In our first Honeymoon Deals Spotlight, hivemember cirk asked for some domestic honeymoon ideas. You asked, and our resident honeymoon expert Sara Margulis, has delivered for us! This week she’s taking us to America’s adult playground: Las Vegas. Sara is co-founder of Honeyfund, the world’s most popular honeymoon registry. Sara and her husband, Josh, also started Plumfund, the easiest way to raise money for travel, gifts or anything else—for free. As a champion of budget-conscious honeymooners for the better part of a decade, Sara’s got an eagle-eye for romantic travel deals. Learn more or start your honeyfund today!
Destination: Las Vegas
Ah, Las Vegas. I absolutely adore you. Once a year I visit you to get away from it all. You make me feel like a sophisticated woman. You make my husband feel like he’s married to Hottie McHottington. (The other 363 days of the year he’s married to a stained-shirt-wearing, weary-eyed, sleep-deprived working mother.) You complete me, Las Vegas. Let’s show these honeymooners how it’s done.
Favorite Resorts for Honeymooners:
The Wynn Resort is arguably the classiest place in Vegas: an ultimate playground designed for adults looking for romance, sensuality, and opulence. (“No strollers” signs are posted throughout.)
From the casino floor to the shows, the spa to the many gourmet restaurants with world-famous chefs in residence, everything you see and taste at the Wynn is designed to delight you. (Bonus for vegans and vegetarians: Steve Wynn is vegan so all his restaurants have options for you!) My favorite place to eat: The Wynn Buffet. (It’s sooooo good, I may have once arrived to the buffet at the end of breakfast and ate my way through the change into lunch.)
Want a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of a Las Vegas casino? Spend the afternoon at one of several pools (“European” options included). Or eat at the Country Club, which Steve Wynn calls “completely different from any other vibe in the whole resort.” By night, visit the top-notch club, XS, which is “happening” all night, every night. Tip: Ask for passes at check-in, or go on a Tuesday (“industry night”) for a reduced cover price.
The Encore tower and (smaller) casino is part of the Wynn resort and offers access to all resort amenities at a similar price, with larger rooms and a more modern décor.
Current Deal: 20% Off 2 nights or more at Wynn Las Vegas
Although I personally haven’t stayed here, I’ve seen it on more than one list of top honeymoon spots in Vegas. It’s described as “modern” and “ultra-chic,” implying the type of luxury you’d want on your honeymoon. Their restaurant collection is outstanding with many top chefs represented such as Eric Bromberg’s Blue Ribbon and José Andrés’s China Poblano.
The Cosmopolitan is central on the Strip, which reflects beautifully in the hotel’s design. For example the 100,000-square-foot casino overlooks the Strip, as do many rooms with balconies. One Trip Advisor reviewer reported getting an automatic upgrade at check-in to a room with a Bellagio fountain view.
Among the three pools you’ll find just the vibe you are looking for, from quiet and secluded to day-club social. In the winter, the hotel transforms the Boulevard Pool into an ice rink that overlooks, of course, the Strip.
The Venetian is a great honeymoon spot for one obvious reason: Italian romance. The rooms are among my favorite in Las Vegas. Italian marble furnished bathrooms, a lush and comfortable bed, and a very charming sunken living room. If you make it outside the room (wink, wink), try a stroll along the promenade at the Grand Canal Shoppes, where live gondoliers serenade you as they navigate riders down the canal. (If you want to actually ride a gondola, I recommend the outdoor ride on the Venetian side.) While at the Shoppes, don’t miss a visit to Barney’s, the famous upscale department store. For bonus points let a personal shopper make up a dressing room for you! Tip: Add some spending money to your Honeyfund and shop guilt free!
The main pool, “Azure,” is a beautiful five-acre complex with three pools and a hot tub. Here you can find a perfect romantic spot without missing out on the “scene.” TAO beach, the day-club pool, can be quite crowded. Not recommended for honeymooners.
In the second “Palazzo” tower, rooms are a bit bigger, and the casino a bit smaller and quieter. Similar to the Wynn and Encore, guests of both towers have access to all resort amenities.
Best time of year to go to Las Vegas:
When it’s not sizzling hot! March to May is best for pool weather and enjoyment of outdoors without overheating. Check with the Las Vegas tourism board for conferences that could interfere with your choice of hotel.
When to book:
Sign up for the casino rewards program and/or email list for the resorts you are interested in at least six months in advance. Book when they email you a good deal. You should not have to pay more than $250 a night for a top hotel.
Top honeymoon activities:
1. See a Show.
There are so many truly entertaining shows to see in Las Vegas, to match every budget. Take a walk down the Strip and you will pass a handful of ticket offices offering discounted tickets on many shows. You can also book in advance through a hotel promotion (see “When to book” above), or look for a resort package that includes show tickets.
Current Hot Activities Deals:
- Discounted tickets to Mystere by Cirque Du Soleil including dinner & show package for under $100
- $25 Off Tickets to La Reve at Wynn
2. Dance Dance Dance
I mentioned XS at the Wynn. Other top nightclubs include TAO at the Venetian and the Marquee at the Cosmopolitan. Your stay at any of these resorts should come with passes to the nightclubs. If not, ask for them when you check in.
3. Adventure Beyond the Strip
Personally, when I’m in Vegas coveting my 48 hours of “me and my sweetie” time, I hardly leave the resort. But as a honeymooner with a week or more to enjoy, I wholeheartedly recommend getting out a bit! For example, did you know winter skiing is not far away from Las Vegas? How about a sunset horseback ride? Visit your hotel’s concierge or do a quick web search, as tours and tour operators are plentiful.
Current deal: Sunset horseback ride and BBQ – save over $40
A chance to see the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The canyon is only four hours by car, or 45 minutes by helicopter from Las Vegas. Helicopter tours are about twice the price of a coach, but you’ll fly directly into the canyon floor!
Current deal: Grand Canyon tour from Las Vegas up to 45% off
More about our resident honeymoon expert, Sara:
I am a wedding-industry CEO and lover of all things wedding, gifting, and travel. I’ve stayed at luxury all-inclusive resorts, hostels, and everything in between. Between myself and my co-founder and husband, Josh, we have visited five continents and will see the sixth this year (South America). Our love of travel fueled our own honeymoon dream, halfway around the world in Fiji. We already had everything we needed for our home, we just wanted one fantastic journey to start our lives together. From the generous contributions of our own wedding guests, Honeyfund was born! Sign Up Today!
Stay tuned next week as Sara jets us off to our next honeymoon locale! Are you headed to the Caribbean for your honeymoon? Where and when are you headed there?
Catch up with all of Sara’s honeymoon tips and ideas here.
Oh guys. This post is hard to write. Mostly because it’s embarrassing. And, I kinda feel like a failure. But I try to keep it real, so here you go…the dreaded wedding weight update post. *deep breath in*
Back in May, I told you how I’d lost 45 pounds. I wasn’t quite done with my weight loss, though. In June, I showed off my results from the 100 push up challenge. Well, then life kind of happened. My dad got sick, and I was in Arizona for three weeks. And then August and September hit. I’m not even quite sure what happened (I wasn’t going crazy with the food or anything), but I gained about 15 pounds.
ceemonkee shows off her art deco citrine engagement ring.
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If there’s one item that I knew I wanted to splurge on from the beginning, it was food. Remember how I said that I couldn’t remember things like napkin details from a single wedding I’ve ever attended? Well, I remember the food clear as day. (I can feel my tummy rumbling just thinking about it!) We love barbecue and thought it would be a fun direction to go. I’m noticing more couples going that direction recently, and I’ve got to say, that’s a trend I can get on board with!
Side note: Our very favorite is Hawaiian food. We have a couple really good, authentic spots around town that we overeat at all the time. We eventually decided that Hawaiian food may be too “theme-y” and backed away from the idea. We have not, however, slowed down on our consumption.
I’ve been researching caterers for quite a while, and several of the BBQ joints in town are restaurants, so we knew going in what their food was like. I found a place in Tumalo, Oregon called Bad Boys BBQ that sells meats by the pound and beans by the gallon, and immediately thought that they might fit the bill. Well, these pictures helped convince me, too. *mouth waters*
Seasons greetings, hive! Mrs. Mouse brought back the hive-wide holiday card swap this year, and we’re thrilled to see that so many hive members participated! We’ll be showing off the hive’s awesome cards right here on the blog, in two parts! Today, part one…
donna_saur – Bought ornaments from Kirkland’s and used the backs for my holiday greetings!
I never really thought that drawing up a floor plan would be a major dilemma. Of course, table assignments might be a headache after RSVPs come in, but I always thought that the tables just sort of…placed themselves. Well, as far as our venue goes, I thought incorrectly.
I didn’t much consider the floor plan until we discussed it with the catering manager at our tasting. OK, that’s not exactly true. We talked about it during our initial walk through—“the dance floor will go here!”—but we never sat down and counted seats and tables or anything like that.
Now we are starting to actually think logistically. Our venue is slightly unusual in that the reception area is two stories—a main level and a balcony/loft on the second floor. I actually love the second floor—it has sweeping views of the creek and allows for a bird’s eye view of the main level. This was a huge selling point to me.
Taking a cue from Miss Border Collie (thanks, Ms. BC!!), I need to ask: WWBD (What Would Bees Do)?!
As you’ve already seen, our venue is pretty unique. I don’t think that our guests will necessarily expect the flow of our wedding to be “normal,” but I do want it to feel natural.
Here come the Goog-Maps screenshots again (handy little buggers, I told you!).
Disclaimer: Hive, the pictures that await you are some of the most crudely drawn-on pictures I’ve ever seen. Please take pity on my awful Paint skills (or obvious lack thereof, as it were).
Above is a screenshot of our venue. Below is a screenshot of our venue with what appears to be alien markings all over it. Please continue reading. Please.