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The Rise of Wedding Chapels in Las Vegas

ďWhat happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,Ē the television ads tells me in the hushed tones of an illicit lover as if Iím the only one listening at that particular moment. Frankly, I donít understand the reasoning behind the clandestine attitude since everyone already knows what happens in Vegas. What happens in Vegas, besides people gambling and people visiting pawn shops in order to gamble, is a massive number of weddings. People love to get married in Las Vegas. In fact, there are more wedding chapels in Las Vegas than there are pawn shops. Thatís saying something. There are almost as many wedding chapels in Las Vegas as there are casinos. That is really saying something, especially considering that many of the major casino/hotels along the Las Vegas Strip are also home to at least one wedding chapel each.

In the late 1940s and early 1950ís, that magical American time of prosperity after the end of the Second World War, Las Vegas began to become known as a tourist destination. Celebrities began to flock to Vegas like it was a great cultural Mecca and, for a while, it was. Everyone who was anyone would be seen in Las Vegas and soon celebrities started getting married there. The attraction for Las Vegas weddings was the tourism trade coupled with the comparatively lax Marriage Licensing regulations in Clark County. Blood tests and waiting periods were the norm in most other places at the time, but that was not the case (and still isnít) in Las Vegas. Eventually the average folks started coming to the City of Sin in vast numbers and getting married there. The influx of couples seeking to tie the knot spawned a new industry and soon there were several wedding chapels in Las Vegas.

Over the years, Las Vegas has maintained its reputation as the Wedding Capital of the World and approximately 100,000 weddings are performed there annually (some quick math involving the $55.00 license fee in Clark County will tell you that marriage is an industry worth over $5 million a year to the county alone.) There are now so many wedding chapels in Las Vegas that itís next to impossible to travel through the city without seeing several of them. There are traditional wedding chapels in Las Vegas and there are drive-through wedding chapels in Las Vegas. There are wedding chapels in Las Vegas where you can be married by Elvis Presley. Despite the silliness of the Elvis-themed weddings at the wedding chapels in Las Vegas, however, it is possible to have a ďniceĒ or ďtraditionalĒ wedding there as well. While many of the wedding chapels in Las Vegas take advantage of the cityís wedding reputation and capitalize on it with a gaudiness that is possible in no other place, there are a number of wedding chapels in Las Vegas that offer a truly beautiful wedding alternative. Las Vegas is a favorite for destination marriages as well. If youíre considering getting married in one of the wedding chapels in Las Vegas, donít be afraid. You donít have to be married by The King. And remember, 100,000 married couples canít be wrong.

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