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Nevada-Las Vegas

Newbie - where to begin?

Hi Everyone,

I just got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas on Sunday! Woo! We've been saying we want to get married in Vegas for a while, so let the planning begin.

I am so lost. I'm sure there are posts like this weekly. I need to figure out when to do this thing! 

Should I start with my wishlist? OK, here it is :)

Wishlist
Time of year that's not as expensive for my guests
But warm enough for an outdoor ceremony (are these mutually exclusive?)
Known hotel on the strip.
Nice dinner afterwards, would like to keep it to under $100 pp with booze if possible 
Ideally we stay, marry and play at the same venue
Host some kind of cocktail reception in a suite or at a bar the night before the wedding

The Sunset Poolside ceremony at Mandalay Bay looks nice. But I've read I have to use all of their vendors and that the photographer stinks. I suppose I could hire a third party photographer to take some photos of us before the wedding? Also, I love Mon Ami Gabi and their packages seem reasonable. But reviews of the Paris call the rooms outdated and I don't know much about their poolside weddings.

Right now we have 85 people on our guest list. We think realistically we will end up with between 40-50 (or so my pocketbook hopes). They all SAY they are going to come... and they all want to know the data ASAP so they can plan for themselves.

Man this sounds expensive. Any advice? Sorry for the babbling, I'm excited :)
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Re: Newbie - where to begin?

  • Woohooo Congrats and welcome!

  • congrats! it is so exciting! I too just started the planning last month! If you want an outdoor wedding look into the flamingo, the pictures look nice but from what I hear it is even nicer in person! that's where I'm getting married :) Happy Planning!
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  • Welcome! How exciting! In addition to being warm, you will have to decide whether you'll want it in the summer months or not when Vegas is hot! Maybe spring time?? I would check out Vegasgroom's post at the top. Lots of vendor info listed. I am guessing there are other places but I know for sure that The Flamingo allows outside vendors for a 150 fee, and I heard their outdoor wedding area is pretty. I am not sure of places to eat there, but Caesars is across the street. Congrats!!!!!
  • we are getting married at the Mandalay Bay outside at the Valley of the Falls (looks very pretty to me!), staying at the MB as well, & our dinner for reception is going to be at Maggianos Italian (I think it was about $85 pp including dinner and a 4 hour open bar) We are having 50 people and getting married May 28, 2013 :)
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  • SD210SD210 member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Welcome, fellow Boston / Vegas bride!!  

    I would check out Caesar's Palace, as they have nice outdoor wedding venues and there are some great restaurants in the Forum Shops that might work.  I believe that Joe's Seafood & Stone Crab has a nice private room and they allow DJ and dancing, if that is what you are looking for.  Also, PJ Clarke's has a private room and their food is excellent.  I've eaten at both of these places and they are really good.  We looked into these places before our guest list got out of control.

    I also agree with the previous poster about checking out Maggiano's, as they have this wedding thing down to a science.  Great food, room for dancing, competitive pricing, on the strip, etc.  If you want a ceremony nearby, you could check out Wynn (not cheap, but their outdoor Primrose Garden is gorgeous). 

    As for the time of year, I am getting married in August because it is typically the "slow" season for conventions, in part because it is so freaking hot.  So the problem isn't "will it be warm enough" in the off season, but rather, "will it be too hot" for an outdoor wedding.  In our case, we are getting married at the Bellagio on an outdoor patio, but it will be 7pm and it is under shade and not in the direct sun.  That being said, my guests are waiting inside until right before the ceremony, which will be super short so they are not sitting in the heat too long.  Reception is inside in a ballroom because of the heat.

    But I encourage you to ask these restaurants when their slow period is.  We asked the Bellagio straight up, "what is your cheapest time and cheapest weekend," because we were flexible with our dates.  As a result, we got a lower food and beverage minimum.  So if you can be flexible, the venues can sometimes be flexible.  

    Good luck.  This is a great board with lots of knowledgeable folks!   
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  • Congrats!!!!!

    I think the first thing is figuring out the BUDGET.. and when you want to get married... Then you have a basic foundation... and then can go on from there... vegasgroom.com has a great site to tell you where to start and how to begin...

    We are all here and able to help if need be... to laugh.. vent .. cry.. whatever...

    Sit back relax and enjoy the show..(the ride..)
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  • Welcome! I am getting married at Mandalay Bay Valley of the Falls. You mentioned the casino so I did want to let you know that you can bring in a photographer for an outside fee! As for the time of year, I used to go to Vegas every month when I lived in Arizona and if you are wanting an outside ceremony I highly recommend spring time. April tends to be almost perfect weather. Good luck and don't stress, this board is a fantastic guide to everything!
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  • Hey welcome to the forum; pretty cool that you're here after getting engaged four days ago. Laughing

    Please check out my site at http://www.vegasgroom.com/ and right in the middle you'll see a "Wedding planning in Las Vegas is overwhelming; where do I start?!?!?" which will give you a bunch of info to get started and then you'll likely have tons of questions that everyone here can help with.

    Married old Las Vegas hag groom - June 2011

    Getting married in Vegas? Start here! [click]

  • Congratulations!  I don't know about their slow times but MB told us that October is the busiest month for weddings.  I also know that hotel rooms are cheap in August and like 2 weeks in December before Christmas.  Hope some of this helps!

    Jenny
  • Thank you all for the wonderful advice and well wishes!

    Update:

    Mon Ami Gabi is looking really good right now. $60 pp for a delicious looking menu. I love that restaurant. And I have hopes of partying at Napoleon's afterwards. Unfortunately Paris doesn't have any outdoor ceremony options for a large group and their chapels leave much to be desired in my opinion.

    Ceremonies are expensive, at least the outdoor options! Right now Caesar's has the best looking options in one of their gardens. Their in house photographer seems to do a good job.
    Is asking my guests to walk from Caesar's to Paris out of the question? Everyone is healthy and quite mobile. It will be after dark in April, It shouldn't be very hot.
    PH is right next door to Paris, but also has no outside option. It's a fun hotel, and their chapel is decent enough. Hmm.

    Can anyone recommend an affordable yet delicious cupcake vendor that could deliver to my reception?

    Thank you! I appreciate all of your help!
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