The ultimate guide to your next big adventure
If you’re reading this, odds are you have recently got engaged and are now considering where to tie the knot. First off, congratulations! Second off, I’m glad you’re here. I know how stressful wedding planning can be, so I hope this guides aids you in relieving some of those anxieties and answers some (or all!) of the questions you may have.
First Things First: WHEN?
The great thing about Vegas is that it’s the perfect spot for last minute or spur of the moment elopements. If you and your partner want to get married in two days, you absolutely could! All you have to do is go to their website (linked here) and fill out their pre-application for a certified marriage certificate, then stop by the courthouse on the day before your ceremony to pick it up.
If you have a little more time to plan, you may want to consider the time of year that you visit Las Vegas and the weather during specific seasons. Generally, the best times to visit Las Vegas are March-May and September-November. You’ll find that dates within these months are more moderate in terms of temperature. You’ll also find that in the summer, it gets super hot! Definitely keep this in mind when planning your travels. One other thing to note is that since it’s in the desert, you’ll need to be prepared for warmer days and cooler nights!
Depending on where you’re coming from, Vegas can be the perfect road trip destination, but there’s also an international airport that you can fly into. I still remember my first time flying into McCarran International Airport (recently renamed Harry Reid International Airport), where the walls are lined with slot machines & there’s a liquor store right next to baggage claim. No matter how you travel, you definitely have some fun options!
First off – flights. Personally, I’m always going to recommend Southwest! They’re reliable and a great price point. They also have flights going into Vegas every day. Flight options range from $40 (I KNOW) to $250 depending on where you’re coming from, and they also offer two free bags with that lower price as well. Plus…free snacks. Definitely my favorite airline!
Once you arrive at the airport, you can of course Uber or Lyft to your hotel or airbnb for about $15, but if you’d prefer to travel in a little more style, check out these options:
- Omni Limo: They have a few different car sizes for you to choose from – their largest fitting up to 24 people! Their rates start at $48/hour.
- Presidential Limosine: This company offers a lot of great discounts fairly frequently. They’ll give you a better price for a roundtrip service! Generally you can expect to pay around $150.
- Turo: This is a newer rental car service that reminds me of Airbnb, except for cars. Essentially, you are able to rent cars (sometimes as low as $30/day of a base rate) from other people instead of rental car companies. The renters are usually very accommodating, so there’s a chance they can even bring the car to you at the airport! Otherwise, you can uber to their pickup location. Two things to note here:
- Parking is usually free at most hotels and other places, and valets are usually fairly cheap.
- If you stay on the strip, there’s really no need for a rental car. It’s easy to walk to everywhere you want to go, plus you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. When I’m in Vegas, I don’t typically drive. It’s easy to rely on walking and ubering around!
- Party Bus: Of course, no Vegas list would be complete without this option! This company is everyone’s favorite. They have quite a variety of models for you to choose from depending on party size, too. They also offer tours, as well!
Best Hotels & Airbnbs in Las Vegas
It can honestly get a bit overwhelming when considering where to stay in Vegas due to the sheer multitude of options when it comes to both hotels and airbnbs in the area, even when narrowing down by proximity to the Strip. Here are a few of my favorites, in order of price low to high.
- One Bedroom 5 Minutes from the Strip
- One Bedroom on the Strip
- Apartment near the Strip
- Vdara Suite
- 4 Bedroom Home with Pool
There are of course pros and cons to staying in both hotels and airbnbs, but it comes down to your wants for the trip as well as your needs. The Linq & the Flamingo are great affordable options if you’re coming from out of town and want to try to stay in the same spot as your loved ones. They also have great casinos, nearby restaurants, and access to the strip. Personally, I always try to stay at The Linq!
Wedding chapels definitely aren’t hard to come by in Las Vegas. Most locations offer all-inclusive packages for around $300, which features an Elvis impersonator for your officiant (who serenades you) and exchanging your vows in a little white chapel or outdoors in one of Vegas’s scenic spots. Something to note here is that unfortunately not all venues allow outside photographers. If you plan on hiring someone (like me), expect to pay a fee of around $150-300.
Here are the most popular options:
- A Little White Chapel
- Packages range from $50 – $1,250
- Chapel of the Flowers
- Packages range from $299 – $3199
- Bellagio Wedding Chapel
- Packages starting at $2000
- Elvis Chapel
- Packages range from $195 – $899
- Scenic Vegas Weddings
- Packages range from $150 – $899
Eloping in Vegas makes it pretty easy when it comes to vendors since a lot of the chapels offer all-inclusive packages. Note here that some chapels require a fee to bring in your own photographer, so if you plan on hiring an external elopement photographer (like me!) to keep that in mind. Otherwise, whatever you book is completely up to you and what you want as part of your day! If you want a bouquet, I recommend checking out my favorite Vegas florist, Lucid Juliet.
One bonus to booking your photographer in advance is that they’re able to help you with finding other vendors, too. I have my own list of people I can recommend based on my own experiences and research!
There is well over 4,000 restaurants in Vegas for you to choose from, so let me try to help narrow it down a bit! There’s definitely something for everyone here. Here are some of my favorites.
Cheap Places on the Strip
- Eggslut has some of the BEST sandwiches, located inside of the Cosmopolitan. Once you eat, you’re just a few steps away from a cool speakeasy, the Ghost Donkey!
- Taco Bell Cantina is a little bit of an icon as the only Taco Bell that serves alcohol. It’s your standard menu with an added bit of alcoholic fun. It’s conveniently located on the corner within Planet Hollywood.
- Planet Hollywood also boasts Pin-Up Pizza where you can find the largest pizza slices on the Strip. The vibe is great as well with a 1950s theme!
- Peppermill is one of the cooler diners I’ve been to. I personally love the ambience, plus it’s been operating since 1972 so you know it’s a classic! This spot is located near The Venetian, a prime location.
- For Vegan cuisine, everyone will always have POTs at the top of their list! They serve Egyptian-inspired street food & they’re the only spot in Vegas for it.
Higher End Restaurants
- First up is one of my all time favorites and one of Vegas’s most famous spots: Hell’s Kitchen. I still dream about the risotto – literally the best I’ve ever had. The portion sizes are perfect and Chef Gordon Ramsay would be so proud with how tasty the dishes are! This spot books up months in advance, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as you nail your dates down.
- The Top of the World restaurant is the perfect spot for you and your partner to dine after you elope. It has amazing 360 views of Vegas, as you’re literally rotating high in the sky at the Strat Hotel! If you’re a meat lover, you’ll definitely want to stop in for their award winning steaks.
- Kabuto Edomae Sushi serves you not only delicious food but absolutely STUNNING dishes. You can also watch the chefs in action by requesting a seat at the sushi bar. This is another spot that you’ll definitely need to have reservations for.
- Joel Robuchon is the top rated Michelin Star Restaurant in Vegas, featuring the most exquisite of French Cuisine. Located within the MGM Grand, you can enjoy stunning decor with arguably some of the best food in Vegas!
- You know I have to include Saffron when they have some of the best Vegan food in Vegas, as created by a former Hell’s Kitchen contestant! Head to this spot for delicious East Asian cuisine made with seasonal & local ingredients.
Vegas nightlife is constantly buzzing with high volume of clubs and bars available to visit. Each club has something unique to offer, so whether you’re going out for a bachelor/ette party or just a more casual night with friends, there are plenty of options for you! Something else to note here is that working with a promoter is recommended so they can get you on the list and even some great deals. There are often deals for the ladies, such as drink tickets or open bars, and they’ll be the first to know about those!
These are some of everyone’s favorite clubs:
- Starting with my own favorite… Omnia
- XS at the Wynn
- EBC at the Wynn
THE REST OF YOUR TRIP…
If you’re traveling to Vegas for your elopement, definitely make time to visit some of the other things that the city has to offer outside of partying! Vegas has some awesome hikes and scenic sites to check out, such as Red Rock Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Seven Magic Mountains – all within driving distance of the strip!
If you plan on eloping to Vegas, I hope you found that this guide was helpful! I’d love to hear from you about capturing your special day.