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Everyone should get married in Las Vegas

April 20, 2018

The wedding month of June is rapidly approaching, meaning that thousands of couples are in the final stages of planning for the big day.

The June wedding tradition originated with the marriage of Juno and Jupiter, which sounds like a WWE wrestling tag team, but they were actually Roman mythological characters.

The tradition carried on during Victorian England as access to decorative spring flowers helped cover up the wedding couples’ body odor. This may explain the origin of the ‘for worse’ vow.

Today there is an endless variety of wedding venue choices. If you have not yet decided on a location to tie the knot in the near future, I have a suggestion: Las Vegas.

Believe me, Las Vegas was the last place on earth that I would have ever dreamed of getting married. The mere thought gave me visions of an overweight Elvis impersonator belting out “a hunka hunka burning love” while officiating. But my wife and I recently attended our son’s wedding there, and I have completely changed my mind.

First, let’s talk about cost. Last week’s Business Insider listed the nationwide average wedding cost as $33,391 which is about $33,000 more than my wife and I spent 40 years ago.

In 2016, Idaho couples saying “I do” spent an average of $22,905, according to 24/7 Wall St. That compares to a $76,944 average cost in New York City, tops in the country.

It just does not seem logical to spend a fortune on something that may not even last. Investing $30,000 in a wedding sounds pretty risky to me when around 40 percent of marriages end in divorce.

The cost for our son’s wedding at the Clark County Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas was $75. Heck, at a traditional wedding you’ll spend that much just on rice to throw into the bride’s and groom’s faces, like people did at my wedding, blinding me and nearly causing me to trip and fall down the church steps.

The courthouse website recommends that you bring your own marriage witness because “unsavory individuals” out on the street may offer to witness for a fee. Of course, if you want a guy who spent the night on a park bench and is pushing a shopping cart in the wedding picture, that’s your prerogative.

Another cost-cutting measure is to not spend money sending out fancy invitations. Young folks today can simply put all that snazzy technology stuff they own to practical use for once and invite folks by pushing a few buttons.

You certainly do not need to hire a photographer anymore when everyone at the wedding has a smartphone. And since the Las Vegas civil ceremony is relatively informal, you can dangle by your toes from the ceiling and snap pictures if you want.

Really, how important are a bunch of professionally posed wedding pictures anyway? I can just about guarantee that when the groom gets older the last thing he wants to look at is a picture of him taking a big bite of the wedding cake when he still had hair.

If you do have a reception of some kind, it certainly makes no sense to hire a DJ for $1,000 when most kids today have instant access to any song every recorded with Spotify on their phone app.

Besides, there’s no need to even plan a reception because you’re in Las Vegas where celebration possibilities are numerous and nonstop. I recommend all the celebrants stroll down Fremont Street which is within walking distance of the courthouse.

Looking for a fun place where the wedding party can dine afterward? Look no further than the Heart Attack Grill. There, customers don hospital gowns before ordering such healthy meals as a Triple Bypass Burger, which you can get with 16 slices of bacon for a little extra cost. You can even order off their vegan menu which solely consists of Lucky Strike Cigarettes.

If you fail to finish your meal, a bonus option is that you can bend over and get paddled by a sexy “nurse.” Needless to say, I intentionally did not eat all my dinner.

After completing their 10,000-calorie reception dinner, the wedding party can walk over to the Slotzilla Zip Line where, for $40, you can fly like Super Man 11 stories above the strolling crowd and just beneath the world’s largest video screen. The Zip Line is definitely on my bucket list of 10 things to do AFTER I die.

Along with Elvis on every block, I swear I saw Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and David Bowie, among others. In fact, Vegas is like the land of The Walking Dead — but with lots of bright lights.

Because of so many nightclubs and bars, it’s possible that some members of the wedding party could get carried away. Don’t let that happen. It would really put a damper on things to wake up the next morning locked up in a cell with a quartet of hungover Elvis impersonators singing “Jail House Rock”!

I haven’t even mentioned the casinos with their slot machines, poker and other games of chance. Even marriage itself is a bit of a gamble. But it’s a sure bet that my son picked a winner.

Mike Murphy of Pocatello is an award-winning columnist whose articles are syndicated by Senior Wire. He recently published a book titled “Tortoise Crossing – Expect Long Delays,” which is a collection of 100 of his favorite columns. It is available on Amazon.com.