How many romantics out there are going to see The Vow when it opens on February 10th just in time for Valentine’s day? The movie trailer features a pop-up wedding in a Chicago museum, showing the bride and groom exchanging impromptu vows in front of friends before being chased out by security guards. Made me wonder about the popularity (or not) of pop-up weddings, so I decided to investigate this new trend.
Not surprisingly, the first pop-up wedding chapel is in Las Vegas. On December 28th 2011, the Cosmopolitan hotel opened its pop-up wedding chapel – just in time for the inevitable New Year’s and Valentine’s Day rush. And the chapel’s tagline: “No matter what your current relationship status is, here you can go from single to married to single again in less than 24 hours.”
So here’s the scoop. The chapel is open from noon until 10pm from Sunday thru Wednesday and noon until midnight on Thursday thru Saturday. Several package options are available and the chapel has already seen it all, from real to gag weddings, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows and even pet unions.
The most basic ‘Hitched in a Hurry’ package costs just $80 for a 20-minute wedding complete with two cans (yes, cans) of Sofia Coppola Champagne, two huge eraser rings from a gumball machine, and a single photo booth token. The photo booth is complete with a ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign backdrop and features easy download-and-post functionality to immediately broadcast your nuptials on Facebook and Twitter. The chapel is located in an open space at street level with plenty of public seating, thus increasing the likelihood of gathering crowds and buzz for this quickie wedding spectacle. Most wedding packages are non-binding, but for an additional $90 you can opt for the ‘Legally Binding’ add-on and provide a marriage license to make it official. And of course, the chapel will happily provide other extras for a fee, such as bouquets, serenades or a custom playlist played from your iPod.
So what do you think about the pop-up wedding idea? It goes against the grain of everything that weddings are traditionally about – from trying on dozens on gowns, to assembling wedding invitations, arranging seating charts and finding that perfect wedding favor. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But that may soon be a thing of the past if this trend of the pop-up wedding catches on and comes to a city near you.