Consistently ranked as one of the top cities for a destination wedding in the country, Las Vegas is shedding its reputation as the one-stop shop, drive-through "I do" capital of the world, and has emerged as a well-respected front runner for affianced couples seeking elegance, luxury, and the freedom to create nearly anything their hearts desire.
Since the first wedding chapel opened in Las Vegas in 1940, the city has been synonymous with quick and easy weddings. Our reputation in that respect is well-deserved, and as someone who deeply believes that every love story deserves to be told, I respect and admire our city for creating the opportunity for people in love to get married 24/7. But it’s the other side of Las Vegas that has my heart! The glitz, glamour, and sexy sophistication made possible by The Rat Pack, Elvis, colossal shrimp cocktails, and the Bellagio Conservatory. Yet after over 20 years of living and working in Las Vegas, I still find that people question how to host a timeless wedding in a city known for reinventing itself every few years.
By choosing Las Vegas as a designation for your wedding or event, you are immediately making a statement to your guests. This is a city that gives you permission to think outside the box, to dream, and to create your own reality. No other place on earth has managed to conjure up both the pyramids of Egypt and the lakes of Italy with such glorious detail and accuracy. As a relatively small big city, it’s all but guaranteed that the same teams that create these masterpieces will inevitably work on some part of your wedding. Bringing these minds together and creating something both timely and timeless takes work, and the unique makeup of our city means that you will do things a little differently here than you will in other destinations.
Photo by Brian Leahy Photography; Planning & Design by Andrea Eppolito Events
Discover tips for hosting an elegant Las Vegas wedding, below:
Work with a Local Wedding Planner & Destination Specialist
Las Vegas is a place like none other. The unique mix of conventions, leisure travel, gaming, and entertainment, plus union requirements, load in, and resorts the size of small cities requires someone who understand the very distinct needs of our location. Those of us who live and work here not only understand the logistical needs of the city, but we have the grassroots connections and relationships needed to move the needle to make the impossible possible, making a Las Vegas-based wedding planner and destination specialist the absolute best steward of your event.
When selecting a venue, you will want to consider not only the look of the ballroom and balcony, but also the room accommodations, the food and beverage program, the on-site amenities, and whether or not there is a casino attached. Non-gaming properties, such as The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas and The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, offer unparalleled intimacy, as they are smaller in size and much more private. However, they don’t provide the same amount of opportunity for entertainment as their larger counterparts do. Couples wishing to offer more inclusive entertainment will appreciate the diversity in restaurants, gaming, and nightlife that resorts such as ARIA Las Vegas and Bellagio Las Vegas offer.
And don’t forget! Las Vegas is more than the 4.2 miles of resorts that currently make up The Strip. The city is also home to some of the world’s finest restaurants and golf courses, not to mention nearby mountains and lakes less than 30 minutes away.
Photo by AltF Photography; Planning & Design by Andrea Eppolito Events
Tell someone you are getting married in Las Vegas and you are sure to get quite a few raised eyebrows. Assuage their fears and generate massive excitement by sending them a beautifully designed and well-appointed invitation. Look for thicker papers with texture and unexpected elements and mediums that will immediately convey that your celebration is an upscale event. Design elements like letterpress, foil, painted edges, and custom art will clue your guests into the level of formality, as will the addition of inner envelopes, calligraphy, and embossing.
Make a Statement at Your Ceremony
Start your ceremony off with a chic statement piece. Candlelight, a thick fabric runner topped with petals, and swagged draping through the rooms conveys class and sophistication, while chandeliers, crystal candelabras, and custom acrylic walls will keep the space looking fresh and modern for years to come.
Permission to Break the Rules
Couples who select Las Vegas as a destination give themselves permission to think outside the box. Already an edgy choice, couples are free to design with an element of drama that may not be appropriate in other areas. Color saturation, monochromatic looks, and intense lighting elevate wedding receptions. Bold choices like black accents, heavy candle entry points, thick crystal drapes, and video mapping will ensure that your wedding design stands out, while maintaining one color or design element throughout from beginning to end will anchor your design. This will add an element of timeless elegance to the space, while still allowing you to go overboard with glamorous touches.
Photo by Adam Frazier Photography; Planning & Design by Andrea Eppolito Events
Layer in Live Entertainment
Take advantage of the talent that the city offers and include live entertainment at your wedding. With everything from Cirque du Soleil performers and celebrity entertainers to traditional musicians and aerialists, layering in live entertainment shows your guests that you have thought of everything.
A series of string musicians leading into an event or harpist that plays the processional music feels timeless and elegant, while hiring butlers and ballerinas to walk guests into the ceremony feels modern and fresh. Even butlers who toss petals over a couple as they kiss can add an element of surprise and romance.
Host an After-Party
Your friends and family have traveled to be with you here in Las Vegas. Keep the party going by hosting an after hours-reception. Transition your ballroom with a change of décor, or treat them to a night out on the town and host the fête at one of Las Vegas' upscale nightclubs or lounges. Hosting a smaller after-party will keep the night going, giving you additional time to spend with your precious guests in a fun, festive environment.
Photo by Hayley Shandro; Planning & Design by Andrea Eppolito Events
I truly believe that luxury is luxury, and that the destination is less important than the design and intention. Ensure that your event will feel both elegant and classic by working with a team that shares your aesthetic, include timeless elements, excite your guests with textures and fabrics, and infuse the experience with contemporary, modern pieces and unique experiences. Viva Las Vegas!