James and Cheryl are a couple of Canadians who decided to have their destination wedding at a country club in Las Vegas. Their ceremony (decked out in deep blue and silver) involved their 50 guests in a ring warming and group vow. They also ditched a lot of the parts of a traditional reception like the first dance and garter toss, instead mixing up a custom cocktail together for their first toast. So Vegas! The wedding celebration continued into the wee hours back on The Strip at an afterparty in Aria’s Gold Lounge. Read on for James and Cheryl’s Vegas wedding tips and for a story on how the ring warming might have been a little TOO warm! ;)
Why James and Cheryl chose Las Vegas for their destination wedding
We picked Las Vegas because we had our first vacation as a couple here. We are Canadian and Las vegas is only a 2.5 hour flight south, so it was ideal for a short weekend getaway for guests with lots of things to do besides the wedding. We got married on May 3rd, 2014 at Siena Golf Club. The water, landscaping and the Red Rock mountains behind the golf course is why we picked this as our location. We walked in and both loved it!
The Ceremony – Villa Lawn at Siena Golf Club
Our ceremony was overlooking the water at Siena Golf Club. The ceremony was great! Angie delivered it very well and we couldn’t have asked for a better day, the day was hot but breezy and the sunset ceremony was beautiful! It was a fairly short ceremony, about 25 minutes and it involved the guests with a ring warming ceremony and group vow. Being a sunset ceremony, we decided to do a first look and all the photos before the wedding while the lighting was still good. I am very glad we did this because it allowed us to enjoy some of our cocktail hour with our guests.
A favorite wedding memory:
I absolutely loved having our friends and family bless our rings and our marriage during the ring warming ceremony. The challenge I will remember, James’ ring wouldn’t go on! It was 96F that day and his hands were swollen from the heat. His ring would not go on in the ceremony. It did fit after a few hours inside with air conditioning.
The Reception – Bistro at Siena Golf Club
They did a great job setting up and taking direction from us. I did not hear one complaint about the food, everyone was raving about it. We decided to keep décor very simple and use the Tuscan style bistro the way it was. We decided to get rid of lots of traditions. We modernized our reception and made it very us. We did a first drink instead of a first dance and we did not have any parental dances, no garter toss or bouquet toss.
Any handmade or DIY details?
As our wedding was destination and planned from Canada, DIY was very challenging. We did do a couple items DIY: the arch décor and the gluten-free and dairy-free favours. Everything else was ordered and sent to Siena to be held until the wedding.
James and Cheryl’s #1 tip for other couples planning a Las Vegas wedding:
Do your research and scout! We found that some places looked run down and not nearly as nice as the photos posted online. You will want to see it in person or view current photos from someone else’s wedding. Make sure you check out real reviews on third party websites.
Also beware of the exchange rate and fees. We were lucky and paid off most of the wedding before our exchange rate dropped drastically. We also didn’t realize when we started planning that there is typically a 20% service fee added on to most things.
James and Cheryl’s guestcount and wedding budget:
We had 50 people in total attend the wedding. We went over budget by a lot, our original budget was $18,000. Our final numbers came back at $31,000 (including all rings, attire and travel). We splurged on some items and upgraded some things, so we knew we would be over budget.
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
OFFICIANT . Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions / DAY OF COORDINATOR . Culinary Pros Las Vegas / FLORAL . bridal bouquet + bridal party – Costco / CATERING . Siena Golf Club / CAKE . Las Vegas Custom Cakes / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – M1227L Mia Solano / HAIR + MAKEUP . Beauty by Bri / TRANSPORTATION . AWG Ambassador / RENTALS . furniture, props, lighting and linens – All Night Long and RSVP Party Rentals/ STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . invites – David’s Bridal, other – Shutterfly / FAVORS . The Knot / ENTERTAINMENT + DJ . The Music Solution / AFTERPARTY . Gold Lounge at Aria