What happens in Vegas usually stays in Vegas — but that may not be the case for 25 lucky military couples who will win a free wedding ceremony in Sin City this Veterans Day weekend.
Clark County and the Las Vegas Wedding Chamber of Commerce have put out a call for applications from couples who want to get married or renew their vows in the Wedding Capital of the World on Nov. 8. To qualify, at least one-half of the pair must be on active duty or a veteran.
“It’s just a way to say ‘thank you’ to the military for all they do for our country,” said County Clerk Lynn Goya.
The day-long event, dubbed “Las Vegas Marries the Military,” got its start last year with 10 ceremonies. Even more venues have agreed to host this time around, with plenty of options for both the traditional and unconventional types.
If a gun range or Elvis impersonator is on your bucket list, they’ve got you covered.
Each winning couple will receive a venue, officiant, photographer and flowers free of charge, as well as a joint reception with cake and champagne after all the ceremonies have wrapped up. Some couples will receive other surprises, such as a limo or spa treatment, throughout the day.
Goya said it’s about giving couples “a wedding that they can really remember.”
“It’s something the industry can do,” she said. “We know how important the wedding day is for people and the wedding experience, and we want to make sure all of our military get to have that experience, even if they didn’t have it the first time they said their vows together.”
One of the couples who renewed their vows during last year’s inaugural event had gotten married over video chat while the groom was deployed to Afghanistan. Another celebrated their 50th anniversary.
Amberrose Cone, who renewed her vows last year with her husband Brandon Cone, a sailor, after six years of marriage, called the experience “unique and beautiful.” The package they won included a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, where the Rev. Julie Nourish officiated a personalized ceremony that recognized the couple’s loved ones who had passed away since their wedding.
“We decided to enter to prove Las Vegas weddings, although viewed as a quick fix or scheme, can lead to long-lasting relationships built on love and commitment,” Cone said in an email.
In the application, due Wednesday, Sept. 26, couples must fill out a form with basic information and upload a short video telling the judges what a Vegas wedding would mean to them.
Goya said they’re looking for people who want a “meaningful experience” — not a vacation.