While recently in Las Vegas and frantically planning a wedding in the UK less than 12 weeks away we thought… Why not get married here! Little did we know that a legal Vegas wedding is not quite as simple as they make out in the movies. While it’s not particularly difficult, it just takes a little planning and organization of specific documents. We loved the whole experience of being collected in a limo, dressing as smart or as wacky as we wanted and were joined by the King himself for the occasion even if it doesn’t count as a legal ceremony but we have prepared the following information for anyone that wants to really have the authentic Vegas experience without repeating later at home to be recognised legally.
HOW TO GET MARRIED IF YOU’RE NOT USA CITIZEN – REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS
Registry requirements are exactly the same for US citizens as they are for now US citizens, consisted of three steps:
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1. Organize the necessary documents with your identification (passport, drivers license or birth certificate) and take this to the License Bureau (details below).
Those under 18 will need to be accompanied by their parents or, bring a legal, notarized document that shows their permission for you to get married. You will also need a copy of any final divorce decrees if you have previously been married. With this paperwork and cash/card to pay, $77 license fee, you can have your license issued immediately anytime during their opening hours of 8 AM until midnight, seven days a week. Although we recommend arriving early to avoid long queues.
Las Vegas Marriage Bureau
201 Clark Ave.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89155-1603
2. Choose a wedding chapel
This will not be difficult to find as most hotels and casinos have their own and you only need to walk along the strip to find many independent traditional looking chapels. We chose the Graceland Wedding Chapel who famously performed Jon Bon Jovi’s wedding and chose the classic Elvis theme. But as you will see further on in the article, the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing a theme in Las Vegas! You need to make a reservation with your chapel of choice either in person, by telephone or online. Our chapel required a $100 nonrefundable deposit to confirm the reservation and depending on the package you choose, and the remainder must be paid on arrival at the chapel.
3. Get dressed up!
We had also requested the limo pick-up service which meant that we arrived in style and could enjoy a drink on the way. After the service, you must remember to pay the minister fee of $60, which you pay to the minister in cash after the service.
10 DIFFERENT WEDDING THEMES IN LAS VEGAS
1. Elvis weddings
This is the most famous of all the wedding themes in Las Vegas. We couldn’t stop laughing throughout our ceremony, from the moment Jonathan accessorized his new tuxedo with Elvis style shades, to being serenaded with ‘Love Me Tender’ while saying our vows. This is a theme that can be as subtle or as over the top as you like even being picked up by the King himself in your limo while other chapels throw in a Priscilla impersonator as well. If you too choose an Elvis wedding, you can have your pick of chapels to do this in. But we highly recommend the Graceland Chapel, who performed the first Elvis the media wedding over 25 years ago!
2. Drive-thru weddings
Exclusive to the Little White Wedding Chapel who started this trend initially to make Vegas weddings more accessible to disabled couples, the Drive-thru wedding craze has developed since the 90’s to offer extra luxuries like a bright pink Cadillac to head through the Tunnel of Love with Elvis to welcome you at the chapel window and is now a highly popular option. Why not attract as much attention as possible by decking out your car in bouquets, streamers and a lot of tin cans and celebrate with a drive down the strip just after!
3. KISS weddings
Monster Mini Golf can host the perfect wedding for glam-rock enthusiasts with Gene Simmons as your priest and guitar pick confetti. Just accessorize your gown and tuxedo with some dramatic makeup, and you’re ready to air-guitar your way down the aisle.
4. Weddings at Denny’s
Beginning the trend of getting married while dining, Denny’s on Fremont Street is the world’s first restaurant to also perform weddings. This huge venue at Neonopolis is open day and night to serve up anything you like alongside your wedding ceremony, even a wedding cake made of pancakes!
5. Eiffel Tower weddings
Paris Las Vegas has truly recreated the romance of the city of love that inspired it, with the backdrop of sin city below. Swap the traditional wedding aisle for a 50-floor elevator ride, and once at the observation deck, be serenaded with live music as you say your vows. This can all be combined with a spa pass, suite and photography/video package to document the ultimate romantic experience.
6. Mobile weddings
Everything is available on delivery these days, and in Las Vegas, of course, that extends to wedding ceremonies! Starting at $129, you can order a minister, photographer and witnesses to help you tie the knot anymore that takes your fancy – your hotel room, the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign, the middle of the strip or around the poker table! Just
remember that you still need to have your marriage license prepared in advance.
7. Gondola weddings
After Paris, Venice is quite easily the most romantic destination we can think of, and of course, Vegas has its very own version created by the Venetian hotel and casinos, not which an authentic Italian gondola placed in the centered of the Grand Canal shopping destination serves perfectly as an altar. Your gondolier/minister will serenade you and your witnesses as you pose for some unique photos.
8. Neon Boneyard weddings
A nostalgic representation of the changing face of Las Vegas over many years, the Neon Boneyard and its 150 historic signs spanning almost two acres provides the ultimate backdrop for a wedding inspired by this world famous destination and its colorful history.
9. Underwater weddings
Scuba certified couples can head to the Silverton Aquarium where their 117,000-gallon tank of sharks, stingrays and a variety of colorful fish transforms into a very special underwater chapel. The aquariums hotel also offers one-night accommodation, rehearsal dinner, and reception (not underwater), tee with DJ, photos and the minister services as part of the whole package.
10. Lucky number wedding dates
If your lucky numbers are working for you on the poker table, why not use them in your favor to ensure a long and happy marriage! You’ll also never have to worry about forgetting your anniversary, but of course, you will need to book whichever wedding you choose, of any theme, far in advance to ensure your date is secured just for you.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR 15-MINUTE WEDDING
By choosing an iconic and independent chapel like the Graceland Chapel, you will benefit from many years perfecting their service as well as the best impersonators while also being able to tailor the ceremony just how you want. We were lucky to be able to live stream our Elvis theme wedding for the purpose of sharing our experience with many friends and followers as the staff made an exception, but usually, any unauthorized photos or videos are prohibited.
On arrival (in our case by limo from our hotel as organized by the Graceland Chapel), you will need to hand your license and booking confirmation to the reception staff and wait a few moments amongst the other excited couples sharing the special day with you. When it’s time to head to the ceremony room (a beautifully and traditionally decorated intimate space) with your witnesses and take your places, groom at the altar, bride at the entrance and witnesses in the pews. If it’s just you and your partner, they will also provide witnesses for you.
When Elvis (or whoever you choose) arrives, he will walk the bride down the aisle and perform a highly memorable and entertaining ceremony consisting of a personal speech and recital of vows complimented by (in our case) hilarious performances and aptly tailored vows. A photographer is on hand throughout the whole process to capture your experience to later share with your loved ones.
Note: This amazing Las Vegas wedding experience was made possible in partnership with Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, although all thoughts, ideas, and opinions are entirely my own.
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