When I got engaged, it was one of the greatest days of my life. That was back in November of 2014 and almost immediately after I said yes, I started planning the wedding. It was going to be the best and most inexpensive wedding anyone had ever been to, I was sure of it. I was picturing a classic red barn with the most elegant decorations and my mom’s wedding dress. The theme would be Rustic Vintage and I had it all planned out in my head, down to the centerpieces of flowers strung together with burlap and the bales of hay that would be the seating for the ceremony. You can actually check out my wedding Pinterest board here to see exactly what I had had in mind. I was in wedding heaven for those first couple months of my engagement, and I say months only because the first month after I was engaged, I was in Navy boot camp and didn’t do any planning. It wasn’t until I was medically discharged in January 2015 that I really got to dig in deep and when I did, I was quickly disheartened.
I had read a lot of articles and pinned a lot of posts about doing an inexpensive wedding that would still be amazing and I had been really encouraged and optimistic about it because my now-husband and I did not have a whole bunch of money to spend on a wedding. I couldn’t even really make a budget for the wedding planning because we literally didn’t have any money saved. How was I supposed to plan a wedding with no budget? I didn’t give up, though: I searched for weeks for the perfect venue that was as inexpensive as I could find and finally found the dream spot. It was an authentic barn only 20 minutes from where we lived at the time in Michigan and it was absolutely wonderful. I fell in love with it as soon as we drove up. The barn was indeed red, and the inside looked like it was straight out of my mind for what I had been picturing: old wood covering every inch, a loft that was ideal for the place for the DJ, a great dance floor in the middle of the room and plenty of places to decorate it with millions of twinkling lights for the reception.
Now, we had set a date for a year and a half later, October 2016, because we figured that would give us enough time to hopefully get enough money together and also there was no need to rush. The venue was priced at $1000 (which is practically unheard of for any halfway decent place to get married) for the summer of 2015 but the rates were going to be going up due to expansion for the summer of 2016. The owners didn’t know what the rates were going to be yet, but they put our name down for our weekend and said that they would get in contact when they had more information.
Long story short, a few months later, when every other possible venue was already booked for 2016, the people called us and said that their rates were going to be tripling yet they didn’t even get approved to expand or add any additional features to the package. I was furious because there was no way that we were going to pay 3x the original amount for the exact same package. It was around that time that Josh and I started talking about eloping and oh my goodness am I so incredibly happy that we did. The reasons that we ended up going to Las Vegas to get married (and no we did not get married by Elvis) were things that most people ignore or overlook when they end up spending thousands and thousands of dollars on their weddings so I am going to share with you all of those reasons why, if you’re getting married, you need to seriously consider eloping in Las Vegas.
The first reason is kind of a no-brainer. Obviously, the cost of plane tickets to Vegas are going to be a hell of a lot cheaper than $27,000, which is the average cost of a wedding in the United States right now. Even after you factor in the cost of your dress and the marriage license (which you have to get no matter where you get married), the cost of the chapel or venue in Sin City, any entertainment costs (booze, gambling, events, etc.), food and hotel, it still only comes out to a couple thousand dollars. And not only do you use that money for the actual wedding, but you also get to make it a vacation (and honeymoon like we did).
2. Minor planning
Of course any kind of vacation or wedding takes planning but the four day weekend that my husband and I spent in Las Vegas for our wedding took so much less time to plan and figure out all of the details than the months and months I had spent planning a wedding that never ended up being able to work out. It was such a simple process that I probably took a week to do.
3. Limited stress
This reason coincides with the previous reason in that the less that you have to plan, the less stressful it’s going to be. If you don’t have to spend months agonizing over flowers and caterers and all of that other crap, your mind is going to be a lot more at ease. Not to mention the actual ceremony won’t be as crazy and make you lose your mind. Things can always go wrong, but I think that when there’s a lot more at stake and a lot more that went into an event, there are a lot more catastrophes that can happen. Getting married in Las Vegas was pretty much a carefree affair, aside from us almost being late to the chapel because my lack of time to get ready. There, I should have planned a little more.
4. The need to please fewer people
Pleasing people was a HUGE factor in why Josh and I decided to elope in Vegas. The months that I had spent planning all these different weddings all ended up being futile because there was no way that I was going to be able to do it in a way that pleased everyone. And I know that a girl’s wedding is supposed to be ‘her day’ and she should do what she wants, but it’s always a lot more complicated than that. In fact, me going to Vegas to elope didn’t please hardly anyone except for myself and my husband but it was what I wanted for ‘my day’.
Things that have to do with family and weddings partly coincide with pleasing people, more so for me it was that I have family in a lot of places around the country. Part of the reason I kept changing plans for the wedding so much was that I was trying to include EVERYONE and there was just no way. I’m originally from Colorado so a lot of my close family lives there. At one point we talked about having the wedding there because of the fact that it’s a stunningly beautiful place to have a wedding, but also because that’s where I grew up. My parents and siblings live in Michigan, where we lived at the time and 90% of Josh’s family lives so most of the plans we made were for a wedding in the mitten but that excluded my family in Colorado that couldn’t come and it was always a big circle that I couldn’t find a happy place to land on.
6. Shorter wait
The biggest reason that Vegas was the right choice for us was because we were able to do it so easily and so quickly. We bought our tickets and planned everything out at the end of November 2015, and were at the altar in January 2016. Whenever someone wants to get married quickly, people always ask, “What’s the rush?” But for us, it wasn’t rushing anything. We’d already been living together for over two years and engaged for one. All of that time that I kept changing the date of the wedding because I couldn’t get anything to go together, it sucked. I love my husband more than anything in this world and I just wanted to be married to him already. I wanted to finally start our awesome lives as a married couple and while some people just say that marriage is just a piece of paper, I disagree. It was the two of us becoming a solid unit and pronouncing our love in the greatest way possible. I was done playing around and waiting.
Okay, weddings are almost always fun, I get that. But Las Vegas is absolutely 10 times more fun than any wedding, and at a fraction of the cost. While we were in Vegas we rode a ton of rides, did some gambling (which I found out I shouldn’t do anymore because I’m so great at losing money), walked the Strip in all of it’s glory, walked down Fremont Street and rode the zip line there, went to the Hoover Dam, and just overall had such a blast! That weekend, even aside from the fact that I got married and it was wonderful, was one of the most fun weekends I’ve ever had. There is so much to do in Las Vegas so it was the ultimate wedding vacation.
Below is a gallery of my wedding pictures in Las Vegas!