“I do. I do. I do.”

Marry me. Photo by: Thomas Hawk

Was 11-11-11 your lucky day?  Thousands of couples thought it would be as they flocked to Las Vegas to tie the knot.

The Clark County clerk’s office, where those with marriage on their mind have to go to get the requisite license, was swamped on Thursday in preparation for the big day and through the long weekend.

Wedding chapels added ministers, limousine drivers, greeters, photographers, videographers, and florists to accommodate the lovebirds and their friends and families.

Elvis impersonators had been booked for months, but some non-conformists preferred the company of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe or the Blue Brothers.

Kitschy, depressing, funky or fun.  Whatever your impression of Vegas weddings, there are as many reasons to get married in Sin City as there are chapels up and down the Strip, although there aren’t as many chapels as there used to be.

Vegas is inexpensive and hassle-free, especially if you go to a drive-up window.  It’s convenient to combine the wedding with the honeymoon or to party all weekend to celebrate the event.  And Las Vegas is the most romantic city in the world, or the perfect facsimile of the most romantic city in the world, regardless of what your mother thinks.

As the quotes below demonstrate, perceptions have varied for a quite a while.

JJ: Marry you? What’s the joke, Zeke?

Zeke: No joke, man. I’m talking about the real deal, complete with the wedding of your dreams! Imagine us getting hitched in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower! Huh? Huh?

JJ: The Eif…? We’re going to Paris?

Zeke: Uh… No, Vegas. Get real.

–       Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury, 2000

Faster than a Vegas wedding.

–       Ad for Canon cameras, 2004

“It’s going to be simply beautiful. Stars will twinkle. Birds will float on ribbons, and there will be signs everywhere saying: I love you, I want you, I need you – I can’t live without you.”

–       Charlotte Richards, owner of the Little White Wedding Chapel, 1998

Do you both promise and agree… to adopt each other’s hound dogs? To always be each other’s teddy bear? To never wear your blue suede shoes out in the rain?

–       Wedding vows in an Elvis Special at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel

“Getting married in Vegas used to be a tawdry thing to do. But now people look at a wedding day as fun.”

–       Barbara Tober, editor-in-chief of Bride’s magazine, 1994

“I was in Vegas and, I just, I don’t know… things got out of hand.”

–       Britney Spears, 2004

“We could have had a videotape [of the ceremony], but we declined.”

–       Cindy Crawford on her 1991 Las Vegas wedding to Richard Gere

“Granted that marriage is the most pitiful institution, right now it’s the only game in town, and we’re going to play it.”

–       Warren Beatty to Elizabeth Taylor, in The Only Game in Town, 1970

“Stuart, you know, maybe this isn’t such a hot idea after all. I mean, it didn’t sound so bad in a Beverly Hills restaurant with a half bottle of champagne in me. But…. Here. Look at this place. It’s not exactly the Bel Air Hotel.”

–       Jill Eikenberry to Michael Tucker, in LA Law, 1987

A cool wedding in our completely remodeled and refrigerated air-conditioned chapel. Same price, $10.00 – Same place, 226 South 5th.

–       Advertisement for the Hitching Post Chapel in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1954

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


  1. I would want to get married in one of those charming Las Vegas wedding chapels! I especially like the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel! It’s just perfect for a romantic, unique and beautiful wedding. I just love the idea to be married by someone dressed like Elvis Presley!

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