The Las Vegas wedding ceremony business is booming in 2021 amid the uncertainty of a pandemic

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The Las Vegas wedding industry is booming in 2021 amid the uncertainty of a pandemic

The Vegas wedding industry is recovering from COVID-19 a year after shutting down

The number of marriage licenses in Las Vegas is now higher than it was in 2020 and 2019, according to the County Clerk Office.

After a weak year in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Las Vegas wedding industry is booming again in 2021 – and even above pre-pandemic levels.

In 2021, more than 44,000 marriages have been filed in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas. In the same period from January to July 2019, only 41,300 were reported – and only 25,231 in 2020.

April, May, June and July of this year all saw more marriages than in the same months in 2019. Marriage licenses in July increased by more than 14% compared to 2019.

April in particular was the busiest wedding month in 2021, with nearly 8,000 marriage licenses issued, compared with just 401 in April 2020, data from Clark County shows. The month is usually a busy month for weddings, but this year the unique date of 4/33/21 brought even more eager couples to the altar. Nearly 700 couples were licensed for that date, said Jeff Klein, a spokesman for the Clark County Marriage Bureau.

Clark County employee Lynn Goya said about 20% of marriage licenses issued are for local residents while the other 80% are for tourists. The district office had closed for six weeks last year when the pandemic broke out.

“Before COVID-19 stopped international tourism, of the 80% of tourists who come to Clark County to get married, about 20 to 25% were international. Last year we only had 3% because people obviously don’t travel and they still don’t travel internationally, “Goya said.

FILE – A file image dated March 22, 2020 shows the A Little White Chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard closed after businesses closed as a result of the statewide shutdown to control the spread of COVID-19 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Mill

Las Vegas identity is tied to its wedding industry. Long before giant resorts appeared, weddings kept the city going, Goya said.

Donne Kerestic, CEO of Chapel of the Flowers, told the Associated Press last month that his company had “clearly seen growth” in ceremonies in recent months. This year, Chapel of the Flowers is up about 20% compared to business in the first six months of 2019, he said.

At the start of the pandemic, Rod Musum, vice president and general manager of Graceland Wedding Chapel, said he had to cancel nearly 2,000 wedding ceremonies. Well, just like Kerestic’s experience at Chapel of the Flowers, business has picked up again.

“It didn’t happen overnight, but when things opened up again we got a lot busier,” Musum said. “There is a huge demand for ceremonies. Our daily bookings are starting to exceed the pre-COVID average.”

Daniel Pinedo and Giselle Pompa tied the knot at A Little White Chapel in early August, a place where celebrity weddings like Frank Sinatra, Michael Jordan and Britney Spears took place. The couple said their Vegas wedding was an alternative due to the ongoing pandemic and they had also considered a wedding in Mexico.

“The whole situation is just really unclear. Hopefully in a year or two this will calm down and normalize, and from then on we will have a bigger wedding with all the family and loved ones,” Pinedo told FOX News.

As virus cases in the US spike again, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, the uncertainty is likely to continue for couples planning a future wedding – making a quick Vegas wedding more enticing to some.

“We have been the wedding capital of the world for 50 or 70 years,” Goya said. “I think it became so much a part of us that in some ways we took it for granted. Over the past year and a half or so, Las Vegas has become a really safe, efficient, and fun place to be, even during the Marriage to marry. ” and I think that reminded people of what made us the wedding capital of the world in the first place. “

This story was told from Cincinnati. The Associated Press helped.