Despite running this site (something I do as a hobby from Canada) I do NOT consider myself a Las Vegas wedding expert. However, I tend to get many questions from readers seeking advice, and try my best to answer or at least point them in the right direction to get the answers they need. At the very least, I give my opinion or things I’ve heard from couple who have submitted their weddings to the site.
While I can no longer keep up with the volume of questions I get by providing personalized answers, I will be choosing some to run some of these question and my answers in a series called LVW Monday Mailbag!
We kick off today with a question that plagues many couples marrying in Vegas: locked in catering and venue photography rules!
Your site seems to be filled with the best information on Las Vegas weddings, so I thought I’d come to you for advice! Our wedding will be a destination wedding for all our guests and we are thinking Vegas will be the best spot, as it is middle ground for everyone.
I am struggling to find a venue I actually like. I am turned off by the typical “Vegas hotel wedding.” It is important to hire our own photographer and would much rather have our own caterers rather than a venue’s set/generic menu.
We’d love for our wedding to be outside near greenery, something a bit rustic. Or I’d also love a loft, or intimate warehouse feel with brick and lights! Any suggestions?! We’ll have about 70 guests, and a venue near Summerlin and Red Rock hotel or another great hotel would be great to make it easier for our guests to get around.
Thank you, K
Ah, the great venue search. You actually have some pretty specific requests, so the first thing I would do would be to narrow down the search to places that allow outside caterers. That limits things quite a bit and will help stop you from going crazy.
Some choices that would be top of my list would be:
Although they require the use of an exclusive caterer at this time, from what I’ve seen they offer a lot of flexibility in terms of menu. Also, the array of venue options at the Springs may fit what you need, including a combination loft-like/garden space. Keep in mind while they do not restrict photographers, they do require you to have an event planner.
Historic Fifth Street School
This venue meets many of your requirements, in that they allow you to choose your own caterer and photographer, but it is very much a self-service venue and you may wish to hire a wedding planner as well. But the space is rustic, outdoors and near all some great downtown hotels your guests will find convenient. String some bistro lights up over the courtyard and it will have that airy lofty feel. It is not near Red Rock or Summerlin, but sometimes compromise is the word of the day when it comes to wedding planning!
That being said, I do encourage you to explore places with a locked-in caterer. I think you’ll find the quality of the food and beverage available in Las Vegas is modern, gourmet and very flexible compared to what you may be used to at home, especially at some of the higher-end country clubs like Red Rock Country Club or Canyon Gate Country Club, both of which would meet your green setting and city location requests.
Have a Vegas wedding planning question? Feel free to send it to me at kelly AT littlevegaswedding DOT com with the subject line: “LVW Mailbag” or leave a comment on one of the posts. I may answer it in a future mailbag feature. Questions may be edited for length and privacy.
If you want more immediate help, I encourage you to join the LVW Wedding Planning Facebook group. This private group is full of people planning their weddings just like you as well as some vendors. Both are great for knowledge and advice and are probably much more in the know than me!
Not everyone is into the classic bridal look, and I think Vegas brides are a perfect example of this trend. If the idea of shopping bridal boutiques, getting fitted for a gown and dropping hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on a dress then getting it to Las Vegas isn’t your deal, keep reading!
Rent the Runway is a great option for Vegas brides, bridesmaids and wedding guests. If you are not familiar with Rent the Runway, it is a designer gown rental service. There are a number of popular “off the rack” looks in the shop at any given time, but the biggest bonus is being able to choose a gown online to pick it up in the shop when you arrive ahead of your wedding. The online retailer/service now operates a boutique in Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas which makes picking up the designer dress of your dreams for a lower price point so much easier.
I recently stopped in for a tour and some window shopping and was thrilled with what I found. Staffed by helpful staff (even on a busy afternoon) there were a number of Vegas locals and tourists picking up or trying on looks.
The gown arrives freshly laundered and ready to wear. With sizing for nearly every body type, including tall and petite sizing, you will be surprised by how great these looks will fit. They even provide a back up size if you aren’t quite sure what the fit will be like. Rentals are typically for four days, making it easy to pick up and drop off without rushing back to return it the next day.
Great for brides, mothers of the bride, bridesmaids, wedding guests, Vegas bachelorettes, honeymoon excursions, vow renewals, rehearsal dinners or bridal brunches, Rent the Runway is a stellar addition to the Vegas fashion scene. They will be sure to give your wedding aisle a big dose of couture style…at a fraction of the price.
As a bonus, here are some of my favorite bridal and bridesmaid looks available through Rent the Runway. And for you Little Vegas Wedding readers, here’s a coupon for $25 off your first rental of $75 or more. Just use code 25OFFNEW at the checkout.
Five Favorite Bridal Looks from Rent the Runway
From luxe high-end to more affordable, chic looks, Rent the Runway has a crazy selection of traditional wedding gowns…and of course, more off beat if you have something else in mind. Jumpsuit, anyone?
Five Favorite Bridesmaid Looks from Rent the Runway
The best thing about bridesmaids looks is that there are multiple sizes, or even the same style in many colors, so it is easy, affordable and fun to outfit your maids. Book the trying-on suite at Rent the Runway at Cosmopolitan and turn it into a fun afternoon the day before the wedding. All the ladies need to bring is their shoes and dancing feet!
Rent the Runway
At Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Level 2
Monday – Thursday 11am – 10pm
Friday and Saturday 10am – 10pm
Sunday 11am – 8pm
Pickups, dropoffs, walk-in styling, appointments and private event rentals available
Photos: Kelly at Little Vegas Wedding
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning if you purchase after clicking through a link, Little Vegas Wedding gets a small fee back, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the site.
A common question I get is what kind of upgrades and freebies you can expect to get if you are having your wedding in Las Vegas. The answer (as always) is: it depends.
It depends on the time of year, how vocal you are about your wedding, how friendly you are, how conscientious the person you are dealing with is, how much you tip, availability of what you are requesting is etc., and so on. But here is a list of some things other couples have received.
Walk the Strip and visit the casinos after the wedding (leave your wedding attire on) you’ll be surprised on the amount of people that buy you drinks. – Andy H
Free glass of Champagne at Scarpetta at Cosmopolitan the night we got engaged! – Allison D
The Mandarin Oriental includes a free two-night stay with their wedding packages (in their bridal suite: gorgeous!) My husband and I also found that you get a lot of free Champagne from restaurants when you tell them you just got married! Hahaha! – Kaitlyn A
Upgraded to an Emperors Suite at Caesars Palace (but only because they made some errors.) – Mara F
At Venetian, we got a free suite upgrade, but I think it had more to do with the hotel being super full, not the wedding dress I was holding. – Kelly, Little Vegas Wedding editor
I posted a question about flying with my wedding gown on JetBlue’s Facebook page. Two hours later I got a call from them and they upgraded us to Even More Space and Speed seats for free! So cool! – Allison D.
A free appetizer at Gordon Ramsay Steak inside Paris hotel. Highly recommended! – Claire M
We got an upgrade to a corner two-bedroom suite with a Strip view at Mandalay Bay. I just emailed the front desk manager a month before we arrived. – Danny Z
Just a free bottle of Champagne. – Melinda M
Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce will give you any tour guide info, magazines, little goodies like magnets, mints, etc. if you email them! I used these items for my welcome bags for my wedding guests! – Kaitlyn A
To increase your chances of getting an upgrade or something free due to your wedding, here is some advice.
Wear your wedding attire! Even if you’re eloping, wear your wedding outfits as long as possible because it’s the most obvious sign that you just got hitched.
Tell people. Not in a snotty “what can you give me?” way, but in a casual, “I’m really excited, we’re here to get married!” way and you might find yourself with free drinks, suite upgrades, a free spa visit or better table at the restaurant.
Research the $20 trick, if you are angling for a suite upgrade.
Call ahead. Call the hotel manager, concierge, restaurant host, transportation company, etc., ahead of time and let them know you are coming for a special reason. You might find yourself riding in a town car instead of a regular car, or have surprise waiting for you.
If you are finding yourself stressed about getting your wedding dress to your destination Las Vegas wedding, fear not! Editor Jemma at the You Mean The World To Me destination wedding blog is here to help with a guest post on the topic.
With tips on what to look for in a wedding dress if you haven’t gone shopping yet, what to ask for when on board with your dress and what to do when you arrive at your destination, she’s got all your questions covered.
You’ve booked your venue, your wedding planning is well underway and then you suddenly think: “How am I going to take my wedding dress on a plane?” Well, never fear! Here’s some practical advice and top tips to get you started, with an action plan for taking your wedding dress on a plane.
If you’ve not bought your dress yet, bear in mind that chiffon or silk dresses are more lightweight to carry and easier to pack for destination weddings, plus any little creases your dress might get will drop out pretty easily.
Beware Budget Airlines
When it comes to booking your flights for your wedding, consider that it might be worth spending a little bit more money so that you fly with an airline that is more flexible in terms of hold and hand luggage allowances. Many “budget” airlines have very strict rules on the size and specification of luggage.
Once you have your flights booked, speak directly to the airline for their advice in terms of taking a wedding dress on their aircraft as every airline has different policies.
Once Onboard The safest route is to take your dress in the cabin with you. I wouldn’t recommend checking your wedding dress just incase your suitcase or luggage is delayed, ends up on the wrong flight or gets lost.
Hanging your dress — Some airlines will hang your dress bag up in the first class wardrobe if there is space (call ahead and ask the airline and ask if this is a possibility.) This option is more likely with summer destination weddings, if you are coming from a colder climate because there will be fewer passengers with coats to hang up.
There is the risk that the airline might say that they are unable to hang your dress up once you board the flight (even if their customer services team said it might be a possibility) and the air stewards may ask you to put your dress in the overhead bins.
Boxing your dress — If your airline can not guarantee that they will be able to hang your dress bag up for you and you are not keen on the idea that you might have to fold it in the overhead bins, check out the hand luggage size allowed on your flight and purchase a dress box. A dress box that fits to the hand luggage size specifications for your flight will ensure that your dress is packaged, easy to carry and you will know for definite that you will have no problems taking it on the flight as hand luggage.
Do also check if you can take one or two items on as hand luggage as you will most likely want a bag with you as well as your dress. Many low-cost airlines have strict rules about having one piece of hand luggage only and that the item you have must fit within their sizing rules.
Make sure that any wedding dress box that you buy comes with white acid-free tissue paper. Use the tissue paper to pack and protect the dress and to avoid creases.
Better dry cleaners sell wedding dress boxes with acid-free paper and they may even pack your dress for you. Your bridal shop may also have this service or know somewhere locally that they can suggest. You can also order destination wedding dress boxes online and find packing videos and guidance on YouTube.
Arriving in Las Vegas
When you arrive at your hotel, check your dress over and then hang it up (in its protective bag) to let any small creases fall out and to ensure that it doesn’t get knocked or marked before the big day.
Plan where you will hang your dress; maybe you won’t want it hanging in your room where your future husband could take a sneaky peek!
You can always turn the shower on hot in your hotel bathroom, close the door until the room becomes steamy and use the steam to help any creases to drop out of your dress. Make sure you hang the dress in a clean, dry area of the bathroom!
(Kelly here: there are a few people in the Las Vegas area who specialize in steaming your dress when it arrives. Debi at Fit for a Bride comes highly recommended and will even pick up your dress for you, although her location is very close to The Strip.)
If you need any further advice or inspiration for your destination wedding, then head on over to You Mean The World To Me!
When I asked several brides a few weeks ago to share things they wished they changed about their Las Vegas weddings, a common complaint was that they wish they had picked a lighter/cooler/airier wedding dress.
I thought I would draw up a list of options of wedding dresses with shorter lengths or lighter materials, perfect for a hot Vegas wedding. These dress are budget-friendly, but still high on fashion.
Lace, one-shoulder detailing, minimal and modern designs as well as some Vegas-friendly retro wedding dresses are featured. And all of these wedding dresses are under $700. Full disclosure: some are bridesmaid’s dresses, but your secret is safe with me.