On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of attending a wedding. When I usually think of destination weddings, I picture Hawaii or some other dreamy beach location. Now, I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I’ve heard it’s so unbelievably beautiful … and expensive. I can imagine flying even a small family out to the islands could quickly become cost-prohibitive for most people. But Las Vegas isn’t very far away, or expensive if you don’t want it to be. In fact, you could easily make it into a road trip from Texas. Hotel accommodations range from very affordable to luxuriously pricey. There’s plenty to do in Las Vegas too, so in between wedding-related events, guests can enjoy the wonders of the city.
My trip started with an early morning flight from San Antonio. I always suggest leaving early for Vegas so you can take advantage of a full day there. Once we arrived, we checked into our room at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, which had an incredible view overlooking the famous Las Vegas strip. The beds were luxurious, and the bathroom was stocked with many amenities to make our stay comfortable.
My husband was with me for this trip. We both enjoy gambling, so we eagerly went down to the casino area to have some fun. We played slots and some table games and made our way into a poker tournament, where we met many interesting people from all over the country and beyond. It was our lucky night! We both won in the tournament and gained some extra play money, so our first day there was a success. We spent the next day visiting various casinos and taking in the sights. There is so much to do, no matter what you enjoy, in Las Vegas.
The nuptials were planned for our last full day in Vegas at the MGM Grand’s Forever Grand Wedding Chapel. I’m not sure if having the wedding on the last day worked out to the bride and groom’s advantage, but it certainly made for a fun last night there. Getting prepped for the wedding was easy as pie. When we arrived in Vegas, the groom went for a tux fitting as soon as we arrived at the hotel. And the bride had her dress (she brought it from Texas) delivered to the hotel concierge so that it could be steamed.
Now, the bride could have purchased her gown in Las Vegas. In that case, she wouldn’t have needed to haul extra baggage (stuffing a huge ball gown into a suitcase wasn’t exactly easy), and she wouldn’t have needed to get it steamed. But finding a gown last-minute and off the rack might not have worked out. What if she hadn’t found her dream dress? Still, as someone who had a big traditional wedding, these preparations seemed quite stress-free.
On the morning of the big day, we woke up relatively early (we were on Vegas time, of course). We had a delicious breakfast, and then it was time to get dolled up for the wedding. The bride had an appointment at the Cristophe Salon in the MGM Grand; the service was included in her wedding package. We were greeted by the sweetest staff who made our time at the salon so relaxing. We were served champagne as we bubbled with excitement over the upcoming ceremony. The makeup artist was easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. And when she finished her work on the bride, she looked like a flawless movie star. Next it was time for the hair. The bride opted for the glamourous big hair with long curls that has been so popular on the red carpet recently. Once her hair was done and her veil was placed, she was ready to get married.
We made our way to the chapel dressing room to help the bride into her gown. As we got her dressed, the staff brought in her beautiful white and red rose bouquet and the boutonnieres for the groom and best man.
The ceremony was sweet and heartfelt. It was short, but every word was extremely meaningful. We all celebrated as we exited the chapel with the new husband and wife, and then waited as they took a few photos for their keepsake book.
The couple opted for a very minimalist package so there wasn’t a formal reception following the ceremony. The venue does have many options, however, to satisfy the wishes of every bride and groom. In the case of this wedding, we all went to dinner with the bride and groom to celebrate following a quick wardrobe change. Once dinner was over, we embraced the entire Vegas experience: We walked around, enjoyed cocktails at various bars, gambled, danced and enjoyed a lovely night celebrating the newlyweds.
It wasn’t a traditional wedding by any means, but it was exactly what the bride and groom wanted: a stress-free and fun destination wedding. The hotel was accommodating in every way; the salon did an impeccable job on the bride’s hair and makeup; the chapel was sweet and intimate; and the night was unforgettable. Anyone interested in having a highly customizable wedding experience should look no further than the Forever Grand Chapel at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
To learn more about wedding packages and rates at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, please visit www.mgmgrand.com.
Photos courtesy of MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino