Going to the Chapel
If you’re desperate to be a June bride, it’s not too late. There is still one day left. And that is 23 hours more than you need to get married in a Las Vegas wedding chapel.
Last year, Pat Allen, an executive in the Clark County Recorder’s Office, registered 7,217 June weddings. That’s one ceremony every six minutes, which is logistically feasible since the wedding chapels are open 24 hours a day.
The state laws of Nevada make immediate-gratification weddings possible, and the Clark County Courthouse works on convenience-store hours, dispensing $27 marriage licenses.
The wedding chapels have one-stop shopping. Charolette Richards, who owns four Las Vegas wedding chapels, estimates that most couples spend $150 to $200 on the big event. That amount will rent the chapel and buy flowers, photographs, a souvenir book to hold the hastily procured license and instantly developed photographs, and a cassette tape of the ceremony. Nancy Youngbeck, a spokeswoman for Modern Bride magazine, says their research shows the average cost of a formal wedding, usually planned months in advance, is $13,300.
Pulling off a Las Vegas wedding is so easy that Gordon Gust, owner of the Candlelight Wedding Chapel, where both Bette Midler and Whoopi Goldberg tied the knot, estimates 75% of his brides and grooms do it on a whim.