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Darlin’, we’re gonna get hitched

<p>So is running off to Las Vegas to get married now considered ironically cool, cheesy, or so clichéd that it’s really hip?<br /></p>

Vegas still holds its own against newer wedding spots

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Elvis and Priscilla Presley cut their wedding cake after exchanging vows in the Aladdin Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas in this 1967 photo.

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In this file photo, Charolette Richards greets a couple from the drive-thru window at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. Known as the city’s Wedding Queen, Richards estimates she has performed anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 ceremonies.

So is running off to Las Vegas to get married now considered ironically cool, cheesy, or so clichéd that it’s really hip?

Pick any answer you like, because trends don’t actually seem to matter much to the hordes of couples who trek to Sin City every year to say their vows.

You might assume that, given how incredibly quickly the destination wedding business has grow in recent years, Vegas — the old, tried-and-true destination — would have taken a big hit. You might think couples would be turning away from it in favour of something less obvious, less predictable.

But you’d be wrong. Take a look at the numbers of marriage licenses purchased in Clark County, Nevada (which includes Las Vegas) each year from 2000 through 2005, and they’d average out to somewhere around 121,000. Which is to say that they’re pretty darn steady.

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David and Kila Montemayor drive up to the drive-through wedding window at a Little White Chapel in Las Vegas.

Why? Well, it’s still hard to beat Vegas for novelty, convenience and choice. (Though Disney’s mammoth acreage in Florida may come close to competing on novelty — there, you can rent Cinderella’s carriage for your nuptials, or hold your ceremony in any of the different theme parks.)

But couples are also figuring out that getting married in Vegas doesn’t have to mean going the tacky route.

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A Little White Chapel, on the Las Vegas Boulevard strip where Britney Spears reportedly got married on Jan. 3, 2004.

There are high-end options available, and, if you’re worried about whether your family and friend like gambling — couples planning destination weddings can spend a lot of time trying to figure out what activities guests would like to do in their downtime — spas are increasingly taking hold in Vegas.

So if you don’t think the mother of the groom will dig the slot machines, just keep her focused on the spa circuit, and it’ll all be good.

las vegas marriage requirements

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Jeanette Dumbrell fixes her veil as she waits to run through the wedding ceremony during the New Las Vegas Marathon.

What do you need to get hitched in Las Vegas? Here’s a rundown:

  • Proof of age (driver’s license, passport or birth certificate).

  • Must have a social security number. Foreigners who exchange wedding vows in the U.S. may need additional or special documentation to guarantee the marriage is recognized in their country.

  • Parental consent and court order (if under the age of 16)

  • No blood test.

  • No waiting period.

  • Fees — Marriage License/Clark County License Bureau: $55 US.

  • Clark County Marriage License Bureau: 201 Clark Avenue, (702) 671-0600, for recorded information: (702) 455-4415, www.co.clark.nv.us/clerk/marriage_information.htm.

    Hours: Every day from 8 a.m. to midnight.