The Little Church of the West, Las Vegas Wedding Chapel was conceived by William J. Moore Jr. in 1941 as part of his plans for a resort hotel, a relatively new venture in Las Vegas. Mr Moore was an architect and builder for his uncle R.E Griffith of California. Moore described his reason for inclusion of a wedding chapel as an attempt to garner a share of the lucrative and expanding wedding chapel market in the area.
The original freestanding wedding chapel in Las Vegas
While the Little Church of the West was built to attract business to the Last Frontier, it was also the first such facility designed specifically as a wedding chapel. Others already in operation were converted from buildings which had a prior use.
Old Vegas Charm for the modern wedding couple
Originally built as part of the Last Frontier Hotel located on an isolated stretch of highway that would one day become the famous Las Vegas ”Strip”, the Little Church of the West upholds the heritage of Las Vegas with its unique architecture. It’s a freestanding replica of an old west mining town church. With an exterior of cedar and an interior of California redwood, the chapel looks much the same today as when it was first built. It speaks of the early days of Las Vegas when its business district consisted of only the first three blocks of Fremont Street.
Las Vegas Weddings
As the town grew with the population boom caused by the construction of near by Hoover Dam, Fremont Street began to pulsate with wall-to-wall casinos. As first class resorts began to dot the desert skyline and big name entertainment lit up the beckoning marquis, the stage was set for the Little Church of the West to take its place in the annals of Las Vegas history.
Part of Las Vegas History
Attesting to its historical significance, the Little Church is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places, the only such place on the “Strip” with this honor. One of the requirements for inclusion is that the structure retains its original integrity. “It hasn’t changed,” says current owner. “I mean, there’s been some painting and re-carpeting but the pews in there are believed to be the ones built with the chapel in 1942.” The four Victorian lamps that light the chapel are believed to be from 19th-century railroad cars but have since been converted from gas to electric. In 2017, the Little Church of the West will be celebrating its 75th anniversary and remains the oldest existing structure on the Las Vegas “Strip”.
Historic Wedding Chapel in Vegas
How did this quaint little wedding chapel stand the test of time and all the facelifts of the Las Vegas Strip? Simply put, it moved — 3 times to be exact. The chapel first moved from its original location on the north side of the Last Frontier Hotel to the south side in 1954. In 1978, it was moved onto the grounds of the Hacienda Hotel to accommodate the building of the Fashion Show Mall and in 1996, the chapel was moved to its current location on the corner of Russell Road and Las Vegas Blvd to accommodate the building of the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. Smith says the chapel has been popular because of its historical significance and its unique appearance. “There’s a lot of mystique about the chapel”.
The marriage capital of the world
The wedding venue business flourished because of easy marriage laws. Unlike other places, Nevada did not require a waiting period and there were no requirements for blood tests. Today, those particular reasons for traveling to Nevada to get married have become less significant as laws in other states have changed, but these reasons remain significant for people from such countries as Germany which has strict laws governing marriage, adding that last year people from 22 countries were married here. For Americans, however, getting married in Las Vegas remains hassle-free, inexpensive, and something to remember. Visitors can visit the Little Church of the West for a self guided Chapel Tour. Visitor may need to wait for a wedding ceremony to finish. Please visit the chapel office before entering the chapel area. Visit the Little Church of the West blog or our Wedding FAQ page to learn more.
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Meet the Team
Meet the team at the Little Church of the West. Our Las Vegas Photographers, Wedding Planners, Ministers and Florist. We are all here to make your special day perfect.
Director of Operations
Dan was born in a small town, just outside of London, England. After spending 14 years managing photo operations for companies like Disney, Royal Caribbean and Cunard cruise lines, Dan moved to the U.S and is happy to call Las Vegas home. Dan has been with the Little Church of the West since February 2012 where he oversees both the photography department, global marketing and the wedding planning departments. When Dan is not working, you can find him hiking with his family and dog or at one of the many golf courses in Las Vegas.
A Professional Photographer for over 15 years from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tracy received her Bachelor Degree of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Her passion, knowledge, and strength make her the professional that she is today. Tracy will continue to capture memories that will last a lifetime. Tracy enjoys meeting new couples from all over the world. While focusing on the detail and form, Tracy captures the beauty of the subjects making each individual image unique and memorable. In her spare time she loves to travel, and experience new things with her Husband and Daughter!
Las Vegas Wedding Planner
A born and raised Las Vegas native, Nicole has an extensive background in hospitality and the concierge industry, where she has a decade of experience helping people create the best memories of their lives. Considering she’s a true romantic at heart as well as her dedication to detail and perfection, becoming a wedding consultant was a dream come true and an amazing fit; not only for herself but also for the couples she meets every day. Nicole is a truly gifted customer service professional who will make your wedding day dreams come true and an event to always be remembered. When not planning weddings, her passions include: her daughter, fashion, zumba, traveling, and cooking for friends and family.
Las Vegas Wedding Planner
Las Vegas Wedding Planner
Originally from the east coast, Bunny moved to Las Vegas in 2001 to further her floral career. Landing a job at the iconic Little Church of the West was the beginning of her floral dream’s come true. As lead designer she has been given complete creative control over the floral department. Bunny’s floral designs have been featured in print as well as on TV, including: Forbes Magazine, Royal Pains, and Piers Morgan On… Las Vegas (where he “married” Paris Hilton at The Little Church of the West). Bunny has made countless creations for all kinds of events, and is truly passionate about making your wedding flowers exactly as you envisioned.
Lead Photographer/Social Media Specialist
James has loved cameras and taking photos as long as he can remember. When he was 4 year old, James found his dad’s camera and took a blurry pic of half his chubby face, he has continued taking photos every chance he could get. James has held several other careers, but through it all has never lost the passion for cameras and photography. It’s always been the one thing in his life that hasn’t ever felt like “work”. No matter how long the photo shoot, or how heavy the camera, James still takes all his photos with a smile on his face because he cannot believe he is getting paid to do something that he loves so much!
From Chicago, IL, Jay has been a Professional Photographer for 5 years! After earning his BS and MS degrees from Full Sail University (2016, 2018) Jay went on to work as a Photographer for P&O Cruises, and later Norwegian Cruise Line. Jay now enjoys working in the wedding industry, because he loves creating photos for couples that will be memorable for a lifetime. In his spare time, Jay enjoys language studies, arts & entertainment, music, fashion, sports and traveling.
Brian Mills has loved performing weddings since he officiated his first ceremony in 2001. Brian draws from his extensive experience and training as an entertainer, having spent many years on stage, most notably as Danny Zuko in the European Tour of Grease and the Host and Lead Singer of the world famous Les Folies Bergere Show at the Tropicana Hotel. As an ordained Minister with the Universal Life Church, having performed over 8000 ceremonies to date, Brian has also recently been chosen as one of the Top 100 Men of Las Vegas by MyVegas Magazine. He truly loves his job and can’t wait to perform his next wedding, whether it’s an elegant traditional ceremony or a fun Elvis Renewal of Vows.
As a native of Michigan of many years, Domonic relocated to Las Vegas and has found a passion and joy within the wedding industry. Starting off shooting photography and video for wedding clients. Domonic’s gift has always been writing, and that writing has led to performing beautiful ceremonies. He has brought many smiles and special moments to thousands of couples he has married, since becoming an ordained minister. Domonic enjoys learning something new each day, and being creative while maintaining a holistic lifestyle with his lovely wife.
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Chapel Tour 360 tour
Chapel Tour 360 tour – Our quaint, romantic, historical Las Vegas wedding chapel will make the most important day of your lives a stylish and memorable event. Click on the images below to get the 360 degree Las Vegas Weddings experience. You can roam our beautiful grounds and virtually stroll in the historic Las Vegas Wedding Venue. Real wedding ceremonies can also be viewed on our Las Vegas Weddings Live Cam. Photos and Video of real weddings can also be found on our Las Vegas Wedding Gallery page.
Las Vegas Weddings began with the Little Church of the West Voted Las Vegas’ Best Wedding Chapel.