How We Planned Our Las Vegas Wedding

by Sahirenys Pierce
How We Cash-Flowed Our Wedding

When I tell people that we cash flowed our Las Vegas Wedding, everyone assumes it was a shotgun wedding. Then when I tell them that it was at the Casers Palace they wonder how we could afford it? Because hey when we all think about Casers Palace, it just sounds expensive and I am here to clear a few things up about that misconception. Yes, everything at Casers Palace is expensive, buy their wedding packages are far from expensive when compared to a traditional wedding. 

Wedding vs Debt-Freedom

At the beginning of our debt-free journey, my fiance and I decided to pay off all of our student loans before getting married. But that came with a big discussion of pushing out our wedding or paying off our student loans. Now you might be wondering why we even contemplated between the two. I was in the financial service industry and got scared of the reality of not being able to file for bankruptcy if we hit hard times. Since both of our families struggled so much during the 2008 recession, we decided to start the marriage on the right foot. That meant no sticky strings attaching us to debt that could harm us in the future. 

Therefore, when we had to decide how to cash-flow our wedding and pay off our student loan debt. We decided to make a compromise of opening up the conversation of pushing our wedding back a few months. I was okay with it because I didn’t want to get married in February and preferred a spring wedding. So the conversation wasn’t a deal-breaker and my fiance could care less of when we got married. As long as we got married and started the marriage on a positive note. I love him for that, it showed me that he cared about making our marriage work and considering my fears.

Budgeting for your Dream Wedding

I will be honest, it’s difficult finding a balance of how to spend your money when you’re trying to create a budget for your wedding. For us, we made it extra difficult because we were also trying to pay off debt. So we decided to list out what we needed for the wedding and what we wanted. The list of needs was a wedding was:

  • Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Good food and Drinks
  • Our family

The list of wants for our wedding became a little more of our desire to give our family a big “thank you”. Both of our parents sacrificed a lot to get us into schools in better districts and always supported our talents. All of the work they did in the background positioned us to be great partners for each other. We wanted to acknowledge that we didn’t get to where we were at by our own will, it was a collection of sacrifices. So when I say we wanted to spoil our parents, we did just that. 

Our Wedding Musts

Here are some of the desired wants we wanted to pay for:

  • Paid expenses for all parents 
    • Flights, hotel, clothes, and food
  • Save the Dates photoshoot and invitations
  • Open bar
  • DJ – Latin and American music
  • Flower arrangements
  • Makeup artist
  • Cake and Catering
  • Oscar de la Renta inspired wedding gown
  • Vera Wang suits 
  • Memorable wedding gifts
  • Rehearsal party
  • Dominican Republic Honeymoon
  • Wedding rings and jewelry

As you can see, planning for your dream wedding can get very detailed. But what gets more complicated is getting real prices for all of these expenses. It’s good to have a baseline of what you’re trying to accomplish, but stay flexible with the wants section of your wedding. Because a lot of times you have to modify a few wants in order to get them. An example of this is with our save the dates. We asked one of our friends who does videography to take our photos, even though he doesn’t do photography. From there my husband used his design talents and created custom wedding save the date photos that we still get compliments on.

Did I Still Want A Traditional Wedding?

Once we talked about our wedding budget and wants, we decided to check out venues and prices. Well, we got very well informed on how expensive traditional wedding in San Diego costs. We wanted something that reflected where we were in our lives and where we wanted to go. So we debated on the Rancho Bernardo Inn, which is a gorgeous golf course resort in central San Diego. But the size of the venue that would accommodate our budget and family size was too small and expensive. So our dreams of a traditional wedding were scratched off the board and we needed something fun, budget-friendly, and did I say fun?

Vegas Baby

The year before our wedding, my fiance was working on a project that would require him to get a booth at CES. Knowing that we would be going to Las Vegas this year opened up the curiosity to google what Vegas weddings looked like and costs. To my surprise, the weddings looked gorgeous with beautiful ceremonies, luxury hotel suits, and an amazing variety of restaurants. But what sold me was the wedding packages that included everything we needed for our ceremony. The next thing that sold me was the luxury suits and when it comes to Caesars Palace you already know they’re breathtaking. 

A Caesars Palace Wedding

The best package for us was the Cleopatra Package that costs $2,600 and included everything needed for a beautiful ceremony. So here are the details, because it’s just too good not to share:

  • 2 Nights in Premium Accommodation
  • 1 Night Complimentary stay on your first wedding anniversary
  • 45 minutes of chapel time
  • Dedicated personal wedding coordinator
  • Minister/ Officiant of services
  • Wedding music provided by a professional musician (pianist or keyboardist)
  • Floral Credit of $200
  • Photo Credit of $200
  • One hour of limousine service to the Marriage License Bureau
  • Qua Spa passes for couple (spa services not included)
  • Professional photoshoot during and immediately following the ceremony with Wedding Couple, Bridal Party, and Immediate Family.
  • Ceremony Video with HD digital download of your wedding ceremony
  • Online web-casting of your wedding video for 5 days

Don’t Forget the Other Wedding Expenses

Once putting a deposit for our wedding package and setting a date we picked the HangOver suite at the Casers Palace for our reception. This was a bit of a splurge, but this suite looked like a club with an amazing view of the strip, plus a dance floor. We actually had the room paid for as a wedding gift from my fiances boss costing $1,750 for the night. 

The rest was pretty easy, while in Las Vegas we sampled food and cake. We decided to go with Masterpiece cuisine for food and a bartender that costs about $1,250. Our delicious wedding cake came from Las Vegas Custom Cakes, this place is worth the hype on The Knot wedding website. I also got all of my flower arrangements from Flowers of the Field at a great price for large stem hydrangeas. The last big purchase was the wedding dress that I got from Bridal & Veil in San Diego. I went for an Oscar de la Renta inspired dress with a beautiful crochet pattern that cost around $1,500 including alterations.

How We Cash Flowed Our Wedding Expenses

Cash flowing our wedding for us was using all of our extra income and push that towards saving for the wedding. As expenses for the wedding came due, we would pull the money from our wedding savings fund. At times we would just use the extra funds from our paycheck to make the payment so we wouldn’t have to move so much money around. But in order to do all of this, we first had to budget. We started by setting a joint budget to make sure we prioritized our necessities, our goals, and some lifestyle money so we wouldn’t go crazy. Since we were doing so much, it was important to stick to our budgets and save more at the beginning. As we got closer to the wedding the funds were being pulled for all the upcoming expenses and allowed us to not go into debt.

Closing Thoughts

One of the best experiences in my relationship was successfully cash-flowing our Las Vegas wedding. This was the first financial project that we could be proud of, especially since we paid off our student loans as well. When it comes to managing your finances with your partner it’s important to set goals that you both want to accomplish. This will help you both learn how to work together to accomplish one of the many goals you will share in your relationship. 

Relevant Purchases

Casers Palace – Cleopatra Package

Catering: Masterpiece Cuisine 

Make-up: Sincity Beauty

Dress: Bridal & Veil in San Diego

Cake: Las Vegas Custom Cakes

Florist: Flower of the Field

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