Friday, December 14, 2012

The Vegas "I Do's" are Done for 12.12.12, But Not Forgotten

Weddings seemed to be the biggest (perhaps only) way people were embracing the last in a series of what has become several auspicious repeating dates of the Millenium. There was 10/10/10, then 11/11/11, and now finally 12/12/12 had arrived. At the South end of the Las Vegas Strip is the Little Church of the West, at the North end is the Clark County Marriage Bureau (Division of Clerks). I spoke with both offices one before and one after the last big repeating date in most of our lifetimes. Not before I toured the Strip's "Wedding District" to see what it had in store for visiting nuptial holders. This is what these wedding professionals revealed about how Las Vegas treated the calendar event. 

12/11/12 A Phone Chat with Little Church of the West
Julie of "Little Church of the West" was busy but able to field my call on 12/11/12 the day before the large festivities. "This is as large a date as 11/11/11 probably because this is the last date available." Julie told me. "There is no 13/13/13. Over 100 weddings are booked and a few slots are left. The most popular package (we don't do themes) has been the "Marry Me" package. When asked if she was working the other repeating dates she said "Yes. They were all really busy like 12/12/12. It's fun, it's busy, it's a great day. The only one we'll have next year is 11/12/13."

12/12/12 Weddings in Progress All Over the Strip
At the South end of the Strip across from the Little Church of the West is the world famous Las Vegas Sign (near McCarran Airport). I went to capture the slideshow photos for this article. I saw five brides or more in under 30 minutes at the sign. One was just becoming a bride. As I approached, an Elvis Impersonator said "Promise me one thing, you won't step on each other's blue suede shoes. And now, by the power invested in me by the state of Nevada, I pronounce you Man and Wife." He then turned on his portable speaker and sang out an Elvis favorite. The newlyweds danced as other just-married couples came at dusk and took pictures with the Las Vegas Sign in View, the famous Strip Skyline behind them. The in-progress Observation Wheel by Skyvue was off to the right as cars whizzed by and honked at the newlyweds in black and white. It's all happening - every day here in Vegas - but today saw a lot more wedding numbers than usual.

The North end of the Strip past Sahara holds many vintage and famous Wedding Chapels. The "Wedding District" usually does at least 200 weddings a day, but will do many more than this for a special date like 12/12/12. One such chapel is the themed wedding chapel called Viva Las Vegas (pictured). Themed weddings with Elvis, Sinatra and other greats who are also ordained Ministers are the specialty of this large Chapel near to the world famous Pawn Stars shop.

12/13/12 Some Day-After Facts
I spoke with Stephanie Joseph of the Clark County Marriage Bureau (Division of Clerks) next. My burning question was of course how many wedding licences were issues for 12/12/12 ? The answer wasn't as straight-forward as I thought. "431 marriage licenses were issued on 12/12/12." Joseph Said. "They now have one year to use them. In fact some of the people who got married today may have gotten their license a year in advance. If you want the number of people wed on 12/12/12 you have to ask the Clark County Recorder's Office. They will know by 12/24/12. The civil weddings that took place were 39 on 12/12/12 this year. But you can get the total number of weddings in Clark County including Las Vegas by 12/24/12. "

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Story and photos by Frankie Tease