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Vegas-style weddings are popping up everywhere - Will you officiate one?

Published Thursday, Jun. 10th, 2021

The thrill of a Vegas elopement... in your own hometown.




Vegas is famous for weddings -- fast weddings that look cute in photos.


This style of ultra-efficient elopement has always been the perfect fit for some couples, but in the wake of the pandemic, with venues harder to come by and budgets and guest lists shrinking, the trend is more popular than ever. 


So it comes as no surprise that Vegas-style weddings are leaving the desert and popping up all over -- in cities of all sizes, and in all kinds of spaces! 


We’re seeing one-stop venues take shape in converted restaurants, retail shops, warehouses, medical offices, theatres, and even home garages. With the right kind of imagination, there’s no limit to where these pared-down, picture-perfect venues might show up. And when officiants join forces with other vendors (like photographers, videographers, bakers, and caterers) they’re able to create all-inclusive packages for couples who want a big-budget experience in a short timeline.


The outcome? A fun alternative for couples looking for an affordable, low-stress, no-fuss ceremony that’s still worthy of Instagram (or mom and dad’s photo album) -- without the trip to Vegas! 


Of course, part of what makes the Vegas experience possible is Nevada’s straightforward marriage license rules, which allow couples to get married immediately after applying for their license. In states with a longer waiting period (the time a couple has to wait between applying for a license and having their ceremony), couples might need a little more forward-thinking. 


(To learn the waiting period in your state, head here.)




Vegas-style chapels and wedding services are opening up in Brooklyn, Long Island, Alberta, Atlanta, and even small towns like Newport, Tennessee!


These ‘micro chapels’ (as they’re sometimes called) offer creative backdrops or wedding arches for photos, a short and sweet vow exchange, and an ordained minister, all dressed up and ready to sign the marriage license.  


Chapels going for maximum efficiency also provide bathrooms and changing rooms, and rent the space by the hour for couples to get dressed, take their vows, sign the license, and pose for one or a dozen photos. Some will let couples bring in their own officiant, but others are owner-operated or rely on a small team of in-house professionals. (It’s also worth noting that these ‘quickie’ ceremonies are easier for wedding officiants, because they don’t require months of planning and custom ceremony creation.)


When the wedding is over, the couple heads out into the day (or night) to celebrate!


 And if they want a big party later, with all their friends and family, there’s nothing stopping them! They’ll just be hosting it as newly-weds, instead of to-be-weds.


So… What do you think of the Vegas-style micro chapel trend? 


Do you like the idea of marrying couples in quick-and-easy ceremonies, maybe with a few stylish outfits or backdrops added in? Or do you prefer custom ceremonies, lavish venues, and a big crowd of friends and family to cheer the couple along? 


With more couples wanting something small, affordable, and photo-worthy, we definitely think this trend is here to stay! 



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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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