Monday, November 11, 2019

A Vegas Wedding--20 Tips

We survived wedding week in Las Vegas!  Actually everything went very well, no drama at all--except that the bride was a half hour late for the wedding and 45 minutes late for the dinner but according to family, that was an improvement for her (?!).  Now most of the guests have left and we are in clean up/catch up mode.  Here's some things we learned from hosting the wedding:

  1. We had the wedding at Chapel of the Flowers and picked a minimal package deal (limo, venue, ceremony, some photos, etc).  For a grand total of $700 it was a really nice and sentimental wedding, not "cheesy" at all as some people think quicky Las Vegas weddings go.  Everyone commented on the great job done by the lady who married the couple and even though it was pretty quick, overall it was very nice.
  2. We had the reception dinner at the Green Valley Ranch buffet.  Again, a Vegas buffet may sound "cheesy" too, but everyone enjoyed the dinner and I think more than a hundred crabs were eaten by the group!  The total cost for 25 people for the dinner was $1400.  Also, the staff was AMAZING and wonderful to work with!
  3. We turned a lot of our guests on to the benefits of the Goodwill.  From dresses to shoes to belts to ties, whenever someone said they needed to go buy something for their outfit for the wedding we told them to try the Goodwill first, and surprisingly many people who had never even been to a Goodwill are now converts!
  4. The bride went to a salon for a mani/pedi but the rest of us did our own mani/pedis at home--we all ended up with nice nails for the (discount) cost of some high-end nail polish at Ross (I love the OPI brand of nail polish but it can get pretty expensive at a regular store, Ross often has it on sale at half price).
  5. We had a few house guests and everyone else stayed in hotels/time shares.  With people coming and going, they were able to squeeze quite a few people into each time share room so I think this cost was pretty minimal for everyone.
  6. The SIL already had her car here and we loaned our van to the group so only one family needed to rent a car and another family drove here so they had a car.  We were able to shuttle everyone around with ease this way.
  7. The cooking and dish washing was never-ending!  We provided meals every day for the group which was a great way to save everyone money.  We pretty much cleared out the pantry and freezer this way but it was good to rotate meat and pantry items that we don't eat much any more.  Several of the guests pitched in to help with cooking and dishwashing so that part was easier than just the hubby and I doing all of the work.
  8. We also bought a lot of food items on sale (we went through 20 pounds of rice!) so these frugal food buys really helped us feed a lot of people for cheap.
  9. I love to bake anyway so I made lots of desserts everyday which was pretty easy to do--I simply baked packaged cake mixes, made cookies, and baked other desserts to keep everyone happy and fed.
  10. Fortunately our local grocery store had bottled was on sale at three cases for $5.  Everyone drinks bottled water here because our tap water is so icky so cheap bottled water was great to have on hand.  If we had a lot of long-term guests I would have looked into getting a five-gallon water dispenser because you can fill up 5 gallon water bottles at the grocery store for much cheaper than the cost of small bottles of water.
  11. I'm also glad we stocked up on everything from toilet paper to dish soap to laundry detergent over the past few months as these items came on sale--we upped our usage of these products exponentially when we had lots of people at the house.
  12. For entertainment people were pretty much left on their own.  Some wanted to go to bingo, some wanted to hit up the Fremont Experience at night, some wanted to walk the famous Las Vegas Strip.  We provided info on free and cheap things to do and some people did these things, others went to Skyzone with some of the kids and some did the roller coaster at NYNY.
  13. Our event was not with minor disasters--one toilet decided to give up the ghost and luckily we had a kit for the "innards" of the toilet that we hadn't got around to installing so we quickly installed it and fixed the problem.  The battery died on the SIL's car but the guys at the shop had it towed in and fixed very quickly.  
  14. One daughter arrived with a tiny backpack (thanks to the restrictions of Spirit Air) but she ended up taking lots of extra stuff home so we figured that paying for one suitcase ($42!) and mailing one large flat rate box ($22) was cheaper than her taking two checked bags back with her or paying for an over-weight bag.  And believe me, I checked every conceivable way to get her stuff back home including mailing it via UPS and shipping it via Amtrak and Greyhound, all were more expensive than the solution we came up with.
  15. Netflix is awesome.  There was downtime when everyone was hanging out at our house and Netflix was the go-to for movie entertainment.  We also had some board games and card games going for free, fun entertainment!
  16. Several people in the group were either active duty or retired military and since the wedding weekend fell on Veteran's Day, the group took advantage of several Veteran's Day specials including free pizzas from Little Caesars, free buffets at South Point, some got coupons from Great Clips for free haircuts, and this evening I think a few headed out to Applebees and other restaurants which were offering free meals for military and vets.  On a side note, I used the $40 veteran's discount for my next year's Amazon Prime membership (the deal expires today FYI).
  17. The weather was perfect this week.  It was in the high 70s so it was perfect weather for people to do things outside.  The wedding couple even went outside of some of the fancy hotels and took "wedding" pictures with beautiful backdrops.
  18. I created a schedule prior to everyone arriving which showed the must-attend events like the wedding and dinner, as well as the dates and times of everyone arriving and departing Las Vegas.  This way some of the people were able to be picked up or dropped off at the airport in groups instead of being individually picked up or taken to the airport for their flights.
  19. Everyone took a lot of photos.  We started out taking photos with each person's phone but taking one photo with six phones was crazy so we decided that people would take a photo then share it with the group.  I've got photos pouring in now which I need to file.
  20. Once again I was reminded to roll with the punches.  Hubby's huge family is notorious for making a plan then changing it--several times--within minutes.  As a Type A, highly organized person, this makes me crazy.  But I resolved to chill out and go with the flow so when the bride was late to meet the limo, instead of freaking out, I went over and talked to the limo driver who had some interesting tales to tell (and also some great routes through the city with minimal traffic!).
Overall this was a wonderful event and a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family.  Tomorrow we will work on refilling the freezer and pantry!


  1. It all sounds wonderful and things went off well. I hope you post a few pictures.

  2. Wow, I am so impressed! I would have never survived all that. You are so good at thinking ahead and #18 is pretty genius. So glad it all went well, even the weather!

  3. Bless your heart! Penny S.