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A Vegas Wedding Does Not Have to Be Tacky

Vegas Wedding

Throw out those old stereotypes.

So you decided to put a ring on it, and now you're trying to decide where to go. Las Vegas may be best known for 24-hour drive-thru wedding chapels, but in truth the City of Lights is a perfect setting for the swankiest fantasy wedding you can imagine.

Vegas has long been known for its stellar hospitality, and the folks at Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, and Aria will go to any (legal) length to make sure the biggest day of your life is flawless. It may all come at a price, but their comprehensive wedding packages have you covered--from the flowers to the photography, from the cake to the reception. If your loved ones can only be there in spirit, these venues will even set up a real-time webcast to virtually share the moment, no matter the distance. But that's not all.


Vegas, Baby: The Fountains of Bellagio (at top) or stunning views from one of Mandalay Bay's ceremony rooms (below) can serve as backdrop to your vows. And the Rivea restaurant at Delano (above) will cater to your culinary dreams.

18. DO expect to be bumped into and have your feet stepped on.

You want to get married within 24 hours of your engagement? No problem. You want a little person who is a rabbi to dress up as Elvis and officiate your ceremony? Again, not a problem. Did you have a BDSM theme in mind (true story)? Definitely not a problem, and they'll even ensure your privacy.

The only requirement, besides the love of your life being present, is a marriage license. But because they think of everything for you, they will even chauffeur you (in a limousine, of course) to the Regional Justice Office in downtown Las Vegas and wait while you obtain the proper paperwork. If that isn't hospitality, I don't know what is.

Not to mention, they've thought of everything beforehand. Wardrobe malfunction? Or did you forget to pack your tux? No worries. They know the guy who can outfit, tailor, and deliver faster than you can recite all of Elizabeth Taylor's ex-husbands.

Mandalay Bay (@MandalayBay) offers five exclusive venues to exchange your vows. The most unusual is under a canopy of ocean blue water and sea creatures in the Shark Reef Aquarium, North America's only predator-based aquarium. Your party will have exclusive use of the space before the exhibit opens to the public, including the Seascape Ballroom with views of passing sharks. Only one ceremony is performed in the aquarium each day, so if that's your jam you need to jump on it well in advance. If you're eager to brave the outdoors and face the 100-plus-degree summer temperatures, check out Valley of Falls and Mandalay Bay Beach. Valley of Falls, a secluded bastion of tropical flora and waterfalls, is located across the street on the corner of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Mandalay Bay Road.

You want a beach wedding in Las Vegas, you say? No problem. Mandalay Bay Beach makes it possible with its pristine white sand and dramatic view of a lagoon. Alain Ducasse's French-Italian restaurant Rivea (@RiveaLasVegas), located on the 64th floor of the Delano, has the most spectacular view of the strip. The suspended Murano glass sculpture is the perfect background for your Instagram posts.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Aria Resort & Casino's Convention Center (@AriaLV) is Aria's Wedding Chapel, the perfect place to have an intimate traditional ceremony in modern opulence. It's so elegant and lovely you'll want to host your cocktail reception there too. For a social-media-ready ceremony, look no further than the tranquil Focus Waterfall located at the front of Aria. This area can accommodate up to eight guests -- and their smartphones. If you always dreamed of an evening poolside wedding, dream no more. Aria can accommodate up to 100 guests and is available after 8 p.m. It's a great way to enjoy the space without subjecting guests to the ridiculous summer heat. And if it's just the two of you, The Sky Suite is sublime.


No Wedding Day Jitters: Aria's wedding chapel offers a swanky common room (below), and sexy, laid-back lounge where couples can unwind before their vows (above).


The Bellagio (@Bellagio) is the grand dame of Vegas resorts. And yes, it can also help you throw your fantasy wedding. The luxury hotel was inspired by the Italian town of Bellagio, on the shores of Lake Como, a site that plays host to elaborate weddings of the rich and famous. When picking the site for your wedding, nothing compares to Bellagio's Terrazza Di Sogno (Terrace of Dreams) which overlooks the resort's own Lago di Como with a backdrop of the iconic Fountains of Bellagio. Imagine saying your "I dos," and at the moment of your first kiss as a married couple the fountains fly skywards. A more spectacular celebration of your love would be hard to find.

After all, you've waited so long for this moment. You've waited so long to have your love celebrated and legally recognized. You deserve love. You deserve equality. You deserve fountains soaring into the heavens. To me, that screams Vegas.


That's So Gay: Nothing says queer like a lesbian wedding at The Bellagio (above), where the staff will help ensure your special day is more than you imagined.


Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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