Today's comic suggests that there's something tawdry and shotgunnish about a Vegas wedding, albeit also romantic in its desparation. I'm here to tell you it isn't so. (At least, not necessarily.)
The Wife and I got married in Vegas and I still think it was one of the best decisions we've made. We were married at the Luxor, and everything about our experience was good. So based on that, I'll give you ten good reasons to do what The Wife and I did.
1. Nice Chapel. The chapel was attractive, and elevated away from the noisy casino floor. Nothing tacky about it; there were no Elvises (Elvii?) or showgirls in sight; no tacky cupids or gaudy hearts anywhere.
2. Good Minister. The hotel provided a minister, who wisely ignored our request for a secular ceremony and made all our our families comfortable and at ease. He presided over a very nice, dignified, and brief ceremony, and gracefully guided nervous newlyweds through the proceedings.
3. Photographer Included. Indeed, the photographer was professional, quick about his business, and produced some really good-looking pictures.
4. Special Treatment for Guests. There was a special escalator from the chapel down to the reception area so again, our guests didn't have to wade through the casino floor to get from point A to point B.
5. One-Stop Shopping for Catering. The catering department took care of everything but the D.J., and they helped me find a good one in spite of that. What they did do was arrange for decorations, the cake, and the food. The prices for the meals for our guests were quite reasonable (but we're still grateful for the help, Mom and Dad!) and the food was of good quality, considering what most banquet halls put out. They were also accomodating with my desire to have special wine served (I bought it specially from my favorite winery) and pleasant to work with.
6. Accomodating to Family Requests. When my family put together some special decorations for the reception, they were quite happy to give them access to help set up for the event.
7. Free Jacuzzi Suite. In a corner of the pyramid to boot. You can't beat that with a stick.
8. Everyone Likes Vegas. Almost no one invited to the wedding declined the invitation, and almost no one who accepted the invitation flaked. There is always something for everyone to do in Las Vegas. Some people gambled, some people hung out at the pool, some people went to shows, some people played golf, some people drank too much, some people got to spend some quality time at the spa, some people just sat back and enjoyed the spectacle that is Las Vegas. Some people, like us, spent all their time doing stuff for the wedding, too. But no one was bored. They all could get flights in and out of Las Vegas easily; they could all find hotel rooms within their budgets. And no one had to crash in our house.
9. Affordable. The whole package -- wedding ceremony, honorarium for the minister, fee for the D.J., reception hall rental, and catering -- cost somewhere between one-half to one-third of what we would have paid for the same thing would have cost us in the Los Angeles area. And we didn't have to book the reception hall a year and a half in advance -- about three months' notice was quite sufficient for them. Of course, if you want to spend more money on your wedding, there's places in Vegas that will help you do that, too.
10. Low Stress. There was not a great deal of stress in putting it all together; yes, there was some planning and some decisions to be made, but nothing particularly onerous. Much less complicated than putting a trial presentation together, that's for sure. Our wedding, at least, had little tackiness and it was neither tawdry nor desparate. Hopefully it was romantic (The Wife and I were both pretty happy) and enjoyable for everyone.
So that's my advice to young couples looking to get hitched, despite the implied joke of the comic strip today. If E-L-O-P-E can't be in your vocabulary for family-political reasons, the next-best word is V-E-G-A-S. Vegas rocks, especially for weddings.