November 29, 1995
Web posted at: 7:30 a.m. EST
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- At the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, they've served up a quarter million happy couples. Right next door, at the Graceland Chapel, there have even been a couple of celebrity matrimonies.
Forget the caterer, the guest list, the invitations, the thank-you notes, the battling in-laws. At these little roadside chapels of marital bliss, you can get a ring for $30 bucks, a T-shirt to commemorate the blessed event, a bumper sticker so you don't have to soap up your windows, and a silk flower bridal bouquet to toss at Elvis.
That's right: For roughly $120 dollars more you can get the King of Rock 'n' Roll himself -- well, maybe a King clone -- to croon while you say your "I do's." (646K QuickTime movie)
Elvis will even give the bride away and perform a mini-concert afterwards. ( Elvis impersonator Norm Jones - 77K AIFF sound or 77K WAV sound) Who needs a band when you've got the master of mutton chops to set the mood? The bride gets a sweaty souvenir scarf from Elvis and of course, wedding pictures. Just imagine your parents face when they see you and your new spouse nestled together with the King of doughnuts and rhinestone-studded leather himself.
But if you're into, say Pavoratti, the experience may be a bit flat for you. But if you're in Las Vegas and loving it and get the hankering after blackjack to get hitched, then you're probably not going to mind a little Elvis. To some, Elvis is Vegas, and vice-versa.
And say you've already done the big church wedding with the battling in-laws and the tux rental and the fainting lock-kneed groomsman, and you just want to renew your vows. The Graceland Chapel can do that, too.
While the couples who flock to hear Elvis mumble and sway through their ceremony think that a Vegas wedding is grand, some of their friends and family find it, well, a little weird. "We had to explain to a 13- and 15-year-old why we were doing this, and they said, 'Don't tell anyone.'" says newlywed Lori Smith.
But if you love the King and just don't want to sweat it out in a church, or you just want to say "I do" all over again, head for Vegas. Elvis makes a pretty cute flower girl, too.
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