Planning a Las Vegas destination wedding from out of the country or even from a different state of the union is a thrilling proposition but there can be challenges at times. This article is helpful with some of the best Las Vegas wedding preparation tips to make your experience better.
Las Vegas is a dream city and getting married there is a memorable experience no matter where you come from around the world. Here are great Vegas wedding planning tips to help you prepare accordingly.
1. Jet lag preparation
Flying to Vegas from out of the country or from another state to have a Las Vegas destination wedding can be a long, tiring journey. Jet lag can dramatically affect how you feel and if you aren’t prepared it may make your Las Vegas marriage experience be less than desirable. Avoid jet lag symptoms by carrying melatonin supplements. Traveling often disrupts the circadian rhythm of melatonin in the body. This often causes severe jet lag for those that travel long distances. Use between 0.5 mg and 5 mg of melatonin an hour before sleeping and only after reaching Las Vegas. Vegas hotels can be noisy with a lot of disruptions from foot traffic and hotel pool parties. Whatever sleep aids you use, take it with you for a refreshing slumber. This will ultimately be a life saver if you want to get married in Vegas without feeling groggy.
2. Enough time to sleep and recuperate
Flying to Vegas means crossing different time zones. Crossing more than one time zone will disrupt your circadian rhythm and your body will require a few days to acclimatize. Our advice is allow enough time to lapse between arrival and your wedding day. Allow at least two to three days to recuperate. It’s also a great idea to prepare yourself physically ahead of time by exercising regularly, enjoying a healthy diet and getting as much adequate sleep as you can.
3. Keep in mind the time difference when communicating with family
Calling family and friends in Las Vegas can be confusing depending on the time zones and time differences there are. The United States has a total of seven main country time zones. Flying to Vegas to get married at a Las Vegas destination wedding location, depending on where you come from, could mean crossing varied time zones. Note the time difference to call your family at a proper time.
The desert environment, hot sun and swelling temperatures in Las Vegas can be hard on people who are used to a dramatically different climate. It’s very important to drink enough water to keep hydrated. Becoming dehydrated in Vegas is a common problem. The climate is hot and dry and hydration is highly critical for a person from out of the country. If you don’t stay hydrated jet lag effects may worsen, fatigue will result and your excellent experience to enjoy your Vegas marriage could be in jeopardy.
5. Exchange money to have dollars before you arrive
Before you arrive in Vegas, exchange your home currency to the U.S. dollar. You will normally get better rates exchanging your money at home than you will get trying to do so at the main cashier cages in Vegas casinos, for instance. It’s also important to call your credit card provider and bank before you travel to alert them about your travel. It is commonplace for banks to flag and put a hold on bank credit card purchases originating from using your debit card or credit card in a foreign land. Banks and credit card companies are quick to suspect fraud and freeze your money. You don’t want that to happen to you so it’s best to come prepared and know what to expect.
Getting around Vegas is usually not a problem because there are plenty of travel options available. Knowing your options and preparing beforehand is much better than arriving and make spontaneous decisions that end up costing you more in the long run. Uber and Lyft are approved rides in the city. Both companies offer phone apps to pick your driver to get you where you want to go. Lyft can pick you from the airport but won’t show the price range. Uber lets you know beforehand what you’ll pay before you call a specific driver. Beware of surge pricing that could charge you an extra $30 up to a high of $100. You can also get around with monorail if you’re travelling within any of the seven spots it starts from. The monorail starts at a cost of $5 for a single ride pass or $12 for a day pass. Here is an article with valuable Las Vegas tram information and links to help you. Taxi options are abundant and virtually anywhere although the cost varies depending on the time of year and traffic. If you request a taxi from the airport it will cost you more. Deuce is Vegas public transportation that is a very inexpensive option and it covers most of the city areas you will need to get to. The cost of Deuce is $6 for a two-hour pass, $8 for a 24-hour pass or a $20 for a 72-hour pass with ticket purchase available on the bus. There’s also a loop trolley bus service in Vegas with costs ranging from $2.50 to $20 for one-way tickets to 4-day passes.
7. Save money by renting a vehicle
It may be easier and less expensive in the end to hire a rental car for your Las Vegas destination wedding. You may do this easily when you book your hotel as a airfare rental car package or get the rental car from the airport upon arrival. The local shops on the Las Vegas strip can gouge you. You will find the best prices for staples you need will be local shops away from the Vegas Strip therefore having a rental car is preferable and will save a lot of money in the end. Having a rental car will also open up your restaurant choices. There is a big price difference from restaurants on the Vegas Strip verses off the Vegas Strip. Therefore it would be cost effective in the long run to have your own vehicle and not be confined to buying only from Las Vegas Strip establishments. You could rent a car from as low as $7 a day depending on the dates you’ll be in the city. You may find applicable coupons to use which will lower the cost of renting a car thus paying much less in the long run. Stay diligent to keep pricing checking as you might get the cheapest car rental rates this way. Some rental companies allow prepayment options which can give discounts up to 25% off the cost of a full week rental.
8. Make show reservations ahead of time
Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. There’s always a show going on, from live music, concerts, city headliners, comedies, movies and other events. Making prior reservations to most shows attracts the best ticket prices. Find out upcoming events in the entertainment casino or hotel you intend to visit by visiting these sites below to book well ahead of time.
9. Do your Las Vegas wedding pre-application before you arrive
Once you’ve made up your mind to get married in Vegas, make a marriage license pre-application online. You can actually do this about 60 days before the ceremony, giving you ample time to prepare. Bring your foreign country issued ID and ensure you’re at least 18 years of age. While making the online application ensure information entered matches the details on your ID. Avoid spelling errors on the form or leaving out any required information.
10. Have comfortable walking shoes and bring a variety of clothes to layer
The hot and dry climate of Las Vegas can be a chore to keep up with. The temperatures in the desert climate sometimes can be as high as 120 degrees in summer months. Plan to stay hydrated and wear sunscreens even for pool visits and short walks. Don’t forget to bring along comfortable walking shoes. Las Vegas has large city blocks and the distance between resorts is deceiving to calculate. You want to have shoes that are soft on your feet. It’s also a great idea to layer your clothes and bring a sweater along, even in the summer. The air conditioning in Las Vegas hotels often feels freezing due to high-tech air conditioning. These establishments keep the temperature cool indoors to offset the summer heat. It is a good idea to bring a light weight wrap or easy to carry sweaters to have as you visit casinos, theaters or restaurants.
Tipping customs or giving gratuities varies across the world. Some countries do not give gratuities as a standard. Most service industry workers in Las Vegas including the vendors in the wedding industry expect gratuities and some depend on gratuities to make a decent living. For drinks, tipping $1 each is more or less the norm. If you are buying from hotel kiosk vendors show tickets will cost you from $5 to $10 in tips, $2 to $5 for dinner reservations and $20 for getting sold-out top shows or tough-to get dinner reservations. Maid or housekeeping service attracts $2 to $5 nightly tips. Tipping a limo driver 20% of the total cost is considered good etiquette. Regardless of your opinion about tips realize service providers will expect a gratuity. Restaurant waiters and waitresses typically get a 20% or more gratuity. Wedding vendors will also typically expect a 20% gratuity as well.
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Need to know tips to help you choose the date and accommodations for your wedding in Las Vegas
Selecting your accommodations
Of course, this is the first step you want to do when considering having your wedding in Las Vegas. When you prepare to choose both your date and accommodations there are important factors to consider you may not have thought of.
As a local vendor here in Las Vegas, this is information you need to know from a locals perspective.
Questions to determine when deciding on your expectation for accommodations: Decide what is important to you when you are choosing your hotel accommodations.
Do you want to splurge and be pampered when you stay in Las Vegas?
Does it matter if there is a concierge service to help you with the small details you might need to know about Las Vegas?
Do you want to be centrally located in the newer more modern section of Las Vegas or would you prefer the Vintage Las Vegas?
Will you be using the accommodations for double for having your wedding ceremony? If so, size of the room may matter and you would be better off booking a suite.
How far is the hotel from the other properties you want to visit while here? Is your hotel within walking distance to your planned outings?
Do you only want the bare minimums and are just looking for a deal? In this case you would want to choose an internet deal on your room. This appeals to those people who don’t plan to spend much time in their room.
Don’t let it overwhelm you: My advice is, don’t let it overwhelm you. When you start calling and researching hotel accommodations consider this, you are on vacation and you need to think it through before you call and be on the same page with your spouse as to your expectations for your stay here in Las Vegas.
Budget hotels in Las Vegas: If you want to have an elegant experience and not spend a fortune, you may want toread this article from Trip Advisor which gives an overview of budget accommodations in Las Vegas.
Hotel Suite:When you procure a hotel suite you may arrange the furniture in such a way to clear a space to stand for your ceremony. A lot of hotel suites have balconies to offer a view of the strip as well. You will save money if you have all your services in one location. It provides many benefits and savings to you.
Pool or Cabana:Your resort may also let you have your wedding ceremony by their pool area. Some couples rent a cabana if their wedding guest count is small. This keeps it intimate and private. Most of the smaller or off strip hotels might allow you to use the pool area. Sometimes timeshares will let you rent a suite and also let you use their pool area.
Your guests don’t have to travel and you save transportation costs
You can get ready and have your hair and makeup done in your room or in a spa at the hotel
Your photos may be done in the room and after photos around the hotel property or choose to go on a city photo tour for a fun alternative.
Tip: If you are eloping during a holiday, you may want to consider staying off of the Las Vegas strip at one of the local hotel resorts. There are many nice resorts off the strip but still close enough to visit. Often these hotels have lower pricing and amenities.
The Resort Choices: Off or on Las Vegas Boulevard
Hotels off the Vegas Strip: This may be a great choice for you if you want to avoid the traffic and limitations you may encounter in the heart of the city. There are some great local hotels that might suit you well if you are having a scenic wedding in Las Vegas. For instance, if you are getting married at Red Rock Canyon you might want to stay close at the Red Rock Casino. This casino is a local favorite nestled in the upscale area of Summerlin Las Vegas. The hotel is luxurious, boasting an excellent pool, spa and concierge services and is close to Red Rock Canyon. Is it also close to much shopping in the Summerlin area.
The Orleans Hotel, Gold Coast, Rio Hotel and the Palms Hotel are a few of the hotels you may consider which are just down the road from the Vegas Strip but closer to the off strip amenities you might need while visiting. There is benefit to not playing the part of the captured tourist staying on the main part of the Vegas Strip. These hotels are still very close to the heart of activity but because they are not in the heart of the busy areas, there are benefits. First, you are close to convenience stores and restaurants that will provide cheaper alternatives for food. These hotels all have very nice properties and amenities you might want to consider for your wedding ceremony.
On the Strip:If you still want to stay in the heart of the strip, and these hotels can double for a place to have your wedding ceremony if you don’t have a large guest count. Some of the suites do accommodate and give enough standing room for visiting guests there for a wedding ceremony.
The Polo Towers is an affordable and great option to consider. I have performed ceremonies there at the pool area. It’s a nice option to consider.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel (this link shows a video) has a beautiful wrap around suites overlooking the Bellagio Fountains and Paris Eiffel Tower resort.
The Aria Hotel: Their suites can accommodate a good size guest count and provide indoor views of the Vegas Strip as a backdrop for your nuptials.
MGM Sky-loft Suites has great balconies that fit a large crowd of guests.
The Mirage Hotel has a tropical atmosphere and beautiful landscaping with waterfalls and palm trees. It also has a habitat for animals and dolphin shows.
The Mandalay Bay also has a tropical atmosphere and boasts a beach with a wave pool and beach parties during the summer as well as a shark habitat.
The Luxor Hotel is a very unusual property that is a pyramid and it’s located on the Southern end of the strip across from Mandalay Bay and both are near the Las Vegas Sign.
Here is an article you might want to read which showcases what they consider to be the Best 15 hotels in Las Vegas. These hotels tend to be the more expensive choices but most people will want to splurge a little when it comes to their accommodations if they are getting married in Las Vegas. During your time here in Vegas you might want to get pampered and these hotels are sure to meet that expectation for you.
Guidance to choose your wedding date
Nothing is more crucial than picking out a wedding date. It is essential for planning to book your vendors. Most vendors need at least a couple weeks’ notice. If is even better to give notice of a month or more.
Photo taken from balcony at MGM Sky Loft Suites
Consider the season : You need to know, there are busy and slow times in Las Vegas that can affect your wedding plans. Be in the know about the busy and slow seasons.
Busy Seasons: The busiest times of the year are when holidays fall on a weekend. Try to avoid these times and the busy holidays. Hotel Costs rise due to supply and demand issues.
Valentine’s Day – this is a popular time for weddings, book well in advance and gets advice from a planner.
4th of July – It’s not as busy as New Year’s Eve but still more costly to book a hotel this time of year.
Memorial Day – Since it always takes place on a long weekend there are always droves of people and higher rates for everything.
Labor Day – The same circumstances as Memorial Day. Be cautious when booking.
New Year’s Eve – Las Vegas Boulevard is shut down to traffic from 5:30 to around 1 pm New Year’s Eve.
Major convention seasons dates are busy times of year:
Check the Las Vegas Convention Victors Authorities website ( http://www.lvcva.com/) to see if your chosen wedding date might be a busy time of year for travel and booking a hotel. The conventions listed below are some of the busiest times but there are also other conventions so be sure to check before booking dates.
CES – Consumer Electronics Show takes place from January 5th through the 8th. Approximately 130,000 attendees descend on Vegas
AVN – Adult Entertainment Convention – January 18th – 21st. Approximately 25,000 people attend.
March Madness: the dates are March 14 – 19th. This is the time sports fans travel to Vegas to celebrate and bet on events.
Rodeo Finals in December – Weekends of December 7th – 9th and 14th – 16th. Choose the weekday for your wedding and avoid the business or the last weekdays of December before New Year’s Eve.
Slow Seasons: Consider the slow season for your wedding:
There are several very slow seasons in Las Vegas. Each period of slower activity is due to various differing reasons. Consider the following facts and decide if it’s worth it to plan to have your wedding in a slower season.
The weekdays before Christmas are slow. Not many people want to travel this time of year for a wedding. They are typically home for the holidays. Travel during the holidays may not be as pleasant but it is a very good time to get married in Vegas. You do want to consider, however, a lot of shows go dark during these holidays. Some restaurants also close down during this time. It is recommended you do your research and decide what is important to you first before you decide.
The first few weekdays after New Year’s holiday: This is a slow time which may be of benefit to you. You are more likely to find better hotel deals this time of year. This may be a great deal if you decide to have your wedding ceremony and celebration in the hotel suite. Your hotel might also be more willing to upgrade your room as well if they know you are celebrating a wedding.
The weekdays in July and August: These times tend to be less busy because of the heat here in Vegas. Nonetheless, this is summer and people often have time off then. You will most likely get summer hotel and travel deals at this time. Vendors typically are more available at this time as well.
A slow gap in December: In between the end of the Rodeo Finals and a few days before New Year’s Eve in December are slow times and may give you a better rate for travel and hotel.
I do hope this article has helped you decide your date and accommodations to plan to get married in Vegas.