Las Vegas’ Elvis weddings are in jeopardy

A long-time Vegas tradition may be upended as the company that licenses Elvis merch goes after the city’s wedding industry.

It’s a classic move: go to Las Vegas, get hitched by an Elvis impersonator. But those days might be over.

Las Vegas’ Elvis weddings are in jeopardy

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the company that licenses Elvis Presley merchandise, issued a cease-and-desist order to several Vegas chapels, per The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Las Vegas wedding industry…

… is worth $2B, attracting 70k couples a year and employing 18k people.

There are 55 free-standing chapels in the city, and all of them offer an Elvis impersonator as officiator — even this zombie-themed wedding package has one.

These demands wouldn’t affect Elvis-themed concerts because tribute shows are protected in Vegas by a right-of-publicity statute.

But Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya, who oversees the city’s wedding marketing, told the Review-Journal that this “might destroy a portion of our wedding industry” — a sector only just rebounding from the pandemic.

Why now?

ABG bought the rights to Presley from CORE Media Group in 2013, from which it also acquired the rights to Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali. It co-reps Presley’s music catalog with Universal Music Publishing Group.

But Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis is set to premiere later this month, which may drum up renewed interest in the Elvis wedding.

For now, at least one chapel has switched to generic rock-themed weddings, while another told a local news station they’re looking into their legal options.

BTW: You can still get married by an Alice Cooper impersonator. The $750 package includes two songs.

Topics: Legal Issues

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