A newlyweds guide to Sin City.
Las Vegas is a city that's not exactly known for its romantic side, yet hundreds of thousands of people flock there very year to tie the knot. It may seem odd that a city that sells itself on sin should open its arms to those looking to make an honest woman out the one they love, yet they keep on coming, and when you really think about it, getting hitched in Vegas isn't such a crazy idea.
A Wedding & Honeymoon All In One
Las Vegas is actually a great place to get married for the couple who are on something of a tight budget. If you are not dead set on a weekend wedding, then you can save some money tight of the bat. Vegas vacation packages tend to either run from Thursday to Sunday or Monday to Thursday, with the latter costing much less. Las Vegas hotels will up their rates for the weekend, which means that you can get a great hotel like the Luxor at an incredible price if you are willing to forego the weekend.
The same rules apply for flights, and a Monday departure will not come anywhere near as expensive as a Friday or Saturday flight. And then there are the chapels; hidden among the drive-thru wedding places and chapels that have fat Elvis marry you, there are a few real gems. Best of all, they will put together a package that includes flowers, video, photos, a limo ride to and from your hotel, and even a live internet feed so that family can watch, no matter where in the world they are located. If you are looking to save time as well as money, then try to locate a chapel that is close to city hall, as you will have to take care of all your marriage licenses and paperwork, then drop it off at the chapel. It's best to get down there a day or two in advance so that you don't have to stress about it on your big day.
A Little Fun After The Wedding.
Eat, drink & hang with the stars.
If you are heading to Vegas with the sole purpose of getting married, then you are missing out on a great opportunity to have some fun. People tend to think of Las Vegas as a place that comes alive at night, with nothing to do during the daytime but sit and gamble. That perception is generally spoken by people who have never been, or whom partied a little too hard at night and missed everything that the daylight hours had to offer.
The Vegas Strip looks totally different without the neon glow, but if you take your time to stroll up and down the street, you can see a lot of things you would otherwise miss at night. A little advice first though; make sure to take a couple of rolls of quarters and some single bills with you, as this will allow you to drink on the cheap.
There is some fantastic daytime musical entertainment in the casino's and bars that line the Strip, all of which are free for anyone to go in and watch. If you would like to have a drink while you dance, then hit the nearest slot machine, drop a few quarters, and wait for the waitress to come and take your order. Booze is free as long as you are gambling, but be sure to give the girl a tip when she brings it. I understand that doesn't necessarily make it free, but it's a lot less than you would pay at the casino bar.
A lot of huge celebrities visit Vegas regularly, especially on a big fight night, but by day your best chance of cozying up to a star is to get your picture taken with one of the look-a-likes. There are Elvis's everywhere, but keep your eyes peeled and you might just land a cool photo op that will fool your friends.
A Little Romantic Time
Vegas by night.
If you are looking for a perfect way to get out of the desert heat for a bit, then it's fun to explore the inside of the hotels. Many of them have really cool little features inside, such as gondola rides at The Venetian, and an indoor thunderstorm at Planet Hollywood, but it's actually fun to just take a peek into some of the shops. There are a lot of unique stores located inside the Las Vegas hotels, and they never ever seem to be crowded. This offers a great opportunity for you to test your haggling skills, as most shop owners are more than willing to negotiate a price on anything in their store. It's amazing what you can find, and maybe you'll even be lucky enough to find a great, affordable piece of art that looks just like your new bride. Folks in Vegas can't resist a newlywed, and you'll have no problem talking them down, especially if you gush about how beautiful your new wife is.
The magic of Las Vegas truly is at night though, and if you want a special moment with your loved one, where you can seem to feel as though you are the only people there, despite being surrounded by a throng of tourists, then I suggest the water show at the Bellagio Hotel. The show runs every 15 or 20 minutes, and the key is to get there early so that you can get a spot near the front. The hotel is beautiful in itself, but when the music starts to play, and the water starts to dance, it becomes a moment that truly encapsulates the romance of Vegas, and perhaps explains why so many are drawn there to wed.
A Little Gambling Advice
Save it till the end.
Heading to Las Vegas to get married is a wholly different proposition than going there with a bunch of the boys, or girls, and the goal becomes avoiding trouble rather than seeking it out. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't enjoy some of the city's sins, and the easiest way to do that is with a spot of gambling. That doesn't mean that the new happy couple should split whatever money they have left and go their own way. Instead, I recommend finding a slot machine game that is fun (Monopoly is my personal favorite) and then sitting side by side and playing together.
It's always best to wait until the last night to have some gambling fun, as you know exactly how much money you have left at that point, and it's wise to never bet more than you can afford to lose. There are those who would choose to play it safe, and never take the chance at rolling the dice, but where's the fun in that. Gambling is a lot like love; you can't win if you don't take a chance. Sure you may roll snake eyes every once in a while, but there is also the chance that you will find blue eyes that you would be willing to stare into until you draw your last breath.