Tuesday, August 31, 2010

30 years on and Las Vegas

DSC_7931 When we were young, my girlfriend and I eloped to Las Vegas and were married in the Candlelight Wedding Chapel. 30 years later my wife and I returned to celebrate our anniversary. We found that our wedding chapel had closed and was transformed into a museum complete with life-sized dummies reenacting a wedding. Its former owner saved it the building from destruction and gave it to the people of Nevada. It was moved from its previous location in front of the Riviera and Circus Circus Hotels to the grounds of the Clark County Museum.

In its day it was the place to get married in Vegas.

Originally Little Church of the West Algiers and then All Religions Wedding Chapel, it was the first chapel with an 800 number and limo service. It married so many couples daily that a side door was installed to usher out fresh newlyweds so they wouldn’t bump into wedding parties making their formal procession down the aisle.

We entered through the front doors on August 30, 1980, and a little after 2 in afternoon, exited through the side door. Since we were too young to gamble, we played pinball at Circus Circus instead. Good times.

My wife and I plan to donate some of our memorabilia to the museum’s display. They are collecting pictures, marriage certificates, receipts and anything else related to the chapel. I’ll post our wedding picture to Facebook. Don’t laugh. I wore flip-flops.