Wedding planner Ilana Ashley Events gives her advice on how to go about preparing for a night in Sin City.
So, you and your closest friends have decided to head to Las Vegas for a lively weekend to celebrate your impending nuptials? What an exciting adventure! As an incredibly popular pre-wedding destination, Sin City is used to hosting large numbers of bachelors and bachelorettes looking forward to having a blast with their best pals. Per this fact, you’re bound to find plenty to do during your stay, both on and off The Strip. The town is known for its active nightlife, so many groups look forward to the merriment that will commence after the sun goes down.
Before you board that plane or pack that car full of suitcases, expert wedding planner Ilana Rosenberg of Ilana Ashley Events has some helpful tips and can’t-miss attractions to make planning your after-dark itinerary a breeze:
Stay organized – even wild weekends need some structure!
- Keep the first day casual, as people may arrive at different times. Plan a group dinner for the first night, and drinks at a bar or club afterwards. If everyone (including the guest of honor) is arriving at the same time, plan so that upon arrival to the hotel, half the group will keep the bachelor/bachelorette occupied with a drink at the bar, while the other half decorates the room or sets up fun surprises.
- If you are planning the party, make sure to let everyone know ahead of time if there is a schedule of events, and if they are supposed to wear something special (e.g. Saturday Night: Table at XS - everyone please wear a black dress, the bachelorette will be wearing white, etc.)
- Make sure to have everyone’s cell phone number, and add everyone on Venmo so that chipping in for dinner and cabs is a breeze!
Always have cash! Tipping is expected in Vegas, so here are some guidelines for the process:
- In Las Vegas, 15 to 20 percent of the total bill is a good rule of thumb for tipping.
- Dealers and slot attendants: A small bet for the dealer is the usual method of tipping at gaming tables. A small tip is also appropriate for keno runners and slot attendants.
- Dining: Restaurants in Las Vegas do not generally charge a "service charge." Tipping is appreciated for service after dining between 15-20% of the pre-tax bill. (Often, restaurants will tell you up front that a tip will be added automatically for groups of 8 or more.)
- Hotel personnel: Generally tip $1 to $2 for each bag of luggage. If you are using concierge services, a $5 tip is appropriate.
- Taxi drivers and tour guides: Taxi drivers usually receive $1 to $2 for a direct route, or follow the 15 to 20 percent rule: whichever is greater. At the end of a tour, tip your guide $3 to $5 per each person on the tour.
Important note on packing: Ladies, bring high heels that have been broken in! Also, if multiple people are sharing a room, consider packing a few extension cords so that the use of hot styling products isn’t limited to the bathroom and everyone can plug in electronic devices.
Ilana’s favorite nighttime spots:
- Having a girl’s night out at male dance shows such as Thunder From Down Under (or the new Magic Mike Live Las Vegas show!).
- Dining on delicious Italian fare during a low-key dinner at The Giada Restaurant in The Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas.
- Letting loose and dancing the night away listening to famous DJs such as David Guetta at XS Nightclub inside Encore Las Vegas or Tiësto at Hakkasan Nightclub inside MGM Grand.
Some of our must-dos on a night out in Sin City:
- Feel exhilarated watching KÀ, the Cirque du Soleil show. While Las Vegas offers up a number of lively and fun shows from famed acrobatic group Cirque du Soleil, this show is one of our favorites. It’s high-flying and death-defying themes are sure to keep any wedding party on the edge of their seats – and pictures with the performers would go perfectly in your reception slideshow!
- Create your own playful scavenger hunt. A great way to have some more frugal fun on one of your evenings: plot out a silly treasure hunt or timed to-do list of wacky activities that will keep competitive fellow bridal party members (and likely the guest of honor) entertained for hours. Come up with landmarks to visit, items to gather, or scenarios to capture on your phones for an unforgettable bonding experience with your group. Stuck on what to include? A quick search online will reveal perfect points to add to the itinerary!
Find out Ilana's tips on what to do during the day in Las Vegas, read up on how to plan your guest list for pre-wedding events, and discover 11 common mistakes people make while planning a bachelorette party.
Opening photo by Ira Lippke Studios