North Las Vegas wedding venues aim to avoid ‘Vegas’ stereotypes

Las Vegas is referred to as the wedding capital of the world, but some visitors end up tying the knot in less globally known areas of the valley. In particular, North Las Vegas and the northwest valley run counter to the stereotype of marriages here being held at drive-throughs or Elvis-themed chapels.

North Las Vegas and the northwest valley appeal “more to the locals and not so much to the tourism crowd, because I think the tourism crowd tends to want to stay close to the Strip,” said Julie Nourish, wedding planner and owner of Custom Las Vegas Weddings & Events.

Dawn Mickens, the founder of a wedding-officiant company known as Timeless Connection, said outsiders tend to overlook the North Las Vegas area.

“It’s beautiful as far as the parks are concerned,” she said. “The greenery is beautiful for outdoor weddings if you want that, and there’s also the mountain view.”

Kris Labuda, the president of the Las Vegas Wedding Chamber of Commerce, said downtown Las Vegas and the Strip are popular wedding sites because of their density of chapels.

Pastor Tyrone Seals of New Birth Baptist church, 3610 N. Rancho Drive, said he has been officiating weddings for 40 years at places including Craig Ranch Regional Park, Floyd Lamb State Park and Mount Charleston.

“I think it’s more peaceful and not as congested as getting married on the Strip,” he said.

North Las Vegas has a prevalent faith-based community, which makes getting married at a church popular, Labuda said.

“I feel like a lot of times people are not aware that we have very God-fearing people performing weddings in Las Vegas,” she said.

Seals officiates and hosts about five weddings a month at his north valley church.

“I don’t do a “Vegas wedding,”” he said. “I do a very serious, God-based ceremony. I challenge the couple. In the church, they automatically expect that challenge.”

The 2,040-acre Floyd Lamb State Park in Tule Springs, owned by the city of Las Vegas, hosts 95 percent of the 35 weddings a year that take place in the city’s parks, said Erin Clark, a specialist in the city’s permitting and parks special events department.

“I’ve steered people to Floyd Lamb State Park for people who wanted something unusual,” Nourish said. ”I think it’s not something you typically think of for a Las Vegas park.”

Floyd Lamb features mature shade trees, four ponds, picnic areas and scenic paths.

To host a wedding at Floyd Lamb, it costs $100 per permit with a two-hour minimum for up to 200 guests (for just the park area). For 200-400 guests, it’s $150 and goes up by $50 for every 200 guests after that, Clark said. Weddings at other Las Vegas-area parks cost the same, Clark said.

Clark said she often recommends Lorenzi Park, 3333 W. Washington Ave., for weddings because it is more centrally located.

Other options in the northwest region include casinos. Catering manager Patricia Bova-Pino said Texas Station hosts an average of 100 ceremonies and receptions a year. The casino has held weddings mostly for locals but also receives tourist inquires, she said.

The casino offers two ballrooms that often are used for receptions, the Houston and the Dallas (which accommodates as many as 1,000 guests), and a wedding chapel that accommodates as many as 200 people.

Using the wedding chapel costs $325-$750. The reception packages range from $29-$38.

Catering director Desiree Bennett said the Aliante casino hosts fewer than 100 weddings a year. The casino has a large ballroom that can be divided into four sections, depending on the size of the wedding, she said. The areas can be split to accommodate 75-600 guests.

Mickens, of Timeless Connection, said she was once asked to officiate a wedding at a gun range in North Las Vegas. The couple were planning to use bows and arrows at their wedding, but Mickens wasn’t able to make it.

Contact Kailyn Brown at kbrown@viewnews.com or 702-387-5233. Follow @kailynhype on Twitter.

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