Monday, July 7, 2014

Shark Reef Wedding Reception in Las Vegas

Wedding Reception in The Shark Reef, Las Vegas!

My husband and I have been to our fair share of boring weddings- and from the first day of the wedding planning process, we knew that our wedding had to be over the top, unique and most of all- FUN! Planning a destination wedding has its pros and cons, but overall, it really depends on the type of couple you are and what type of wedding you want. For us- having a vintage travel themed wedding made it easy to decide that we needed a out of town, worth-the-travel type of venue for our reception! 

After searching high and low, on and off the strip- we stumbled upon a brand new venue. The SeaScape Ballroom, located in the Shark Reef of Mandalay Bay was gorgeous, unique and breathtaking! In fact- it was SO new that we were the first wedding to have a DJ in the Shark Reef! The good news was- the sharks loved our music! 

Photos of us Before the Reception in the Shark Reef:


All of our guest were escorted through the shark reef to the ballroom right after the ceremony, HOWEVER- all of the curtains in front of the Shark Reef windows were down- which appeared to just be plain walls! 

Our Grand Entrance/First Dance was absolutely one of the BEST parts of our entire day! We planned it our strategically with our wedding planner and I love how it was executed! For our Bridal Party, the DJ started by playing the theme song to Jaws to help draw the crowd's attention to the doors. Everyone was laughing so hard! After everyone was introduced, it was our turn!

Our first dance song was to Cirque du Soleil's Beatles LOVE's version of Octopus' Garden. 

During our first dance, the curtains were slowly raised to reveal the hidden windows looking into the sunken ship inside the Shark Reef!! The song was perfect! In this version, they slow down Ringo's voice and add some bells- perfect for raising the curtains to! I can cry just thinking about it- everyone was shouting out things like, "WOW!!! LOOK AT THAT!! OMG!!". I looked at my husband- both of us gleaming from ear to ear. We knew we did this right! The song was fun to dance to as well! After about a minute, we invited all guest to come dance with us. When the song ended, the DJ blended it into Jack Johnson's Never Fade- to allow for some slow, romantic dancing of course! :)

I'd like to be Under the Sea- in an Octopus' Garden with you. 

I'd ask my friends to come and see, an Octopus' Garden with me. 

We would sing and dance around- because we know we can't be found!

The Details and DIYs:

Being that this was a destination wedding, I tried to keep my DIYs to a minimum because traveling in the heat with breakables and bedazzled items just doesn't work. Please visit our DIY post to see more details about these. Here are some of the items I made to fit our vintage travel theme: 

The Programs:
I made them by hand- with the idea of a passport. These included photos of us, piano song selection, bridal party, family and a memorial section. I got the suitcase rentals from Nostalogical Rentals in Vegas. She was awesome to work with! 

Escort Cards: I made these as well. I bought the papers (travel themed) from Hobby Lobby and the vials from Specialty Bottles. These  were fun and appropriate for our location!

 Table Letters: These were a very last minute project (I work best under a tight deadline!). I had the cardboard paper mache letters in my closet and some gold paint. I decided to paint them gold and decoupage pictures of the two of us on the sides. These were a big hit and I will use them in our (one day) baby nursery. 

The Food and Cake:

We had a 3 tier cake with a harvest spice sponge cake with pumpkin mouse filling. It was so delicious! The middle tier had a chocolate sponge cake with a pecan caramel mouse filling. Guest got to choose which flavor they wanted- the pumpkin went the fastest!

The desserts were great! These were all ours! In addition- we also had a milk and cookie station where a chef and oven sat in the corner baking fresh cookies for our guest. We had chocolate chunk and caramel pecan. These were accompanied by fresh glasses of milk. Guest loved them and the room smelt like cookie heaven! 

The SeaScape Ballroom:

In these photos, you can see what the ballroom looks like. In addition to the room, we also had a patio- where we had the buffet line, bar and photo booth. We kept the desserts, cookie station and DJ inside- and there was plenty of room! (We had 43 guest, plus us = 45 people). 

Additional Photos from Our Guest using #drewkari

Thank you for viewing our wedding blog!
To use our wedding photos in other blogs, websites or publications, please contact Kari at  for permission and access to high resolution photos. 

We appreciate all inquiries and questions. 

Vendor Information: 

Best Contact for Future Event / Wedding Inquiry: Jaimie Zimmerman
*Flowers and All Food Items Were Provided by Mandalay Bay*

Photography / Cashman Photo
Hair and Makeup / Perfect Hair and Makeup
Vintage Rentals (suitcases, Centerpieces, Vintage Items) / Nostalgia Resources
Photo Booth / Party Pix of LV
Gold Table Cloth and Coral Napkin Rentals / Creative Coverings
Wedding Dress & Veil / Davids Bridal Style: WG9821 
Men's Suits / Mens Wearhouse: Vera Wang Collection
Bridesmaids / F14865 in Coral Reef 
Jewelry / Charming Charlies
Shoes / Payless Comfort Plus + E6000 Glue + Pearls + Rhinestones 


  1. One of my cousin’s is going to tie the knot in August this year and sought my help in finding a good wedding reception venue for his wedding. Now I realize how difficult it can be to find a venue within your budget.

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