Archive of ‘Real Vegas Weddings’ category
If you haven’t realized it by now, one of the biggest reasons to have a destination Vegas wedding is the excuse to have a weekend (or week) long party! Allison and Robin did just that, traveling from Boston for their wedding with guests joining them from all over the US. Their wedding weekend included stops at the cabanas of Planet Hollywood’s pool, a welcome party in a PH Boulevard Suite and double decker bus ride up and down The Strip. Of course there was also the wedding itself, and then not only one but two afterparties!
I’ve included a few of Allison’s candid photos of the weekend sprinkled in between the pro photos by Neon Sun Photography to give you a little peek into what kind of craziness a Vegas weekend wedding holds.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
Robin and I love to travel, and our friends are always asking us “where are you going next?” We are also creatures of habit. Vegas is a place we return to on an almost an annual basis. In March 2013 we were on a trip with friends for March Madness (we are huge Syracuse University fans!) and Robin proposed at the end of that trip at the top of the “Eiffel Tower.”
We wanted our wedding to be anything but ordinary, different from the typical ballroom event, and most importantly, one big party. We also wanted to keep it intimate. Our love of travel left us wanting a destination wedding, and we thought Vegas would be a perfect fit. Our main goal was to provide our guests with an amazing weekend, to say thank you for making the trip.
CEREMONY – The Chapel at Planet Hollywood
We picked Planet Hollywood primarily for it’s close proximity to the Paris (I wasn’t a fan of the Paris chapel) and the fact that rooms were affordable. The hotel also has a very fun vibe to it and an amazing center strip location. Of all of the indoor chapels (we had to go indoor, was afraid of wind and heat) it’s the prettiest. The Chihuly glass sculpture is beautiful. I also hoped that we might get Britney Spears to make a cameo at the wedding. I actually sent her an invitation! I was sad to find out that her show was dark the week of the wedding. Didn’t think she’d really come anyway :)
The ceremony was short and sweet, just how we wanted it to be. Robin and I wrote our own vows, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Robin’s vows were especially emotional, more so than mine! I wasn’t really expecting that and neither were our guests, hence the crying.
RECEPTION – Mon Ami Gabi
We rented Café Halle at Mon Ami Gabi for our dinner. Mon Ami Gabi is one of my favorite places to eat in Vegas, we eat there almost every time we visit (see, creatures of habit!). The view was spectacular. I felt like we were in a café on the Champs Elysee.
Our guests feasted on escargot, baked brie, salad, filet mignon, roasted chicken, salmon, and of course crème brulee and chocolate mousse. The service was impeccable. Towards the end of the meal we checked in on how we were doing with the room minimum. We still had about $500 to spend so I ran around the room telling everyone to drink up – the staff brought out bottles of champagne. It was quite funny.
After dinner, Robin and I did a strip photo tour and we met our guests at Harrah’s Piano Bar. We had a reserved section and two hours of open bar for our guests. My MOHs (there were three) had gotten there early to make sure everything was set up. They ended up moving the tables off to the sides so we had our own private dance floor in the middle of the place. The duelling pianos were a hit, playing lots of 80s and 90s hits (our favorite) and we danced the night away.
VEGAS WEDDING MEMORIES
Our original photographer cancelled six days before the wedding, so we had to find a replacement quickly! Also, the double decker bus had a bus break down and we had to make some last minute adjustments on the welcome party night. Finally, seven people, including Robin, came down with a stomach virus on the wedding day and afterwards. My husband was a champion. Despite being sick he made it through our Strip photo tour and most of the after party.
Robin and I made a thank you toast to our guests at dinner. Looking around the room and seeing the faces of my best friends and family, who all made the trip to Vegas to celebrate us, was incredible. I felt like the luckiest person on the planet.
OTHER WEDDING EVENTS
I think it’s also worth mentioning the night before the wedding events – the happy hour we hosted in the Boulevard Suite and the Double Decker Bus. The suite was AMAZING. Floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. Plenty of comfy seating and room for 48 people to mingle, and there was a ping pong table! We also played the shoe game, my sister set it up. It was very cute.
The double decker bus was a ton of fun. We packed up coolers with beer, boxed wine and boxed scotch! (No glass was allowed on board). We had a playlist going with Vegas-themed music and we danced on board. It was a great way to see the Strip, open air, cruising through all of the neon lights.
VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM ROBIN + ALLISON
Vegas is an expensive city and things add up! At first I thought having a wedding in Vegas would be less expensive. It wasn’t. We had to prioritize what we really wanted. Sure a cake would have been fun, but was it necessary to spend another $500 when we had dessert provided by the restaurant? Nope.
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We had 48 guests join us, flying into Las Vegas from Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Nashville and Raleigh. Our final total was around $18,000.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Neon Sun Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . The Chapel at Planet Hollywood
RECEPTION VENUE . Mon Ami Gabi
FLORAL . Planet Hollywood / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – David’s Bridal, jewelry and accessories – Glam House, Etsy / HAIR + MAKEUP . Beauty by Brianna / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . Sataya House / WELCOME PARTY . PH Boulevard Suite party and double decker bus / AFTERPARTY . Harrah’s Piano Bar
Are you ready to go under the sea? That’s where Kari and Drew’s wedding today takes us, to the exquisite Seascape Ballroom inside Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. Small wedding ceremonies have been possible in the aquarium for a while, but recently a reception space has been made available, as well. Not only do the venue (and couple) look stunning, the theme chosen fits their destination wedding so well!
Choosing to build off the travel theme, Kari and Drew’s reception featured vintage travel props that brought everything together perfectly. Add in an amazing venue reveal, lots of dancing and delicious desserts — this is one of the reasons Las Vegas weddings are the best. (Then again, I’m biased.)
WHY DREW + KARI CHOSE LAS VEGAS
My husband and I have been to our fair share of boring weddings, and from the first day of the wedding planning process, we knew that our wedding had to be over-the-top, unique and most of all: FUN! Planning a destination wedding has its pros and cons, but overall, it really depends on the type of couple you are and what type of wedding you want. For us, having a vintage travel themed wedding made it easy to decide that we needed a out of town, worth-the-travel type of venue for our reception!
THE CEREMONY — THEWedding Chapel at Mandalay Bay
Originally, we were looking into having our ceremony at the Valley of the Falls at Mandalay Bay, however we decided to take the bulk of our wedding funds and use them in a better reception. After all, the ceremony is only 15-20 minutes long. Valley of the Falls is pretty, but the upgrade fee was pretty high, I wanted to avoid the heat and making our guests walk a longer way to our reception. So with the pros and cons, we decided to stick to a basic, beautiful chapel that was air conditioned, had a pianist and would be comfortable for everyone. During our original venue search in Vegas, my husband and I agreed immediately that Mandalay Bay has the nicest chapels and reception areas on the strip! We were impressed by how nice everything was and that it was affordable!
THE RECEPTION — Seascape Ballroom at the Shark Reef Aquarium
After searching high and low, on and off The Strip, we stumbled upon a brand new venue, the Seascape Ballroom, located in the Shark Reef of Mandalay Bay. It was gorgeous, unique and breathtaking. And the venue was so new we were actually the first wedding reception to have a DJ in the space. The good news is that the sharks loved our music!
All of our guests were escorted through the Shark Reef to the ballroom right after the ceremony. The space had curtains covering the glass to the aquariums, so it looked like there were plain walls. During our first dance to “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles, the curtains were slowly raised to reveal the hidden windows looking into the sunken ship inside the Shark Reef.
In addition to the room, we also had a patio, where we had the buffet line, bar and photo booth. We kept the desserts, cookie station and DJ inside and there was plenty of room for all 45 of us. We had a milk and cookie station with a chef baking fresh cookies for our guests — the room smelt like cookie heaven!
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
Being that this was a destination wedding, I tried to keep my DIYs to a minimum because traveling in the heat with breakables and bedazzled items just doesn’t work. You can see some more details about my projects here. To fit our vintage travel theme I made passport style programs, message in a bottle escort cards and 3D table letters with photos of us decoupaged on the edges. We rented vintage suitcases and cameras from Nostalgia Resources to complete the theme — Veronica was great to work with!
Our Grand Entrance/First Dance was absolutely one of the BEST parts of our entire day! We planned it our strategically with our wedding planner and I love how it was executed! For our Bridal Party, the DJ started by playing the theme song to Jaws to help draw the crowd’s attention to the doors. Everyone was laughing so hard! After everyone was introduced, it was our turn and we did our first dance to the version of “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles used in the Cirque du Soleil LOVE production. The song was perfect because in this version, they slow down Ringo’s voice and add some bells which was perfect for raising the curtains to. I can cry just thinking about it; everyone was shouting out things like, “WOW!!! LOOK AT THAT!! OMG!!” I looked at my husband and both of us were beaming from ear to ear. We knew we did this right. After about a minute, we invited all guest to come dance with us.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM KARI + DREW:
Before the wedding, we decided to do a first look. I would absolutely recommend this to couples that are okay with going outside of traditional wedding rules and want to calm their nerves a bit before the wedding. With our first look, we pulled some strings and were let into the beautiful Swan Court at the elegant Auerole restaurant at Mandalay Bay.
We also did a first look to reduce our cocktail hour. We did not want our guest waiting 1-2 hours for our reception to get rocking, so we did all our photos in the morning. Highly recommended! We had the energy still to walk around the Mandalay Bay property, my makeup was fresh, it wasn’t hot yet, tourist were still sleeping (no photo bombers!) and we got many intimate moments photographed that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Cashman Photo
CEREMONY VENUE . THEWedding Chapel at Mandalay Bay
RECEPTION VENUE . Seascape Ballroom at Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
FLORAL . Mandalay Bay / CATERING . Mandalay Bay / CAKE . Mandalay Bay / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – David’s Bridal WG9821, shoes – Payless Comfort Plus with DIY bling, jewelry – Charming Charlie / HAIR + MAKEUP . Perfect Hair and Makeup / BRIDESMAIDS . David’s Bridal F14865 in Coral Reef / GROOMSWEAR . Vera Wang Collection from Men’s Wearhouse / VINTAGE RENTALS . suitcases, centerpieces, vintage props + cameras – Nostalgia Resources / LINENS . Creative Coverings / PHOTOBOOTH . Party Pix of LV
I swoon for autumn, I’ll admit it. And a wedding in the fall in Las Vegas? Even better! Christophe and Nicole are two locals who met while working at a high-end restaurant together. They married in the beautiful gardens of the JW Marriott. Can you even tell when looking at the photos that their nuptials were in November?
Nicole was a gorgeous bride with her retro-style makeup look and a wedding dress that evoked old Hollywood glamour. I love that they were able to sneak away from their reception to do some bridal portraits in downtown Las Vegas and on the Strip to finish the night. Be sure to check out their wedding film from Memory Lane for some shots of the reception.
WHY NICOLE AND CHRISTOPHE MARRIED AT JW MARRIOT
We chose to marry in Las Vegas because we live here and we both have family all over the globe which made it difficult to pick somewhere; Vegas just made sense for us. After seeing venue upon venue we were starting to become a little discouraged. While i was out looking at venues with my mom we made one last stop at the JW Marriott and fell in love!
THE CEREMONY — Lagoon Patio at JW Marriott Las Vegas
We didn’t want a big wedding and tried to keep things as simple as we could, but still nice. We also got lucky with perfect weather for our outdoor ceremony! For our reception we rented out a small space on the second floor at Spago in Caesars Palace. The food and the service was incredible.
Something we will never forget about our ceremony is forgetting our rings! Our officiant was supposed to be carrying them but she didn’t have them…nobody did. Everyone looked like deer in headlights. Christophe ended up using his dad’s ring and I used my sisters. It definitely brought some entertainment.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
All of our centerpieces and table decor at the reception were made by me. Also as the wedding favors, one of my best friends who is a chocolatier special made chocolate boxes and chocolates just for our wedding. Something fun we did at the ceremony was write love letters to each other that we enclosed with a bottle of wine. The plan is on our first anniversary to drink the bottle of wine and read each others letters.
NICOLE + CHRISTOPHE’S WEDDING GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We had 50 guests at our wedding and ended up spending about $15,000 for everything.
Memory Lane Video
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Kristin Long Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . Lagoon Patio at JW Marriott
RECEPTION VENUE . Spago Las Vegas at Caesars Palace
FLORAL . Roxi Floral / CATERING + CAKE . Spago / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Allure, Celebrations Bridal + Fashion, shoes – Jimmy Choo Crown peep-toe pumps / / BRIDESMAIDS . Celebrations Bridal + Fashion / VIDEOGRAPHY . Memory Lane
Stacey and Brandon’s fresh Springs Preserve wedding was accented with turquoise, silver and purple colors. I’m in love with their wedding monogram, which provided a modern graphic element to the garden wedding and reception.
Cowboy boots for the ladies, a Disney gown and wedding cake topper, this wedding had touches of the bride and groom’s personality all over it! I think the best moment had to have been the first look with Stacey’s dad, though. What a beautiful moment.
WHY THE SPRINGS PRESERVE?
We chose Vegas because it’s our home and we have friends and family here. We specially chose Springs Preserve because of its beauty and the fact that it feels different than anything in Vegas.
THE CEREMONY — GARDENS ARBORETUM AT SPRINGS PRESERVE
Our wedding was a casual sunset ceremony, surrounded by friends and family with just a little rain for good luck!
THE RECEPTION — GARDEN TERRACE AT SPRINGS PRESERVE
A fun filled evening with dancing, drinking and laughing surrounded by the people that mean the most to us. Food served by the infamous Mon Ami Gabi with a menu created by the bride and groom. Plenty of games both traditional and non, with plenty of tears and laughter to go around.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
Much of our wedding was DIY! The card box was handmade, the frame that hung at the altar for pictures was handwritten, the tulle over the altar was all done by hand, the sunglasses sign for the favors as well as the coloring books and crayons were all put together by the bride.
FAVORITE WEDDING DAY MEMORY
The most stand out moment had to have been the cake cutting! As tradition goes we both wore plenty of cake on our faces with the groom getting an extra handful from the bride. We had a blast being able to walk through all the people who loved us the most before we ended up cutting our cake.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM STACEY + BRANDON
Everyone told me that the night would go by faster than we could imagine but we didn’t believe them, take in every moment because before I knew it, it was 10:30! Also, make friends and ask people around you. I found all of my vendors through friends and family, I didn’t need to use the internet, everyone was more than willing to refer me, use that to your advantage. This town is full of connections, just have to know where to look!
STACEY + BRANDON’S WEDDING GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We had about 100 guests and our budget was $12,000.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . JOA Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . Gardens Arboretum at Springs Preserve
RECEPTION VENUE . at Springs Preserve
WEDDING PLANNER . Infinity Events / FLORAL . Flowers by Michelle / CATERING . Mon Ami Gabi / BAR . DiVine Events / CAKE . Santana Bakes / BRIDAL FASHION . dress - Belle by Alfred Angelo / GROOMSWEAR . Bowties Bridal and Tuxedo Rentals / LINENS . Creative Coverings / ENTERTAINMENT . Aaron La Duke of Majestic DJs / VIDEOGRAPHY . JOA Photography
Despite high winds, locals James and Lesley celebrated their wedding in fabulous modern outdoor style poolside at The M Resort. Bright yellow floral accents complemented both the azure blue of the pool water and the purple uplighting at LUX, the top floor wedding venue at The M. I can’t get over the gorgeous views and stylish, slick design of this hotel. It’s got to be one of my favorite hotel wedding venues in Las Vegas!
WHY JAMES + LESLEY CHOSE M RESORT
We are Vegas locals and chose to have the wedding at M Resort because it’s a fun and easy destination for out-of-towners. The M is close to home and we love their modern decor and beautiful views of the Las Vegas Strip.
THE CEREMONY — Villaggio del Sole Pool at M Resort
Our ceremony was by the beautiful Villaggio del Sole pool with the aisle running between the two main pools. I regret wearing my hair down because the wind was insane that day but the the ceremony was still lovely and luckily the pictures turned out great!
THE RECEPTION — LUX at M Resort
We had the reception at LUX inside The M. It is located on the top floor of the hotel with amazing views of the Strip. We had a great time with our green screen photobooth, plenty of dancing, delicious food, and fun with our friends and family.
How fun are the green screen photo booth images and Vegas-y props? Love them!
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM JAMES + LESLEY
Have fun and don’t worry too much about the details – ask yourself if it is something guests will really appreciate or if they’ll notice it at all. Stick to your budget but if you can afford it, hire an expert. It is no fun to spend the day of the wedding worrying about assembling centerpieces, decorating, etc.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Byron Roe Photography
PHOTOBOOTH PHOTOS . Joy Squad
CEREMONY VENUE . Villaggio Del Sole at The M Resort
RECEPTION VENUE . LUX at The M Resort
OFFICIANT . Phil York / WEDDING COORDINATOR . Mariann Clemens at The M Resort / FLORAL . BY Dzign / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – David’s Bridal, shoes – Badgley Mischka / ENTERTAINMENT . DJ RumpleSkilton / PHOTOBOOTH. Joy Squad