- We booked a "nice enough" package at a "nice enough" venue. Weddings in Vegas can be as elaborate and expensive as you want them to be but since we are #1, all about saving money, and #2, enjoyed a friend's wedding at this same venue a couple years ago, we went with a package deal that will provide the chapel, wedding service, basic photos, limo transport, etc. Fortunately the SIL is paying for this part of the wedding as the daughter is her favorite niece!
- Next we booked a nice buffet for the wedding dinner ($55 per person but with all you can eat prime rib, crab, shrimp, etc). Catering a wedding would require that we reserve a venue to host the dinner and catering for the food and a bar, etc. which would be really expensive. This, we think, is a nice alternative (plus most of the people in the wedding party have been to this buffet before and love it). The cost should be under $1500 which we think is a great deal (and which part we are paying for).
- I did the invitations. I basically put together an invite with a photo collage of the couple using Microsoft Publisher, printed them out on my printer, and off they went in the mail (the most expensive cost was stamps). This saved a lot of money over professionally printed invitations.
- I needed a dress for the wedding. I will literally be wearing the dress for an hour or so which is why I didn't want to spend much on it but I still wanted it to look nice so off we went to the Goodwill where I found this nice outfit for about $8!
- Since this is a destination wedding for the bride and most of the attendees (mostly relatives), everyone was in charge of paying for their own airfare and hotel. We are offering our guest rooms up to another daughter and one of hubby's sisters, but mostly everyone is paying their own way here.
- We will be providing meals for everyone when they don't feel like eating out. This will mostly be breakfast, snacks, a brunch the day after the wedding, and random other meals. To do this we have been shopping loss leaders like crazy (we got 5 dozen eggs for $5...that will be breakfast, cheap sale meat which will become various dishes, and we got a great sale on rice today--40 pounds for $13 which is basically unheard of but we saw the sale today and grabbed 80 pounds of rice!).
- Speaking of food, we tend to send food to everyone's hotel/time share room so they always have food and don't need to run out and buy food when they are hungry. I got busy yesterday experimenting with recipes and made some pretty good (if I do say so myself) Filipino bread (pan de sal). Hubby was really impressed and this will save us buying this popular bread for the brunch and the snacks. I will also make all of the desserts which is pretty easy to do.
- Since this is a quick trip for most people (they will come just prior to the wedding and stay for the holiday weekend) we don't have much planned for entertainment. I will give everyone a list of free and cheap activities that are happening and let them decide what they want to do (fortunately Las Vegas has lots and lots of free activities that people can choose to do!).
So far, everything is going along great! I'll write a final report after the wedding.