Going to the Chapel of Love

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Getting married in Las Vegas brings to mind the famous song by The Dixie Cups, “Chapel of Love,” and Bob Sehlinger, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas, takes us behind the scenes of tying the knot in Las Vegas. Here is his report!

Chapel of Love

Marriages in Las Vegas are a big deal and a big industry. Dozens of stand-alone wedding chapels, plus nuptial venues in hotels, pump more than $2.5 billion a year into the local economy. This includes venue costs, as well as lodging, dining, and varied entertainment from rap artists to string quartets to Elvis impersonators to feathery showgirls. In 2022 more than 77,000 couples took the marital plunge in Las Vegas.

Tiny to medium-size chapels dot Las Vegas Boulevard between the Strip and downtown, many with cutesy, fanciful facades. Small, white, church-like structures festooned with blazing red hearts (and, in the case of the Little White Wedding Chapel, a larger-than-life statue of the King [with guitar] executing a jaunty step) are the norm. Even if you’re not getting married, a drive down this Luv Avenue is a rib tickler. Las Vegas is all about extremes, after all.

Clark County’s Marriage License Bureau issues around 800,000 licenses a year. Valentine’s Day is especially popular, with more than 600 marriages performed that day citywide. The spring and fall are likewise favorite times of year because they are conducive to outdoor ceremonies held in gazebos, on golf courses, and in the canyons of the Red Rock National Conservation Area.

Las Vegas offers all-inclusive packages and services that take much of the stress out of getting hitched, and, compared to other locales, they are very affordable. Though the chapels appear small, many can accommodate pretty big affairs. If, however, you want to exclude Aunt Thelma and all the obnoxious cousins, mini chapels are available too. Along similar lines, consider drive-thru weddings. These are fast—as cheap as $89—and you won’t have to worry about being late for your dinner reservation. Plus, how many cousins can jam into the backseat? 

Couples must appear in person together and have original government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Good to know if you’re on the lam is that many chapels allow walk-ins! For more information about getting married in Las Vegas (Clark County), including registering for a marriage license, go to Weddings.Vegas

About the author: Bob Sehlinger, a Lowell Thomas Award-winning journalist, is best known as the creator and producer of The Unofficial Guide series. 

For all there is to see and do in Las Vegas, check out The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas by Bob Sehlinger and Seth Kubersky. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest, and YouTube.


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