If you and your partner are in the early stages of planning your wedding, you’re likely ecstatic to know that you’re now able to legally be wed in all 50 states. However, expanding the range of potential locations for a destination wedding can make your decision even more complicated. What are some memorable destination wedding locations that are same-sex friendly and won’t cost your friends and family thousands in airfare and hotel fees? Read on to learn more about your Las Vegas wedding options to determine whether this is the right choice for you and your betrothed.
What qualifications will you need to meet to be wed in Las Vegas?
One of the reasons Las Vegas is such a popular destination wedding location is its openness to tourists. Any couple aged 18 or older (and no more closely related than second cousins) can get married — regardless of whether the parties are residents of a different state or even a different country. As long as you and your soon-to-be spouse can make an appointment to stop by the Clark County Clerk’s Office during business hours to obtain a marriage license before your wedding, your marriage will be legal throughout the country.
What are some Las Vegas wedding options specifically targeted to same-sex couples?
Las Vegas has a wedding theme for nearly everyone — from fans of Elvis or Marilyn Monroe to beachgoers and foodies — and same-sex couples are no exception. Whether you want to make a political statement with a rainbow-themed wedding or go for something understated, you should be able to find a wedding chapel that can accommodate your wishes and help design the ceremony and reception atmosphere you’ve always envisioned.
One common theme among many same-sex wedding ceremonies is a non-denominational or Unitarian ceremony, rather than an overly religious one. While you won’t need to seek out a specific LGBT-friendly chapel to find a nondenominational minister to perform your wedding (as most wedding chapels will abide by your instructions when it comes to religious content), when doing your preliminary research on a wedding location you may want to concentrate on chapels that focus on inclusive and love-centered ceremonies.
How much will a Las Vegas wedding cost?
Most popular destination wedding locations offer wedding packages and hotel rooms at a variety of different price points. Like these other cities, Las Vegas has lodging and transportation options for just about any budget — however, Las Vegas also holds the advantage of cheap airfares year-round. This can allow you to plan your wedding at the time of year you’d prefer to be married without being held hostage by peak travel times or weather problems that can drive up prices at the last minute.
To be married in Las Vegas you’ll always pay at least $77 — the cost of the marriage license itself. You’ll also pay $40 or more for the ceremony and $180 or more for a wedding package (including everything from food, decorations, bouquets, music, photos, and even a video of the ceremony), in addition to flight and hotel costs. However, a bare-bones Las Vegas wedding (excluding transport) can easily be had for less than $250, making this an affordable option for couples from all walks of life.
As an often overlooked bonus of being wed in Las Vegas, this location may allow you to travel to a Mexican or Pacific destination on your honeymoon for a lower cost. Flying from Las Vegas to Hawaii or northwestern Mexico is a fairly short jaunt and often much less expensive than flying out from the East Coast or Midwest. On the way back, you’ll be able to purchase a one-way ticket to take a nonstop flight back to your home city.
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