If you follow me on social media (@sarahtypes) than you know I just recently got hitched in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ve always wanted to do this, it sounded like so much fun and I never saw myself getting married the traditional way. The traditional wedding sounds super stressful and really expensive. The great thing about planning a wedding in Vegas is you can go as cheap as you want or as lavish as you want. My wedding wasn’t super cheap but it was affordable (with help from parents) and we got to do all the cool things we wanted and had a delicious dinner. If you’re thinking about tying the knot Vegas-style keep reading for some insider tips. 😉
First things first – where do you want get married?
I checked out at a lot of different venues online and read a bunch of reviews. Initially I really loved the garden at the Wynn but with the Canadian dollar the way it is this was too expensive. I really liked all the old chapels especially the ‘Little Church of the West’ however I wanted my wedding photos to be bright and this chapel is a bit dark. I eventually picked the courtyard at the Tropicana. I wouldn’t recommend the Tropicana, if I could do it again I would most likely pick another place. The setting was pretty, we had palm trees and waterfalls in the background and there weren’t any hotel guests too close by. I didn’t like the service at the Tropicana and the ceremony video they sent me was unwatchable. I’m not going to get too into the negatives because this was an awesome day and I don’t want to take away from it. (if you want to read more detailed reviews you can find them on yelp, trip advisor, the knot etc.)
What about pictures and video?
If you are set on hiring your own photographer because you found one that is perfect for you, make sure you pick the right venue. Most venues do not allow outside vendors, this includes photography, videography, flowers etc. If you want to find a venue that will allow you to bring in your own vendors, check out this link. I bought the 4 hour photo package and all the digital copyrights from Tropicana and that was $2,500.00 USD. I wanted to hire an outside videographer because I know a lot of wedding videos can be pretty tacky. I originally found a couple that creates music videos but they pretty much ghosted me after taking my deposit (I made sure to pay the deposit with pay pal so I could get it back if such a situation should arise, and I did). So, with 4 weeks to go I had to find another videographer. I found Sergio, he charged me $600 USD for 5 hours, a 1 min video and a longer video with a timeline of 6 weeks. I really loved his 1 min social media video, you can see that one here…
In a city with so many delicious restaurants, which one do you choose?
If you’re having your ceremony at a hotel you can check out their own restaurants as I’m sure they are all great and you won’t have far to go! I’m a very picky eater with a lot of dietary restrictions so this was a challenge for me. For some reason a lot of the mid-priced restaurants I found on the strip were Italian and I’m not a fan of Italian food (I know, I’m weird). I decided on Tommy Bahamas, which is located at the end of the strip at Town Square (outdoor mall). I got in touch with their event person, Kaaren. I emailed back and forth with her the entire time and she was awesome, she was so quick with replies and always had answers. The prices are very reasonable and they have amazing food options. It ended up being about $100 USD per person for the food (pre dinner snacks and the main menu) and 2 hours of open bar. The menu didn’t include desert because I was bringing in my own wedding cake. The service at Tommy Bahamas was 100% – you can’t ask for better. This was the easiest and best part of my wedding. EVERYONE was impressed by their food and of course the amazing service. I highly recommend.
Can’t forget the cake!
I ordered a cake from www.lasvegascustomcakes.com, I couldn’t actually eat it because it has dairy and gluten in it but everyone else loved it! They really loved the red velvet layer (there was also a vanilla layer). The cake was about $250 USD, we provided our own cake topper. I sent them a photo of what I was looking for and they nailed it! The cake topper is actually a 3D printed image of us, I got it at a Selftraits in Toronto.
I did call around to all the bakeries I could find to see if anyone could make a gluten free and vegan cake just for me. A friend suggested the Wynn, I was staying here while in Vegas so it would be really convenient. I called them and they said they could make me my own 3″ personal cake, it was delivered on the morning of the wedding and it was so cute and yummy! The gluten free vegan cake from the Wynn was about $45 USD.
If you’re getting married in Vegas, you need Elvis!
Part of the charm of a Las Vegas wedding for me was having Elvis as the officiant. I originally hired Eddie Powers to do our ceremony and then drive us around in his pink Cadillac for some photo opportunities! Unfortunately the week of the wedding he had to cancel the Cadillac ride because he didn’t have the permit he needed for a new law about transporting people in a vehicle. We kept him as our officiant and took photos in front of the car after the ceremony. He did a great job during the ceremony and had a great singing voice. When I found out he had to cancel our pink Cadillac ride I was so disappointed, luckily I was able to find another Elvis with a pink Cadillac… only in Vegas. The Elvis’ came to about $550 USD.
The little things.
To make life easier for our guests we hired a party bus from High Roller Transportation. I was really happy with their service, the fact that I didn’t have to worry about them the morning of our wedding was amazing, they were just there, on time and in the place they were supposed to be! The bus held about 25 people and they played a bunch of party songs to get us pumped for the ceremony! 🙂 We also took this bus at the end of dinner to a bar in Old Vegas to end the night.
Our first day in Vegas we made sure to go get our license which was in downtown Las Vegas. It was kind of cool being in line with all the other couples there. (It costs $75 USD to get the license)
We stayed at the Golden Nugget for the first night and then the Wynn for the rest of our 5 days in Vegas. The Wynn is gorgeous but the rooms were kind of loud which meant bad sleeps. The Golden Nugget was great!
All in all this was an amazing week in Vegas and a really awesome wedding day, I have the best husband! Here is a quick breakdown of what this day cost in USD (not including my dress and his suit).
My Elvis Inspired Las Vegas Wedding Budget:
Tropicana: $4000 (includes: flowers, photos, elvis officiant, tips)
Tommy Bahamas: $3000 (dinner, apps + 2 hours open bar)
Cadillac Ride: $350 (ride in the pink cadillac with Elvis)
Cake Topper: $200
Wedding Cake(s): $300
Party Bus x 2: $250
Officiant Fee: $75.00
Total: $8,775 USD
If you want to check out all the fun stuff we did before and after the wedding, I just put up a travel vlog. It’s my first time creating a video like this and I love it!