I would appreciate some advice here from my fellow Dopers. My girlfriend of 3 1/2 years has agreed to marry me, and we have decided to get married in Las Vegas. We have decided to have a ‘fun’ wedding in Vegas first, then a reception back home (about 1100 miles away back in Texas), because it would be so much of an expense and a pain for most of our friends and family to attend. So, we’re going to Vegas in two weeks with the objective of picking a place for the wedding, probably for October or November, for two dozen or so guests. We’ve been to Las Vegas together several times, and we’ve driven past the row of themed chapels north of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard; we aren’t ruling those out, because they seem like they might be fun. We are also considering more formal venues; she seems to want photos @ the Bellagio gardens. Apart from that, we don’t have any firm desires, other than the desire to have fun. Price is not a major issue; I’d rather keep the ceremony under 2K (well under 2K!) but we’re flexible. What advice or recommendations could you provide for someone planning to get hitched in Vegas? Have you ever attended or heard about an especially fun wedding there? I would really appreciate any advice or insights which you could provide.
My biggest piece of advice is to get a throwaway email. Nobody posts their prices until you supply an email address. It’s also nice to keep all of your wedding correspondence in one place where both you and your fiancé have access.
If you’re going to be moving people around, I recommend Bell Transportation. It seemed like every webpage I would find while searching for buses and limos was just a middleman working out of a PO Box. I finally called the concierge at a pretty high-end hotel and he gave me the name and they were easy to deal with a reasonable price.
A former Doper and his (also former Doper) wife got married in Vegas. They bought their package on eBay. A lot of people end up selling their wedding packages on eBay after being guilted by their families into doing a local ceremony–you can get a good deal there.
I know that at least one other Doper couple in additional to my Doper wife and I got married at Little Church of the West, right near the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Easy to do under your budget, and they are a fairly well organized group of folks operating there. Definitely not the fanciest option out there, but it got the job done for a few of us. In our case, we did not choose any Elvis-related options.
In the distant past, I was a witness for a friend’s drive-through wedding in Vegas, which was a lot of fun, but perhaps not for everyone.
We got married at the Garden Chapel at the Flamingo back in 2004. Nice chapel, great gardens for pictures, reasonable price for the package. And right after we walked around the corner to Battistas Hole In The Wall for some awesome Italian food.
My advice: scope out your chapel. As in, you’ll probably want to do a “factfinding trip” a few months before your wedding to make sure the chapel you chose wasn’t just strategically photographed for their website to omit the strip club next door. And good luck keeping it small; if you give people a reason to go to Vegas, they will come. I had cousins from Minnesota coming out of hiding. In the end we had around 50 people there.
Oh yeah, and while Vegas supposedly is a quickie-marriage place, I don’t think the county clerk’s office is open 24 hours on the weekends anymore, so plan accordingly, and get your license in advance of your ceremony.
Further, you can pre-apply online at the Clark County website. My recollection is that it has to be within three months of the actual wedding date. My wife and I did this, and when we went to pick up our license, I think we were at the window for just a couple of minutes.
I got married this past fall at the Bellagio, and I **highly **recommend it. We checked out all of our options for getting married in Vegas, and the Bellagio was exactly what we were looking for (easy, simple, and most importantly NOT cheesy at all). They have an assortment of deals and packages to choose from (we went with having the ceremony on the terrace outside in front of the fountains) and the staff there was super-easy to work with.
The package we chose included a limo ride to get the marriage license, flowers, the officiant, and the photographer’s time…the photos themselves were extra. And since we wanted to have a Jewish wedding, the Bellagio’s wedding planner was a huge help in locating a Rabbi for us. Everything about the day was perfect and we felt we really got a great deal for the quality they offer (the folks at the Bellagio are pros…not to mention the flowers were fabulous and we are still raving about the high quality of the photos)!
Oh, and if your fiancee wants to get her makeup done professionally for the big day I would absolutely recommend Francesa Lombardo with Bobbie Pin Beauty. She did hair and makeup for me, my mom, my husband’s mom, my sister and my niece, and I swear she’s amazing!
PM me if you have any questions or if you want me to email you some examples of the Bellagio photographer’s work at our wedding
I got married at The Excalibur in 2010 and we had a great time. We had the whole wedding package (photos, chapel, minister, music, flowers, etc.) for $750 and then we took everyone to the buffet. We had them make us 3 cakes instead of one wedding cake and ordered champagne. All told it came in well under 2k.
Thank you very much for all of your advice! I hadn’t even considered the e-mail address - that is sure to save us a prolonged hassle. Neither had I thought of eBay. We will be in Las Vegas the weekend after next to scout things out, but truth is that we really don’t know what sort of wedding we want - we just both like the idea of doing it in Vegas. We will be staying @ the Flamingo, and we plan to spend a day downtown too, so we will be able to easily check out just about any chapel. The drive-through wasn’t really on the radar, but the Bellagio was - we’ve checked out the website, and it looks like a winner if we choose to go the fancy route.