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GROUPON GUIDE TO LAS VEGAS

Eloping in Vegas: How to Get Married in Sin City

BY: Groupon Editors | Jan 26, 2018

What to Expect When You Elope to Las Vegas

Each year, about 100,000 couples tie the knot in the dozens of standalone and hotel chapels in Vegas. Why? One of the biggest perks of eloping in Vegas is that there's no waiting period for a marriage license—after you tie the knot, you'll get the license the same day. It's also more acceptable to have an Elvis impersonator or superhero to preside over the ceremony here, which is a plus.

You can make a Vegas wedding as quick, affordable, and kitschy as you want it to be. Use this guide to figure out how to get married in Las Vegas:

How to Get Your Marriage License

Head to the Clark County Marriage Bureau and bring the proper ID—a driver's license and social security number in most cases—and the $60 fee. You'll get the license the same day.

  • To make the process even faster: Pre-apply online and go to the bureau's express window. The bureau is open until midnight daily.
  • Don't want it to be legally binding? If "elope to Vegas" only means renewing your vows (or taking part in a not-so-serious ceremony), you don't need a license.

Call Ahead & Make Reservations

Though Vegas is synonymous with spur-of-the-moment weddings, you'll want to call your chosen venue ahead of time. That's especially true if you want a package with add-ons such as photography, flowers, and limo service; these can cost anywhere from $200 to $2000.

  • Why call ahead? Lisa Boeres, manager at The Little Church of The West, says more than 90% of the chapel's customers make reservations; some plan ahead by 6–12 months.
  • Skipping the chapel? Even a ceremony under the fluorescent lights of the Office of Civil Marriages requires an appointment.
  • For wedding chapel deals: Click the banner below to see our list of Vegas wedding deals, which run the gamut from Elvis Viva Las Vegas-themed services to a ceremony in a tower pod.

Pick Your Theme

At one of The Little Church of The West's events, the bride, groom, and guests all dressed as superheroes. It's not uncommon to see medieval- or Western-themed nuptials when you're eloping in Vegas. Elvis and Marilyn Monroe impersonators have always been popular marriage officiants in Sin City. Needless to say, Las Vegas weddings don't follow the norm.

  • Is there a dress code? Most venues don't care what you wear, but check into it before you show up. If you want to go traditional, you can rent a dress or tux from a local shop; some chapels offer package deals where the tux is included.
  • Be prepared for how quickly everything moves. You could walk in, be married, and walk out in a matter of minutes. "Misconception No. 1 is that it's gonna be the same," Boeres says. "A church could have 1 wedding on a Saturday; we could have 20 in a day."

Don't get drunk before your ceremony

In many a romantic comedy, two people have a night of booze-fueled partying in Vegas and decide to keep the fun going by getting married. Hilarity ensues.

When it happens in real life, hilarity doesn't ensue.

"Don't show up drunk; that's the biggest one," Boeres says. "If you try to get a marriage license drunk, you can't do it. If you try to get married drunk, our ministers won't do it."

Save the drinking for after the ceremony, then treat a casino complex like your reception venue. Sit down to a steak-house dinner, have your first dance at nightclub, and let a tribute band be the entertainment.

What to do after the ceremony?

If you're from out of town, you're probably wondering about how to spend the rest of your time in Vegas. Check out this video for some ideas:
 
 
 
This article was originally written in 2015 by Rashawn Mitchner. It has since been updated.

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