Big wedding or Vegas?

The guy and I are planning on getting married next year. I’ve always said that I don’t want a big wedding. We’re in the midst of planning my brother’s June nuptuals and I am exhausted by those. And I’m only the sister of the groom! I also helped plan my best friend’s wedding several years ago, and that was also a lot of work. And I am NOT a planner - I think I would go nuts with all of the planning.

I went to Vegas this past summer and now I am in love with the idea of a Vegas wedding. I’ve found several places that offer lovely packages that are affordable, and we’re very seriously thinking that the Vegas wedding will be the way to go. We will still have to invite upwards of 20-30 people (I have family members and friends who will KILL me if they aren’t invited), so it won’t be an elopement, but it will still be pretty small. I do plan on having my white wedding dress and veil - that’s the one thing I do want - and 2 or 3 bridesmaids.

But then there’s the small part of me that still wants the big wedding. Since I’ll be in graduate school, and we’re planning on getting married during my winter break next January, a big wedding really isn’t practical at that point. But I can’t help but think that part of me will be cheated if I don’t have the big wedding. Then I look at the fighting and arguing that’s going on with my brother’s wedding and immediately drop the idea again.

So, what’s better? A small wedding or the big wedding? If you had the small wedding, did you feel cheated? And if you had the big wedding, did you feel like you would have done better to have a smaller one?


I had a big wedding and while it was crazy at times, it was so worth it for me. However, you can still have a nice wedding without lots of people there. There are plenty of classy chapels in Vegas. I think that you may feel a little cheated if you walk down the aisle to “Can’t help falling in love” , to a sequined jumpsuit and a slimy Justice of the Peace.
I was thinking about getting married in DisneyWorld. This is what I did. I made a list of the pro’s and con’s of getting married in each place. Then I looked at what was REALLY important for me to have on my wedding day, and seen where they fell on my list. For me the more pros fell on staying in my home town and getting married there.

Good luck with decision and I wish you a long happy marriage.

Couple of reasons Las Vegas might be your best bet.

1.) Usually it doesn’t take a whole lot of arm twisting to get people to come to this city, and some really like having the “excuse” of going to a wedding. You might be surprised how many people actually show up!

2.) As weddings are a cottage industry here, you can get a GREAT package (limo, photos, license, honeymoon suite) for little more than the price of a big wedding cake in your hometown.

3.) Some of the wedding chapels here offer live web cam feeds…you can tell your relatives and friends the website, the time of the wedding and they can log on and watch you from anywhere in the world!

4.) Las Vegas weddings can be tacky - with Elvis giving you the vows or there is even a drive in chapel a block from where I work, OR you can go very upscale and do a nice event at the Paris hotel or the Bellagio or the Venetian…any number of the bigger places.

5.) What better way to celebrate future anniversaries than to come back to the city where you got married and just have a good time!

Vegas, baby!

Especially if friends and family are going to fly across the country, it’s usually cheap to fly to, and stay in Las Vegas. Also, your guests will have plenty to do, aside from your wedding.

Besides, how cool is it to be married by Elvis?

I basically did this and I don’t feel cheated at all. I loved my wedding. It was just me and my husband and was lots of tacky fun.

IMHO the best wedding is the one that is the most fun for you and your husband. If a big wedding would be the most fun for you then go for it. If not then go for something smaller. Vegas is lots of fun.

My older brother got married up at Mt. Charleston near Las Vegas last June and it was beautiful. It’s about a 45 minute drive, but it’s up the mountains and is a perfect place for a wedding.

Then he had his wedding reception at the Ghost Bar that night (they somehow rented it out) … the whole night was amazing. Now if I ever get married, I’ll have to do it at the top of the Eiffel Tower or something just to keep up.

Moral: It’s possible to have a classy and fun wedding even in Vegas. Might cost ya, though.

We’re having a small intimate ceremony with family and close friends, and then we’re honeymooning in Vegas. 7 nights at The Venetian…


I had a small wedding in Minneapolis, and I didn’t feel cheated. A small wedding means less presents, but also less hassle and expense. Do you want to blow all that money on one day’s party, or would you rather have it for something more permanent, like a house or an education?

I do find it very difficult to relate to people planning huge weddings. I’m just not as interested as it seems I am supposed to be. Then again, I was that way before I was married, too. You sound like you’re not a big-wedding person, either, so why fight it? If the people you want at your wedding are willing to go to Vegas with you, then go for it, I say!

Be sure to take the planning into account when you decide. Big weddings require an ungodly amount of work and planning, and cost an ungodly amount of money. So, if you think you could be equally happy, or even almost as happy, with a small wedding, you’ll have a much happier year overall.

When you look back on it, the part you’ll remember is saying your vows to each other, not how many people were there and whether or not you ate shrimp.

(I got married last June, and our wedding was medium-sized, with 80-90 guests. Everything couldn’t have been more perfect, but it required a lot of work and money. For us, I think it was worth it, but I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. Very stressful at times.)

Last summer, some friends of mine did this – they had a moderately-sized ceremony and reception, then ran off to the Las Vegas Hilton for a week. They had a blast!

Enjoy yourselves and congratulations, GT.

Vegas, Vegas, Vegas!!! Seven years later I am still suffering from post-wedding letdown after having the wedding of my dreams, but I still have fond memories of my two vacations in Vegas.

It doesn’t look like my opinion will be received very well here, but I’ll give it anyway.

I had about 300 people at my wedding. Could have been a little more or a little less.

It was in the hometown of my husband and I at the church I grew up going to.

It WAS quite a bit of planning, but as long as you don’t get overly anal-retentive about details, it’s really not bad at all!! I got engaged 01-01 and was married 05/26 of the same year!

I had always pictured a wedding in my head. In that wedding when the chapel doors opened, and I walked down the aisle with my dad the church was full of people I know and love! And guess what! That’s how my wedding was. It was the groom of my dreams, the dress of my dreams, the WEDDING of my dreams!!!

And now it’s the marriage of my dreams!! (Not that I think the wedding has that much to do with the marriage at all).

Anyway, I guess my point is that I managed to plan a huge wedding with out it costing too much, and with out getting stressed about it. So if DEEP DOWN you want the big wedding, I think you should plan on having the BIG WEDDING!!!


Vegas! I’m not a fan of big weddings (or big funerals). There’s about a million things I’d rather do with thousands of dollars. It doesn’t have to be tacky or Elvis-y (unless you want it that way). I’d do it again. You can always have a big anniversary party or something for your 10th anniversary.

The SuperWife™ and I got married at Caesar’s four weeks from tomorrow. We had about 35 guests in a nice garden ceremony. The package included a minister, use of the garden (which was basically built for weddings, including marble benches, a stone thing to stand under, and high walls to keep out the noise), flowers for the bride, groom, and two attendants, a violinist to play during the ceremony, a professional photographer, and a video of the ceremony. Not to mention a coordinator to herd people during the ceremony. We followed this with a nice dinner reception with a hosted bar, cake, and piped in music (but no dance floor). The wedding coordinator, photographer, and especially the catering manager were all a pleasure to work with.

I think it was pretty affordable; you can check out the wedding packages here. We did the Tesana package, in the Intimate Garden, with some floral and photography upgrades. Feel free to email me if you have questions.

We had an afternoon wedding, and an early evening reception that wound down at about 8 PM. Afterwards, the wedding party, along with anyone else that wanted to come along, went out still decked out in formal wear, and wandered through Belagio, Caesar’s, and Paris. That was a lot of fun. Nothing like literally several hundered strangers offering congratulations on your wedding night.

By the way, it was easy to have a tasteful family wedding in Vegas. Elvis was not in attendance.

I’ve always been a supporter of simple weddings myself. Starting out your wedded life in debt is no fun.

My wedding was simple, and a hell of a lot of fun. We used the money we saved to put a down payment on a house, but you could use it to have a fabulous honeymoon.

Might I make a suggestion: you could have a lovely wedding in your city park, and then all of your friends and family could attend. Some friends of mine did this, and it was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended. They had the ceremony in the gazebo, and decorated the trees around it with streamers. Because it was in the spring, flowers galore for free! There was no seating for the guests, but no one minded, because the ceremony itself is rather short, however, you could rent folding chairs.

Thanks, guys!

The money thing isn’t an issue, really. My parents are old-fashioned and have told me that either way, it’s my decision, but they’re paying for it.

I think I only want the big wedding because I feel like I should have it. But I really want something small and easy. I am more than happy to turn everything over to a Vegas wedding coordinator and let them handle it. And since we’re thinking about Hawaii for a honeymoon, we can just fly to Hawaii from Las Vegas.

SuperNelson, I’ve looked at Caesar’s and I really like their packages. I also love the Paris Hotel - they offer a really great package. I may email you for some ideas about Caesar’s though.


ava, I understand exactly what you mean about feeling like you should want a big wedding, or at least some approximation of the trapping that go with one. Women go through life hearing about how our wedding days are the biggest days of our lives, the best, happiest, most romantic thing we’ll ever experience. We have it ground into us from childhood on, and that makes it easy to confuse the trappings with the important stuff.

My mom was really adamant that we should have brideslaves, and certain other traditional wedding trappings, but she got over it. She was afraid I’d feel cheated by skipping the stuff that I really couldn’t care less about.

We got married in New Orleans (we live in North Carolina, and our families are in Kentucky), and it was the best decision we could have made. It was a beautiful stretch of weather in one of the most entertaining cities in America, and we followed our simple park ceremony with a damn fine dinner with 30 of our closest friends and relatives. For us, it was a lot more special than being surrounded by aunts and cousins and such whom we never see and aren’t close to.

I had a medium to big wedding - about 150 guests and family, and the planning, fuss, and expense was not really worth it, IMHO. I was so exhausted that I hardly enjoyed it, worrying about making my manners to every distant relative I had and was acquiring, and I know my mother was a basket case. If I had to do it again, I would make it small and simple. I’m told you can get a tasteful and enjoyable wedding package in Vegas, but a friend of mine had a wonderful idea. She and her husband got married on the beach of a beautiful Caribbean island, with immediate family present. After a day of celebration with family, they left to an undisclosed location to enjoy their honeymoon. Attire: sundress/shorts & flipflops. Decorations: natural scenic beauty. Cost and fuss: very little.

My SO and I got married in Vegas … and we’re from Australia.
No issues.
No problems.
No ‘why didn’t I get invited’ (no-one did).
Everything was cheap.
We had a ball.
We’ve got one of the best wedding stories of any of our friends.
Go small. Go Vegas.

I have never been married but I have played guitar at alot of weddings. (Classical music before the ceremony, the wedding march when the lady walked down the road to doom…errr I mean the road to bliss :slight_smile: Anyway, from my experience, the bigger the wedding the more stressed out the Bride and Groom were.

In my experience the more complex the wedding the more stressful it is to the couple being married. When I was playing weddings I saw Brides and Grooms agrue about what music I should play before the wedding actually started. I generally jumped in and said that the Bride and Groom each should put together a list of songs they wanted to be played before the wedding started and that I would alternate the songs. (Note, I got some really wierd ideas, one guy wanted me to play “White Wedding” by Billy Idol. Go figure)

Anyway, I found that the best weddings were ones where the couples were not too focused on the details of the wedding.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are too focused on having a perfect wedding ceremony you are going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you focus on having a good ceremony that is joyous and fun you will love it.

Slee, the wedding guitarist