Quickie Las Vegas weddings are a little slower around Valentine’s Day. More than 1,500 marriage licenses are issued during the days leading up to and including Feb. 14. That’s double the number of licenses issued during an average non-holiday period.
So why not pick up your marriage license in the same place you pick up your baggage and your Starbucks chai latte – in Baggage Claim 5 next to the Southwest carousel at Harry Reid International Airport’s Terminal 1?
Normally, hopeful husbands and wives must wait on line at the main Marriage License Bureau office at 201 E. Clark St. – the one closest to most of the chapels. But that line is likely to be twice as long around Valentine’s Day.
The idea for the pop-up bureau came from Rosemary Vassiliadis, the airport’s director of aviation, during a brainstorming session she had with Clark County Clerk Lynn Marie Goya six years ago.
“I immediately recognized how great the idea was,” Goya told Casino.org. “Weddings are an important part of Las Vegas history, and a big reason why people come to Las Vegas and bring their family and friends. Since they’re coming through the airport anyway, it’s a great synergy.”
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, about 4% of all visitors to the region come primarily for a wedding – theirs or someone else’s. Since 1909, more than 5 million marriage licenses have been issued by Clark County, which markets itself as the Wedding Capital of the World.
In 2022, there were 77,574 weddings performed in Las Vegas. That’s up nearly 2,000 from 2021 but still down 40% from 2004’s record of 128,000. This reflects the national trend of younger generations rejecting the institution. According to a recent survey for the charity Relate, Gen Z were the least likely to say marriage was important to them (27%), compared to 38% of millennials, 41.9% of boomers and 60% of over-75s.
Since the Pop-Up Valentine’s Day Bureau first appeared six years ago – it took Valentine’s Day 2021 off for COVID – Goya said couples regularly call the airport, and the Marriage License Bureau, asking if it will be there.
“Everyone loves it,” she said, “and I’m not aware of any other place doing anything like this. So we’ve made it a regular Valentine’s Day thing. As long as they want us there, we will be there.”
Getting hitched is easy in Las Vegas. For an application to be approved, each person must be at least 18 years old and unmarried, and the couple must not be nearer to kin than second cousins or cousins of half-blood. Also, Goya added, neither person must be visibly inebriated. The application fee is $102.
Marriage licenses in Nevada are valid for one year. They expire if not followed by a ceremony performed in Nevada by a Nevada-licensed officiant and witnessed by someone other than the officiant. (Fees vary by chapel, but a basic package at the historic “A Little White Wedding Chapel” begins at just $50.)
The pop-up bureau will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will only issue marriage licenses and vow renewal certificates. Couples are also encouraged to fill out a marriage license pre-application, to expedite the process even more. It can be found on the County Clerk’s website.
Marriage licenses will also remain available at the Marriage License Bureau main office at 201 E. Clark St. in downtown Las Vegas, which is open from 8 a.m. to midnight every day, including holidays.
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