With Respect to June Weddings

Love is in the air in Las Vegas. Photo by Susan Marg.

Not everyone wants to get married in spring when buds are blooming, birds are tweeting, and the sun is shining.  Some prefer winter.

Weather not being an issue for a New Jersey couple who so wanted to marry, they robbed a bank in January 2010 and then took off for Las Vegas with a $10,000 payoff.  The roads must have been clear. They made it to Oklahoma before they were captured five days later.

Charles B. Koch, 28, half of the dynamic duo, had told the bank teller he carried a bomb.  His significant other, Cheri Harper, 27, had on her person a concealed knife.  No wonder no one stood in their way.

These days the average cost of a church wedding with the usual trimmings is almost $27,000.  If Bonnie and Clyde went the traditional route, it might be understandable why they needed some extra cash.

But for a wedding in Las Vegas?

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Las Vegas.  My husband and I had a renewal of vows ceremony a few years back.  We danced to an Elvis impersonator singing “Viva Las Vegas,” which has nothing to do with love or marriage, and twenty of our friends joined in.

It’s a tradition that goes way back, Las Vegas weddings, that is.  It began in 1933 when a reverend opened his home on South Fifth Street, eventually renamed Las Vegas Boulevard, to out-of-towners who wanted to tie the knot.

Today a simple ceremony can be had for under a hundred dollars at one of the standalone chapels that still permeate the lower part of the Strip heading towards the Fremont Street Experience.  Witnesses, if needed, are part of the package.

What a deal!  The accommodations are not as upscale as at one of the resort casinos like the Bellagio, but it’s legal.  And dressing in nice clothes for the occasion is optional.

For their effort, Harper and Koch each received a seven-year prison sentence.  Whew!  That’s longer than most first marriages last.  Second and third marriages, too!  When they’ve their done their time, will the romantic robbers still be in love or, like so many others, will they be ready to move on?

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


  1. After a recent visit to Sin City I quite enjoyed the Wee Chapel of the Heather, and the Elvis Drive Through and wondered if in fact had I not married in Bermuda but in one of these Vegas Shrines…would I still be wedded today? I hope not!
    I do wish I’d been one of your attendees at the vow renewal, but I’ll just hang on for your next one!
    You Go Girl!

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