Summer & Ed



Knotties' bios helped me tremendously in choosing my vendors. I want to list not only the vendors I picked, but also why I picked them instead of the other ones I looked at. I hope that can come handy for the future Vegas knotties.
Note everything stated here is just my personal view, so take it with a grain of salt. And, if you picked a vendor I stated I didn't like, please don't be offended. Remember, again, these are just my personal opinions.

Ceremony - Wynn

We have not yet decided if we want it inside or at the Primrose Court. 

So Cal is very close to Vegas, so all our friends and families have been to Vegas many times and are fairly familiar with Vegas. I tell ya, Cali people are spoiled. Anything off the strip is considered ghetto. And my FI is even more spoiled in that he thinks only Venetian and the Wynn are the real nice ones, the rest (Cesears, T.I...etc) are old and just so-so. So we looked at Venetian, Bellagio, the Wynn, and Mandalay Bay (due to its popularity). Here is our thoughts on each:

Wynn: One of the nicest casino in Vegas. When people hear the name (even the So Cal people) they immediately think, oh, that's a nice and fancy place. Haha I know, we are shallow. We really liked the area where the salons are located (the corridor is very pretty) and it's fairly secluded. Also, it's really not that much more than the rest of the decent hotels on the strip.

Bellagio: Knotties don't talk much about Bellagio, and I think there is a reason why. Their packages are very expensive (even the cheapest one is much more than the "just basics" package at the Wynn). We looked at the Terrance outside, and it seemed pretty old. The tiles on the floor are chipped, etc. We didn't like the place, and certainly not the price.

Venetian: I could be wrong, but I think the outdoor package for Venetian is fairly expensive. We thought about getting married on the bridge at St. Marks Square. But it's just not a good idea with our ~80 guestlist. We can't have all these people standing around! Plus I'll probably be too shy with all the random people walking by haha. We then went to check out the salon, but we couldn't even find it. I think it's in the guest tower on the 10th floor or something, which is a very weird location for the salon to be. So FI said forget it. We never made it there.

Mandalay Bay: The salon no doubt is very nice and modern, and the casino itself is pretty decent looking. But we hated the area where the salon is. It's not very secluded at all. The walkway to the salon certainly doesn't have that nice feel as the Wynn. And the deal-breaker was the neon light next to the salon. It just didn't match our vision of the wedding. But I know it's a popular venue with the knotties, and I'm sure there's a reason why. So by all means, go take a look =)

Reception - Maggiano's

We went to Vegas in July to scope out the locations. At first we really wanted something trendy/fancy. As I said, our friends and families are familiar with Vegas, and they actually eat at nice places there fairly often. So we didn't want to be seen as the couple that had a cheapy reception. So at first, we didn't want to look at Maggiano's at all. I mean, it's a chain, in a mall, and there's one right by my FI's house. It's like having a wedding reception at Olive Garden! But, it's sooo popular with the knotties we just had to go check it out. We also looked at the Aureole steakhouse (Mandalay Bay), Rum Jungle (Mandalay Bay), Canaletto (Venetian) and Aquaknox (Venetian).

Aureole: very cool wine cellar! Fancy shmacy steakhouse with very nice private rooms (one of them has a courtyard with swans in a pond!). No room minimum or any fees. Sounds great right? Until I got their menu package. The cheapest menu starts at $90/pp just for the food. There was a seasonal prie fixe menu for $55. I contacted the lady the next day to ask if that seasonal menu would be available on my date as well. Ok, I left the banquet manager a voicemail, an email, and a message with the hostess. I never ever heard back from her. Guess they are snobby =/

Rum Jungle: This was my 1st choice before I went to check it out. The venue is nice and hip, but FI was very much against it. The reason being, the spaces are confined and not private, the lighting too dark (bad for pictures), music too loud (hard to talk), the drinks too expensive, the fees too high ($7.5 cake cutting fee), and overall just doesn't feel very "reception-y" haha. Especially with our ~80 guestlist, I think it's not a very fitting place. But if you have a smaller party, I think it might be nice.

Canaletto: I really like that it's on St. Mark Square. The view is awesome! Too bad the biggest room they had is not all that big. I think with all the tables, there will not be too much space to walk/stand around, so it's hard to mingle and get the party started. Plus, the room has no balcony, just windows. So in the pictures we won't really be able to see the amazing view.

Aquaknox: We didn't make an appointment for this place. But when we walked by I was so impressed by its super trendy decor I had to go check it out. The venue is just amazingly cool looking!! The picture below does not do it justice. But in the end we decided against it because the private room is in the back of the restaurant and a bit confined as well, and the cheapest menu was $69/pp but it doesn't come with a whole lot of food.

Maggiano's:  Ok we don't need a picture for this one cuz I'm sure most knotties already know how it looks like from all the bios. =) Maggiano's was on the bottom of the list, as the "back up" option. But after looking at all these venues and considering the costs, we decided to go with it. There is a reason why knotties love it!The private rooms are very spacious and there is a balcony with strip view. The best part is there is a bar right in the middle of the room, and the super-premium open bar package is a pretty good deal. We had our reservations that people might laugh at our reception venue. But hey, with 4 hours of open bar, people can get drunk and have fun so maybe they will think it's a great venue afterall!

Photography - Jason Q Tran

Photography was definitely the toughest choice! Jason is a local photographer from Orange County. You can see his blog at We splurged quite a bit for him.

We want our pictures to be modern, creative (unique use of angle, position, posing), artistic, and colorful. And one very important thing is CONSISTENT post-production should be applied on ALL pictures. What that means is sometimes you see a blog with wonderful pictures, but then you look at the rest of the pictures in the gallery, they don't look nearly as good. The vivid colors in the blog pictures are not in the rest, so the rest of the pictures look dull and "straight outta the camera"... etc. After stalking hundreds of photographers' blogs and viewing ~70 full galleries, I'm getting a pretty good sense of what I want and which photographers are the better ones.. etc. I cannot stress enough how important it is to view a FULL GALLERY! Do NOT book a photographer solely based on the blog pictures!!

Although we ended up hiring a local photographer, I have talked to just about every popular Vegas photographer on this board as well! But in the end I just decided to go with a local one because there are so many more options in L.A.
Originally I posted my thoughts on all of the Vegas photographers. But I decided to take that part out of my bio. If you would like to know my thoughts on a certain Vegas photographer, please email me. As I said, I've done my research =)

Florist - The Palette

Pam is the most popular florist on theknot, and she works with Maggiano's alot. We have not finalized our contract yet, but we are looking to do 15" cylinder submerged orchids, as well as individual orchids tucked into chair sashes. She is sooo wonderful to deal with! Very sweet and always prompt in getting back to you. I bugged her so many times on trivial questions here and there, and she was always happy to answer everything. I had no idea what I wanted, and Pam helped me to come up with ideas that stayed within (ok slightly over) my budget.
Michelle from Rosy Posy is another popular choice. I also emailed her couple times and she was very nice. But after talking to Pam on the phone I decided to just go with Pam since she is so sweet.

Makeup - Makeup To Remember

I'm Chinese, and us Asian girls all know the horror stories where most non-Asian makeup artists make us look like raccoons. So I searched high and low for a makeup artist that knows how to work on Asian features. Veronica's portfolio on her website featured an Asian girl with dark brown eye makeup, which looked pretty good. I then found a review on another wedding site, where a Japanese girl raved about Veronica. I emailed her and she told me she was very concerned with non-Asians doing her makeup too, and she trialed with different makeup artists, and thought Veronica was the best.
So I picked Veronica, and I'm excited to see how it turns out! Stay tuned =)

Hair & Moms' Makeup - Sarah Vickery

Veronica only does makeup, but she has hair referral. The thing is, I haven't heard much at all about her hair lady. So I set out to find my own hair stylist. Sarah Vickery was mentioned on the board several times, and knotties seem to like her. She comes into the hotel room, which is a lot easier than me going to a casino salon. I book my hair (including trial), and two moms hair+makeup with her. She is a bit slow on communication, which worried me a bit. But she reassured me she will stay in contact once my day is closer.

DJ - All Night Long

At first we were just going to rent an iPod, but FI thought it would be hard not having a MC, so we splurged and got a DJ. I went with ANL because I really don't know any other options. No one talks about DJ really on the board. But honestly, for a DJ that also does MC, their price is reasonable. Definitely better than the ones in L.A.
The reviews I've heard so far are mediocre. They get there and they do the job, not bad but nothing spectacular either. I will report back.

Cake - LV Cake Designs

They are the cheapest around, and they have good reviews. It's a no brainer for us.

Elvis - Travis Allen

At first we were going to book Eddie Powers. He was actually significantly cheaper than Travis. But after hearing Travis' singing on GigMaster, we had to shell out the extra cash go for Travis.

Linen -,

At first we were going to rent from RSVP, but their prices are just too high. We needed satin baby blue tablecloth, and they are $24 a piece, plus tax and delivery. Also, Maggiano's charges 20% service charge on your grand total. So if you use a preferred vendor and have them bill Maggiano's, it will count towards the minimum, but also will be subject to the 20% service charge.
I read from weddingbee that a lot of girls are buying their linens, which is actually cheaper than renting. So I did a lot of searching and comparing, and the websites I mentioned above are definitely the cheapest I can find!
I'm going to do 120" white tablecloth (floor length) with 90" satin baby blue overlay and silver table runner for each banquet table, then silver chair sash for all the chairs. As mentioned earlier, I will also have Pam tuck orchids into each chair sash. I can't wait to see how pretty Maggiano's is going to look like! The best part is, you can always resale your table linens! There are many people looking to buy on weddingbee.

Favors - Godiva

I really had my heart set on the two piece white favor box from Godiva. They are $3.5 a box, or they can tie ribbon for you in your color for $.50 more per box. I almost gave up because it was too expensive. But I found some cheap Godiva gift cards on sale from craigslist one day, and bought $200 worth for $140. I then took advantage of the Christmas special they were running, and got another $40 for free. So in the end they came out to about little over 2 bucks a piece. Godiva is considered pretty fancy, so I hope it adds some class to my Vegas wedding haha.