An Intimate Courtyard Wedding at the Historic Fifth Street School in Las Vegas, Nevada

Stephanie Hicks (31 and in marketing and graphic design) and Mark Thompson (31 and an attorney) met as roommates in London while doing a work visa program and dated for a short period of time. A year later, Mark moved to Las Vegas where Stephanie was living, and the two got back together. “Eight years, two cross-country moves and several stints of long-distance relationshipping later we were living in Cleveland and Mark proposed with the ring we had designed together using the heirloom diamonds from his family,” says Stephanie. One year later to the day, Stephanie and Mark got married in Las Vegas at the Historic Fifth Street School. “My mom attended elementary school there when she was a kid, when it had been the only elementary school in 1950s Las Vegas, then a small desert town with a few casinos and ties to the nearby nuclear test site,” says Stephanie. “We wanted a space where we could hold both the ceremony and reception with more of a party atmosphere, but something that would be a surprise for our guests who would be expecting something completely different from Las Vegas.” The intimate enclosed courtyard, lined with trees and Spanish tile, is nestled in the center of the city but removed from the hectic neon scene. The color palette of turquoise, gold and red connected the retro-Vegas vibe with the stationery and wedding decor. Prior to the ceremony, the couple eliminated any pre-wedding jitters and participated in a cocktail hour with their guests before walking with all of them to the ceremony site. Adapting the format of a Quaker wedding, the couple exchanged their vows before opening the ceremony to their friends and family to come up and speak, tell a story or give well-wishes. “We wanted everyone there to be a part of it,” says the bride. “It was by far the most incredible part of the day.” The couple shared a first dance together and with their parents underneath the string-lit trees of the courtyard, and invited their guests to join them in celebrating their love.