Couples from all over the world travel to Las Vegas, NV to get married. Partly due to Nevada’s relaxed marriage requirements, and partly due to being a world-class casino and tourist destination, Las Vegas draws over 80,000 couples annually who opt to hold their wedding here.
Add to that the logistical chore of figuring out accommodations, transportation, legal paperwork, venue, dinner or reception, how to find a quality photographer, and securing a wedding officiant or minister that will make your day feel special without being a stereotype, and a simple elopement can begin to feel like a complicated mess!
With 20+ years of experience in the Las Vegas Wedding industry, Las Vegas Luv Bug Weddings works hard to simplify as much as we can for Brides trying to plan their wedding long-distance. This is part 2 of our blog series, 'Getting Married In Las Vegas
If you haven't read our first installment in this handy guide to planning your wedding in Vegas, you can find it here.
Look For Inclusive Packages
As with most industries, the wedding industry in Las Vegas has tried to put together packages and services for their clients that will simplify their planning and shopping experience. In doing so, there are a variety of approaches that individual chapels will take to present their options.
There will be a menu of services at each venue, and typically the pricing for a la carte options turns out to be more than services that are presented as a part of a package. The best value, then, will often come in the form of a package that includes several elements which most brides would want for their marriage event.
You will want to find a wedding package that will include all or most of what you want on your wedding day, at a price that you are comfortable with. Most chapels will provide the services of their ministers, although they are often not included in the package price.
Are your floral options included? Are they fresh flowers or silk bouquets? Roses are standard for most weddings, and some florists can offer a wider array of floral options, but bear in mind that Las Vegas is in a desert, and unique flower choices will carry a higher cost.
Will they provide hair and makeup services? Some chapels have salons or agreements with salons where the Bride and her attendants can have their hair and makeup styled for the ceremony. Some will have artists that will meet you in your hotel room so you don't have to travel to a salon, but they bring the salon-service to you.
Some venues include packages that provide transportation for the Bride and Groom, while others require you to make your own way to and from the ceremony. Most wedding providers will have one or two packages that will provide most or all of what you will need for your wedding celebration. Read carefully what each package offers and includes, and try to keep them straight! After going through 3-4 wedding chapel's packages, it can get hard to remember what each one includes in their offerings.
Watch For Hidden Costs
Having been involved in performing weddings for 20 years here in Las Vegas, we have seen over twenty different chapels' pricing policies. One thing to be aware of when booking your wedding is to look for hidden costs. Does the package price include all taxes and fees?
One chapel we worked with years ago had a mandatory 19% tax and services fee built into all of their packages. That meant that when everything was said and done, on the day of their ceremony, the couple would have to pay an additional 19%! On an $800 package, that would be an extra $152! This was disclosed in their 5-page contract that every couple had to digitally sign, but there were many couples who had missed that part of the agreement and it was quite a shock when it came up after their wedding.
Are there mandatory gratuities? Many chapels and wedding vendors require a gratuity for limo drivers and photographers that is not included in the package price. Some even set minimum amounts that the couple is expected to 'tip.' If these gratuities are not accounted for in addition to the package price, the cost of your wedding just went up.
Is the Minister's fee included? Most Las Vegas chapels require a separate donation or fee for the minister they provide. In Nevada, you have to be duly licensed by the County Clerk in order to legally perform marriages. This includes a background check and notarized application by the wedding officiant or minister submitted to the Clerk's office for approval. Because of this requirement, many chapels require couples to use their in-house ministers and pay the accompanying fee or donation.
Is there a premium for sunset reservations or on holidays and weekends? Much like the price of hotel rooms, many wedding providers have a sliding price list for special days or times that are more popular. Be sure you know their policy before setting your date and time for your wedding ceremony.
If you add up all the extra fees, gratuities, & taxes required, your wedding package can increase by hundreds of dollars over the listed package price. Be sure to itemize what is provided and what the cost will be in total so there are no unpleasant surprises on your wedding day.
Know What To Expect
When we sat down to design what a Las Vegas Luv Bug Wedding would provide, it was important to us that there would be no surprises or necessary stress for our Brides on their wedding day. There is enough excitement and stress already included in the process of pledging your lives to one another for your time here on earth.
For that reason, all of our packages and pricing includes gratuities, taxes and fees, and venue costs. If you look at what is itemized for each of our packages, the price listed is the final price you will pay. If there is an additional charge for guest counts, it is pointed out how many guests each package can accommodate.
You may look at our pricing and feel is is higher than some other companies, but it is important to keep in mind that our prices are inclusive and don't change based on time of day or set you up for a surprise fee after everything is said and done. The price is the price, and each package clearly itemizes what is provided for that price.
One of our main goals is to provide an unforgettable experience on the day of your wedding, and streamline your planning process for your destination wedding. Planning from out of town is a dating task, so we try to offer solutions to a majority of your wedding needs.