"How to get married in Las Vegas" by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography
Getting married in Las Vegas is really easy.
You won't need to bring a lifetime of paperwork or even wait more than 10 minutes to receive your marriage license. Ministers in Las Vegas are a dime a dozen, and of course, we can't forget the surplus of amazing wedding chapels to choose from. (My personal favorite is the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, where I have worked as a wedding planner and coordinator. It's the only themed wedding chapel in Vegas and is LGBTQ+ owned and operated.)
Even with it being so easy, trying to research exactly what you need can be a little confusing and overwhelming. If you don't know what to look for, you could get confused by apostille, license, certificate, etc.
I gathered everything you need to know about getting married in Las Vegas. It does not matter whether you're a local, from out of town, or traveling across the seas to be here. Trust me, it's easier than you think. You got this!
Marriage License: The document you'll need in order to legally get married in the state of Nevada. Cost: $77 at the Marriage License Bureau.
Certified Copy: The sign of approval acknowledging your marriage is legal in the state of Nevada and everywhere else. Submit this copy to the government. You can also use this to change your name if you want to. Cost: $20 per copy.
Apostille: Only needed if you're from out of the country. The apostille certifies by the Secretary of State that you were married and it's legal. It can take up to 3-4 weeks to process. Cost: $20 per copy.
First, you'll need to gather your documents.
What documents do you need to get married in Las Vegas?
Only one! You'll only need to bring a valid ID with you to the Marriage License Bureau. A driver's license, passport, birth certificate, or military ID all work equally well. You'll likely already have your driver's license on you, so you're all set!
Second, with your ID in tow, you'll both need to visit the Marriage License Bureau together.
The Las Vegas Marriage License Bureau is located at 201 E. Clark Avenue Las Vegas, Nevada 89101. The bureau is open from 8 am to midnight, seven days a week, except federal holidays.
A line of kiosks greets you as soon as you enter. Yes, in Las Vegas you get your marriage license from a kiosk - so modern. You'll input all of your information, such as your names, addresses, previous marriages, etc. Be sure to have on hand any previous divorce dates, if applicable. If you would prefer to skip this step, you can fill out a pre-application online before going to the bureau. The pre-application is good for 90 days, so don't fill it out too far in advance or you may have to do it all over again!
Once you've filled in your information, wait for a teller to open. The teller will verify your credentials and then hand you your marriage license. The cost of a license is $77, which you can pay in cash or by card. If you pay by card, there is an additional service fee.
The Marriage License
The license will come in a white envelope, and I highly recommend leaving everything together. Your officiant will only need a few of the documents inside, but I've seen couples lose or forget documents too many times.
You can purchase your marriage license up to one full year ahead of your wedding date. The license will expire after 365 days, at which point you'll have to apply for a new copy.
Your visit to the Marriage License Bureau is now over! You're one step closer.
Third, have a wedding!
Arguably, both the easiest and hardest step of them all: marry the love of your life. Like I mentioned earlier, your officiant will only need a few of the documents inside the white envelope, and they'll know which ones. Keep in mind, you'll need at least one witness to sign the license, and they must be present at the ceremony. You can have up to two witnesses, but it only takes one to be legal.
*Little Tip: Choose a witness with nice penmanship. The line to sign is very small and they cannot go under the line provided. You'll want pretty letters and not chicken scratch on your license!
Alert the government
Your officiant has 10 days after your ceremony to submit their documents to be filed legally. After the 10 days, you can go online (or in person, if you're still here) and order your Certified Copy. The certified copy is what you'll need to change your name or notify any organizations that you're now married. No government agency will accept anything other than a certified copy.
Nevada charges $20 per certified copy. I recommend calculating how many copies you'll need ahead of time, as some agencies may not require a hard copy. This will prevent you from overspending!
If you're from another country, you may need to also apply for an apostille. The apostille is basically a certified mark on top of the certified copy, approved by the Secretary of State. It reiterates that yes, you were married here, and yes, it is legal. These documents can take several weeks to be processed. If you're not from out of the country, skip this step!
Don't forget to stay at one of the many romantic airBNB's here in Las Vegas. You can stay on or off the strip with any of these places. Almost all of them have a private jacuzzi!
Lastly, you will need to submit documents to change your name (if applicable) and add your spouse to insurance, bills, etc.
Each agency will have different rules for how to apply for a name change or to add an additional person to the contract. I highly recommend researching these ahead of time so you're prepared. When I got married, I made an Excel sheet with each place I knew I'd need to update. In the next column, I pasted the link to their site that told me the application requirements, as well as a link to the application. By the time I was able to start filling these out, it was a breeze.
And that's it! It really isn't too complicated, right? But don't worry, if you're still feeling a little overwhelmed planning your elopement or wedding, download my free Absolute Wedding Planning Checklist. In this guide, I explain everything you'll need to keep in mind while planning, according to the timeline that works best.
Ready to plan your amazing Las Vegas Elopement? I can't wait to hear about your dream ceremony!
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Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Las Vegas, hotography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Photographing in the surrounding PNW areas and traveling often for destination love stories. Specializing in intimate candids and editorial portraits to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding day for every couple. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience. She photographs you as you so you'll love your photos authentically.
"Destiny definitely stood out amongst other photographers because we absolutely loved how involved she was from the very beginning. She really wants to get to know you- which makes for really intimate photos! She asks tons of questions, which is awesome because you feel like you know her before even meeting her! And once you finally do, she is so so sweet!!! Destiny is so great at communicating and being really involved in every detail! She captured every emotion and detail perfectly, whenever I look at our wedding pictures, it brings back every feeling on our special day. TEARS!"
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