Getting Married in Las Vegas

Kristie Lorette McCauley
Outside Gardens at Bellagio Hotel
Outside Gardens at Bellagio Hotel

Las Vegas is known for its casinos, glamorous shows, and round-the-clock enormous buffets. This city of lights has another claim to fame, however. Its lenient marriage license requirements, venue options, and wedding packages galore make Las Vegas one of the top wedding destinations in the country. Every year, over 90,000 weddings are performed in the city of Las Vegas.

Legal Requirements

Along with its glitzy nightlife that offers some fun and crazy wedding options, the marriage license requirements in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, are more lax than other places in the country. Consequently people flock to Vegas to get married.

Marriage License

Couples are not required to take blood tests to apply for the marriage license, which speeds up the application process. There also isn't a waiting period to obtain the marriage license, so couples can go into the Clark County Clerk's Office, apply for the marriage license, and leave with the license at the same time. Couples have to apply together in person for a marriage license, but also have the option to jumpstart the process by completing a pre-application online.

Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements

The legal requirements are the same for U.S. citizens and non U.S. citizens (see the Clark County Clerk's Office marriage license page), so couples come from all over the world to get married in Vegas. Non U.S. citizens should check on the laws for their country to find out what they have to do so that their Vegas wedding is recognized back in their home country. While it is rare that other countries do not recognize a Las Vegas wedding, some additional paperwork can be required to make the marriage legal. For example, citizens of Great Britain must obtain two certified copies of their marriage certificate. One certificate must be filed with the General Register Office (GRO) and the other copy must be filed with the Apostille from the Nevada Secretary of State.

Venue Options

Las Vegas accommodates quite a range of wedding options. Whether couples are looking to elope, plan a large affair that includes family and friends or go the casual route, Vegas can accommodate all of these desires and more.

Venue options range from small to large hotels, some including casinos and some that do not, to small and intimate wedding chapels that offer various theme options and packages. Many casinos have their own wedding chapels where couples can hold their wedding ceremony and then offer ballrooms, suites or private rooms in restaurants and clubs for the reception.

Bellagio

The Bellagio provides lavish chapel options with all the amenities an upscale Las Vegas wedding location can provide. Two wedding chapel options are available at the Bellagio - the South Wedding Chapel and the East Wedding Chapel. The South Wedding Chapel holds up to 130 wedding guests. The East Wedding Chapel caters to smaller and more intimate affairs, holding up to 30 wedding guests. Couples can opt for a simple ceremony or include add-on packages, such as photography and videography.

A Special Memory Wedding Chapel
A Special Memory Chapel

A Special Memory Chapel

A Special Memory wedding chapel provides a drive through window, so couples do not even have to leave the comfort of their car to say their vows. For couples that want the drive-thru experience with some added pomp and circumstance, A Special Memory also offers a "Super-Size" option. Along with saying their vows, couples receive complimentary limousine service, traditional wedding music, a bridal bouquet, a groom's boutonniere, photos, a DVD, a "Newlyweds on Board" sign and a bumper sticker.

The Elvis Wedding Chapel

The Elvis Wedding Chapel
The Elvis Wedding Chapel

The Elvis Wedding Chapel offers couples a variety of packages, all of which include an Elvis impersonator to perform the wedding ceremony. All of the packages are named after some of Elvis's greatest hits. The base package includes use of the Elvis Wedding Chapel, an Elvis impersonator as the wedding officiant and entertainment when he performs two of Elvis's songs. The package also offers candles, a three-rose bridal bouquet, Groom's boutonniere, a garter for the Bride, transportation for the Bride and Groom, a pair of Elvis sunglasses, 24 digital photographs, eight print photographs and a DVD of the ceremony.

Mob Museum

The Mob Museum is located inside of the historic former federal courthouse. The museum offers the courtroom on the second floor of the building for ceremony locations.The courtroom has been restored to its original 1933 look. The three floors of the courthouse also provide plenty of location options for a wedding reception. The museum can host weddings as small as a dozen people up to 450 people. A third floor saloon and a police line-up room are but a few of the options for photo shoots and reception locations.

Mandalay Bay

For those looking for more lavish and traditional wedding options, Mandalay Bay offers one of the most opulent wedding ceremony and reception venues in Vegas. Along with locations for the wedding ceremony and reception, brides can create their own wedding package options to include photography, cake, flowers, catering, décor, and other services. Mandalay Bay even offers couples the option of webcasting their wedding so guests that cannot make it Las Vegas can still share in the day.

Maverick Helicopters

Maverick Helicopters offers couples the option to say their vows while flying over some of the most romantic and breathtaking spots in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Some of the flyover locations include the Grand Canyon, the Valley of Fire, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. They have a dedicated wedding coordinator on staff that is included in the package pricing, so you can be sure your wedding will come off without a hitch.

Caesar's Palace

Along with traditional wedding times, Caesar's Palace, has wedding packages that include a dedicated personal wedding coordinator, a wedding officiant, a website photo gallery that stays live for three months and use of the wedding chapel for 30 minutes. Complete your dream wedding with a stay in one of their fantasy suites. The spa and emporer suites make ideal honeymoon suites for the couple who wants to be showered in opulence.

The Chapel at Luxor
The Chapel at Luxor

The Smith Center

The Smith Center is an art-deco style performing arts center in downtown Las Vegas. Ceremonies are available in the Cabaret Jazz room, the Reynolds Hall Stage or in the outdoor courtyard. Flowers, photography and officiants are available to help couples fulfill their wedding day wishes. You should note that if your heart's desire is to get married on stage, you'll have to book more than a year in advance.

The Luxor

The Luxor provides a wide range of wedding package options for intimate affairs of 20 guests or less, as well as large wedding events with dozens or hundreds of guests. All of the packages include use of one of the Luxor wedding chapels, flowers, and photography. Some of the larger packages also include a one or two-night stay at the hotel.

The Venetian

The Venetian wedding packages range from indoor to outdoor ceremony options. The hotel has four different wedding chapels to choose from, depending on the number of guests. Additional indoor options include getting married on a gondola that floats through the canals of the hotel, on The Bridge of Love overlooking the canal, or at the Palazzo Waterfall. Outdoor locations include a courtyard, garden or terrace. Packages include an officiant, the location, flowers, photographs and more.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island Ship Wedding
Treasure Island Ship Wedding

If tradition is not on the wedding agenda, couples that choose to marry in Vegas have chosen the right place. Innovative and unique options are available for brides and grooms looking for a different way to say "I do." A wedding aboard the pirate ship at Treasure Island is one option for putting a twist on the traditional wedding ceremony.

New York, New York

Saying wedding vows while riding on the roller coaster at New York New York is another option for couples and gives new meaning to the phrase "taking the plunge" as the coaster drops 144 feet from its highest point. Packages include flowers, photography and an officiant to perform the ceremony.

Wedding Packages

Once couples determine the type of wedding they want to have, it is relatively simple to find a wedding package that accommodates all or the majority of the needs. Each chapel, hotel, casino and other types of venues in Vegas offer wedding packages that range from small to large and can accommodate almost any budget. Wedding packages can be found on the website for the venue and most sites spell out exactly what the package offers. Most packages have pricing associated with them, but some venues require the bride or groom to call in for the pricing, which can vary according to the date and time of the wedding and availability of the location.

Package Inclusions

Las Vegas wedding packages tend to include the standard items a couple needs for a wedding ceremony, a wedding reception or both. Package pricing can include the location for the wedding ceremony, such as a chapel, the officiant to perform the wedding, a bouquet for the bride, a boutonniere for the groom and ceremony music. More elaborate packages can include wedding decorations, bouquets for bridesmaids and boutonnieres for groomsmen and parents, an aisle runner, a wedding photographer and more.

Chapel of the Flowers Package Example

Victorian Chapel at Chapel of The Flowers
Victorian Chapel at Chapel of The Flowers

A basic package at Chapel of the Flowers, for example, includes:

  • A hand-tied bouquet of roses
  • The groom's rose boutonniere
  • (14) 4 x 6 ceremony photos
  • Wedding DVD
  • Live Internet broadcasting
  • 8 hours of Internet viewing

Add-on options include limousine transportation to and from the couple's hotel and CD music.

Paris Hotel and Casino Package Example

For a more elaborate wedding package example, Paris in Las Vegas offers nine different wedding packages from which to choose. Its most comprehensive package is all inclusive, so it offers the couple:

  • The wedding rehearsal the day before the ceremony
  • The wedding ceremony location
  • A private bridal waiting room
  • Selection of pre-recorded wedding music
  • Use of lace pew bows
  • $200 floral credit toward flowers
  • Professional ceremony photography to include immediate family and wedding party
  • Studio photography session for the bride and groom
  • One-hour on property photography tour for the bride and groom immediately following the ceremony
  • Selection of 20 photographs size 4 x 6
  • Wedding ceremony DVD
  • A bottle of champagne
  • A pair of Paris/Bally's champagne glasses
  • Bride's lace garter
  • Two Eiffel Tower tour tickets
  • Rose petals for the couple's guest room
  • Personal wedding coordinator
  • Two-Night stay in a two-bedroom penthouse at Bally's
  • The reception venue
  • A two-tier wedding cake
  • House wine
  • House champagne for toast
  • Imported and domestic cheese display

Tips & Advice

Las Vegas is like no other city in the country, which makes it a unique place to host a wedding. Its uniqueness also brings some things to be aware of when planning a wedding there.

Las Vegas boasts year-round sunny weather, but some of the summer months are blisteringly hot. Temperatures can soar to over 100 degrees during the day, making it uncomfortable to wear formal clothing and can easily mean the demise of a wedding cake that is being transported in the desert heat. Generally, temperatures this high take place between the months of May and September. It does cool off during the nights, so an alternative is to host an evening rather than a daytime wedding during these timeframes.

Shop around with hotels and casinos and other venues. Find out when their off-season rates are available. This can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars on booking and hosting a Las Vegas wedding.

Getting Married in Las Vegas