SARAH & CHARLES
April 15th, 2014
THE FLAMINGO HOTEL * LAS VEGAS, NV
What was your budget?
$10,000 Half of our wedding budget was generously gifted from my Father and the other half Chuck & I matched.
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
My Mother & Chuck made our guests custom Welcome Bags. These reversible handmade bags were filled to the brim with gifts for our friends and family as they arrived. The bag and a few items inside duplicated as thank you favors. My favorite item was the taffy treat bags with our picture on them. So cute! ♥ Also, at the ceremony I really loved the fabric covered love letters hung on one side of the arch; it made the perfect addition to our photos that day. The weather on the West coast in April is amazing by the way!
What were the biggest things you did to save money?
We choose to have a destination wedding in Las Vegas which offered many inexpensive all-inclusive packages because we knew transportation & accommodations for 7 people would consume our budget. Las Vegas luckily offers plenty of year-long opportunities to save on flights, hotels, and attractions.
My gown was purchased online and I spent a very modest $400 including all alterations and even a new strapless bra. I hesitated to buy the first, cheap gown I tried on and instead I looked at shapes and styles which complemented my style. That gave me the confidence to buy online sight unseen.
Our biggest savings by far was hotel & room comps. My Mother & Step Father gifted us their next year of vacations and we booked 3 large time share trade-ins. The Jockey Club is centrally located on the Las Vegas Strip overlooking the Bellagio’s fountains and conveniently connected to the glamorous Cosmopolitan. Lodging for a total of 11 people in 3 large condos for 8 nights/ 9 days cost us $550 total (or $6/ per person each day)! Chuck & I also played a Facebook game called myVegas and earned free room comps & rewards. In total, we enjoyed a fabulous honeymoon night at the Aria Sky Suites with amazing robes & slippers, two free tickets to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, and two free lunches at the Bayside Buffet. These 3 rewards were a value of $300 free and clear.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
If money is not a huge problem, hire a wedding planner for your destination wedding. The money I saved planning my own wedding was worth it for us, but a wedding planner would have allowed me to let loose more during our wedding week.
What was your biggest splurge?
$1,500 went toward unspeakable atrocities and debauchery, otherwise known as our spending money for alcohol, gambling, clubs, eating out & shows. This also included a few hundred dollars for a Bachelor night out, as well as, a Bachelorette party poolside. We wanted to entertain our guests and enjoy the setting around us, our play money was definitely a big splurge and totally worth every dollar. We also won $500 at the casinos which went back into more debauchery.
What was your favorite detail?
At the beginning of our reception my Mother & Father decided to have a small ceremony where they symbolically cut my cord. It was funny and unexpected, but one of my favorite details.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Walking down the aisle was a remarkable moment that I will not forget anytime soon. I took my time smiling at guests while holding my Dad’s hand, and staring in the distance at my new husband. The ceremony from start to finish was the best part of the entire day, I only cried 3 times.
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.