Ashley & Brent’s DIY Vegas Wedding with a First Bowl (instead of a First Dance)
Have you ever considered not having a first dance? Today’s funky couple Ashley and Brent ditched the tradition — as well as many others — and had a “first bowl” at their super fun guest-centric non-traditional celebration at the Palms in Las Vegas. Luckily we can witness this quirky-awesome wedding through the lens of Mike L. Photography who has a few more details about the event:
Ashley and Brent had an unplugged ceremony where guests enjoyed the experience rather than take photos and we thought it was a great idea. It really makes the whole event more personal and moving. She also warned me of her many, many DIY details and I came prepared! She had so many great details and I made sure to capture them all.
After the ceremony, we headed to Rain, a nightclub at the Palms and that’s where most of the two of them were taken. It was abandoned and so awesome! After photos with the two of them, we headed to the Kingpin Suite where the party was already in full swing. Ashley had a detachable dress so Brent tore it off when they walked in which made some of the guests gasp. Then they had their first bowl, as opposed to a first dance. There was dancing, drinking, a photobooth, ponchos and goggles and a mashed potato bar.
The ceremony location took place at the Ghostbar. I just love these paper flower pomanders (handmade by the bride’s mom!) as well as the chair ribbons in the photo below.
Brent is a landscaper — and he doesn’t like flowers — so they decided not to have them. Ashley’s friend Liz made all the men’s boutonnieres and bouquets out of beautiful paper flowers.
Ashley shares this side story:
Liz is the mother to a beautiful girl named Ellie. Part of the reason they were unable to attend our wedding is because Ellie was diagnosed with leukemia and it wasn’t safe for her to travel. Liz made all the flowers while she and her husband lived in the hospital while Ellie recieved treatment. The day of the wedding we were pulling out the flowers when I found a note from Liz. She had saved the tissue paper from Ellie’s baby shower, unable to throw it away but unsure what to do with it. She used it to wrap the flowers and keep them safe for shipping to us. Reading her note was the first time of a few times I cried on our wedding day. I still have the tissue. Also I am happy to report that Ellie is 240 days in remission TODAY as I am typing!
(So glad to know that, Ashley! I’m hoping for her complete recovery.)
This beautiful brooch bouquet was handmade by the creative Ashley herself!
Photographer Mike has the behind-the-scenes scoop on their sweet first look:
When Ashley was just about done being ready, the Kingpin Suite was finally available so we all ran over there to grab the final getting ready shots and the first look. I stayed with Ashley while she got her dress on and Mike went and caught a few of Brent before the first look went down. We set them up on the bowling alley and it was a great moment once Brent saw her. He was in awe of her, as we all were because she looked stunning!
Let’s get to know this lovely couple a little bit better. Here’s pretty Ashley with their love story:
I went first grade through highschool knowing Brent’s brother. We actually had no idea the other existed until I unknowingly joined their coed slowpitch team when I moved back to Washington after college in 2008ish. We got to know each other during post-game pitchers of beer, throwing darts (he beats me), playing mini golf (I beat him!) and attending local sporting events. Being around eachother was so easy. There still isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t laugh together.
Ashley shares a memorable moment from their ceremony:
During our ceremony we had both parent and guest blessings. It’s awesome how a group of close family and friends with a resounding “we do!” in support of our growth in marriage brings those happy tears back!
After the ceremony there was a quick cocktail hour in Ghostbar complete with their signature cocktail, King of Hearts which is a play on love and Brent’s last name, King.
This wedding was planned with their guests in mind! From this point on I will let Ashley take over and tell you all about how they made their day extra special:
We wanted our guests to be the main focus of the day. It sounds odd, but it’s true. Yes, we were the ones getting married and for sure you couldn’t miss us that day all dolled up, but there was an overwhelming humbleness that we felt when we looked at all the people in our lives who were making the trip to Vegas to celebrate with us. Not one person lived in Nevada, it was a destination for all who attended. And the only possible way to return the love we felt was to makes sure our family and friends were well-fed, well-”hydrated” and well-entertained!
Our guests made it unique for us. We had a papermache penguin cardbox that ended up with a few guests in the photobooth. Some friends were planking all over the suite, while others were nosing (a newly invented game of putting your nose on other people without them noticing… hah!). The lanes of the bowling alley turned into a dance floor! Holy sweet conga line!
My dress ripped off from long to short via velcro. We took the opportunity to use it as a WOW moment during our “first bowl” (We did not first dance. We don’t like to dance like that. So why start?) My dad “traded” me to Brent in lieu of a father-daughter dance (again, we don’t dance like that).
Ashley and Brent really made it a rockin’ party for their guests, didn’t they? And guess what, we even have some bonus advice from the newlyweds:
Prioritize your wants. Get together and work it out until you both agree. We ditched flowers, cake cutting utensils, toasting flutes, garters, etc. so we could rent a photobooth (double prints = copy for you and a favor for guests!) as well as add a videographer to capture the evening along with the photographers.
Day of, just go with the flow. It goes by fast so take time to step back and enjoy it. Have fun! Things don’t always go as planned. The DJ played the wrong music for my aisle walk, our cake topper was a no show and I partied the whole night with only one polished hot pink toe. It doesn’t matter. We laugh about it now.
Thank you so much Mike for sending this absolutely unique and fun wedding my way, and congratulations Ashley & Brent! Thank you for sharing your special day with us.
Photographer: Mike L. Photography
Event Planner: Simply Weddings by Brit Bertino
Ceremony Venue: Ghostbar @ The Palms Hotel & Casino
Reception: KingPin Suite @ The Palms Hotel & Casino
Videography: Something New Films
Hair & Makeup: Francesca Lombardo of the Bobbie Pin Beauty
Music: DJ Benny Black
Cake: Caked Las Vegas
Menswear: Tuxedo Junction
Image submission via Two Bright Lights