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Where to Start!!

Hi! We JUST got engaged, and am really thinking about a Vegas wedding. We haven't nailed down a specific date or budget, but it will probably be summer/fall 2012, and no more than 5k for EVERYTHING...travel for us, etc.

We will probably invite about 75 people, but I'm assuming about 30-40 will show. We want something totally non traditional...ideally I would love a huge party with gambing, drinking, and lots of fun. I was thinking about a late ceremony (9:00 or so) and then just serving appetizers, desserts, and drinks.

I know I need to nail down a budget, but I'm still deciding if we even want a ceremony/reception at all, so I just kinda want some ideas or options.

Thanks ladies! :)

Re: Where to Start!!

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    edited December 2011
    Look through the knottie bios in the wedding porn sticky.....that's a great place to start!
    *MyBio-> 07.05.2012* UPDATED: 06/08* Daisypath Anniversary tickers Daisypath Anniversary tickers
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    wallacjewallacje member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Congrats and welcome to the board.  75 people is a good size, you should always plan for 100% attendance.  If you could narrow down your guest list you could go the insuite route, brides on here have had up to 50-60 in those and used a catering company to deliver your apps, masterpiece catering is very popular with some of the brides.

    After you check out the knottie list that should give a you good idea of the options.

    Feel free to ask questions we are all here to help!!!
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    edited December 2011
    Congrats!

    Since you just got engaged, my first bit of advice is to WAIT to choose your wedding party; that's based on personal experience and posts on this site.  No need to choose right away; give it some time.

    Couple thoughts based on what you've said:

    1) Budget

    If your budget is a strict $5k for everything including travel, I would say you're unfortunately going to have to scale back your guest count, or basicaly not do much of anything for your guests, which isn't the nicest thing to do at a destination wedding.  The reason I say that is Vegas is not cheap and it's really hard to predict how many people may come, along with the fact that if it does end up being more than 50, one of the more common ways to save money (an in-suite reception) may not be possible due to room capacity.  Just a rough run down:

    a) Air travel there; from DFW if you can go Southwest out of Dallas and book early you're probably still talking $200/each round trip plus tax.

    b) Transport from LAS to your hotel, another $25 to $45 depending on how far, or more if you rent a car, same on the way back out.

    c) Hotel; assuming you want to stay in a nice one on the strip, or even downtown in a nice one like Golden Nugget, you're probably still looking at least $175/night or more on average once you factor in tax and the bs resort fee most charge.

    d) Wedding dress?  Tux for the groom?

    You've probably already spent 20% of your budget at this point.  So now you have to figure out where to get married and what to do about the guests.  A 9pm ceremony is going to be too late for a hotel chapel since I've never seen any do something that late.  If you go a bit earlier to get a hotel chapel, you're probably looking at $500+ with tax for the ceremony and you'll probably want it to be at the resort where everone is staying or you'd have to figure out how to transport everyone which could be another big expense.  Unfortunately earlier also means people may expect to be fed dinner at the reception... 

    Assuming you now have about $3500 left to spend for your reception, or I should say $2520 left to spend since any vendor that caters a reception, whether it be in a suite or at a restaurant, etc. is going to charge the standard 20% service charge (tip) and 8% tax.  Even if you do end up with only 50 people, that's only $50/pp left to cover the appetizers, deserts, drinks, the reception venue, any entertainment you may want, etc.  You can easily hit that $50/pp range with all of that factored in.

    So your best bet may be to have an in-suite reception.  This is where you rent a really large hotel room for the wedding day/night to use for your reception, and possibly ceremony too.  You can find an officiant to come to your room to marry you, probably be $150 to $300.  You can typically have the vendor you choose to cater the event supply chairs, whether it be the hotel (expensive) or third party vendor (cheaper).  After the ceremony, the guests get fed and party right there in the room.  Only issue, that I mentioned earlier, is even the larger rooms people book for this type of event don't do well beyond 50 guests either due to space or A/C, bathrooms, etc.

    2) Gambling - this probably won't work out during the reception only because the closest you could get would be a private gaming company who will bring in the table games and dealers, but it wouldn't be for real money since they can't do that legally, and would get expensive, causing you budget issues.  Alternatively, 50+ people hanging out in the real casino will be too difficult to be enjoyable since you'll be mixed in with all the regular casino guests, noise, etc.


    If you can scale things back a bit, I think you could have a really enjoyable ceremony and reception, give the guests a nice meal, rent out a private room at a club or restaurant for an after party, etc.  Just going to be a matter of whether you can scale it back enough to meet the budget while also not hurting too many feelings (don't worry, real friends/family will get over it, those who don't don't care about you anyway and good riddance lol).

    Another option, have a very private ceremony in Vegas with only some close family, enjoy yourselves, throw a big celebration party when you get home.

    Married in Vegas - June 2011


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    smokeybaileysmokeybailey member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    A big celebration at home is still going to cost $$, IMO.  I am not a fan of the AHR, personally.

    Also, OP, you need to figure in extras that you may (or may not) want:  rings, cake (s), photographer, videographer, flowers, favors, decor/linens, paper including STDs, invitations, thank you cards, escort cards, menus, table numbers, hair/makeup, accessories.

    Also, if you are having a wedding party consider the rehearsal dinner.  Do you plan to do a rehearsal?  Having a WP also requires gifts so budget in a nominal amount for gifts for your guys and girls.

    Don't forget to figure in tips:  bellmen, drivers, maids, service providers, vendors, etc. as well as your per diem.

    Trust me, the dollars add up fast but you can do whatever you want at whatever price point.  You want gorgeous flowers, filet and lobster?  Get married with your 6 closest friends.  You want lots of people?  Do a buffet and dial back the frills on the ceremony, attire and decor.  Anything can be done.  You just need to determine what is important to you and work from there.  Is $5k impossible?  Not at all for smaller numbers. 

    Start building a budget - you can use the TK budgeter to get you started.  Just remember to add tax and tip to everything so you aren't surprised at the end.  Some services will not require tip but you can find that out when you start getting quotes.  Remember if you budget only $250 for a photographer, you will be hard pressed to find one so be realistic in your budgets.  If photos are important cut flowers, for example.  Once you really hone in on what you can spend per head then you can start going to venues to see what you can get for $X.

    Good luck!
    Bi-oh-rama
    Now with more wedded bliss.


    I don't get married often, but when I do, I do it in Las Vegas.

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    "The almighty smokeybailey has spoken." - some bitch on the Las Vegas board

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    edited December 2011
    I have to agree 5k for everything is going to be hard especially for that many people. Honestly people think getting married in Vegas is the "cheap" way to go. But they are WRONG! it costs just as much (if not more) then a regular home town wedding! For the amount of people you want 5k would work if it didn't include your travel expenses. Travel expenses alone will cost about 800-1000$ with rooms and all. Like the other posters said really crunch the numbers and you will see. Now you may be able to pull it off if you scale back on things like Vegas groom and smokey said! Good luck!
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    edited December 2011
    I'd just say to make sure you assume that everyone you invite will come to your wedding.... It is vegas and when people hear that they think great! -- I assumed a lot of people wouldn't make it to ours or wouldn't want to come but I am starting to think I was wrong... which doesn't really matter to me because I had thought just in case if they did come how much it would end up costing us....

    Also when I planned I wished I would have done things differently ... Like we are getting married on a saturday evening.  Which i thought would be best because then people would only have to take probably Friday/monday off from work.... BUT it seems to be cheaper for food/ceremonies and stuff during the week....  Just something to think about.
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    edited December 2011
    we figured maybe 30 of our invited guests would show up, as someone in the wedding (cough- bride- cough) invited "sorta friends, coworkers, ect...  we are at 65.

    we wanted a 5k wedding, but it was not feasable, and the amount of costs we would cut would of made it seem very "half assed"  we brought it up to 9k, and now we have everything pretty much that we wanted, without skimping on our guests.

    When its all done i am going to post $ numbers, as guys like that :)



    with 70 guests, your dinner is going to be a whopper on your budget...
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_nevada-las-vegas_start-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:91Discussion:e1013c79-4503-412e-9097-73903da8d964Post:11988975-3e54-436d-bf9a-880f29d52591">Re: Where to Start!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]we figured maybe 30 of our invited guests would show up, as someone in the wedding (cough- bride- cough) invited "sorta friends, coworkers, ect...  we are at 65. we wanted a 5k wedding, but it was not feasable, and the amount of costs we would cut would of made it seem very "half assed"  we brought it up to 9k, and now we have everything pretty much that we wanted, without skimping on our guests. When its all done i am going to post $ numbers, as guys like that :) with 70 guests, your dinner is going to be a whopper on your budget...
    Posted by ambrose132[/QUOTE]

    LOL this is kind of like my FI .... started out with just family and a couple of friends slowly kept creeping up :)  ... oh well though it will be a blast and worth the extra money :)
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