21 Tips for Eloping in Vegas the Right Way Podcast

This blog post is devoted to wedding couples considering eloping in Vegas. The article will focus in on what wedding couples can expect in their wedding planning journey and how services are rendered by Julie Nourish, the owner and wedding planner of Custom Las Vegas Weddings. If you are going to put your trust in a Las Vegas wedding planner, you need to know what to expect and be assured the planning will be carried out professionally, the right way. 

This post features the an interview from Creative Living Podcast with host Brendan Sick. Brendan is a very talented up and coming professional saxophone player, sound engineer and songwriter. Brendan’s passion is creating and writing custom songs, especially custom love songs. He shares some details about his own business and services in this podcast. Be sure to watch Brendan’s YouTube video about his services in this article. 

Custom Love Songs

            Visit Brendan’s Website here

Brendan reached out to Julie for this interview because he was curious and interested about the Las Vegas wedding planning process. He wanted to know the history and how Julie as a Las Vegas wedding planner established the business. He was impressed Julie received over 150 – 5 star positive reviews from happy couples during her time in business since 1996. He also wanted to know why couples who plan an elopement in Vegas can put their faith and trust in Julie to plan their wedding experience. In this interview Julie shares her experience as well as what any potential customer can expect when they hire Julie to plan a Las Vegas elopement.

 

Wedding planner Las Vegas

Photo of Julie Nourish – Elopement Wedding Planner in Las Vegas

 

Question 1. Brendan: What is the overall experience of working with Custom Las Vegas Weddings like?

Julie:

Guidance My customers will be guided every step of the way to prepare for their Vegas elopement.

Stress Free Service: After the couple’s book with us they can then relax and feel confident the services will be planned.

Wedding Licensing: I start by helping them understand the wedding licensing process and sending them licensing information.

Ceremony wording:  My clients will then choose their ceremony wording and customize the ceremony and vows if they desire that.

Itinerary is created:  I guide them to understand how the day will unfold and create an itinerary to help them know the timeline of events.

Help planning periphery services: If the customer needs hair and makeup assistance or tux and gown, I match them with those vendors.

Vendors are planned for clients: Then the vendors are planned for the event. It’s all done for clients as a part of my service to them.

Customization of packages: My wedding package templates are customizable. I will discuss the customization possibilities with my clients.

Official quote is created for client: After the clients agree on the services, I then write up a quote for them to approve.

Client provides a retainer: At the point of signing the quote, my client will then place a deposit as a retainer for services. I then start the planning for them.

I am available to correspond by phone, email or chat with customers.

Question 2. Brendan: What services do you provide?

Julie:  I primarily provide services such as eloping in Vegas packages as well as other periphery Las Vegas wedding planning services to customize packages for couples. I have spent time building a network of wedding venues in Las Vegas. The vendors I collaborate with are long standing associates and pros. I provide only the best wedding professionals as vendors for my clients.

 

Eloping in Vegas

These are some the main Las Vegas wedding planning services I provide.

• Procuring booking with established venues and planning the event 
• Creating an itinerary for the client and vendors
• Helping with the preliminary details before the event
• Assisting customer with hair/makeup, tux/gown
• Guidance to help client choose flowers for event
• Setting up all vendors (photographer, transportation, etc.)
• Day of coordination services 
• Client vendor correspondence and assistance
• Arranging the payment for vendors on behalf of the client

Question 3. Brendan:Would you give me some examples of the a la carte services you offer for customization?

Julie:  If the customer wants to add in additional services above and beyond the package listed on my site, these would be considered a la carte options.

Some examples of a la carte options would be:

• Planning and ordering a wedding cake for the event
• Additional day of coordinator services
• Helping the client get tickets for entertainment
• Booking a restaurant for the event
• Help planning the reception
• Help running errands

If the client wants a la cart services, I will go over the details with them and work up a quote for services.

Wedding event planner

 

Question 4. Brendan: What type of budget do your clients typically need if they are planning a Vegas wedding?

Julie: I attract couples who want services ranging from Las Vegas wedding packages for two people, which start at the $500 price point to customized packages as much as $3500 or more for an upscale elopement experience. It just depends on what the customers want and their budget limit. I try to work within a budget if it’s possible to offer what the client wants and tick all the boxes.


Question
5. Brendan:  How do you customize services for couples?

Julie: First, I offer templates and suggestions on my website. Then the customer can modify the package based on their needs and guest count and circumstances. If they want to add in a la carte services, they may do so. For instance, transportation, design elements, video, more photos, a cake, etc.

Question 6. Brendan: How involved in planning do the customers get to be?

Julie: I think it’s important for the customers to be fully involved in their wedding. Most people choose my services because they don’t want to have to think about too many details. But some of my clients have been very involved and want to have a lot more input. I always welcome their input and creativity.

 

Eloping in Vegas

Fun moment of exchange with wedding party

 

Question 7. Brendan:  What’s not involved in the planning services you offer?

Julie: My clients are primarily Las Vegas destination wedding couples, traveling to Vegas from other cities and countries and don’t live in Las Vegas. Sometimes, they do want pre-wedding meetings and if they do, there is an hourly a la carte charge for that service. I recommend my clients use online conferencing, email and phone to go over details and I meet my clients on the day of the event typically.

My associate planners work with me to provide larger event planning if you need a planner to scout for vendors and provide in depth services such as a large full-scale ceremony and reception. I primarily focus on the venues and experiences listed on my site. For instance, if someone needs a planner to find a specific venue and help them visit and interview vendors, taste cake, put together a full-scale event with RSVP services, stationary, and invitations, etc. they are looking for a full-scale wedding planner. I keep my pricing comparatively affordable and cater to a certain demographic of elopements or clients who don’t need a full-scale large event. I do collaborate with other full-service planners though and will refer people who are looking for that kind of services in touch with my associate planner. The service quote I work up for clients will specify the services they get and those can be customized based on their needs.

 

Elope in Vegas

Julie pinning a boutonniere on the groom

 

Question 8. Brendan:  How do you differ from other Las Vegas destination elopement planners in Las Vegas?

Julie: I like to be very creative and offer unique customization services for Las Vegas wedding packages.  This is a departure from the cookie cutter wedding planning that is a standard in Las Vegas for smaller elopement companies and venues. Because I am an independent Las Vegas elopement planner, I am more flexible to think outside the box and offer ways for clients to make their elopement event special. For example, adding props to their decorations, decorating the client’s room to make it a romantic setting, making reservations for restaurants after the elopement. 

Question 4. Brendan: Would you give me some examples of the packages you offer for customization?

Julie: I offer a variety of packages on my website. Many are scenic outdoor wedding packages and some are on the Vegas Strip or in local venues in Las Vegas. 

For example these are only a small list of elopement location choices I will customize for clients.

Scenic outdoor wedding choices:

• Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas
Red Rock Canyon Wedding
• Valley of Fire Helicopter Wedding
• Grand Canyon Helicopter Wedding
Local Las Vegas Parks or home weddings
• Mount Charleston wedding
• Lakeside weddings
Nelson Ghost Town wedding

 

Las Vegas Elopement

Elopement at Nelson Ghost Town

 

Las Vegas Strip Wedding choices:

The High Roller
The Sugar Factory
Madame Tussaud’s
The Neon Museum
• The Mob Museum
• Art District
• Hotel weddings
Wedding Photo Tours
Scenic City Helicopter
Oasis Event Center

Elopement Packages Las Vegas

A photo of Julie, the pilot and a wedding couple eloping in the Grand Canyon


Question 9
. Brendan:  How involved are you in the day of wedding experience?

Julie:
Prior to the day I touch base to make sure my clients have arrived safely to Las Vegas. Then I make sure I am in touch with my wedding clients by phone or text on the day. I will guide the clients with any last-minute questions or concerns that arise and typically I am there on site with the couple during the event. If I am not, I ensure that there is an assistant coordinator to run the show who knows what to do.

Question 10. Brendan:  How far in advance do couples need to reserve services with you?

Julie: For some scenic and Vegas Strip wedding packages it is recommended my clients give at least a months’ notice. More advance notice will secure better results for having a venue available. If the client waits until 3 weeks prior to the wedding to reserve, it will be less likely the venue they want will be available. The client needs to realize the full payment will be due 3 weeks before the wedding and if they are requesting services within that time frame the entire payment is due.

Question 11. Brendan: Do you handle all the contracts and payment processing for clients eloping in Vegas?

Julie: Yes. First, I create a quote and contract for clients to view, approve and sign. The quotes are itemized for clients. Some Vegas wedding venues require the clients sign the contract directly with the venue but I do facilitate sending the documents and helping keep track of signing and payment to the venues on behalf of the client. I also will help correspond with vendors for clients and facilitate and oversee the venue contract signing for clients as well as overseeing paying the vendors on the clients behalf. 

Question 12. Brendan: Do you handle rentals for clients?

Julie: Yes, I schedule and set up the vendor rentals for the event. This includes the scheduling, correspondence with the vendors for scheduling the rentals, delivery, arrival and set up, and breakdown of rentals. A good example would be for props to be used for custom photo events, floral items, decorations such as chairs, floral, musicians, etc.

Red Rock Canyon Wedding

Question 13. Brendan: What is the deposit for booking a wedding?

Julie: All venues and vendors require a different deposit. Deposit terms will be specified in the venue contract the client will sign. I collect all the data and ensure the correct deposits are paid for by the client to reserve the venue and vendor services they want. I also collect a wedding planning deposit which is a retainer for services.  The deposit amount will be determined by the services the client hires me for. 

Question 14. Brendan: When is the final payment due?

Julie:The final payment is due 3 weeks prior to the event. If the client initiates services within the 3-week timeframe of the event, the full amount is due then.

Question 15. Brendan: Do you help the clients pay the vendors?

Julie:Yes. I handle the planning and payment on behalf of the client for the vendors. The more services the client receives, the more itemized the invoice will be and the client will be able to see the charges for each service received.

Question 16. Brendan: Are there additional fees clients should know about?

Julie: Because I have the client agree to a quote, they will have all the charges up front when they sign the contract. The only time there would be any additional charges would be if the client requests more a la carte services after the quote has been signed. In this case I will revise the invoice and the client will see the charges and agree to them at that time.

Las Vegas Wedding Planner

 

Question 17. Brendan: What happens if the customer needs to change the date of the event?

Julie: As the elopement event planner, I will step in and advocate for the client to re-arranged the services and change the date or time. I just ask the clients to try to give me at least 3 weeks’ notice, if possible. I have often done this for clients and it’s dependent on many factors, not the least of which is whether the date is available with all the vendors and venue as well as my own schedule. This might happen if the couple has to postpone or change the event date.

Question 18. Brendan: Is the deposit or final payment refundable?

Julie: The planning fees are not refundable. The initial planning deposit is taken as a retainer to pay for wedding planning services that are rendered before the wedding takes place. The initial planning involves effort. It will require computer time, outreach to vendors, scheduling the venue, helping the client sign contracts, taking payments, email correspondence, scheduling vendors, creating the itinerary and in many cases more. The planning is done prior to the 3-week timeline before the wedding day, if the clients give such notice. I do not refund the planning fee to clients for this reason if their plans change.  I will however credit the initial planning deposit payment toward future services if a postponement or date change is needed and is possible.

The final payment for the event and venue is typically due within the 3-week timeframe prior to the wedding. At that time, the final payment becomes non-refundable. If the wedding needs to be rescheduled, in most cases the venues will work with the clients.  Each venue differs in their credit and refund policies. It is best to clarify these details from the venue before you book to know what to expect if there is a disaster beyond your control. The planning deposit may be applied to future wedding services within one calendar year.

Vegas wedding planning

Elvis Rocks this wedding couple at the Vegas Sign


Question 19.
 Brendan: Will planning the wedding be stress free and fun for clients?

Julie: I think so. I have many reviews from happy couples who indicated their experience was seamless and stress free. Many clients tend to worry because they don’t know Las Vegas and who to trust. They plan from a distance and can get overwhelmed. I am happy to ensure the client feels at ease and confident their event will go on without a hitch. If the client is planning well ahead of time, I check in with the client and they may check in with me with questions whenever needed. I get more interactive with my clients about a month ahead of their event and keep in touch to make the client feel excited and at ease about traveling to Vegas and knowing what to do.

Question 20. Brendan: What was the biggest takeaway you can share? What was your greatest Challenge, and takeaway?

Julie: I would say logistical and technical issues have been the biggest challenges for me. One of the biggest hurdles I have had to contend with is having my website hacked about 10 years ago. My ranking and business literally went dead. Google penalized me and dropped my ranking almost overnight, regardless of whether it was my fault I got hacked or not.

I have also had challenges trying to build up my company and try to run my business and wear all the hats necessary to streamline and run my business economically. Technical challenges with my website, trying to rank on Google and also making myself available to answer my clients and be out in the field doing the work have been challenging.

The biggest takeaway is, collaborating with other professional associate and vendors I can depend on has made a huge difference.   I have found great professional and talented vendors through networking in the community and word of mouth. That has been very helpful.

Las Vegas Scenic Wedding

Photo of Julie with wedding couple after a wedding at Red Rock Overlook


Question 21.
 Brendan: What is your greatest moment of success?

Julie: One of the highlights of my work has been I think I have had success come in waves and it still fluctuates. Being able to reach a high domain authority which has helped me be found in Google has helped drive business. Having couples give me great reviews and feedback has been very motivating and I am grateful for that. Reviews have helped me start to build success. I am optimistic as time proceeds, my wedding business will succeed.  Ultimately, I consider making people who are eloping in Vegas happy and satisfied my greatest success of all!

Thank you Brendan for your thoughtful interview.  If you want to learn more about Brendan Sicks love music and visit Brendan’s creative love songs website here

View this video interview with Brendan on YouTube.

 

Covid-19 Resources for Planning a Las Vegas Elopement

Las Vegas Elopement

When Las Vegas opens for business in the various phases of the Covid-19 crisis there will be essential restrictions in place you need to know about. We have created this article to help our customers navigate the climate during this crisis and share helpful resources. It will help you with useful “in the know” advice about the restrictions you will face when you prepare for having your Las Vegas elopement.

For the past few months, hearts and dreams have been on hold in America as couples with big wedding plans have had to rethink their plans and consider eloping instead of having a large event. There are many stories of wedding couples being creative and making alternative plans for their weddings. 

Safety Tips for your Elopement

Eloping in Las Vegas

Las Vegas will be imposing restrictions on gatherings because of the spread of covid-19.  One of the major restrictions in the works will be restricting the total count of the wedding party.  In Nevada our governor has dictated guidelines businesses need to abide by. For the first few phases of reopening, group gatherings will have a total limit of no more than 10 people.  Elopements generally have two people but typically this also includes groups of less than 12 or 10 people. Considering the temporary guidelines, couples who plan to get married in Las Vegas will now be having a Las Vegas elopement instead of a large gathering. Eloping will be the order of the day until restrictions ease and are guidelines are changed.

But there’s new hope for those willing to pull up stakes and relocate to have their wedding in Las Vegas.  As of April 27, the Clark County Marriage License Bureau is reopened for business, which means the nuptials are back in Vegas, Baby! 

get married in vegas

What you need to know about getting your Marriage License in Vegas

But before you start planning your Las Vegas elopement wedding in Glitter Gulch, be aware that there will be some changes that are non-negotiable as far as the approach to your celebration.  First, to attain your license, you are highly encouraged to complete the Las Vegas wedding online application before arriving at the Clark County marriage bureau’s office.  On the day of pick up, come prepared to wait in line as the bureau. These are the safety measures they have implemented which all must now follow during this crisis. 

Mandatory COVID-19 safety protocols at the Clark County Marriage Bureau:

  • Only three couples in the lobby at one time
  • No children, relatives or guests
  • Couples will stand 6-feet apart while waiting
  • Anyone with a temperature over 99.9 Degrees will be turned away at the door
  • Couples must wear a facial covering/mask (homemade or purchased)
  • Counters will be sanitized between couples
  • Disposable pens will be issued to each couple
  • Only one online marriage license kiosk will be available in the lobby

BEFORE YOU GO:

  • Go to mlic.vegas and complete the marriage license application matching the names on your government IDs
  • Both people must be in attendance
  • Both people must have government ID ready and available
  • Couple must have a credit card available to pay for the license. No cash or checks will be accepted. The marriage license is good for one year. No refunds will be issued.

For the latest Covid-19 information or for further information about how to apply for a marriage license in Clark County, go to MLIC.Vegas. For any questions relating to licensing, please email clerkem@clarkcountynv.gov.

get married in Las Vegas

Front of Las Vegas Marriage Bureau

With temperatures rising into the 90s and even 100s, you are advised to bring water and an umbrella to provide shade.  The Bureau will only allow three couples at a time into the interior space and only one licensing kiosk will be open (no children or guests are allowed inside).  At the door, your temperature will be taken and anyone with a fever of 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit will be turned away.  While in the lobby (and in line) you are required to maintain a social distance of six feet and to wear a mask.  Disposable pens are provided for signing documents and counters are sanitized between couples.  Finally, payment will only be accepted by credit or debit card.  No cash or checks will be accepted.


Click to view this PDF created by the Clark County Clerk’s office in coordination with the Wedding chamber of commerce. Custom Las Vegas Weddings is a proud member of the
chamber of commerce. We also plan to implement safety measures to keep our wedding and event clients safe.

For more advice about the weather and preparing to elope in Las Vegas visit this article about Seasonal weather and elopement wedding tips.  

Vegas wedding elopement

Click here to read our seasonal Vegas tips

Basic safety tips for travel to Vegas

If you’re traveling to our city from another state, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak continues to emphasize (but does not require) a two-week period of self-isolation.  Regardless, it is important to practice safety precautions while traveling, particularly if you are using high contact means such as flying.  Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, carry personal disinfecting items (such as wipes) to sanitize contact areas, and wear a mask to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission.

This article will provide important travel tips to know to prepare for your Las Vegas elopement.

Keep safe and prepare for your hotel stay

Come prepared with disinfectant supplies and on arrival at your hotel room spend a few minutes disinfecting high touch areas, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, remote controls, toilets, and sink faucets.  If your room has glassware, silverware, or dishes that are not wrapped in plastic, wash them with soap and water before use.  And make a habit of washing your hands each time you return to your room to prevent bringing germs in from outside.

Check out this article link below to read about hotel suites to consider if you are eloping in Vegas.

Las Vegas en suite elopement

Click this photo to learn great hotel suites for weddings

Preparation tips for your Las Vegas wedding venue

Be prepared for your covid-19 Vegas wedding to be a little different.  Most venues considered places to elope in Vegas are already announcing that they will limit the number of guests, require attendees to wear masks, and enforce social distancing.  You should also be aware that demand is high right now, so check with venues for availability before you make your plans.

If you’re hoping to celebrate your Elope in Las Vegas, this article shares some Las Vegas wedding venue resources to help you plan your experience. You may also want to know informative details about the weather at Red Rock Canyon and view important tips to prepare for your wedding there. 

Places to Elope in Vegas and blog posts to read for more elopement advice:

  • Scenic Las Vegas desert elopement ideas

    las vegas desert elopement

    Read more Las Vegas Desert Elopement Ideas

 

  • This article link below shares 10 Affordable venues to elope in Las Vegas

  • This popular article shares 9 mistakes to avoid if you plan to elope in Vegas
plan-to-elope-in-vegas

Read 9 Mistakes to avoid if you plan to elope in Vegas

 

What you need to know about restaurants during Covid-19:

Be advised, most restaurants that are reopening are emphasizing social distancing by placing tables at least six feet apart. Unfortunately, it won’t be business as usual for a while.  With demands already high and seating space now more limited, you will want to book as far in advance as possible.  You should also prepare yourself for servers to arrive at your table wearing masks and protective gloves.

las vegas restaurant at Bellagio

Bellagio Restaurant in Las Vegas

Read the contract and venue or policy closely

As you plan ahead for your wedding, be prepared to be flexible and it’s best to understand the deposits required by your wedding planning venues. If you are hiring a wedding planner, they will help you educate you on the rules. This way you will understand what is non-refundable and what is not. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has announced her intentions to reopen the city’s entertainment establishments, but that does not mean that everyone is prepared to reopen under covid-19 restrictions.  New restrictions combined with what will almost certainly be high demand means that it may take you time to find availability for venues and to work through agreements that incorporate virus protocols.

Consider buying wedding insurance:

consider wedding insurance

Most entertainment and wedding venues and planners require retainers or deposits that are non-refundable to hold spaces. If you have to postpone, most venues are allowing deposit credits toward future Las Vegas elopement wedding packages. It is customary for our wedding planning to also ask for a retainer. This partial up-front retainer (AKA deposit) is for planning your wedding and arranging vendors. But we also will credit your deposit toward future planning and vendor services if you find out you have to cancel and reschedule at a later date due to an emergency or re-emergence of the Covid virus later in the year. It is always the best practice to be prepared and know what you are agreeing to because this crisis may re-emerge and present similar impositions further down the road. Because there is a likelihood of a resurgence of the virus, it is highly advisable to purchase wedding insurance in case venues are forced to shut down again or you can’t find an alternate date that works.

Benefits of having wedding insurance

With COVID-19 still ongoing, couples have modified their initial plans following all the recommended precautions, and others have just opted for postponing the special day altogether for a later time. We can all agree that this has been a situation that nobody saw coming and it was nearly impossible to determine at firs how was it going to impact across the board. The restrictions are slowly starting to get lifted as things change by the day and upcoming weeks. However, this opens up the conversation regarding wedding insurance and why it is needed.

Although the global pandemic is not a covered reason, there are other scenarios that some wedding insurance companies may cover, such as inclement weather, sudden illness, withdrawal of military leave, job loss, or venue bankruptcy.

It is really important to make space in the planning process to see wedding insurance options that are within the budget from the couple and that has everything they need. Now, it could seen difficult to search and navigate this topic but you can check out this research on several wedding insurance companies including their policy options, customer service and cost.

At the end of the day, wedding insurance is great to have it and not need it than not have it and need it. Being prepare can reduce the worry of the “what if this [fill the blank] happens?”. Now, before buying a policy check with your homeowner’s insurance or credit card provider just in case you have wedding coverage with them. If there is no coverage any of those, there are two important questions to keep in mind when planning to purchase wedding insurance:

How much wedding insurance should you buy?

This question is important because it depends on what you’re looking for. Generally insurers offer different levels of coverage that can match the total wedding expenses. You will have to make an assessment of the risks first. And why is it? Because it helps to organize and choose the right coverage and make sure that you don’t fall short on coverage.

Do you need wedding insurance?

This answer to this question is straightforward. If you are concerned about booking a wedding and not knowing if the environment for travel and wedding planning is unstable, it may be worth the money to invest in wedding insurance.  This is not only for your wallet but peace of mind as well. 

In conclusion, being prepared will help minimize problems. When there is no protection, little things can seem larger than what they are.

The future of weddings in Las Vegas

As Las Vegas reopens, remember that it is a high traffic city, welcoming travelers from all over the world and from all walks of life.  People are familiar with the popular phrase, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Well, in this case, we don’t want to “keep it in Vegas.” We ask you to please follow the best hygiene practices and we will follow suit and help keep you safe. We are hoping and praying Covid-19 leaves our glitter gulch and all places worldwide soon and our blessings go out to people everywhere to keep safe and sound during this crisis.  So, if you are preparing to have a wedding in Las Vegas and think it’s the right fit for you, it’s the safest bet for all concerned to keep celebrations modest now and choose to have a Las Vegas elopement.  You can always throw the big bash at a later date.  However, if you decide to “tie the knot,” in Sin City, on your return, be mindful of others and self-isolate for two weeks before returning to normal life.  You can call it a “honeymoon,” make yourself some quarantinis, and tell each other stories of your Sin City union.

Gin Quarantini

If you don’t know what a quarantini is, this article shares 10 inventive recipes for making a Quarantini alcoholic tonic for the Covid-19 crisis.

Megan Glenn contributed toward this article for Custom Las Vegas Weddings

Megan Glenn

Megan is a freelance writer with extensive expertise in a plethora of subjects, including: home decor, business, lifestyle, and more. I’ve been writing professionally for over a decade, and have had the pleasure of working with incredible publishers over the years, including Discount Two-Way Radio.