Annah Cuthbert and David Fairservice
Wedding Date: September 18, 2015 | Location: Las Vegas, USA
Annah Cuthbert and David Fairservice first met in Dubai through mutual friends over a decade ago. Annah was 16 at the time and visiting her family while on holiday from boarding school in England. After bonding over their love of metal music on New Year’s Eve, and with nobody to share a midnight moment, David stepped up to the plate. The two then went their separate ways only to rekindle the romance via Facebook messages weeks later and over the next 10 years their love knew no bounds, enduring long distance stints in various countries, from London to Los Angeles, where Annah spent three years studying before moving back to her hometown of Dubai.
David popped the big question on a surprise whirlwind trip to California. At 4am one jetlagged morning, the pair drove up to the Hollywood sign and as an unsuspecting Annah took selfies David knelt down on one knee, presenting his fiancé-to-be with a diamond ring. “It was such a surprise,” says Annah. “We’re both terrible at keeping anything from one another, so this moment, along with the secret trip, which he’d been planning for months, made for an incredible memory.”
Returning to their jobs in Dubai , the pair waited several years before sitting down to plan their nuptials. After going back and forth with their families on wedding locations, they decided to tie the knot in Las Vegas. David recalls: “While Annah was living in California I would often visit and we would enjoy amazing road trips – Vegas quickly became a favourite. It also meant her America-based friends could be there for the big day.”
But Annah’s parents, who had envisaged something much more traditional, needed convincing. “They were not thrilled with our location choice at first,” Annah admits, “I think my mother had visions of a Britney Spears-style elopement. But after penning a 2,000 word letter they were soon on board and eager to experience Sin City!”
As the time difference between Dubai and Nevada is nearly 12 hours, it made planning tricky, so David enlisted wedding coordinator Paulina Clute who quickly transformed their ideas into reality through regular Skype calls. The night before the big day David’s parents threw a cocktail party at the Bellagio Hotel overlooking the famous fountains. “This was a wonderful occasion for all our guests who had travelled so far to get to know one another,” says Annah. Rebutting any Vegas traditions of little white chapels and Elvis impersonators, the couple opted for an elegant evening ceremony in The Wynn Hotel & Resort’s beautiful garden courtyard.
As the evening fell into twilight, Annah’s father Neil escorted her down the candle-lit aisle to The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun while 40 of their closest family and friends looked on. After the short but sweet nuptials, the newlyweds made their exit to the sounds of Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed and Delivered as they were showered with fresh flower petals.
Post-ceremony, guests enjoyed bubbly and live music by childhood friend Tim Hassel, before being transported to the after-party in limo buses. The bash was held in a glamorous penthouse overlooking the glittering Vegas skyline. There the guests were greeted with champagne, a cocktail station and delicious bites. “We wanted to continue the party vibe, so opted out of holding a traditional wedding dinner. They kept guests entertained with a DJ, dancing and an in-suite poker croupier.
The lovebirds did adhere to a few wedding traditions though. “To kick things off, we had several speeches and the all-important cake cutting. The whole experience was incredible and has rewarded us with memories for life,” says Annah.
Venue: Inspired by their favourite film, Casino directed by Martin Scorsese, the couple decided to elope to Sin City along with their nearest and dearest for a fun-filled trip. The ceremony took place at The Wynn Hotel & Resort’s Wedding Salon in a private courtyard under the stars. Post-ceremony, the guests jumped into limo buses to take them to the after party, which was held in a penthouse suite at Palms Place.
Number of guests: Just under 40 close friends and immediate family.
Dress: After countless months of searching, Annah found her dream dress on a shopping trip to London. Over a dozen bridal shops later and Temperley London in Mayfair delivered the perfect little white dress.
Veil: Custom-made at The Bridal Room.
Shoes: Silver heeled sandals found at Level Shoe District in The Dubai Mall.
Unique touches: In pure Vegas fashion, Annah topped off her frock with a custom white leather jacket emblazoned with ‘Bride’ in silver studs.The jacket custom embellished at Deepa’s in Satwa.
Wedding rings: Both the engagement ring and wedding bands were made to order at Cara Jewellers in the Gold & Diamond Souk.
Bridesmaids: Annah opted out of the bridesmaid tradition as every girl there was a close friend, instead just her elder sister Olivia was the maid of honour.
Flowers: The wedding bouquet was a simple mix of white garden roses and green berries synched with matching ribbon.
Music: DJ Santos provided rock ‘n’ roll classics throughout the bash featuring Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel and Aerosmith, before moving onto to the birde and groom’s heavy metal favourites like Metallica and Marilyn Manson.
Food: Continuing the Las Vegas party atmosphere, mini gourmet versions of all their favourite comfort food was served, including bite-sized Kobe beef burgers, Caesar teaser salad cups, tiny bruschettas and a grilled cheese sandwich station, offering six different types of toasties with European cheeses – a deal breaker for the bride!
Cake: A two-tier red velvet cake coated with cream cheese icing topped off with edible metallic flowers and a glitter-dipped ‘Just Married’ sign.
Suite favours: As most of the guests were flying in from afar to attend the wedding, Annah and David put together a special welcome package which included a series of fun treats like a bloody mary mix, mints, Asprin, American flag sunglasses, monogrammed playing cards and printed itinerary.
Honeymoon: The newlyweds hired a classic red convertible and hightailed it down the freeway to LA where they stayed in a rented Hollywood Hills home for 10 days. Next stop? New York City.
Standout moment: For Annah, the hour she spent in her bridal dressing room nervously sipping bubbles and anticipating her walk down the aisle, surrounded and supported by her parents, siblings and closest childhood friend Victoria.
ANNAH’S TOP TIPS
1. If you plan on holding an overseas wedding look into booking either a full-time planner or a wedding coordinator to bring your ideas together and take your dream from concept to completion. Having someone we trusted like Paulina on the ground really helped us, especially with international time differences and securing vendors in person.
2. Start looking for your dress as soon as possible. I found that I was only able to truly picture our wedding and all the details once I could envisage what I’d be wearing.
3. Make a list of what you want to save and splurge on. As we had a small guest count, a towering six-tier cake seemed frivolous, whereas our guests love a cocktail, so we spent the extra dirhams on providing a variety of different bar favourites.
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Wedding Planner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ceremony Consultant: email@example.com
Hair & Make-up artists: lasvegaswedding-makeup.com
Itinerary and menu printing: paperandhome.com