So you want a wedding with a difference? One that you and your guests will remember forever, where you’ll feel like a superstar and your every wish will be met?
Yes, you could head for the Maldives and get married to the sounds of the Indian Ocean gently lapping waves in the background or jet off to the sun-drenched island of Sicily. But, then again, you could equally head for a city where hospitality and spectacle come as second nature and which offers something for everyone – Las Vegas.
Now the first thing to do is put aside the thought of tacky ceremonies being held in plywood chapels and being officiated over by Elvis impersonators. Yes, these exist, but it’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the most lavish ceremonies you can imagine in truly spectacular surroundings, plus the chance to try your luck on the table games or slots too if you’re that way inclined.
Casinos ensure that visitors are greeted with spectacular surroundings. Lots of thought goes into the design of the building, mainly to ensure that visitors spend as much money as possible! Everything from the where the crowds gather to what the visitors see when they first enter is considered, the casino design principles are certainly fascinating. Those planning a Vegas wedding have a huge amount of option to choose from, from the boutique – or as boutique as Vegas gets – to the truly grand, the choice will be yours.
Palms Casino Resort
Built by the Maloof family, who still own a 2% share, Palms Casino Resort first opened its doors in 2001 and from the very first day positioned itself as a magnet for the younger crowd and celebrities alike.
Part of this aim comes out in their selection of superb wedding packages, which add a whole lot of glamour to the occasion, whether you’re planning a small intimate do or a major extravaganza – they say they can handle parties of up to 400 in three possible venues: their fantasy suites, ballroom, or by the poolside.
Their wedding package includes floor-length linen in white or black, banquet dining chairs and a variety of glassware, china and silver options – and they can even help you design your wedding cake, starting at $10 per person.
To pamper you for the big day there’s a 55-room spa and you can choose to enjoy the ceremony by the poolside or high up in the gorgeously-appointed Fantasy Tower. And it’s hard to imagine a more spectacular place to enjoy pre- or post-ceremony drinks than in the Ghost Bar, 55 floors up above Vegas with 180-degree views of The Strip.
Then, head for the casino itself and you’ll love its 95,000 square feet filled with 1,300 slots and table games including baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette.
The MGM Grand
When the MGM Grand first opened in 1993 it was strongly themed to The Wizard of Oz – a nod to the film company that owned it. Today the yellow brick road may be gone but there’s plenty of magic still there.
The first piece of good news is that there’s a discount of up to 30% on the room rate for anyone getting married in the hotel which, incidentally, is the biggest in the USA with over 5,100 rooms and suites to choose from. So that could mean you have a little more to play within the huge 171,500 sq ft casino area where you’ll find 2,500 slots machines as well as 139 poker and table games to occupy you.
When it comes to places to hold your ceremony you’ll find you’re equally spoilt for choice with an Italian-style Terrazza, a Parisian terrace, a more relaxed poolside cabana or two very ornate chapels in ivory, pearl and rose being just a few of your options.
Wedding packages at the MGM grand start surprisingly low, at $750 plus tax for up to five guests. That includes the cost of two wedding planners, photography, and a live pianist. Or, if you’re hoping for 40-50 guests, you can expect to pay around $10,500 plus tax for the same provisions.
Luxor Las Vegas
Also owned by MGM Resorts, Luxor Las Vegas is where the spectacular really comes to life. Ever since it first opened in 1993 the $375 million pyramid was the tallest building on the strip and housed over 2,500 rooms and a 100,000 sq ft casino – this has since been increased to 120,000 sq ft with 1,100 slots and 69 table games including roulette, blackjack and poker.
The hotel has also made itself permanently visible thanks to the iconic 42.3 billion candlepower Luxor Sky Beam that, on a clear night, can be seen by cruising aircraft up to 275 miles away.
As you’d expect, the wedding packages on offer are superb, whether you want to be transported back to Ancient Egypt or even the world’s most famous ocean liner, the Titanic. For more intimate ceremonies there is a small chapel with a number of packages available and there are even facilities for webcasting the ceremony to those who can’t make it in person.
A wedding in the chapel ranges from $435 for use of the small chapel, including flowers, photography, and speakers. At the other end of the scale, the Titanic-themed option will set you back $1,875 – but that includes all the added extras, like the use of the grand staircase, champagne, and designated seating for up to 20 chairs.
On the site of the old Hacienda, the Mandalay Bay is the third of the MGM Resorts-owned properties in the lineup. It’s a multiple award-winner too having been voted The Knot Best of Weddings for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, 2016 and 2017 as well as being named Best Wedding Chapel by Las Vegas Bride Magazine.
A six-strong team of wedding planners and experts are on hand to ensure that everything goes perfectly on the day and to make sure that all your requirements are followed to the letter. Whether it’s the Romantic Bliss ($1,500 or $1,800 on weekends), Just Lovely (the same price, but including a suite with VIP check-in), or the more basic Bay Love ($950) package you prefer – there are options to suit every budget.
There are also all of the other services you could ever want from bespoke flower arranging to personalized cake design. In fact, they will be able to take so much off your hands that you’ll have all the more time to enjoy the 135,000 sq ft casino with its great mix of 1,700 slots and table games including baccarat, craps, roulette, and blackjack.
M Resort Spa Casino
At just 390 rooms the M Resort Spa Casino is what counts as a boutique hotel in Vegas terms and if you’re looking for a more relaxed, less frenetic vibe, but still with an excellent casino attached, then this could be your perfect choice.
Developed by Anthony Marnell III at an estimated cost of $1 billion, it first opened in 2009 and in 2010 it was bought by Penn National Gaming who still own it today.
The resort’s design is the most contemporary of the five listed here and it’s also in a superb location – 400 feet up overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. The spectacular outdoor terraces and infinity pools make the perfect backdrop for the ceremony and there are a number of packages and location to choose from including the exclusive LUX perched on top of the M Resort Tower. An all-inclusive ceremony at this resort will cost $2,600, with a choice of three venues – the lofty Lux suite, the pool terrace, and the pool catwalk (which you’ll pay an extra $1,000 to reserve). Wedding reception packages start at $115 per person.
They even offer a casino with a difference. Cool in design, and atmosphere too, it’s open air and covers 92,000 sq ft flooded with natural light and featuring all the latest slots as well as table games including Pai Gow Poker, craps, and roulette.
In a nutshell
So hopefully these have all given you some food for thought when it comes to arranging a wedding with a difference. And with such choice, the thrill of the casino and almost guaranteed good weather for the photographs, what else is there to think about?