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Las Vegas wedding industry roaring back to life

Wedding Industry

August 27, 2021

By: Subrina Hudson Las Vegas Review-Journal

Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya speaking at the 5th annual State of the Wedding Industry event on Aug. 25, 2021. (JaiMaliar Photography)

The wedding industry is roaring back in Las Vegas.

Clark County officials are anticipating a strong uptick in the number of couples saying “I do,” while preparing to issue the county’s 5 millionth marriage license.

County Clerk Lynn Goya and the Las Vegas Wedding Chamber of Commerce shared details surrounding the milestone Wednesday evening at its annual State of the Wedding Industry event inside the Copa Room at the Bootlegger Bistro.

“I think that’s a huge deal that we might finally be on the uptick after 20 years,” said Goya, who oversees the county’s Marriage License Bureau.

It’s no surprise the pandemic spoiled Las Vegas’ wedding industry last year.

The bureau issued 56,331 marriage licenses in 2020, compared with 73,143 licenses in 2019. But the industry expects a quick recovery, thanks to a number of special events and branded activities.

Goya said the county has issued 45,200 marriage licenses. If it continues to average more than 6,000 marriage licenses a month it will be “on a path to an increase for the first time in 20 years, other than the LVCVA’s ‘What Happens Here Stays Here’ (campaign) and the two years after same-sex couples were issued (licenses),” she said.

Lynn Marie Goya, seen in 2018. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review Journal)

Goya said this year’s focus will be on a yearlong tribute to love and romance through a campaign titled “Five Million Love Stories,” which connects to the county issuing its 5 millionth marriage license sometime between December 2020 and Feb. 14, 2022.

“We have a lot of really exciting things planned,” Goya said. “The bigger we make this, the more things we do … the more couples we’ll get.”

Fashion Show Senior Marketing Manager Esther Sarpong presenting ideas promoting wedding tourism at the State of the Wedding Industry event on Aug. 25, 2021. (JaiMaliar Photography).

A bigger presence at major trade shows and conventions will be a focus through promotional videos and displays.

The bureau’s first foray into the convention business will be at next month’s U.S. Travel Association’s IPW conference. The annual international inbound travel trade show brings together international and domestic suppliers of U.S. travel products and destinations.

Fashion Show Senior Marketing Manager Esther Sarpong teased a kind of scavenger hunt for tourists and locals to visit eight destinations throughout Las Vegas.

“As they (go) on a hop around the city, they would get a special prize as a special way to celebrate love,” she said.

Participants are encouraged to take a photo and share it to their social media, including Instagram and Facebook.

Sarpong said the locations are still being determined, but some casinos such as Caesars Palace will be participating as well as Chapel of the Flowers, which will create a new sign resembling the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign but with the phrase “Married in Las Vegas.”

Goya said it is also partnering with Nevada Preservation Foundation to create a number of exhibits, speaker series and even a bus tour themed around Vegas weddings.

“We’re going to reach out to everyone in the world and say, ‘If you got married in Las Vegas, send us your stories, send us your pictures,” she said. “We will make you part of our history because you are part of our history and you’re part of what made Las Vegas what it is today.”