The where, the what and the how of getting hitched in Vegas, when you have friends coming from overseas.
April 26, 2009 8:30 PM   Subscribe

(Several questions in one. Sorry.) We're getting hitched in Vegas, and friends are traveling from overseas. Help us plan out some basic wedding stuff (like location, wedding bands, etc.), as well as how to make our friends' stay enjoyable.

Okay, so this one might be a doozy.

The Australian and I are getting hitched in Vegas, then going to live in the Summerlin area. A few of our friends from various places overseas are going to come to the wedding, which means a lot to us. We're trying to make things very accommodating for those traveling far, and we're looking for some information regarding that, as well as just basic wedding ideas.

Okay, to the nitty-gritty...

1. Where's a good, non-chapel place to get married in October? Bonus points for somewhere pretty and outdoors.
We looked through the plethora of previous questions like this, but most of them resulted in chapel answers for obvious Vegas reasons. We aren't religious, though, and we don't want to have the wedding in a chapel. Our group will be small. 15-25, I imagine.

2. I need a wedding dress lulz.
I don't believe in spending an arm and a leg on something that's only going to be used once. Pretty and simple and appropriate for the October weather. I'm happy to look into fairly unknown designers. I wanted this dress, but I narrowly missed out on it. I may yet get her to design something for me, but I am open to suggestions.

3. Where's a good place--online or off--to get wedding bands?

4. Where should we have an after-wedding dinner?
Saw a similar question on MeFi, but the answers were a bit too casual for us, mainly because part of my family is prudish, fundamentalist Christians, so I'm already pushing the envelope with a Vegas wedding here. Doesn't have to be hugely expensive or anything, just no slot machines by the table or barely-contained ta tas coming to take your order.

5. It's a long way off yet, but anyone know of entertaining things to do or events that will be going on in the weeks surrounding the 28th of October, 2009?
We have a few friends flying to us from Norway, as well as Australia. Big and expensive trip, clearly. We want to make sure they have more than just us to see, so ideas of where they could go with us would be great. :) Any big conventions or events would be welcome. Most of us are geeks and artists.

Thanks, guys!
posted by metalheart to Human Relations (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't much believe in marriage, but I do believe Vegas. I would think about either going out to Red Rock Canyon or looking for something high up above the Strip (I wonder if you can have the roof bar at the Palms or the Rio or the tower at the Paris? Both are relatively light on the obvious "sin" factor (during the day). Hopefully you'll get some more logistically-specific suggestions. It also occurs to me that Hoover Dam could be a good day trip for the prudish.
There will definitely be conservative entertainment available in the evenings, if you want to take the group somewhere, but of course you won't be able to escape the pervasive sense of license.
posted by Mngo at 9:08 PM on April 26, 2009

Best answer: 1. I know the word "chapel" makes you think "religious", but most Vegas chapels are anything but. Most of them sort of vaguely resemble an actual church chapel, but are very secular. This one has a terrace outside where you can get married, and I think there are a few places near Summerlin where you can get married near the lake. has some good info about most of the wedding venues in town.

2. Keep trying Etsy, or get to Vegas a few days early and go out to the outlet mall near the NV/CA border. There is also a mall on the strip that has lots of department stores such as Nordstrom, which carry a lot of dresses. has some examples of "wedding dresses", which are mostly just white or off-white dresses that they carry. I'd just check regular stores for white or off-white dresses rather than specific "wedding" dresses.

3. We got our wedding bands from The Clay Pot. I don't know if they ship internationally, but they do ship within the US, so could ship to Nevada. There are, of course, lots of jewelry stores in Vegas, but if you want to buy some ahead of time, I highly recommend The Clay Pot.

4. Smith & Wollensky is a very good steakhouse on the Strip, and they do private events, but can also handle large groups if you just want to eat in a regular room. Again, has good restaurant information.

5. I got nothin' with regards to special events, but take them all on a rollercoaster ride at New York-New York or to the top of the Stratosphere. Or see if you can get a group of tickets to a show. Sometimes if you book in an entire group at one hotel they will give you discounts on show tickets. Just ask. You can also go on helicopter rides, day trips to Hoover Dam, and stuff like that. There's always plenty to do in and around Vegas. Send the more conservative/prudish relatives to a day spa.

Congratulations and good luck!
posted by bedhead at 9:21 PM on April 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


My husband and I had our ceremony at the MGM Grand's Forever Grand Chapel. We did ours indoors in their Legacy chapel, but I know they offer outdoor ceremonies as well. Our coordinator was quite professional and I was able to handle everything via phone or email. It was the place that offered the best value for money among all the venues we were considering (Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Paris).

For our reception, we went to Benihana at the Hilton. There was something on the menu for every dietary need. The chefs also used some fancy tricks while they were cooking, so that was good for the whole "show" aspect. Booking was also easy. We simply called once we had a final head count and reserved a couple tables.

We also made a little guide booklet for the guests. Most were flying in from the East Coast. In it, we included maps, schedules, airport info, room discount code, etc. It took me about a whole day of designing and laying out and about 3 hours of printing on my laserjet and stapling it together. It was the best investment I ever made, as it helped everyone get to where they needed to go. I can email you a PDF sample of it, if you're interested.

posted by arishaun at 11:14 PM on April 26, 2009

Best answer: Is Rosemary's within your price range for the post-wedding meal? It's in your neighborhood, it's mostly locals, they have very good food, and the service is usually outstanding. They have a good cellar and a lovely bar as well, for those members of your family who drink.

As for the wedding, what about Springs Preserve? Small groups can get married in the Arboretum.
posted by catlet at 6:43 AM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hm. I need coffee before posting - small groups can watch you and the Australian get married in the Arboretum. (Congrats, by the way, on both the wedding and the move. I have casual plans to move to Vegas some day.)
posted by catlet at 6:46 AM on April 27, 2009


Did you email the Etsy seller and say, "I adore that dress - can I possibly custom order another one?" Etsy sellers are HURTING. I can't see them turning you down unless your timeline is impossible.

For your family, Vegas tourism LOVES to promote the whole "we are more than gambling! we are here for families! we are about entertainment!" thing, so if you call them and ask them to put together a package with brochures and info about non-gambling, family-friendly, clean-and-wholesome activities, they would probably LOVE to.

The other thing to keep in mind that "The New Vegas" is reasonably high class. The MGM or Mandalay Bay are pretty classy, so is the Rio. And if you're concerned, when you call around, expressly say that part of the family is conservative Christian, do the servers or waitstaff wear aything that might be considered inappropriate. They will tell you.

Vegas is hurting for business right now - I could get a room at the MGM for what I'd pay for the Motel 6 near Mohegan Sun (casino in New England). So they will be happy to help you get what you need - they have wedding planners - for heaven's sake, let them be your local experts.
posted by micawber at 10:34 AM on April 27, 2009

Best answer: I recommend Etsy for the wedding bands also. Me and mine have found a few very interesting vendors for the styles we're thinking of, and a lot of them will also do custom work. The prices on Etsy were WAY lower than the comparable items we were looking at in stores. Of course, you pay the price in not being able to try them on, etc. beforehand, but still.
posted by Billegible at 10:46 AM on April 27, 2009

Best answer: Dinner on the Strip: Top of the World restaurant in Stratosphere. Best place for out-of-towners to get a good view of the city.

Dinner off the Strip: Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens, maybe. It's nicer than the website implies.

But honestly, Vegas has about 1-billion great restaurants, the majority of which are not near slot machines and have fully clothed waitstaff. Choose the place for your ceremony, then find a restaurant nearby.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:12 PM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much, everyone! We're looking at the Springs Preserve and the Top of the World restaurant. Should be good fun. Thanks for all of the ideas about what to do with the family and friends, too.

If anyone else has anything to add, feel free. We've got a ways off before the big day, so there's plenty of time for planning. :)
posted by metalheart at 10:23 PM on April 27, 2009

Check out Planning to Elope from the creator of Not Martha.
posted by like_neon at 4:54 AM on April 29, 2009

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