I now pronounce you Mr & Mrs…

Dresses, Num nums, Weddings

Best Wedding Snacks!        Beautifully handmade

There is always that point in your life when everyone starts getting married, over the last quarter of a decade there has been at least one every year. But this isn’t a complaint…could I talk about everything wedding related every day?

Am I a girl who demanded her mum make her a veil and train from net curtains, repeatedly lined up all her toys along the “aisle” and wanted “being a princess” to be a full time occupation?


*** I actually have a friend whose job is being a princess! See a later post, I am so jealous ***

The most recent wedding I attended really would be at home on the pages of a wedding magazine, the level of detail and time spent creating it really was incredible.

Normal table centre pieces consist of flowers, candles or confetti, so if you’ve got beautiful flowers worthy of being a brides bouquet, what else do you need? More flowers of course!

And candles.

And heart confetti, but not just pink heart confetti, personalised heart confetti cut out of maps due to the couples love of travel.

Oh and the little bouquets were in a variety of recycled jars and bottles adorned in ribbon and lace. SO CUTE.

Fall in Love with FlowersOnce upon a timeRemember Remember

So along with the main room being beautifully decorated, the bride had also created an adorable reception room, complete with a writing desk with typed and written messages of the couples first conversation. You could follow the story of their first encounter: part 1 in the typewriter, part 2 in the notebook, part 3 in the letter and the remaining in the filed envelopes! Not only was this incredibly personal, with both of their dissertations and travel plans laid out, you ended up wanting to take the writing desk home with you!

On ANOTHER table were photographs of both sets of parents and the grandparents who couldn’t be there to share the day with them, along with a candle and a journal for guests to leave wedding messages in.

The table plan was brilliant, I have never seen this done before. It’s quite common to see tables with themed names or places, but they are usually shown on a room plan. This bride (I would like to credit the groom as well, but I fear she is the one with the artistic talent) used a map as the backdrop for the different areas/ tables written on vintage postcards and on its own looked like a work of art compiled over many years.

To Those Who Walked Before ThemMap Table PlanChic Street Snacks

And finally the food, weddings are difficult because you want to wear a nice dress but have the problem of the almost guaranteed onset of…the food baby.

If you somehow had avoided edible substances all day on account of your recently purchased dress, that fits perfectly…on an empty stomach but after you eat it becomes hard to breath in, (for the academics out there that formula is👗+🍰= 😨🐷^😩) the bride had a solution to that as well.

When hunger reaches a level that you wonder “if I eat a bit of decoration off the wedding cake, will anyone notice?”, there was a TABLE OF PICK AND MIX AND A MINITURE POPCORN MACHINE!

No girl has ever felt so happy tucking into her little box of popcorn before filling a pink striped sweet bag to her hearts content. I have now made a rule to only go to the evening events of weddings for the good of my dresses/ weight (you cannot eat a cute box of popcorn and little pink bag of sweets and feel guiltly, ONLY HAPPINESS) 😍

Las Vegas Check List and Rules

Vegas travels

So you’re going to Las Vegas, Sin City, Palace of Dreams where everything is possible, what do you after you have finished doing air pumps…

…make a rational list of course, very wise 😎 (That is the closest I can get to a smiley with glasses, Apple have been great at providing smilies of different race, sex and sexuality but can I find a smiley looking studious and wearing glasses…of course not.

Rule #1 REMEMBER YOU ARE IN A DESERT (so it doesn’t feel like it and all the hotels are air conditioned but you can’t control the climate). Sunstroke is just as bad as a hangover.

  1. Take a big sun hat (or buy one…did I mention the shops 😍)
  2. Take sunglasses (see comment above)
  3. Take (and use!) sun cream….yes I sound like my mum (red burn lines are not attractive)
  4. Take water. If you are out at a cafe you can ask for free tap water but at lots of places it is just as expensive as beer. So fill your hotel ice bucket up and let it melt to fill your water bottles the next day. (If you drink hotel tap water you will not have a Sex In The City film Charlotte moment)

Ruke #2 TAKE LOADZA MONEIES!!! You will spend money, lots of it and it will be completely worth it (how many times are you going to be in Vegas?)

5. Rough budget of ours for 7 days

  • Cirque du Soliel and other shows: $100 pp
  • Helicopter trip: $400
  • Transport: $10 a trip (monorails 24 hour pass is $12 and taxi from airport to Strip is $30)
  • Baseball tickets: $15
  • Exhibitions: $25-35 each (you can get a deal of 3 for $58)
  • Food and drink: $20 a meal (get your basics from a local shop)
  • Shopping and gifts: $$$$$$$ (that’s down to you, but if you want standard cheesy stuff go to a street store rather than getting it from the hotel for twice the price)

Total spend for 7 days: 4 shows, helicopter ride, exhibitions, food and drink, booze, transport and shopping $1,500/ £1,000

Worth every penny.

Rule #3 USE YOUR ROOM SAFE AND SLIPT YOUR CASH (each room should have a free wall safe, only take out what you need for the day and don’t keep it all in one place in case you loose your hand/hold luggage, purse/handbag or are just drunk.

6. Take a handbag with a zip top (or if you are like my friend and can totally pull it off- a bum bag!) Just because there is loads of money here doesn’t mean there isn’t poverty. If you have a bag with an open top and your valuables visible you are just being silly. Deep bags are great because everything falls to the bottom and someone needs to get past the zip and then put their whole arm in your bag without you noticing them.

Rule #4 TIP!!!! Staff don’t get paid service charge so you usually leave 20% of your bill even if you’ve just had tea and toast. With taxis just round up the total and if you’re at a bar don’t ask for change unless it’s more than $2! We took our bags up to our rooms instead of using the hotel service as we had no idea how much or how to tip!

7. Take a phone with a camera and calculator (if your phone doesn’t have this WHAT ARE YOU USING?!) Makes tipping, converting between £ and $ and divvying up the bill easy.

Rule #5 PRIORITISE (there are a million and one things to see and limited time)

8. Get a guide book, most hotels have a free one in their lobby with a map of the Strip and most of the things you can see and do. Pick your top bucket list things and work out a rough plan for the week (we thought we could walk the Strip in a day) OH NO YOU CAN’T

9. Take a camera wherever you go…and attach it to yourself as you will probably never have cause to put it away.

ABOVE ALL: ENJOY IT & GO WITH FRIENDS. Relatively responsible friends who will stop you reenacting the hangover, getting married, going bankrupt or worse. Love every second.

10. Have a place you all meet if you get lost and make sure your phones work out there so you can communicate (remember you can get lost in your own hotel)

Helicopters, Hoover Dam and The Grand Canyon

Vegas travels

Colorado River    Road to Nowhere    Grand Canyon


That’s an order, not a request- otherwise you are missing out on seeing one of the wonders of the world.

You can visit the Grand Canyon lots of ways, hiking, bus trips, skywalk, driving but if you are going to have enough energy to appreciate it and not get tired of seeing rocks and desert, there is only one way to really take it in, that’s from the sky.

Apologies for the knees…they are not mine

Middle of Nowhere    Lake Mead    Hoover Dam

There are lots of companies doing different deals but we went with the highly recommended Papillion company which will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airfield. You can do just a loop without landing but we went for champagne lunch IN the canyon itself…I mean when are you going to do that again.

Total cost $360 with lunch and transfers and I paid $50 extra for the seat next to the pilot. 100% worth it.

If you go with Papillion along with 30 minutes in the Canyon for Lunch you also see the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, lots of the Colorado River, the Google Maps official “middle of nowhere” and the ghost roads that were made to support a desert resort that was never built (someone realised that actually you’re in the middle of nowhere…IN A DESERT)

Vegas Weddings, Baseball and Harley Davidsons

Vegas travels

Vegas WeddingsLittle Chapel Little Chapel

When you think of Vegas you think of 3 things: gambling, partying and of course THOSE little church weddings. Surprisingly though most hotels have a wedding chapel they are really rather beautiful without even a hint of a fat Elvis. So you might have to venture out to find one. If you are walking to the Vegas sign there is one on the East side of the road. It was shut when we saw it but it was that perfect little chapel wedding venue…which we hate to admit but was quite pretty and intimate 💍👰🏼

Wedding car       Chauffeur Driven

If you have time I would highly recommend going to see a baseball match, the local team are the Vegas 51s and you can get a ticket for a local game for $14. Experience the real USA, the atmosphere is brilliant, you can get $1 beers and if you’re lucky catch a baseball! (Or if you’re us, just ask very sweetly for a ball from a camera man and get all the team players to sign it!).

Baseball Vegas 51s       Baseball Vegas 51s

Wouldn’t suggest walking and getting a bus to the stadium, even the locals say the area isn’t very safe so just get a taxi it won’t be more than $30. Or get the sheriff to drive you home (English charm 😜)

Harley Davidson Harley Davidson Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson Heaven…on the way to the Vegas sign on the East side, next to the Little White Chapel is a mega Harley Davidson shop. I don’t even ride a bike and I came away a little in love. It is expensive though, not just the bikes, a top is $60 so I didn’t even look how much a jacket was!

Harley Davidson       Harley Davidson Harley Davidson       Harley Davidson

Las Vegas Sights

Vegas travels

Vegas Strip      Las Vegas Sign

People say 2 or 3 days in Las Vegas is enough, so when we booked 7 days we thought we would be running out of things to do. WRONG. If you’re going to be boozing, partying and staying up all night partying then yes 2/3 days is probably all your body can take. But that side of Vegas is only one small part, there are so many more things to see and do, we were left having to prioritise to choose which things we were going to do (hence there was a roller coaster ON our hotel and we didn’t get time to go on it).

And I was travelling with girls…..organised girls, so there wasn’t even a hint of what guys do on “don’t tell the bride” and suddenly find its the final day to do things!

The Mirage Volcano      Vegas Eye

To start with, you won’t have time to go round each hotel, we picked 10 to go round and still only managed a walk into the entrance. Our main 10 were:

Caesars Palace (3,960 rooms)- opened in 1966!

Mirage (3,044 rooms)- opened 1989 ALL WE SAW OF IT WAS THE VOLACNO!

MGM Grand (6,852 rooms), Treasure Island (2,884 rooms) and Luxor (4,407 rooms)- all opened in 1993

New York New York (2,024 rooms)- opened 1997

Bellagio (3,950 rooms)- opened 1998

Paris (2,916 rooms) and Venetian (4,024 rooms)- both opened 1999

Palazzo (3,068 rooms)- only one to open this century in 2007!

Vegas Strip      Vegas Strip

So considering each hotel is huge, you can easy walk a mile in them and get lost multiple times, you’re going to be hard pressed to see them all. If seeing hotels is high on your to do list, use the monorail- saves time walking and getting distracted by all the things you see (Harley Davidson motor bike coming out a building, other hotels, show girls and Chippendales in the street, Bubba Gump bench etc etc etc)

 Harley Davidson Cafe      Show Girl and Chippendale

Bubba Gump       Cosmopolitan        Shopping Centre Chandelier

Think there are only tourist shops…WRONG. If you dont spend all your money on gambling, food and drink, shows and attractions then the shops will finally bankrupt you. Dior, Chanel, Topshop, whatever you want, you’ll find it in Vegas. Did I mention that Vegas in the home of the LARGEST H&M IN THE WORLD! And don’t even get me started on the dress shops…it was all so beautiful we put ourselves on a strict no shop entry, dragging ourselves away from each store window in a team effort. I could move to  Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops and live there for a week…OK a month- I would have to sell a kidney and blow my entire life savings BUT IT WOULD TOTALLY BE WORTH IT 😍👛💗💎👠👙👗💄👜

Shops on the Strip      Shops on the Strip

Dresses 👗💗       Dresses 👗💗       Biggest H&M Ever

If shopping is not you’re thing then there is still a million other things to see. To start with I could have spent a week just watching the shows: Cirque du Soleil is just a must, they defy gravity and physics…just spend the money and see one show at the very least (we saw KA and were so blown away we went to see Mirage, the original and the one you see in Knocked Up) 😋

We saw the Chippendales of course and apart from a room a SCREAMING women it was really fun, NOT a strip show despite the serious lack of clothing. If you are in Vegas on a hen do then you have to go, some hens get to go up on stage! And collect the free glasses (the drinks are so expensive, take as many as you can!)


If you like illusionists I recommend David Copperfield, we saw the Saturday matinee show which was cheaper and pretty incredible. It’s a little cheesy and American but you forgive him as he is utterly charming.

Still got more time? Museums, exhibitions and downtown original Vegas Strip are next on your to do list. Get deals or use a loyalty M card for discounts, these also work on shows.

Excalibur, Treasure Island and the Palazzo

Vegas travels

Excalibur        Excalibur

The Exalibur, directly south of NY-NY looks just like a Lego castle, in fact take that picture and add the Lego logo in the corner, you wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the toy shop shelves. It is grand, but not like the Bellagio, it’s fun and playful and probably the hotel most kids would pick just for the decor; turrets, battlements, suits of armour and chandeliers, it’s quite Disney. Near the South end of the Strip it’s only got the Luxor and Mandalay Bay between it and that famous Vegas sign. But you can get a free monorail from Excalibur that will take you to either one and from Mandalay Bay you can walk to the sign in about 20 minutes. A hotel with a busy but relaxed atmosphere, defiantly family friendly and perfect for your childish side that always wanted to live in a castle.

Excalibur        Excalibur        Excalibur

Treasure Island on the other hand is on the North East part of the Strip, opposite the Palazzo and Mirage with THAT volcano. Opened in the boom year of development in 1993 it is actually the second smallest of the 10 hotels we visited, with 2,884 rooms- only 60 more rooms than NY-NY. But it does not feel small. At night it feels like the heart of the Strip as all the surrounding hotels are very close to each other and gives the impression of a Disney resort, one hotel merges into the next. Your eyes will be overloaded with things to see!

And then there are those pirate ships…ok so they don’t rise out of the water anymore but are still pretty impressive! Again…go at night, the lights are just amazing.

Treasure Island      Treasure Island

Now if you are thinking, “oh but how can I pick one hotel when I want to stay in all of them?”, the Palazzo is your answer. Right next to the Venetian, so you’ve got those gondallers right outside, and there are a lot of similarities between the Bellagio and the Palazzo (sound the same, look the same, same sign, same entrance, same grandeur…I could go on). Want the shops and the architecture of Caesar’s Palace, not a problem, Grand Canal shops won’t disappoint.

But with that said, the hotel does seem to lack some identity….you can never try to be like someone and do it as well as they can (like if someone tried to remake Harry Potter, they would have the benefit of hindsight, but it would never be as good as the original). Maybe it was someone’s idea to take all the best bits from each of the surrounding hotels and amalgamate them in a new hotel as the Palazzo is the most recent builds, not opening until 2007.

Saying that, it’s still totally awesome and would blow any British hotel out of the water…

Palazzo       Palazzo

The Luxor

Vegas travels

The Luxor     The Luxor    The Luxor

The Luxor: a black Egyptian pyramid against the white desert backdrop. At first sight when driving past from the airport it seems smaller than expected…but this is Vegas, size lies; when you reach it, it is anything but small. The inside is a hollowed out pyramid with rooms all around the outer walls and a huge cavern left in the centre.

The Luxor      The Luxor

Though there is only one main room (huge empty pyramid!) the Luxor is the second largest out of the 10 hotels we visited, with 4024 rooms and completed in 1993 along with the MGM and Treasure Island. Like all the major hotels it has a Cirque du Soleil show on but what you really have to see at the two main exhibitions: Bodies and Titanic.

The Luxor      The Luxor

WARNING: the next bit is very sobering. The Bodies exhibition is the display of the human body, dissecting each system (nerves, blood, muscle, bone and skin!) so you can see each layer and all the working parts inside. You’ll think it’s fake, but no, it is all real; including a human man and woman playing sport, but with no skin 🙀😱. WARNING: THERE IS NO BLOOD, BUT IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH, DO NOT GO!

But saying that it is one of the most amazing exhibitions I have ever seen and there are not many other places in the world where the public can see every: organ, bone, nerve and muscle right in front of their eyes. Not only can you see how the body works but also see how it shouldn’t: there are examples of cancerous tumours, lungs of a smoker, liver of an alcoholic and lots more. You will leave appreciating your body a lot more and realising how fragile AND strong it is. There is a clear bin as big as a fridge for people to put there boxes of cigarettes by the smoker’s lungs, nearly full 🚬🚭

A moment of thanks is needed for those who donated their bodies to such a fantastic cause…but saying that, outside on The Strip there are a group of Chinese protesting the illegal sale of body organs. A rather sobering thought to bring you from the fairytale of Vegas back to reality. Right next door it the Titanic exhibition= mind blown.

The Luxor     The Luxor

So now you are sufficiently shocked, it’s time to make you cry… on to the Titanic exhibition. You are given a boarding card of one of the passengers and at the end get to see if you live or die 😥 It is incredibly sad, but as my friend said, this way the people are remembered and so in some way live on, you will never forget who’s boarding pass you had. Mine was Ada, traveling second class to join her family in America after her husbands death in England. She traveled with her brother in law.


He died.

She survived.

She was one of only half of the second class passengers that survived, while 1,500 perished. I hope she had a long, happy life wherever it took her. Life is precious.

The famous corridor you see in the Titanic film with dreamy Leo is also recreated, but as soon as I was standing in it every hair on the back of my neck was standing up.

You can see crockery sets, unopened bottles of champagne and items of the passengers in better condition than you would ever find in a student pad, despite the fact they are over 100 years old! Then there is the BIG PIECE, the largest part of the hull to be recovered from the sea bed, you’ll find yourself shedding a tear for titanic herself. Incredible. Eerie. Mind blowing. Unforgettable. ⚓️🚢

MGM Grand

Vegas travels

MGM Grand      MGM Wedding      MGM Wedding

The MGM Grand, the largest hotel by far with 6,852 rooms, the most impressive Cirque du Soleil theatre you may ever see as well as all the usual shops and facilities! It was built the same year as Treasure Island and the Luxor in 1993 and is part of the MGM resorts including the Bellagio and NY-NY which means you can get great deals if you sign up to the free loyalty card (M Life).

Cirque du Soleil- KA     Cirque du Soleil

What it lacks in exterior design it certainly makes up for inside…did I mention the KA theatre! KA rivalled the Grand Canyon in the OMG factor and the performers defied both gravity and physics. Paying for the best seats is defiantly worth it so ask the attendant where they suggest. If you’re there you’ve also got to see David Copperfield the illusionist, I recommend his Saturday matinee performance at 4pm as its less expensive and you don’t need the ‘meet and greet’ seats as he walks throughout the theatre.

MGM Interior      MGM Interior

MGM Interior      MGM Interior

Once you have lifted your jaw off the floor after this take a walk around the shops and rainforest cafe (with moving monkeys and alligators 🐒🐊) and go and look in the wedding chapel. It is not what you would expect. There isn’t even a hint of the cheap and trashy room you see in films with an overweight Elvis doing the ceremony. You will not be stumbling in here drunk to get hitched to your best mate. The rooms are really beautiful and the perfect place for a private service, with rooms for the bride, groom and wedding party to get ready in and lovely backdrops for photos. 👰🏼🎂💍💎

MGM Wedding Chapel      MGM Chapel

MGM Chapel      MGM Chapel

Paris…from New York…in Las Vegas

Vegas travels

Paris  Paris Entrance  Paris ExteriorParis Ceiling image

Paris, complete with Eiffel Tower and L’arc de Triomphe, it was built the same year as the Venetian and like New York New York, it’s impressive exterior fronts one of the smaller hotels out of the big 10. Paris is third smallest in front of NY-NY and Treasure Island with 2,916 rooms. The main floor is transformed into the streets and Paris and it’s a challenge not to find yourself falling in love with the place and becoming a bit of a romantic…and yes you still get proposals at this Eiffel Tower 😍🇫🇷❤️

Paris Exterior Paris Interior

Paris Interior Paris Exterior