Couples can be married with no wait in Las Vegas.
Tying the knot in a Las Vegas wedding chapel is not uncommon and it does not have to be the stereotypical quickie wedding. The official Nevada Travel and Tourism website states that more than 100,000 couples exchange vows in Las Vegas each year. This City That Never Sleeps has seen weddings uniting superstars Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, and crooner Frank Sinatra with actress Mia Farrow. Judy Garland and Mark Herron followed the yellow brick road to wedded bliss. Actor Mickey Rooney had all eight of his weddings in Las Vegas. In probably the most famous Vegas wedding of all time, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in 1967. The King and his bride chose the Aladdin Hotel for their ceremony.
Known as the wedding capital of the world, Las Vegas offers engaged couples the choice of hundreds of wedding chapels. Glitzy Las Vegas is where a marriage license is still available at midnight, and there is no such thing as an over-the-top ceremony or reception.
Even though Vegas offers a quick-and-easy way to get hitched, there are still several legal requirements a couple must follow. To get a marriage license, both bride and groom must present themselves to one of the three marriage license bureaus in the city. They will each need to show proof of age (driver's license, passport or birth certificate), a social security number and parental consent if either one is 16- or 17-years-old. Those younger than age 16 will also need parental consent and possibly an authorization from the Nevada District Court. According to Insider Las Vegas, the cost of a marriage license is $55, paid in cash only. Since there is no waiting period or required blood tests, a couple can leave the license bureau and head straight to the chapel.
People who have been previously married must declare that their divorce is final and filed in the court where the divorce was granted. Although a copy of the divorce decree is not needed, they must be able to state the month, day, year, city and state where the divorce was filed.
Foreigners can also have a relatively fast wedding in Vegas, although they need to follow a few extra steps. Besides following the general rules for United States residents obtaining a marriage license, they should also bring a copy of their foreign birth certificate, which has been translated into English and notarized. To make sure their marriage will be legal in their home country, they should check with their government to see if the Nevada Secretary of State will need to forward a copy of the marriage certificate to their home.
Couples who want to renew their vows cannot get another marriage license. Some of the Las Vegas wedding chapels require an already married couple to bring a copy of their marriage certificate as proof of marriage before the ceremony is performed.
Since there are so many wedding chapels in the city, it is easy to find just the right one. The Little White Chapel is one of the most well-known. It's a small and intimate setting, with wedding coordinators on staff to help with all the arrangements. A drive-thru ceremony is one of the Little White Chapel's specialties. At the Little Chapel of the Flowers, couples can select a wedding outside of the city, at the Grand Canyon or by the lake at Lake Las Vegas.
Many couples enjoy having their ceremony surrounded by the glitz and glamour of the huge casinos on the Strip. The Wynn Hotel, the second most-expensive hotel in the world, offers the Wynn Hotel Wedding Chapel with two separate salons and an outdoor courtyard. The Lavender Salon will hold up to 120 guests, with the smaller Lilac Salon holding 60. The courtyard will accommodate 40 wedding guests. There are several different wedding packages to choose from, including a Jewish ceremony and reception. At the older, but still exciting Caesars Palace, the bride and groom have several packages to look over. The La Dolce Vita package includes bouquets, floral arrangements, a pianist, a photographer and a DVD of the ceremony. The couple also receives a two-night stay in one of Caesars Palace's luxury suites, a champagne breakfast, spa services, dinner and tickets to a show.
For the ultimate Las Vegas wedding, the engaged couple might look to the Graceland Chapel where they can have an all-Elvis wedding. The Graceland Chapel offers a variety of packages, but all include an Elvis impersonator walking the bride down the aisle and entertaining the wedding party and guests, and singing Viva Las Vegas as the bride and groom dance out the door. The Blue Hawaii Package throws in silk leis, Elvis sunglasses, pictures, a DVD of the wedding ceremony and a copy of Elvis and Priscilla's marriage certificate. For extra cash, the Graceland Chapel will add a hula girl to the mix. The most expensive package, priced around $1,000, is called Elvis Unplugged and Plugged and bills itself as the ultimate and unique Elvis experience. This includes the King singing for at least an hour, flowers for the bride, 72 photographs of the wedding, a reception for up to 30 guests and a complimentary limousine for the happy couple and 6 guests.
It's entirely possible to plan a Las Vegas wedding from thousands of miles away. Most of the casinos and independent chapels have wedding professionals on staff to help with all the planning, including finding the perfect dress. Couples should start with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau to get all the information they need to start planning their dream Vegas wedding.