My Two Weddings

Aug 17, 2015 by

My Two Weddings

I love weddings. I love weddings so much that I got married twice. The first time, my husband Steve and I had an elaborate church wedding. I felt like a princess as I walked down the aisle on my father’s arm. Steve was waiting for me at the altar in front of our 200 guests. During the wedding mass, I was giddy with excitement as the priest pronounced the vows that bound Steve and I together as husband and wife. We were young, we were in love… and we were married!


Twenty years later, Steve and I hopped a jet for Las Vegas and renewed our wedding vows at the Little White vegas-little-white-chapelWedding Chapel. It was a small ceremony: just the two of us, plus the minister. I sobbed through the whole thing. I think it was because I finally knew exactly what marriage was all about. Steve and I had been through good times and bad times, but I was willing to take a chance on the next twenty years. I loved Steve when I married him the first time, but I loved him even more the second time I married him. Steve is my guy, and he always will be the love of my life. It was fabulous renewing our wedding vows for the 2nd time in Las Vegas.


I love Las Vegas. Our daughter lives there now, and Steve and I often visit. It’s fun driving down Las Vegas Blvd, which makes up the famous Strip. There are plenty of wedding chapels on the Strip. Some of them are open 24/7, and a few even do drive-thru weddings. I’m not a gambler, but I love to ‘people watch‘. Las Vegas is a great town for people-watching. It’s not hard to figure out who’s there to get Las Vegas weddingmarried. One time I spotted a bride and groom being married by Elvis under the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Another time we saw a just-married couple outside Caesar’s Place. The girl, dressed in shorts, wore a tiny veil on her head, and an “I’m the Bride!” t-shirt. Her husband sported a matching “I’m the Groom!” t-shirt. The two of them were weaving down the sidewalk with large plastic glasses in hand. Obviously they’d been celebrating (it’s legal to have an open container and consume alcohol in public on the Strip). But not all Vegas brides and grooms are publicly drunk, or flaunt convention with a marriage ceremony performed by Elvis. It’s common to see brides in gorgeous gowns and grooms in tuxes emerging from gleaming stretch limos. Vegas is a town where anything can happen… and usually does.


When I decided to write a book about weddings, I couldn’t think of a better setting than Las Vegas. My women’s fiction novel, “Secrets of the Royal Wedding Chapel, combines my passion for royalty and romance with my love of weddings. The novel will be released by Booktrope Publishing on October 13, 2015. I’m excited about being able to share the new cover with you soon!


Meanwhile, what about you? Are you married? Did you have the wedding of your dreams, or did you elope? Were you married in a wedding chapel, in your parent’s backyard, or on a beach? I love all things bridal, I love weddings, and I’d love to hear from you!


  1. Deb Lerew

    My wedding was a Christmas-themed wedding at my hometown church, and we had about 100 guests. It was nice in that the church was already decorated with the Christmas tree, garlands, and poinsettias, so all I needed was to get flowers for myself and the bridal party. I went with red and white carnations with Christmas greens. My dress was long-sleeved white velvet with a sweetheart neckline edged with tiny pearls. My biggest stressor for the day was that our wedding took place two days after my final exams at seminary. In all honesty, I felt a bit pushed into marrying on that date, but I didn’t want to rock the boat. Still dealing with that character trait 14 years later.

  2. Kathleen Irene Paterka

    Deb, your Christmas-themed wedding sounds like it was absolutely gorgeous. Best of all? You picked the right man (though I’m sure God played a big part in THAT process). My 1st wedding to Steve (the wedding mass) meant so much to me, because of the spiritual aspect involved. Our 2nd wedding (renewal of vows) meant a lot in a different sort of way. P.S. I can SO relate to your ‘not wanting to rock the boat’ comment. I tend to be a ‘people-pleaser’, which drives me (and those around me) bonkers. NOTE TO SELF: it’s okay to say ‘no’. ~ Kathleen

  3. Janine Kimberley

    Kathleen, I was also young when we were married, and 2 weeks ago we celebrated our 39th anniversary. We have visited Las Vegas twice before and I have teased my husband that we should do the Elvis and Priscilla renewal of our vows (just joking). But I think it is so meaningful to renew your vows, and we are hoping to go back to Vegas for my 60th in 2017 – maybe then we may, who knows. What a lovely story Kathleen, congratulations.

    I love Las Vegas! What a pity it’s so far away from Melbourne, Australia, where I live – perhaps given notice we could meet for coffee in 2017 Kathleen, what a treat that would be

    • Kathleen Irene Paterka

      Janine, thanks for stopping by the blog to chat! Congratulations on your 39th wedding anniversary… that’s truly amazing. I wonder how many couples today do not even make it to their 9th, let alone their 39th? Steve and I will be celebrating our 35th next month, and we’re going to Hawaii for 10 days – and then stopping in Las Vegas for another few days to visit our daughter and her little guys (twin 5 yr. old grandsons). I love Las Vegas, not only because of the city’s energy and bright lights, but also because our family lives there. It’s always fun to visit. And we’re returning in December for MY 60th birthday! (see, Janine, we have something in common!). We’ll be celebrating with the entire family at the Stratosphere restaurant called TOP OF THE WORLD, then taking the ‘High Roller’ ride (largest ferris wheel in the world). Perhaps not your average ‘Vegas high roller’ trip, but when you’re with two 5 yr. olds, it’s sure to be lots of fun!

      P.S. Would love to meet for coffee in 2017! What’s a good place?

      • Janine Kimberley

        Wow, we really do have a lot in common Kathleen, and your new book sounds like fun! I will definitely be ordering that one

        You’re on! Coffee and cake in 2017! We will stay in touch and can you ask your daughter to research a great cafe for us, the locals always know the best places to go! What a great gift that will be for me

        • Kathleen Irene Paterka

          Janine, it’s a date! I’ll check with Abby and find a marvelous place for the 2 of us to get together! (PS – since I don’t touch sugar, you can have my piece of cake!) xxoo ~ Kathleen

  4. Amy Peters

    I got married on St. Lucy’s Day and we themed our wedding after that-it was also a very special author’s birthday! After a prayerful and joy-filled wedding Mass we danced the night away and sang to our birthday guest!!! I think I floated in a joy bubble all day!

    • Kathleen Irene Paterka

      Mrs. Amy ‘Christine’ Peters, I REMEMBER that day! It was very special to all of us, but what was most special was watching you and your handsome husband Seth together at last as a married couple. And yes, you DID look like you were floating in a joy bubble all day! (though truth be told, Amy ‘Christine’, the people in your life all know that you bring that joyous quality to all our lives, every single day). For that, and for your presence, we are truly blessed. xxoo ~ Kathleen