This article will help you think through the essential wedding budget plan for your Vegas wedding. As a wedding planner, I decided I needed to offer a wedding checklist to my clients. Couples often don’t know what is needed or leave out essential details when they plan their wedding.
When I ask my couples what their budget is, the response I normally get is silence. I think this is because they don’t think through the essential tips about costs for a Las Vegas wedding and don’t know the costs in Las Vegas until they call a ton of venues and get pricing. If you are a wedding couple and don’t know what you will need, this article will present much-needed information to help you plan your wedding. I admit, this is one of my longer articles but I felt the information was needed as a valuable client resource.
The information in this article focuses on how to determine your Las Vegas wedding budget. There are many elements to planning your occasion. You will have to factor in a lot of things you may not have thought of. What questions do you need to ask yourself to determine the essential needs you may need to pull off a wedding in Las Vegas at any popular Las Vegas wedding venues?
Las Vegas is an excellent all in one solution for weddings because it has cornered the market on easy and done for you solutions. Tens of thousands of people flock to the city of lights each year to get married in Vegas, making it a popular choice for those searching for a great location for their wedding day.
Having a wedding in Vegas doesn’t need to be expensive. Vegas is an ideal place for wedding couples who don’t want a massive, typical white wedding with loads of people staring at them. In the past weddings in Las Vegas have been known for being primarily small and intimate affairs. A lot of people prefer it that way but now since Vegas has grown and evolved in many ways, there many more options available than there ever have been to choose where you want to get married in Las Vegas.
What is the Cost of a Vegas Wedding?
With the average wedding in the USA costing a pricey $37,000 in 2018, it is not surprising that many couples are looking for cheaper alternatives for their big day. The trend for couples in 2019 is to set a strict budget and make sure the venue ticks all the boxes.
Typically when couples have a wedding they calculate in everything required for the wedding day itself. This could include the price of the couple’s chosen honeymoon, which could add thousands on top depending on where they decide to go.
If cost is an issue, getting married in Las Vegas can be a fantastic option. However even people with more money to spend will find a variety of higher-end done for you solutions. People often use Las Vegas as their honeymoon location and wrap the accommodations into the price of their budget. This makes getting married in Vegas easy and really does become a quick and simple solution. The option to elope to Las Vegas makes creating a budget for your wedding simple.
Last Minute Solution – One reason that couples love to head to places like Las Vegas to get married is that the ceremony can be held at a moment’s notice, making it perfect for people who want to tie the knot quickly, and with minimum fuss.
Eloping in Las Vegas option
If you are considering the option to elope to Las Vegas, it is a great solution for wedding couples. Keeping your guest count under 4 will keep your wedding costs within reason. Las Vegas elopements are simple, and require little planning and very few guests, if any, usually attend.
Cost variation – Wedding ceremonies, to include the space and ceremony can cost as little as $500 here in Vegas. If you have a lot of guests, say 30 – 50 guests, a good budget for eloping in Vegas would be $3000. This is factoring in options to eat affordably and typically this means eating away from a Las Vegas Strip location or choosing a buffet option.
If you decide to step outside the norm and not have a chapel wedding there are options you may not know about. Having an outdoor Las Vegas Wedding away from the Vegas Strip is a great budget saving idea. This will still enable you to have the most enjoyable stress-free experience with a number of embellishments typically enjoyed during the wedding experience. There are some ideas explored below with links to read about a lot of ideas you might consider to stay in budget and still have a unique wedding in Las Vegas.
Here is are two great solutions to have a Las Vegas wedding on a budget and elope in Vegas:
- Read this resource article regarding 8 Fun and Simple Ideas for Eloping in Vegas for ideas you probably don’t know about.
- Another great idea is to consider that includes a photographer, limousine and personal event planner. This makes a complete and simple experience that includes the Las Vegas Strip Wedding photography with planning.
Built-in Entertainment – Las Vegas is a really fun place to get married as the party never stops! Wedding celebrations can carry on the way into the night, and the following morning, or for days if that’s what you want since Vegas is a 24-hour town!
What are your essential needs?
What is most important for you?
How much you are willing to spend altogether?
What Additional elements do you want to add after essentials?
Wedding Budget Checklist: I have created a Las Vegas wedding budget checklist info-graphic to help you answer these questions and help you determine what is essential for your wedding here in Vegas.
When planning weddings for clients I find many couples can’t really tell me their entire budget. I think it stems from being confused about what alternative all-in-one solutions are available for weddings to fit their individual needs.
Of the many couples I have helped, I have found there are budget essentials they need to know about. Here are lists of items that may help you decide what is essential for you.
Hotel Accommodations: Keep in mind often your accommodations may be suitable as a location for your ceremony and reception. There are many travel and hotel package deals on offers advertised on the internet.
If you are researching hotels to be suitable for a ceremony and reception choose wisely as this can be a budget saver. Often times, it’s best to also check the season before you plan.
“Be sure to read my informative article on accommodations and Las Vegas seasonal hotel pricing tips for weddings.
Accommodation Options – Vegas resorts offer amazing accommodations that can double for reception space, complete with city views and plenty of room to entertain guests. For those who have very little money having a ceremony at your resort is an excellent solution. This is ideal for couples who would rather have a cheaper ceremony and spend the majority of their budget on celebrating, and their honeymoon.
Venue Choice: This is one of the most important considerations. You can’t have a wedding without someplace to hold it. Your venue will determine many things and should be decided first. There are many options for wedding venues in Las Vegas. Literally, it can make you crossed eyed to try to decide. You need to determine what your Las Vegas wedding budget is before you start planning. Research wisely or use the services of a wedding planner to help you choose venues that are good economical solutions.
If you are on a budget an want click this link for a wedding in Las Vegas on a budget.
Wedding attire: You may make your own dress, buy one cheaply online and bring it or rent a tux and gown in Las Vegas. Renting seems to be the most popular and cost-effective choice for many. Often companies that rent tux and gowns will deliver to your hotel for you or offer transportation services to and from your hotel, complete with tailoring and steaming options for wrinkles.
Makeup and Hair: You may opt to do your own hair and makeup or splurge on your wedding day and go to a spa to have the spa vendors pamper you. The other option is to hire a mobile hair and makeup specialist to come to your room and pamper you in your own private accommodations. Click here to view my recommended Vegas hair and makeup vendors.
Officiant: Who will perform your ceremony? How important are their expertise and experience to you? Mobile Ministers and officiants in Las Vegas to come to your location. The price ranges for officiants vary tremendously. The price quoted you will be based on the officiant’s experience and expertise.
Photographer: There are many excellent Las Vegas photographers to choose from. The prices for photographers vary greatly but the market is flooded with options. Be sure to take your time and ask about the photographer to find out their background, style and what they or the company they work through offers before you hire them and get it in writing. There is a popular trend emerging here in Las Vegas and many destination locations are to release all photo rights. This option saves couples an immense amount of money but not all venue or vendors offer this option. Their styles and pricing vary a great deal. Be clear on how many photos you want and what style you want for your photos. Do you require more candid shots or posed shots? Do you want all your photos in one package price or do you want to buy prints and get the photos later? Do you want extra editing done after the wedding? Will the printing rights to the photos be released for your own printing options later? Chapels and casinos often make their money on photos after the wedding. My advice is to think it through carefully before you decide to avoid hidden costs and know the costs up front.
Videographer: There is many options couple face when planning a video of their wedding. Videographers range in price greatly, depending on your needs. The simple videos you may get from a chapel will be just that, simple and unedited. You need to decide if you want a video only of the ceremony or if having a reception the cost of determining how many hours you want the video to cover. To keep it cost effective many choose to have the video only of the ceremony. Then once the decision is made you need to decide if the video should be standard definition or high definition and how you want the video delivered.
The trend here in Las Vegas for many wedding companies is to deliver the video electronically. However, there is also a trend to supply it on a small disc drive that can go with the couple directly after the ceremony which is great if you are technically savvy. The downside is it won’t be edited for you if you take it directly. The disc drive option will play directly to your modern TV. So will a Blue Ray disc if you have a Blue Ray player. Most couples decide to have the video edited and special music placed on it. After all, it will be a cherished memory for a lifetime that will be played over and over for many years. I highly recommend capturing your important occasion by getting a video recording of it. I have cherished my wedding video and am so happy I decided to get it after all. It has many family members who have passed on and are no longer with us so it’s a cherished keepsake to my husband and I.
To get married in Las Vegas you must acquire a wedding license before the wedding day. You and your fiancé must visit the Las Vegas Marriage Bureau in person to obtain the license. This must be done before the wedding and presented to a certified and approved licensed wedding officiant or Minister. The cost is $77 and you need to both present a government-issued photo ID. You may pre-apply for a license electronically online at the clerk’s website page. One of the questions I am often asked is, if you get married in Vegas is it legal everywhere? The answer is yes. When you get married in Las Vegas the legality of your marriage is recognized worldwide.
If you need to know more, here is a resource for you. This page will help you find the answers you need to know regarding the popular question, what are the requirements to get married in Las Vegas?
Flowers: Typically I find brides don’t realize the true cost of flowers. Flowers are seasonal and range in price according to availability and season. With our premade planning services we can make planning for flowers in Las Vegas easy and within your budget. The florist we work with is full service and offers us a discount as a Las Vegas wedding planning venue. We pass those savings on to you and itemize your services so you know all the charges up front. Flowers for the larger wedding parties often incur a hefty price tag. Once again, wedding planners will get you a discount and should pass that discount on to you.
Guest list: How many people do you want to attend? There are many other simple options that will reduce your costs when factoring in the amount it will cost to accommodate your guests. Do you want to provide a venue with comfortable seating for your guests or have a simple solution where the guests stand during the ceremony? What is the cost of sending out invitations and providing party favors, etc.?
Transportation: Will you need to provide transportation for all your guests to get to the ceremony? What will that transportation consist of? Will it be a party bus? Do you need separate limousine service for you and your bridal party? How will the timing of arrival to the location be planned? Do you want to try to plan it yourself or have a planner help you? You might consider having the ceremony at your resort to avoid transportation costs.
Vendor Tipping: I think most people realize the wedding industry standard is to tip vendors at least 20 to 30 percent for their services. It is standard to give limousine drivers about $20 per hour for their service. It is wise to figure this in for your vendors, especially the transportation services as they rely on this for income.
Food: If you are providing food to your guests this will be a big factor in your budget. In Las Vegas, you can figure it will be at least $20 to $50 per person for food. Buffets in Las Vegas are phenomenal and they range from simple to elegant. My two favorite choices for buffets that may be used for a reception are “the Paris Hotel Buffet” and “the M. Resort Buffet”. One nice aspect about the M buffet is alcohol is part of the price which will save you a lot of money in the end. Some restaurants and even buffets like the M will allow you to deliver a cake from an outside vendor. Some restaurants’ also let you have the wedding ceremony there if you have a larger party of guests, which may save quite a bit of money. For this reason, to keep costs down, you might consider having the ceremony in the restaurant of your choice.
Cake: The wedding cake has been prized as a focal point of the wedding celebration for many years. The pricing of cake can add up to a bundle.
You may obtain a wedding cake for your wedding in Vegas cheaply in some cases but typically it’s best to use a local bakery rather than a casino bakery. You will save a bundle and they do deliver to your hotel.
Advise on ordering the cake: Consider how many people you have attending and then decide what your budget is for the cake. Cake vendor pricing ranges dramatically from vendor to vendor. Couples eloping typically only need a small one tier cake, although many decide to customize them Vegas style or with their own vision and style. Of course, there are many choices and styles to choose from. I recommend you make the decisions about the most important items on your list first, like ceremony items, venue, and photographer and then find out how much you have left to spend for the cake.
Alcohol: Providing an open bar is an expensive option. The cost will depend on the venue you choose. Venues and restaurants on the Las Vegas strip will charge more for alcohol and so will restaurants. Another option is to choose a buffet that includes alcohol in its price. For instance, the M Resort buffet includes alcohol in their buffet. Another good solution is to offer only 2 drink coupons and champagne for the toasting.
Reception Space: Casinos and resorts have a variety of reception space available. If you choose to get married at a Casino resort this will be a higher-end choice. There are many gorgeous ones to choose from in Las Vegas. My favorite location in Las Vegas is Lake Las Vegas which is actually in Henderson, NV. Of course, most people want to get married on the Las Vegas strip. Reception space on Las Vegas Boulevard is pricey. The choices are endless and so is the price range. A good wedding planner will be able to find solutions to meet your needs. Even a concierge at your hotel will help you but there may be a price for that as well. Once again, it all hinges on your budget.
Entertainment and DJ: These two items will typically be a larger ticket item reserved for the reception room and larger wedding. Services will be invaluable because music is a large part of the celebration guests expect from a wedding. Las Vegas has a lot of options for entertainment. You won’t find a lot of other cities that offer as many alternative choices as Las Vegas for a variety of music and entertainment options. If you opt not to have a large reception hall and DJ you will still have a lot of other options that will be cost effective for your guests.
Las Vegas Wedding Planner:
Las Vegas Wedding planners perform a variety of services and functions. These services range from simple assistance, the day of coordination or full-scale planning for the large affair. There are many wedding planners in Las Vegas to choose from. We at Custom Las Vegas weddings offer simple assistance and day of coordination and specialize in planning for the smaller events to the mid-size customized events. Our specialty lies in helping couples with home events and small locations or restaurants that allow outside vendors. Please call or contact us for more information.
At this point, you should have a good idea what elements of your wedding are most essential.
1. Write a list of essential items.
2. Call vendors to get pricing or hire a planner to get quotes.
3. Review the quotes and determine what best suits your needs.
4. Voila, you have your budget and may get on the next stage which is meeting your vendors and signing a contract for services.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want your wedding day to be one that you look back on with happy memories, and ensuring that you organize your budget to include all that you need to make your day special is one way to guarantee that this will happen.
If you need ideas to decide on a Las Vegas wedding venue contact us here.