Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...
came to be known as the Marriage Capital of the World
due to the ease in acquiring a marriage license
A marriage license is a document issued, either by a church or state authority, authorizing a couple to marry. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time...
and the minimal costs involved. The city continues to be known as a popular wedding destination for the same reasons, but also as a result of the various types of weddings available.
Acquiring a marriage license in Las Vegas is a simple process. There is no blood test or required waiting period. Once a short form is completed and submitted to the Bureau along with $60 cash and a government issued photo ID, a marriage license may be obtained within minutes until midnight every night.
Within one year of receipt of the marriage license a wedding ceremony must be performed in order to have a legal union, and marriages are legal and binding worldwide.
Wedding licenses issued
||Clark County %
There are numerous options for wedding ceremonies in Las Vegas. The least expensive option, costing $50, is to marry at the Marriage Commission of Las Vegas. Sometimes referred to as a desk wedding, this type of ceremony may be a civil (non-religious) or a religious service.
Most weddings performed in Las Vegas may be a civil or religious service dependent upon the wedding venue selected.
With an average of 120,000 weddings a year, the Las Vegas wedding industry is competitive and ceremony locations are plentiful. Most of the city's major hotels have wedding chapels and many of the local restaurants offer wedding ceremonies. Weddings may also be performed in the local churches, at one of the many golf courses, or at a free standing wedding chapel. Drive-thru weddings are also available.
The majority of the free standing wedding chapels are either located on the Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...
, as the Chapel of the Flowers
Chapel of the Flowers is a wedding chapel located on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Chapel of the Flowers was one of the earliest wedding chapels built on The Strip, but has undergone numerous renovations in its history. It is considered one of the more traditional wedding chapels...
, or in the Las Vegas Wedding District, the area near the wedding bureau. Las Vegas wedding chapels offer traditional weddings (with or without a reception), drive-thru weddings, motorcycle weddings and gazebo
A gazebo is a pavilion structure, sometimes octagonal, that may be built, in parks, gardens, and spacious public areas. Gazebos are freestanding or attached to a garden wall, roofed, and open on all sides; they provide shade, shelter, ornamental features in a landscape, and a place to rest...
Many of the chapels, such as Viva Las Vegas wedding chapel also offer themed weddings. Common themes include Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...
an, fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...
, Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...
, gothic and weddings with an Elvis impersonator
An Elvis impersonator is someone who impersonates or copies famed American musician Elvis Presley. Professional Elvis impersonators can work all over the world as entertainers, and such tribute acts are in great demand due to the unique iconic status of Elvis...
. Another great themed wedding, is an Elvis wedding at the Wee Kirk o'the Heather Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. Another popular theme is a pirate ship wedding at Treasure Island.
Outside Las Vegas
Second in popularity to the wedding chapel option, is to have a ceremony performed outdoors somewhere in the area surrounding Las Vegas. Some of the outdoor locations include lake weddings, Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada, USA. It covers an area of and was dedicated in 1935. It derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs...
weddings, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada is an area managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of its National Landscape Conservation System, and protected as a National Conservation Area. It is located about west of Las Vegas, and easily seen from the Las Vegas Strip...
weddings, Mount Charleston
Mount Charleston, officially named Charleston Peak, at , is the highest of the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada and the state's eighth highest mountain peak. It is about northwest of Las Vegas and is within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, the Mount Charleston Wilderness and the Spring...
weddings, and Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, the 15th national park in the United States...
- Gretna Green
Gretna Green is a village in the south of Scotland famous for runaway weddings. It is in Dumfries and Galloway, near the mouth of the River Esk and was historically the first village in Scotland, following the old coaching route from London to Edinburgh. Gretna Green has a railway station serving...
, a border town
A border town is a town or city close to the boundary between two countries, states or regions. Usually the term implies that it is one of the things the town is most famous for. Border towns can have highly cosmopolitan communities, a feature they share with port cities...
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...
famous for marriages between eloping couples from England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
- Elkton, Maryland
The town of Elkton is the county seat of Cecil County, Maryland, United States. The population was 11,893 as of the 2000 census and 14,842 according to current July 2008 census estimates. It is the county seat of Cecil County...