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An Elopement Checklist: Right for You?

Not all couples want a big to-do when they get married – many decide that it’s better for everyone to simply slip away and enjoy a wedding without guests. But how do you know you’re choosing to elope for the right reasons? Is elopement even right for you? Here’s a quick checklist to decide if a private elopement is what you really want: Are you independent?
It’s not that all independent couples will want to elope, but couples who are particularly attached to the presence of their families may find elopement isolating. If you’d always hoped to share this moment with more than just your other half (and you’re trying to find out how to ship a bunch of people with you on your “elopement”), you may be eloping for the wrong reasons. You can still have a small destination wedding instead if being alone seems like a big loss! Are you hurting anyone?
While eloping is ultimately your decision, and how you start your marriage should be something you discuss primarily with your partner, family members and friends are usually a big part of the wedding process. Will your parents ever forgive you if you leave them out of the wedding? Will your fiancé’s brother be crushed that he didn’t witness the wedding? Try to discuss your decision to elope with these people before you run off. It’s often unclear how important this process is to people before you ask them about it.   Are you going to miss the gifts?
If you elope, you won’t receive much in the way of gifts and pre-wedding parties. If you’re a fan of fanfare and spice racks at weddings, an elopement probably isn’t for you. But if you want a private exchange of vows away from prying eyes, bachelorette parties, and registries, you probably won’t feel like you’re missing anything too important.   Are you going to do a “do over” wedding later?
The urge to get married immediately can sometimes overwhelm an excited couple, and they may decide to off and elope before they have a chance to throw a big party – the “real wedding” might be planned for a later date. However, the elopement was their “real wedding.” Some guests are put off by “do-over weddings” (or early “vow renewals”) as they sometimes seem a little gift-grabby. If you want a big wedding, it’s best to hold off and have the real thing when you can do what you want with it.   Are you making this decision out of stress/spite?
Wedding planning is overwhelming, and sometimes the culmination of issues and stresses can push a couple to giving up and calling the whole thing off. While these are sometimes viable reasons for more private nuptials, you shouldn’t make these decisions too hastily. Give yourself time to decide what is right for you as a couple – don’t let anyone else make a decision like that for you.
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Reviewing Vegas Chapels: The Luxor Hotel and Casino

Last time, I reviewed a great chapel on the Las Vegas Strip: The Chapel at Mandalay Bay. Not all of Vegas's wedding establishments are as elegant as Mandalay Bay, however, so if you are thinking about traveling out to sin city for your nuptials, a little research is pertinent. Don't stick with the first place you see - the perfect Vegas chapel, like a good Christmas tree, is hardly ever in the first lot.   The Chapel at the Luxor, for example, would not be my first choice for tying the knot in Las Vegas. Here's why:   Unlike the quiet location of the Mandalay Bay chapel, the Luxor's chapel is located right next to the food court. The chapel is over the main hotel lobby and directly behind the seasonal hotel attractions. Though the main rooms of the chapel seemed more or less soundproof, don't expect your entrance to be subtle or private.   I was invited to look around, but no one seemed particularly eager to help. I was told that there were three chapels, but I'm still not sure where the third was. (If you're doing your own research in Vegas, pay attention to how you're treated by the staff. If they don't seem to care that you're there while you're looking around, think about the kind of service you'll receive on your wedding day.)   The decor was also not really what I expected. The main lobby was a little cramped, mainly because of the floral cooler (Unlike Mandalay Bay, which hid their hardware in some other part of the chapel). I felt like I was in an old, important house - the kind with overstuffed chairs and couches that look like they should be comfortable, but aren't. Everything looked more French than Egyptian, and what could have been classic and elegant ended up looking and feeling more old-fashioned.   The detailing in the ceiling was pretty, but it disappeared once I entered one of the first chapels. The chapel was nice, but I wasn't really blown away. The carpet looked very much like the kind you put in a hotel room because it's easy to vacuum, and the chairs were about as comfortable as benches. I'm sure the chapel looks nice in final wedding pictures, but it felt stuffy and cold while I was there. The two cut-out cubby holes at the front of the room had big cameras in them, and it wasn't as subtle as it could have been (though the bunches of dusty silk flowers did try to, unsuccessfully, hide them. I hope they're tucked away better when there's a ceremony on).   Their packages were about the same in price as the ones at Mandalay Bay, but I never really understood what they included. If you're doing research for your own wedding, make sure you know what the price pays for. If all you're getting is an minster and a DVD, consider taking your business somewhere else. There are plenty of options in Vegas for your big day - don't settle without doing your research!
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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.
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Wedding in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is mainly known for its casinos and hotels. It is also known for its weddings. Thousands of couples go to Las Vegas to tie the knot without any hassle. The place has got minimal restrictions in terms of licenses. For a wedding to take place in Las Vegas, you would need to get a license from Nevada. You will just need proof of identity and a fifty five dollar license fee to get a marriage license from Nevada. The next step is to find a location where you can get married. You will find chapels that offer grand ceremonies. You can also find drive up window wedding just for 20 bucks. For a mere extra 5 dollars you can even get fries and a drink. These are some chapels that provide music, flowers and some even clothes. So you actually do not need to do anything but just arrive at your venue. Las Vegas is the place to get married if you want a hassle free wedding. You do not have to arrange for anything at all. You just need to show up with your fiancée and everything will be taken care of. Getting married in Las Vegas gives you the opportunity to have your honeymoon at one of the most happening place in the world.
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