My wife and I have been together for over a decade, so we decided to officially tie the knot recently. We are miles away from family right now and thought it would be cool to get married in Las Vegas over a weekend. It was cool, it was fast, and it was an adventure. All that being said, our wedding did not happen as fast as you may think. I found it extremely comical as we ran around gathering everything we needed to get it done, all of the upset people in each place angry because they were not prepared. I assume for the most part that is because they believe everything they see on television. Well, you cannot believe everything you see on television and a wedding in Las Vegas is no exception to that rule. You can get it done fast if you are prepared, but do not think that you can just go there, walk into a chapel, and get married immediately. It does not work that way. You do need to be prepared and think ahead a little; just a little. That is why I have decided to tell our story and write a brief tutorial on the subject.
We practically decided to get married over a week. We did some research, but when Saturday rolled around all we really knew was that we wanted to get married and what chapel we were going to get married in. I am not going to say this was a mistake. We love being spontaneous and not knowing what we were getting into was exciting. For the record, I do not regret that we did it or how we did it. Anyway, we woke up Saturday morning and start driving. From Lemoore, California the drive to Vegas is a little over six hours depending on traffic along the way. We arrive in Vegas around 10 P.M. and find the chapel that we decided on. The person at the desk informed us that we had to go to the courthouse to obtain our marriage license. We jump back in car and follow the directions to the courthouse. Between the car and the court we get bombarded by chapel staff from every wedding chapel in Vegas trying to get our business, but we ignore them all. We already know where we are going.
The wait for a license at the court was not that bad. It took us longer to fill out the paperwork that is required. I have to be honest that standing in line in that situation was actually fun for once. My wife and I were the only sober couple in the court that night. There was even one woman that I will never forget. She was at the clerk window with her belligerent future husband. He was seriously trashed. He was having trouble standing and could not form a sentence, obliterated. His future wife had his hand in hers and she was practically filling out the paperwork for him as she held him up. I imagine this is an everyday occurrence, it was apparent with the clerk that helped us was not used to sober couples getting a marriage license at that hour. I bet that guy has some great stories. In the end it only took us about 20 minutes to get our license, so we head back to the chapel.
The chapel did have a place to change clothes. This was a little strange. The changing room was one bathroom in a separate building next to the chapel. You have to stand at the door which has a camera and wait for someone from the chapel to see you and buzz you in. Once you are in you have to be fast. It is one bathroom and chances are you will not be the only person needing to use it. As a matter of fact the lock on the door has a timer for 10 minutes. After the time elapses anyone waiting can open it to join you or rush you. This maybe something you want to plan for. Once you have your license and changed it is home free from there. Each chapel has different packages and depending on the package you pick depends on the time it takes to get the knot tied. We originally planned to do the drive through package, but Lupe wanted pictures. That package required getting married in the actual chapel with a small ceremony that took around 20-30 minutes. In summary we arrived unprepared in Vegas around 10 P.M. and were officially married at 12:05 A.M.
Just like everything else on our site. This may not work for everyone and I can only speak for the elements that were involved in our situation. The costs and places are below. My last piece of advice is book a room ahead of time! I am going to stress this point one more time. BOOK A ROOM A HEAD OF TIME! Where we ended up staying is unmentionable. Just know that on a Saturday night in August there were no decent rooms available at all. Be spontaneous, the experience is worth it just make sure you have a place to stay.
Steps and Fees below
1. Marriage License: $60.00Clark County Courthouse
2. Chapel: Cost depends on the package, but lowest is $40.00.
- Please note that the minister will expect to be tipped. If you get a package that includes photos, the photographer will expect a tip.