From opulent five-star hotel nuptials to fun-filled ceremonies officiated by “The King” himself, there’s no question that Las Vegas and weddings go hand-in-hand. In this playground of bright lights, glamorous hotels and thrilling attractions, thousands of couples from around the world celebrate their love here by making life-long memories… albeit sometimes hazy ones. Considering a Las Vegas wedding? Here’s our guide to having a wedding that’ll have you and your guests cheering “Viva Las Vegas!”
Make it legal
Let’s face it, Las Vegas is famous for its “quickie weddings”, but contrary to what movies and television series like Friends tell us – we’re looking at you, Ross and Rachel – it’s not a matter of simply turning up and saying “I do”. Despite requiring minimum paperwork and waiving waiting periods, there are a few things you need to do to make your marriage official.
Before you leave
Visit the Clark County Marriage website (clarkcountynv.gov) to see if you and your loved one qualify for a marriage license. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the process. All you need to provide are basic details such as your birth names and current marital status. Once you’re sure you qualify, fill out the pre-application form to receive a reference number that can be used state-side. The pre-application is only valid for 60 days so be sure to have a timeline in mind before applying. Don’t forget to pack your original identification such as an Australian passport, drivers license and birth certificate as copies won’t be accepted. If you don’t take the originals you may find yourself forking out hundreds of dollars on a roundtrip plane ticket.
When you arrive
Visit the Clark County Marriage Bureau on East Clark Avenue together, between 8am and midnight to obtain a marriage license. The pre-application paperwork you filled out back home will save you having to fill out a pile of forms at the office – that’s time you can spend in the casino! After being granted a license, all you need to do is take it with you to your chosen venue, which must have a licensed officiant.
What happens in Vegas, DOESN’T stay in Vegas
Hate paperwork? Don’t stress – a marriage license obtained in the state of Nevada means you don’t need to register your marriage back home. The U.S. marriage certificate you receive is recognised as evidence in Australia of a valid marriage. To find out more check out smartraveller.gov.au.
Elvis & Priscilla
Who can believe it’s been 50 years since Elvis and Priscilla married in Las Vegas’ glamorous Aladdin Hotel? While they may not have had the most fairytale of endings, the iconic couple’s wedding will go down as one of the most famous nuptials in history, with a nod towards Las Vegas romance in all its ‘60s glory.
Sneaking out in the dead of night to avoid hoards of cameras, the two tied the knot on the 1st of May 1967 in an intimate ceremony, before joining 100 guests for a Champagne breakfast (… and breaking just a few thousand girls’ hearts). Elvis and Priscilla’s quintessential Las Vegas wedding has inspired couples around the world, even five decades on.
Here at GDW, we’re not sure what’s more fabulous – the apparent love between the two, Priscilla’s big hair or the thought of marrying Elvis… sigh. Whether you’re a fan or you just enjoy seeing their kitschy wedding photos, this is one wedding you can’t help falling in love with.
Las Vegas is famous around the globe for its buzzing nightlife and heart-stopping shows, making the hardest decision when you’re in Las Vegas for a destination wedding… what to see and do first! Foodies will love starting a big night out with dinner at Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis’s aptly named restaurant, Giada, with its stunning views of the iconic Bellagio fountains. Make your way down the road to Caesar’s Palace to see the saucy, mind-bending, acrobatics-cum-cabaret spectacular that is, Absinthe or the tantalising and raunchy, 53X. The only thing hotter than the talented strippers are the tickets so make sure you book ahead. Fantastic day-trip options are the glamorous Burlesque Hall of Fame, the Neon Sign Museum where dazzling signs from Stardust and Moulin Rouge make for a perfect selfie backdrop and, of course, the almost endless list of casinos. Whatever you do, make your new mantra, “it’s Vegas baby!”