Part 8 – Nuptials, interrupted

So, the readers were almost left standing buy the altar… Sorry about that. Quite fitting, actually, for this was exactly where we all were at the end of the previous chapter.

Well, “the altar” was shaped as a McDonald’s drive-through window, and we were frying our asses on hot bikes trying to get to it through The Tunnel of Love of the Little White Wedding Chapel, waiting for the photographer/camera man (who must have been suffering even more than us, sweltering in a suit and tie in the full afternoon Vegas heat) to give us a sign to move on. The obvious minus of the drive through wedding was the need to be outdoors for the occasion, instead of enjoying the air-conditioned indoor environment… On second thought, we probably should have gone for the “Michael Jordan Package” instead of the “Biker’s Special“, but it was too late to change the theme…

Ready to tie the knot

Anyways, apparently, the heat was making itself known not only to us, and the ceremony got delayed by a bit of an unplanned drama. Waiting for the camera man’s sign, we had a good view of the wedding gang, assembled on the curbside by the drive-through window, and could not miss the sight of the San Francisco Sean slowly fainting down the chapel’s wall into an oblivion. Now, that was officially weird – one moment he was there smiling and waving at us to move on, and the next one he was being carried inside by the Chapel‘s helpful staff… The camera guy was all confused, the guests were in a disarray, and me and Nic simply could not move away from our hot bikes. Well, it isn’t a proper wedding if somebody does not pass out!… This will definitely sound wrong, but thank you, Sean, for adding this unforgettable piece of drama to the occasion!

After the ceremony we were filled in on his unforgettable experiences in the Chapel, and the events that for better or worse forever earned him the nickname of “Sean of the Dead“. Apparently, when he came around after having been supplied with much needed liquids in a refrigerated environment, Sean found himself in an unfamiliar and rather unsettling situation. He was in a strange, cold and brightly-lit place, and all he could see in the haze of coming back from no-man’s land was a young (i.e. pre- stretchy white jump suits) version of Elvis walking around with a cell phone glued to his ear, saying in a thick Southern accent “Yeah, man, yeah, I’ll take the gig!” Sean seriously thought he died and gone to Heaven, for where else would you encounter Elvis arranging his schedule on the phone in front of you?…

Back to The Tunnel of Love. Sean emerged from the insides of the Chapel with a shell-shocked look (the later Elvis update explained that), the camera man waved, and we rode the remainingĀ 10 meters to the drive-through altar and soon-to-be nuptial bliss. The minister on duty was Reverend Anthony Mayberry, who could easily double up as an uncle in any American sitcom – homey, smiley, instantly likeable and comforting. We met him about ten minutes earlier, when he very considerately inquired about our preferences and religious inclinations, and reassured us that it was absolutely OK to not have any. Apparently, his speech had the “by the power of God” line in it, and he wanted to make sure we would be OK with it. We seriously could not care less! Jane and Seany had to roll the dice as to who would sign the register (turned out, the State of Nevada only requires one witness). Jane got the register, and Seany got the rings. All others were just happily shooting photos and waiting for the big event.

At the altar

On a separate note, I have to say that The Little White Wedding Chapel is undoubtedly a mass-producing wedding factory. While we were getting ready for our drive through, two more couples were exchanging their vows in the chapel – one in the gazebo, being serenaded by Elvis, and the other at the alter inside – and two more wedding parties were waiting for their turn in the lobby. All this said, everyone we met at the Chapel was exceptionally attentive, personable, and made us feel absolutely special. There was none of that impatient “Ok, next!” vibe you often get at venues of mass celebrations – hats off to all the staff of the Chapel, they were the height of professionalism and consideration!

The wedding gang – the Vegas moment

The nuptials were over much faster than the preparations – a fast and warm speech by Reverend Mayberry later we were officially married! We parked the bikes around the corner, came back inside the Chapel (thank God!) for a round of photos, and ten minutes later were all but ready to drag our sweaty married asses back to the hotel. We found our way back to the Treasure Island, where after a quick “shit, showered and shave” the gang was ready for the party in no time.

Dinner with a view

The rest of the evening was a whirlwind of toasts, celebrations and irresponsible fun. It started with a limo ride to the Hard Rock Hotel, where we hit the bar and thoroughly enjoyed our first drinks of the day. Drinks were followed by a long and fabulous meal hand-picked by Thomas at the restaurant of same hotel. Having undoubtedly left a serious dent in their supplies of Malbec, shortly after midnight all 11 of us, well fed and lubricated, landed in a nearby dive bar on one of the shady Vegas back alleys.

The drink of the night

The Double Down Saloon was everything the night called for – an iconic clubhouse for the lunatic fringe and the self-proclaimed “happiest place on earth” with Ass Juice being the signature drink of the establishment. We felt right at home! Even though the toilet doors did not close and called for guards outside, in addition to great music, the place boasted an old-fashioned photo-booth. After a couple rounds of alcoholic beverages, paired with several rounds of shots of an even higher alcoholic content, the photo booth was in great demand. Not only was it a great place for doing shots at, you could also sing and lap dance there, without any risk of getting charged for indecent exposure for either, and get pictures to remember the event by! We made instant friends with a bunch of rough-looking bikers at the bar who turned out to be from the boondocks somewhere in Germany, drank the bar dry of Ass Juice, sang along to punk rock classics and took tons of shady photos in the booth. It was an epic beginning of a lifetime of bliss!…

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