The limousine from the wedding chapel was supposed to pick us up at 4:30 p.m., so we didn't have a lot of time to get ready. Fortunately I was having a good hair day, so all I had to do was put on my dress and shoes and apply a little extra makeup. My husband had bought a new shirt to wear with his suit, but he hadn't tried it on in the store and of course it didn't fit. We wrangled a bit about the desirability of his standard of dress complementing mine and he eventually chose another shirt to wear with the suit.
Our friends, K. and her husband M., called to say they were running late, but we weren't sure what would happen if they didn't make it to the hotel by limo time, so I urged them to try to stay on schedule. We ended up down in the lobby early and it didn't take long for me to realize that the high-heeled sandals I had on, while very pretty, were going to be foot-killers.
I eventually had to call the wedding chapel because the limo never arrived. Someone there had apparently mislaid our cell phone numbers, so our ride arrived closer to 5:00. We enjoyed a lovely nighttime tour of Las Vegas on our way to the oddly-named but phone book optimized A Elvis Wedding Chapel, which I'd found online and chosen despite their website. (Actually, even the fancier chapels had cheesy websites - I think it's an occupational hazard.)
I'd deliberately chosen the short ceremony: two songs from Elvis and the renewal of vows ceremony. Sure, the whole Elvis thing is kitschy and fun but enough is enough.
We decided to have Elvis walk me down the aisle, which he did while singing a variation of "Love Me Tender." He then conducted a fairly straightforward vow renewal ceremony, followed by an second set of vows drawn from Elvis song lyrics ("I promise to never treat you like a Hound Dog," etc.). At one point during the ceremony, I caught my heel in the hem of my dress and it quickly became evident that discreet wiggling was not going to get it loose. Preserved forever on the videotape of the ceremony is the sight of me awkwardly hopping on one high-heeled foot as I free my heel right in the middle of the ceremony. Heh.
After all the vows, Elvis sang "Viva Las Vegas" and pulled us and our guests into a kick line. I'm uncoordinated and klutzy at best and there was no way I was going to be able to spontaneously start a Rockette-style dance routine in a floor-length gown. Even if the lyrics were, "Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot," I'd probably still be opposite of everyone else. Thus, I kind of just shifted awkwardly from side to side during the whole song. I'm sure I look really stupid on the video (which I haven't watched yet.)
Anyway, here's what you would have seen had you been among our guests during the main ceremony:
(You didn't think I'd sacrifice my anonymity that freely, did you?)
After the limo took us back to our hotel, K. and M. retrieved their rental car and we all went to the Sahara to kill time before our dinner reservation at the Top of the World Restaurant in the Stratosphere. At the Sahara, I put $1.00 in a "Wayne's World" themed slot machine and won $10.00, which I immediately cashed out. It was my biggest win of the trip.
We decided to have a drink in the lounge and were treated to a performance by Lena Prima, daughter of the late Louis Prima. She and her band were quite good, but her entire act consisted of songs her parents had recorded (her mother sang in her father's band), reminiscences about her parents, home movies, photos, TV show clips, etc. Her entire professional life is the equivalent of a visit to elderly friends of the family that never, ever ends. I couldn't help wondering whether, deep down, she enjoys or resents her act.
We had a lovely dinner at Top of the World and the view was indescribably spectacular. The entire dining area of the restaurant rotates about one revolution per hour, so we got to see all of the lights of Las Vegas as our meal progressed. It was a delightful end to a full and satisfying day.
Tomorrow: Can we please just go home now?