Whether it’s the ease of applying for a marriage license, the variety of wedding venues, or just the "of the moment" feel of Las Vegas, Sin City still reigns as the Wedding Capital of the World.
That means a couple who decides to get married in the morning can tie the knot by noon after buying a marriage license. Around 120,000 people get married in Las Vegas every year—that’s around 10,000 weddings a month, or nearly 300 every day. It's also the ultimate destination wedding: Almost 90 percent of all people married in Nevada come from other states, according to the Nevada Department of Human Resources.
How to Get a Marriage License
The Clark County Marriage Bureau at 201 E. Clark Ave. in Las Vegas issues marriage licenses daily from 8 a.m. to midnight, even on holidays. The lenient requirements in Nevada make it an easy place to acquire a license without the wait for a fee. Anyone over age 18 can get married in Nevada as long as they are not related and not currently married.
Other offices in Clark County include Henderson at 240 S. Water St., open Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed from noon to 1 p.m. and on holidays. The Laughlin office at 101 Civic Way is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and closed from 12:30 to 1 p.m. and on all legal holidays.
Couples need proof of a Social Security Number and proof of birth, such as a birth certificate or passport. Nevada does not require a blood test nor a waiting period. Marriages in Nevada are recognized nationally and internationally.
Non-U.S. citizens should check with their local officials for special documents needed to ensure their marriage is recognized in their country.
Anyone age 16 to 17 needs parental or legal guardian consent to get married. After Oct. 1, 2019, minors need a court order is obtained from a Nevada District Court judge.
Couples should plan to spend 10 minutes at the Marriage Bureau to obtain a license, of course depending on demand. To save time, fill out the paperwork online in advance.
Once a couple obtains a marriage license, it’s valid for one year and only valid in Nevada, meaning couples can only get married in the Silver State. The marriage official files a marriage certificate within 10 calendar days from the date of the ceremony. Couples can then order a certified marriage certificate (legal proof of marriage) from the online ordering website. Couples can also renew their vows in Nevada.
When to Get Married
Couples with romance on their minds tend to get married on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 1,000 people tied the knot on Valentine’s Day in 2014. New Year’s Eve comes in second. Couples also gravitate toward dates with repeating numbers. Look for Feb. 2, 2020, and Feb. 20, 2020, to be popular.
Where to Get Married
A sheer dearth of places to get married in Las Vegas makes it an appealing locale for a wedding ceremony. An Elvis impersonator can perform the ceremony. A drive-thru can offer a quickie marriage from the convenience of your car. Nearly every resort has a wedding chapel. Freestanding wedding chapels dot the city, especially downtown. And of course, churches and synagogues also offer wedding ceremonies, as do helicopters, golf courses, and more.
Perhaps the easiest place to get married is right next door to the Marriage Bureau at the Office of Civil Marriages at 330 S. Third St. Couples can walk in every Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a 15-minute ceremony or book an appointment on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. or Saturday from 12:30 to 8:45 p.m. Bring your own witness—it's a requirement.
More than 50 wedding chapels line the streets of downtown and the Strip. A Little White Wedding Chapel is perhaps the most famous. It also offers the Tunnel of Love, a 24-hour drive-thru wedding, as well as a number of chapels inside. The chapel, opened in 1951, has seen Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, NBA great Michael Jordan, and Paul Newman and JoAnn Woodward, among many others, tie the knot.
Graceland Wedding Chapel became the first chapel to conduct an Elvis-themed ceremony in 1977. Celebrity clientele over the years include Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Ray Cyrus, who had their wedding ceremonies performed here.
The oldest chapel in Las Vegas, Little Church of the West, opened in 1941 and has a spot on the National Registry of Historical Places. The chapel moved three times from its original location on the north side of the Last Frontier Hotel to the south side in 1954, to the grounds of the Hacienda Hotel in 1978 to accommodate Fashion Show mall’s construction, and again in 1996 to its current location when Mandalay Bay started construction. Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret recited their vows here in the movie “Viva Las Vegas.” Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie married at the chapel in 2000.