The fascinating history of Vegas weddings

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Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas, and of course, Elvis and Priscilla Presley are just three couples who chose Las Vegas as the perfect place to seal their love. Sin City is home to over 50 wedding chapels and there are many more where couples can tie the knot. Traditionally valued as a city to get married quickly, it is known for its glamour, fun, and close ties with the King himself—Elvis. How did Vegas become the wedding capital of the world and how can you plan a Vegas wedding if a unique wedding celebration appeals?

Take Me Back to 1912

In her book Las Vegas weddings, author Susan Marg enlightens readers on a year that made history for Las Vegas: 1912. It was in this year that neighboring state, California, imposed a three-day waiting period between the obtention of a marriage license and the celebration of marriage. The state of Nevada, on the other hand, chose to welcome couples who wished to wed or divorce quickly. Las Vegas took it a step further, offering 24/7 services to meet the demand for wedding licenses. In 1932, Clark County passed some of the most lenient policies in the country,  doing away with long waiting periods and allowing for legal marriages to take place in one day. Today, couples can simply head to the Marriage License Bureau (which is open until midnight) to obtain their license or fill out a form online for even speedier service. With the license, couples can then get married at an office for civil marriages or one of the many venues that compete for couples’ attention. 

Planning Your Las Vegas Wedding

When it comes to organizing your Sin City wedding, know that there is a wide array of options for both large and small, intimate affairs. For something elegant, the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is splendid, while for something small and memorable, venues like A Little White Chapel, A Special Memory Wedding Chapel, or Graceland Wedding Chapel are just a few popular choices. One of the best things about Vegas weddings is how creative they can be. You can choose to be married by an officiant dressed as Elvis, opt for Elvis music in the background, and/or have The King himself walk you down the aisle.

The Romance of Vegas

Vegas weddings aren’t all about humor and glamour and stars like Britney Spears certainly aren’t the first ones to head to Vegas to make an impulsive (but sometimes long-lasting) decision to make it official. Las Vegas has a romantic history that dates back to celebrities like Clara Bow (‘it girl’ in the 1920s), who chose Vegas to marry her love, Rex Bell. This event inspired to imitate the legend and the City itself took advantage of early celebrity weddings to offer fast, legal weddings to lovers who just couldn’t wait to commit to their other half for the rest of their lives. 

Vegas is considered ‘the wedding capital’ for a reason. Historically, its popularity can be traced to lenient laws and the speedy obtention of marriage licenses. Today, the Vegas industry continues to burgeon, owing in no small part to the romance associated with acting on impulse and celebrating a wedding in the same spot chosen by The King.