Say what you will about a Las Vegas wedding, but there’s no denying it’s an iconic place to say “I do.” After all, it’s where Frank Sinatra married Mia Farrow; where Rachel Green became Mrs. Ross Geller; where Britney Spears tied the knot to her childhood best friend while wearing a trucker hat. So whether you’ve always dreamed about getting married in Vegas (and we know there are a few of you out there) or if you’re planning an upcoming trip there with your significant other (and who knows, maybe you’ll throw a few back an throw caution to the wind?), we’ve got everything you need to know about getting hitched in Sin City. From logistics to chapels to hotels, here’s our guide to getting married in Las Vegas.
First Things First
The gambling-filled revelry that’s generally associated with Las Vegas isn’t the only reason why people tend to get spontaneously married there. The fact that Las Vegas is located in Nevada, which just so happens to be one of the only states that doesn’t have a delay between when you apply for a marriage license and when you can get married, is a pretty good excuse, too. In order to get a physical marriage license (provided by county clerks), all you’ll need to bring with you is your partner, legal identification for both of you, and money to pay the standard application fee which is around $60 – $70.
About That Date
As is true anywhere, there are certain annual events in Las Vegas that could coincide with your wedding weekend. If your wedding is a spur-of-the-moment decision, there might not be anything that you can do about it. But let the record state that Viva Las Vegas takes place in mid-April, Def Con goes down in August, and the National Rodeo Finals are in December. But hey, maybe one of these events is half the draw. To each his or her own!
(Semi-Famous) Chapels to Consider
The most famous chapel in town is most likely the Graceland Wedding Chapel, the place where Elvis and Priscilla Presley exchanged their vows. And while this wedding is perhaps the gold standard for Vegas unions, the Graceland Wedding Chapel isn’t the only such venue to play host to famous duos. Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman committed to one another at Little Chapel of the Flowers, while a young and in love Michael Jordan headed to the Little White Wedding Chapel to marry his then-girlfriend Juanita Vanoy. Luckily, all three of these chapels are very much still open for business today.
But in Case You Were Thinking of a Hotel
Not everyone wants their Vegas wedding to take place within a little white chapel surrounded by other anonymous galavanting couples. If this sounds like you, then consider one of Vegas’s famous hotels. These venues will not only provide you the option of a place to stay, but are used to playing host to wedding receptions, as well. Plus, there’s the added benefit of an in-house spa as a treat post-matrimony.
The Mandarin Oriental, for one, offers in-house planners, florists, and caterers. And while the maximum capacity of their Oriental Ballroom is 600 people, they can do outdoor weddings, too. Next up on your to-be-considered list should be The Four Seasons Las Vegas, which allows for either outdoor or indoor settings, and has a whopping 900-person max guest list.
However, while luxury resort chains may speak to some couples, other may want a more quintessential Las Vegas experience. In that case, The Bellagio is your best bet, thanks to its two wedding chapels. However, these two spaces each fit only 30 and 130 guests, respectively, so therefore work best for smaller affairs. The Palazzo Las Vegas, which has on-staff wedding planners, can fit 150 guests in its chapel and up to 80 at its outdoor waterfall space. And finally, for those couples who are really into an Italian aesthetic, The Venetian Las Vegas provides couples with a European setting in thirteen separate venues in which to say “I do.”
If you’re going all-in on the Vegas wedding, you should consider taking in a show. A post-reception concert for you and your guests is the ultimate after-party idea. And while Britney Spears sadly took her final Las Vegas bow recently, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything else worthy to see. Relive your childhood by singing the Titanic theme song with Celine Dion, settle in for a fun time by attending Cher’s residency, which begins in May, or practice your moonwalk at Cirque du Soleil’s tribute to Michael Jackson.
And for the Nearby Honeymoon
Since Las Vegas counts for most couples as a destination wedding, there’s no reason not to honeymoon nearby. For outdoors-y couples, river rafting down the Colorado River, and embarking from The Hoover Dam, makes for an adventurous trip. The Nevada side of Lake Tahoe can also provide a beautiful, yet perhaps less physically trying, jaunt as well. City slickers should consider taking the four hour drive off to Los Angeles for some urban fun in the sun. And for those looking for a true rest-and-relaxation experience? It’s difficult to beat the five hour drive to Palm Springs. After all, that’s exactly where The King and his new bride Priscilla went, too.