Reviewing Vegas Chapels: The Chapel at Mandalay Bay
Getting married in Vegas isn’t what is used to be. Gone are the days of driving down to the slimy end of the strip for a quick “hey-there-what’s-new-you’re-married” with an overweight and geriatric Elvis. The swanky hotels are stepping it up with entire bridal teams and plush in-house chapels, ready to make everything perfect for your big day. “Caesars Palace” offers a beautiful garden ceremony steps away from their grand pool; “Mandalay Bay” has a wedding package that has you reciting your vows under a pod of sharks (standing room only, I’m afraid); and “Treasure Island” lets you kiss the bride on the same pirate ship that’s home to a horde of scantily-clad singing pirate ladies. So, in short, your choices are a more varied than you might think. I recently took a short trip over to sin city and collected some shaky, blurry pictorials and reviews for your knowledge and benefit. Here’s my review of one of the most highly-rated chapels on the strip: The Wedding Chapel at Mandalay Bay: The Mandalay Bay Chapel makes a good first impression right of the bat, as it isn’t located right in the heart of the busy hotel. It’s tucked away from the casino and shopping district. The lobby was welcoming and much bigger than I expected, and the entire building was also sound-proof. The noise from the nearby convention center was completely damped once the doors shut behind us. There were three chapels to choose from (in the main building – for other options, check out Mandalay Bay’s wedding website), though two of them were nearly identical. The only difference with the third was its slightly larger seating capacity. The chapel seemed to have a preference for calla lilies, but they fit in wonderfully with the soft décor. Whether they were swirled into glass bowls or springing from small planters, it was hard to miss them. My only complaint with the décor is the beading on the wall lamps. Beads dripped from every surface, and I was not feeling it. Though the translucent beads looked nice and simple when draped against the wall, I was not so happy when I noticed them falling from the lamps. It was a little tacky, but the room itself made up for it. There was plenty of seating, the décor was simple and pretty, and the baby grand in the back added a little something extra. What really makes the Mandalay Bay Chapel my favorite on the strip, however, has to be their bridal packages. Not only do they offer the basics (photographer, bridal dressing room, simple bouquet), their deals also offer a variety of options that include free spa visits, romantic dinners, honeymoon suites, champagne, mimosas and breakfasts in bed, and even limo rides to retrieve the marriage license. Their prices range from $750 to a little over $18,000 (for the whole shebang, including reception, bar, cake, and wedding planner). Oh, and if you really want to meet Elvis, they’ve got you covered with the “Viva Las Vegas” package.