Weddingapalooza Tour Highlights: USA

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Buckle up: we’re partying in California, Nevada, and Arizona!  In the penultimate post in our wedding celebration tour series, we amp things up at the Magic Kingdom, a medieval war, Vegas, and one of the natural wonders of the world.


As detailed here, we are an international couple, and so decided to take our wedding on the road and tour like a rock band, bringing our celebrations to as many of our friends and family as possible. We dubbed this our “Weddinagapalooza” and even had t-shirts made with the tour stops on the back (yes, we like to run with a theme…). We had so much fun and I’m excited to share some of the many highlights!


1. Disneyland adventures

I haven’t been to a Disney park since I was 17 years old and it was great fun to go back as an adult and see how much things have moved on. We had a magical start, meeting up with friends just after entering the gate and a run-in with Cruella DeVille herself! She was wonderful and signed our wedding guest book jacket and complimented the leopard spots I was wearing (hands-off!).




We spent most of the day being enchanted by the new, immersive, Star Wars area of the park. It was like being in that universe, complete with a giant Millennium Falcon and other set pieces from the franchise. We waited in line at the rides in the area but had bad luck on one: it broke down THREE TIMES while we were close to the front of the queue! Later that day, we were at the turnstiles about to leave the park and thought, let’s just check the app. one last time to see if it’s open again… and it was! We ran back to get in line and this time, saw it through to the end. It was a unique experience and totally worth the hassle. A happy ending- how Disney!


Chewie wished us congratulations!


Other highlights from the day included meeting with other groups of friends in the gorgeous Californian sunshine and treating ourselves to THREE pineapple float Dole Whip ice creams! We enjoyed the chilled Jungle Cruise comedy show while we munched, and then visited the classic Indiana Jones ride for some final (and LOUD) thrills.


Immersed in Star Wars!

2. Laguna Beach party

When visiting the paradise coastline of Southern California, it’s only sensible to host a beach party!


Partying in gorgeous Laguna Beach!


This was my first visit to the very special town of Laguna Beach. Some of my favourite features were the excellent restaurants and cafes, the many independent art galleries, the stunning seafront walking paths, the dozens of little coves and beaches with different views and vibes, and meeting the official “Town Greeter” (a lovely chap who’s job is to make visitors feel welcome!).


I could get used to this!


We spent the afternoon at Treasure Island Beach, a beautiful long sandy beach, with a handy cliff that we could shelter nearby and seek out shade. We had a wonderful time with our party, soaking up the sun and going for a paddle in the cool ocean. We had a wander down the beach to eye up the incredible sea-front properties, and I happily dreamed of my career change into luxury real estate and a future starring role in “Selling the OC“. Further entertainment was provided by the seagulls who were extremely talented opportunistic thieves and attempted to make off with our entire shopping bag of snacks!


Party in paradise!


As the sun began to set we moved on to the appropriately named, Goff Cove 🤘 Here we spotted cute sea lions chilling on some rocks, yet more seabirds, and chatted with locals, one of whom was a swimmer on the US National Team- very inspiring! At sunset, we ordered cocktails at a nearby beachfront bar, ate some of the best ramen I’ve had in my life, and toasted everyone’s health and happiness- a really special day with wonderful people!


Golden hour at Goff Cove in Laguna


3. Great Western War medieval shindig

Continuing our love of themed events, we were excited to attend a medieval living history weekend in California. Great Western War is held at a picturesque lake-side site northeast of LA. This constitutes a proper “war”, with several days of large-scale armoured combat between fighters of many disciplines, plus lots of other activities.


Romans preparing for battle


As a focal point for wedding celebrations, we held an evening drinks party, kindly hosted at a friend’s very grand encampment. We decided on a “Goth” theme (both Visi- and Ostrogoths welcome), and even brought eyeliner pencils for anyone who wanted to join in more anachronistically. We planned to enhance the historical accuracy by concluding the party with a raid of a nearby Roman camp, but by that point, they’d popped over and we’d all bonded over beer, so decided on a truce!


Goth party in full swing!


This was another great opportunity to meet many of Avery’s friends and also experience a different area of the SCA, the medieval history society we are members of in the UK. Other highlights of the event included hound coursing (the dogs were so cute and absolutely loved it!), a fire-lit party with belly dancing, and a raucous comedy cabaret show on the last night- amazing!


Enjoying the gorgeous lake-side camp


4. Las Vegas Elvis vow renewal

Our week in Vegas was filled with incredible experiences; some cheesy, some silly, some very classy, and all extremely entertaining, so strap in!


Bonkers interactive art installation and puzzle experience!


We were looking forward to staying with local friends for the second half of our visit, but we spent two nights on the strip at the MGM Grand complex to kick things off. We chilled for half a day, relaxing by the pool and wafting around the enormous lazy river, before suiting up and exploring some casinos on the strip. Later that week, we spent an entire afternoon at the Omega Mart by Meow Wolf, an absolutely bonkers immersive art experience (see pic above- which only serves to create more questions than answers!). We also enjoyed a raucous Drag Brunch, attended a rum tasting with incredible close-encounter cabaret show performances, did some vintage shopping, and went to a raunchy dance stage show called “Rouge”- Viva Las Vegas, indeed!


Going to the Chapel…


Our official wedding event in Vegas was our Elvis vow renewal at the legendary, Little White Wedding Chapel. I’ve always been a big fan of Elvis thanks to my Mum’s influence and would listen to her original singles from the 1950s on our record player when I was little. Having an Elvis wedding was a (slightly embarrassing) dream come true!


This one’s going on the wall!


Elvis sang Can’t Help Falling in Love as I entered the chapel with him, arm in arm, then the Latin number, It’s Now or Never, at about halfway through, and of course, Viva Las Vegas, to see us out! The King was fantastic, both with singing and guiding the vow renewal- it was a wonderful experience. We concluded our time at the chapel with some photos and moved on to a classic diner for a wedding breakfast lunch with our guests. I had a giant BLT, fries, and a blue-coloured exotic cocktail- the full Vegas experience!


Riding our dream pink Cadillac into the sunset!


After lunch, Avery and I visited Freemont Street and the old strip area for sensory overload in the best way! We did a little gambling at a casino, which was my first time playing roulette. I found it a little confusing and highly stressful, but had fun and managed to net out even, retaining my $20 initial investment, which I was pretty happy with. We had some drinks and moved on to our evening appointment: a sunset tour of the Neon Museum, naturally!


Getting hyped on Freemont Street! 


The lot collects old neon signs from Las Vegas businesses, including a giant guitar from Hard Rock Cafe, and some really old signs from casinos in the early days of Vegas. Being a huge mid-century vintage aesthetic fan, I’d wanted to visit this museum for a long time, and happily, it didn’t disappoint. A highlight for our group was, of course, the Stardust casino sign (if you know, you know!). All partied out, we enjoyed a lovely burrito delivery at our friends’ house to conclude an extremely memorable re-wedding day!


Yes, we are both wearing Versayse….


5. The Grand Canyon


What better way to end our tour than at one of the natural wonders of the world?!  Preferring not to drive so many hours in one day, we opted to take a coach tour and sit back and relax for the journey. There were pros and cons of this and I’m not sure I’d recommend it (the 4am wake-up time being a major reason, plus the break at a pro-Trump rest stop!), but it got us there and we had a great time overall.


We drove past the imposing Hoover Dam, the beautiful (if rather low), Lake Mead, and through a Joshua tree forest on our way to the Canyon’s West Rim. This area is on Hualapai Indian Reservation land and is completely managed by the tribe. We chose this rim as it’s closest to Vegas and is very accessible with places to experience the Canyon without hiking trails, important to us as Avery was on crutches following ankle surgery just before we flew out.


Life on the edge


It was so crazy to look down and see birds flying below us!

We started with the impressive Skywalk experience: walking out on a 10ft wide horseshoe-shaped glass walkway suspended 70ft from the Canyon wall and 4,000ft above the floor. It was so crazy to look down and see birds flying below us! The views were incredible and we spent a lot of time making our way around the experience.


Tiny human, grand canyon!


We then hopped on a bus and travelled to Guano Point, another lookout area with views over both sides of the canyon and down to the green Colorado River, snaking through the landscape. We had lunch at what must be one of the most scenic picnic tables in the world, then had a short walk to take in the views at the promontory. Needless to say, the scale of the Canyon is enormous, which was brought home when we saw helicopters that looked like tiny flies descending to the floor!


Our epic tour comes to an end!


Feeling suitably awe-filled and grateful to have been put in our place as tiny, insignificant humans in the Earth’s overwhelming majesty, we boarded our coach and napped on the way back to Vegas.


Thanks for joining us on our wedding adventures! It was an incredible year of celebration and it was so lovely to be met with such positive energy everywhere we went. There is one stop that I haven’t mentioned yet that is deserving of a dedicated post: next time we’ll go to Wasteland Weekend for a wedding party after the end of the world as we know it!


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