What happens in Vegas…. {Part 1}

July 29th, 2011

Your wedding day is one of the most important and magical days of your life, and once you start planning the big day, you realise just how much there is to do. There are so many things to organise; the rings, a venue, the flowers, wedding cars, the dress, suits, the reception, bridesmaids, a best man, a photographer, a videographer, a hairdresser, the honeymoon – Phew!!! …..and this isn’t even an exhaustive list! But when the day arrives, you realise the time spent organising everything has been totally worth it.

But what happens when you get married abroad? What happens when it’s just the two of you? When I tell people that Ian and I got married in Las Vegas their eyes light up and they want to know what it’s like. They also think that there’s no stress involved – but trust me, there is! Maybe not as much as organising a wedding for 150 guests, but you still have to co-ordinate everything…..rings, venue, flights, flowers, dress, suit, hairdresser, make-up, accommodation, car hire, marriage licence – all from 5000 miles away! You don’t have the luxury of visiting the venue, you just have to do as much research on the internet as possible, cross your fingers and hope you’ve made the right choice!

So from my own personal experience of getting married in Las Vegas, I thought I would share some information. If this helps even one person, I will be a happy bunny 🙂

Wedding Venue: Research. Research. …..and research some more! Organising your wedding from 5000 miles away can be quite daunting; you don’t have the luxury of visiting potential venues! There are soooooo many chapels and hotels in Las Vegas to choose from, so where do you start? The internet is your best friend; Trip Advisor in particular. I used Trip Advisor in order to plan our whole trip, not just the venue. There are reviews on there for nearly every chapel on the strip as well as any hotel that holds weddings. I also purchased a book “Neon Nuptials – The Complete Guide to Las Vegas Weddings” and it did exactly what it said on the tin – it’s a very honest, no nonsense guide to 56 venues on the strip. Deciding what kind of wedding you want may help you to narrow down your list of potential venues…..if you want a Rocky Horror theme or to be married by Elvis; you’re not going to get married at The Bellagio!!!

Once you’ve decided on your venue, phone them to have a chat and make sure they are friendly and can accommodate your requirements. Communicating by email isn’t going to give you a real idea of the level of customer service that they may or may not provide.

With help from Neon Nuptials, Trip Advisor and other internet research, we decided to get married at Chapel of the Flowers. It got rave reviews and the staff couldn’t have been friendlier, they made everything perfect. Working on time differences took a while to get used to, but if I emailed with a question out of hours there was always a reply within the next couple of days. When I phoned up panicking about something, no matter how small, they were super friendly, answered any questions I had, and put my mind at ease. We wanted to write our own vows, we wanted to have “our song” played, we wanted to get married in the gazebo outside and we didn’t want a religious ceremony. The important thing was that we tailored everything to suit our needs. After the ceremony and photographs our limo driver gave us a tour of the strip before dropping us back at our hotel.

As you do your research you will find some really cheap and nasty chapels with some really bad reviews…….be warned!

Dress: Remember that when you’re getting married abroad, you’re going to have to transport your dress. I chose mine from the Maggie Sottero destination range, which meant it was pretty lightweight and easy to carry. Which leads me onto flights…..

Flights: When organising your flights, be sure to mention that you’re getting married and that you need to transport your wedding dress and even the grooms suit. When Ian and I got married, we flew with BMI and they were really helpful. We were both able to take our clothing on board as extra hand luggage and the Stewardesses made sure we had somewhere to hang them up.

Rings: Don’t forget to take the receipts for your rings with you. It’s always best to have proof that you bought them in the UK and took them over with you.

I really hope this has been useful…..next week: Hair and make-up, photographers, flowers, marriage licence and more!