Vegas is known for a lot of things, from the excitement and glamour up and down The Strip to the city’s unique and fabled history. There’s a story literally at every turn. It’s no surprise that so many couples choose to tie the knot here—what better way to begin your story together than in a city with more than a few stories of its own to tell?
The biggest reason to get married in Vegas is the never-ending variety of options and possibilities found here. Wedding facilities - large and small, reception halls of any style, a variety of restaurants unrivaled anywhere, world-class entertainment, nightlife, day life, you name it, you can find it in Vegas.
With so much to choose from, no two Vegas weddings are ever the same. So with that in mind, we wanted to take a look and see why couples chose Vegas, how they made the most of Vegas and how their Vegas wedding story was like no other. Our 3 couples together show how a Vegas wedding can be anything you want it to be, and that no place else can do what Vegas can do.
Nicole and Pedram: A blend of cultures and a lot of fun
Nicole and Pedram met at Marquee at The Cosmopolitan, and as they say, it was love at first sight. Though they both live here in town, neither is from here so their families are all elsewhere. Nevertheless, they chose to get married in Vegas to give their families a taste of their life together here. After all, everyone loves an excuse for a trip to Vegas. For some of their guests it was their first trip here, which helped to add to the excitement. For the wedding venue itself, choosing Marquee was a natural and a perfect fit for the style of event they wanted.
In order to successfully pull off a grand, multi-faceted event like a Vegas wedding, we normally strongly recommend the aid of an experienced local planner. Because of her local experience and clear-eyed vision, Nicole was able to pull off planning their big event all by herself. She admits to the grueling nature of the process but with her attention to detail, and the help of a good friend or two she managed to realize her vision. In the end, the best part of planning her own wedding was seeing it all come to life.
“Everything you can dream of is at your fingertips (in Vegas),” says Nicole. “The top chefs in the world…world class entertainment…receptions on the Bellagio Fountains… You don’t have to spend a lot of time entertaining your guests—they’re in Vegas, they probably have an agenda of their own.”
Nicole envisioned a relaxed affair that felt more like a big party than a formal event, and Marquee fit the bill perfectly with open seating and a casual buffet style. The big challenge was mixing Nicole’s Catholic background with Pedram’s Persian upbringing in an event that respected and honored both traditions. Of course in Vegas, anything is possible and Nicole was able to arrange for a symbolic Persian ritual, involving veils, sugar cane, honey and even a belly dancer to lead into their reception. Additionally, their rehearsal? dinner was held at Khourney’s Lebanese restaurant to help perfectly blend the two cultures.
But a Vegas wedding, like most weddings, is all about the details. The difference is the number of options available for filling in those details here. For example, Nicole had the idea to wrap the elevators with their engagement photos.She worked with Warrior Wraps to make it happen in stunning fashion. Additionally, their LED wall served as a centerpiece to the whole event, displaying images of the bridesmaids and groomsmen as well as the happy couple’s family images throughout the reception.
Nicole says her guests had a great time in Vegas, and that for some it was the trip of a lifetime. From their welcome party at Commonwealth downtown to get it all started, to the raucous after-party at Marquee it was truly an “only in Vegas” event.
Stacey and Mike: A destination wedding with an emphasis on quirky fun
When Stacey and Mike first met back in St. Louis, Missouri, the idea of getting married in Vegas was probably about the furthest thing from their minds. But after getting engaged and mulling over their options for their big day, they came to the conclusion that a “destination wedding” would be more affordable than a big event in their hometown. They further reasoned that a smaller, more intimate gathering of around 35 of their closest friends and relatives would not only be more affordable than a large, 200-person event, but that the smaller group would also make it easier to carry out their desire for a “fun and quirky” style. Doing the math, they added the idea of a destination wedding to their desire for fun and quirk and summed up Vegas as their ideal spot.
Once they started doing their homework and pored over the myriad of options available to them here in Vegas, when they came across the “Intergalactic Package” at Viva Las Vegas, being huge Star Trek fans, they knew they had found what they were looking for. Says Stacey, “How many people can say that they walked down the aisle amidst laser beams and fog?” And it worked out to be everything they had hoped for. Stacey says the ceremony was a blast and that, “the vows were hilarious and the “Vulcan” who officiated was great!”
While they easily booked their ceremony at Viva Las Vegas online, for their reception, Stacey and Mike utilized the services of an event coordinator at Canaletto at The Venetian. They were able to have all their questions answered and together arranged for the perfect reception for themselves and their 35 guests. Along with a pre-dinner cocktail hour in the bar, followed by their meal in the private dining room, Stacey says the food and service were amazing. She also adds that the entire process of planning it all was completely stress-free and that with all the help and all the choices available to them, it felt like planning a vacation.
It almost goes without saying that their guests had a great time. Most flew into town a few days before the actual event, which gave them all the opportunity to spend time together and catch up before all the craziness of the big day itself. Additionally, many of the guests took advantage of more of Vegas’ offerings by taking a day trip out to the Grand Canyon. Some even used the occasion as the perfect launching point for western U.S. vacations before and after all the nuptials.
As far as advice to anyone else considering planning a Vegas wedding, Stacey says to “definitely give yourself at least one full day on both sides of the wedding itself. You’re going to want to have plenty of time to relax and sip cocktails poolside.” And it’s true. A Vegas wedding is so much more than just a wedding you’ll almost certainly need the extra time to see and do it all. Says Stacey, “How often do you get to go on vacation with all of your favorite people?!”
Gina and Johnny: Not every Vegas wedding is a “Vegas Wedding”
Gina and Johnny first met while both worked for Grape Street Café over in Summerlin, so to them, getting married somewhere in Vegas, yet away from the hustle and bustle of The Strip was a natural. They even went so far as to consider places in California, since most of their family members are from there, but ultimately opted for a destination that was outside of town and outside of the typical “Vegas” location.
A mere 50 miles from Las Vegas lies the Lee Canyon Ski Resort. Yes, there is skiing less than an hour away from the Strip where you can find the kind of beautiful mountain settings. And yes, you can encounter this stunning outdoor beauty and those breathtaking views just 50 miles from town. Once they found this beautiful spot, Gina and Johnny even gave up their deposit on a wine country location they had chosen in California. And it’s not hard to see why.
Gina worked with Lee Canyon’s onsite coordinator but being a local, she felt comfortable negotiating with the individual vendors on her own. “Vegas is a big little city, where you have a lot of great resources for all sizes of weddings,” says Gina. “I used a lot of local vendors and recommendations from friends, which worked out great and brought a “homie” feeling to our wedding.” From there, they allowed the natural beauty of the location establish the vintage mountain feeling they wanted.
After posing for pictures at the stunning Lee Meadows just down the road from the resort, Gina and Johnny’s ceremony took place above the resort’s reception room, and afterwards their guests went down the hill for their reception, buffet and open bar. Their group danced and celebrated into the night before moving the party down the road to the Lodge at Mt. Charleston where most of the guests were conveniently staying. Needless to say everyone had a great time and enjoyed participating in a Vegas wedding that felt entirely different than what they were expecting. They even reveled in the lack of cell phone reception so far away, yet so close to town. And even in this not-so-far-away location, Gina and her vendors pulled everything off without a hitch. Unless you count running late and a comically mad dash to get Gina herself ready in time a hitch—a wedding scene we’ve all almost certainly come across in a movie or two.
The only surprise the very happy couple encountered was the high percentage of “yes” replies they received from their wedding invitations, a “good problem” common to Vegas area weddings. Gina says, “To our surprise, everyone makes time for a Vegas wedding. So we had a big turnout which ended up being super fun!” And hers is not an atypical story. Wedding planners both professional and non-professional will consistently tell you, Vegas area weddings have a history of higher guest turnout rates than weddings anywhere else.
In concluding, Gina tells us, “Vegas is a great place to plan a wedding on any budget!” She recommends asking plenty of questions to be certain not to settle, as most vendors will be willing to work with you in finding that sweet spot where your budget needs meet your romantic needs. Watch her wedding below.