sorry it took so long, but we're married! Here's the quick review version:
We're an older couple (I'm in my 50's, he's 9 yrs older). This was my first (and only marriage). We had 53 guests come from all over - a few even did road trips from MI and IN.
Orleans Stardust Suite - We got married and had our reception there. It was amazing! With the view of the mountains and the strip, and the sun setting while we exchanged vows, it was incredible. Jay (catering) was wonderful and so accomodating! Mom is handicapped and we had some older guests who needed to eat on a table so he brought them in. Guests words used to describe it: Intimate, romantic, best wedding ever, great food (best short ribs)! I think because we weren't in a "hall" it just had a different vibe. We had a friend sing for our walk down the aisle. It was lovely. Food was wonderful, everyone commented on how good, and the desert table was to die for! Lele (group sales) was wonderful too. Rooms were all good. The presidential Suite that it comes with worked out perfectly for getting ready. That thing is unbelievably huge and was perfect to move to for those who still wanted to party after midnight. We had music on Ipod/ipad. The people at the Orleans go above and beyond, in all departments. They were absolutely the best people we dealt with. Highly recommended!
We wanted to let our guests know where we'd be on the days leading up to the wedding because we didn't want to try to coordinate 55 people trying to get together. So on our website we put that we were going to check out happy hour on Friday at Cantina Diablo and on Saturday at Planet Hollywood's PBR grill. It worked out perfectly. We had about 15 people join us on Friday, and 40 join us on Saturday. Most of our guests came in town on Saturday. PBR was awesome and cleared a space for all of us on the patio facing the strip. They were really wonderful. Diablo Cantino was very slow in service, but later we went upstairs and that was really cool! Outside looking down at the strip, really nice.
Hair/Makeup: I used Whitney at Desert Glamour and they were good, on time, reasonably priced, etc. I recommend checking her out.
Flowers: I had a heck of a time with my flowers. Just wanted something small for myself and maid of honor, coursage for my mom, and boutonniere for groom and best man. Couldn't decide on style, etc. Went with Dibella Flowers and Michelle was great. We spoke on the phone a few times and she recommend I just come in before the wedding and take a look around. Didn't like that idea, but I went on Friday, looked at everything and we figured it out. I wasn't overly concerned about flowers, not my thing. They were delivered fine and cost right around $100 for everything. It all worked out. Don't hesitate to contact them.
Marriage License: Pre-registered and we went on Thursday night downtown about 10:00 pm and walked right in, right to the counter and it took about 3 minutes. Perfect!
Officiant: We wanted Rev. Pete but he wasn't available so his wife (Rev. Danielle) performed the ceremony. She was great, and we had phone calls, e-mails, etc. before hand to make sure we got the ceremony we wanted. She even had us laughing at one point and the crowd laughing and shouting out comments. It was all good!
One of our guests surprised us at the reception with her gift to us. ELVIS! Loads of fun, especially for my mom and aunts and older guests. I can't think of his name right now, but it worked out good (pretty risky for someone to do that at someone else's wedding)!
Guests could stay where they wanted. We had some who stayed on the strip, but most stayed at the Orleans. Very reasonably priced, and easy to take the shuttle. It all worked out very well.
Thanks to everyone here, this board really helped make my day beautiful. I couldn't have done it without all the great information here. It was wonderful and I want to do it all over again, even though the whole time I thought it was a pain the butt to plan. Our guests all really enjoyed it and thought it was as special as I thougth it was.