Destination Wedding Guide – Getting Married In Las Vegas

31/07/2014 | 3

Getting Married In Las Vegas

Image: Fisheye Photos via Little Vegas Wedding

 

If you are thinking about getting married in Las Vegas then this Destination Wedding Guide is a great place to start!

And who could be better than the Las Vegas destination wedding expert Kelly, editor of the hugely popular blog Little Vegas Wedding, to bring you all of the inspiration and information you need to start planning your big day in vibrant Vegas?

 

 

Kelly from Little Vegas Wedding:

Are you ready to turn heads in the casino? Las Vegas is not just for quickie weddings anymore, they can be luxurious, heavily personalised and affordable.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

 Image: Bently & Wilson Photography via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Legal requirements

Nevada marriages are legal and recognised all over the world. Vegas weddings are infamous for being quick and easy in terms of paperwork and there is no waiting period or blood tests required, so weddings on short notice are possible. Your officiant or wedding planner will typically be able to help you and talk you through the legal paperwork process.

 

Some countries do require an Apostille and proof of that the marriage ceremony was performed, which consists of a certified copy of the marriage certificate. Some countries may also require a certified copy of the marriage license as well. Be sure to check with the appropriate agency in your country before leaving for Vegas. It is worth noting that British citizens must provide formal notification of an overseas marriage with the General Register Office before the Nevada wedding and then by depositing a certified copy of their marriage certificate (and possibly an Apostille from the Nevada Secretary of State) when they get home.

 

 

At this time Nevada does not offer same sex marriages. Your chosen minister or religious official must also be certified to perform marriage ceremonies in Nevada, search for approved officiants here.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

Image: Gaby J Photography via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Religious ceremonies

I’ve seen Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, Wiccan and Catholic ceremonies and that’s just the start. There is even a United Church of Bacon!

 

A non-denominational ‘humanist’ officiant has just opened for business and angles their ceremonies towards those who consider themselves non-religious. Visit Vegas Modern Weddings for more details.

 

The rules for any religious or non-religious ceremony are the same as stated above, in terms of making sure your officiant is recognized in Nevada and getting the legal paperwork you need. If you find the right officiant, they will customize your ceremony to just about anything you would like, even combining a number of cultural and religious desires.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

Getting Married In Las Vegas

Images: KMH Photography via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Marriage license

The main thing you need after you have found your officiant is a Marriage License. The requirements for US citizens and non-US citizens are the same:

 

  • Applicants must be of a biological male and biological female.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and no nearer of kin than second cousins or cousins of half-blood, and not having a husband or wife living.
  • You need ID (your passport) to prove your name and age to get a license.
  • The license only allows the couple to be married in Nevada.
  • The license is issued the same day that the couple applies and it is valid for a year.
  • The fee for a Marriage License is $60. You can save time at the Bureau by applying online for the license up to 60 days before the day of pick up, allowing you to collect your license at the express window.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

Image: The Emerics via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Venues

Couples can marry anywhere their heart desires (as long as it is in the state of Nevada!). There are hundreds – HUNDREDS – of Las Vegas wedding venues! Chapels are fun and easy, but there is a world outside of them available for weddings small or large.

 

There are some tricky spots that are very popular – getting a mobile minister to perform a ceremony in front of the Bellagio fountains, for example – because the hotels and casinos are very protective over their property. But if you have a small, unobtrusive and quick ceremony, you can get married just about anywhere.

 

Some fantastic venues that have been featured on Little Vegas Wedding have been rooftop bars, restaurants, swanky hotel suits, museums, aquariums, and more. There are desert, mountain, lake and garden settings, with modern, vintage and traditional themes, for weddings of all sizes, There is a wonderful world outside of the quickie chapels – explore!

 

That being said, chapels, churches and country clubs are still popular choices. Most hotels in Las Vegas, on the Strip or off, offer chapels or wedding packages of some kind as well. Of course there are the popular Vegas-style ceremonies too: themed weddings, roller coaster weddings, helicopters, drive thrus and more, there really is no limit!

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

 Image: Fisheye Photos via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Some of my favourite choices for hosting both the ceremony and the reception in one place are:

 

  • Foundation Room – For those eclectic couples, this private restaurant and club at the top of Mandaly Bay offers one of a kind Strip views and a unique ambience and décor.

 

  • Caesars Palace – Gorgeous Roman-inspired gardens that are perfect for outdoor ceremonies and at this time, outside photographers are allowed for a fee.

 

  • Platinum Hotel – This just off-Strip venue is a great all-in-one option with excellent rates and amazing views from the rooftop wedding venue. Popular for a reason!

 

  • Springs Preserve – For the eco-minded, this off-Strip desert garden and architectural education center is a perfect choice for weddings of 25 up to 500 guests.

 

  • Neon Museum – If you want a retro style wedding but don’t want to go down the chapel route, the Neon Museum is a walk through Las Vegas neon history museum – you get married in an outdoor museum of retired neon Las Vegas signs.

 

  • Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas – This gorgeous modern property is well known for the fantastic service, and weddings are no exception. Look to be catered to, hand and foot at this boutique Vegas hotel. Venue options include traditional ballrooms, poolside, in chic bars and even yoga studios!

 

 

You can check out a full list of my personal favourite Vegas wedding venues, or for a more comprehensive list you should check out the Little Vegas Wedding Venue Directory.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

 Image: Isaac Wu Photography via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Tips!

Things to keep in mind when you are choosing a Las Vegas wedding venue are….

 

  • Find out if the venue allows outside photographers at the location. Some venues even bar you from buying out their photographer to bring your own in for the ceremony, so if photography is important to you, this may be a deal breaker.

 

  • Things might look close on a map of Las Vegas, but may be a long walk from one another in reality, so be sure to check the exact locations.

 

  • You may also want to know if the venue hosts more than one wedding in a day and of they require the use of a planner.

 

  • Many chapels will require the use of a specific officiant, so if you had your heart set on a more customised ceremony it is worth asking the venue.

 

  • Although many venues are child-friendly, it is still Las Vegas and you may want to reconsider having kids come along or being invited.

 

  • On-Strip venues tend to be the most expensive and there are some venues that will be booked up a year or more in advance due to their popularity. This doesn’t tend to happen with chapels though as many of them host dozens of 15 minute weddings in a day.

 

  • There are a number of all-inclusive venues (banquet halls, hotels and other spots) that will host your wedding ceremony and reception in one location, but some couples choose to have their ceremony in one spot, then a restaurant reception afterwards instead.

 

 

Getting there

McCarran Airport is a large, well-connected airport with daily direct flights to and from all over the world. It is just a 15 minute cab ride to the Strip too!

 

Where you stay really depends on your budget and where most of the wedding festivities will be happening. It is one of the few cities that I would not recommend block booking rooms in, as many people will find their own deals and still be just a short cab ride away from your venue. The Strip is very popular, as is downtown Las Vegas for couples on a budget or seeking a little more of the classic retro side of Sin City.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

 Image: Brilliant Imagery via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Timing

Weekdays Sunday through Thursday are typically the cheapest for hotels, flight and venue rentals.

 

There are a few dates that are most popular for weddings in Las Vegas. ‘Special’ dates like the upcoming date of 12/13/14 for example and Valentine’s Day are huge. Big American holidays (March Spring Break, 4th of July and New Year) and large sporting events (March Madness for example) tend to see the city busier with tourists as a whole and so whilst there might not be many weddings going on, hotel accommodations and flight prices may increase. Christmas is not as busy as you might think and can make for a magical winter wedding.

 

Before you confirm your date, check this convention calendar for any large conventions that may be in the city, making hotel prices and flights more expensive.

 

Las Vegas, bring in the Mojave Desert, has a bit of a unique wedding season. June, July and August are terribly hot and are not recommended for weddings, it’s a bit of a downturn in the industry in fact.

 

Early spring (March through to mid-May) are great times of the year as the weather is really lovely and many plants are in bloom in the garden venues. Late fall (September through October) are also fabulous.

 

Rain is not usually a concern as Las Vegas has close to 300 days of sunshine a year, but November through February can see some rain and high winds, so be sure to ask your venue about backup venue options if you want an outdoor event at this time of year.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

Image: Bently & Wilson Photography via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

Entertainment and traditions

Many couples hire a DJ or live band, but for people seeking a little more Vegas flavour, they will sometimes hire a magician, showgirl or Elvis impersonator to show up at the wedding. There is even a group of volunteers who show up at weddings in Star Wars attire, for a donation.

 

I’ve seen Indian weddings with traditional elephant baraats arrive at the Bellagio and off-duty Cirque du Soleil performers at receptions. This is a city built on entertainment, and you really could hire just about any kind of performer to dazzle your guests.

 

Being Las Vegas, open bars are a tradition, with many couples electing to have a custom cocktail (or two!) and champagne toasts. Cocktail receptions are common, especially for smaller weddings in swanky Vegas hotel suites. Sit down dinners are equally as popular as buffet meals, and restaurant receptions are very popular, especially as many guest lists tend to be smaller.

 

Many couples will keep the party going well into the wee hours following the reception with an after-party at a lounge with bottle service or in a suite.

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

Image: via Welcome Bag Shoppe

 

Top tips!

 

  • During the planning process if you have your heart set on a specific vendor (photographer, venue or officiant) be sure to inquire with them first. Some of the more popular photographers will be booked up a year or more in advance.

 

  • If it is your first time to Las Vegas, and you are having a wedding with 10 or more guests, it may be worth the money to book a wedding planner. The stress and time saved are huge, especially when it comes to a city with as many options and vendors as Vegas.

 

  • Wear comfortable shoes, leave a lot of buffer time and don’t try to cram too much into one day!

 

  • Las Vegas is the perfect spot for encore day-after-wedding shoots or trash the dress sessions, especially if you are seeking some of the more unique locations like Red Rock Canyon, Neon Boneyard or Eldorado Canyon.

 

  • Be prepared to attract attention walking through casinos in your wedding wear. People love to see newlyweds in Sin City and you’ll star in many photos. For more tips, be sure to check out the Tips and Advice on Little Vegas Wedding!

 

 

Getting Married In Las Vegas

 Image: Taylored Photo Memories via Little Vegas Wedding

 

 

The magical thing when it comes to Las Vegas is that everyone will find their own pace. First time visitors will be content wandering the overwhelming Strip, whilst more experienced visitors will have their favourite haunts. Gambling, swimming pools, three Michelin star restaurants, endless shopping and unique experiences like Slotzilla, helicopter rides or visits to shooting ranges or zombie survival stores will really appeal to everyone.

 

I would recommend trying to organise small casual group events that people could attend if they wish to around the wedding, such as meet-ups for cocktails, a golf outing, a show or buffet meal.

 

 

Please Note:

Destination Wedding Guides are meant as just that – a guide to getting started with your destination wedding planning. Please always consult an official or expert in the country you wish to marry, to ensure you have the correct and up-to-date legal paperwork requirements for a legally binding wedding ceremony. We would always recommend using a reputable wedding planner who can fully assist you in such processes.

 

 


Getting Married In Las Vegas

 

 

Comments (3)

  1. I’ve still never been to Vegas. I totally need to check it out!

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