The 'I Do' Industry | See why getting hitched Vegas-style is not what it used to be
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
When people hear the words “Vegas wedding,” often, images of drive-thru wedding chapels and Elvis wedding officiants come to mind.
Fast forward to the year 2017 and Las Vegas business and branding high rollers are doing everything they can to transform and elevate the image of Las Vegas weddings and the Las Vegas wedding industry.
Gaming, shows and entertainment, hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping, and all things Las Vegas all intersect at a booming wedding industry.
Bob Fisher is a wedding officiant in Las Vegas and also an entertainment contributor for News 3 Las Vegas.
“They’re filling the airplanes, they’re filling the hotels, they’re eating in the restaurants, shows, shopping. There’s only one Las Vegas. It is the wedding capital of the world,” said Fisher, of the intersection of weddings and Las Vegas’ robust tourism industry.
Fisher is also a member of the Board of Directors, Chairman of Government Affairs. He and Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya say the money may make your jaw drop.
“Weddings bring in $2 billion a year. Billion with a b,” said Goya.
County leaders have done much to change the image of Las Vegas weddings.
“I think our brand has become the drunken Elvis wedding that you regret the next day. That’s not really even true … but it was a great movie,” said Goya.
Goya says during Las Vegas’ economic downturn, Clark County took a major hit. That’s when she says wedding industry experts went to Carson City to ask for money to expand the Las Vegas wedding brand — and boost the cash flow.
In 2015, legislators approved an increase of $14 tacked on to every marriage license fee to grow the reach.
Online commercials began to air, reaching across the miles, bringing couples from all over the world.
News 3 was there when Lizzie and Micky from London got married. They saw the commercials and knew Las Vegas is a wedding destination, eliminating the need for a wedding followed by a honeymoon.
“Forty-three of our family and friends came here with us,” said Lizzie. “I can’t imagine getting married anywhere else.”
Clark County leaders say investments in the wedding industry pay off big for small homegrown businesses.
“The wedding industry gravitates to small business … officiants, cake decorators … depend on this for their bread and butter,” said Goya.
Bread and butter with a wedding spread offering more diversity than any other destination in the world.