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As well as being the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas is also the wedding capital of the world with more than 120, 000 people getting married there every year. So when my brother in law told us he and his fiancé were going to Las Vegas to get married, we jumped at the chance to go along for the ride!

He had a traditional (if you can call it that) Elvis Presley wedding but it is not the only sort of wedding available; you can have any theme you want. I have heard Star Trek weddings are very popular too. For those in a hurry or on a tight budget, there is always the drive through option.

Elvis in Las Vegas
Elvis in Las Vegas

In terms of venues, there are 40 on or near the strip. My brother in law got married in one just off the strip called Viva Las Vegas wedding chapel.

We were picked up by limo and driven to the chapel

Viva Las Vegas wedding chapel
Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel

The ceremony was far from romantic but I laughed so much my stomach hurt. Elvis sang I can’t help falling in Love with You, as the couple walked down the aisle. Then he asked them “Do you promise to be each other’s teddy bears? Love each other tender? And never wear your blue suede shoes in the rain?’ He sang, Love me Tender while the couple shared their first dance as husband and wife. Then we were all asked to get up and dance while he sang Viva Las Vegas.

If you are planning to get married in Vegas it is very easy. There are websites that will allow you to plan and book everything on line. Even if you want to get married impulsively after a big win in the casinos there are people you can call to have a lavish wedding organised within hours, and it is a 24-hour business. You can get married at 3am if you want. It costs $US55 to get a marriage license and there is no waiting period, unlike in Australia where you have to apply a month in advance. You can just turn up to the licensing bureau show some ID, pay the fee, and hey presto you are ready to go. Some hotels will organise a limo to pick you up from the airport and drive you straight to the licensing bureau. The weddings are legal and recognisable by law in most countries.

The Strip - Las Vegas

June 2nd 2008 07:17
It was dusk when we flew into Las Vegas but already the neon lights from the casino lit up the sky as our plane came into land. We hopped into a cab to our hotel, it was dark by this time and I sat in the back of the cab staring open mouthed at the neon lights that lit up the casinos along “The Strip” (Las Vegas’ main drag). It is no wonder astronauts can see The Strip from space.
Obviously, the main activity in Vegas is gambling and people were gambling big money at the gaming tables; I stuck mainly to the slots so I could just put in 5c at the time. My one time at the Blackjack table was a bit of a disaster anyway because I could not keep my mouth shut. Instead of tapping the table for ‘yes’ and waving my hand for ‘no’, I kept saying ‘yes’, ‘no’ much to everyone else’s annoyance. (I can’t play poker either)
Once you have had enough of gambling or you have lost all your money, take a stroll through the other casinos. A number of the casinos are connected, either by tunnel underground or by walkways over the road. This was great for us it meant we did not have to go out in the stifling August heat too often. We started at Paris as it connected to Ballys Casino where we were staying. As we walked through the tunnel from Ballys to Paris the decor suddenly changed to give us a feeling of walking through the cobbled streets in France.

Also worth a look is the Venetian, with canals and bridges inside the casino it looks just like the real Venice. As I walked in, I heard a man singing opera, it sounded fantastic. I was surprised when it turned out to be a man steering a gondola along the canals serenading the couple sitting in front of him.


Venetian gondola
man singing at Venetian

There are plenty of other spectacular sites such as the pyramid at the Luxor, the colosseum at Caesars Palace and the fountains at the Bellagio, made famous by the Ocean’s Eleven movie to name a few.

If thrills are more your thing, the New York New York casino which resembles Manhattan has a roller coaster which reaches speeds of 67km per hour as it twists and turns around the perimeter of the hotel.

NY Las Vegas
Roller coaster at New York

If that’s not enough of a thrill head down to the Stratosphere. The tower is taller than the Eiffel Tower (the one in Paris France, not Paris Las Vegas) and at the top there are several white-knuckle rides to really get your heart racing. The Big Shot is located on the Stratospheres needle; this ride will shoot you up into the air and drop you at the force of zero Gs. The other ride is called the X-Scream that plunges the riders literally over the edge of the platform and dangles them 900 feet above the ground, do not try these rides if you have a pacemaker!
There is so much to do that it is difficult to tell you about them all here but allow yourself a couple of days to explore The Strip.

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