Doing your homework ahead of a destination wedding is always a good idea, and even better if it’s done in person. It would be great to be able to visit your city of choice multiple times, but in reality, that is just not an option in most cases. So how do you make the best of limited time and budget while on a Vegas scouting trip?

For Las Vegas, a scouting trip is probably best done 7-9 months out, although I did mine 2 months out, so it is possible. Plan for the trip to be over weekdays (Sunday through Thursday) if at all doable, to maximize business hours and to keep your budget low.

Set up meetings with vendors before you leave. Florists, wedding planners (private or on-site), cake tastings, photographers and officiants are all people you should consider meeting. You could also do makeup and hair trials, meet with DJs or entertainment and visit hotels, depending on the amount of time you have to spend.

Other tips:

  • Do as much research ahead of time as possible. Narrow down your list of possible venues to around three to five places to actually view.
  • RENT A CAR! Cabs are easy and buses are affordable, but driving in Las Vegas is very simple and rental cars are cheap. Even when you factor in gas, a rental car can still be cheaper than cabbing it.
  • Try to visit the sites during the time of day you are hoping to hold your ceremony. Keep in mind Vegas can be unbearable from 11am until sunset from May until September!
  • Limit the people you bring with you. Even if your entire extended family is super excited and super involved in the wedding, try to keep your tag-along list small. It’ll just keep things simpler.
  • Bring your camera – and do not just limit to still photographs, shoot video as well. It’ll help you remember things better.
  • If you are holding a multi-site event (i.e., the ceremony and reception are in different locations) consider timing the distance to travel between the places.
  • Perhaps you are considering Las Vegas themed gifts or favors for your guests. Now is a great time to visit stores and pick some up, or see what is available for purchase closer to the wedding.
  • Compose a list of questions to ask your vendors and sites ahead of time. For help, read What to Ask Your Wedding Venue {Real Simple} and 16 Questions to Ask When You Visit Wedding Venues {Glamour}
  • Look for special packages if you already have a good idea of what hotel or chapel you want to use. For example, Mandalay Bay has a “Just Engaged Scouting Trip” package that nets you one to three night’s stay in a suite, a meeting with a wedding coordinator, various other perks depending on how long you stay and 3-10% off your wedding at Mandalay Bay.
  • If you are traveling with your fiance and are a year or less from the date of your wedding, you might consider getting your marriage license on your scouting trip. More information here.

With all of this footwork done, in the days just before the wedding you can then nail down specifics and refine your day of schedule without having to worry!

Photo Credit: LasVegas360