5/19/20

education, travel

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How to Plan a Las Vegas Elopement and What to Do When You’re There

Las Vegas, Nevada, founded in the early 1900s is now what we would consider the entertainment capital of the world. It boasts hundreds, if not thousands, of restaurants, stores, shows, and much much more. Since this is such a hot spot for fun and travel for people all over the world. I put together a little (not so little) plan for couples on how to plan a Las Vegas elopement so they’ll know what to do, where to get married, and even how much it will cost.

Yesterday, I received a dream inquiry from some clients who are considering an elopement to Las Vegas this summer. They aren’t doing the traditional wedding because Covid has cancelled too many plans. So, they’re considering skipping all the pomp for frills and feathers. I decided to put together a little travel itinerary so they know how to plan a Las Vegas elopement.

We’ll start with airfare.

What flights are cheapest to Las Vegas?

  1. Southwest Airlines flies to Las Vegas every single day. Round trip tickets from Indianapolis to Las Vegas (with a 2 month buffer) are around $250 per person. This includes two checked bags.
    southwest airlines price list
  2. Allegiant Air also offers direct flights to Las Vegas for around $275 per person with the perk of choosing your own seat there and back.

    allegiant flight cost

The best way to get from the airport to your hotel!

Transportation is super important in Vegas. If you’re planning on eloping with just the two of your or if you plan on bringing a small group of family and besties, you’re going to need a ride.

  1. Presidential Limousine Las Vegas is hands down the number one way to get from the airport to your hotel room. No need to flag an Uber down because your ride will be there, ready for you, at your scheduled arrival! With over 300 POSITIVE reviews on Google, this is THE WAY to get around in style.
    Price ranges from $35 one way which is only a few more bucks than a regular Uber and the same price as an UberXL all the way up to $150 round trip in a stretch limo. (Or you can splurge and a party bus that seats 20 for $350 ROUND TRIP WITH CHAMPAGNE AND MUSIC YAAAAH). The different is the style! AND you can don’t have two worry about getting an Uber back because trips are set up for round trip.
  2. Omni Limo is another amazing limo service that can host up to 24 people in their largest options van. It’s less party and more transportation based and doesn’t have the round trip option that Presidential Limo offers but it’s a nice option as well.
  3. Uber/Lyft. Rates for trips from Las Vegas airport to the strip run around $15-$20 one way.

What are the best hotels to stay at in Las Vegas?

Las Vegas has a lot of stay options but I’ve highlighted 4 different options with summer prices. When you plan your Las Vegas elopement, remember that there is probably always a lower price and with a little effort, you can find it. I’ll share how below!

Cheapest to most expensive stays in Las Vegas

Side note: don’t be fooled by “cheap stays” in Vegas. There really isn’t a truly “cheap” stay. It’s an expensive city and resorts are greedy. So what are they doing to be so greedy? (or capitalistically opportunistic as someone else might say?) They charge resort fees.

The cheapest place to stay for your elopement in Las Vegas.

The Oyo Hotel and Casino is the cheapest stay in Vegas I’ve found. Price per night? $16. Amazing deal right? Well, sure, but when you add up the taxes and resort fees, you’re looking at around $60 per night. Still not a bad deal but certainly not the low price wet dream we’re all looking to book.

These are places I’d actually stay in Vegas from cheapest to most expensive when you plan a Las Vegas elopement.

  1. The Excalibur Hotel is owned by MGM. Yes, the same MGM that produced the Wizard of Oz and a ton of other amazing movies. They have a lot of properties and a really good perks program called M Life. A 5 night stay for 3 months out is currently pricing in at $360. (That’s an all-in price with resort fees). That price is pretty nice if I do say so and that’s not even their cheapest room.

    Pro tip: if you decide to stay at an MGM property, sign up for M Life rewards. It’s free and because I signed up for it, it saved me $80 because I got a member discount on the room. Here’s a link to sign up

    excalibur hotel price list
  2. The Flamingo Hotel — now owned by Caesars Properties, opened in 1946 and is the first luxury hotel of Vegas. What began with a little over 100 rooms has 3,460 rooms and almost 73,000 square feet. (Although it’s dwarfed by the MGM grand with over double the rooms and an extra 100,000 square feet). I found prices at the Flamingo slightly higher but still low. Total cost for 5 days in Vegas–I’m all in at $512.

    Pro tip: sign up for Total Rewards by Caesar and then purchase a FoundersCard. FoundersCard members get exclusive benefits including car rental discounts and hotel discounts. They also get premium tier statuses at hotels such as Caesars.

    I purchased the FoundersCard and acquired Diamond Status through Caesar’s Rewards. This in turn gives me $100 complimentary dinner one night, free show tickets, no resort fees, and 4 free nights, once a year, at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas and 2 free nights at the Atlantis Hotel in the United Arab Emirates.

    Yes, the FoundersCard costs money. No, it is not a credit card. But it did save me around $1000 so with an investment of $300 to purchase the card, I’m ahead of the game by $700 and all those pesky resort fees.
    flamingo hotel las vegas price list
  3. The NoMad Hotel is a boutique hotel tucked away inside the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. #hotelception And boasts beautiful views, a private pool, and a more luxury experience. This hotel IS going to be more expensive but if you want a nice stay, at around $200 a night, it’s really NOT a bad deal when you plan a Las Vegas elopement.
    nomad mgm hotel price list
    4. The most expensive hotel in Las Vegas should also be mentioned when you plan a Las Vegas elopement because we are talking cheapest to most expensive and YOLO, right?
    The Nobu Villa at Nobu (a Caesar’s property) is only a gentle $35,000 per night and has been rented by your favorite stars, Biebs, JLo, and other ballers. It comes with a sauna, 3 bedrooms, over 10,000 square feet, and it’s OWN FUCKING TREE.
    Yummy.
    nobu villa instagram
    Image courtesy Nobu Las Vegas Instagram

Where can I get married in Las Vegas and bring my own photographer?

I am so glad you asked! There are just about a million places to get married in Las Vegas. Most of these locations include everything in their fees and so for around $300 you can get married by an Elvis impersonator, have him serenade you, and exchange your vows in a little white chapel or outdoors in the Vegas sun.

Unfortunately, not all venues allow outside photographers so if you plan on hiring someone (like me). You’ll have to pay a small fee between $150-$300. Being “all in” for a ceremony with Elvis for $300-$600 is a steal and your blue eyes won’t be crying in the rain at that price!

Here are a few places to get married in Las Vegas where you can bring your own photographer.

  1. Viva Las Vegas Weddings located on the main Vegas strip, weddings range from $260-$1600. You can also bring an outside photographer for an extra fee.
  2. Paradise Wedding Chapel Regular ceremonies begin at $150 and Elvis ceremonies from $270 with Elvis or Little Elvis. Bring your own photographer is $300. They’re located right off the Vegas strip.
  3. The Freemont Wedding Chapel – Elvis Weddings are around $300-500 and bring your own photographer is $150. They also offer a simple “I do” ceremony for $99 but this doesn’t include much so maybeeeee consider another option. They’re also not going to be on the strip but rather in the historic Freemont Street so if you’re in the area you can always drop in!

    To get legally married in Las Vegas and to plan a Las Vegas elopement, you’re going to need to get a certified marriage certificate. Don’t worry, it isn’t hard. You can fill out the pre-application online and then just stop by the courthouse a day before your ceremony. Here’s a link to the application and information!
man jumping and kicking his heels together

Now that the important stuff is done, it’s time to party!

The best places to eat in Las Vegas during your elopement.

Buffets are always a good choice. It sounds like a lot but you don’t HAVE to consume everything. They can get pricey so go when you’re really hungry.

Buffet travel hack: purchase from any Caesar’s location, a Buffet of Buffets Pass. It’s good for 24 hours and if used correctly, could save you hundreds when you plan a Las Vegas elopement.

The Buffet of Buffets

It’s a 24 hour buffet pass to 6 buffets that Caesar’s properties own. For a weeknight cost of $50-60 per person, you can eat up to 4 times on it. But the hack here (If you’re sticking to regular meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is to get it and activate it (when you enter the first buffet) at a late dinner time.

The following day you can get breakfast, lunch, and early dinner as well. That’s 4 meals for like $15 per meal versus $40 – $60 per buffet per meal. 

Homer Simpson Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Cheap places with yummy munchies on the strip

Tacos El Gordo is near the Park MGM and Encore by Wynn, this place has authentic tasty street tacos for super cheap. A nice reprieve from the expensive food of Vegas.

tacos el gordo image instagram
Images courtesy of Tacos El Gordo Instagram

Shake Shack in the MGM hotel, has super tasty burgers for less than $10. A steal! I even heard you can get a beer and a burger at lunch for less than $15.

shake shack burgers on a tray with french fries
Image courtesy of Shake Shack’s Instagram

Eggslut (that’s right!) These tasty gourmet breakfast egg sandwiches go for less than $10 a sammie. There might not be a better hangover food AND YOU KNOW you’re going to be hungover in Vegas. That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas! Plus what a classy restaurant name. You know you want to put them on your Instagram for the name, the sandwich and because VEGAS!

eggslut sandwich in hands of woman with painted nails
Image courtesy of Eggslut’s Instagram and Third Eye Vision Photography
Music Video GIF by Katy Perry - Find & Share on GIPHY
How we’re all feeling about this foodie trip…I mean elopement in Las Vegas.

Must eat places in Las Vegas!

Now that we’ve saved a few bucks, let’s talk about fancy dinner. We aren’t going to Vegas JUST to eat at the Heart Attack Grill. We are there to celebrate the plan of our Las Vegas elopement. RIGHT?

So, there’s one restaurant that you should visit and eat at. That’s right, it’s a visitor attraction but the best value for your money is to pay for lunch or dinner.

Top of the World restaurant located in the Strat hotel (formerly the Stratosphere hotel) is a unique spin on dining. Literally. It’s a restaurant 850 UP IN THE AIR with amazing views of Las Vegas and the surrounding mountains. It also revolves 360 degrees every 80 minutes.

strat hotel and dining las vegas skyline
Image courtesy of Instagram

Dinner is pricey, but hell, you’re in Vegas, live it up! Also check out Groupon! My other secret travel hack to amazing experiences is checking out Groupon for deals. Here’s a deal for $88 a person at the Top of the World restaurant. Seeing that their dry aged porterhouse is double that cost, consider the deal.

top of the world restaurant groupon dining
Saving you dollars so you can dine like ballers. Damn…that’s my new travel hack blog.

Fun things to do in Las Vegas

  1. The Strip. Right!? Everything is pretty much there you could ever want. Weed is legal, you can drink on the streets, and there’s gambling and prostitution. Also available for fun: high end shopping, bargain shopping, amazing places to eat, museums, art galleries and much more.
  2. See the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. Best way to get there is to take an Uber or Lyft since parking is limited.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

3. Go see a show! Whether you’re into Magic Mike XXL action, campy broadway shows, Celine Dion (a real gem), drag, or even erotic gravity defying shows such as Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity (or non-erotic “O”), there is a show for everyone. Tickets can be purchased online!

Homer Simpson Crotch GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Oh, the Zumanity!

4. The Neon Museum–small entrance fee to see some badass neon signs that make up Las Vegas history. There is a small fee to have professional photos taken there.

Image courtesy of Instagram

5. Visit the Bellagio for a free fountain show, head to the Flamingo and visit the observatory for free flamingo sightings, or even just head over to Freemont street and enjoy a mile long television screen above your heads and zip line your way over the masses.

Las Vegas Nevada GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Fun things to do outside of Vegas

  1. Go to the Hoover Dam. It’s not a long drive and you can definitely learn some history and break up your time there.
  2. Take a day trip to the Grand Canyon’s south rim! There are many different tours that will take you. The drive is 9 hours round trip.
  3. Go to the Seven Magic Mountains, neon painted cairns (man made stones) that tower above the desert and are a welcome sight to break up the desert vistas.seven magic mountains land rock rainbow
  4. Kayak on Lake Las Vegas –  a man made 320 acre lake home to Celine Dion (a real gem!) and some other pricey ass homes.
  5. Go to Red Rocks Canyon Conservation Park. Lots to see there! 

You can make any choice you want in Vegas. Don’t worry too much about it. It’s an amazing place and I cannot wait to visit it (hopefully with you!)

If you love what you’ve seen here, leave me some love below in the comments.

If you want to talk about some travel excursions out to Vegas, I’ve got some good tips for you and some good deals too. Send me an email and we can chat more!