I am going to do a review of each wedding venue I visited, and the first section of each review will be the “Background.” If you have already read the background from another one of my wedding reviews, feel free to skip to the actual venue review. Background I got engaged in December 2011. After a month or so of trying to settle on a state (yes, I said state), we decided on Nevada (Las Vegas specifically of course). My family/friends are primarily in Michigan; fiancé’s (we’ll call him J from now on) are in New York City area. We live in NJ. If we had it in either Michigan or NJ, we would have well over 250 guests since we assumed that most people would be willing to make the drive (or short flight if they choose) to either location (p.s. we have many friends in Long Island, and it would be at least a 1.5 hr drive for them to come to our area in NJ). Then J kept saying it wouldn’t be fair to his friends and family if we got married in Michigan (where it is at least half the cost of NJ weddings btw). So I countered with the same argument for my friends and family, haha. We were at a stalemate. Well I had mentioned Vegas when we first got engaged and told J it is my number 1 choice. But J was hesitant about having a destination wedding. After thinking of the pros and cons of being married in the mitten (aka, Michigan) or in NJ, J finally agreed that Las Vegas was actually the most practical and fun thing to do. Next on the list was to make sure our very closest family and friends would be ok with flying to Vegas for our wedding because frankly they are the only ones that matter! We booked a good deal at Bally’s for Sun-Thurs and stayed with my dad the other days of the trip (he lives there). My initial plan was to see 13 venues, but I decided not to see the two at Mt. Charleston. So I only saw 11 venues over the course of 3 days. It was a lot!! Basically the type of wedding I want is a non-religious ceremony followed by a traditional wedding reception. I do not want to get married in what I deem a “wedding factory”, which is what some of the venues I saw felt like. In the same regard, I do not want a chapel wedding at all. I did check on the strip, but nothing met our needs or was within our budget. I began my search in January and finally narrowed it down for our June trip. My tastes revolve around golf/country clubs apparently. We are planning for a Thursday wedding in October 2013. Rainbow Gardens 4125 West Charleston, Las Vegas, NV 89102 http://rainbowgardenslv.com/ I was originally scheduled to meet with Doug but ended up meeting with Marta. My meeting was scheduled for 10am on Friday June 15th. This would be the first venue I visited out of the 11. I made an appointment a week before we went to Vegas; ideally I would have liked to have made the appt. a month in advance, but I just didn’t have the time. I made the appointment with Doug, who was very short in his emails; he didn’t even say “Hello, thank you for your interest in…”. I’ve worked in customer service for years (I no longer do), and I get turned off by businesses that aren’t up to my standards (yeah, I have high standards, but I am not high maintenance). Luckily, Marta made up for Doug. People sometimes think I judge things too quickly, but generally my first impressions are spot on. The neighborhood that Rainbow Gardens is in is just ok. There is a rinky dink casino right next to it; it’s on a regular street. You actually might miss it if you’re not paying enough attention like we were. Even though it’s not in the most ideal setting for a wedding, at least it is surrounded by a high wall. There is ample parking (they have 2 separate parking lots because they have 2 separate venues). My initial impression of the inside was it’s not bad. However, it had some sort of faux fancy feel to it (how’s that for alliteration?). It’s hard to explain, but it felt like it was trying to pass itself off as a classier joint. Ok, that may sound harsh, but I didn’t say I didn’t like it. It wasn’t bad at all, and I might consider them if I didn’t see phenomenal venues. It was also cheap (well, compared to the other venues we saw). Marta showed us around briefly, but she was with another couple when we came in. It has a pretty straightforward of a layout, so it was easy to show ourselves around. It was just me and my dad since my fiancé J doesn’t arrive in Vegas until tomorrow, Saturday. There are two reception areas: one is what I would consider a typical one, and the other one is a garden one. The garden one had a very greenhouse feel to it, and it didn’t smell the greatest, almost mildewy. Also, I felt like I was going to hit my head on the ceiling. It just had a very claustrophobic feel to it. My dad agreed, and he is a couple inches taller than I am. If I was feeling that way, J would probably feel worse as he's 6 inches taller than I am. Traditional reception room: Dance floor in traditional reception room: Dressing room (aka, bridal suite) for traditional reception room: Buffet area for traditional reception room: Centerpieces (included in package) Garden Reception: Dressing room (aka, bridal suite) for garden reception room: Buffet area for garden reception room: There are technically 2 ceremony areas, but one of them is in the same room as the Garden reception. The other ceremony area is outside, completely separate from the reception room. Outside Ceremony: Garden (i.e., indoor) ceremony site (sits on tops of the dance floor in the Garden reception room): They allow for 2 weddings/events each day Thursday through Sunday. If you want a private event, you have to book booth reception rooms. That costs an extra $1500 (for a Thursday; it’s $3000 for a weekend date). Even though the rooms are supposedly soundproof, I don’t like the idea of having my wedding right next to someone else’s. I want a venue where I am the only client they have for the day. On your way to the outdoor ceremony site, you pass a fountain. There is also a waterfall/fountain near the ceremony gazebo. With all of these ponds with fish in them, the place had a slight fishy smell. I don’t know if it would be noticeable to people in general, but I noticed it. I asked a lot of questions. 2013 Pricing for 60-130 people is $80 pp + $750 ceremony fee. She quoted me $6196.50 for 75 people, $7696 if I double book the reception rooms in order to have a private event. Included in that price (taken directly from their package document): Elegant Formal Room or Indoor Garden Room (Saturdays 100 Guest Minimum Required ) Fridays add $750 if under 100 Guest No Minimum Required Sunday-Thursday No Minimum Required Tables, Linen, Chairs with Chair Covers and Chair Ties (in Available Colors) Centerpieces included with each room Fine Bone China and Silverware Host / Hostess Throughout Your Function Full Staff of Licensed Bartenders and Caterers Hosted Open Bar Which Includes all Your Beers, Wines and Mixed Drinks (4 hours) Hors D’oeuvres Before Dinner (2) Elegantly Hand Served Two Entree Buffet Style Dinner From Our Gourmet Menu Sit Down Dinner and Complimentary Champagne for the Bridal Table Experienced Disc Jockey (Master of Ceremonies) Custom Design Wedding Cake (No Cake Cutting Fee) Photography Includes up to 600 Photos Taken, DVD w/ Copyright Release, 10, 8x10 and a 11x14 Set Up and Cleanup for Everything Included Sales Tax and Gratuity Included (Food and Beverage) So overall, we liked Rainbow Gardens. It was nice for the price. The biggest con is there could be another party right behind the wall of your own reception. Also, I personally didn’t get that feeling; you know the one you’re supposed to get when you see YOUR venue. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from going there; I think you could have a nice wedding there. Rainbow Gardens would have remained on our list if I didn’t see 5 other sites I liked more and were more suited to my tastes. Feel free to ask me any questions about this place.