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Most married couples will tell you it felt like they knew each other their entire lives when they first meet but in the case of Danika and Derek, they actually did. The two grew up together in the small town of Manitoba and began dating the summer of 2009. Being typical teenagers, Derek would sneak out of his basement after curfew to go see Danika and they would watch movies or talk under the stars. After high school, Danika went off to college and Derek played hockey so they went through the rigors of a long distance relationship together. These formative years would show them just how much they needed each other, sometimes traveling through the night just to get to spend a day with each other.
The couple finally reunited and after another 5 years of bliss together, Derek popped the question on an ordinary Tuesday while watching TV. “He went down on one knee with the bowl of popcorn and the ring inside and made me the happiest person in the entire world!” said Danika. They quickly told friends and family and started discussing going to Vegas to make it official. They had always loved Vegas and this would make their fourth trip together. They were ready and excited to be married and liked the stress free aspect of going away and the ability to do things quickly!
Danika only had 6 weeks to find a dress before the wedding but lucked out, finding the perfect dress at NWL Contemporary Dresses in Regina, Saskatchewan. It was the first dress she tried and on and it was love at first sight. She looked radiant in this lace top dress with nude underlay and a perfect flowy skirt for that romantic desert feel. She completed the look with a hair pin that was made of pieces from her mom’s wedding veil from 30 years ago.
They went the traditional route and didn’t see each other before the ceremony. It was a very special moment for both of them and they were beaming! “It was a perfect moment!” exclaimed Danika. After their gorgeous ceremony at the Red Rock Canyon Overlook, they headed over to Pampas Las Vegas for the reception. “It was amazing! We had our own private room and a buffet style supper that everyone was very pleased with!” the couple said.
When asked for advice for other couples planning their perfect wedding they had this to say:
“You don’t need a lot of time to plan your dream wedding! Also use Cactus Collectives! They make everything so stress free and it’s not like anything else I’ve ever been to! Truly just perfect!”
It’s stories like Danika and Derek’s that make us love what we do. Cheers to another happy couple!
McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.