What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas — and if you’re considering eloping in Sin City, that’s a very good thing. Whether you’re looking to tie the knot near the bright city lights or are wanting to head outside the strip for a beautiful desert backdrop, you may be wondering how to elope in Vegas, because let’s face it: even if you’re embracing spontaneity, there are still a handful of steps before you can say, “I do.”
How to elope in Vegas
Set your date (and a budget)
Once you’ve decided that you’re all in on a Las Vegas elopement, picking out your date is the natural next step. Rather than closing your eyes and pointing to a date on the calendar, look up the weather for the time of year you’re considering. While Nevada has mild, enjoyable weather in the winter, the summer months can be brutal, especially without shade.
After you’ve established your wedding date, it’s time to talk about the money, honey. Much like a traditional wedding, talking with your partner and agreeing on a budget is the next step in figuring out how to elope in Vegas. If you’re choosing to elope alone, the good news is that your budget only needs to cover the basics, like an officiant, a photographer, and a location (or more, depending on how big you want your day to be). The cost of these vendors can vary, so make sure you gather up as much information as you can about each piece of your wedding day before making a final decision. Which brings us to our next step…
Hire your team
There are tons of talented photographers, florists, videographers, hair and makeup artists — the list goes on and on. You can’t hire everyone for your big day, but that’s where the fun comes in. Be on the hunt for vendors that are crucial to your day and important for you to have, and make sure you’re searching for team that, when tallied up, will all be within your budget. Even if you’re hoping to keep things simple, there are certain vendors that may be convenient — like transportation services — that are worth looking into at the very least. Whether you’re looking to elevate your Las Vegas elopement by renting decor details or are looking to rent an Insta-worthy getaway car, make sure that you crunch the numbers to ensure you’re staying within your means.
Consider a guest list
If you know that you and your partner would like to elope in Vegas solo, feel free to skip on through this step! If you are contemplating guests, though, first make sure that the location you choose can fit the general amount of people you’re considering inviting. And, if you’re having guests travel to Vegas for your big day, you may want to create some form of itinerary filled with activity ideas and restaurant suggestions for them to utilize during their stay. A great way to share this information with guests is by creating a welcome bag that will be waiting for them at their hotel or other accommodation, that way they have something tangible to take along with them as they explore before or after your Las Vegas elopement.
Sorting through the legalities
Even if you want Elvis to marry you, you’ll still need to go through the legal process of obtaining a marriage license. If you’re wondering how to elope in Vegas legally, the answer is that it’s a fairly easy process in Nevada. First, you and your partner must both be at least 18 years old, and you both must bring proof of identity with you (which can be a passport, a driver’s license or a social security card). You will need to pay the marriage license cost of $77 using cash, credit card, cashier’s check, money order, or traveler’s check. While you can download and bring the marriage license application from the Clark County Marriage Bureau’s website, you must both be there in person to hand it in. As with all bureaus, call ahead of time to check the hours of operation to ensure your intended visit won’t be off-hours. There is also no waiting period to receive your marriage license — you can marry the same day you pick up your license!
If you’re a resident of another country, you can still get married in Las Vegas and go through fairly the same steps, but check to see what legal documents your country of residence requires to ensure that your marriage will be recognized. Ceremonies performed in Las Vegas are recognized worldwide, but your country of residence may require an apostille to finalize your marriage. Make sure that you sort through this information prior to leaving your country — if you don’t bring any particular documentation you need in order to be married, then your ceremony will not be considered legal.
Once you’ve ran through all of these steps, you should now be that much closer to saying yes to forever, viva Las Vegas-style.