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Cupid’s arrows striking less often at Vegas chapels
Question of the Day
“The marriage demographic is aging,” she said. “The baby-boomer generation is all getting old. Marriage goes in and out of fashion, and I think right now it is not as fashionable to get married.”
In good years, Las Vegas weddings pump $643 million into the local economy, said Alicia Malone, a spokeswoman with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. About 1 million people visit Sin City each year to attend a wedding, she said.
To make up for the wedding downturn, chapels are encouraging longtime couples to renew their vows and promoting commitment ceremonies for gay grooms and brides. Gay marriage is prohibited in Nevada.
At the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, business was up 20 percent in 2010 compared with 2009, partly because of the chapel’s outreach to already married couples, said Brian Mills, general manager.
The chapel offers the kind of wedding frills Las Vegas is famous for: Couples can get married by “Alice Cooper,” “Tom Jones,” and “Marilyn Monroe,” among other celebrity impersonators. In the most popular package, the bride can roll down the aisle in a vintage 1964 pink Cadillac driven by an Elvis Presley look-alike.
But there’s only so many ways chapels here can try to offset the marriage crash.
The national marriage rate has been on the skids since at least 2004, according to data from the Pew Research Center and the Census Bureau. The Pew survey concluded marriages are on the decline among all groups, especially low-income couples.
In 1960, two-thirds of all 20-somethings were married, Pew found. Only 26 percent were in 2008.
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