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Nevada-Las Vegas

What/how much to plan for pre-wedding activities

What is everyone planning as activities in the days before the wedding? We have been planning on an in-suite "meet and greet" pizza party two nights before the wedding, then a dinner and some entertainment the night before the wedding. My fiance really wants to take everyone to a CIrque du Soleil show the night before the wedding, but for a group of 35 it will be really expensive, and I'm concerned that not everyone will like it.

I don't want to just leave people to do their own thing because many of our guests have not been to Vegas, and we want to help them have a good time. But, it is difficult to plan for older family guests and younger friends, and some picky eaters and some more adventurous fancier eaters... Everything except the wedding will be optional, of course, and if people didn't want to join they could do their own thing instead.

I know that you can never please everyone, but how do I handle planning things for 35 people, knowing that some people may not like what I plan?

Re: What/how much to plan for pre-wedding activities

  • I think less is probably more.  We have a pizza party scheduled the night before and some people aren't even coming to that because they aren't getting in in time.  

    You are going to want to have some time to spend that is just you and the fiance too.  You don't want to get home and realize that you spent no time alone because you were entertaining guests the whole time.  
    jayjaay
  • I wouldn't plan too much. You could always provide a list of great things to do and let them choose and discover on their own.
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    jayjaay
  • I may be a stick in the mud in this category. That might be because everyone on my guest list has been to LV before.  We are only have informal things before the ceremony.  Bachelor party, girls tea and spa time.  That's it.  We have people who will be there two days before and others two hours before.  We picked Vegas for a reason - no hand holding.
    Happiness is an inside job
    chelsea&brianvegas
  • We have between 20 and 30 people going with us to Vegas and we only have night time (optional) things planned. Most of the guests are coming into town on Thursday and leaving on Sunday so Thursday night is the bachelor/bachelorette parties, Friday night we are providing dinner (take out) in our room and since most of our guests have not been to Vegas we are going to see a show, and then we are getting married on Saturday afternoon. Over half of our guest list lives more than 6 hours from us so we are looking forward to spending that extra time with family and close friends that we dont get to see very often.

  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
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    I'm not planning anything for the entire group apart from the wedding/reception. There is way too much to see and do in Vegas, everyone has different tastes, and I'm selfish enough to not want to spend MY whole vacation herding cats and getting everyone together for group stuff.

    We are making sure that we spend some time with everyone (~20 people), but I'm not doing it as one big group.

    For example, I plan to take our moms to high tea at the Mandarin Oriental the day before while my fiance goes to shoot guns with some of our friends and possibly the dads. I am taking the girls to Rent the Runway to rent cocktail dresses and go out for drinks and clubbing after. We're getting bottle service that night for any of our friends that are interested as well. We're going to a Cirque show with all the parents and his sister. Stuff like that. We'll spend some time with everyone without having to monopolize any more of people's time than we're already taking for the wedding, taking their interests and preferences into account.

    Everyone in our group has been before, which does help, but honestly, even those who aren't frequent Vegas travelers don't need me to hold their hands with so much to see and do. My parents travel to Vegas several times a year, so they will help me ensure that his mother (who's only been once, thirty years ago) has a good time. Everyone from our generation knows each other and so will be fine making whatever plans they want to make.

    We will have our phones with us and will be happy to meet up with any of our guests for meals/drinks/sightseeing/shows if they want, but yeah, the idea of too much forced togetherness doesn't appeal to me much. I want everyone who comes to have a fun vacation and not have it be all about our wedding.

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  • @muffin406, that sounds a lot like our plan. Have you gotten good feedback from guests on these ideas? I'm still not sure if we will do bachelor/bachelorette stuff on Thursday night, but we might. Have you picked a show yet?

    @Ndelible, you don't sound like a stick in the mud at all, I think your plans sound really good too! There are a lot of ways to do a Vegas wedding, I'm just trying to figure out which one is for me.

    Thanks for your input everyone!

    Ndelible
  • @amelisha, sounds like you have some great plans! How long will you be in Vegas with your group? Sounds like you will be busy.

    I'm not interested in 'forced togetherness' either, which is why things would be optional. I feel like by planning non-wedding thing it will make it so it isn't 'all about our wedding', but I wouldn't want people to feel like they just have to do whatever we want all weekend.

  • Honestly, I can wrap my head around doing too much for everyone.  The one thing I have been thinking of is some kind of app (the best one) to make a group with GPS for everyone to be able to see where we are and head that way.  Since we are having such a large, diverse group, I expect little groups to break off and do their own thing.
    Happiness is an inside job
  • I have to ditto what @amelisha said. We have a group of 25-26 people coming, I am not planning on anything except for a family dinner (parents and siblings only) the night before the wedding, a night out with my MOH later that night, wedding/reception the next day, and Friday (day after wedding) we will keep open after our photography appt in case people want to get together to do things, but we have both his side and my side coming. I am not even sure how long my dad will stay, because he hates LV (ironically, he is fine with my wedding being there). I've never been to LV nor has my FI or my daughter. Almost everyone else coming has been to LV. I got overwhelmed at my 14 yo daughter's graduation party and there were 30 people there, I can't imagine how overwhelmed I might feel trying to corral all of our guests for specific things.
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    Ndelible
  • We had a rehearsal dinner (no actual rehearsal) for about 40 of our 125 guests the night before the wedding, but that was it.  There's certainly more than enough in Vegas to keep guests occupied.

    Married old Las Vegas hag groom - June 2011

    Getting married in Vegas? Start here! [click]

  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper

    @amelisha, sounds like you have some great plans! How long will you be in Vegas with your group? Sounds like you will be busy.

    I'm not interested in 'forced togetherness' either, which is why things would be optional. I feel like by planning non-wedding thing it will make it so it isn't 'all about our wedding', but I wouldn't want people to feel like they just have to do whatever we want all weekend.


    We are arriving on Thursday morning, getting married on Saturday, leaving Sunday night (3 nights/4 days), but my parents are arriving the week before and some of our friends plan to go earlier too. Not much time but we have two nights before the wedding, so will spend one doing dinner and a show with parents and one at the club with our friends.

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  • The night before the wedding we hosted our guests in the Chadelier Bar for drinks. After we moved the party to our wrap around suite and ordered pizza. Our room overlooked the pool area and Foster the People were playing so we got to hang out with our friends and watch the show. The day after the wedding we hosted an Easter/thanks for coming to our Vegas Wedding at Wicked Spoon. After that everyone was on their own. My dad was a little bummed I think we didn't hang out with them but he also wanted to go on our Tahoe honeymoon with us.
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  • I had a group of 35 that came from the east coast and it was equally split between folks that were 25-45 and folks that were 55-65.   The wedding was at 6pm on Saturday and most people were here from Friday to Tuesday (although a few of us came in on Thursday night).  Here's what we had planned:


    -Friday evening (formal welcome party at Maggiano's).  This was for the bridal party, immediate family, and aunts and uncles....more of the older crew.   We paid for this. 

    -Friday night (party bus to 3 clubs).  We had 16 people join us for this but we did not pay for this. 

    Saturday was wedding and reception.   Other than these formal things, I did go out with the girls on Thursday night and my husband and I had breakfast with our parents the day after the wedding.  

    By having the events on Friday with both sets of guests, it gave us some time with them to welcome them and to have some fun with them.  However, we gave folks a lot of free time and they loved it.  Many of our guests had never been to Vegas before and they definitely found ways to spend their time.  Some went to old Las Vegas, some were entertained just by walking around and going through the casinos, and a group of people coordinated a Gospel Brunch on Sunday and another group coordinated a trip to the Grand Canyon on Monday for anyone that wanted to go.  Most of our guests turned this into a vacation and so they already had things in mind that they wanted to do.

    I recommend just a few welcome events and then a list of things to do in Vegas so they can explore on their own.  
  • We had a group of 40 for the wedding, 30 were there for the pre-wedding festivities. Most my guests are NJ natives and the rest Cali. My Meet & Greet was a party bus from Presidential Limo made three stops: LV sign, Bellagio, and Freemont St. (Most of our guest this was a 1st Vegas trip) Fyi, the time difference totally affected my east coast guest eating schedule. My husband & I who usually eat around 7:30p, found ourselves hungry by 5:30p so knowing this, I planned/allowed people enough time on the night of the meet & greet to have dinner wherever they wanted. Here's my itinerary card exactly: image
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  • I think the decision to pre-plan a lot or let people do their own thing depends on how many people will be in town to partake and what your audience is like. Our wedding is at 6pm on a Saturday and we are hosting a welcome reception the night prior; we anticipate maybe 1/3 of our guests to attend. Most of our guests are coming from the east coast and some May come in Friday in time to attend while others may get in late or the morning of the wedding. We figure our guests, whether new to vegas or not, will want to do their own thing a bit without a lot of structure. And we will too! If you have a small group who may need more direction, then you might want to schedule some things in, but I agree with other posters that you will be too busy to do more coordination with lots of events. Keep it simple if you can to ensure you stay calm and don't get overwhelmed with gathering and moving everyone around. Enjoy this time!
    jayjaay
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