A Seven Magic Mountains Elopement in Las Vegas, Nevada, Packed With Cultural Details
Jessica (Jess) and SC celebrated their marriage with an intimate elopement in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple jokes that their elopement was really more of a "quasi elopement-meets-destination wedding." Jess explains that the couple "just wanted to marry each other with no frills or stress at all. We live in Minneapolis and with COVID-19 restrictions still in place at the time of the decision, we figured anyone who wanted to come could do so based on their own best judgment. Our idea was a vacation where we just happened to get married and everyone ended up making the trip out to the desert with us. The officiant said it was the biggest 'elopement' she had ever done. Over 50 people made it to the ceremony!"
"The wedding day was an absolute blast," recalls Jess. "I hung out by the pool with all my friends and SC was getting at the spa with her friends until it was time to get ready. We got ready in separate rooms and when it was time for first looks I absolutely lost it when I turned around and saw her—I'm talking about some major ugly crying. Both of our moms were there and it meant the world to have them finally meet each other. The drive out to the desert was just fine but when we stepped out onto the sand for the first time and the wind was howling...it felt unreal. The mountains in the background looked endless the sandstorms in the distance gave the ceremony such an ethereal feeling. The art installation at Seven Magic Mountains had a vibrant pop of color that perfectly juxtaposed with the muted palette the desert provided. We had no decorations, no seating, nothing at all to distract us from each other and our loved ones. It was a perfect day filled with lots of champagne."
For Jess and SC, it was important that their wedding feel like their own. As such, they did away with some wedding traditions while including others, all in an effort to create a day that truly reflected the two of them. Jess emphasizes that it's important to talk to your partner during the planning process to decide what traditions you want to include and which ones you'd rather skip. "It sounds simple, but you'll soon come to realize you don't need or want half the things traditional weddings typically have. Remove those things that don't serve you and your partner from your wedding day, and it will make room for all the cultural traditions you both cherish." For Jess and SC, jumping the broom was one tradition they chose to keep. "The origin of the phrase 'jumping the broom' came from a tradition that enslaved people practiced when they were not allowed to get married, in the 'traditional' sense. They would jump over a household broom signifying the transition into a new life together in the company of their loved ones. We wanted to pay tribute to the struggles of our ancestors that came before us, and to have our families and friends see that we could not be where we are without their love and guidance. I think it shows that," says Jess.
Fashion was another way that Jess and SC honored their heritage. Specifically, Jess chose to wear a traditional Vietnamese Áo dài. "I always wanted to wear a traditional Vietnamese Áo dài, in red and gold, just like my mom and all the other women in my family wore to their weddings. If they couldn’t be there physically, then I could have them there in spirit—in a garment that I wore so proudly that day," says Jess.
Ultimately, the couple emphasizes how important it is to do what you want with your wedding day. "Don't do stuff you don't want or care about! I can't express enough how people/media/society impose their preconceived notions about what a wedding should be. Don't invite people to the wedding out of obligation—you don't need that low-vibing energy. If you don't like cake don't get a cake because it's what you're 'supposed to do'... Get churros or gelato or bacon or whatever you actually like to eat," says Jess.