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Colleen Kestel-Raidmae, Aria wedding chapel director: Creating dream weddings — Las Vegas style

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The Aria wedding chapel.
By Colleen Kestel-Raidme

The bride's room at the Aria wedding chapel.

Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach is in London before his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, the Amalfi Coast this year — many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue with Colleen Kestel-Raidmae, director of The Wedding Chapel at Aria.

I’m Colleen Kestel-Raidmae, the director of The Wedding Chapel at Aria, which just started making wedding dreams come true in April. I’ve worked in the wedding industry for many years and have had the opportunity to meet couples from around the world — each looking for something a little different, but all wanting an only-in-Vegas experience.

At Aria, we’ve created a contemporary, sophisticated and totally glamorous way to tie the knot Vegas-style. Our chapel is a boutique wedding experience with the bonus of being surrounded by the amenities, resources and luxury offerings found in the AAA Five Diamond Aria. With one exclusive chapel at the resort, couples have the place all to themselves, and our wedding coordinators act as personal concierge to make sure all those little details are covered.

The chapel seats 60 guests, allowing for an intimate and romantic setting. Each side of the wedding party benefits from private quarters where they can prepare for the big moment. The bride’s dressing lounge has a private bath and wall-length mirror for hair and makeup touch-ups, while the groom can relax in a private game lounge fully equipped with its own pool table and wet bar.

For the ceremony, each bride can tailor her event to reflect her taste and personality. The lighting can be customized to match the wedding party’s color palette, and flowers can be ordered from Aria’s incredible floral team. Loved ones won’t miss out the big day if they aren’t able to attend — the ceremony can be broadcast live via the Internet. We’ve truly gone out of our way to make sure that all the little touches are considered.

The groom's room at the Aria wedding chapel.

We’ve created wedding packages that offer endless possibilities by integrating the resort’s award-winning architecture, dining, entertainment and spa options. Along with The Wedding Chapel, couples can have their ceremony at a number of gorgeous locations throughout the resort, including poolside, at The Spa at Aria’s fireside lounge, inside The Gallery featuring Dale Chihuly and in front of the resort’s 270-foot-long water wall, Focus.

Receptions can be anything from an intimate dinner party at one of our award-winning restaurants, or, if the couple is ready to party, they can choose one of Aria’s nightlife venues, such as Haze Nightclub, to dance the night away. We have rehearsal dinners covered, too, and I think Jean Georges Steakhouse, Tetsu or Julian Serrano would be a perfect fit.

If any of our couples want to relax before the big day, The Spa & Salon at Aria offers special packages designed specifically for the bride and groom. The Spa can make brides glow at the altar with the Bridal Diamond Facial, which is a gemstone massage, and skin treatment featuring eye, lip and décolleté enhancement masks. The groom and his entourage can opt for a Royal Shave or one the Salon’s other made-for-men treatments.

If any of our couples need new ensembles for the big day, jewelry, tuxedos, dresses and more can be found at Crystals. Practically every major designer, including Harry Winston, Jimmy Choo, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna and Tom Ford, are only a few steps from Aria.

Our team has access to an incredible array of luxurious offerings and can create for couples the “I do” of their dreams. We look forward to making many wedding wishes come true!

Check out our other guest columns today from The Mirage headliner Terry Fator and his wife Taylor Makakoa and “Bar Rescue” host Jon Taffer.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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