Dax and Gee are Las Vegas locals who chose a Strip hotel to get married at. Gee says it was because it was “the only chapel that we’ve been in that didn’t feel cheesy and it felt very intimate.” The chocolate brown and light pink tones keep the chapel very modern and airy, it is one of my favorite Strip chapels, too.
These cyclists chose a tandem bike theme, adding in rustic details like burlap and handpainted signage. (Bikes also showed up at their cute engagement session at Spring Mountain Ranch!) Friends and family drew together to make almost everything at this event personalized by hand; from the decor and cake to the photography, a family member or close friend helped make it happen. Such beautiful work, and full of special meaning.
THE CEREMONY — Garden Chapel at Flamingo Las Vegas
The ceremony was very intimate. We only had our closest family and friends come for the reception since the maximum seating in the chapel was less than 60, but it was the best choice we made. The glass doors, marble floors and beautiful lighting made it ideal for photos.
THE RECEPTION — Maggiano’s Little Italy at Fashion Show Mall
To sum it up the reception was simple awesome! We had 110 guests and Maggiano’s gave us the best package out of anybody in town. The ambiance and family style dinner made it feel like a really big family gathering instead of a wedding reception. The view (of The Strip ) from the banquet hall is exquisite. It didn’t feel crowded or tight, the service was on-point, and all of our guests kept commenting on how much food there was and how they have never expected that kind of dinner for a wedding … and it was the least expensive package they had! And even when I had major brain lapse and had to make changes last minute (like right before we did our grand entrance) our banquet captain and coordinator at Maggiano’s made it happen with no fuss.
DETAILS + DECOR
Every decoration was DIY courtesy my sisters, moms, grandmothers and aunts! That included centerpieces, seating charts, baskets, pillows for the ring, candles and more. Both Dax and I are cyclists here in Vegas and that is why our theme was tandem bicycling!
What stood out the most at our wedding was the amount of love and support we got from our family and friends. In fact, most of our vendors were family and friends. My photographer was my brother-in-law who had to shoot alone as his wife and co-photographer was my matron-of-honor. Our videographer and DJ is a family friend, the photobooth came via a co-worker and our dessert table and cake were made by my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. Even our Pastor is a friend of ours; we were lucky!
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM DAX + GEE
Make it about you two and not what everybody else expects your wedding to be. We had a small budget but our budget went a long way because we did what we believed.
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We were able to host 110 guests on a $10,000 budget.
This absolutely darling destination wedding is fun and fabulous. Sara and Rocky travelled to Las Vegas from the U.K. to get married in a chapel, infusing their wedding day with glitzy emerald green details, drawing inspiration from the bride’s engagement ring. Sara wore a vintage wedding dress and despite it being a destination wedding, this couple customized many parts of their day, including the playing card-style stationery and that amazing vintage brooch bouquet.
DIY DETAILS + DECOR
I came across button and brooch bouquets on Pinterest. I thought they were amazing, but I couldn’t find one with the colours I wanted, and custom orders were very expensive. So I decided to make one for me, and one for my Maid of Honour. It took a lot of work.
Firstly I needed to find the brooches, many of which came from eBay. Some came from family, and some fit our theme, like red sparkly hearts to match my shoes and a little cat brooch, as Rocky and I have 2 cats. I used big gold ones for the first layer of brooches, and then lots of big sparkly green ones. The more sparkly the better! Some of them weren’t the right green, so I used a bit of green nail varnish on the enamel bits to get them the right shade. I was sat with a glue gun, florists wire, and florist stem tape for 3 solid days before I could even start putting them together! It was hard, but absolutely worth it. I got so many comments on them, and given that we were traveling it was great to be able to know exactly what my ‘flowers’ would look like before getting there. I also like having it to keep forever, and being able to give people in my family bits of it in the future when they get married.
THE CEREMONY — Garden Chapel at Vegas Weddings The ceremony was exactly the simple and fun wedding we were after. We had a ‘first glance’ option in our package, so I arrived before Rocky and most of the guests and I waited in the bridal suite with my Mum and my Maid of Honour. Once all the guests had been seated my Dad came and met me and we walked down the aisle to the Star Wars Throne Room song.
The doors opened and the room felt full of our families and friends. The venue was lit with candle light, and had rose petals scattered down the aisle. All of this made it feel very intimate. Just what we had wanted. We were both a bit nervous, and the ceremony was short and sweet as we weren’t having readings or anything, so it passed by in a blur. Luckily we have a great video as part of our package to be able to watch it again and send it friends and family. A few friends from the UK were able to watch live online through the streaming service that the venue provided. Our recessional was Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.
FAVORITE MEMORY I’ll always remember walking down Fremont Street for our photo shoot and having people woop and cheer and shout “Congratulations!”
One of the stand out moments was walking into the room in Maggiano’s and seeing how beautiful the team had made it. Spotting all the little decorations I’d given to the team around the room and seeing the beautiful flowers and cake. Overall we’ll remember how much fun the day was! When there’s so much organising and build up you worry that something will go wrong, but everything was so easy thanks to all the great people involved, that we were able to really enjoy it!
THE RECEPTION — Maggiano’s at Fashion Show Mall
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect venue for our reception, a private room at Maggiano’s. We’d visited the day before to give Beth (a manager) our decorations and when we arrived on the day she and the florist had made the room look beautiful.
Rocky’s family is Italian, and they were particularly impressed at the quality of Maggiano’s food. We had a family-style dinner, which meant we passed round shared plates, which was a great way to get everybody talking, and meant everybody could have as much as they liked. We’d selected a package with an open bar and everybody enjoyed it to the fullest extent. The music selection was perfect (lots of Frank Sinatra, jazz and easy listening, which we love) and we all felt so relaxed and comfortable thanks to our wonderful host who looked after us all the whole time. There is nothing we’d change and it was the perfect chilled out evening we’d hoped for.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
The day after we got engaged we started looking at venues. We didn’t want to wait as we knew venues book out far in advance so could be waiting a long time if we didn’t settle on somewhere soon. We knew we wanted to travel for our wedding and wanted something small and intimate, and the UK’s weather is so unreliable! It’s also a great way to start the honeymoon straight away (we went on to spend five days in New Orleans and eight days in New York). We both love the US, so where better to get married than the Marriage Capital of the World?
We looked at a lot of the hotel chapels, but most were either booked, or looked like a bit plain. Rocky found the ‘Vegas Wedding’ company, and saw they had a Garden Chapel. It was perfect!
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM ROCKY AND SARA
You just can’t get enough photos! It might seem tedious at the time, but take the time to get lots of combinations of you and friends and family members. And get individual ones too! e.g. just bride with maid of honour, groom with best man to make sure you have a full set to choose from.
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We had a budget of about £9,000 ($15,000) for everything (dress, ceremony, reception, and the honeymoon). We ended up spending about £11,000 ($18,500) and had 14 people join us. We were lucky that our parents helped, and our family and friends gave us money towards the honeymoon. We used HoneyFund to take contributions which was great as we could show people what we would use their contributions for.
Every Monday this year we are highlighting a unique Vegas wedding venue in the Ultimate Vegas Wedding Guide! Today the focus is on restaurants for private wedding receptions on the north end of The Strip.
Restaurant receptions are common for many smaller Vegas weddings, as almost every Las Vegas restaurant offers some kind of private dining, and they make it easy to host a reception for 30 or fewer people. Instead of everyone swimming in a room that is too large for the group, these restaurants tailorsized their venues to smaller groups. You get all the benefits of the restaurant’s decor and location in addition to customized menus, the ambience, service and privacy.
Here are six of my favorite restaurants on the north end of The Strip for wedding receptions of up to 30 guests. Stay tuned next Monday for Part Two which covers South and Center Strip restaurants.
Barrymore — at The Royal Resort The Barrymore is a taste of the luxurious lounges of Las Vegas past. Their Gold and Blue rooms will host larger parties of up to 65, but the patio with a fireplace is perfect for 27 guests and offers a view looking north.
Customizable menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner and service options such as sommeliers, tastings, and pairings are available.
Cuisine Style: New American. Don’t miss the Hefeweizen mini-cupcakes or lobster mac and cheese! They can also accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and raw menus.
Decor: Retro glam meets modern comforts with beige, blue and deep brown palette (and a touch of gold!)
left: Point Room, right: Bocuse Room at Bouchon
Bouchon — Venetian Las Vegas Venezia Tower
A variety of different private dining options include the Point Room for 14 or Bocuse for up to 20 on a long table or 48 at square tables. If you love French cuisine, Keller’s Bouchon is a place you must consider for your reception.
Price per guest: $2500 food & beverage minimum (ample for 20 guests)
Cuisine Style: French Bistro. Don’t miss: seafood or the pastries! The dedicated in-house pastry team can also create the wedding cake of your dreams for you
Decor: Classic Parisian bistro with dark woods, tile floor and elevated ceiling. An attached patio is secluded and lovely
Postrio Bar & Grill — Venetian Las Vegas One of Wolfgang Puck’s many Las Vegas outposts, Postrio‘s private banquet room I will host up to 60 guests at rounds or up to 20 at one long table. The chefs cycle the banquet menu seasonally (rare to find) and pair dishes with custom cocktails. This is one of the few spaces for smaller weddings that can accommodate a dance floor.
Cuisine Style: American Casual. Don’t miss: the wood fired pizzas. In-house pastry chefs will take care of the wedding cake for you. Brunch, lunch and dinner menus available as well as a passed appetizer cocktail reception with butler-served pizzas, hors d’oeuvres and desserts.
Decor: Stylish and contemporary with a minimal design. Brown woods, olive green leather and abstract art depicting Vitamin C crystals magnified 100,000 times bring in bright splashes of color in the private dining areas. Postrio provides a sign-in table and white linens.
Clockwise from top left at Maggiano’s Las Vegas: Patio, Barolo, DiCarlo
Maggiano’s Patio — Fashion Show Mall Maggiano’s is a favorite with Vegas wedding receptions because of its great location, service and pricing. The patio will host up to 24 at round tables, while Barolo Room can hold 14 and DiCarlo up to 30.
Cocktail, plated and family style service available, as well as lunch and brunch menus.
Price per guest: $41.95-87.95, some packages including four hours bar service. Children’s pricing available
Dancefloor: Yes (but not in the smaller rooms) | Patio: Yes
Cuisine Style: Italian Classics. Don’t miss: the rigatoni or gnocchi. iPod docks, TV screens and microphones available for a cost, upgrades include custom pasta stations, carving stations, dessert and sweet tables, sundae bars, signature cocktails and toasts.
Decor: Masculine dining room with wood accents and large windows overlooking The Strip
Il Moro at Canaletto
Canaletto — Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes
Il Moro (hosts 28 guests) at Canaletto overlooks the replica St. Mark’s Square at Venetian through large open archways while San Marco offers a more intimate space for up to 12 guests.
Lunch and dinner receptions available. Price per guest: $45-85
Cuisine Style: Venetian Italian. Don’t miss: homemade breads or ravioli
Decor: Venetian steakhouse with murals, thick draperies and views of the Grand Canal Shoppes
DB Brasserie — Venetian Las Vegas
Daniel Boulud has made his return to Las Vegas! Two rooms at DB Brasserie, Rhone and Saone, will accommodate up to 20 wedding guests each at rounds or one long tables. Together, the rooms will seat 45. Each room is equipped with an i-pod dock for your wedding playlist. Floral arrangements (from $75 a table), audio-visual set ups, custom table linens, and decor services are also available.
Lunch, cocktail and dinner menus available.
Price per guest: $25-125. Open bar $40 per person per hour
Mo and Casey travelled from Down Under to get married in Las Vegas! Coming from so far away, this couple did things up right and included all the little Vegas touches they wanted, including a mini-concert from Elvis (with showgirls) and a roving magician that delighted guests during cocktail hour. Mo went the extra mile and even surprised her new husband with some surprise guests and a light sabre battle with the Dark Lord, Darth Vader himself. Bently and Wilson Photography captured all the epic moments.
The coolest thing I think they did was a same-day vow renewal (yes, you read correctly) where they did things in that classic Vegas style, at the Graceland Chapel with an Elvis impersonator! Be sure to come back on Wednesday to see their day after wedding “encore” bridal shoot!
Why did you choose Las Vegas? Casey and I (Mo) live in Brisbane, Australia. We met online and just knew it was love from our first date in July 2012. Fast forward 8 months and we decided to get married. Las Vegas was initially a bit of a joke, “Hey, lets go get married in Vegas!” but once I started to Google venues and Vegas weddings – I was hooked. Even though it was literally on the other side of the world, Vegas was exciting and offered a lot more variety for our wedding than what we had at home. It didn’t take much to convince Casey either. We set our date, booked our venues, set up a wedding website then sent out save the dates to 100 friends and family all around the world.
The Ceremony – Chapel at Flamingo Hotel We picked the Flamingo Hotel as a ceremony venue because they allowed outside vendors for a reasonable fee. We also loved the gardens there for a photo opportunity. Initially we were booked to get married outside at the Gazebo but on our scouting trip we fell in love with the newly remodeled indoor chapel. The chapel was so beautiful we didn’t have to add any additional decor. Looking back we are definitely glad we chose this venue.
We didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony so we traveled separately from our hotel to the Flamingo. I waited in the bridal suite until the start of the ceremony and my 6 year old son was our ring bearer and looked great in his little tux. We are so glad we had a videographer as we can hardly recall most of the ceremony. We spent most of the time just grinning at each other truly madly deeply in love and so excited to be finally getting married. We chose to have a civil ceremony and wrote our own vows. It was such an amazing moment when we were announced as husband and wife and our first kiss was electric.
We hosted guests at Carlos n Charlies in the Flamingo Gardens for a short cocktail hour following the ceremony whilst we did a quick photo shoot around the Flamingo. As entertainment we hired Jason Bird to do some strolling magic and our guests are STILL talking about his amazing tricks.
The Reception – Di Carlo & Calabria Rooms at Maggiano’s, Fashion Show Mall We couldn’t go past Maggiano’s for their incredible reputation for great food, value reception packages and the hardwood decor. We dropped off all of our decor two days before the wedding and were very impressed with Maggiano’s set up of our reception. The decor, food and premium open bar absolutely wowed our guests. The ‘LOVE’ lights and uplighting from LED Unplugged transformed Maggiano’s Di Carlo & Calabria room.
Our guests were greeted by Elvis and the Showgirls who performed during the first course of dinner. After the main course we had speeches, our first dance then cut the cake. The rest of the night was a blur of cocktails, great music and amazing desserts. Our last dance was to Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore’ and it turned into a great drunken sing along with all of our guests. Nobody wanted to leave when the lights came up.
Any standout memories from the wedding day? The absolute stand out moment from our wedding was the groom’s surprise wedding visit from Darth Vader and some Storm Troopers. Casey is a huge Star Wars fan and loves all things sci-fi and fantasy. He had absolutely no idea that this was even planned. The DJ, who also happened to like Star Wars, transformed the visit from simply a meet & greet photo-op into a full blown epic light sabre battle between Casey and Darth Vader. A truly memorable ending to a perfect wedding day.
And what about that same day vow renewal?
Throughout all of our wedding planning, Casey and I were constantly asked whether our wedding would be in a little chapel with a hip-thrusting Elvis officiant. Unfortunately the stereotype of a Vegas wedding as it is portrayed in the movies is well and truly alive in Australia. To feed the stereotype, and because we think Elvis is super cool, Casey and I decided to have a same day vow renewal at the Graceland Chapel. We were in and out of there within 15 minutes while our guests were on a party bus tour of the Strip. In contrast to our traditional ceremony, Casey and I were able to completely let loose and just have fun. Our Elvis was amazing and made the experience unforgettable. We loved it that much we posted the video on YouTube for all the world to see!
Did you DIY or make anything yourselves for the wedding? Having an international destination wedding made DIY decor really difficult. Luckily, I was able to ship items to our wedding coordinator at Culinary Pros. We really wanted feather centrepieces at our reception but the quotes were outrageously expensive at between $120 – $180 per centrepiece. So we decided to DIY, I purchased everything through eBay and had 13 feather centrepieces at a total cost of $400.
Mo + Casey’s #1 tip for others marrying in Las Vegas
Our top tip for international couples planning to marry in Las Vegas is don’t count on the exchange rate! Unfortunately for us when we started planning the wedding the Australian dollar bought $1.07 US Dollar. About 6 months before our wedding the Aussie dollar crashed to just 80 US cents. So in essence the cost of everything planned for our wedding went up by 27% + the added expenses of international transaction fees. Needless to say we totally blew our budget – but we wouldn’t change a single thing about our perfect day.
[Also] We were completely blown away by Langdon Videography and they were an absolute stand out vendor for us. In my personal view – videography is a MUST for destination weddings because pictures alone just don’t do the event justice particularly when sharing with friends and family who couldn’t travel to the event. Initially I was quoted over $3000 by some of the bigger, more popular cinematic companies in Vegas – but our $1200 package with Langdon Videography went above and beyond our expectations.
Mo + Casey’s Guestcount and Budget
We had 30 guests and our wedding day cost approximately $15,000US not including any attire or travel expenses.
Helena and Hondo are a couple who came from New Jersey to do their wedding Vegas style! This destination wedding took place in the serene Juno Garden at Caesar’s Palace, with photography by the always fabulous Mary Meyer.
Helena works in the shoe industry, so you know she had to have some gorgeous footwear for her wedding, and her Badgley Mischka heels did not disappoint and were a nice complement to the Art Deco styling of her Vera Wang gown (with similar tailoring seen in her bridesmaids dresses.) While getting ready the bridal party nibbled on delicate macarons.
Surrounded by Roman architecture and fountains, Helena carried a simple bouquet of coral roses up to the altar where she exchanged vows with Hondo.
Post ceremony the wedding party headed to the Neon Museum to get some portraits done as the sunset, and then the party day concluded with a reception at Maggiano’s. Helena changed into a beautiful fuschia qipao gown and got down with the wedding guests, including her 90 year old grandfather!
Be sure to scroll all the way through the fabulous photos below to the video highlight reel from Lightsource Films, too!