You are spontaneous, you are in love, and you are getting married in Las Vegas, Nevada!
You have no doubt watched many TV characters opt for a quickie wedding in Las Vegas. Penny and Leonard’s wedding in The Big Bang Theory and Ross and Rachel’s drunken “I dos” in Friends are two notable examples.
They seem like exciting, low key and cost-effective alternatives to the huge stressful blow-outs. But is a Las Vegas wedding as affordable and simple in real life?
Lucky for you, life does imitate art in this instance. This guide explains exactly how to get married in Las Vegas so that you can have a simple and affordable (yet beautiful) wedding day to remember.
You Both Need to Be Eligible for Getting Married In Nevada
Let’s start with the basics. One reason why getting married in Las Vegas is so popular is that there are so few requirements. There is no waiting period, no blood tests, and neither of you needs to be a Nevada resident.
These are the requirements you do meet to have a Las Vegas wedding:
- Be 18 years old (16 or 17 with parental consent)
- Not be close family members
- Not already have a spouse
- Valid photo ID (passport or driver’s license)
- $77 for the marriage license application fee
All these requirements are very straightforward, and the vast majority of couples will meet them.
Same-sex marriages have been legal in the state of Nevada since 2014. No couple should have any problem finding a hotel or chapel that will host their wedding.
Apply For a Marriage License in Clark County (Optional)
Because there is no waiting period, you can get your marriage license and have your ceremony on the same day. But Las Vegas is a popular place to get married. Sin City hosts around 10,000 marriage ceremonies every single month.
Depending on how busy the marriage license bureau is, you could be waiting in line for hours. If you have booked a venue or have limited time in Las Vegas, this could mess up your plans.
So, while you do not need to, it is a good idea to fill in a Clark County Marriage License application before heading to Las Vegas. Fill out this form within 60 days of your planned marriage date. Instead of waiting hours, you will likely spend minutes in the licensing bureau.
Make sure you fill out your names exactly as they appear on your passports.
Visit the Las Vegas Marriage License Bureau
Whether you pre-applied for a license or not, you will both have to go to the Las Vegas Marriage License Bureau regardless. You will find the bureau at 201 E Clark Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101. It is open from eight in the morning until midnight 365 days a year.
Folks who did not apply beforehand will need to bring their photo ID and application fee, apply for the license, and wait for the bureau to approve it.
Couples who did apply earlier will need to bring their reference number or completed form with their photo ID.
And then you will have your marriage license!
Pick a Venue for Your Las Vegas Wedding
Now the big question, where to get married in Las Vegas? Whether you want to get married in a hotel or a traditional chapel, like Little Church of the West, you have a lot of choices.
If you are taking the time to plan your Las Vegas wedding, many chapels and hotels will provide inclusive wedding packages. Here are some things that are often included in those packages to consider:
- Ceremony music
- Dressing rooms
- Video of the ceremony/live stream
There is often an officiant fee and a Saturday surcharge, too. But wedding packages in Las Vegas are affordable and start from as little as $200. And most venues offer a variety of packages, too.
If you want to have the ceremony the same day as the proposal, places to get married in Las Vegas will be more limited. But with over 50 chapels and plenty of hotels, you will no doubt find somewhere to host your wedding ceremony at short notice.
Time to Get Married and Get a Marriage Certificate!
Now the big moment is here, do not spoil it by forgetting your IDs and marriage license within 60 days of issue. Those are the only things you need to bring to your wedding venue.
You only need one witness for a Nevada wedding. If you don’t have your own witness, most venues can provide one.
Most (if not all) venues provide their own officiant. They are people licensed to perform marriages in the state of Nevada. The officiants have 10 days to file your wedding paperwork, but they will do that for you.
Marriage certificates cost $15. You can order one from the Clark County Clerk office after your officiant has filed their paperwork. Even if you have left Las Vegas by the time it is ready, they can send it to you.
Marriage Requirements and Certificates for Overseas Residents
Are you or your partner from overseas and wonder if you can have a Las Vegas wedding? You can! Getting married in Las Vegas is likely one of the easiest places to get married in the US for foreign nationals.
The requirements for US residents and overseas residents to get married in Las Vegas are the same.
If you cannot pick up your marriage certificate in Las Vegas in person, you will need to get it shipped to your home overseas. It is not difficult, but the shipping fees will be higher.
You may also need an Apostille from the Nevada Secretary of State. This only costs $20, and the state will send it to your government, not you. Then, you can apply for a marriage certificate in your home country once your government has received the Apostille. According to the Hague Convention in 1961, 117 countries mutually agreed that a legal seal provided on the documents of the residents would be accepted by all the member countries as proof of authentication. The process of authenticating the documents is called apostille services. For example, birth certificates and marriage licenses routinely require apostille certification, stated expert from NJ Notary Group. Getting an apostille done can be a complicated process. It is always recommended to consult with professionals..
Everything to Know Before Getting Married in Las Vegas
Whether you decide to get married on the same day as the proposal or take some time to plan your Las Vegas wedding, now you know your options.
Getting married in Las Vegas is an affordable, easy, exciting, and adventurous way to start married life. No rule book says you have to spend thousands on a ceremony and that you cannot have an Elvis impersonator as your officiant! Never forget, it is your wedding day.
Browse our other lifestyle articles for more tips and advice.