“She looks at me and asks me if I need to change. We are, after all, getting married tonight. I look at her, then at my beloved Diesel Old Glory jeans, and respond firmly, “I am dressed up!”. This is the story of Marcel Grivec, co-founder of Grivec Bros., who got married in Las Vegas wearing his favourite pair of jeans.
1997, Chevremont. I’m 26 years old and want to marry the love of my life Sandra, who is carrying our first child. While I do want my wedding day to be special, I don’t want it to be traditional. Far from it: I want something free-spirited, rock ‘n roll, sexy yet intimate. And I know exactly where. “Let’s get married in Las Vegas”, I say to Sandra, “just the two of us”. Without hesitation, she says yes. Shortly after – and with our rings already tattooed on our fingers – we take off. Two kids from Chevremont, travelling to Las Vegas to get married.
As our feet touch down on the meltingly hot grounds of Las Vegas, I can instantly feel this city lighten up my entire being. Staring at the mighty and shiny buildings, I feel like I’ve entered a grown-up version of Disneyland. We decide to get married as soon as possible, tonight, no matter how tired (or pregnant) we are from travelling such long distance. I ask our cab driver, a modern cowboy guy, for advice on how to get married in Las Vegas. He seems to know just enough about it and is willing to help us out.
As the cab driver patiently waits for us outside the hotel, Sandra puts on nice clothes and make-up. She looks at me and asks me if I need to change. We are, after all, getting married tonight. I look at her, then at my beloved Diesel Old Glory jeans, and respond firmly “I am dressed up!”. This is how I want to marry the love of my life: as the real me, the man Sandra fell in love with, in faded jeans and a simple T-shirt – in some way a symbol of our love: the real thing, loving each other exactly as we each are, no make-believe.
A few hours later, I’m holding our marriage license. Which means: for one night only, these two kids from Chevremont are Sin City-citizens. I ask our cab driver where to go next. Again, he seems to knows the way.
The cab stops at Silver Bell Wedding Chapel. We get out of the car and enter a powder blue church covered in lights, exactly as you’d expect. We are handed a laminated menu with marriage-options. We opt for Basic Marriage, which means: no gospel choir, no Elvis Presley or Madonna-impersonators, actors pretending to be our family, dinnerware, bags or T-shirts with our names printed on it...
And so, on the 30th of September 1997, I’m marrying Sandra at 01h00 in the night in Las Vegas. Whilst repeating the reverend’s words we’ve all heard so often in movies, I pinch myself to see if any of this is even real. Yet it is, as I’m standing here with a wedding ring on my finger, smiling at the cab driver who’s now taking our wedding pictures at a chapel that pretty much resembles a Chinese take-away.
It’s not until the day after, whilst I’m listening to Sandra referring to me as her husband, that I realise we got married last night. I can feel a chill on my back, goosebumps, whilst I’m standing in front of the gigantic window in our gigantic hotel room, observing such a different Las Vegas. No lights, no magic. I’m so glad we got married yesterday night.
It’s a night, nor a pair of jeans, I’ll never forget.