Not all Las Vegas weddings feature a singing Elvis or a Little White Wedding Chapel.
Kirsten Hodgson and Scott Thatcher knew they wanted to get married in the self-styled entertainment capital of the world – but they also wanted a classy, traditional wedding, that they’d remember for the rest of their lives.
So when they got engaged in July 2009, they began making plans for their dream day.
‘We love it over there,’ says Scott, from Gosport.
‘We wanted to do something a little bit different. We wanted a traditional wedding but I didn’t want it to be like a busman’s holiday. Because I’m a magician and I’ve been a DJ I’ve done lots of weddings.’
Romantic Scott proposed on the Orient Express on the couple’s fifth anniversary of being together and in October that year they went on their first research trip to Las Vegas to plan their wedding.
‘We went to lots of hotels but we fell in love with the Bellagio,’ adds Scott, as he reveals why they chose the venue made famous by its dancing water fountains.
‘We didn’t want to book anything by email, we wanted to do it face to face so we went back in April 2010.’
Local government worker Kirsten and children’s entertainer Scott flew out to Las Vegas last month with 25 family members and friends.
Kirsten had two bridesmaids, friends Samantha Gidney and Sarah Bridges, and Scott’s best man was friend David Boxall.
The wedding party had a few days in Las Vegas to sort out all their last minute arrangements and soak up the Nevada city’s famous casinos and four-mile boulevard, called The Strip.
‘We had the rehearsal and it was really emotional,’ adds Scott.
‘We were all in tears. The next day there was still the same emotion but it was also a joy-filled day.’
Kirsten and Scott left the wedding room to the sound of Elvis Presley’s famous hit, Viva Las Vegas, and had their photos taken. Their guests headed for the Paris Las Vegas Hotel where they enjoyed cocktails and canapes as they waited for the new Mr and Mrs Thatcher to arrive.
The wedding breakfast was held in the hotel’s Eiffel Tower restaurant and Scott sang his own personalised speech to the tune of the Rat Pack classic Mack the Knife.
The newlyweds arrived back in Gosport and celebrated their wedding all over again with a party for friends and family who couldn’t make it at the HEDCA centre.
And half-way through their first dance Scott had arranged for two surprise guests, pictured below, to join in with the fun.
Stavros Flatley – the father and son duo who found fame after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent – were there to share the dancefloor.
‘Kirsten didn’t know anything about it,’ adds Scott.
‘The father Demetri came out and kissed Kirsten and did his little dance and then the son, Lagi, came out and did his dance and then me and Kirsten danced with them. Everyone was just gob-smacked. They were brilliant, really down-to-earth.’
Scott and Kirsten, who met at a speed dating event, will spend their honeymoon in Mexico.