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Nevada-Las Vegas

3/14/15 Reviews - Flamingo, Picasso, Donny Edwards, Cosmopolitan, Holsteins, Harmony, Pam

Our Wedding in Las Vegas was fantastic! I was anxious through the planning process, but it turned out to be so much fun. We spent a week in Vegas, Tuesday morning – Monday night. The first 2 days we were getting ready for guests (buying groceries, assembling welcome bags, meeting with vendors, etc.). We had 31 guests, who arrived Thursday and we had a pizza party in our Cosmo wraparound suite. Friday we had a group dinner at Holsteins and then saw a show. Saturday we had our wedding ceremony at the Flamingo Gazebo Chapel and our reception dinner at Picasso in the Bellagio, and then an after-party in our suite at Cosmo with cake from Las Vegas Custom Cakes and Donny Edwards as Elvis. 

Cosmopolitan Hotel: This hotel is beautiful. The rooms were very nice. Having a balcony is great, and the premium view wraparound balcony is unbeatable. The wraparound suite was great for entertaining. We paid a fee to have the minibar removed so we had a full-size fridge and my MIL made cookies in the oven. They do not provide any utensils, pots, pans, plates, or reasonably sized trash cans, so bring your own.

Cosmopolitan Group Reservation and Check-in: This was a giant pain in the butt. We wanted to have the whole group reservation under my name and pay for it all with one card (including incidentals) so that I could check in for everyone instead of having each guest check in individually. This must be unheard of, because we had so much trouble with it. Even though we had been working with a group reservation manager for like, 6 months, when we showed up to check-in, they didn’t have any of the reservations linked together or under my name. Each person at the front desk that we spoke with worked on fixing things for us but it was messy all weekend. There was confusion about how much would be put on my card as a deposit/hold for incidentals/damages and my card was maxed out ($150 per room per day without mentioning this at the time they were doing it?!). There was a $50 room credit on each room that we weren’t told about and was wasted. We were charged for items from the guests’ minibars that weren’t used. When we expressed frustration after our return, minibar charges were credited back to my credit card but we were made to feel like we were a nuisance.

In the end, I don’t know if we would do this differently. Because we did get a great deal (through Jetaport, Cosmo didn’t offer us that great of a deal directly), and the location, rooms, and balconies really added to our wedding experience.  The hotel is amazing, but the group reservation and check in process were terribly frustrating. 

Violet Hour Salon: I got a French manicure with gel polish here two days before my wedding. It was done well, but one nail chipped the next day. It was very expensive ($135 including tip) and not that special, but it was very convenient and the manicurist was nice. 

Secret Pizza: Delicious pizza. We ordered like, 8 pizzas for 35 people and had lots of leftovers. Pretty much ate pizza from Secret Pizza all week!

Holsteins: We did not have a good experience with group dining at Holsteins. The reservation was easy to set up. We did pre-ordered appetizers and a la carte beverages and meals. There was a $50 per person minimum. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t agreed to a minimum this high for a group reservation that did not include a private room. When we arrived for our reservation, they made us wait for about 10-15 minutes. I’m not sure if the area wasn’t ready, or if they were just making us wait until we were all there. Then when we did sit, they had us sitting at one long table, and two short tables next to it. We were in the middle of the room, and there were two groups of about 10 on two sides of us that were very loud. I wish they had sat us in the corner or at least against a wall. We asked partway through the meal how we were doing compared to the minimum, and it took awhile for them to return with the response and when they did we were several hundred dollars below the minimum and many of our guests had left already! We tried to order more drinks quickly, and the server was helpful with this. In retrospect I wish we hadn’t even bothered. We expressed that we needed the bill and had other commitments to make, and they took about 30 minutes to get our bill ready! They kept saying that they were “combining the bills” or something, I guess because they put us at 3 tables? We almost missed the show we were rushing to. This was the worst part of the entire time in Vegas. I was freaking out, and wish we had walked out without signing the bill, since they had my credit card info already. The food was good, but I do NOT recommend for a group. 

AWG Limo: All the limo services (3 trips) were well done. The drivers were very personable, on time, and in the correct vehicles. Only issue with this vendor was that we were told that we could pay for the limo services in advance and that we didn’t have to be on the limo ourselves. The Wednesday before the wedding we heard there was some issue with this and we had to go to their office to fill out a form to be able to do this. Aside from this small nuisance, all AWG limo services provided were very good.

Harmony: Harmony brought 2 other HMU artists with her (at my request) to do HMU for 10 people. She did a great job, as did the other 2 girls (Liz and Stephanie). They were 10 minutes early and very professional. I do wish she had pinned or sprayed my hair more, because a few curls fell out before the ceremony started, but this was not a big deal. I wish I had maintained my face a little better during the night (like, I never reapplied lipstick!), but I was having too much fun!

Pam at the Palette: Pam at the Palette was so easy to work with. She always replied promptly. Price is reasonable. We ordered my bouquet, two boutonnieres, two corsages, and 3 small arrangements for the suite. The 3 small arrangements were more beautiful than I expected. All three were different and interesting! The only issue was with the corsages. We hadn’t talked too much about these, and they were pin on! I should have specified that we wanted wrist corsages, but I didn’t know I needed to. We couldn’t get these pinned on to either mom’s dress. They were too heavy for the delicate dresses. Both mom’s had to carry the corsage instead. I don’t necessarily blame Pam for this, rather I want to advise everyone to specify what kind of corsage you want!

Flamingo Wedding Ceremony: We chose the Flamingo because the ceremony is reasonably priced and they are one of the only hotels that allow outside vendors to be used for photography, floral, etc (for a $150 fee per vendor). We had Iliana as a coordinator. The ceremony was short and sweet and very nice. We had Reverend Seals and requested a non-religious ceremony. He did a nice job. The music was played appropriately and everything went according to plan. The ceremony had a little bit of an assembly line feel, but the Flamingo Gazebo is a very pretty location. For the amount of time that the ceremony takes (ours was 10 minutes!) we didn’t want to pay the higher prices of the Wynn, Bellagio, etc. 

Imagine Studios Video: We got the ceremony video through the Flamingo (they use Imagine Studios). I was concerned that the videographer would be in all the photos, but he was tucked away in the gazebo for most of the ceremony. The video starts with me walking down the aisle, and I wish they had included the groom walking down the aisle as well. The sound quality on the video is not great, you can hear the music from the pool as well or better than the officiant. I’m glad we got the video though, and for less than $200 the quality is about what I expected.  

MikeL Photography: We haven’t seen the photos yet, but the few photos they showed us during the day look awesome and we can’t wait to see the rest! We didn’t really have a great plan for where to take photos between the ceremony and reception (besides the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat), and they suggested we go to the LINQ to take photos. As we were walking past Brooklyn Bowl an employee who was standing in the doorway congratulated us on our wedding and invited us in to take photos on their balcony! The balcony wasn’t anything terribly special but while we were in there we got a few photos inside the building, which was really cool! The décor inside Brooklyn Bowl is really unique and moody. There’s a giant disco ball, some cool signs, fun places to take pictures. Mike and Courtney were very receptive to our ideas during the evening and were great to work with. We sat them with our guests during dinner and they fit right in!

Picasso: We had our reception dinner at Picasso in the Bellagio. This was a definite splurge, but the experience was incredible. Amazing food and impeccable service. Everything was wonderful. The dinner was a prix fix 5 course meal with a choice of entrée (the same menu is as used for general dining) and the beverages were a la carte, and we could choose what to offer (which wine, beer, etc.). Having our reception dinner on the patio with the Bellagio fountain going off right next to us was incredible. Possibly the most impressive part of this experience was that the service provided to us as a group was the same level of impeccable service that we received when we dined here as a couple two years ago.  Our experience at Picasso was my husband’s favorite part of the wedding.

Donny Edwards: We had Donny Edwards as Elvis perform at our after-party in our suite. He is incredible! This was probably my favorite part of the wedding! He sang 6 songs in a row. The first one was “Love me Tender” for our first dance, and the rest were upbeat, ending with Viva Las Vegas. Everyone was dancing and he really got the crowd going! Afterward he took photos with the guests and you could just tell from talking to him how enthusiastic he is about Elvis, and about what he does. He sounds just like Elvis too. Donny is extremely personable and puts people at ease. We highly recommend Donny! We did a half hour, but in retrospect a full hour would’ve been great.

Las Vegas Custom Cakes: Great communication, great cake! We got a 3 tier cake (each a different flavor of cake) with buttercream frosting in three different textures. Decorated with flowers. It was exactly what we were hoping for! They warned us about leaving it out too long, but we didn’t have much choice because we weren’t planning to cut the cake until late. The top tier was very soft and difficult to cut because it was out longer than recommended. We made it work though, and had cake for days! 

Getting married in Vegas was the best decision we made! Through the whole wedding day people were cheering for us, congratulating us on our wedding. We are already planning our next trip to Vegas! 
KrisLSmiley

Re: 3/14/15 Reviews - Flamingo, Picasso, Donny Edwards, Cosmopolitan, Holsteins, Harmony, Pam

  • I never thought about hiring an Elvis impersonator, but that sounds absolutely amazing and so much fun! And talk about a perfect response to those constant questions of, "are you going to get married by Elvis?"

    All in all, it sounds like you had an absolutely amazing time and it sounds fantastic! What was your budget and how many guests did you have? Were you under or over, and how much of a headache did you have regarding organizing guests from the Flamingo to the Bellagio?
    image
  • Great reviews! I was actually looking at Holsteins but decided to go with Todd English Pub...sounds like I made the right choice. We are having Elvis and show girls as well (surprise to FI). That's what I'm looking forward to!

    Congrats! Can't wait to see photos :) 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    xoeden
  • @xoeden I definitely recommend an Elvis tribute artist for entertainment! We kept it a secret from the guests, which was so hard for me because I was so excited about it! I think surprising the guests (and groom if you can pull it off!) makes it more fun :)

    We had 31 guests. We came in about at our budget, though I admit I haven't done very precise final accounting yet. Not counting hotel rooms for guests (because most people don't cover this), our budget was $35k.

    We had a limo bus that took all guests from Cosmo to Flamingo, waited at Flamingo during the ceremony, and then took everyone to Bellagio. We weren't with the guests on the trip to the Bellagio (we went to take pictures for a bit), but I don't think there were any issues.

    We thought it would be so convenient to have everyone in the same hotel, and it was. We had guests stopping by all the time to visit with us (which is what we wanted). But, sometimes it was a little too convenient for our guests to pop back to their rooms. We lost a few after dinner before Elvis. I was frantically texting people like "hey, can you come to our room?". My mom is such an Elvis fan, I would have been distraught if she missed it!

    xoeden
  • congrats! It all sounded FABULOUS!!!! I have a elvis too for pics and fun luved him :)
    Anniversary
  • Okay, @vegasbaby2015, I have to know because this has been bugging me since I read your post! An Elvis impersonator is seriously genius!

    Why did you choose Donny Edwards? Is half an hour enough enough time for less-than-Elvis fans or would you still recommend an hour? What were his fees like (did you book direct or through Gigmaster or one of those other web sites)?
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  • I've got Eddie Powers and his pink Cadillac booked to drive me, groom and photographer from ceremony location to reception location. Should make some fun pics!
    xoeden
  • @xoeden We originally contacted Travis Allen, because he has been the most popular on this board lately, but he wasn't available due to other commitments (I think he was touring). So, we went onto gigmasters and checked out a bunch of options. We watched a lot of videos, and we were so impressed with Donny. We were really happy he was available! His wife Donna handles his bookings. The email address is LasVegasETA at yahoo dot com, and the phone number is 702-897-8107. It's $300 for 30 minutes, and he sings 6-7 songs ($400 for an hour). He transitions quickly from song to song which really got the party going! We had a blast. I think a half hour would be fine for most groups. Donny made our wedding so much fun!
    xoeden
  • Another popular Elvis is Rev. Roland. He will be officiating our wedding in a suit and then for cocktail hour changing into Elvis. His pricing is $200 for 1 hour. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    jayjaayxoeden
  • ^^^ Luv him! That's who we had and he did the same thing ceremony then changed - He's so great you won't be sorry!
    Anniversary
  • Thank you so much, both of you! I think we might have to seriously consider this. I think half an hour would be more than enough for us as no one's really Elvis fans, but talk about a lot of fun. :)
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