Monthly Archives: August 2017

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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Gothic Weddings in Las Vegas–Friday October 13th AND Halloween Night–GOING FAST!

Halloween Weddings Vegas
Viva Las Vegas Weddings goes all out for Halloween—indoor chapels, outdoor chapels, even the parking lot is decorated in ghoulish style!

Planning an October Wedding in Las Vegas? If you’re up for a themed wedding featuring Dracula, Zombie Elvis, the Grim Reaper, Dr. Frank-N-Furter or Elvira Mistress of the Dark as minister, don’t be scared to book early. In fact, Gothic Wedding packages in our cemetery-decked Main Chapel are already almost all booked up for Halloween! (And, only at Viva Las Vegas Weddings can you add flying vampires to soar above the chapel during your wedding. Really. Just ask us.)

If you had your heart set on Halloween night wedding in Vegas, fear not! We can also offer you our candlelit and very spooky Little Chapel as an alternate venue. Footsteps from our Main Chapel, the Little Chapel is dressed in deep burgundy and filled with cobwebs and haunting decor. An elegantly eerie and intimate setting for weddings with 35 guests or less.

If you have lots of guests and still prefer a gorgeous Main Chapel wedding, though– with all the fog and special lighting effects, and a minister stepping out of a coffin–there are still wedding time slots available on the nearly-equally-haunting Friday, October 13th! Call now to reserve your time for the frightful wedding or wedding vow renewal package of your choice—702-384-0771

Elvira Wedding Vegas
Elvira does the honor by request in our Little Chapel in this scary still frame from a live video–or should we say “dead” ???

Our Little Chapel, seen above and below, is mainly open only for Halloween and Valentine’s Day weddings–the two most popular wedding dates of the year. The rest of the year, it’s a cozy reception spot for couples who wish to add a small reception to any Viva Las Vegas Wedding package. (Yes, we do receptions, from simple to lavish in our four reception halls!)

Little Chapel Vegas Weddings
Our Little Chapel transforms into a cobwebby crypt for Halloween night only!

October weather is generally stunning in Vegas, and perfect for outdoor weddings in our Garden or Gazebo Chapels. On Halloween, they’re dressed to the nines in spooktacular glory with jack o’lanterns, giant spiders, cobwebs…and….other stuff…. To see all of the options for your October themed wedding, and to view our Halloween specials, go to http://www.vivalasvegasweddings.com/las-vegas-wedding-packages/holidays-special-events/halloween Don’t wait, or…you might waste away…like the bride below…

Gothic Wedding Vegas
And just in case you’ve forgotten to pack your black veil for your Gothic Halloween wedding….
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When Your Elvis Wedding in Vegas Costs Less Than Your Dress!

Affordable Elvis Wedding
A unique Elvis wedding or wedding vow renewal may be the smallest expense in your honeymoon/elopement budget!

Most engaged couples coming to Vegas to get married by Elvis are surprised at the wide range of packages we offer, with prices to fit ANY budget. If you’re getting hitched on a shoestring, for example, our Elvis Hound Dog package includes flowers, photography, Elvis as minister and even a keepsake stuffed hound dog, all for under $300. Brides sometimes tell us they spent more on their dress or plane ticket!

For just a bit more, you can find Elvis wedding packages that include more songs, limo transportation, and a choice of settings, including Elvis in our 1950s Doo Wop Diner Chapel, or in our romantic outdoor Gazebo or Garden Chapels. At Viva Las Vegas Weddings, you always have the choice of selecting just the options and upgrades you prefer—things like a custom bouquet, live streaming video coverage, or a fabulous entrance into the chapel driven by Elvis in a vintage pink Cadillac! To see all of our Elvis packages, visit our website at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com and look on the top of the page for our Elvis Weddings drop-down menu.

Outdoor Elvis wedding
Elvis can marry you outdoors in our Gazebo or Garden Chapel, too!(Don’t forget those blue suede shoes!)

For those celebrating a special anniversary with a wedding vow renewal in Las Vegas, an Elvis wedding package is just the thing—whether simple and affordable, or whether you go all out with an Elvis Blue Hawaii themed wedding with Pink Cadillac entrance added as an upgrade! We even do surprise vow renewals, either as a surprise to the bride, or as a surprise to the couple from all the children and grandchildren.

Check out what’s included in our most affordable Elvis package, below. You can also visit our website or give us a call at 702-384-0771 for details on how to customize and upgrade for just the right amount of Elvis for YOU!

The Elvis Hound Dog Wedding Package

Package Features Include:
Ceremony Performed in The Main Chapel
Elvis performs the ceremony and sings one song
Elvis will escort you down the aisle
Two Rose Presentation
4 Candid Photos (taken during ceremony)
Stuffed Animal Hound Dog Keepsake
Elvis Certificate
Candlelit Chapel
Wedding Website and Wedding Invitation
Your Names In Lights on Our Marquee
Wedding Planner
Wedding Coordinator
Witness
Chapel Fee
Ceremony is Limited to 15 Wedding Guests or Less
Price $295.00

Anniversary vow renewal
Our inexpensive Elvis packages are a fun and romantic way to renew your wedding vows on an anniversary trip to Vegas!
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How to Add Pizazz to a Camelot Themed Wedding in Vegas? Invite ELVIS!

Camelot Wedding Vegas
Merlin performs the ceremony at the Camelot Themed Wedding, as Knights of the Round Table stand in waiting.

Only at Viva Las Vegas Weddings can you choose to marry in a setting reminiscent of Camelot and the days of King Arthur! Merlin the Magician will be your minister, or, another option is to request King Arthur or Lady Guinevere to perform the ceremony for you. Regal music, smoke, costumes and pageantry surround you as you say your vows of holy wedlock. Period dress is always optional, but can be super fun–especially if your guests dress up, too.

This week, one dashing couple surprised onlookers with a surprise appearance of Elvis at the end of their “I Do-eth’s! (As they say, only in Vegas!) This was THE KING no one had been expecting. And imagine how folks watching online reacted to this happy ending to the celebration of the wedding of Matthew and Micah!

Elvis Camelot Wedding Vegas
A still from our live streaming action—Elvis joins Merlin for a round of “Viva Las Vegas!”

This wasn’t the first time we’ve customized a Camelot Themed Wedding, either. With a little Hollywood-style magic, Merlin can magically turn himself into Dumbledore for a Harry Potter-ish wedding. Below, Merlin is seen with a Snape impersonator, presiding over the vows of Benjamin (dressed as Darth Vader, of course) and his fair Regina. “Dumbledore”oversaw the rites of (holy-smokes) warwedlock, while Snape kept the oddly-garbed Muggle-born guests at wand’s length. The whole affair was rather odd and topsy-turvy. This sort of thing is all in a day’s work (and wizardry) for the staff at Viva Las Vegas Weddings.

Harry Potter Wedding at Viva Las Vegas
Marriage Wizardry at Viva Las Vegas

The wedding guests were obviously under some sort of spell for the occasion. We’re not sure if they had the better time, or we did. Attendees came dressed as different movie franchise characters, as you can see in the video clip below. Mixing and matching fantasies at your wedding can be half the fun. We’ll customize any of our themed wedding packages to include whatever zaniness you have in mind!

Harry Potter at Viva
Assorted Muggles Surround Bride Regina and Groom Benjamin

Fans of Game of Thrones? Within our Camelot-style set, choose a famous or infamous character to act as “minister” and we’ll do our best to create your custom wedding. Tears of laughter may be shed, but, no blood, thank goodness. (Unless you book for Halloween, naturally. And…gulp…there will likely be an upcharge for special effects and clean up! 😉 )

For more information on our Camelot or other Las Vegas Themed Wedding offerings, visit us at www.vivalasvegaswedddings.com You’ll find all the contact information you need to call with questions and ideas, or to live chat with us about making your wedding day fantasies a reality!

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Meet Viva Las Vegas Weddings’ Florist, Chauffeur, Wedding Planner, Chippendale, Hunky Beach Dude and Knight of the Round Table…Sonny!

Las Vegas Wedding Florists
Sonny, working on custom arrangements for Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey!

When you’re one of the resident florists at Viva Las Vegas Weddings, sometimes your job title doesn’t really cover all you do! Take, for example, Sonny, seen above. Sonny has been with the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel since it opened, nearly 20 years ago. After meeting chapel owner Ron Decar at the gym one day, Sonny was told he’d be perfect as a wedding character for the chapel’s themed weddings–playing a Knight of the Round Table in Camelot weddings, a Chippendale dancer in Las Vegas Themed Weddings, an Egyptian servant carrying brides down the aisle on Cleoptatra’s throne. That sort of thing.

Sonny was not only a great fit for those roles, but he also began answering phones and even driving the chapel limousines! During these early days, though, Sonny also had another career by night…

Sonny arrived in Las Vegas 30 years ago to perform as a gymnast in a show at the Desert Inn, Showstoppers. (He’d also worked with Olympic great Kurt Thomas in Gymnastics America.) Later, Sonny performed as a magician’s assistant in a show called Alakazam! and as an acrobat in the Siegfried and Roy show at the Mirage. All the while, Sonny “moonlighted” during the day at Viva Las Vegas Weddings.

Beach Party Vegas Wedding
Sonny as a surfer dude/groomsman in our Beach Party Themed Wedding

Over time, Sonny found himself hanging out in the onsite Viva Las Vegas Florist Shop. He’d admired beauty of the arrangements and appreciated the talent and skills required to make stunning bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. He learned his trade on the job, watching the other florists, and is largely self-trained in floral design.

After a few years, Sonny branched out and even bought his own successful shop, Red Rock Florist, where he acquired a reputation in Las Vegas as “florist to the Stars,” designing for Strip entertainers. After the economy took a turn, though, Sonny re-focused his business at the chapel. Today, Sonny designs flowers for all of our Traditional, Elvis and Themed Weddings (he’ll even do a custom arrangement, if you wish!) AND still creates arrangements for celebrities playing on the Strip. Among his clients are Elton John, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Reba McEntyre and Brooks and Dunn!

custom wedding bouquets in Vegas
Sonny takes requests for your custom bouquet!

When asked which of his many jobs he likes best, Sonny can’t settle on one answer. So we asked him, after all these years, what memory stands out among all his varied experiences at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. What was the most funny, touching, or even frightening thing he’d witnessed? “Well,” he replied, “There was that one time when I was driving limo many years ago. A car in front of me hit the brakes fast and hard. I had to slam on the brakes, too, to avoid hitting him. The beautiful bride who was sitting in the back of the limousine slipped out of her seat and rolled all the way to the front of the limo! Her legs were in the air, and her veil and hair were all thrown over her face and disheveled. I was mortified! Fortunately, her hubby-to-be had seen the car braking ahead of us, so he completely understood what happened. And, thank goodness, no one was really hurt. This couple had a great sense of humor. But I’ll never forget THAT ride!”

Rocky Horror wedding
Sonny (front and center) in a Rocky’s Horror Themed Wedding

When you visit our chapel, you may see Sonny stocking the floral case with bouquets, or dashing by costumed as a wedding character, but please feel free to say hello. And give us a call anytime to request an upgraded or custom bouquet for your wedding.702-384-0771 Sonny’s always up for a challenge to his creative talents! See our floral upgrade menu on our website at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com for ideas and inspiration!

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