What it is like to get married in Vegas

Let’s travel back in time to October 2009…

vegas sign

My Husband and I took a trip to Las Vegas, NV to get married on Halloween. So, let’s go through the common questions I get asked when someone finds out I was married to Vegas:

1.) WHY did you get married in Vegas?
Some people ask that question with a unfavorable tone in their voice. Vegas weddings have the reputations of being sleazy. After a night of gambling and drinking the Bride and Groom show up at one of the many chapels, get married by Elvis, then wake up the next morning with a bad hangover and realized they made a huge mistake. Or so goes the typical stereotype.

We decided to go to Vegas because it was simple and affordable. Neither of us wanted anything extravagant and thought it would be fun to make a vacation out of it. We wanted our wedding to be about us. Sometimes I feel like weddings are more for families and friends rather then the Bride and Groom.

2.) Did you get married by Elvis?!

No! But the couple who was married before us had a Star Wars themed wedding. The chapel we got married at, Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, offers a plethora of themes to choose from. Some of the stuff they come up with I could never imagine!

3.) How did you plan your wedding?

I planned the entire wedding and trip online myself. Since there are so many chapels in Vegas, I relied on reviews and photographs on their websites. I was able to reserve the date and time of our wedding on the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel site.

As for the other travel arrangements I used Expedia to make those reservations. Before we even made the plans I already knew that I wanted to stay at the Paris hotel.

4.) Where did you get your marriage license?

Clark County provides information on their website on how to get a marriage license. They also provide the application on their site that is required to obtain your license. When we arrived we checked into our hotel and took a cab to the Clark County Government Center where we stood in line with others who were also obtaining a license. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people getting marriage licenses.

5.) What did you wear?

I actually ended up buying two dresses. The first was this white tea length dress I ordered online:

I loved it but, it was really poofy so stuffing it into the suitcase wasn’t a possibility. My only option was to carry it with me on the plane. We didn’t have a non-stop flight so, I would have had to lug it on and off the four flights we traveled to and from Vegas.

Eventually I decided that I wanted to go for a more pin-up style look. I saw photos online of a wedding that used a black and red color combination. Ultimately I ended up wearing a black dress to my wedding.  I also purchased the dress online. I made sure that I started searching for a dress right away so that I’d have enough time to return it or get it altered if it didn’t fit properly. I’m not usually the type of person who can go to any store and just pick something out. I like to order clothes online because there is such a great variety. I can usually find exactly what I am looking for.

6.) What was the ceremony like?

It went really fast. The actual ceremony itself was probably less then 10 minutes. As part of the package we purchased from the chapel, a limo picked us up at our hotel and drove us to the chapel. I remember there being an obscene amount of traffic because it was Halloween night in Vegas. Everyone was walking around in costumes. Once we got to the chapel we paid the rest of the package fee, waited for our turn, walked down the aisle, took a few photos, signed our marriage certificate and it was done. We hopped back into the limo and went back to the hotel.

7.) What did you like about getting married in Vegas?

I liked that obtaining the marriage certificate and scheduling the wedding was so easy. Keeping it simple alleviated all of the typical pressure associated with weddings and planning.

8.) What didn’t you like about getting married in Vegas?

There wasn’t anything that I disliked pertaining to the wedding. It was Vegas itself that I really, really did not care for.

9.) Why didn’t you like Vegas?

First of all I’m not into gambling or drinking. I was more excited to see the different themed hotels. The Vegas strip is huge but, I wasn’t expecting it to be THAT huge. The first day we tried walking to our hotel from the government center. Of course I only brought flip flops. I didn’t even think of packing a pair of sneakers. By the time we got half way to our hotel my feet were so blistered we ended up taking a taxi to the hotel. That night I bought a pair of sneakers. On top of that I am terrified of flying. The night before I couldn’t sleep and there was so much turbulence during the flight I couldn’t sleep then either. At that point I was awake for over 35 hours straight. So yes, my Vegas experience was partly my fault.

During the day the Vegas strip is packed with tourists and at night the strip is littered with thousands of cards that I like to call prostitute baseball cards. Creepy men stand all along the strip trying to hand out these cards. People just end up throwing them somewhere on the ground. Cars and buses drive down the strip advertising escort services as well.  Then there is the people that run around in a drunken stupor.

Food was really, really expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I love food and do not mind paying for a decent meal but, even places like Subway were ridiculously priced.

Since Vegas is well known for its night life, one would think restaurants would be open late. When we came back to the hotel after our wedding to change we wanted to go out and eat a nice dinner. It was 10:30pm or so. Not one good restaurant was open. We ended up eating turkey club sandwiches at a cafe in the middle of a huge Halloween party. I think we were the only people not wearing costumes and the place was packed with girls practically wearing nothing. Like just walking around in underwear and pasties. I was wearing jeans and a hoodie. Needless to say I felt really out of place.

10.) Would I do it all over again?

Yes. Despite my annoyances I am still glad I got to experience Vegas. I think that everyone should go at least one time. Even if you aren’t a gambler, the hotels offer a variety of entertainment options.

My favorite part about the trip was going to see the Grand Canyon. We took a bus trip to see the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon. It was a LONG 14 hour trip but, well worth it.


We look ridiculously serious in this picture.

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