Nevada-Las Vegas

Caesar's Palace Ceremony & Joe's Reception - Many Questions!

Totally new here - my partner and I are planning on a Vegas wedding for next summer. This (and vegasgroom's website) have been immensely helpful! We're going scouting in July or August but right now I'm just putting feelers out around ceremony and reception locations and trying to understand some of the pros and cons of going with wedding packages.

We're very interested in doing Caesar's for a ceremony and following up at Joe's - we've stayed at CP before and have a Joe's here in Chicago that we love. Our #1 priority throughout planning (something that maybe I'm having a harder time with than someone else) is to stay streamlined and simple. The fewer vendors and bells and whistles, the better, but we want to put on a fairly "classic" wedding.

With simplicity in mind, here are my questions: 

1. In your opinions, is it worth the extra cost (and hassle) to hire an outside photographer? Also, can we replace the photography bits of the package with other accommodations, like music or more floral? I'm assuming "No" but please let me know if you've had success negotiating this point. If we stayed with the 'included' photographer, we'd probably add more photography time and the DVD of images, which I think would tack on ~$2,000. I think I'd rather spend an extra $4K on a photographer I trust than $2K on someone I'm forced to use, but I'd love to hear differing opinions.

2. A lot of these Caesar's packages come with a floral dollar amount included - how far will that stretch? I'm not picky about flowers (I'm not even all that fond of roses), but would enjoy doing my own or even making silk or paper flower bouquets if it will balance with the surcharge. Photography is a much bigger deal to us so If I can get away with the included $200-$300 floral for 1 bridal and 3 bridesmaids, I can always do something crafty for the reception instead.

3. Based on photos, it looks like the Gigi Room at Joe's doesn't need a lot of dressing up - maybe just some centerpieces. Any confirmation of this?

4. For those who "DJ'ed" their own reception with an iPod - would you do it again? What tips do you have?

5. Will we be able to reserve the ceremony and reception space so far in advance? We're going in July/August, hoping to pick a date in June/July 2014.

Thank you sooo much for your help and if you have any recs for other venues to check out while scouting that would also be really great!

Re: Caesar's Palace Ceremony & Joe's Reception - Many Questions!

  • spoon1984spoon1984 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited May 2013
    I'm getting married at Caesars Juno Gardens in five weeks. It was very important for me to keep everything very simple and hassle free. All I've booked is Caesars for the ceremony, Canaletto for the meal afterwards and Retro bakery for the cake. I don't want a lot of time with a photographer so I plan to extend my time with Caesars photographer for one hour giving us 90 mins in total then we're off to dinner. It's $799 for an extra hour and all the image rights. I think you can pay a fee to use an external photographer, I'm sure ive seen it on this board. I did consider doing this (even though I didn't actually ask Caesars about it) but as I wanted such little time it didnt seem worth it to pay for an external photographer and pay Caesars a fee to do so. I really didn't want to have two photographers but it makes sense if you want a lot of photography and have another photographer in mind. The photography aspect is obviously very important to you so I think it would be worth it to you to pay the outside vendor fee and arrange your own photographer for your whole day (if indeed you can do this). If not, I don't remember anyone complaining about having any hassle with two photographers. It's only one extra vendor. Regarding flowers, I choose the Bella Luna package, which is only 3 roses (worth $30) so i'll be paying an extra $200 approx for a normal sized bouquet! Caesars charge a $200 fee to bring in "outside floral". I would really stress that it was incredibly important for us to have a very simple day, particularly because we're arranging from the UK. That being said Ive found it very easy easy to organise and I think a few extra vendors would have been fine. I've also booked into my hotel for hair and make up to keep that simple. Our aim was to have an amazing holiday with an enjoyable yet simple wedding day thrown in!
  • I can't seem to get this post to stay in paragraphs! My apologies.
  • Thanks! These are exactly the kind of details I'm looking for. If it's only $800 for the extra time and photo rights, I may just stick with the in-house guys. If the pro photos suck, we have plenty of friends with nice cameras :)

    Floral is frustrating! I really don't care to spend hundreds on something I don't care about - but I can't imagine *not* having a bouquet. Oh well, something to file away for later.

    I love that you have pretty much the same philosophy as we do! I honestly tried to convince FH to skip cake :P He put his foot down on that one!
  • Katelyn, have you found out if Joe's has drink packages? 

     

    After reading your post, I had to do a double take!  :)  We are from Chicago, going to vegas this July to pick out everything for a wedding to occur in next March! :)  Ive been wondering the same questions you asked, looking forward to reading some more responses!

  • spoon1984spoon1984 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited May 2013
    You sound just like me! I'm happy to get plenty of pics that family take too. We weren't going to get a cake to avoid the hassle and because we thought it would be too much to eat after four courses but just in the last few weeks we thought well we do love cake so why not! It's been very easy to email Retro Bakery so far and once we decide on the colours I can pay via paypal, they will deliver to the restaurant so seems smooth enough! That is just for one extra hour and image rights, if you want longer the prices are listed here- http://www.imaginestudioslv.com/caesars-palace-photography-cinema-services/ I feel the same about the bouquet, it's quite a sum when I'm not particularly interested. Hoping it looks great on the day! A lot of people on the board use Todd for photography, his prices seem very reasonable and he gets great reviews so that could be an option.
    abuchanan0426
  • @Sugar Rush - We are thinking of just doing a bar tab limit, since FH's family doesn't drink. I think I read that someone else did that. But I haven't seen anything on drink packages otherwise. Let me know if you find anything!

    @spoon - Thanks so much for that link! We'll probably end up doing pretty much the same with an add-on. It's not a steal, but if it's already $500-800 for the photo disc, might as well tack on an extra hour of photography.
  • My only advice is that many people who don't anticipate photography and videography being a priority before the wedding often feel differently after.  So... that being said, you only have one opportunity to have photos/video of your wedding day (hopefully lol) so it may be worth splurging on.

    We were not very keen on spending a lot of money on videography, but a few months before wedding day we were just chatting about it in front of my best man and his wife at their house.  She was like wow we have a video of our wedding, I haven't looked at it since probably a month after we got married (five years prior).  So at that point I'm thinking well that about does it for me, why would I want to spend any money on videography if you end up never looking at it.  Anyway, she breaks out the video and we all start watching it and it's pretty poorly done, and before you know it she's crying. then my wife (FI at the time) is crying, so on and so forth and she's like wow I really wish this video wasn't so horrible, and that we watched it more often.  So then I flip flopped and was like hmm, seems unimportant, but maybe that's not really the case, so we decided to spend a lot of photography and videography after all, and no regrets on that, we've made an effort to look at both regularly and love every time we do.

    Married in Vegas - June 2011


  • My only advice is that many people who don't anticipate photography and videography being a priority before the wedding often feel differently after.  So... that being said, you only have one opportunity to have photos/video of your wedding day (hopefully lol) so it may be worth splurging on.

    We were not very keen on spending a lot of money on videography, but a few months before wedding day we were just chatting about it in front of my best man and his wife at their house.  She was like wow we have a video of our wedding, I haven't looked at it since probably a month after we got married (five years prior).  So at that point I'm thinking well that about does it for me, why would I want to spend any money on videography if you end up never looking at it.  Anyway, she breaks out the video and we all start watching it and it's pretty poorly done, and before you know it she's crying. then my wife (FI at the time) is crying, so on and so forth and she's like wow I really wish this video wasn't so horrible, and that we watched it more often.  So then I flip flopped and was like hmm, seems unimportant, but maybe that's not really the case, so we decided to spend a lot of photography and videography after all, and no regrets on that, we've made an effort to look at both regularly and love every time we do.
    Agreed! My boyfriend and I are trying to stick to a tight budget, but we both think photography and videography should not be scrimped and saved on. Pictures and video are what we'll pull out when we want to relive our wedding day, so good pictures (and lots of them!) and a quality video are worth the oodles of money they'll cost. 


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • spoon1984spoon1984 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited May 2013
    Something to consider for some but it’s not about the amount we would spend on further photography thats an issue. With only twelve guests a budget as such was not required. If I wanted a whole day of photography I would definitely have booked it. It’s one of the things I'm happy to relinquish in getting married away from the UK; all day photography, not seeing each other until walking up the aisle etc is just not for us. For us 90 minutes of photography is more than enough I’m looking forward to relaxing after the formalities of the day are over and that includes the photography time. I don't like the idea of having a photographer with us during the meal. I want to relax with family and not be concerned about looking good at all times, which I would be! I’m looking forward to putting on my flat shoes and enjoying dinner. More than anything we’re looking forward to a holiday where we’ll take loads of pictures over the three weeks, those will mean the same to us as our wedding day photos. As long as we have one in the gardens where the ceremony is and a couple with some good landmarks in the background that will be enough.
  • Thanks for the perspectives from both sides - obviously it's going to be a pretty personal decision and depends on a lot of factors. I chatted with FH last night and he leans toward going with the in-house studio, but with extra time. 

    We're going to order some sample silk flowers to see how we like the quality. They're so inexpensive that it makes sense to eat the $200 fee if we'd spend $500+ on in-house floral for the 4 bouquets. Worst-case scenario is I have some pretty fake flowers for around the house :-D
  • I got a quote from Caesars for silk flowers last week, initially she said it would be more expensive than fresh but the quote ended up being the same. Just PM me your email address if you want me to send you the info I have from Caesars.
  • My fiancé and I are getting married at Caesars in June of 2014 and I had a lot of your same questions. I toyed with the idea of doing paper flowers and even made a bouqet that I really liked. I checked with our coordinator at Caesars and she said for paper flowers we would not be charged an outside "vendor" fee and that we could use the credit on our package for flower petals for the isle, etc. I worked out all the prices and such and it actually ended up being cheaper to just go through caesars and go with the real deal. :) Plus then I didn't have to worry about shipping them or carrying them on the plane there and home.
  • Also, if you're going to spend an extra 800 for another hour of photography why not use the ceremony photographer that caesars offers in the package for your ceremony and then schedule another photographer for the other stuff? That is what we are doing and we went with B&W for 8 hours for approx $950.00 to have him for everything before and after our ceremony..
  • Thanks for the info on paper flowers! I'd have to try it out and see how I liked it. I'm assuming silk flowers would fall into the "vendor fee" category, even if I make the bouquets. I don't really understand how it could actually cost more for paper flowers, though. I'll think about it more after we've gotten more details from the coordinator.

    As far as photography, the $800 also would include the disc of images - which would be about $500 by itself. Plus we're trying to balance having as few vendors as possible with getting good quality. As long as Imagine takes good photos, we'll be happy with them.
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