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Hard Part Done - Venues Decided On!

Well, after a week of freedom of choice, I have made my choices.  I sent out about 10 RFPs and everyone got back to me fairly quickly.  After going through everything, I came down to these top choices (in no particular order):

Wynn - Lavender Salon
Tropicana - Garden Chapel
Mandalay - THeChapel
Aria - Chapel

I looked at The Platinum for the inclusive package and looked at the packages at Aria and MB, but ultimately have decided that we really like the in-suite open suite concept instead.  

All of my impressions are from afar and not based on actually touring the properties, so I was doing it real destination wedding style - site unseen.  

Wynn - extremely professional response.  The newly decorated salon is absolutely gorgeous.  However, the pricing was on the high side.  I didn't see anything other than the chapel to pull me there.

Tropicana - had a impression of this property as very dated and run down.  Apparently, they've changed that.  I liked the looks of two of the venues, the chapel and the Havana room.  The Beach club was also nice, but outside and therefore, not an option.  The packages are very reasonably priced.  The chapel is crisp and clean and can be decorated up very nicely, totally doable with the great starting price points of the packages.  The communications were swift and friendly.  Plus, instead of a limo to the courthouse, it's an hour or two to where you want, based on your package.

Mandalay Bay - Originally, MB was my runner up choice, so it was the first one I contact after my initial plans fell through.  I had a glitch in talking on their online chat, but the consultant emailed me immediately.  I love the modern, streamlined look of the chapel.  I would say it's very me.  I also liked the price point of their rooms and FH fell in love with the Media Suite.  The packages are just fine, starting at about $2k for the weekend.

Aria - One of the my dream properties.  I'm in real estate, so I love gorgeous properties and probably why the overall look of the venue is so important to me.  I put this one down on my list, because of the finalists, it's the smallest capacity at a tight 60 and the high cost.  It's basic package is the most expensive of the bunch.  Apparently, the prices have gone up dramatically over the last few months.  Well, in business when you've got something people want, you raise prices.  It's the American way!

I've done spreadsheets and comparisons.  I changed my mind a million times.  Every night before I went to sleep and in the morning, when I woke up, I was thinking about location, timing, logistics, money....  You name it, I was going over it in my head.  This morning, after I finished my two comparisons, I felt a little closer to a decision.  I spent time between tweaking looking at video casts of ceremonies from the four finalists.  My sister and niece came over and I shared with them my research.  After a lot of snarks, including about my FSD getting married in our suite the day after our wedding and how many folk we know hosted their wedding with cake and water or strawberries and tortilla chips (I shit you not), they both agreed that I should do what was in my heart.  

And so...  my heart is with....   

Aria for the ceremony and Mandalay Bay for the suite party!   Yea!  And now to cake and cater!  I've already gotten a quote from Masterpiece and looked at Freed's, but need other recommendations, if you have any.

Cheers!
Happiness is an inside job
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Re: Hard Part Done - Venues Decided On!

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    Here's on of my comparisons, it might be a bit small, as when I paste it in, the columns and rows are lost.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    Wow, that is great info, and love that you put everything on a spreadsheet to compare.
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    vegasbride2015 said: Wow, that is great info, and love that you put everything on a spreadsheet to compare. After the first blow up, I decided I better start treating this like a job.  So now I'm a bit more focused and it really helped me see the different options. And made me see that sometimes money just didn't make a difference.  Call it making me happy.  FH just wants me to be happy, but he sure does like that pool table in the groom's waiting room.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    Awesome! I'm obviously partial to aria too! For catering I would also check out firefly! They've been great to work with. You can always check out your fav restaurants (brio, Cheesecake Factory, etc. and they usually a catering menu!

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    Awesome! I'm obviously partial to aria too! For catering I would also check out firefly! They've been great to work with. You can always check out your fav restaurants (brio, Cheesecake Factory, etc. and they usually a catering menu!
    Yeah, I'm a bit torn on this one.  I want heavy apps & cake.  We're doing the spirits ourselves.  This part, not fun.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    Great info!  Perfect choices! Congratulations!  
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    Yay another Aria bride!! I still can't believe how much they've gone up!
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    Yay another Aria bride!! I still can't believe how much they've gone up!
    If I had known it would go up so much, I would have booked it in the first place and skipped out on all the ensuing drama!  It's kinda crazy, considering the packages are a bit on the lean side, throw ins-wise.  But it is gorgeous.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    How exciting! Congrats! Aria is so beautiful.
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    I am on to the catering now.  I've reached out to Masterpiece and Firefly.  I thought that Cheesecake Factory was more expensive than it should be, considering it's a national chain.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    I'm a little weary of Firefly because I've heard they've had a few bad run ins with inspections.  The last thing I want during my wedding week is food poisoning.
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    Maggianos does in room catering too and that location seems to have their act together
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    Oh, that's good to know.  Now I've changed directions and am thinking totally different - cake and champagne instead.  Man.  And I thought I was done.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    @Ndelible I can't tell you how many times I've totally changed everything, Dinner, then not, cocktails and then dinner back and forth.   I think it's normal, but I'm wondering if I'll ever feel done!

    We had our dream wedding in Las Vegas - 11.29.2014
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    I have changed my mind at least 15 times (if not more!). I think you get to a certain point of getting tired of changing your mind and you finally just pick something :) 
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    @Ndelible I can't tell you how many times I've totally changed everything, Dinner, then not, cocktails and then dinner back and forth.   I think it's normal, but I'm wondering if I'll ever feel done!

    Glad to know I'm not alone.  I wen from sure about the basic outline yesterday, to the new idea today.  This deciision, I feel pretty darn good about, so I don't think I'm going to change that particular aspect again, but it's nice to know it's normal!
    Happiness is an inside job
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    hmgiffor said:
    I have changed my mind at least 15 times (if not more!). I think you get to a certain point of getting tired of changing your mind and you finally just pick something :) 
    I am so getting there, so I can get to the logistics.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    Wow, I really can't believe the prices of the ceremonies these days; they're about 30% higher than 2011.

    Married in Vegas - June 2011


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    That's why we eventually went with The Linq. After getting our money back from Aria, we just couldn't justify the thousands of dollars for the 15 minute ceremony. I am SO HAPPY with my choice. Now I have "extra" money to spend on food, welcome bags, and welcome cocktails. 
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    We were impressed with Masterpiece and loved their food. They did a great job working with our budget. They made a lot of suggestions that would keep everyone full and please our meat eaters and vegetarians without breaking the bank.

    Plus, they've catered a gazillion receptions at MB, so they're used to the lay of the land and how to avoid suspicion. :) They did a fabulous job setting everything up in the suite; you could tell they'd done it often.

    Aria is gorgeous; it's too bad their prices are making them less and less accessible to people. If I'm going to spend $4000+ on my wedding ceremony, I expect a lap dance and a line of coke at the end of it.

    Yes, Aria is the most expensive out there for the basic package. It was the reason I resisted it for so long. But, I'm sleeping well now. I got the package yesterday with the song and floral choices. The amount of things they charge to customize is quite high. The basics are very nice and I suppose that's why most brides just stay with that. For the base price, I do think that more items should be customized at no cost. I'm not getting a line of coke and a lap dance, but if they did offer it, I'm sure it be in the $2k range.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    I hope you didn't take that as judgmental. I'm secretly jealous of brides who get married there, hence the snark about the price. ;)
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    15 minutes for a ceremony at Aria? Yikes. And they are spendy.
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    ericandmarieericandmarie member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    Have you chosen a caterer yet? I actually feel like you get more time at Aria (not necessarily the actual ceremony). I don't remember any other chapel on the strip that allows you to use the bridal room for an hour (I could be wrong). I also didn't come across another chapel that quite had the look that Aria does with the high ceilings and modern colors and feel.
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    One of the main reasons I picked aria too was because of that bridal suite...
    Also when we booked it was only 2k and you get flowers, photog, limo and a free room. Now that they're over 3500 for the same package I don't know if is make the same choice
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    @Rosebubbly I get that! If we wouldn't have been approved to use the vow renewal package there was no way I was paying $3,500 for a VOW RENEWAL. We're already married. Do you know where we could travel with an extra $3,500?! HA!

    I wish the Pop Up Chapel was still up and running at Cosmo. It was exactly what I needed. Quick, fun and completely Vegas (but I'm obviously extremely happy with Aria!)
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    I hope you didn't take that as judgmental. I'm secretly jealous of brides who get married there, hence the snark about the price. ;)
    Oh, not I didn't. It is expensive. It's a sacrifice for sure. I hope to get everything else in line now!
    Happiness is an inside job
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    TK is acting up again
    Happiness is an inside job
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    I do wish I had booked it at the $2k price.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Yes, you get to use the lounges an hour for the bride and 45 minutes for the groom.  Also, guests are to arrive 20 minutes before the ceremony and you can have snackies through house catering and drinks for them which can stay for the photo time (in my case, 15 minutes), so total, you are getting 1 1/2 hours of time.
    Happiness is an inside job
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    @Ndelible‌ what is this about snacks?! I wanna do that!
    I asked about mimosas for me and they wanted to charge me for the glassware.
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