An astounding 5.5% of all weddings in America take place in Las Vegas. That's more than 1 in every 20 weddings -- maybe the best odds in Vegas! Do you know someone who exchanged vows in front of "the King," or pinned a 'Just Married' sign to a pink Cadillac in Las Vegas?
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Family and Friends Flew Out to Join Us
Going to Las Vegas for our wedding was one of our top ten best memories. My husband and I got married at the Tropicana chapel, and had a reception at the Tropicana hotel afterward. Over 60 members of our family and friends flew out from Michigan to join us, and we had a blast. Everywhere we went, we had friends or family to go with, and it was so much fun! We set up the wedding by researching things online, and it was my first trip to Las Vegas. The wedding was awesome, the reception was even better, and spending time in Vegas with friends and family was a blast! I wouldn't change a thing!! Everyone had fun, and we really enjoyed "our" day!!!
The Whole Package
My 21-year-old goddaughter has always been quite taken with Las Vegas, from the rat pack, to the whole scene. She has never been there. She is now planning her wedding there in April 2006. She has already paid her deposit, I think at Caesar's Palace, for the whole package. No one in the family, has ever had any connection to Vegas or any influence, and have always been amazed at her attraction for it, coming from a small Midwest town, she grew up in.
Web Broadcast Drive-thru
My wife, Carrie, and I were married in Las Vegas at the Little White Wedding Chapel on February 24, 2001. We had a ceremony that may be fairly common today, but was the first of its kind in Las Vegas and probably anywhere in the world. We had the first drive-thru wedding that was broadcast live over the Internet.
We arrived the day before we intended to have our "traditional" drive-thru wedding in order to get a reservation and streamline the next day's event. Upon speaking with their wedding coordinator, we learned that the Internet broadcasts offered at the chapel were available only for the indoor weddings and not the drive-thru. Disappointed at this news, we talked to the chapel's technical representative and convinced him to offer us this service. (I am a NASA computer scientist and was able to demonstrate how easy it would be for him.) He was very willing to help us out and had everything arranged for us the next day.
We arrived in a convertible Ford Mustang, rented just for the occasion. We felt this would make things easier for the cameraman and everyone viewing the ceremony remotely. Upon arrival we made phone calls to friends and family with Internet access and instructed them on how to watch the broadcast. Those without Internet access had to settle for listening via conference calls from our mobile phones.
The ceremony went off without a single glitch and the people watching from their computers later told us that everything looked and sounded great. A CD with our footage was available for pick-up the next day. We were so happy with the people at the Little White Wedding Chapel that we even allowed them to use our footage on their website as part of their advertising.
Our Unconventional Way
After 25 years of happily living together with my girlfriend we decided to get married. We had always felt our love never needed the approval of church or state, so we went to Las Vegas, where neither church nor state seem obviously apparent. Our one friend in Las Vegas, Melissa, a showgirl, offered to arrange everything for us there, our one condition being that the ceremony take less than 15 minutes.
So we eloped and on the 25th anniversary of our first date and with one friend, Melissa as our witness, we tied the knot. Reverend Betty, who officiated, was at least 70 years old with a voice like Lauren Bacall and a face as dry and craggy as the desert itself. When we put our rings on the middle finger she told us "that's the wrong finger." But in our unconventional way, we had decided that was what we wanted to do, so my new bride simply said, "No, it's not." Betty shrugged and said, "It's Vegas. Do what you want."
An Amazing Minister
Twelve years ago, in 1993, I was 22 and my husband was 19. We had been dating three months and he decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. When he popped the question, I was really unsure, so just to fend him off, I said I would think about it. He asked me everyday for two weeks until I finally said yes.
We drove to Vegas with the intention of keeping it a secret and then having a church wedding a year later, when we could save up some money. We arrived in Vegas on a Friday night and checked into the Gateway Motel, A DIVE. I believe it was $10 a night. It was a ratty motel and our room had separate twin beds, which we wanted. Then we went and got a license and searched for a chapel. It was 11:00 at night and many chapels were closed. There was one where the guy didn't even want to open the door! But after searching and searching, we found the Little White Chapel on the strip. It advertised that Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were married there, so I thought it couldn't be bad.... (Not knowing that they would divorce years later!)
Though the chapel did have a drive-thru, I didn't want that, so we opted for a regular service under a Gazebo. It was only $25. We went back to our motel and slept and woke up and got married the next morning. Luckily, the bride before me didn't want to keep her bouquet, so I got one for free. We had a female pastor who married us, Reverend Sandy Robbins. And she was an amazing lady. She talked to us and advised us how finances are the main cause of divorce and that we needed to communicate with each other, etc. It was very romantic. Then that evening we decided to splurge and stay at a nicer hotel -- the San Remo Hotel. We had a great time that day touring the casinos, etc. My husband was too young to gamble so we just toured around, ate and shopped.
Months later during our most rocky time in our marriage, I wrote Rev. Robbins and asked for her guidance. She sent a nice letter back saying she would pray for us and hope that our marriage grows stronger. Today we've been happily married 12 years. We have a three-year-old daughter and another baby due in November.
We did actually have the full-on church wedding a year after we got married in Vegas, but it was stressful and expensive, etc. It was nothing compared to our romantic wedding in Las Vegas. A day we'll always cherish.
My one wish is that I could locate Rev. Sandy Robbins so I can thank her for her guidance and to let her know that we're still happy and going strong together to this day.
Very Little Time
The greatest thing about Las Vegas is that you can have weddings done with very little time (to say the least). We were married in 2000 in Las Vegas, and due to the fact that I was immigrating from Canada, the rules stated that I had 90 days to get married once I crossed over. Trouble was that I had no idea when my 90 days would start! No way of planning a wedding where lots of friends and family could attend. Once I got my papers, I was able to book a wonderful chapel called the Little Chapel of the Flowers. They provide a webcast so that friends and family can view your wedding. And this was in 2000. Vegas is ALWAYS ahead of the pack in terms of figuring out how to make sure they cover all the angles! We just returned to the same hotel and chapel on our fifth wedding anniversary this past June. Las Vegas is an amazingly special place to be married.