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Get destination wedding information for Vegas, including wedding venues, marriage license laws and essential tips for booking vendors
When it comes to insanely epic wedding destinations, Las Vegas rocks just as hard or harder than everywhere else.
Sin City’s historic wedding industry reputation coupled with The Strip’s bright lights, world-class entertainment and breathtaking natural landscapes means Vegas knows how to deliver classy sassy and bad-assy elopements and wedding trips.
But how do you plan your dream wedding when you live thousands of miles away?
Enter this guide. We created it to give you practical information and all of the Vegas wedding must-knows you need.
You’ll find details on the annoying legal parts of eloping from the UK to Las Vegas, kick-ass location suggestions, inspiration for your day and an overview of accommodation and honeymoon ideas in and around Sin City.
In this guide:
- Planning your wedding remotely
- Sorting the legal stuff
- Your officiant
- Ceremony locations
- Extra touches
- Where to stay — couple and guests
- Local and nearby honeymoon ideas
- Flying from the UK to Las Vegas
- Stress-free elopements from the UK to Las Vegas
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING REMOTELY
Having the Atlantic Ocean between you and your wedding venue and vendors may sound scary as hell. But it doesn’t need to be intimidating or difficult.
Email, video calling and messaging apps like WhatsApp make the process simple. You’re involved at every step and with every decision.
We plan weddings for visitors from the UK inexactly the same way as we plan the weddings of hundreds of other couples every year. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are.
Experienced wedding vendors do everything in their power to deliver the destination wedding you want. If either party needs a catch-up, then you’re only a phone call or email message away.
So really, remote planning a wedding isn’t so daunting. The real bonus, especially if you’ve never been to Vegas before, is that you have someone on your team who’s on location and whose job it is to help you nail down the details.
SORTING THE LEGAL STUFF
Talking about visas and legal paperwork isn’t sexy. But it’s essential.
Failure to get visas and a marriage license can mean no wedding. Here’s what you need to know.
If you and your partner are:
- both British citizens (you have United Kingdom passports)
- planning to be in the States for 90 days or less
- currently not in possession of a visitor’s visa
then you can apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).
Applying for an ESTA is quicker and simpler than applying for a US Visa, which may involve attending an interview at the US Embassy in London.
At the time of writing, an ESTA costs $21 (roughly £16.50) and is completed online.
Full details on who can apply for an ESTA and how it works can be found on U.S. Customs and Border Protection site. Here’s the link directly to the application.
When it comes to visas and entry requirements, there are always exceptions to the rules, and laws change.
You’re responsible for finding out what visas you, your partner and any friends or family need. Do this before booking any part of your wedding or organising a marriage license.
With all that being said, here’s what our lawyers made us say: “We are not visa experts.” If you have questions about entering America for your wedding, contact the US embassy or a legal practitioner in your country of residence.
Covid-19 entry requirements
As of May 11, 2023, you no longer have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the USA. In February 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to lift the requirement that most foreign air travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the few remaining pandemic travel restrictions that was still in place.
And as of May 12, 2023 the Homeland Security Department in the States no longer requires non-U.S. travelers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferries to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination upon request.
The UK has also removed entry and re-entry restrictions. According to Gov.UK, you do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel, do not need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive and do not need to quarantine when you arrive.
Of course, as always, you’re encouraged to double check the most up to date information available on your country’s website, whether it be Gov.UK or another.
Las Vegas marriage laws
Despite Vegas’s “Sin City” nickname, there are a small handful of laws that you must follow to ensure your marriage is legal. But don’t worry — to make wedding tourism a thing in the first damn place, they made it pretty freakin’ easy.
- Both you and your partner must be at least 18 years old.
- You should not be related to the person you intend to marry.
- You should not already be married to someone else. Bigamy is illegal.
A couple of other useful things to know when getting married in Vegas:
- LGBTQI+ marriages are legal.
- Blood tests aren’t necessary to get a marriage license.
Our lawyer: Say it again, please.
Us: We are not legal experts.
Getting a Las Vegas wedding license
You need an approved and valid marriage license authorized by the Clark County Marriage License Bureau. A license costs $102, and getting hold of this essential bit of paperwork is quick and easy.
1. Fill out the application form online. You can do this up to a year in advance and it’ll still be ready for you when you arrive.
2. When you get to Vegas, you and your partner must go to the Clark County Marriage Bureau and present a legal form of ID.
Accepted ID include: driver’s license, passport, US or foreign county ID card and military ID.
3. As long as you’ve completed the pre-application form online, you can head to the Express Lane at the bureau.
Your paperwork and ID are checked and upon approval, and $102 American dollars later you’ll get your marriage license. Just make sure to give it to your officiant before your wedding service.
That’s it. Three steps and you’re done. These steps are also outlined on the Clark County government website.
Making sure your marriage is recognised in the UK
According to Gov.UK, your marriage or civil partnership will be legal in the UK as long as it follows the processes according to US law (and state law).
This means that if you are both British citizens, you shouldn’t need to register your marriage once you return to the UK.
The person conducting your ceremony must be registered to officiate weddings in the state of Nevada.
Electric Sugar Elopements works with a variety of modern celebrants. They’re warm, welcoming and forward-thinking. They also have a knack for finding the right words.
Most of our simple elopement services are 10-minutes long. They involve a welcome message, the exchange of legal vows and a few closing words.
Extra readings and personal flourishes are easily added so you have what we call “a custom wedding ceremony.”
Custom ceremonies involve extra organisation and more of the celebrant’s time, meaning the cost goes up a bit.
The Vegas wedding scene caters to a huge range of tastes and styles. The most famous is the wham-bam, thank you ma’am services on The Strip.
While this suits some, it’s not our focus. We offer numerous hidden wedding venue gems around the valley and are always adding new ones, including the Punk Rock Museum, which opened in Spring of 2023.
Punk Rock Museum
Adding your love story to the history, culture and absurdity of rock ‘n’ roll’s bastard step-child will certainly shock your parents, and that’s kind of the whole point. In addition to a chapel, the museum houses a bar (two warm beers, please), a tattoo parlor and a punk rock merch shop.
- Ample opportunities to explore the artifacts on display while visiting for your wedding.
- Photography options at the most punk rock locations in the nearby Arts District.
- Enough authentic punk rock vibes to make you want to go stage diving.
Las Vegas came into its own during an iconic time in architecture and design history, which gave rise to the legendary Midcentury style. Our Midcentury Manor celebrates this history allowing you to embrace some serious Rat Pack vibes on your wedding day.
- Authentic architectural design elements.
- Vibrant outdoor ceremony site surrounded by rose bushes.
- Frank, Dino and Sammy would be proud.
A revitalized hotel block offers a modern couple the chance to be amongst like minded makers, doers and creators. The minds behind Fergusons have put together a curated and welcoming community perfect for couples wanting to feel part of this unique micro-neighborhood.
- Shops, artwork and gathering places built by local artists.
- Coffee shops and restaurants to revitalize your soul and tame your cravings.
- Enchanting spaces provide eclectic photography options.
Downtown Las Vegas is grimy, filled with murals and its own kind of beautiful. Our team knows the hidden away, secret spots guaranteed to give your elopement instant street cred and mega urban vibes. Cracked pavement, rat’s nest telephone wire filled skies, broken windows…what’s not to love?
- Get hitched amidst the photogenic scenes of a gritty urban environment.
- Unconventional choice perfect for unconventional people.
Chic, vintage, stylish and wild, Eldorado Canyon is a blend of stunning nature and erratic man-made structures — plus the most beautiful cholla cactus field we’ve ever seen. (Extra tip: The sight of the sun setting against these cacti is unreal.)
- Located just 45 minutes from Las Vegas.
- Three ceremony areas to choose from: Cholla Cactus Field, Chapel, Big Barn.
- Great for intimate elopements and expansive enough for larger micro weddings of around 100 guests.
Are you looking to include some real Vegas history in your elopement? Then the Neon Museum is for you. Say “I do” surrounded by iconic neon signs that blazed up the Strip in years gone by and enjoy an offbeat ceremony site that is truly unique and full of playful photo opportunities.
- Located in Downtown Las Vegas, close to trendy restaurants and bars for your reception needs.
- Ceremonies and photoshoots are best held in the private North Gallery, aka the Sweetheart section.
- Private area closed to the public to ensure an intimate, uninterrupted true elopement experience.
7 Magic Mountains
Internationally renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s 7 Magic Mountains dominates the desert landscape 10 miles South of town and gives couples a one-of-a-kind ceremony experience. Punctuating the Mojave with a poetic burst of form and color, this large-scale public art display represents creative expression of human presence in the desert.
- 30 to 35-feet high dayglow totems composed of painted, locally-sourced boulders.
- Attention grabbing and very Instagramable!
- A vibrant work of art, reminding us that wonder can exist wherever we choose to create it.
You can find more images and information about each of these venues, and any special feature venues we’re currently offering, right here.
Looking for something a little more stylish and sophisticated? Check out our sister brand, Cactus Collective Weddings.
EXTRA TOUCHES FOR YOUR DAY
Eloping usually limits the number of extra touches you need to organise.
But having a destination wedding doesn’t mean ditching every flourish.
There’s still room to personalize your day. Some kick-ass extras help your special day run smoothly (from our experience) while others bring the party.
Bouquets and floral decorations
There are a few reasons why you may incorporate flowers into your day.
- Flowers are a simple way to weave your chosen colour theme into decorations.
- Native flowers are a nod to your country of residence or a location that’s significant to you and your partner.
- They’re versatile, so can be used for bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and large and small arrangements.
- They add extra life and color to your photos.
If you choose one of our desert wedding venues, every pop of color in your flowers will stand out against the natural backdrop.
As a little something extra, the florist we work with includes succulents in his arrangements.
They wrap them carefully so you can replant them once you get home, which is a sweet memento.
Just make sure you declare them as you go through customs.
Transport is an easily-overlooked wedding detail. Whether it’s just you and your partner or you’re bringing your fan club, you need transport to get to your venue and then onto your reception.
(Yeah, okay, the exception being if you’re having the whole celebration at the one venue.)
For out-of-town locations, which many of ours are, we strongly recommend booking private transport.
There are several options you can explore.
If it’s just the two of you, you could hire a car and drive yourselves or hire a chauffeured vehicle.
If you’re bringing guests, book a minibus, party bus or coach to bring everyone to your wedding venue. This avoids the risk of someone getting lost and delaying the wedding.
Hair and makeup
When you look good, you feel good — which is why you might consider booking a professional to help with your hair and makeup.
You can hire a mobile professional hairdresser (or barber) and makeup artist to come to your accommodation, or find a local salon.
Wherever you’ve decided to use your pamper time, let your service know if it’s just you, or you plus your wedding party and close family.
Photography and video
One of our core beliefs at Electric Sugar Elopements is that every couple deserves beautiful, high-quality wedding photos.
After the celebrations, the video and photos are what you’ll look back on. When booking this service, think about how much of your day you want your photographer or videographer to capture.
You may want just the ceremony photographed followed by an official wedding day photoshoot.
If this doesn’t sound like enough, and you want photos of you getting ready through to the wedding meal, speeches and reception then discuss booking your photographer for the whole day.
You may think the cutting of the cake is a wedding tradition you can do without, but we think it’s a fun way to add a little personality to the day.
Decadent chocolate cakes, pretty cupcakes and doughnut towers — we’ve seen it all. This extra touch is a great way to start the celebrations after your ceremony.
Live music during a ceremony creates the perfect vibe and environment for an intimate elopement.
It provides entertainment for your guests as they gather and await your arrival and during the signing of the marriage register.
Your musician may also take requests, giving you a chance to hear that perfectly appropriate shock rock single that’s significant to you and your partner.
Find more inspiration on how to personalise your day, and to see prices, please visit our Extra Touches page.
WHERE TO STAY — FOR COUPLES AND GUESTS
Las Vegas has a range of accommodation styles that suits all destination wedding budgets.
If it’s your first time here, search for accommodation on The Strip, Fremont Street and Downtown to get the full Vegas experience.
These areas put the bright lights, shows, restaurants, bars, clubs and casinos on your doorstep.
If the Strip isn’t your scene, consider nearby areas such as Summerlin, Henderson and Spring Valley. Here you’ll find comfortable, quality hotels such as Red Rock Casino and Resort, the JW Marriott and Green Valley Ranch.
All of these suburbs are easily accessible and full of life.
Quiet doesn’t mean dull. No matter where you stay, you’ll still find modern dining experiences, plenty of shopping opportunities, outdoor activities and local events.
Consider hiring a car or check public transport links if you do choose to stay in one of these suburbs, especially if you plan on visiting The Strip.
LOCAL AND NEARBY HONEYMOON IDEAS
Planning to honeymoon in Las Vegas, the wider Nevada region, or hop across a state line to California, Arizona, Utah or other parts of the American West?
Here are some big attractions and a few offbeat ideas for what to do and see if you’re sticking around after your wedding.
The 18b Arts District is a collection of galleries, street art, bars and theatres that stretch more than 18 blocks (hence its name).
The defining feature is The Arts Factory. This converted warehouse is home to more than 20 galleries and art studios, along with small gift stores and spaces for poetry and music readings.
Visit 18barts.org to see what fairs, markets, shows and events are taking place during your visit.
Museums — Vegas-Style
Vegas is home to weird and wonderful museums such as the Mob Museum, the only museum in America dedicated to the history of organized crime.
You’ll also find The Neon Museum in Vegas (where retired Vegas Strip neon signs live their golden years), Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, Punk Rock Museum and the Erotic Heritage Museum.
This last one is home to the world’s largest sex bike. Only in Vegas, right?
State and National Parks
You may have just got married in one of the Nevada state and national parks.
But exploring the various trails isn’t ideal when dressed and prepped for your wedding day, so you may want to come back when you’re properly equipped and kitted out.
Both Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire have hiking and bike tour trails that vary in length and difficulty.
Don’t fancy being that active? Enjoy one of the picnic areas for lunch and a stroll, or go camping for a few nights.
For boating, swimming or fishing try Cave Rock or Echo Canyon.
Or get a glimpse of pioneer life at Buckland Station, Ward Charcoal, Ovens and Spring Mountain Ranch state parks.
Got a little more time on your hands? You’re also close to Zion National Park in Utah (around 2.5 hours drive) and Joshua Tree National Park, where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet (around 4 hours drive).
Of course, you must see The Grand Canyon while you’re here. It’s well-worth booking a helicopter tour from Vegas over the Grand Canyon.
Travel further afield to northern Nevada and you’ll find the stunning Lake Tahoe area on the California-Nevada border.
The crystal clear lake, surrounding snow-capped mountains and pine forests are a recipe for romance and a popular destination for visitors on their way to or from the San Francisco Bay area.
Driving takes around 8 hours from Vegas, or you could catch a flight to Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
If surf and sand are more your bag, then some other honeymoon hot spots within reach include the Southern California meccas of Los Angeles and San Diego. California dreamers can make the trip to the coast and enjoy these world-famous beach towns home to laid back vibes.
FLYING FROM THE UK TO LAS VEGAS
There are daily flights from the UK to Las Vegas, making it a very accessible wedding destination.
Here’s a rough idea of the flight times from the UK’s largest airports to McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas.
|Depart From||Estimated Travel Time|
|Heathrow||10 to 11 hours|
|Birmingham||10 to 14 hours|
|Edinburgh||13 to 20 hours|
STRESS-FREE ELOPEMENTS FROM THE UK TO LAS VEGAS
Hopefully this guide has given you a starting point as you work out whether Vegas is the right elopement destination for you.
Our Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Vegas is another great resource, going into greater detail about what it feels like to get married in Vegas, how the ceremony works and more.
Of course, if there’s anything we can do to help you plan your Vegas elopement, please reach out.
For couples with personality wanting an offbeat, boundary-pushing wedding, McKenzi Taylor is fast-becoming America’s go-to elopement and micro-wedding expert. Electric Sugar Elopements barged onto the scene in 2021, with the company drawing on McKenzi’s 15+ years as a wedding photographer, 5+ years as a successful wedding coordinator, and standing as a board member for the LV chapter of WIPA. Her ‘let’s do this differently’ attitude to weddings has helped over 700 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills, and has led to her being featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times.