Say Good-bye to the Little White Chapel
By Jordan Staggs | Photography courtesy of the Neon Museum
Every couple wants their wedding day to show signs of a bright future, even after the honeymoon phase wears off and reality sets in. Thanks to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, there is a picture-perfect venue for all those hoping to achieve the whimsy and fun of a Vegas wedding in a more creative, unique setting. The museum, located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas at the former La Concha Motel, was founded in 1996 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, and cultural enrichment.
Today, the museum’s Neon Boneyard and North Gallery house over two hundred signs. They have hosted photography and film crews from around the world. Hour-long guided tours of the Boneyard are available to the public daily and often sell out, so booking a reservation in advance is encouraged.
Weddings at the Neon Museum are nothing short of magical, with couples saying “I do” in an intimate setting at the foot of some of the city’s most iconic vintage signs: the La Concha Motel; the Moulin Rouge Hotel, whose letters have been cleverly rearranged to spell “in love”; the Lady Luck Casino Hotel; and various wedding chapel signs from the city’s neon heyday.
“The Lady Luck sign in the Neon Boneyard North Gallery is by far the most popular sign where couples share their vows,” says Danielle Kelly, executive director of the museum. “The gold sign with its red heart and ribbon imagery provides a beautiful and romantic setting. Other popular wedding backdrops include Binion’s horseshoe, Fitzgeralds’ coins, Terrible Herbst’s head, and the Golden Nugget. All of these signs are found in our North Gallery, so even if a couple doesn’t get married in front of a sign, all of these signs are visible to the couple and their guests, providing a one-of-a-kind setting.”
Elegant Vegas Weddings performs all the marriages. Its array of ministers includes Elvis impersonators and even the first “Mob Minister,” whose lines might include such gems as “When Johnny proposed to Gina, he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.”
Weddings at the Neon Museum are nothing short of magical, with couples saying “I do” in an intimate setting at the foot of some of the city’s most iconic vintage signs.
For those who want a more traditional ceremony, Elegant Vegas Weddings performs weddings and vow renewals for many cultures and in several languages, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, and Tagalog, the first language of about a quarter of the Filipino population. “We bring this personal touch to what the bride and groom want,” says Pastor Pete Starzyk of Elegant Vegas Weddings. His ceremonies at the Neon Museum have included mob weddings, mass weddings with about a hundred people, a steampunk wedding, and, recently, a mass vow renewal wherein about eighty couples on tour from Spain had a private concert with Elvis himself—he then performed the renewal ceremony in Spanish.
“It’s wonderful when visitors play off of our unique atmosphere—in the steampunk wedding’s case, they matched the industrial nature of our collection to their wedding attire,” says Kelly. “And, of course, it’s always fun when Elvis is in the building.” She adds, “The Neon Museum also supports same-sex marriage and hosted multiple commitment ceremonies prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in our state. We also welcome vow renewals and commitment ceremonies. All are welcome to make the Neon Museum the site for their special day.”
About the museum and its collection, Pastor Pete says, “Their history is what is so unique and valuable. The atmosphere is very ‘Old Las Vegas.’”
A wedding at the museum looks and feels like nothing else. It’s a walk through wonder and excellence in sign design and mid-century American history. It is fun, beautiful, dramatic, and utterly unique.
The Boneyard can host up to four hundred wedding guests, and the museum’s events team and exclusive catering partners are available to take care of everything a couple needs to make their big day unforgettable. “A wedding at the museum looks and feels like nothing else,” Kelly concludes. “It’s a walk through wonder and excellence in sign design and midcentury American history. It is fun, beautiful, dramatic, and utterly unique.”
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To learn more about weddings and other events at the Neon Museum, visit www.neonmuseum.org.