Las Vegas Chapels Are Open, and Ready

Las Vegas has always been a convenient place to get married. Their Marriage License Bureau was open 24/7 until a few years ago and it was common for people to drive from surrounding states after dinner and be married by sun-rise.

“In a way, Vegas is set up for something like this,” Lynn Marie Goya, the clerk of Clark County, Nev., said of the safety restrictions and other social changes the virus has wrought. The city’s neon chapels are filled with stand-alone rooms and private nooks for small ceremonies, which can be quickly cleaned between bookings. And they’re stocked with all the nuptial trappings — flowers, a photographer, props and even rings — for those seeking one-stop shopping. Some venues offer drive-through ceremonies and video streams of the events for friends and family.

On some days, the line at the city’s famed Marriage License Bureau — where the engaged need nothing more than photo IDs and a $77 fee — wraps around the block.
Brendan Paul, owner, ordained minister, and Elvis impersonator, signs the last wedding license of the night at the Graceland Wedding Chapel on November 28, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He says normally they 25 weddings in a night but this Saturday they had 6. (Photo by David Degner/New York Times)

“One day I asked my son to make a window over there. He said ‘What?’ And I told him “I’m gonna have a window and have people drive up and get married in their car.”

Charlotte Richard

According to Lynn Marie Goya, the Clark County Clerk, there has been an influx of people coming from surrounding states to get married as their government offices and venues have been closed down while people still need to be legally married for many reasons.

Nate Serpico & Ellen Green (now Serpico) met in high school and get married at the drive through window of The Little White Wedding Chapel.
Nate Serpico & Ellen Green (now Serpico) met in high school and get married at the drive through window of The Little White Wedding Chapel.

“I’m turning 26 next month, he has health insurance and I don’t.”

– Ellen Serpico
Samara Lovell stands at the back of the Graceland Wedding Chapel waiting for the music to start before walking with an Elvis impersonator down the aisle to marry Vincent Croff.

Rahul Mahajan and Jessica Mahajan at the Trump Hotel. Jessica is from Portugal and they met in France. They traveled between the US and France many times before the lockdown but after international travel stopped they finally met up again in Turkey. After a few failed attempts to travel together to the US they finally made it. Since they were already engaged they decided to get married in Vegas with Jessica’s visa expiring soon.

Published in the New York Times