Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. However, everything needed to plan the wedding of your dreams can also make it the most stressful time of your life. Ease the stress of wedding planning by packing your bags and heading out to Las Vegas where you can get married stress-free. Eloping to Las Vegas means you will not have to deal with disappointed family members who were not invited or missing some details in the planning process.
Here are some tips to help you plan eloping to Las Vegas:
Deciding to elope
Carefully consider your options and make sure eloping to Las Vegas is right for you. Remember, friends and family will be hurt that you left them out of your special day, so make sure you are 100 percent certain eloping is the best option.
Selecting the date
Eloping to Las Vegas means you can get married on whatever day you want to. You do not have to worry about getting married on a weekend so family can make it or during the week when the courthouse is open. Las Vegas is open year round and many wedding venues are open 24/7.
Keep holidays in mind when selecting a date to elope to Las Vegas. Holidays, especially Valentine’s Day, are some of the most popular times to elope in Vegas. Wait times to get married during busier holidays can be as long as five hours. New Year’s Eve is another busy day for couples seeking to get married. These times are also busier for hotels throughout the Vegas area, so finding a place to stay may be more difficult.
Booking your hotel and wedding ceremony in the off season will help guarantee some of the lowest rates of the year.
Get the marriage license
It is very easy to get a Las Vegas marriage license. There are no blood tests and no waiting period. It does not get any easier than that.
Bring the application for the marriage license with you when you go to apply. Applications are available for download from the Clark County Marriage Bureau’s website. You will need to submit two marriage license applications, one for each of you. Do not forget to bring photo identification in the form of a driver‘s license or passport with you. Marriage licenses last for one year from the date issued.
If divorced, you must provide the date and location of your divorce. Only those 18 years of age and older will be issued a marriage license and you cannot marry anyone closer than your first cousin.
Consider what you want
Before selecting a venue, you need to decide what type of wedding you want. Do you want a themed wedding or something simple? Do you want to me married by a priest or is a simple ceremony at a wedding chapel enough? These are just a couple of the questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on a wedding venue.
Selecting a venue
There are so many places in Las Vegas to get married; the choices are near endless. You can have a simple civil ceremony at the Office of the Clark County Commissioner of Civil Marriages or you can have Elvis walk you down the aisle. Other ceremony options include those at churches, gardens, synagogues and wedding chapels. There are also many different wedding chapels located throughout all of the Las Vegas hotels.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has a complete list of all of the wedding chapels in the area. Write down a list of venues that are of interest to you and note what you like about each one. Make some phone calls and compare prices on different packages, including photography, flowers and wedding officiant. Check to see if there are any extras available too, such as a wedding cake, hair, nails, makeup, dress and anything else you may need for the wedding ceremony.
Below are some of top places to get married in Las Vegas:
Get married high in the sky at the Chapel in the Clouds. This wedding venue offers unique themes for couples wanting to get married at The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino.
If you have your Vegas dream wedding already in mind, the Chapel of the Flowers will be able to help your visions come true.
Have your wedding at a Las Vegas venue that has both rare and historical appeal. The Little Church of the West is the oldest building on the Strip and one of the most desirable wedding venues in the area.
Mon Bel Ami is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the Las Vegas area. This venue offers couples the most lavish décor and wedding planners to handle everything from flowers to cakes and dresses to tuxes.
Other popular wedding venue options for those eloping in Las Vegas include Las Vegas Helicopter Weddings, An Elvis Chapel and A Little White Chapel. These are just a few of the many wedding venues available for those seeking to tie the knot in Las Vegas.
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Pick out your outfits
Just because you are eloping to Las Vegas does not mean you cannot wear a wedding dress. Determine if you will still get all dressed up or if you will simply show up in whatever you are wearing that day. Many couples find something in the middle of formal and casual.
Keep in mind that some chapels and venues require only formal attire. So if you want to go casual, you may have to look around for those that do not have a dress code. There are also several locations throughout Vegas that rent wedding attire, including dresses and tuxes.
There are many places to stay in the Las Vegas area, both on and off the strip. Some hotels have more romantic themes than others, making them the perfect places to stay when eloping in Vegas. Some of the top hotels and resorts in the area for those getting married include the following:
Be swept away as you both watch the dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio. This resort is an exact replica of a lush resort in Lake Como and takes guests to a whole other world in the Italian Riviera.
Skip the casinos and party scene when staying at the Four Seasons Hotel. The Four Seasons is a non-gambling hotel that puts all of its efforts into offering luxury and tons of pampering services to those staying there. There is immediate access to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for those looking to gamble a little.
If you are looking to get away from the popularity of the Las Vegas Strip, then the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa might be the destination for the two of you.
There is nothing more romantic than the gondoliers, frescoed ceilings and old-world charm of Italy. The Venetian offers couples Roman tubs, sunken living rooms and super plush bedding in a room they may never want to leave.
Other popular hotels for those eloping to Las Vegas include The Cosmopolitan and The Mandarin Oriental. Both of these locations offer spa services, romantic packages and places for couples to sneak in a romantic kiss as they start their new lives together.
Where to dine
There are many different restaurants in Las Vegas where you can go and celebrate your nuptials. Many of the restaurants offer romantic settings that are perfect for parties of two, while other locations offer tables large enough to hold your small bridal party, if you brought one with you. Here are some of the most romantic restaurants in the Las Vegas area:
Couples seeking a romantic meal with Mediterranean flare need to visit Batolotta Ristorante di Mare located at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Enjoy authentic Spanish cuisine right on the Vegas strip at Jaleo. This romantic restaurant is located at the Cosmopolitan and creates a vintage approach to Spanish food.
One of the best honeymoon dinners couples can enjoy is offered at Joel Robuchon Restaurant at the MGM Grand. The French cuisine is definitely a must-try for anyone celebrating love while in Las Vegas.
Experience a taste of France and Spain at the Bellagio’s signature restaurant, Picasso. Couples looking for a romantic meal can book a table on the new lakefront terrace with a fantastic view of the dancing fountains.
Located at the Mandarin Oriental, Twist by Pierre Gagnair offers couples a romantic setting with fabulous French Cuisine. It’s definitely a must-try experience when eloping to Las Vegas.
What to do
In addition to getting married, there are so many different things to do as newlyweds throughout all of Las Vegas. Whether you want to be pampered at a spa or live it up at night, this city has it all. Here is a list of things you will definitely want to add to your eloping itinerary:
- Get a couples massage at your hotel’s spa
- Spend the day at the pool
- Enjoy cocktails at the poolside lounge
- Go out dancing at one of the many nightclubs
- Order room service for a day in
- Catch a comedy act or listen to a musical performance
- Take a limo ride up and down the strip
Eloping to Las Vegas will help relieve you of some of the stress associated with wedding planning. However, when you return home, you will have to break the news to your friends and family, especially if you chose to not tell anyone before eloping. Whether you do it before you go or you wait until after you return, it is up to you. Just know there will be some disappointment. But rest assured that you two are now married and ready to start your new life together. And you did it in the best city in the world for eloping – Las Vegas.
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Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.