We looked out of place in our pirate costumes but the waiters were amused and gave Luke a free drink.

Here's a huge thanks to Holly who shouted us dinner at our "reception". It was great to have someone with us on our crazy special day.

After that we headed back to the hotel and made waves as we walked through the corridors and casino. Lots of people said "Yarr" at us and laughed. It was fun being a sideshow so we decided we'd wear our costumes out onto the Fremont Street Experience, which is a pedestrian mall given over to bright lights and entertainment. The funny thing is that the whole area is peppered with people dressed up, posing for photos - for a fee. So people looked at us but avoided us.

We were tourist attractions in the hotel. A whole tour group of Brazilians wanted to take our photos and so we posed for photos with them. Which was hilarious.

We strolled up and down Fremont St, looked at the neon signs. I had wanted a drink but the bars were smokey and noisy. At 9pm all the casino lights shut down and the arching LED roof over the street became a Bon Jovi concert. Everyone stopped and looked up and enjoyed the show. Amazing sense of shared experience. Everyone cheered a the end.

We eventually went back to our room and sadly took off our costumes. We went and drank hot chocolate by the pool, looking at the shark tank.

Like all the Casinos in Las Vegas, smoking is allowed indoors. They do a fairly good job of filtering the air but by the end of the night we were both sick of the smell and our clothes stank.

All in all, a good wedding day. We should do this more often.
(Note: We can't get the photos off the SD card for some reason so we're going to be lacking in pics for a bit.)

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