Nearly 122,000 couples obtain a marriage license every year in Las Vegas, where they can tie the knot at a drive-thru or with an Elvis impersonator officiating.
The number of newlyweds is so high that Sin City claims the title of wedding capital of the world.
Nevada makes it easy to get hitched. There’s no waiting period, no pre-wedding blood test and pretty much anyone, same sex or not, can land a marriage license through the Clark County Marriage License Bureau. About the only obstruction is the bureau’s hours; it closes from midnight to 8 a.m. daily, even on holidays.
Here, a look at nine ways to get married in a memorable way:
Your wedding can be in the middle of the desert, or close enough, at the Springs Preserve, the 180-acre botanical garden filled with Mojave Desert cacti and succulents. Twenty venues here range in size from an outdoor amphitheater with room for 1,700 to a 20-person ceremony next to a fountain.
Info: Springs Preserve, (702) 822-8779
Make it a wedding afloat on the white wedding gondola at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. The service is held on the Italian gondola floating along the canal while a gondolier serenades the couple.
Info: Venetian, (866) 548-1807
Thrill seekers will love tying the knot at 67 miles per hour on the Roller Coaster at New York-New York. Grab 16 friends and have the ceremony performed in the midst of the twist that simulates a jet fighter’s barrel roll.
Info: New York-New York, (866) 606-7111
Make Lago Di Como and the Fountains of Bellagio the setting at the Terrazza de Sogno at the Bellagio. Up to 34 can fit on the Italian balcony. You can even time it to take your first kiss as husband and wife while the fountains dance to music in the background.
Info: Bellagio, (702) 693-7700
Add a sense of thrill to saying “I do” surrounded by 1.6 million gallons of seawater and 15 species of sharks at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. True, more than 2,000 will be in attendance, but all are animals swimming in the aquarium.
Info: Mandalay Bay, (702) 632-7490
Normally the threat of a volcano would call off a wedding, but at the volcano in front of the Mirage, it makes a dramatic backdrop. Lava explodes 12 feet in the air during evening ceremonies, while during the day, the waterfalls and lagoons provide a more tranquil setting.
Info: Mirage, (702) 791-7155
Add a bit of history to your wedding ceremony with more than 150 neon signs at the Neon Museum. This collection dates back to the late 1930s through the early ’90s and represents motels, local businesses and celebrated casino resorts from throughout the Las Vegas Valley in the Neon Boneyard. Up to 400 can attend here.
Info: Neon Museum, (702) 387-6366
Yes, Elvis can marry you in Las Vegas. The King will even walk the bride down the aisle and concludes the wedding with “Viva Las Vegas,” the Presley hit and practically the theme song of Las Vegas. Singer Jon Bon Jovi even got married here and afterward threw a concert as 75 couples tied the knot in the parking lot in 2001.
Info: Graceland Chapel, (702) 382-0091
In a rush to get hitched? Make it a drive-thru wedding. Couples can tie the knot in a car, limo or a pink Cadillac provided by the venue, never stepping foot outside the car. The cheapest wedding package here, $99, has you married in a matter of minutes in your own vehicle.
Info: Vegas Weddings, (702) 933-3464