Las Vegas and Drive-thru weddings are synonymous with one another. And although Las Vegas has a ton to offer in the way of types of weddings (after all, it is the wedding capital of the world), drive-thru weddings in Las Vegas are still one of the most popular ways to wed in Sin City.
What Makes Drive-Thru Weddings Great
Drive-thru wedding ceremonies are fun.
Drive-thru weddings have remained popular for decades and for good reason. Not only is it easy to book a drive-thru wedding, but it’s also fun and memorable. Having a drive-thru wedding is one of the most non-traditional ways to celebrate your nuptials and it offers couples a way to have an adventurous elopement without any stress.
Drive-thru weddings are versatile.
And if having a stress-free wedding day wasn’t already a great thought, drive-thru weddings are also versatile and can fit almost any couple looking to craft a wedding day to their own vibe and style. Your wedding day can be small and intimate, with just the two of you. Or, if you’re wanting to have friends and family be a part of your day, you can have them attend your drive-thru ceremony with you. A drive-thru wedding offers a unique way to have fun and give your guests a one-of-a-kind experience.
Drive-thru ceremonies are quick.
Not only are drive-thru weddings easy to plan and book, but the ceremony is quick too. If you’re looking to breeze through your ceremony and enjoy the rest of your wedding day, drive-thru weddings are the perfect option. A typical drive-thru ceremony lasts around 5-10 minutes. Couple that time, with the few minutes beforehand meeting with your officiant, and you can be in and out of a drive-thru wedding chapel in 30 minutes. However, I recommend sticking around for photos on the chapel grounds, as the day will be flying by and you’ll want something to help you remember everything!
Drive-thru wedding days are affordable.
Drive-thru weddings are an affordable way to have a memorable wedding day without all the extra costs a traditional wedding day might come with. Having a drive-thru wedding allows you to put your money toward other elements of your wedding that you are most excited about like photography, beautiful florals, or an amazing reception dinner.
What You Need for a Drive-Thru Wedding
Although drive-thru weddings require much less planning than a traditional wedding day, you’ll still want to make sure you have a few details buttoned down. Here are a few pointers to consider for your drive-thru wedding:
- You still need a marriage license. If you plan on being legally wed, you’ll still need a marriage license, regardless of how casual a ceremony may be. Make sure you visit the Marriage License Bureau website to preregister for a marriage license before coming to Las Vegas, then you’ll have to pick up your marriage license in person before you head to a drive-thru wedding chapel. Click here for more info on getting a marriage license in Las Vegas.
- You’ll want to make a reservation at a Wedding Chapel. Though many Wedding Chapels in Las Vegas allow walk-ins, I recommend reserving a day and time for your drive-thru wedding. Because every wedding day has variables, to give you added peace of mind and less stress, plan ahead with your Wedding Chapel of choice. It’s also helpful to have a time slot reserved if you’re planning on inviting guests to your wedding so they’ll know definitively when to be at your Wedding Chapel.
- Transportation. This might seem like an obvious one, considering drive-thru weddings are done in vehicles but you might be surprised to know that some wedding chapels offer their own vehicles that are already staged within a drive-thru for couples to get married in. With this in mind, its a good idea to check with your Wedding Chapel to see what their options are, then plan ahead if you’re going to need additional transportation to and from your Chapel – other than the vehicle you’ll be getting married in. And if you are planning to have guests, a popular option is to hire a party bus to accommodate all of your friends and family to and from the Chapel.
- A Photographer. Some Chapels offer in-house photography, but I highly recommend hiring your own photographer and bringing them with you to your ceremony. Having your own photographer ensures that you know and like their photography style, so you’re happy with your wedding photos in the long run. In-house photographer’s style and consistency vary based on the photographer, and there is never a guarantee that you’ll like the photographer’s work that you get stuck with at a Chapel. You’ll want to check with your Wedding Chapel to make sure they allow outside wedding photographers.
Don’t Forget The Details
Because drive-thru wedding ceremonies are so fast and easy, you may be tempted to skip over some of the more traditional details entailed in a wedding day. As a photographer, I highly recommend considering at least a few details for your wedding day, as it always adds so much style and interest to your wedding photos. Here are a few detail-oriented items to consider for your drive-thru wedding:
- Florals – Having a bouquet can add so much color to your photos. Not only that, it breaks up the monotony of the backdrop of a car or drive-thru tunnel. Consider a bouquet and/or boutonniere to liven up your photos.
- Sunglasses – Drive-thru weddings in Vegas are outside in the hot and sunny Vegas heat. Having sunglasses for your ceremony or afterward during your photos will add style and will also protect your eyes from the intense sun.
- Jackets – If it’s winter (and Vegas does get cold during wintertime), I recommend a stylish Jacket or Shall. A cute jean jacket or leather jacket will go a long way in keeping you warm and looking stylish.
- Champagne – Celebrating after your ceremony on the side of the road on the Vegas strip is a VIBE! Consider something fun like this to help make your day even more memorable.
The time of day and time of year you decide to have your drive-thru makes all the difference. Again, speaking from a photographer’s perspective, the time of day you choose to have your ceremony can make or break good photos. The best time of day for photos is always going to be later in the afternoon, so consider planning your ceremony start time to be in the evening.
Likewise, the time of year you choose for your ceremony will also affect what you decide to wear, and where you’ll want to go before and after your ceremony. There are also holidays, and special events to consider that may make the Wedding Chapels, or Vegas Strip busier.
Consider Planning Additional Locations
Because your drive-thru wedding ceremony will be so quick, it’s a good idea to plan for additional locations with your photographer. This will allow your wedding day to be truly adventurous, and you’ll be getting a ton of variety in your photos that are totally unique to the Las Vegas experience. Because most of the wedding chapels are situated between downtown and the Strip (yes, they’re two different locations), downtown Las Vegas is a popular option for photos after getting hitched at a drive-thru Wedding Chapel.
If you’re renting a fancy car for your drive-thru ceremony, consider an additional location like the roof of a parking garage that overlooks Las Vegas as an option. The sky is the limit with photo locations in Las Vegas, and you can consult with your photographer to find which locations will be right for you.
My Favorite Drive-Thru Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas
I couldn’t finish this article without mentioning what my absolute favorite drive-thru Wedding Chapel is: The Little White Wedding Chapel. This is, hands down, the most iconic wedding chapel in Las Vegas. Not only have numerous celebrities been married here (Joan Collins, Michael Jordan, Britney Spears, Joe Jonas, etc., etc.), but this chapel has been featured in many movies and TV shows (Hello Ross and Rachel’s wedding chapel!) It truly is a piece of Vegas history. But aside from what a true Vegas gem it is, The Little White Wedding Chapel offers a unique and casual experience. The staff is friendly, and the Chapel itself is in a central location on the Vegas Strip.
Check out a few pics below for inspiration and ideas for your upcoming drive-thru wedding!