Graceland Wedding Chapel - Our History
Graceland Wedding Chapel was originally built by Scottish settler Ollie McKee in 1927 as a beautiful little family home on South 5th Street (now called Las Vegas Blvd). Just after gambling was legalized in 1931, Las Vegas saw a dramatic increase in wedding ceremonies due to the relaxed marriage license laws in the state. In 1939, Ollie McKee decided to transform the front portion of his home into a picturesque wedding venue and name it McKee Wedding Chapel. It wasn't until 1941 that the chapel was renamed once again to Gretna Green Wedding Chapel after the famous elope-friendly Scottish village just across the border from England.
Over the next two decades, the chapel flourished, providing couples with a beautiful and quaint wedding venue conveniently located right on the Las Vegas Strip. In 1967, almost thirty years after the first wedding was performed, an unannounced knock on the door revealed none other than the King of Rock n Roll himself, Elvis Presley. He was on the doorstep and just wanted to come in for a short visit and tour of the chapel. This stopover by The King forever changed the destiny of the chapel. After Elvis' death in 1977, the new owners officially changed its name to Graceland Wedding Chapel in commemoration of the life and chapel visit of Elvis Presley. It was that very same year that the famed Elvis themed wedding ceremonies were first introduced by the chapel.
Over 80 years and literally hundreds of thousands of ceremonies later, we have had many music and Hollywood icons either marry, renew vows, or just visit the chapel including: Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rob Zombie, Meat Loaf, Aaron Neville, Johnny Depp, Jay Leno, Andie MacDowel, Salma Hayek, Robin Leach, Leslie Mann, David Harbour as well as musicians such as Def Leppard, the Thompson Twins, The Beastie Boys, The Moody Blues, KISS, and of course, The King himself, Elvis Presley.
Today, Graceland Wedding Chapel remains the most iconic wedding chapel in Las Vegas and continues to be recognized in American Pop-Culture history as the originator of the very first Elvis themed wedding ceremony.
Here is a detailed timeline of our history
1927 - Graceland Wedding Chapel was built as a family home by Scottish settlers looking to be a part of the American Dream.
1939 - The front portion of the house was transformed into a picturesque wedding chapel and named McKees Wedding Chapel, one of the first chapels to open in Las Vegas
1941 – Chapel renamed to Gretna Green Wedding Chapel after the famed town in Scotland known for runaway or elope weddings.
1967 - An unannounced knock on the door revealed none other than the King of Rock n Roll himself, Elvis Presley. He was on the doorstep and wanted a tour of the chapel in hopes it could be used for his upcoming wedding to Priscilla. Although the chapel was a bit too small for his 250-person guest list, this stopover by The King forever changed the destiny of the chapel.
1977 - To commemorate the life of Elvis, the chapel was renamed Graceland Wedding Chapel and it was this same year that the chapel performed the world’s very first Elvis themed wedding ceremony.
1989 - While on tour, Rock & Roll icon Jon Bon Jovi (a huge Elvis fan) eloped to Las Vegas and married Dorothea Hurley, his high-school sweetheart, at Graceland Wedding Chapel.
2001 – In conjunction with VH1, Jon Bon Jovi held a concert behind the chapel with 75 couples who renewed their vows along with him.
2003 – Current chapel owners, Brendan Paul, the city’s most well-known Elvis impersonator and his partner Dee Dee Duffy, a Jon Bon Jovi enthusiast purchase Graceland Wedding Chapel.
2020 – Graceland Wedding Chapel introduces the world’s first Elvis themed VIRTUAL vow renewal for a couple from the UK with 40 guests watching via Zoom from all over Europe.
2022 - Graceland Wedding Chapel becomes the world's first chapel fully licensed by Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC. to conduct Elvis themed ceremonies.
Today – Graceland Wedding Chapel has conducted more than 300,000 ceremonies and remains the most iconic wedding chapel on the Las Vegas Strip
Home of The WORLD'S FIRST Elvis Themed Wedding
OFFICIALLY LICENSED by Elvis Presley Enterprises
Home of The WORLD'S FIRST
Elvis Themed Wedding
by Elvis Presley Enterprises