Shaun and I were married in a church and had a big reception with three hundred guests. We “did” the traditional wedding thing. Heck, it was traditional all the way down to being whisked off to the airport for our honeymoon-red-eye flight as the drunk reception goers stood in the banquet hall’s parking lot and bid us farewell.
It was the best day. However, it was also the most expensive day
we or our parents have ever funded. My dad always jokes we should have run away to Las Vegas and just took the cash to start our lives.
Las Vegas is the most popular destination wedding location in the world, with over 100,000 wedding ceremonies performed each year. And this isn’t a fluke. Getting married in Vegas is fast and easy to do. Brittany Spears, anyone? But outside of getting wasted, blowing your life savings on a craps table, and accidentally marrying your best friend from high school… there is also a very romantic side to Las Vegas. And that romance can come at a fairly affordable price.
To get married via drive thru window, it costs roughly $180 at Vegas’ famous Little White Chapel. The ceremony even comes with a limo, flowers, a garter, someone to deliver the sermon, and photos.
I think my dad was right. Maybe we should have run away, and saved all the money it cost for that one day of wedded bliss.
Maybe the people who have destination weddings are really onto something.
Meet Nick & Michelle: They Have It All Figured Out
Nick and Michelle have been dating since 2009 and were engaged March, 2011. They plan to marry in April, 2012.
Planning a big wedding wasn’t going well for this cute couple, and it was causing a lot of friction. Michelle didn’t want to fight over the details anymore, and finally washed her hands of the whole traditional wedding idea. After all, traditional weddings aren’t just expensive, they require a lot of attention and work.
We began stressing out and arguing over so many little things that the process was no longer fun or exciting. I decided that I wanted our whole wedding experience to be a pleasant one.
Michelle, wanting to cut out the stress of planning a massive wedding, pitched the idea to Nick. Nick was not sold at first.
I wanted to have a wedding at home and be surrounded by family and friends… We were actually sitting in the living room fresh from a wedding planning feud and it was sort of light bulb turning on. Why fight over all this when we can just go to Vegas?
Vegas has every kind of wedding you can imagine, and all you have to do is order it. It’s about as simple as ordering a pizza. Vegas also has Elvis, and who doesn’t love Elvis?
The destination was picked, and all the stress melted away.
The Wedding Plans Are Well Under Way
1. They have already sent out “Save the Dates” even though the wedding is still about a year away so guests have plenty of time to save and make travel arrangements.
2. They are inviting 65 people, and they expect 25 – 35 to actually show up.
3. They are not paying for anyone’s travel, and they have made it very clear to the guests that they do not want or expect them to “break the bank” to be a part of their day.
4. They have looked at all the marriage license rules.
5. They have booked a hotel with a discounted group rate for any guests that are joining them (most hotels offer this service).
6. They will have a dinners and nights out on the town with everyone (it’s basically going to be one big party weekend to celebrate their love with a wedding thrown in one of the days).
7. They have picked a chapel to perform the ceremony in Las Vegas. The chapel provides flowers, a limo, etc.
8. They may have a small backyard barbecue when they come home for those who couldn’t attend.
9. Michelle is carrying her dress on the plane, and Nick will have a tuxedo rental ready to pick up in Las Vegas for the big day.
10. They are providing guests with a list of fun things to do and packing suggestions (for example, the guys are taking golf clubs).
Will They Regret Their Decision?
Nick is sure his mom is upset that he isn’t getting married in a traditional church setting, but he could care less. After all, a happy wife equals a happy life. Michelle is happy to be doing something different. She has attended twelve weddings in two years (as all of her friends are starting their families) and all twelve of them were very much the same.
I am looking forward to a memorable and unique experience for everyone, and that’s why we chose a Las Vegas destination wedding.
As for this couple, they are happily engaged, not stressing out, and blissfully waiting for their flight to Las Vegas to say, “I do.”