My lovely husband turned 40 this year! I had decided earlier this year that I wanted to do something big. We both felt a little gypped when we got engaged because we did it right at the beginning of COVID-19 and didn’t get to do all of the fun celebrating we wanted to do. I swore from then on that I’d make sure to go big on all milestones in our relationship. Ryan loves Las Vegas and we haven’t been there since 2021, so this seemed like a no brainer. I decided to secretly invite some of his friends and it turned into a pretty large event. Planning a birthday party with multiple people in Vegas can be daunting if you haven’t done it before. I’m going to share a few helpful tips I learned.
- Find out your total number of attendees as soon as possible. I sent out invites 3 months prior to the event, but I’d encourage you to do it even sooner. Having a solid number of attendees will give you a better idea for outings, reservations, etc.
- Make dinner reservations AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you’re looking to have a group dinner on The Strip, I would highly recommend making your reservations as quickly as you have your group together. If you have more than 12 people in your party, almost all restaurants require a signed contract. We had 18 in our group for dinner at Yard Bird and I was assigned an event planner, had to sign a contract, had to choose a dinner and cocktail menu, had to customize menus – there were things I needed to plan. They also required payment upfront, so be ready to pay before you’ve even stepped foot in the restaurant. Note: Yard Bird’s food and service was 10/10. I would absolutely recommend them for a large group party or even just date night in Vegas.
- Be up front about cost with your guests. We had several ideas for activities and some of them were going to cost several hundred dollars per couple. I made sure to clearly explain this to the group and allow for discussion. You don’t want to put any of your friends in an awkward position of not being able to pay or declining an invite due to cost
- Give your group a rough itinerary ahead of time. Once I had a solid idea of activities and reservations, I emailed our group a rough itinerary for the weekend. I left plenty of time for people to explore on their own, as we had quite a few first-timers coming to Vegas with us. After the weekend was over, the group was so thankful for having everything planned for them. No decisions needed to be made (if you didn’t want them!) and it made things easy for all attending.
- If you have a large group and want to travel to other places, the obvious decision is booking a Lyft/Uber/taxi. We decided to book a party bus for travel so we could all ride together. It’s a very affordable way to get around – easily the same cost as booking 3-4 Ubers – and you can bring your cocktails with you.
Our rough itinerary:
-Most guests arrived late Thursday evening. People checked into hotels (home base for us was The Flamingo) and then we went out for drinks for the night. Very casual evening as people arrived.
-Friday was breakfast on your own. We met at noon on Brewery Row, which is a fun area off the strip that has tons of breweries all within walking distance. After spending the afternoon drinking beer, we decided on a low-key place for dinner. This was a chance for the group to go to a show, go off on their own or just do their own thing. Friday night we went down to Freemont Street for cheap drinks and gambling.
-Saturday was big BIRTHDAY day. We booked a cabana at the Flamingo Go Pool – and before I continue, this was an expensive, but absolutely worth it, decision. We had roughly 18 people and we wanted a guaranteed spot at the pool, a designated waitress and shade. It was an awesome way to spend a 100° day. Saturday night we did the big group dinner at Yard Bird, which was fabulous.
-Sunday most people took off. Ryan and I booked a late flight so we could relax and hang out just the two of us and decompress the weekend.
If you have any questions about booking a weekend or event in Vegas, please let me know!