Blue Jay and Burlap Adventure Themed Wedding in Las Vegas, Nevada

“It was love at first sight. Well … sort of.”

When Air Force pilot Mark first met the woman who would become his wife, it was a fairytale moment – at least for him. “He says when I walked in it was like the scene from Wayne’s World with Dream Weaver playing and a golden aura of stars around my head,” wife Corey laughed.


But the storybook romance Mark envisioned was a long time coming. When he finally worked up the nerve to introduce himself to Corey a few months later, the two were dating other people. Finally, more than six months after his love-at-first-sight moment, the time was right for Mark to make a move. “He sent me a picture that I’d recently posted on Instagram that said, ‘Take the risk or lose the chance’ and asked me out to eat. We went to brunch and talked for hours.”

Their first date was December 4. By the end of the month, the couple knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.


Mark and Corey planned a rustic Nevada wedding at a local barn animal rescue with a blue jay and burlap color palette.

“We wanted to bring a bit of each of us into our wedding,” the bride explained. “Mark is a pilot and I am getting a Ph.D., so we wanted to incorporate maps and books. Our theme was rustic, vintage, adventure and we used books with romantic titles and small globes and lanterns for centerpieces. All of the centerpieces, china, glassware and silverware were mismatched – we found everything at thrift shops, garage sales, and goodwill stores. It became a fun piece of the wedding because our families got really involved in finding stuff!”


The couple thanked their wedding party with gifts that could be worn on the day-of: party shirts for the groomsmen in the Air Force tradition, and Calvin Klein sneakers for the bridesmaids to dance the night away at the reception. A special touch – Calvin Klein represented the bride’s new initials, CK.


What was your favorite moment of the wedding?
It is hard to pick just one moment as our favorite! Top three were the walk down the aisle, being introduced at the reception under the saber arch, and dancing together. Another favorite that everyone remembers was when we played the video of our Love Story – our videographer took us out a few months before the wedding and shot a beautiful short piece on how we met and a thank you to everyone for coming to celebrate with us.


What advice would you give to other military brides?
Have someone you trust plan with you and coordinate the day-of details. We asked the caterer’s wife to do the day-of coordination, but it was her first time and she dropped the ball on many of the things we asked. My mom had to go through and fix all the place settings before the reception started, and the Bridal Party had to stay after to clean up. Loading glassware into boxes in a wedding dress makes for a great story, but it was not ideal.

It’s okay to use Pinterest or other people’s weddings as inspiration, but make the day your own. My least favorite photos are the ones I recreated from Pinterest. The ones I wish I had were fun ones with my family and friends just laughing and enjoying the day.


Church: St. Joseph’s, Husband of Mary, Catholic Church
Reception: The Las Vegas Farm
Photography: Emily Nelson
Video: Steven Koonce (SK Media)
Makeup: Shekiera Bright
Flowers: Liz Middleton, Little Bluebird (Etsy)
DJ: The Music Solution
Cake: Nothing Bundt Cake
Bridesmaids Dresses:
Wedding Dress: Brilliant Bridal
Caterer: Louise’s Catering
Favors: Harmon Honey: Urban Bee Rescue

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