‘There’s no place like Vegas’ for a Valentine’s Day wedding


In the marriage capital of the world — Las Vegas — love is always in the air.

This month, Clark County expects an influx of marriage license applications, with one date, Feb. 22, 2022 (2/22/22) — a popular pick for numerology fans — expected to break records. The downtown Las Vegas Marriage License Bureau was shut down for six weeks in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, it quickly returned to business in 2021. The number of marriage certificates issued in that year was greater than 2019.

Although the U.S. marriage rate is generally declining, the country will see an estimated 2.5 million weddings in 2022 — the highest number in the past decade, according to the Knot.

Two people kiss as an Elvis impersonator sings

Rodger Lueto of Humble, Texas, and Jessica Negron of Wallington, N.J., kiss after their Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony at Graceland Wedding Chapel.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

Two people kiss as others look on

Paul and Carrie Huyssoon, surrounded by their families, kiss during the wedding ceremony at A Little White Wedding Chapel.

(Bridget Bennett / The Times).

A couple feed each other cupcakes simultaneously

After the ceremony, the couple shares cupcakes.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

On Valentine’s Day morning, the bureau was bustling with soon-to-be-married couples. They were dressed in jeans and dresses, embracing and sharing kisses as they waited in line to purchase marriage licenses — the document that would render their union legally valid — for $102. The line can stretch for hundreds of feet and wrap around the block on some days, Lynn, County Clerk, stated. Marie Goya oversees the bureau.

“Everyone loves Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s is always a busy day for us,” Goya said. “It’s very easy to come to Clark County to get married.”

A woman wearing a white veil passes the Marriage License Bureau in Las Vegas

A pedestrian passes by the Marriage License Bureau and sees a woman in a white veil.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

Two people stand at window number five

Leslie Hines and Cassandra visit the Marriage License Bureau to apply for their marriage license.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

Couples wait in a line at a government office decorated with hearts

Couples wait in line for their marriage licenses amid Valentine’s decorations.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

A pigeon walks amid flower petals on the ground

Downtown Las Vegas: Flower petals line the streets.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

The office is open all year round, from 8 p.m. to midnight. It prides itself on its efficiency. Goya explained that the average wait time for a license is about 10 minutes.

“If you’re planning a big wedding at home, that’s not who we are,” Goya said. “If you really want to focus on you and not the event, but the actual nuptials and celebrating with your family and friends, there’s no place like Vegas.”

A woman in a wedding dress and veil holds two small dogs

Melissa Dowe and her dogs wait for the vow renewal ceremony to start with Jason.

(Bridget Bennett / The Times).

A couple in traditional wedding dress hold hands and face each other

The couple renews their vows at Las Vegas’ Wedding Chapel.

(Bridget Bennett / The Times).

A wedding dress is on display.

On display is a wedding dress.

(Bridget Bennett / The Times).

Two people wearing wedding-themed T-shirts kiss as their photo is taken

Rodger Lueto poses with Jessica Negron for wedding photos.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

A drive-through wedding chapel window

The Little White Wedding Chapel’s drive-through window.

(Bridget Bennett / The Times).

Two people kiss, sitting in the front seat of a vintage car

Kelly Firesheets from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Jason Moore are seen embracing after their drive through wedding ceremony.

(Bridget Bennett/For The Times).

Numerous wedding chapels were open Monday. Melissa and Jason Dowe brought their two Yorkshire Terriers Minni, and Harley to Vegas Weddings, downtown Las Vegas. Two truck drivers, the two shared their first kiss in 2014.

Jason informed Melissa that he was going to marry her. “I laughed in the man’s face,” Melissa said Monday morning. “I told him, ‘Good luck on that one.’”

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