Hi all! I am paying it forward, I used theknot forums to help me plan so hopefully I can help some one
I am from Australia and we had our wedding in Las Vegas on 23rd October 2014 and had 20 people attend.
We hired the Vista Suite at Mandalay Bay for wedding prep and also to for all our guest to continue party-ing in.
We paid around $600 per night because I used smartervegas.com and got some awesome coupons. I would suggest that you book the Vista suite as soon as you can and request Strip views every chance you get. We were in an off season, mid week and the Vista suites still got booked out!
We had no trouble getting everything we needed to the hotel room, valet service and Bell desk helped get alcohol etc to the room. We did have security knock on our door once about noise but that was because we were loud in the hall ways going to the room, not noise inside the suite.
It was an amazing room and was so big for 20 people (we could have easily fit double that), seating for 20 was ok but any more you might need extra chairs.
We hired a bar tender from Absolute Bar Tending - Fern. It was hard to get Fern to the room before we got there, Mandalay Bay would not let us leave a key for her but we just kept asking and asking at the front desk and finally they said it was okay. Then Fern didn't go to the front desk even though that's what we arranged prior. She was waiting by the hotel suite's door. Once she was inside she was excellent. Serving drinks and also keeping the room generally tidy without being asked. She found jobs to do rather than standing around doing nothing. The tender cost $160 for 3 hours. I would definitely recommend a bar tender because it made the drinks flow easily but maybe look into other companies.
For glasses I looked at hiring from a few places but it was about $2 per glass. So to save some dollars we went to Kmart and bought glass for $0.80 each. They were exactly the same as the ones that you rent. We just left them in the suite when we left.
We bought our own alcohol into the suite from Less's Discount Liquor. That place is like an adults lolly shop with such cheap prices! We went to the 3480
E Flamingo Rd store and it was worth the effort for the larger ranger and cheaper prices. we bought about $400 worth and over bought, better than running out!
We ordered a cake from Take The Cake and it was amazing! Delivered to the hotel on time. It was $135 but was WAY too big and we ended up having to throw half away
Our Ceremony was at Red Rock Canyon. We picked it because we didn't like the hotel wedding packages restrictions, like using your own music incurs a fee. Red Rock Canyon is AMAZING! the ceremony was at the end of a boardwalk at the foot of the mountains. I would definitely recommend this site. It was $200 and that saves the boardwalk platform for your ceremony for 2 hours.
The only bad thing about this space is the boardwalk has some nails sticking out and I ripped the underside of my dress (only a little) but it could have been worse. So if you are thinking of this as a site maybe no train on your dress.
For transport we used VIP Limousines and got a 20 seat party bus and a 6 seat limo. They were really good and went above and beyond. The only negative is my fault - I didn't confirm the pick up point at the hotel (and there are many) so I was at a different spot to my car. So no matter what transport you use I would recommend confirming the exact pick up spot.
Hair and makeup I had done by Melissa F from Amelia C & Co. SHE IS AMAZING!!!! it was $225 - brides hair and make up. She is so talented and did my hair and make up beautifully. I can not say enough good things about Melissa and Amelia C & Co. seriously book them!!!!!!!!!!
Flowers were by Enchanted Florist, they were beautiful and exactly like the picture I sent as an example. They were delivered on time to the hotel and were $255 for bridal bouquet and two boutonnieres.
Photography we used Todd from Bently & Wilson. Cost was $548 and his photos are amazing. He captured us and our guest perfectly without being overly posed, this is the exact style of photography we wanted. He also suggested place to get photos take on the Strip. Before the wedding he always answered his emails quickly and I was always confident he would deliver beautiful pictures. Very happy with his service and would recommend.
Our celebrant/officiant was Wanda Tracey, her service was perfect but the communication leading up to the event was very bad. I was worried she wasn't going to show up! But in the end the ceremony she delivered was exactly what we asked for. Her cost was $550.
For cocktail hour we sent our guests to the Eyecandy Bar while we were getting photos. This was a headache. Eyecandy wanted a $25 per person cover charge - on a free bar! and this didn't include a drink. So in the end my dad and mum lead all our guests to the bar and just shouted rounds. I would NOT recommend trying to deal with the Eyecandy group bookings...very painful and didn't really care what I was after.
We had dinner at Boarders Grill in Mandalay Bay. The staff there were SO GOOD! They didn't actually know that this was a wedding (surprise!) and when we all turned up they went all out making us all comfortable. The food was amazing as well and the drink service fast with strong drinks. The only thing I din't like was the minimum spend of $2500, to reach this with a small party of 20 we ended up getting bottles of champagne to take up to the room - I would have preferred money off the bill!
After dinner all our guests went to the Vista Suite for a "night cap" and cake.
To get to Las Vegas we flew Hawaiian Airlines and I took my wedding dress as my carry on luggage. We caught two plans with a stop in Honolulu. The staff were so good with my dress, giving me priority boarding and Flight Crew were more than happy to hang the dress and even handed it to me on my way off the plan...so easy, and I was so stressed about it. the thought of nursing a wedding dress for a 16 hour flight was scary.
It was and amazing day made to run smoothly by the services I hired. I did this all without a wedding coordinator but relied heavily on family - mum and dad, to help steer guests to the right places. So hopefully this can help some one plan there perfect day. If you have any questions please please please ask.