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What Happens In Vegas written by Heather Clarke

Posted By Rebecca Eckler on May 10, 2011

Tagged: Heather Clarke, Rave

I never expected to get married in a drive-thru wedding chapel in Las Vegas.

Growing up in a Catholic family, I always thought my wedding day would include an emotional walk down the aisle of a church. A poofy princess-style dress. Flowers and candles. Family and friends. A fancy reception with dancing, a multi-course dinner and a gorgeous wedding cake.

That was before I had the unpleasant realization that weddings are freaking expensive!

When my high school sweetheart proposed, we knew we couldn’t afford to get married right away, so we decided on a two-year engagement. We started to plan, and quickly realized that the chances of affording the wedding of our dreams were looking bleak.

I got a great deal on my dream princess-style wedding dress, but the cost of venues and catering and supplies seemed astronomical. We thought of inviting just immediate family and close friends, but we didn’t want to exclude anyone. We thought of just having a cocktail-style reception, but everyone told us that would come across as cheap.

The more we planned and talked about the wedding, the more horribly stressed out we both became. About a year into our engagement, Darling Fiance finally said, “Let’s just go to Vegas or something. This isn’t worth it.” I hesitated for a minute, thinking of my dream winter wonderland wedding — that was quickly becoming a financial nightmare — and then said, “Yes! Let’s do it!”

Less than three months later, we snuck away by ourselves to Las Vegas. We rented a Corvette convertible, I put on my fancy wedding dress, and we got married in the drive-thru at A Little White Wedding Chapel. We rode a roller coaster and ate burgers and fries at In-N-Out for our reception, and then cruised through the desert in the Corvette.

It was the most perfect day.

That was almost three years ago, and we’re still so thankful we cancelled our expensive traditional wedding in favour of doing something just for us. We took a chance, rolled the dice, and ended up winning the wedding jackpot.

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Heather is a 20-something wife, mommy, and writer living in Halifax. Check out her adventures at or follow her on Twitter @Laptops2Lullaby.

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