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Las Vegas will celebrate 70 years of being the ‘Wedding Capital of the World’

Wedding Industry

May 26, 2023

By Matty Merritt

Barry Lewis/Getty Images

In September, hundreds of couples will participate in a production that’s incredibly Vegas: The fake-tanned Dennis Bono will host a mass vow renewal event at Caesars Palace to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the London Daily Herald calling the city the “Wedding Capital of the World.”

Las Vegas, which boasts over 50 wedding chapels, has been known for its campy, quick ceremonies since the city loosened marriage restrictions in the early 20th century.

  • In 2021, Nevada (powered by Las Vegas) had the highest rate of matrimony, with 26.2 new marriages per 1,000 people.
  • About 4% of US weddings happened in Vegas in 2021, according to Axios’s analysis of CDC data.

A Vegas wedding timeline for the rich and famous

The famous and infamous have supplied a steady stream of marriages for Sin City. Celebrities made Vegas weddings a thing in the ’60s when the likes of Judy Garland, Betty White, and Frank Sinatra chose it for their second, third, or whatever number marriage they were on. But Las Vegas’s matrimonial reputation was sealed once Elvis and Priscilla Presley wed at the Aladdin Hotel in 1967.

In the mid-2000s, Vegas weddings became more associated with short-lived partnerships, micro-marriages, if you will. Think Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon or Britney Spears’s infamous 55-hour marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander. Still, couples like JLo and Ben Affleck, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, and Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner all opted for the “traditional” Vegas wedding within the last few years.

But it’s not all roses and fake Elvises. Despite bouncing back from pandemic lows, Vegas weddings aren’t occurring at the volume they used to. In 2004, Clark County issued some 128,000 marriage licenses, but last year it handed out just 80,000.