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Just Married... in Vegas, Baby!

LAS VEGAS Chapel of the Bells Jason Patrick Ross Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com
Las Vegas USA
Las Vegas USA
Las Vegas USA
LAS LUXOR Las Vegas USA
LASSS Las Vegas Shows USA

Just Married... in Vegas, Baby!

story by: Mike Williams

No movie about Las Vegas is complete without an unintentional drunken wedding. Sure, it’s clichéd, but a lifetime of watching such movies and television shows must have struck a chord with kiwis, because every year a surprising number travel to the United States for a ‘shotgun’ wedding of their own. Besides, let’s face it, if ever there was a place that revelled in its own cliché, it’s Las Vegas. Never has a place so consistently delivered on its promise.

Some couples dread the idea of a big white wedding, but that doesn’t mean they will be satisfied with a quiet afternoon trip to the courthouse to sign marriage papers. Getting married in Las Vegas offers them excitement, fun and a good dose of irreverence. Nothing says “I claim not to care about getting married but secretly do” more than having the ceremony conducted by Elvis, a mobster or, naturally, a pirate.

Accidental, spontaneous weddings might be the traditional Vegas-fare on the movies, but in real life weddings there can be just as or more indulgent and planned as one back home. Sure, you can brag about your Vegas wedding for the rest of your life, but you can also enjoy plenty of pampering and celebration on the day itself. Many hotels offer their own chapel, a wedding planner, reception space and a salon for hair and makeup.

Of course, you don’t travel to the United States for a quick wedding and travel home the next day. Part of the appeal of a Vegas wedding is that the honeymoon is where the adventure really begins. Newlyweds can relax in luxury by the pool in the morning, enjoy fine dining and watch a world-famous show in the evening, party heartily into the night and sneak off to gamble in the early hours.

Many couples opt for a good ol’ fashioned American road trip. Of course, the distance between locations can be an eye-opener for many of us. Even the popular drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is over 400 km and usually features hefty traffic. Other relatively easy road trip destinations, by US standards, include the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and the invitingly named, Death Valley.

You may be surprised to know that the rumours are true: Las Vegas is in the desert. Soon-to -weds should keep this in mind when planning their special trip. It’s a very dry climate so stay hydrated, use plenty of lip balm and sunscreen and consider getting the wedding and associated pictures out of the way early in the trip. Time of year is important too, as between June and August the average temperature high is at least 37° C – not conducive to having adorable outdoor pictures taken in full wedding regalia. While it is fairly sunny all year round, the average high in December and January is only about 14° C. Hotel prices ramp up on Friday and Saturday nights, so avoiding those days can save money for spending on flowers, getting a younger version of Elvis to perform the wedding or accruing frequent gambler points.

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