So you want to put a ring on it in Sin City? Here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know to make it legal, as well as all the best Las Vegas hotels to wake up in after you’ve walked (or danced) down the the aisle.
If you want to get married in Las Vegas, first you and your partner need to front up to the Clark County Marriage License Bureau with current photo ID and pay the lucky amount of USD$77. Don’t want to wait in line? No problem. You can pre-apply online up to 60 days beforehand and join the express queue at the office. And yes, marriages performed in the state of Nevada are recognised in Australia.
Once you have your marriage license, the minister or celebrant who performed the ceremony will need to register your union within 10 days of the ceremony for it to be legal. For more information, check out Vegas.com.
If you would like to have your vows renewed, all you need to do is take your existing Australian marriage certificate with you to the chapel you would like the ceremony performed.
Your wedding day
While many Vegas hotels have chapels on site, there are some famous venues that are worth checking out if you’re going to rock the Vegas wedding, old school.
The Elvis Chapel is possibly the greatest of them all. Couples can choose their favourite Elvis – from Aloha Elvis, right through to Hound Dog Elvis and Viva Las Vegas Elvis, complete with era-appropriate costumes – to marry them in a range of themed packages starting at the bargain price of USD$195.
Take your wedding to new heights at The Chapel in the Clouds where you can get hitched on an observation deck 350 metres above the ground. There are also sky high private balcony weddings and thrill ride weddings if making a lifelong commitment to one person isn’t daunting enough.
Little Chapel, otherwise known as Chapel of the Flowers, is one of the original Vegas wedding venues. It consistently wins awards for being the best wedding venue in Vegas and it’s surprisingly classy with a range of themed venues that are completely neon-free.
Your wedding night
This is the big mama of hotels in Vegas. The Bellagio is luxury with a capital L. While many of the properties in Vegas trade on their kitsch charm, the Bellagio is straight up glamorous.
With marble floors, antique-studded hallways, rotating exhibitions featuring artists like Picasso, and that fountain, the Bellagio’s theatres are home to a resident Cirque du Soleil show and high profile performers like Cher and Ricky Martin.
This retro property, opened in 1946, features real flamingos strutting around in the internal garden courtyard. If exotic birds aren’t enough to convince you to spend your wedding night there, perhaps the hotel’s film and literary history will get you across the line. The Flamingo stars in Bugsy, Viva Las Vegas and Ocean’s Eleven, as well as getting a dishonourable mention in Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Arguably the most ‘Vegas’ hotel of them all, The $1.5 billion construction of The Venetian includes full scale reproductions of real Italian landmarks such as Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge.
There is a wedding chapel on site so you can tie the knot, have your photos taken against a convincing backdrop of Venice, Italy, check out a BAZ – Star Crossed Love show, and spend your wedding night in $10,000 suite, all in one perfect day.
Plaza Hotel and Casino
If you want to go for a more traditional Vegas wedding vibe, The Plaza Hotel and Casino is the original Vegas wedding hotel. When it opened its doors in 1971, The Plaza was the largest hotel and casino in the world with over 500 rooms. On the spookier side of things, there’s a rumour the showroom is haunted by a former stagehand. This ghost allegedly misplaces guest’s items so you’d better make sure he doesn’t hide the rings!
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
With a range of elegant wedding options available at its two on-site wedding chapels, Treasure Island Hotel and Casino also offers something pretty unusual for a desert location – weddings on a ship. The hotel has a replica Galleon that is part of a set for one of its shows. This is available to wedding parties as a venue and also as a set for photo shoots so, friends, dust off your frilly pirate shirts and get your bridal party on.