There’s nothing that screams old school Las Vegas like an Elvis wedding chapel wedding ceremony so it was my pleasure to have a front row seat for a friend’s wedding at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel which bills it self as the largest freestanding chapel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Arriving a little early I watch another happy couple customize their ceremony with the full Elvis add-on although the King isn’t the only themed wedding option as the chapel’s slogan is “if you can dream it, we can theme it!” as everything from Star Trek to Zombie is possible.

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While fun-filled these wedding ceremonies are completely legal as the groom, David, explained about obtaining the marriage licence from the Clark County Marriage Licence Bureau in downtown Las Vegas near Freemont Street as proper identification, a completed application and $77 are the requirements to obtain a wedding licence. Bureau statistics show the number of licences issued has dropped by as much as one third in the last decade but tourism officials hope adding gay marriages and more advertising will help reverse the trend.

David and bride Karen welcome our small group before they were whisked away and guests were  invited into the wedding chapel were we chatted until the 2001: A Space Odyssey Theme Song (Also sprach Zarathustra)   music swelled, lights dimmed and dry ice fog built the excitement which climaxed with the opening of large double doors at the rear of the chapel to reveal the happy couple seated in the back of a pink convertible Cadillac driven by a sequined jumpsuit 70’s Elvis who breaks into That’s All Right. Talk about an entrance!

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After the formal vows were exchanged and Elvis sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” the 10-minute ceremony ended with fun promises from Elvis song titled and lyrics for David to always love Karen tender and never leave her at Heartbreak Hotel while Karen pledge to never return him to sender and never step on his blue suede shoes followed by the signature Elvis song Viva Las Vegas song.

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The wedding reception was held at another classic Las Vegas venue, the Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge whose chrome, neon and velour interior is a throwback to 1972 when it opened its doors.

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The Peppermill, which features a sunken fireside lounge, has been used as the setting in a number of movies and TV shows including Casino, CSI Las Vegas and Showgirls.

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photo by Krista CC by 2.0

The night ended with a few cocktails and wishes for a long and happy marriage for David & Karen and thanks for having included guests in their fun-filled ceremony which was the highlight of my Vegas trip.