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“I DO”

ONE MORE TIME?

By Carolyn Kaiser
Photos by Cassandra Pikul

WE’RE IN VEGAS, BABY!

We don’t gamble. We’re too old to carouse. What else is there to do in Sin City, USA?

You get married — or remarried, whichever makes sense.

Once we decided to “I Do” it again, we immediately slipped into the “Snap On the Old Ball and Chain” blues. Yes, after 27 years together, Frank and I suddenly got the prenuptial jitters. Jeez! You’d think after seven weddings between us, we’d have it down pat by now.

A word of explanation: Until Frank came into my life, I recycled husbands every five years, whether I needed to or not.

Frank is my fourth. I’m his third. Which adds to seven, hence getting hitched again would make my fifth, his fourth — nine between us. You’d think we were running for a world record.

Remind me to check into that.

OUR WEDDING CHAPEL

Once we decided to again tie the knot, the question was, “Where?”

A quick check of the Las Vegas Yellow Pages revealed 36 chapels just under the letter “A.” And that didn’t even include drive-throughs. (Can you imagine?)

We asked around. Turns out a local favorite for tying the knot is Little Chapel of the Flowers. It’s right on The Strip, not far from our hotel. Not that it mattered; they sent a stretch limo for us.

October 8, 2007, was a magical day.

I had called in advance to advise our “personal wedding coordinator” that I would be wearing blue, so the florist created a bouquet of three white roses surrounding blue violets. Frank wore a white rose with two tiny violets on his lapel. Blue ribbons on my bouquet exactly matched my wedding attire.

We looked great for a couple of tourists of a certain age who obviously had done this before. Last time was on a tall ship just off Key West at sunset.

Truth be told, we’ve heard the Wedding March so often, it has become “our song.”

WHERE’S ELVIS?

Frank summoned all his fortitude and bravely marched down the aisle with me hanging on to his arm, shaking. Was he looking for an escape route? Was it my imagination, or was that aisle a mile long? Would we make it to the preacher? Does it ever get easier?

At least we had each other to hang on to.

We had fancied getting married by Elvis. Do ya promise to give her a hunka-hunka burnin’ love? Talk about romantic! And, of course, we wanted to shock the children and give the grandkids something to show and tell about at school.

Alas, Elvis was not in the building.

The happy groom>>>

Our minister met with us earlier to discuss our recommitment ceremony. We insisted that it would not include lot of promising to obey, as neither of us would be successful at that, so he created a beautiful ceremony that began with “After 27 years, you have come here to recommit your lives to each other...”

We looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and smiled.

SURPRISE GUESTS

Five members of a tour group we’d just left, also spending several days in Vegas after the tour, joined us. We had a maid of honor, best man, and a great cheering section. Wow, what a terrific surprise!

VIVA LAS VEGAS

All in all, it was one of my better weddings. What a great way to let the one you love know you’d be proud to marry him/her all over again — by doing just that. Newlyweds again, we’re back home in Florida on our honeymoon. But that is another story!

THE NITTY-GRITTY

A Vegas Affair: I’d never been to Vegas before. Frank hadn’t been there since 1975 when he worked an orthopedic surgeon’s convention for his advertising client, Velcro. Everything was much cheaper back then. And like back then, your odds are better downtown than on The Strip.

Getting remarried in Las Vegas couldn’t be easier or more fun. Hundred of chapels offer everything from drive-throughs where you don’t even leave your convertible, to elaborate tropical sets, theatrical lights, fog effects, Hula dancers, even Elvis serenading you live with his most famous hits. You can even get hitched on the floor of the Grand Canyon!

At Little Chapel of the Flowers, ministers spend time getting to know every couple, then custom design each ceremony. The entire affair is videotaped from beginning to end. Best of all, you leave with your wedding DVD in hand. Still photos are taken as well.

Costs: Ours was $295 plus tax. Prices range from $199 to $3,495. Intriguing bonus: Little Chapel of Flowers offers free renewal of vows to any couple who has been married there at any time during their 50 years on the Las Vegas Strip.

Contact Info: Little Chapel of the Flowers, call 800.843-2410, or e-mail at info@littlechapel.com

HONEYMOON IDEAS

We enjoyed three Vegas shows while we were there.

Blue Man Group. Be prepared for one of the most outrageous evenings you’ll ever spend. Afterward, get you own Blue Kiss. We dare you!

An Evening at La Cage. Arguably, the most accomplished female impersonators in the world, highlighted by Frank Marino as Joan Rivers. You’ll see and hear Cher, Bette, Barbra, Judy, Joan, Celine, Madonna and more. Sans cellulite. Enough to make a old girl weep.

Cirque du Soleil. We enjoyed the original, Mystère, combining the powerful athleticism, high-energy acrobatics and inspiring imagery that has become the company's hallmark. There are currently five Cirque shows on The Strip. The only challenge is choosing one. Or two.

Off The Strip

As avid amateur photographers, we thoroughly enjoyed Adventure Photo Tours half-day photo tour of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Breathtaking 3,000-foot tall, multi-colored cliffs (which are ancient sand dunes). Includes "Howard Hughes Ranch" Tour. $89/person.

Get More Info Here: Las Vegas Tourist Bureau, Call 800-777-8342, or go to http://www.lasvegastouristbureau.com/

© Copyright 2007 — Frank Kaiser


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