What happens in Vegas {Part II}

August 5th, 2011

As I have been asked so many times what it was like to get married in Las Vegas, it made sense to write a guide based on my own personal experience. The “What happens in Vegas” guide, started last week, and was originally meant to be a two parter. However; I realised there was too much information to cover over two posts, so it’s now turned into a three parter…..or a trilogy! So on we go…..

Hair / Make-Up: Make sure you know how you want your hair and make-up to look. Just because you’re getting married abroad, doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared and have trials done! I had hair and make-up trials done a few months before we got married and took photos of everything; I really didn’t want the “big American hair and make-up” thing going on! It’s a good thing I did as well, because even armed with a photo, I still had to “have words” with the girl doing my make-up. She had taken it upon herself to give me make-up, right up to my eyebrows – YIKES!!! When I sensed it wasn’t right and opened my eyes to ask her what she was doing, she glanced at me, then back at the photo and then back to me, and when I told her I didn’t want it like that, she looked at me shocked and said “Really”?! “Errrr…..yes”. So ALWAYS go for a trial beforehand and have images have how you want your make-up, so hopefully you won’t have to wipe it all off and start again!

Luckily the girl doing my hair had a better idea of what she was doing. I had my hair and make-up done at the Christophe Salon in the MGM Grand; as we were staying at The Signature it made sense. I wanted somewhere easy to get to on the morning of the wedding and somewhere that I’d found good reviews for. A couple of days before we got married I called in to confirm my appointment and check that everything was okay; I can’t say it was the friendliest place I’ve ever been in, but apart from the make-up incident, it was okay!

Photographer: You will find that most places on the strip (especially hotels) provide a photographer. Weddings are obviously big, big business in Vegas, so having this as part of your package is pretty common. Our photographer was included; she put us both at ease and gave us clear directions for posing etc. But with the amount of weddings that these guys do, you’d expect them to know what they’re doing! We had some photos taken in the chapel grounds, but as we wanted some photos done on the strip as well, we booked the same photographer for an extra hour afterwards. You can’t go to Vegas and not have your photo taken under the famous sign!

We also upgraded our photography package and paid to get all our images on a CD. We were also pleasantly surprised when we returned to the chapel the next day to view our photos, that they didn’t try and sell us anything else. We had already decided that after spending $495 on the CD, we didn’t want to buy anything else. They sat us in front of a computer and left us to view our images, wished us every happiness and then sent us on our way. No hard sell. Nothing. Magic!

We didn’t use the limo driver from the chapel for our “offsite” photos; we booked one from an independent company (I can’t remember who). Mainly because the limo driver has to leave you wherever your last stop is…..so if you go straight from the chapel to the strip and your last set of photos are taken at the famous Vegas sign, then that’s where you’re stranded!! Our limo driver from the chapel took us for a tour of the strip and then dropped us off back at the hotel, where we had another limo driver pick us up and drive us around for an hour – he was such as dude!!!

Videographer: A videographer and a wedding DVD, along with live internet broadcasting and for eight hours immediately following our ceremony, was included in our package. At the time you could also pay a little extra to keep the video “live” for a couple of weeks after, just in case someone missed it; we just paid for four days. I think it then stayed accessible in the archives for about a year, but you had to pay if you wanted to view it. You’ll find that most places do this now. You give your “guests” a log on ID and then they can just log onto the website and watch the live broadcast as you get married.

Next week: Flowers, marriage licence (it was supposed to be this week, but it’s now been moved to the final part of the ‘trilogy’!), witnesses, gratuities plus some other Vegas ramblings that may come in useful! 🙂