Music has always been a big part of my life.
My father is one of those young dads.
He was twenty when I was born in 1971.
Because of his young age, my young life was submerged in the music that he loved.
One of those music loves was Elvis Presley.
My mom's sister, Jeanne, was a huge Elvis fan as well.
She even saw him live in concert not too long before he died.
Something I was always jealous of...come on, ELVIS! She saw THE Elvis!
In college my group of girlfriends were huge Elvis fans as well.
We knew the words to all of his songs and weren't afraid to belt them out at large decibels from our house on 916 Hovey Ave.
Graceland has been visited by all of us.
Las Vegas has been a travel destination for many of us since it's the land of Elvis Impersonators.
It's always fun to ride in an elevator next to a guy with huge sideburns and extra wide, dark sunglasses while trying not to snicker because Elvis is standing next to you.
I met Chad in the Fall of 1999.
We had a quick courtship and knew we wanted to do something out of the ordinary for our wedding.
We didn't have a lot of money so we knew we wanted to combine our wedding with a honeymoon.
A two for one deal.
Las Vegas sounded like the right place for us.
And when you think of Las Vegas and weddings you usually also think of Elvis.
It was decided.
We would get married in July in Vegas by Elvis.
Why we decided on July is beyond me.
Wait, I do remember...
my mom kept telling me "this date and that date won't work for me because of work."
So, the middle of July in the desert it would be.
I later remember declarations of "MY EYES ARE BURNING OUT OF MY HEAD!" from wedding guests because of the intense heat of the day.
Don't get married in the desert in July people.
This being the era before smart phones, we had to use a fax machine to get copies of restaurant menus from various places in Vegas for our "after the ceremony dinner."
We called and emailed a few different Elvis wedding places.
We picked the right place.
It was off of the strip and seemed like a real genuine place.
It was family owned and as I sit here and write this, I know we picked the very best spot.
Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel was where our wedding was held.
Thirty members of our family and friends made the trip to Las Vegas to be with us on our big day.
My niece was five years old at the time and since I wasn't going to have a flower girl, she instead became the camera girl.
She was in charge of handing out disposable cameras to each guest...remember this was before smart phones.
My girlfriend Tina stood up with me and Chad's brother Chris stood by his side.
I wore a black dress, 'cause I'm unconventional like that, and Chad wore shorts.
Elvis was great! (Elvis was the owner, Ron, and a super great guy.)
He sang three or four songs ( I forget the exact number now since it went down in 2000 and the heat of that day melted some of my brain away.)
He ended the ceremony with Viva Las Vegas and had the arm swings, lip curl, and leg lunges to go with it.
His white sequin suit filled the room with sparkles and was only overshadowed by the large amount of laughing, singing, and cheering by our guests.
My source of support in what has become a difficult journey in our days as parents.
He makes me laugh and doesn't care when I fart in bed.
Well, he may care about that.
But all I have to do is starting singing Viva Las Vegas and all is forgiven...
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