Planning any wedding can be a lot of hard work and takes a long time, but if you want a truly magical experience then you can head to Las Vegas, the party capital. This will take even more work and planning, but here are 12 steps to ease the stress and enable you to have the most memorable, perfect wedding in Las Vegas.
1. Book well in advance
Don?t leave booking your tickets, accommodation and wedding venue until the last minuet. Las Vegas is a popular place and you might end up disappointed with no venues available with enough space for all your guests. Make sure you get a bridal suite or somewhere for everyone to change on the day and ask for a discount or special packages. Find out about bar facilities and catering requirements and make sure the space is big or small enough for the amount of guests you are having.
2. Have a small guest list
Have a smaller guest list to make things easier and less stressful. This way you will be able to have a more personal wedding and you can choose from the tons of stunning locations within Vegas for a unique wedding. It will be cheaper as well, and it will mean that everyone can probably stay in the same hotel which is first prize, so that no one gets lost or runs late. It is better to have all the wedding party at least in the same hotel as where you will get married so that they are all ready early enough.
3. Plan transport and accommodation for the guests
While planning your accommodation and venue at the same time, make sure you plan the transport for the guests as well. You don?t want to sit with a stunning venue for a certain date, and are only able to get 5 airplane tickets. This is another reason that you must book very early. Also think about once you are in Las Vegas. Must the guests hire their own cars, or will you provide a taxi or shuttle service for them?
4. Book hair and make up well before or book into a hotel that does it all for you
If you can find a hotel with a spa and salon (as many of them in Vega are) this will be the best option for your wedding. It will be far less stressful and calming than if you have to go rushing off that morning in a city you don?t know to a hair dresser and make up artist. At the hotel it will be even better because they will usually come up to your bridal suite and will do the brides maids and flower girls hair as well.
Avoid rushing around, so get the make up artist to come up as well, or do them both in the hotel salon. They must run after you, and both be in the same place. Find out if the make up or hair needs to be done first and then allocate a time for each to be there so that chaos does not ensue. Plan to have a conveyer belt type of scenario, so as the first bride?s maid?s hair is done, she goes off to have make up and the next one get their hair done etc.
5. Have your wedding dress flown over a few days before you
To avoid luggage problems and mishaps, send your wedding dress and any other larger accessories that you cannot carry with you over a few days before you leave for Las Vegas. Ensure that the hotel is ok with this and that they will have someone pick it up especially for you and keep it safe. Otherwise fly over a few days earlier than planned so that you are safe and don?t have to get married in your traveling clothes.
If you are worried about it getting messed up in the travel or crumpled, be sure that the hotel staff are aware of when it is coming so that they can steam it for you or have it dry cleaned (whatever it requires) and that it is ready for you by the time you get there. The last thing you want is to put on your gown on the day of your wedding and find that it is creased.
6. Get a planner to coordinate the Las Vegas side
Since you will not be in Las Vegas and you can only get a certain time off work, hire a Las Vega wedding planner to coordinate there for you. They will meet florists and cake makers and ensure that everyone is where they need to be for the wedding. They will also know the best florists, DJ?s cakes makers and photographer so will possibly save you a lot of time and money.
They can see the venue, make d?cor choices on your behalf and report back to you with updates and you can organize conference calls to discuss everything. You cannot leave all of that until you get to Las Vegas otherwise you could be in for a disaster and a wedding that is not your dream. Check with some hotels, because often they have a wedding coordinator on their staff which will be cheaper and easier.
7. Get florists, photographers, caterers etc well before hand
As with the venue, don?t leave the booking of the florist, caterer, photographer, videographer, marriage officer, and DJ until the last minuet. They will be very busy and you might need to call a few people before you find one that is available. Usually you can check resumes and examples of their work online which makes finding the perfect person for the job a lot easier. Make sure you can communicate with them often and that they can send you photos or join a video conference via Skype or something so you can have a more hands on approach and actually see the bouquets and cake ideas yourself.
If you want to be more involved and really put your 2 cents in you can have weekly meetings online or fly there for the day, if you live close by. If you live very far away, it may be best to hire a planner who will have your best interests at heart and who will be able to meet and convey your feelings and thoughts between everyone quickly and effectively.
8. Meet everyone as soon as you can after you land
Once you land in Las Vegas, you will have to do your rounds. Check that everything is on schedule with the hotel, look at linens and d?cor and then meet with all the key people that are involved in your wedding. This will give you a personal attachment to them and make them and yourself feel more secure and comfortable with the plans. Make sure that everyone knows the exact times they need to be there and where the venue is. If possible take down names and car registration numbers so that the hotel will have an easier time letting them inside to set up.
9. Find out about wedding licenses and marriage officers well before
If you are from another country, you will have to make sure well before the wedding that you have all the correct documentation that you need and that everything is legal. From some states in the US you will also have to double check that your marriage is legal and binding where you live, so ask the hotel or marriage officer how it works in plenty of time in case you need to get documentation.
10. For photos and videos, make sure you know when you will get them
Seeing as that the photographer and videograoher will be from Las Vegas, find out how and when you will get your photos. Check this all when you book them and explain to them where you live. Find out if you can get them the next day if possible to take back with you or depending on how long you will be in Las Vegas, find out if they can deliver them before you leave.
If they can send it to you, find out what kind of insurance is placed on it and make sure they will keep the originals stored somewhere until you get them in your hand. To make things easier for them, find out who wants copies in your family and ask the photographer to send samples to book from, so everything can be sent together.
11. Make sure the venue is secure and private
Ask the hotels you have on your final list to send you photos of the venue and outside areas, so you have peace of mind. If you want to, you can also ask a friend who lives there or wedding planner to see the venue and tell you if it is suitable for the type of wedding you want.
Especially if your venue is outdoors you might be prone to onlookers and loud, drunk crashers, so to avoid this have the area made private if you can or choose a more secure location. If you are picky about this, it might be the best idea to go to Las Vegas to make the final decision so that you can see the venues and speak to the staff yourself. While you are there you can also make appointments with the florists, caterers and such so that you can meet everyone and be better prepared.
12. Honeymoon in Las Vegas
While you are in Las Vegas, it is a great idea to honeymoon there as well. Many hotels offer you the honeymoon suit at a discounted rate if you book their venue and it will save a lot of money if you have already flown out there. If you want to be more private once you are married away from your friends and family, then you can also book into another hotel further away from the second night onwards or even that night if you want to.
Also, instead of booking the guests into the same hotel you have the wedding in, book them into one very close by and make sure there is easy access so that no one is late on wedding day. Then you can just book your honeymoon suit away from everyone else in the same hotel you get married in.
There are lots of ways to coordinate a wedding in Las Vegas, but the most important and stressful part of it is to get everyone there that needs to be there on time and planning from a distance. This may require some faith in the people you hire and some adaptability if things don?t quite go your way. It is truly a magical place to get married and somewhere you will most definitely remember forever.
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