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Vegas WeddingsOctober 26, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent
The Bellagio's wedding packages recreate the classical romance of Italy
The image of A drunken couple running off to a gaudy Vegas chapel to be married by Elvis has become something of a cliché. But while these kinds of weddings certainly have their place (hey, who are we to judge?), weddings in Las Vegas can be as elegant and intricately planned as they are anywhere else.
Weddings in Vegas can range from the fun and wacky (ever thought of getting hitched dressed as the Flintstones or seated on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle?) to lush and elegant. Best of all, with special packages at various resorts, they can be surprisingly affordable destination weddings (some basic packages cost less than $1,000), with plenty of entertainment all around to keep guests occupied. If your clients want to tie the knot in Las Vegas, here’s what you need to know to help them make the day memorable.
Making It Legal
First off, as with any other wedding, your clients will need some appropriate paperwork to make it legal. The fee for the license is $60, and both the bride and groom will need valid identification and a social security number. The Clark County Marriage License Bureau is the official government agency in the city that issues marriage licenses, which your clients must have before any ceremony can be performed. (The bureau is open from 8 a.m. to midnight, including holidays). Fun fact: The Marriage Bureau issues an average of more than 100,000 licenses a year—that’s almost 274 weddings per day.
There are dozens if not hundreds of wedding chapels throughout Las Vegas—many of which, says Nevada Wedding Association representative Joni Moss (who also owns LV Wedding Connection), are commissionable to agents. “It’s economical,” Moss says about destination weddings in Vegas, pointing out that the city is ideal for every part of the process. “They can have the bachelor party, the wedding, the reception and the honeymoon where they really want to be. They’re amazed at what they can get [for the price].”
Helping clients organize a Vegas wedding involves the same skills as organizing a vacation for them. “Ask questions,” advises Moss, and find out what exactly the couple is looking for. “Some want it traditional, some want fun and themes.” Agents can contact Moss at [email protected] or 702-236-8728. In addition, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau offers tips for weddings at www.visitlasvegas.com.
One of several chapels at Mandalay Bay
Where to Go
Resorts in and around Las Vegas provide different wedding options, most of which are customizable depending on the couple’s wishes. (Will the ceremony be religious or secular? Will the bride want plenty of salon time before the ceremony to look her best? Will the groom want a professional shave? Do they need a matching bouquet/boutonniere combination?) Most wedding packages provide accommodations for the bride and groom, several hours of photography, video recording (and, in some cases, a live webcast of the event), champagne, flowers and a limousine to the courthouse to get the wedding license. Packages can be for the bride and groom alone, or for a crowd of hundreds.
The wedding chapel at Mandalay Bay’s
At the Bellagio, wedding packages recreate the classical romance of Italy. For a Romeo-and-Juliet touch (minus the tragedy, we hope), the Terrazza Di Sogno is a popular balcony for exchanging vows. The balcony can hold up to 35 people—consider the chapels for larger groups. Couples who want to marry on Valentine’s Day (a good way of making sure no one forgets an anniversary!) can order a special package for the day, and we are told that the hotel is organizing deals for weddings that will take place on 10/10/10 and 11/11/11. Contact Ida Bouaoun at 702-693-7700. Wedding packages are also available at sister MGM MIRAGE properties Mandalay Bay and Monte Carlo.
At Caesars Palace, couples can hire impersonators to mingle with guests at the wedding and reception. Jewish couples can have a ceremony with a chuppah (canopy), ketubah (wedding contract), glass for breaking and a Kiddush cup with wine. The resort recently opened the private Juno garden for secluded outdoor ceremonies. There are three chapels with room for up to 35 guests (the Romano Chapel) to nearly 200 (the Classico Chapel). Agents can reach out to Valerie Thornton at 877-279-3334.
Weddings at Wynn Las Vegas are held in Salons or an outdoor court rather than in chapels. The most luxe option is the Elegant wedding package, which includes two nights in a 2,490-square-foot Wynn Fairway Villa, golf time, spa time and numerous meals. Wynn offers agents a $100 thank-you gift after the wedding concludes, in addition to commission on the rooms. Contact Jacqueline Montoya at 702-770-7400.