Going to the chapel …
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Elvis is either frequently played on the radio in Vegas, or I had a sign from the King.
I’d like to think it’s the latter.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, as the sign reads, where exchanging vows at an Elvis-themed establishment is part of the fun in the desert. I considered it highly coincidental, and appropriate, that as soon as I pulled on to the Vegas strip this weekend I heard an Elvis Presley song. Then I passed the Graceland Chapel. Then I saw another Elvis-adorned wedding venue. And another.
This is the spot where marriage is considered a jackpot. Not a bust.
I’ll admit, it can be difficult not to have a skewed impression of the institution of marriage after living near Aspen for seven years. Some of the matrimony, and divorce, stories coming out of our valley seem a lot more expensive, and much less spontaneous, as compared to Sin City. In Vegas, it’s almost too easy to jump right in without all that preparation and those pre-nuptial agreements.
Marriage is a binding contract, after all.
I’m not sure what Elvis would think of all the tribute chapels here, or his dedicated lot of impersonators of all shapes an sizes.
But this idea of getting married, and then playing penny slots until wee hours of the morning, seems too good to be true. Where else can beating the odds have so many meanings?
“Jailhouse Rock” just popped in my head.
I’ve read that the number of marriages in the United States has dropped in recent years. Looking at the variety of operable wedding chapels in Vegas, this is hard to believe. Business seems good. Love seems to be an easy sell. So is cheap booze and adult entertainment.
But with divorce rates at about 50/50, maybe marriages are still happening, they are just more likely to have an Elvis-and-Priscilla ending.
I’ll take more of the Dave-and-Dian scenario. That’s a reference to my mom and dad, who are nearing 40 years of wedded bliss. And by bliss I mean compromise and a fantastic sense of humor about the whole lifetime commitment thing. Maybe they should celebrate with a renewal of vows.
By Elvis, no doubt.
I came out to Vegas to visit my parents, and their best friends, Ed and Kathie, who have also been married longer than Vegas has had Elvis impersonators.
And that’s really saying something. If Elvis isn’t marrying you out here, he’s either singing “Love Me Tender” to you on the street corner or serving you prime rib at 3 a.m. at $5.95 a plate.
Vegas is such a magical place.
I’m not sure if Dave and Dian will go for it, but I say nothing says, “I’ve loved you for 40 years” like a Vegas wedding vow renewal ceremony with an Elvis cameo. That not only sounds like a fantastic Facebook photo opportunity, but it’s also a great idea for a sequel to a Chevy Chase movie about a family vacation with a Wayne Newton cameo.
There just aren’t enough movies out there like that.
If Dave and Dian were to take the plunge again, this time I could be the maid of honor. I just need a satin bridesmaid dress, a Neil Lane diamond-encrusted wedding band (Dad, you’re in charge of that one), and an embarrassing speech to tell everyone how my mom and dad met. I believe a game of poker was involved.
That makes this Dave-and-Dian Vegas wedding vow renewal idea even more special.
I say double down, Dad.
– April E. Clark is experiencing sensory overload. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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