Broke-Ass Tag: Las Vegas


Editor’s note: Carrie hasn’t actually made it to the altar yet, so her declaration that “the honeymoon is the best thing about the wedding” is not founded on actual facts or experience. We felt the need to tack on a legally irrelevant disclaimer alerting you, the reader, (henceforth referred to herein as “the reader”) of that fact. 

As you must have realized by now, Zach and I have a pretty hardcore love affair with travel going on. I started traveling internationally at age 16, when I went to Australia and New Zealand through a student exchange program. That experience was all it took to get me hooked on exploring and wandering the globe.  After that, I went on volunteer trips to the Bahamas and Kenya. If you remember all the way back to our “falling-in-love” story, you’ll remember that I left Zach in Ohio when I went to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania. After I got back and things got more serious between us, Zach caught my wanderlust disease hardcore. For the last few years, we’ve basically worked to travel, working overtime and saving all we could and then taking off on epic road trips and adventures. We’ve done multiple road trips through North America, and our seven-month Latin American Odyssey was the biggest adventure yet.

Our world map with pins in places we’ve been!

Needless to say, one of the wedding traditions we’re most excited about is the HONEYMOON!!!  There are just a few small obstacles to overcome first…

  1. We have no money.
  2. Zach has a real job now.
  3. We can’t decide where to go!

Yep, the sad fact of the matter is that just paying for our broke-ass wedding is going to clean out most of our excess funds. Will it be totally worth it? I’m sure! Do I sometimes think we should just go to the courthouse and then book it to Thailand for a month? Hell yes!

There’s also this whole “growing up and getting a real job” issue.  It’s something we’ve somehow managed to avoid…until now! Actually, I still don’t have a “real job” but rather a seasonal internship AND four shifts a week at a bar/restaurant. Zach however, stumbled his way into an awesome job as a line cook in a 4-star restaurant, complete with salary and benefits and everything! It’s a great new phase for him in a lot of ways, but unfortunately ample vacation days are not part of the deal. In the past, we always just up and left our jobs to travel and found new ones wherever we ended up when we got back. Not something we want to do anymore!

Suffice it to say, we will not be able to go on a big honeymoon anytime soon after the wedding, probably not anytime this year.

While it is kind of sad, we’re going to make up for it in a couple ways.

#1. Vegas Friendy-moon!


A lot of our Ohio and east coast friends have never been out west at all. Because they’re a fun-loving bunch, a lot of them are planning to tack on some Las Vegas adventures to their trip when they come out and see us get married. Although Zach and I aren’t really “Vegas types”, we decided to join, realizing we’d never, ever again get a chance to party on “The Strip” with so many of our best friends.  Plus, I’m hoping the hotel will throw some perks our way if I tell them it’s our “honeymoon.”

#2. Real honeymoon in the future.

Despite our more settled, awesome life in San Diego, we can’t go very long without traveling abroad. We’re hoping to go somewhere, anywhere, for at least a few weeks as soon as we can swing it financially and job-wise.  The problem is, we have no idea where to go! Top contenders…

 Spain & Morocco

Gorgeous Spanish beaches


Possibly the most hipster honeymoon destination ever?


We’ve heard Turkey is an amazing country to explore.

Thailand or Indonesia

Southeast Asia would be a dream, but flights are so expensive!!!

Do you think planning two crazy nights in Vegas on the tail end of our wedding is a terrible idea?  And where should we go for the big trip?

  • 9/28

    Over the weekend I had the yo-ho, yo-ho pleasure of attending a wedding in Vegas on a pirate ship.  Yes, you read correctly.  The couple said their I Do’s on the Pirate Ship at Treasure Island, in front of the entire Vegas Strip, and it was truly arrrresome.

    I asked the bride a couple weeks ago if she would be needing any help setting up, breaking down etc., but she said, “Actually, everything is pretty much taken care of by the hotel. I basically just have to show up.”  As a bride who just went through stress after stress with the planning, set-up and design of our wedding, I was supremely jealous of this fact.  I mean, my husband was still at our venue hanging beer bottle chandeliers just hours before our ceremony started, so the freedom to just show up to one’s own wedding without worry sounds almost mythical to me … also because I have been constantly surrounded by couples whose wedding budgets don’t allow for such luxury.  So I thought to myself, how much did they end up paying “extra” for this awesome freedom?

    You can have a full-service wedding at this hotel, with a 100 person guest list, on this pirate ship (or 3 other location choices) for under $10K.

    I cheated and looked it up online … and surprisingly a full-service Vegas wedding for 100 people at a 4 star hotel on a Saturday would cost you around $10k.  Not bad, eh?  My eyes lit up too, when I saw that number.  We talk so much about the difficulty involved in successfully pulling off a big wedding with all the trimmings for under $10K, so needless to say I was happily surprised to see it is entirely possible, and in a big city like Las Vegas to boot!  So let’s break this full-service Treasure Island, $10K Budget wedding down, shall we?

    The “Enchantment on the Song Ship” Ceremony Package

    For $3,360, you get the following:

    • Wedding Ceremony
    • Minister to officiate your event
    • Wedding coordinating services
    • Private bridal dressing room 30 minutes prior to ceremony
    • Invited guest check-in when staying in the resort
    • Exquisite bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere
    • Elegant floral décor for The Song Ship
    • Prestige Photography Package
    • Personalized wedding music (CD audio selection)
    • Commemorative TI wedding certificate holder
    • Premium champagne and flutes
    • Newlywed gourmet treats
    • Limousine service to the courthouse for TI hotel guests
    • Two (2) luxurious spa robes
    • Bridal Hair/Up do
    • Bridal Makeup
    • O Spa Signature Couples Massage
    This sign rested on the deck leading us to the pirate ship wedding…
    The actual pirate ship where they said their vows!
    They were married by a sea captain, and the best man was dressed in full pirate gear!

    Reception packages are sold separately from the ceremony package.  But no matter what type of reception package you end up choosing, every package includes the following:

    • Private
    • Hotel
    • Head
    • Cake
, Registry and
    • Votive
    • Dance
    • Background
    • Custom
    • Staff
    The couple did their first dance to “Sweet Caroline” (bah, bah BUUUH!) And everyone sang along, it was so fun.
    Delicious cake/cupcake tower combo that came with the package.

    As for food and beverage choices for your Vegas Wedding Reception at Treasure Island, you have many options to choose from, but I highlighted the choices that would keep the total (including ceremony) under $10K.

    • 2-hour full open bar: $28/per person
    • Appetizer buffet: $35/per person

    Aside from not having to set-up, break-down, or clean-up your own wedding, the best part about tying the knot in Vegas is the built-in after party. We didn’t have to travel very far for a good time after the reception was over.  So if your guests are still down to dance after the wedding reception has ended, the night club is just steps away.

    I had always thought that a full-service wedding like this, for 100 people, would cost at least $20K, so the fact that we could have had a full-service, no-worries wedding for a total of $10K ($2K less than what we paid for our wedding), makes me wonder why we put ourselves through all that stress.  But in the end, I know we had exactly the wedding we wanted, but the freedom of “just showing up” to your own wedding still remains to be a very tempting prospect … one I encourage others to consider … especially if it’s going to cost you about the same amount.

    Have you guys found any other “full-service, small budget, big wedding” options out there with everything included for under $10k?  If so, please share your wisdom with the Broke-Ass Brigade in the comments below!