By Sean Hemmersmeier Las Vegas Review-Journal
Clark County has big plans in September to celebrate Las Vegas being known as the “Wedding Capital of the World” for the past 70 years.
The county plans to host a mass vow renewal ceremony at Caesars Palace for hundreds of couples and a vintage-Vegas style production show hosted by Dennis Bono, of “The Dennis Bono Show.” Participants will have a brunch-inspired fare and activities.
The event will be a partnership between the different municipal governments in Clark County and celebrates the 70th anniversary of the London Daily Herald calling Las Vegas the “wedding capital of the world,” in a Sept. 23, 1953 article.
The wedding business community got a preview of the event Thursday evening at the Bootlegger Bistro, where Clark County Clerk Lynn Marie Goya made the pitch for companies to sponsor the Sept. 3 event.
Goya said the wedding industry brings in about $2.5 billion per year to Clark County, employs 18,000 people and provides about $88 million in annual taxes.
“By (1953), we were already called the Wedding Capital of the World. We had been called Honeymoon Highway and the Niagara Falls of the West for quite a while,” Goya said.
One major factor that helped Las Vegas get a reputation as a wedding destination is that the area had more relaxed regulations than other parts of the country in the early 20th century, according to Goya.
“There (was) no waiting period and no blood test and that was two of the key reasons that people started coming here because they could get married quickly and easily,” Goya said. “Then as more people came, people set up businesses so it was really simple and quick and couple-centric, and that’s kind of remained our brand ever since.”
In February 2022, Clark County surpassed the 5 million mark for wedding licenses issued, and since then, just under 80,000 licenses have been issued. Last year, Goya helped set up a free exhibit in the Clark County Government Center’s rotunda that told the story of how Las Vegas earned its reputation as a hot spot for weddings.
Proceeds from the 70th anniversary celebration event will go toward the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, according to Goya.
While the vow renewal event at Caesars Palace is the only thing celebration scheduled, Goya hoped its Thursday preview event would inspire the business community to create their own special events and deals in September.