Planning a Las Vegas Wedding

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Viva Las Vegas!

People choose to get married in Las Vegas for many reasons. There are also couples that would like to renew their vows and pick Vegas for it. Some of the main reasons couples decide to get married in Las Vegas are:

  • Low cost
  • Easy planning
  • No wait for license
  • Spur of the moment fun

For me, I decided to get married in Vegas because I did not want some fancy ceremony. I also did not want to spend a lot of money. Since Las Vegas is pretty much a one-stop shop for marriage, it is one of the most popular locations for a wedding.

You may be considering getting married in Vegas, and since I am planning it myself, I am happy to help you determine if it is right for you. There have been many unexpected surprises along the way that I am happy to share with you.

It is going to cost some money...

Let me tell you a fun fact about me... I am thrifty. When I got engaged, all I wanted was a quiet courthouse ceremony. Then I wanted to stay at a cheap hotel at the beach for a couple of days. That is it. I am cheap and I openly admit that. Unfortunately, everyone around me, including my future husband, thought some type of "real" ceremony was necessary. Las Vegas seemed like a nice place to save money and still have a ceremony. Also, most wedding packages include everything, so little or no planning on my part is needed.

If you do not live near Las Vegas (like me!), you are probably going to have to fly there. Even if you decide to drive, gas prices and hotels along the way won't be cheap. Once you are there, you need to find a place to stay and you are going to have to eat. Then there is the ceremony itself, the marriage license, and the minister's fees, plus any extra fees that comes along with your ceremony if you add photos, video streaming, etc. So basically, a realistic price is about $3,000 to $4,000 for the entire deal.

Considering many people spend $30,000 on a wedding rather than $3,000, it is still quite a deal. For a frugal person like myself, I regularly have to support myself against furniture so I don't pass out when I think of the cost. However, a wedding only comes around once and the honeymoon is included in the deal, so whenever I begin hyperventilating (as I am now), I remind myself about that. All I am saying is, don't just assume a Las Vegas wedding is going to be super low-budget. You will still be shelling out some cash.

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There will still be drama...

One of my major goals in life is to avoid drama whenever possible. Unfortunately, it would seem it does not matter where your wedding is going to be and how silly the ceremony (we are going with Elvis), there are still those that will try create drama. Don't ever kid yourself and tell yourself a Las Vegas wedding ceremony is going to be that different from any other ceremony. There will still be family issues that arise.

Once you decide to introduce others to the idea of the Vegas wedding, you are going to get a lot of feedback... whether you want it or not. Some people are really positive about it, especially my friends and co-workers that know how quirky I am, and what a wacky couple my fiancé and I are together. They totally expect it. However, not everyone has been on board. Some people think it is tacky. Other people want something fancy despite the fact that is not their wedding or their decision.

I do have bridesmaids, which has caused its own drama. I will spare you the details. It is, after all, just a Vegas wedding, but people are starting to take it very seriously. My main advice to anyone deciding to have a Vegas wedding assuming there will be little or no drama, don't count on it. The best thing you can do is just let it slide. When someone asks if they should wear a nice dress or jeans, I tell them to do whatever they want. If someone wants to tell me how the wedding should be, I just walk away or change the subject. After all, Elvis is our minister, so conveying the message to others to stop sweating the small stuff is essential.

You don't need to have the ceremony where you are staying...

A major problem I encountered when planning this Las Vegas adventure was an obsession I had with the ceremony being at the resort where we were staying. I kept finding hotels / casinos that I loved, but I hated the wedding packages they offered. If I loved the wedding package, I did not like the accommodations. I kept trying to make it work and it was a real downer. You don't have to do that.

Las Vegas has a ton of wedding chapels you can choose from surrounding all the casinos. My advice is if you can't find a package deal that works for you, don't worry about it. You can just as easily (for relatively the same price) reserve a ceremony at a wedding chapel and stay at whatever resort or hotel you'd like. You will find in many instances the wedding chapel even includes a limo to and from the ceremony. Sure your guests are on their own, but there are plenty of public transportation options. For my guests, several are coming with their own cars anyway and can transport "car less" guests to the ceremony.

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You can have whatever kind of ceremony you want...

I know what you are thinking, "Las Vegas has nothing but tacky weddings with Elvis." That is simply not true. Sure, we are opting for an Elvis wedding, but that doesn't mean you have to do the same.

I have seen a wide variety of wedding ceremony options in Vegas. You can choose anything from a wedding in front of a shark tank to a gazebo wedding outside with hundreds of guests. Just because you are tying the knot in Las Vegas does not mean you can't plan a more traditional wedding. Yes, there are even wedding chapels without an Elvis option!

If you are looking for something that is fun, you can have that, too. Yes, you can go with Elvis, but you also have options like a Rocky Horror Picture Show wedding or a Harry Potter theme. You can really have anything you've ever dreamed of at your Las Vegas wedding. So dream big and Google search what you want. I'll bet you can find it in Vegas! If you are lucky, you can even make it part of a package deal and have your dream wedding at a lower cost than you can get anywhere else. Good luck!


Copyright ©2015 Jeannieinabottle

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Comments 9 comments

Kathleen Kerswig 20 months ago

Great hub! I'm not planning on getting married (ever again - Hehe!) but I enjoyed reading through your suggestions. I especially like your section on drama. You're so right. Drama may still show up. Remembering this possibility will help you avoid being disappointed due to expectations of a drama-free event. Thanks for sharing. Voted up! Blessings!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 20 months ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Kathleen, thanks so much for sharing and for the vote up. I really wish we could have just eloped and dealt with the drama afterwards, but looks like I have to deal with it. Oh well, at least I can warn others.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 20 months ago from Pacific Northwest

Jeannie, darling, you do whatever you want! My son eloped with his 2nd wife to Vegas and they were married by Elvis. When the ceremony was over, my son looked at Elvis and said" Thank you, thank you very much! "

I love that you said weddings only come around once. People don't think in those terms very often anymore! Usually they enter marriage thinking, well, if it doesn't work out we can just divorce! Marriage blessings to you both!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 20 months ago from Central Florida

Congratulations on your engagement, Jeannie! I think a Vegas wedding sounds like a blast. I hope you do a follow up hub with pix of the wedding!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 20 months ago from Baltimore, MD Author

lambservant, I wish we could just elope! I envy your son. I do hope the Elvis wedding thing is as fun as it sounds. :-) Thank you!

bravewarrior, thanks so much. I do hope to take some nice photos and I am sure I can create a hub out of the experience. ;-)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

I learned only a few years ago that my sister and her husband wanted to just take another couple they knew as best man/matron of honor and fly to Vegas for their wedding. All she ever dreamt about was getting married, and she used to clip out tons of wedding dress photos growing up. It was her first wedding, his second. The whole thing was extremely unlike her. My mother talked her out of it while I knew nothing about it. That was only the start of the drama though.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 20 months ago from Baltimore, MD Author

FlourishAnyway, I wonder if she would have regretted the Vegas wedding afterwards or if it would have been better than all the drama. For me, I was never that little girl that dreamed of weddings. I always thought it would be something quiet and small, if I ever got married at all. I guess everyone wants different things. I hope things worked out for your sister.


drbj profile image

drbj 19 months ago from south Florida

Jeannie - Loved this - your detailed hub makes a Las Vegas wedding sound so inviting, I'm planning on booking a chapel immediately if not sooner. Oh, wait a minute - I think I need to find a groom first. Details, details.

Voted Up, m'dear, for your meticulous efforts and research.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 19 months ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thank you, drbj. You could always just show up in Vegas and hope to find a groom while you are there. Vegas is all about taking a gamble anyway. :-)

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