I thought I’d base my final reviews on the FAQs that keep popping up on the boards regularly! These were some of the main things I worried about in the lead up to the wedding and seems like the rest of you brides-to-be are the same.
Flying with your wedding dress
I took a cabin-sized suitcase into the bridal shop at my final fitting and told them I wanted to pick my dress up the day before I flew. They packed it into my case on that morning so it had as little as time as possible folded up. They also packed my shoes and veil into the same case, and gave me a dress bag to use for when I arrived in Vegas.
It was SO relaxing not to be carrying my dress in a garment bag though the airport and worrying about where to store it on the plane, I could just wheel it in its case and put it in the overhead bin knowing it wouldn’t get damaged. It obviously didn’t leave my sight once though!
I hung my dress up as soon as I checked-in (although it had to be hidden from my husband inside the dress bag), then we moved it to my mum’s hotel room once she arrived. My mum did the shower-steam trick twice on my dress before the wedding and it worked well! No need to pay for it to be professionally steamed in Vegas J
Marriage Licence Application
We filled in the form online and it was so easy, non-US citizens just need a passport number (note: you will need an old version of Internet Explorer, the website didn’t work on my iPad). You then get a 4-digit confirmation which you take with you to the Marriage Licence Bureau. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and there was no queue, the whole process took less than 10 minutes! They give you an envelope containing everything you need, including an information sheet on how to get your certificate once you are married. You can walk to the Bureau easily from Fremont Street or the Bonneville bus station.
We haven’t ordered our certificate yet as you’re advised to wait up to 2 weeks after your wedding, but they informed us that there’s no problem getting it mailed to the UK. I can provide more details on that for UK brides if anyone wants it once I’ve got mine!
Photography / Outside Vendors
I’ve put more details on my photography in my wedding day review, but I just wanted to recap how important it is to be happy with who is taking your wedding photos!!
We made it clear to our venue (Wynn) from the beginning that we would not be using Cashman and that the only way we would book is to bring our own photographer. It took a week or so for them to agree to this and we had to get approval from their management and pay a fee of $800. We also had to agree to a few conditions such as our photographer providing her insurance documents. It was 100% worth all the hassle and extra money because I know we’ll be happy with our wedding photos forever.
If you go down this route make sure you get it all confirmed in writing before you pay a deposit!! Wynn tried to go back on our agreement a month before the wedding, but luckily we had our contract to fall back on. On the day of the wedding our photographer wasn’t stopped once while taking photos in all of Wynn’s public areas and it was so relaxing not to have to worry about security approaching us.
Another final thought on this - $800 as a photography fee seems like a lot of money, but our photographer gave us full rights to all the photos. If you go with the Cashman option and end up wanting to buy all your photos you'll easily spend way more than that.
Itinerary / How much to plan
We had 26 guests all from the UK, most arrived on the Sunday / Monday and departed the following Saturday. Along with the wedding invites we sent guests our itinerary for the week which included Welcome Drinks at Cabo Wabo on the Monday night, Bachelor/ette Party plans for the Tuesday and the Wedding Day details for the Thursday. We didn’t arrange anything else as we wanted to make sure everyone had plenty of free time to enjoy their holiday, especially as most of our guests had never been to Vegas before.
In hindsight, I actually wish we had made a few more plans!! People were looking at us for what to do every day and most wanted to spend as much time with my husband & me as possible. We found it hard to try and spread our time evenly between each group of friends and family. It also became quite tricky to get tables in bars and restaurants for enough people, so I wish we’d made a few more reservations and then let guests have the option to join in or not - especially for the day after the wedding. I think the key is to have a set plan, make everyone aware of it, then let them decide whether to join in or do their own thing.
Favours / Gift Bags / Hangover Kits
Instead of doing favours at the wedding reception we decided to do Hangover Kits and hand them out to guests at the end of the night. While they looked cute and were a nice idea, I just felt like they were a bit too much work and that they wouldn’t have been missed if we didn’t do them. We were still buying supplies and making up the bags the evening before the wedding and in hindsight it wasn’t worth it. Everyone had a great time and we did plenty for our guests without having to give them extra to take home when they were drunk!
I also made gift bags to give to all the girls on the morning of the Bachelorette party – these went down so well and I’m definitely glad I spent the time & money putting them together. I think women appreciate these things more than men anyway! I bought everyone a canvas bag with their initial on (except the mum’s who got “Mother of the Bride / Groom” instead!) filled them with a few on my favourite things – mini-bottle of champagne or margarita, an EOS lip balm, a Victoria Secret body lotion and a Las Vegas key-ring. I saw loads of the girls using their bags again later in the week for shopping or to go to the pool so I’m really glad they were appreciated. Would recommend doing as it felt really nice to give them all something.
Hope some of this helps, I'm having wedding withdrawal so happy to stick around on the boards for a while and answer any questions