Out of the more than 40 million people who visit Las Vegas each year, a decent chunk head there solely to elope—more than 73,000 couples did so in 2019. There are ample opportunities for gorgeous elopements at any one of the area’s many hotels, as well as the well-known standalone chapels, which are the most notable quickie marriage fixtures. (Yes, you can even exchange vows at a drive-through.)
But beyond the legendary “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign, you’ll find striking historical artifacts, dazzling performances, and an abundance of protected natural zones in nearby corners of the Mojave desert. (Did you know Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state?) Whether your vibe is Elvis or cactus, bring some friends and loved ones along for the ride to share the excitement—yes, we (and pretty much everyone else) have thrown that whole “What happens…” rule out the window.
Best Time of Year to Visit
September - November & January - February
The warm-but-not-steaming-hot weather of Vegas’s fall season makes it a great time of year to elope there, as does the typical drop in tourists. December tends to be swarming with the spirited rush of holiday and New Year’s Eve parties, so it’s advisable to skip, unless you enjoy a very, very crowded Strip and buffets that double in price. Things mellow out in January and February, though, with highs in the 60s. The spring, while warmer, can be quite windy, making outdoor portraits more difficult to capture. They’re also full of special events—NASCAR Weekend in March, Academy of Country Music Awards in April, and Billboard Music Awards in May—all of which attract mega crowds. Whatever you do, avoid summer—unless you’re in favor of 100-plus-degree highs and hoards of revelers content with steamy poolside sunbathing and the air-conditioned depths of casinos.
If venturing on a truly last-minute elopement, seasons be damned, just be sure to first check the Las Vegas tourism board’s convention schedule, which gives details on events across area hotels, so you can steer clear of surging room rates and determine where there might be no rooms at all.
Pro Tip: If you have flexibility, or if you’re taking some extra time off surrounding your elopement, consider a weekday ceremony. Since Vegas is a highly popular spot for weekend getaways, you’ll find cheaper lodging and greater availability of vendors, venues, and restaurant reservations during the week (particularly Tuesday through Thursday).
A one-stop shop for a classic Vegas affair, this decades-old, sprawling locale, formerly called Chapel of the Flowers (and known as the spot where Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman infamously tied the knot in 1998) actually houses a variety of venues. On site are three chapels—the Victorian (traditional), Magnolia (smaller, with an ‘80s glam look), and La Capella (larger, and recently remodeled)—as well as the Glass Gardens Chapel (a climate-controlled, glass-ceilinged, faux bois space), and a small gazebo with an adjacent green lawn that can be set up with seats for guests.
The Chapel of the Flowers has earned a loyal following by providing just about every service you could ask for on your big day, whether through in-house suppliers (flowers, photography, limousines) or long-standing connections with area vendors (hotels, bakeries, and restaurants). Packages start at $300 (just for the basics) and tick up from there, capping out at a $9,000, all-inclusive, 30-guest shindig; in between, a dizzying array of customizable options—from music and florals to the shape of your unity candle—make it easy to give your day a good dose of personal flair.
This vast, flat expanse of cracked white-salt earth 30 miles south of the Strip makes for a beautifully minimalist venue, framed at the horizon by distant mountains. The open spaciousness of it—nothing blocks the view for miles on end—and light beige of the ground also turns it into a blank canvas fitting for practically any couple’s style (whether casual and rustic or modern glam). Because of the utter flatness and barrenness of El Dorado, it’s also well-suited to drone photographs and videography and brightly colored smoke bombs, which pose a pretty contrast to the muted tones of the landscape. Sunset is the ideal time to capture it, as slanting rays from the west cast moody shadows over the entire scene.
Note that you do need a permit, which many local elopement planners have obtained, such as Adventure Weddings Las Vegas.
The name says it all: This is the spot to go to if an Elvis ceremony is part of your big-day vision. Yes, you can find Elvises at many other Vegas chapels, but as the folks at this long-standing institution are eager to remind you, Graceland Wedding Chapel is widely recognized as the first place to conduct an Elvis ceremony, in 1977. The most basic of the Elvis packages, which will cost you a mere $199, includes two songs from the King of Pop, a copy of Elvis and Priscilla’s marriage certificate, rose boutonnières, and photography. Five other options, which scale up in price, tack on extras including live-streaming, videography, and floral bouquets—with the Famous Dueling Elvis Package ($799) marking the top-tier experience. It involves not one, but two impersonators bringing the action: Elvis in his early years, donning a gold lamé suit, and the King at his peak, outfitted in a sequined jumpsuit.
The first freestanding building in Vegas constructed to serve exclusively as a wedding chapel (in 1942), the Little Church of the West is also the only place on the Strip listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As a result, it retains much of its original look: cedar exterior, California redwood interior, and Victorian-era railroad-car lamps lighting the chapel. It offers elopements and weddings of all sorts, ranging from the pared-down $209 “Let’s Elope” package (single rose and boutonnière, certificate holder, and a photographer) to the “All Inclusive VIP” deal ($2,975), which includes a variety of additional portraits, video options, florals, limo transit, champagne toasts, and more. In keeping with its name and founding as part of the Last Frontier Hotel, there are western-themed options, too—cowboy boots encouraged—complete with a burlap-and-lace aisle runner.
Home to an incredible collection of neon signs plucked from now-defunct Vegas businesses dating back to the 1930s, this spot is Instagrammable from pretty much every angle. Spanning all shapes, colors, and sizes, the 150-plus signs reside in a two-acre outdoor lot aptly termed the Neon Boneyard, which sits adjacent to the museum itself.
Because of its surging popularity for photoshoots (because, Instagram), this site has a strict photo policy in place: With the exception of personal shots taken on a phone, all photography must be scheduled in advance (at least two weeks’ notice required). The fee for booking a shoot starts at $200 and varies based on the length of time, size of the crew, and equipment involved, among other factors. That said, once you have a confirmed slot, you’re entitled to private use of the space and can also conduct your ceremony in whichever corner of the lot speaks to you. If you’re interested in laying eyes on historical neon but don’t want to plan or pay for portraits at the Boneyard, you can still view the public displays near the museum’s La Concha Visitor’s Center (the Silver Slipper, the Bow & Arrow Motel, and Binion’s Horseshoe) or on the Strip near Ogden Avenue (Society Cleaners, the Lucky Cuss Motel, and the Normandie Hotel).
An almost 200,000-acre swath of the Mojave Desert comprises Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a zone protected by the Bureau of Land Management for the preservation of its incredible geologic features. Its name tells of the most visible one: Miles and miles of Aztec sandstone that took on stunning red, orange, and brown colors over thousands of years as iron deposits inside the rock oxidized creates a fiery backdrop. Striking limestone structures and even dinosaur tracks dating back to the Paleozoic Era also make appearances throughout Red Rock, as do wild horses and desert tortoises. There’s also a 13-mile, one-way scenic loop that winds through the region’s best vistas, with numerous overlooks along the way (and an entrance fee of $15 per vehicle).
Because it’s just 16 miles from Vegas, this is an easy option for those looking to elope in a natural landscape without straying into remote territory—and as a result, several companies in the area have obtained commercial permits to perform wedding services at Red Rock Canyon (and many include round-trip limo transportation in their packages). If you choose not to go through one of those services, you’ll have to apply for a special recreation permit to conduct a ceremony at Red Rock Canyon, which comes with a fee that varies based on the size of your group and the number of paid vendors involved.
The newest chapel in the city, but with an eclectic, old-school vibe (think Polaroid prints and a vintage record player), this spot is a charming alternative to the classic Strip venues. Started by three friends in the industry—the owner of a pop-up elopement business called Flora Pop, a photographer, and an officiant (who doubles as an Elvis impersonator)—Sure Thing Chapel is located on the casino-lined and neon-filled Fremont Street in Old Las Vegas. The venue allows you to BYOP (bring your own photographer) in its core $750 deal, which includes 30 minutes for the ceremony inside the mod chapel, plus a bouquet and boutonnière, two Polaroids, and up to 15 guests. Or, take advantage of the chapel’s in-house photographer—the only chapel-affiliated photog in Vegas to use film photography. For an additional $175, you’ll get 30 film photos of the ceremony, couples’ portraits, a group picture, and digital delivery of the whole professionally developed shebang in just two weeks.
Nevada’s oldest state park, this breathtaking, 40,000-acre span is marked by similar brick-red sandstone as Red Rock Canyon, showcased in curved formations that were shaped by shifting sand dunes in the Jurassic period to create an intense, burnt-sienna palette. To hold your ceremony here, you’ll need to go through one of the 40 or so vendors that have been issued Valley of Fire State Park permits, such as Cactus Collective or Vegas Weddings. (This particular park does not allow individuals to receive the required permit for weddings on a one-off basis.)
That said, there’s a bit of a loophole. You can choose to have your ceremony outside the park’s limits, then go into the park for portraits—so long as you’re working with a photographer who has obtained a commercial photography permit for the park (which varies in price, starting at $50 for groups of 15 or fewer). Once your photog’s been issued this document, she or he can also reserve a specific area within Valley of Fire for your big day (a $100 fee, in addition to the $10 entrance fee per vehicle).
A luxury resort with enough restaurants, cocktail bars, live shows, spa services, and slot machines to keep you occupied for the three days max you should spend in Vegas (trust us, any longer is too much), The Venetian boasts a full roster of wedding-related amenities. Its signature ceremony, a dreamy wedding-on-water hosted in a gondola on the Grand Canal, entails being serenaded by your gondolier as you glide through the Italian-inspired resort, past the waterfront shops, and beneath bridges just steps from the Strip. Or, if a floating ceremony isn’t your speed, you can also choose from a host of other on-site vow venues, including pool decks, terraces, private suites, gardens, and a chapel. The simplest bundle, at $1,550, includes an hour of professional photography and a $200 allowance toward flowers and photos, while the far more extravagant, $4,850 package sets you up with two nights in a premium suite, plus limo transportation to and from the airport, larger photo and floral allowances, a couple’s massage, and $300 in resort credit.
Vegas’s reputation for a no-stress marriage hub has stood the test of time for a reason: In most cases, the only documentation required as part of the application process is a government-issued ID (e.g., a passport or driver’s license) from both parties. To expedite the process, complete the pre-application online. This allows you to skip the main queue once you both arrive at the Clark County Courthouse to finalize the submission. To make things even easier, the courthouse is open every day (including holidays), 8 AM to midnight. The fee for the marriage license is $77, and there’s no waiting period, meaning you can marry as soon as you receive the license, which expires after one year.
Note that your officiant must have a Certificate of Permission to Perform Marriages in the state of Nevada in order for your union to be legally recognized. (Most venues, including chapels, use only authorized officiants, so this typically isn’t an issue—but for peace of mind, it’s worth double-checking that the one you intend to use is listed in the Nevada state-wide database before planning your ceremony.) For more information on marrying in Vegas, refer to the Clark County Courthouse website.