Monthly Archives: August 2017

Does James Bond Own the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel?

TV Weddings Las Vegas
Chapel co-owner Ron Decar doing PR for Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel

If you’ve been married with us at Viva Las Vegas Weddings, chances are you’ve run into Ron (sometimes as Elvis or Dracula) or Jamie (wedding coordinator extraordinaire). As hard as they’re working, running around the place at full tilt, you might never guess they’re our chapel owners! Both play multiple “roles” in all the weddings produced here. Plus, they supervise and manage world-class wedding receptions and shows at the adjacent Ron Decar’s Event Center. (We’re pretty sure they never sleep.)

Both Ron and Jamie came from entertainment backgrounds. Ron as a lead singer on the Las Vegas Strip, and Jamie as a professional ice skater and later a dancer in Las Vegas production shows. Looking back, it makes perfect sense that when Ron found himself moonlighting as Elvis at Strip wedding chapels, he decided to team up with Jamie to create Viva Las Vegas Weddings. When a historic mission-style chapel became available right on the Strip, they jumped at the opportunity.

chapel co-owner Jamie Richards
Chapel co-owner Jamie Richards minds the office–some of the time!

With their own chapel, they envisioned not only Elvis and traditional weddings, but also themed weddings that were actually self-contained mini-shows. They wanted to include sets, props, theatrical effects, lights, sounds, and an endless variety of talented singer/actor “ministers.” And…the rest is history. After nearly 20 years and thousands of incredible weddings, they are both, basically, still sane. 🙂 Jamie, while still a performer at heart, manages many of the business aspects of running the chapel, and also answers phones, coordinates weddings, and even fills in as photographer and videographer at weddings during peak times. Ron has played nearly every character for every themed wedding at the chapel, but most often is seen among our “staff” of Elvis impersonators.

Rocky Horror Wedding Vegas
Ron as Frank-N-Furter and Jamie, right, as Brad, in our Rocky’s Horror Themed Wedding!

Today, Ron is a licensed minister and performs traditional ceremonies in the Main Chapel as well as the Gazebo and Garden Chapels. But he’s just as comfortable singing in Phantom of the Opera weddings and portraying 007 in James Bond weddings as he is crooning as Elvis! Jamie is a whiz behind the scenes. As crazy busy as it sometimes gets at the chapel, you’ll still find him, ever multi-tasking but cool as a cucumber. He’s the glue that holds it all together! (Jamie also plays a mean “Brad” in our Rocky’s Horror Themed Wedding Package.)

James Bond Vegas wedding

So, if you’re getting married with us at Viva Las Vegas Weddings and spot one of these familiar faces, be sure to say “hello”–and please tell these two to slow down and smell the roses! 🙂 (And for more information about any of our Elvis, Traditional, or Themed weddings, check us out at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com)

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Elvis Blue Hawaii Wedding in Vegas? “Priscilla” Can Be Your Bridesmaid!

Elvis and Priscilla Wedding
By request, you can have Priscilla as an attendant–she’ll even dance to the Hawaiian Wedding Song!

If you’re getting married by Elvis in Las Vegas (or renewing your wedding vows for a special anniversary) Viva Las Vegas Weddings’ Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding package is our most popular and all-inclusive Elvis Wedding Package. (Still, many couples upgrade further and add the pink Cadillac chapel entrance with Elvis driving you inside, right down the aisle!)

Your Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding includes a tropical setting with ocean mist, theatrical lighting, and a hula girl dancing to the “Hawaiian Wedding Song.” But, you can request instead to have Priscilla herself as your bridesmaid—she’ll even perform her own version of the hula!

Elvis also serenades you with “Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love, and, of course, everyone will be up dancing for Viva Las Vegas by the end of the wedding ceremony! (Okay, if you’d like something more sedate, substitute “Love Me Tender” or “It’s Now or Never” for a romantic slow dance instead…)

Blue Hawaii weddings in Vegas
The Elvis Blue Hawaii Wedding, with tropical ocean mist, hula girl, and Elvis serenading you!

Your Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding can be a huge family affair, or just the two of you–maybe with others watching our live streaming coverage from afar. Everyone has something different in mind, and we’ll try very hard to make your ceremony your own by customizing the elements you prefer. Best of all, luau wear is perfect, if a more casual wedding is right for you. (Wedding vow renewals especially tend to be more laid back.)

For more information on our Elvis Blue Hawaii Wedding, call us anytime at 702-384-0771 (and be sure to request Priscilla, if you wish to switch out your hula girl) or go to: http://www.vivalasvegasweddings.com/elvis_blue_hawaii_wedding_package.htm

Elvis and Priscilla Las Vegas weddings
Tie the knot in Las Vegas with Elvis AND Priscilla
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Scenic Outdoor Weddings Near Las Vegas –Perfect in Fall!

Red Rock Canyon Wedding Vegas
Get married against a gorgeous Red Rock Canyon backdrop!

Fall is in the air, and that means outdoor Las Vegas weddings are picking up, big time! Temperatures are gradually becoming ideal for daytime weddings in picturesque wedding landscapes surrounding Vegas. At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, you can book a unique outdoor wedding just minutes outside Las Vegas in the stunning Red Rock Canyon. You’ll travel there by limousine from your Las Vegas hotel, meeting your minister, photographer/videographer, and receiving your flowers and all the extras right at the site.

Get Married at Vegas Sign
The iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and the picturesque Strip serve as background for your Viva Las Vegas wedding!

You won’t travel far, though, to be married in front of the classic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, another of our destination wedding options. The sign is set on a landscaped median right on the Las Vegas Strip. Elvis marries you right on the spot, and your photographer arrives with flowers to meet your limousine, parked right there. Best of all, the glamorous hotels on Las Vegas Boulevard are right behind you, too, which can be even more striking at night when the neon lights come on! Not big on Elvis? Our Las Vegas Sign Wedding can be performed by a traditional minister, too.

Vegas Sign wedding
Even more spectacular by night, Elvis marries you with the Strip’s neon landscape in the background!

For more information on these wedding packages, as well as exciting helicopter and Grand Canyon weddings, visit http://www.vivalasvegasweddings.com/las-vegas-wedding-packages/destination-weddings Choose the outdoor wedding of your dreams, or put together a custom package at the site of your choice with just the options you need by calling one of our friendly staffers at 702-384-0771. Viva Las Vegas—and happy autumn wedding!

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Walk-In Las Vegas Weddings Welcome Here! (Bouquet Optional…)

Eloping to Vegas
When you don’t even need a bouquet…But, we’re always happy to whip one up on short notice, too…

Sometimes couples come to Las Vegas for a spur-of-the-moment Vegas wedding. Other times they’re eloping and just something quick, easy and simple. At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, we’ve got you covered for last-minute ceremonies, which are often romantic and heartfelt, even if brides and grooms are just wearing jeans or shorts. It’s no surprise to us that many folks prefer the come-as-you-are simplicity of a Las Vegas wedding.

Here’s what you need to know, if this is your plan! First, you’ll need to go to the Marriage Bureau for a license. (Instructions included below.) It’s helpful if you call us or swing by the chapel (which is on the way!) to reserve a time slot. Let us know what you absolutely must have as part of your wedding. We offer simple packages with flowers and photography (and even Elvis) for under $300, but if you don’t need all that’s included, we will work with you to fit your budget and wishes. Weekdays are best for a walk-in Vegas wedding, since you’ll have a better selection of available times.

For our most basic packages that still have all the frills, go to www.vivalasvegasweddings.com and look at our drop down menu for Traditional or Elvis Weddings, looking at the most affordable weddings on the top of each list.

Elvis wedding in Vegas
No need to pack or buy wedding duds when you can rent Elvis and Marilyn outfits!

Most walk-in Vegas weddings are come-as-you-are, but you can always rent costumes from our costume rental shop very reasonably. There’s nothing to pack, and it makes your ceremony twice the fun! Arrange your last-minute wedding a la carte style with just the options that make your Las Vegas wedding right for YOU.

Below are instructions for getting your marriage license in Vegas. Fill out online forms ahead to make it even quicker and easier once you arrive in Vegas!

If you’re getting legally married in Vegas at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, you’ll first need to go downtown to the Marriage Bureau to get your marriage license.(If you’re renewing your vows, no license is needed for that!) The Marriage Bureau in Las Vegas is located at the northwest corner of Clark Avenue and Third Street, 201 Clark Avenue. Be advised that the Marriage Bureau here accepts cash only, just so you know. Here’s the link to their website with directions on how to get there:

how to get your marriage license in Vegas
The Marriage Bureau—no waiting period, no blood tests. And don’t forget to bring your license to the chapel so we can make it legal!

http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/Depts/clerk/Services/pages/MarriageLicenses.aspx

For express line service at the Marriage Bureau, click on the Marriage Pre-Application on their website above. You’ll need to complete this for both parties. Print and bring these forms with you when head to the Marriage Bureau for your license. You’ll also both need your ID’s, and you both need to be there in person. Check the Marriage Bureau’s website for details on any other requirements.

It’s a good idea to get your license a day ahead of time, or the “morning of” a wedding taking place in the evening or later day. You can even make a day of it, exploring all the fantastic attractions downtown Las Vegas has to offer.

When your license is in hand, be sure to have it with you ( AND the rings!) when you arrive at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel for your wedding. And remember, same-sex marriages are legal and warmly welcomed at our chapel!

Elvis wedding vegas
Even if you get married by Elvis, a licensed minister will be on hand to help your though the legal stuff at the time of your ceremony!

For more marriage license information, call (702) 671-0600. Marriage License Bureau hours are 8 a.m. to midnight seven days a week, including holidays.

For information on one of our amazing Elvis, Themed or Tradtional Wedding packages, or to ask questions about getting your marriage license in Las Vegas, give us a call at (702) 384-0771. Or you can visit us online at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com

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Viva Las Vegas Weddings’ Reverend Daphne Dishes the BEST Wedding Advice!

Las Vegas Wedding Minister
Meet the lovely Reverend Daphne, who knows a thing or two about Las Vegas weddings!

At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, we don’t just do Elvis weddings and weddings with themed character ministers. We also have on staff several friendly and caring traditional wedding officiants, too. (And, at Viva Las Vegas Chapel, you can always ADD Elvis to sing at your traditional ceremony!) With us from DAY ONE–for nearly twenty years now– is the UK-born Reverend Daphne. She has just a touch of a British accent, and a heart filled with loving words and helpful advice for our wedding couples. We’ll share some of her answers to some oft-asked questions here. 🙂

1. What advice do you have for couples who may want to personalize their ceremonies at the chapel?

Some couples (mainly from the South) end a ceremony with “jumping the broom.” Of course, they have to bring the broom! This tradition dates from late 18th century England, and it experienced new popularity with couples in this country after it was seen on the iconic TV series, Roots. I’ve sometimes seen another fascinating wedding ritual. Instead of lighting a unity candle, couples will pour different-colored sand into a vase making a personalized design. (Again,they have to bring vase and sand.) If you’d like to do something meaningful and original along these lines, just let the staff know your plans at the time you book your wedding. That way, we can arrange for any special music or other elements you might need during the ceremony. Also check for all our special upgrades on the Viva Las Vegas Weddings website. http://www.vivalasvegasweddings.com/wedding-upgrades

2. What can brides can wear to their summer weddings to stay cool and still look beautiful?

There are many short-to-ankle-length dresses out there that are beautiful. The long, frou-frou dresses with looooong veils are not comfortable or suitable in the summer for quick Las Vegas weddings. Keep that for the outdoor-at-a-mansion wedding. REMEMBER, just because you LOVE the dress, it may not love you!. Keep in mind what fits your body. DON’T go with any style just because you fall in love with the gown! I have seen too many brides that look really bad in a beautiful dress that simply doesn’t flatter them. Know your body type and the styles that show you off positively. Many full-chested women want strapless gowns. But when you find yourself constantly pulling up the dress, this results in being self-conscious and VERY uncomfortable. Try a halter bodice or Grecian style (over one shoulder). Take the time and bring the dress with you to buy CORRECT under garments i.e. bra, corset, waist cincher etc. that are necessary for the dress. You’ll feel slimmer and cooler. I have seen too many brides pass out in the heat during the ceremony from too tight waist cincher or corset. OR a dress smaller than her body to appear slimmer. Remember the groom is marrying you, not the dress. By the way, WARNING – black undergarments under a white dress– NOT SEXY!!

Rev. Daphne at Vegas wedding
Rev. Daphne does the honors in an elegantly traditional Main Chapel ceremony.

3. Can you offer any advice for writing your own vows to each other?

Often couples don’t exactly write wedding vows but simply have words they want to say to each other. I always say the traditional vows at every ceremony, then I ask the couple if they have words to share with one another. KEEP IT SHORT. If not pre-prepared, just “I love you” or “I’m so happy that we are here today” is more than enough. That said, MOST couples prefer just to repeat the vows that are part of my ceremony. That’s perfectly okay, too. We like to give everyone the opportunity to personalize their wedding vows if they wish.

4. Can you recommend any romantic places for a special wedding night dinner in Las Vegas?

The “Top of the Stratosphere” is my first choice–just a few blocks away from our chapel. It’s a revolving 360-degree restaurant with a fantastic view of Las Vegas, especially at night. It’s a little pricey, but well worth it for that “special day.”

Outdoor Garden Vegas Wedding
Daphne performs romantic evening wedding vows in our picturesque Garden Chapel.

Do YOU have a question for Daphne?  Need expert wedding advice? What is the most unusual wedding Rev. Daphne has ever seen? Can she tell if a marriage is going to last, judging by the behavior of the couple on their wedding day?  Look for past interviews with Reverend Daphne in our archived blogs, or feel free to post a question in the comments. She’ll get back to you in a future post!

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As We Remember Elvis: January 8, 1935-August 16, 1977

Elvis in Las Vegas
Photo by By Ollie Atkins, chief White House photographer (public domain photograph)

This week Viva Las Vegas Weddings is commemorating the 40th anniversary of Elvis’s death. It’s hard to believe how many years have gone by. Elvis is always near our hearts here at the chapel, since we hear renditions of his best-known songs every day– both in his recordings (played in the background as Elvis weddings are being rehearsed) and as performed live by our amazing Elvis Tribute Artists.

Although the spirit of Elvis seems to be all around us on a daily basis, we at Viva Las Vegas Weddings never seem to get tired of hearing his songs. Instead, we’re humbled by the small way we are able to continue his legacy. We still dance around to his tunes when no one’s looking. And who knew Elvis’s memory would forever be shared by happy couples as a part of binding their lives together, beginning a lifetime of wedded bliss?

Some people think Elvis weddings take away from the sanctity of marriage. But we–and many of our couples–see it as adding to the joy of the occasion. We’ve always said that we see as many tears at Elvis weddings as at any traditional ceremony here. When guests jump up and dance to “Viva Las Vegas” at the end of the vows, the love in the chapel is absolutely palpable!

Elvis Jailhouse Rock
Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (now in the public domain)

It’s intriguing that Elvis wasn’t really associated with Las Vegas at all until his later years and his residency at the International Hotel–now the Westgate. (Although he and Priscilla were married here at the old Aladdin Hotel.) But today Elvis has become one of the city’s symbols. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

We miss you, Elvis. You’re still “The King.” And, thank ya very much.

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