VIVA LAS VEGAS BABY!
We got married in Vegas! After nine years of dating, Jason and I got married in Las Vegas. on Saturday, May 20th, 2023 to be exact. And I’m sharing all the details behind our big day, our weekend in Vegas, why we did a Vegas wedding, as well as tips for getting married in Vegas.
It wasn’t a rushed elopement, but we did keep details on the down low. Looking back, our super micro-wedding in Las Vegas was such a great decision for Jason and I. Zero regrets. And though the day wasn’t flawless, it was perfect.
So before we get to our Las Vegas wedding weekend… Let’s take it back to the beginning of “us”…
Before the Vegas Wedding: A Story on How We Met
Also, let’s see if I can keep this short… Jason and I started dating nine years before we got married. And we met several months before that at our job in college. We both worked at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. He went to school at Virginia Tech, but I was going to school at nearby Radford University.
We worked in research labs that studied naturalistic driving behavior. It was an incredible college job to have. Each of the four labs there had a proctor at all times to supervise the room and ensure the proper handling of the sensitive data. I was one of those proctors while Jason worked in another lab. We rarely crossed paths.
At our work Christmas party in 2014 he brought his roommate Amy, as his date for the evening. But they were just going as friends. Amy worked at our job for a long time and had been a dear work friend of mine. So needless to say I was elated to see her! And that’s how I got to know Jason better. We hit it off right away and started dating. Within two years we were packing up our stuff to move to Austin.
Fast forward to the fall of 2021 we started designing an engagement ring together. We worked with Avant Garde Jewelers for our rings and I highly recommend them if you’re here in Austin!
Then, a few days after Christmas, Jason proposed to me at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. It was so cold, but it was so special! And of course I said yes!
Why We Decide to Get Married in Vegas
After Jason and I got engaged, we had no massive plans to rush and start planning a wedding. We took our time to decide what kind of wedding we even wanted. We originally planned for a small destination wedding in Spring 2024 with family and friends in our favorite country: Belize!
I wanted a simple, no-fuss wedding, that was still memorable and fun for guests. And I thought an all-inclusive resort wedding would be the easiest way. We quickly learned that was not the case.
No Wedding is Easy to Plan… Not Even a Vegas Wedding!
Jason and I eventually decided that Las Vegas would be the best route for us. We wanted to do it ASAP too. (Mainly to avoid the brutal summer heat.)
To be honest, I never imagined that I would get married in Vegas, but I’m glad we did. And neither one of us regrets it at all.
There’s a sense of freedom and excitement that comes with planning a wedding in Las Vegas. You can keep it super traditional if you wish. You can keep it super lowkey. Or you can do like us and go a little non-traditional, a little traditional, lowkey, but with a healthy dose of Vegas magic!
Our budget for our destination wedding was originally around $20,000. Once we decided on a Vegas wedding, we generously budgeted $10,000 for us and two other couples.
In that budget, I wanted to cover some meals and entertainment costs for them, similar to what you’d expect at any other destination wedding. We also had to factor in costs for kenneling our dogs while we were gone.
I invited my two best friends Kelsey and Sydney, along with their partners for a weekend of absolute Vegas fun. (These two also joined me in Miami for my 30th Birthday!) We were gonna do it all: shows, rooftop bars, gambling, cabanas, convertibles, penthouse suites etc., etc.
If we were going to do a Las Vegas wedding, it was going to be the best damn Las Vegas wedding.
A Wedding Weekend in Vegas
Jason and I departed Austin for Las Vegas late on Wednesday evening. Sydney and her soon-to-be husband, Connor were set to arrive the following morning. And Kelsey and her husband, Nate, were arriving late Thursday evening. It was nice that Jason arrived first so we could get settled before all the “guests” did.
After a smooth, slightly delayed flight, we landed in Las Vegas. What was amazing about their airport (besides being close to the city) is you can see so much of the strip!
We got a quick taxi to our hotel, The Venetian. I was so excited to see this place in real life. After all the research we did, and weeks spent going over every photo on their website, it was finally time!
Where We Stayed for Our Vegas Wedding
Arriving at the Venetian is an experience in itself. This is one of the best hotels in Las Vegas. Jason and I were blown away before we even got to our room.
Vegas Travel Tip: When in Vegas, plan for a lot of time to get from Place A to Place B. There is a lot of walking through casino floors.
Jason and I booked the Grand One Bedroom Suite, which meant we were staying up on one of the top fours floors at the hotel. When we opened our room’s double doors, we immediately felt like we were oozing in luxury. A fab feeling for getting married in Las Vegas.
Check out this video room tour I shared on YouTube!
Venetian Grand One Bedroom Suite Details:
- 1,300 square feet in a suite on one of the top four floors
- Complete wet bar with your own fridge to use. (A rare sight in Las Vegas)
- Marble bathroom with jetted tub and double vanities
- “Semi”-Formal dining area with a double-door entrance and Italian Marble foyer
Vegas Wedding Weekend Kickoff
Jason and I had a few errands to run on Thursday morning though, such as swinging by the Marriage License Bureau to get the official paperwork. This paperwork would be required at the Little White Chapel on Saturday to make our marriage legal. Head here for the official site with all the most up-to-date requirements for getting married in Las Vegas.
The Most Important Step For Getting Married in Vegas
Make sure to fill out the form ahead of time and SCREENSHOT the confirmation code. You’d expect a confirmation email of sort, but no there is no such thing. If you forget, it’s not the end of the world.
We headed to the office early on Thursday morning, but they’re open seven days a week until midnight. There wasn’t much of a line when we arrive but it was starting to grow.
Once we got to the window, we swore that our information was correct and choose a theme for our “unofficial” wedding certificate. There were three options, a fun Las Vegas theme, a boring plain one and then…
Jason and I had quite the laugh at the one with EDC artwork for the music festival that was happening the same weekend. They have a chapel out at the festival grounds for anyone getting married there!
After we got our paperwork, we were given a white envelope with some “We got Married in Las Vegas 2023” stickers and luggage tags. It was so cute!
To celebrate, I decided we should hit up one of the Frankie’s Tiki Room, one of the best tiki bars in Las Vegas. They’re open 24/7 so we weren’t worried about being too early.
It was quite the experience there. I enjoyed the drinks and the decor. Coming from the blinding Nevada sun to a dark and cool bar was jarring. Luckily, there is a row of digital slot machines along the bar, so just follow their lights when you arrive!
After our celebratory drinks, we headed back to our hotel, stopping first at a grocery store for drinks and food for the weekend. On Saturday, the girls and I would be getting ready in our suite, so I wanted to make sure we had plenty of bottles of popping! (And healthy snacks haha!)
Vegas Travel Tip: Try not to buy booze from the stores on the strip, and especially not the stores in the hotels. They are marked up beyond belief. If you can, head to a local grocery store or CVS/Walgreens.
I was dying to show off our hotel room at the Venetian, so once we got back I had Sydney and Connor come up to meet us. A huge perk of having this room was the mini-fridge, wet bar, and table area. It made hosting everyone a breeze and we never felt crowded.
Thursday: Exploring the Las Vegas Strip
That afternoon, Sydney, Connor, Jason and I set off to explore the Strip. We had a few must-stops (such as Lisa Vanderpump’s bar at Ceasar’s, as well as the fountain at the Bellagio), but other than that, we had no set destinations. Just explore!
Jason had been to Vegas before for a bachelor party, but for us other three, this was our first experience. And my, oh my, what an experience the Las Vegas Strip is!
We didn’t want to stay out too late, but somehow we did. Typical Vegas!
Either way, the excitement of what was in store for Friday had me up and at ‘em very early
Friday: Pool Cabanas, Kitty Kats, and Rooftop Cocktails
On Friday Jason and I woke up quite early, still must be on Central Time, ready for the exciting day ahead. It kicked off at nine, when we headed to the pool check in at the Palazzo. (The Venetian and Palazzo hotels are connected sister hotels).
I thought it’d be best to for group to get some relaxation in before the chaos of getting married in Vegas. And what better way to do that than an all-day private cabana rental?
Our Palazzo Pool Deck Cabana Rental
The check-in for our cabana started at 9AM. And considering how much we paid for it, I wanted to make sure we got to enjoy it for every second!
Technically our cabana was at the Palazzo pool deck, which is connected to the Venetian pool deck. You need to be a guest at one of those hotels to book cabanas at either pool deck.
We choose the Palazzo because it was a bit cheaper, and we had heard that the Venetian pool deck is the party pool deck (if you’re into that, head there!).
Sydney and Kelsey decided to throw me a mini-bachelorette party and they decorated the cabana in proper fashion! I’m one of the luckiest gals in the world to have not one, but two amazing best friends!
The afternoon was so heavenly. I could do a cabana day, every day. Basically, we just lazed around the pool, ordered drink after drink, played Kings Cup, ate a bunch of yummy food and felt like celebs the whole time.
I got so many “Congrats!!” walking around with my Bride-To-Be sash. It was kind of awesome. And it really began to sink in that tomorrow would be the Big Day and we’d be getting married in Vegas.
But first, we had a Katy Perry show to catch!
The cabana rentals go through 4PM, which is about when we headed back to the rooms to get dolled up for our evening out. I did good in planning ahead and made sure we had reservations for dinner before the show, and drinks after.
Katy Perry’s Concert: A Very Trippy Adventure
The show was at Resorts World, which on Google Maps, did not look that long of a walk. It kinda was, so again, Vegas is so deceptive about travel times and distances! Make sure to leave plenty of time for getting ready.
I decided on keeping dinner before the show a bit casual. Which gave me a good excuse to book a reservation at the only brewery on the Las Vegas Strip, which is also in The Venetian Hotel: Trustworthy Brewing.
They’ve got a food menu of your typical pub grub and a decent selection of beers. Nothing too phenomenal that you would need to write home about… but still a nice, casual dinner spot.
There are so many incredible shows in Las Vegas, all genres styles. When I was planning our Las Vegas wedding weekend, I knew I had to include one. And I wanted to include one that the whole group would have a blast at.
Katy Perry’s Play was a top contender. That woman has so many incredible songs that every one knows all the words too. Plus I saw some visuals from the show and it looked like a campy, high fashion BLAST.
The tickets were priced just right ($145 each for great seats) and it worked out that we got a our own row to ourselves. Important to note is that her residency came to an end shortly after we saw her. Luckily I took lots of photos and videos.
Nightcap at Alle Lounge on 66 Rooftop Cocktail Bar
I love, love, love me a rooftop bar, and as fate had it, Resorts World has a rooftop cocktail bar! So I made reservations for us after the show and it was stunning. Just a quick nightcap before we head back to bed to get our beauty sleep…
Kelsey, Sydney, Nate, and Connor, along with Jason and I, are all huge fans of craft cocktails and swanky bars. Alle Lounge on 66 spot fit the bill. They even had live jazz music!
Vegas Travel Tip: There is a two drink minimum at this bar, which some people complain about in the reviews. We had no problem with this rule and enjoyed our drinks quite much.
Saturday: The BIG Day: Our Las Vegas Wedding Day
The day had finally arrived! It was time for us to get married in Vegas! But the ceremony wasn’t until 6, so I had still planned for some fun thrills in the morning. This day, the gals and guys would be dividing up to do separate actives.
In the morning, Kelsey and I headed out to the desert in a red convertible BMW I had rented on Turo.
Sydney was supposed to join too but sadly she was a bit hungover and needed to recover for the wedding. After delivering some Gatorades to her room, Kelsey and I headed out.
Our first stop was at a cute little French bakery that Kelsey found. It was MG Patisserie is run by a Michelin star pastry chef, and my GOD. The pastries we had were heavenly.
With some fuel in our bodies, we drove to Seven Magic Mountains. An interesting little art installation about 30 minutes south of Las Vegas. It’s in the desert, desert. It was fun just getting to drive the convertible out there!
Once we arrived there, we spent about 20 minutes getting all our social media content. Check it out below!
By the time we were leaving the Vegas sun really started coming down hard and we decided to put the convertible top back up as to not get burnt!
The heat in Vegas is very dry, so it can be a bit deceiving. The sun is brutal, but without the swampiness of humidity, it can feel like sitting under a comforting heat lamp. I liked it, a lot!
On the way back, Kelsey and I stopped at Freed’s Bakery to pick up some cupcakes for the wedding.
This bakery isn’t on the Strip but it is a Las Vegas institution beloved by locals. Along with cupcakes, I picked up some butter cookies for the wedding party.
After we returned the car, it was back to our rooms to shower and get ready for the hair and makeup artists to arrive.
AND that’s where I’m going to pause this post. There are so many details from our Las Vegas wedding ceremony that I want to share and this post is long already.
So, stay tuned for Part Two next week! See ya soon ;)