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Las Vegas Weddings - Who does it and Why
When you envision Vegas...
What images pop into your mind when you think of Las Vegas? Gambling machines. Pretty lights. Elaborate acrobat shows. Maybe you picture scenes from movies like The Hangover. But, do you think of wedding chapels?
The Iconic Las Vegas Wedding
If measuring in sheer volume of weddings, Las Vegas is the most popular place in the United States to tie the knot and 1st runner up for most popular wedding destination on earth (second only to Instanbul, Turkey). Think about it... movies plots are made entirely around what happens after Las Vegas weddings (2009's The Hangover, 2008's What Happens in Vegas, and I am sure there are more). The Las Vegas wedding is now an iconic part of modern pop culture, not only in the US, but throughout the entire world as well.
So how many weddings actually take place in Las Vegas?
On average, 315 weddings happen per day, which means Las Vegas hosts around 115,000 weddings each year . As with many areas of Las Vegas’s tourism industry, the wedding industry did take a big hit when the economy took a dive a couple years back. However, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s 2012 Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study, that number is on the rise again. In their profile study they state, “When asked about the primary purpose of their current visit to Las Vegas… 4% said they came for a wedding”. Whereas for the 3 years prior, it had only been 3% that said the same. Likewise, the entire tourism industry is beginning to boom again. Room rates are on the rise at major hotels, which is not so great for travelers but is a sure sign that Las Vegas's economy is coming back.
Why would someone want to get married in Las Vegas?
Who gets married in Las Vegas and why do they do it? Number one answer: Ease. Not much planning is necessary, no blood tests are needed, and it eliminates much of the drama out of the situation. It’s all handled in house… Wedding at the chapel, reception at the casino bar and a honeymoon back at the suite.
The second most common answer is that it can be very affordable. Donna Schooler, owner of Mon Bel Ami Wedding Chapel, tells me that the average price of a wedding at her chapel is around $500, which she says includes minister, professional photography and limo. “Because the volume of couples who marry at our chapel is so high and likewise because my staff members are all veterans in this business, we can offer weddings for much cheaper.” With weddings being as affordable as they are, it leads us back to the fact that, when you get married in Las Vegas, you automatically get a built in honeymoon in the entertainment capital of the world. Two birds, one stone.
But I thought Vegas just offered goofy Elvis weddings
First of all, watch your mouth… Elvis weddings are not goofy. They are a time honored tradition in Sin City and the King should never be disrespected ;). That being said, yes, there are lots of the cheesy/kitschy weddings in Las Vegas. But that can be fun too, it just depends on what you are personally into. Generally, Elvis packages are available at most all Las Vegas wedding chapels. But some chapels offer some off-the-wall options ranging from Star Trek to goth to 50’s diner themed ceremonies. Chapels like Mon Bel Ami, with its French-provincial décor style, seem to try to go the other direction and offer, what they consider to be a higher class of wedding services for couples who want the romantic, dream ceremony but still enjoy all the fun that Vegas has to offer.
Places to get married in Las Vegas
There are a number of fine wedding chapels in Las Vegas to choose from and packages range from $79 to $25,000 (and probably beyond). Some of the most gorgeous wedding venues are at the multi-million dollar resorts on the Las Vegas strip. However, there are also many stand alone wedding chapels in the city and there is definitely no shortage when it comes to venues.
If you want more information about individual wedding chapels in Las Vegas, follow the link to check out a hub with a list of the top 12 best local places to get married in Las Vegas.