Up to 1,000 eager couples are expected to flock to Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day to tie the knot in the marriage capital of the United States.
The Feb. 14 marriages will be among some 80,000 anticipated in Clark County this year at the valley’s dozens of chapels or at the Clark County Marriage License Bureau.
It’s no secret Las Vegas loves weddings, and state laws and local ordinances make it purposely easy for couples to get hitched.
But those headed to Las Vegas to make their wedding dreams come true still must take some basic steps. Here are some things you’ll need to know about Valentine’s Day weddings.
You must be 18 to get married without parental consent
Brides- and grooms-to-be can tie the knot at age 16 or 17, but that requires the consent of at least one parent or guardian.
Both the parent or guardian and the minor must show an original birth certificate, proof of identity, a court order proving legal guardianship, and a notarized consent form in English.
You can’t get married around-the-clock anymore
The Clark County Marriage License Bureau used to be open 24 hours a day, but in recent years, it has changed its hours to 8 a.m. to midnight. While wedding ceremonies at Las Vegas chapels still take place around-the-clock, a marriage isn’t recognized in Nevada until the bureau’s official documents are approved and signed.
Weddings in Las Vegas can be cheap — or extremely expensive
The Marriage License Bureau charges $77 for a license, and some chapels charge as little as $75 for a basic ceremony. Others, which can include full hair, makeup, limousine and post-wedding reception services, can cost as much as $10,000.
You can’t already be married
It might go without saying, but per Nevada Revised Statue 122, which outlines laws on marriage, all divorces must be finalized. Previously married participants will be asked for the date, city and state of the official divorce order when applying for a marriage license in Las Vegas.
Chapels will be packed
At Vegas Weddings, a chapel at 555 S. 3rd St., across the street from the Marriage License Bureau, ceremonies will be scheduled back-to-back all day, until closing time at midnight, Marketing Director Aimee Stephens said.
A representative from Chapel of Crystals, 3000 Paradise Road, Suite 164, said the chapel has about five times as many bookings for Valentine’s Day this year compared to an average weekday.
Representatives for both chapels said couples who show up without an appointment still may be squeezed in, but reservations are highly recommended.
Valentine’s Day crowds could be worse
This year, Feb. 14 falls on a Wednesday, and fewer people flock to Las Vegas chapels on weekdays than weekends, said Stephens, who also chairs the Las Vegas Weddings Chamber of Commerce. The pattern holds true even for Valentine’s Day.