Complete Guide to Planning Your Las Vegas Wedding or Elopement

best wedding photographer in las vegas

Beginning your Wedding Planning Journey for your Las Vegas Wedding

If you’re here you’re probably pretty overwhelmed with the incredible amount of options on how to get married in Las Vegas. We know there’s a lot of noise out there and it’s really easy to fall into wedding planning paralysis where you feel stuck. And that’s a feeling that you don’t deserve to have with your wedding planning experience.

We hope that this guide helps you feel empowered, educated, and informed to planning your dream Vegas Wedding so that it’s magical and perfect. Make a cup of your favorite tea and grab your wedding planning notebook – we’re here to share everything we know about planning a gorgeous wedding in Vegas. And of course, if you have any follow up questions or want to inquire about wedding photography for your vegas wedding – we are always here to help.


You’ve decided on Vegas. But the way you get married matters.

If you are thinking about getting married in Las Vegas, and are specifically having a destination wedding you need your vendors to be both incredible as well as responsive. Yes, you can show up at a drive through wedding venue and get married in Las Vegas with zero thought or effort put in. You can also go with an on strip venue that either includes everything with no customization even allowed or you just don’t want to. Do you want to show up at your wedding day and have the exact same wedding as 10 other people that day? Do you just want something super cheap and cheesy with Elvis? If any of the above applies to you – this blog is not meant for you.

If you deeply care about your wedding day experience and you want your wedding to be memorable, personalized, and downright gorgeous – this is most definitely the guide for you so keep reading so you can be very well equipped, empowered, and supported in planning your dream wedding in Las Vegas.

We started this educational blog series about Vegas weddings about a year ago and the blog we’re about to share with you is the first one we wrote. It was because we were fed up with our couples being told NO by their wedding venues. One of the unfortunate truths about weddings in Vegas is that it’s very commodified. What I mean by this is a lot of the mill-style venues on the Strip want you to have the exact same wedding as everyone else. By them providing everything (Often at a rock bottom price with uninspired design, impersonal vows etc.) they save a lot of money by keeping everything “in-house”. Which is good for couples who don’t care about how their wedding looks or feels. But that’s not you, right?

valley of fire wedding photos

Picking a Wedding Planner in Las Vegas

Whether you’re having an intimate Las Vegas Wedding or a huge soiree of a wedding at Lake Las Vegas – odds are you need a wedding planner. We have documented over 150 weddings in our careers and it is ALWAYS obvious which weddings we photograph have wedding planners. Wedding planners help days go SO smoothly so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Little mini catastrophe with the wedding arch? Don’t you worry – your wedding planner has seen it ALL and is ready to put out all the metaphorical fires. For a once in a lifetime day – we really think a wedding planner is necessary. Also – it helps TREMENDOUSLY with our destination brides and making their dream day become a reality – no matter how far away they’re coming from.

That is why we wrote our article with the Top 10 Wedding Planners in Las Vegas. These are trusted wedding planners who are incredible at their jobs. If you want a wedding that will blow you and all your guests away – they can all make it happen. They can also help you pick other vendors for the little details like who will do your hair and makeup, florists etc. They’re like a wedding planning sidekick and superheroes. They’re that good and they’re ready to help you put your vision to life on the most important day of your life. Do you like stress free fun? Then you need a wedding planner. Still thinking “ehhh, I can do this ALL on my own”. Humor us. Click here to see the 5 Signs You Need a Wedding Planner. If the majority hold true – thank us later.

the grove las vegas wedding

Best Time of Year to get Married in Las Vegas

If you are planning your destination vegas wedding you might have absolutely no clue what our weather is like throughout the year. Do you think it’s hot year round? I am currently snuggled up in a blanket with some hot cocoa (It’s December at the time of this writing) and I can tell you with a firm no, it’s not hot year round here. Depending on where you’re coming from you might like some months more than others. Here is our guide with monthly charts on average temperatures. Use this guide, Best Time of Year to get Married in Las Vegas, to help you narrow down when the best time to get married in Vegas will be for you.

the doyle las vegas wedding

Picking a Wedding Venue in Las Vegas

The very next thing we recommend reading is One thing you NEED to know before booking your Las Vegas Wedding Venue. This guide covers wedding venues on the Las Vegas Strip that allow outside vendors, the top 10 wedding venues for small weddings, and the top 10 wedding venues for mid to large size wedding. We think it’s imperative that venues allow you to customize your wedding day and firmly believe in this philosophy. A large majority of venues don’t allow any customization (ew!) and is not widely understood by our destination brides. This means if you want your best friend to officiate, or us to photograph your wedding – we literally can’t. The venues won’t allow it. The guide above clearly explains why, how it benefits them, and what venues DO allow you to customize your wedding day.

wedgewood las vegas wedding

The Best Wedding Venues in Las Vegas

Now that we’ve covered a lot of the important things that will be useful for our destination couples (Did you know before reading this las vegas wedding planning guide that it’s not hot year round?!) Tell us in the comments below! I know the next thing on your to-do list is to pick a wedding venue. If you opted not to get a planner (Or even if you did and you just want to do some individual research on what the best places to get married in Vegas are)- we wrote a list that has our top 17 favorite Vegas Wedding Venues.

Out of the hundreds of wedding venues in Vegas – these are the absolute best. And the cherry on top? They all allow customization to your wedding day so you don’t have to worry about weird and icky rules saying what you can and can’t do on the biggest day of your life. You can have your best friend officiate, bring llamas to your ceremony – whatever you want.

We know that without being here or having help on the ground in Vegas it can make wedding planning incredibly overwhelming. We’ve been told our list is super helpful – so we hope it helps you too! Now – you might have looked at that list and gone ugh that’s for people having a large wedding.

While this is normally what we as a Vegas Photography Studio shoots – we also do Elopements year round and have made a list just for you too. No bride/groom left behind!

Here’s our Top 11 Places to Elope in Las Vegas list if you’re planning on eloping in Vegas or want to have a non-chapel micro-wedding off-strip.

red rock canyon wedding

Getting legally married in Las Vegas (And Common Mistakes!)

We know this isn’t the most fun thing to talk about – because filling out loads of paperwork reminds everyone of the DMV, right? Just me? Well as someone who got hitched in Vegas myself – this is super important. We shoot weddings all over the west coast so know the in’s and outs of Nevada Wedding Licenses, California Wedding Licenses etc. Nevada is a bit tricky compared to the rest of the Western States. Probably because Vegas is the wedding capital of the world we have some weird rules that are a must know. Even as a Las Vegas Wedding Photographer – I didn’t do this right and had to get “legally” hitched at a drive through wedding the day before my own wedding. Whoops, haha. That being said – here is our Step by Step Guide to Getting Legally Married in Las Vegas (And how to avoid common mistakes!)

desert elopement photographer

How much do Weddings in Las Vegas cost?

We know one of the most important things to planning your wedding is creating a budget and sticking to it. We know it is easy to get overwhelmed while planning your wedding (psssst. a wedding planner will help you with this!). We wrote this guide on how to create a realistic budget for your Las Vegas Wedding and elopements that we hope you find helpful.

reflection bay wedding

Final Thoughts on Planning your Las Vegas Destination Wedding

We know that was a lot. Because that’s the thing about weddings – they’re a really big deal. There is a lot of work, love, and collaboration that goes into planning a wedding. We recommend trying to start planning your large wedding about 2 years in advance just to give you as much flexibility and time to breathe as possible through the process. Also – vendors like photographers and venues – we book things up to 2 years out. It’s 2021 right now and we just got our first 2023 booking last week. Crazy, right? Well for some vendors – we can only take on so much work especially for popular dates like Saturdays and palindrome dates. For us at Fig + Willow we have a small team of creatives to increase the likelihood that we’re available for your date when you reach out if you reach out in advance. But for places like venues – they generally have one wedding per day and that’s it. So it’s important to book your key vendors in advance so you can build your dream team of vendors.

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to go piece by piece. Not everything needs to be accomplished in a day. Make sure you prioritize what’s truly important to you. Budget appropriately. And remember – the end result will be in the first day of the rest of your lives and is worth it. Trust the process and of course, have a great team on your side that will help prepare you.

We hope this comprehensive guide to planning a wedding in Las Vegas was helpful and if there’s anything we missed feel free to reach out!