Step 1 – Find Your Soulmate!
This may sound like the most obvious step (yet most challenging), however some couples find themselves in a Las Vegas chapel on a travel high, possibly the rush and energy of Vegas, sometimes without getting to know each other, or quite simply not the right reasons. You are entering a life long commitment; what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.
Step 2 – Get Your Marriage License
When you first arrive in Las Vegas, it’s a good idea to get your marriage license. This way you won’t be straining your appointment time with standing in line at the Marriage License Bureau. (Some chapels offer a marriage license run right before the wedding. Getting your marriage license this way is fine since you are in the hands of the professionals.) Out-of-state marriage licenses cannot be used to marry in Las Vegas. A marriage license issued in any county in Nevada can be used to marry in Las Vegas.
The marriage license can be obtained at the Marriage License Bureau, located at 201 E. Clark Ave. Las Vegas NV 89101. The Marriage License Bureau is located in Downtown, three blocks south of Fremont Street. (By the way, this would be a great chance to visit the Fremont Street Experience if you’re staying on the Strip). They are open from 8 am – 12 am (midnight) 365 days a year including Sundays and holidays. How else would you get married with one day in Vegas, and that day was Sunday, and that day was a holiday? Cheers to you Vegas!
Both parties must be present and appear in person at the Marriage License Bureau. Applicants must be 18 years old (minors 16 & 17 may also marry with parental consent. The minor will need to provide a birth certificate and the consenting parent will need to show identification matching the name on the certificate.) and no nearer of kin than second cousins (child of a parent’s first cousin) or cousins of half blood. Both parties will fill out a Marriage License Application, a one page form that takes roughly 10 minutes to fill out. Alternatively, the couple can fill out a Pre-application online. Identification to prove name and age are required. For widowed and divorced applicants, you only need to provide the month, day, year and city and state where the divorce was finalized or where they were widowed. You need not provide the divorce decree nor death certificate.
This will cost $77 in cash. Couples may pay by credit card with a nominal fee. The requirements are the same for US & non US citizens regardless of gender. No blood test required, however overt drunken behavior is a good way not to get a marriage license. A marriage license allows a couple to marry in the state. You are still not married. This is where wedding chapels come into play!
Step 3 – Choose a Wedding Chapel
There are many wedding chapels to choose from in Las Vegas. Many chapels offer traditional and Elvis themed wedding services. Most wedding chapels are full service, offering transportation to and from the chapel, photography and video services, floral services and officiating of the marriage.
Step 4 – Get Married!
This is the part we’ve all been waiting for, getting married! Most wedding chapels and their staff are pretty well prepared and can handle most situations (forgetting of a ring, a special song, usually most special requests), but here are a few details to keep in mind:
- Here’s the most important: don’t forget the marriage license! Some couples forget it in the hotel. You wouldn’t want to be the couple who has to leave with a chapel full of guests and reschedule. If you do happen to arrive without the license, many wedding chapels would still be able to perform the service as a commitment ceremony. However, it wouldn’t be a legal marriage until the papers are signed (many wedding officiants would be able to sign afterwards).
- Keep the rings in a handy location where they won’t get lost. One trick is to have the Bride and Groom wear each other’s rings on their pinky or thumb, whichever fits best, so the couple will know exactly where the rings are at all times.
- Have your vows handy (if you have them). No worries if you don’t have your own vows, wedding officiants will always have vows you can repeat. If you are doing and Elvis ceremony, he’ll always have some special Elvis vows as well. Couples that write their vows down on paper can almost always get to them faster than if they were on a phone or tablet.
- Know whether you’ll want a civil or religious ceremony. Most officiants are usually well equipped for either.
Step 5 – Celebrate!
Now that your married, it’s your time to celebrate! You’re in Vegas, live it up.
Step 6 – Ordering the Official Marriage Certificate
The officiant performing the ceremony has 10 days to turn in your marriage license to the Clark County Recorder’s office. Some chapels may offer an expedited license service to process your license sooner than 10 days. In either case, after your marriage has been recorded, you may order your official marriage license online, at the Marriage License Bureau kiosk, or if you prefer the personal touch, you can visit the Clark County Clerk’s office located on the first floor of 500 Grand Central Pkwy., Las Vegas, NV 89155. The official marriage license cost $15 cash or by credit with a nominal fee.
Step 7 – Apostille – Applicable for Certain Countries
At this point, most couples would be able to use the official marriage license for proof of marriage. Countries that abide by the Hague authentication treaty may also require an apostille from the Nevada Secretary of State for proof of marriage. With your certified copy of marriage license, you may order the apostille with the order form the Nevada Secretary of State. Submit the order form with the appropriate fee ($20.00 per apostille) to:
Nevada Secretary of State
101 North Carson St., Suite 3
Carson City, NV 89701
The apostille can also be expedited in person in Las Vegas at 555 E. Washington Avenue, Suite 5200, Las Vegas NV 89101. The fee schedule at the Secretary of State with expedited processing is as follows:
- 24 Hour – $75
- 4 Hour – $125
- 2 Hour – $500
- 1 Hour – $1000
You will still need to pay $20.00 per apostille.
Step 8 – In Conclusion
Now that you know everything about getting married, now is the time to take your special someone and make some memories!