How to Get Wed Vegas Style…

How to Get Wed Vegas Style…

Elvis on duty on the day that I visit Graceland Chapel in Downtown
Las Vegas is just one of a troupe of Presley impersonators that
marry thousands of couples each year. Donning an open-neck black
jumpsuit with red rhinestones and a pair of aviators, he croons
over his guitar and tells me that he started out in the
impersonation game 19 years ago, almost by accident: “I originally
trained as an actor and used to jam with Johnny Depp’s band in
L.A.” Depp the musician might have fallen by the wayside, but Depp
the actor made a reappearance in Brandon’s life under the alias of
Hunter S. Thompson, when filming for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
brought the actor to Graceland. Yet perhaps the most important star
to have paid this quaint Downtown venue a visit was the King of
Rock ‘n’ Roll himself…

Gretna Green Chapel, named after the Scottish border village
famous for runaway weddings, was established in 1947 by a couple
that had emigrated from Scotland to Nevada. And 20 years later,
Elvis Presley stumbled across the venue whilst looking for
somewhere to marry Priscilla Wagner. With his blessing, the chapel
was renamed Graceland after Elvis’ Memphis home. From humble
beginnings, this old-school chapel hosted 8,500 weddings in 2014
and its bustling reception wall is covered with photos of famous
couples that have exchanged vows here.

In 1989 Jon Bon Jovi tied the knot and then played an impromptu
concert in the chapel’s car park. He returned years later to walk
one of his biggest fans, who had just lost her father, down the
aisle. “We’ve witnessed some very touching moments here at
Graceland,” says the chapel’s general manager, Brandon Reed. “We
had a young bride from Gaza and a groom from Israel come and get
married here, and it was like modern day Romeo and Juliet story.
But then we’ve also had a young guy come to marry his motorbike,
and an elderly lady who got married to an Elvis impersonator, by an
Elvis impersonator. We’ve had have all sorts.”

Vegas has garnered a reputation for ushering wasted couples down
the aisle, but Brandon assures me that the vast majority of the
chapel’s ceremonies are traditional and planned months in advance.
“The number one reason people get married here is that the cost of
weddings is low. Secondly, Vegas takes care of your guests for you;
there’s so much variety that you don’t need to worry about keeping
family members entertained. And then there’s also the relaxed
marriage laws.” On that final note, Brandon proceeds to tell me
that Graceland offers transport for couples to the Marriage Licence
Bureau to verify their vows in one of two 1967 pink Cadillacs. Just
to make sure that what happens in Vegas stays legal in Vegas, and
that what happens in Graceland stays true to its old-school

619 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101, United States

+1 702-382-0091