Monday, May 16, 2011

Shotgun Weddings

Lots of historical western romances feature shot-gun wedding plots. Since my husband and I are celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss today I thought it would be fun to share a little information on a few "shotgun wedding" places folks looking for a western-style wedding might consider tying the knot.

Vegas is famous for its spur-of-the-moment weddings. I traded in my college graduation ceremony for a wedding ceremony and met my husband in Vegas. Our immediate family and a few college friends flew in to help us celebrate. We married in the historic Little Church of the West. This place looked and felt like an old mining town church.

Here's what has to say about the chapel:

The church has been the scene of more celebrity marriages than any other wedding chapel in the world. Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Dudley Moore, Cindy Crawford & Richard Gere, Angelina Jolie & Billy Bob Thornton to name a few. Elvis Presley and Ann Margaret recited their vows in the movie "Viva Las Vegas", filmed at The Little Church of the West. 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. 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. the Little Church of the West celebrated its 65th anniversary and remains the oldest existing structure on the Las Vegas "Strip". In 2007, the Little Church of the West celebrated its 65th anniversary and remains the oldest existing structure on the Las Vegas "Strip".

For those who prefer a real western shotgun wedding check out "Parson Tom Woodard officiating Weddings of the Wild West performed in Oatman, Arizona right in the middle of the street on Historic Route 66 in front of God and congregation as witness.

"Normally our Shotgun Weddings fire off by hiding the Groom then Sheriff Slade, Sheriff Lit’l Bit and the Deputy John Henry of the Ghost Rider Gunfighters will go after him, by shotgun of course, and drag him to the alter! We also have a little surprise for the "Innocent Bride" and it is all great fun and a memory that will last a lifetime."

Or maybe you'd prefer a Tombstone Wedding? "Bring a part of the Old West into your wedding day by making your ceremony part of a reenactment show, at Six Gun City! You'll have wonderful memories and great pictures." I bet.

Or you could check out the western-style wedding at Rollins Creek, Oklahoma where the bride can wear white laced-up cowgirl boots and the groom a ten gallon hat while they get hitched at the hitching post in front of the Paradise Saloon.

After twenty-five years of marriage I'd like to believe Vegas was lucky for me and my husband and I wouldn’t trade in my five-minute ceremony for anything!
Viva Las Vegas!

Rodeo Daddy April 2011
The Bull Rider's Secret July 2011
The Rodeo Man's Promise December 2011
Harlequin American Romance


  1. MARIN--this is the greatest. I had no idea Shotgun weddings were held anywhere, let alone different places and states.
    The shotgun wedding romance was once a big thing in romances...I still love a shotgun wedding story, as it's much like a mail order bride story.
    Congratulations on your anniversary! I think it's wonderful, and I wish you 25+ more of married bliss (it can me.)

  2. Marin, three of my siblings married in Las Vegas, and each of those marriages lasted. My dh and I married in the chapel of our church. My book THE TEXAN'S IRISH BRIDE starts with a shotgun wedding, and that turns out well. Congratulations to you and your husband. I also wish you at least another 25 years of marriage.

  3. Marin,
    Who knew there were so many places you could indulge in a shot gun wedding? :-) Congratulations on your 25th anniversary!

    I found your book, Rodeo Daddy, at the store the other day and I'm enjoying it so much.


  4. I love this post, Marin. Congrats on your anniversary. I am so glad that beautiful old church brought you magic to your life.

    I have always loved the concept of both the mailorder brides and the shotgun marriage. It makes you wonder if those marriages ever work into a love match or not. I suppose it depends on why that reluctant groom is hiding out.

  5. Marin, what a fun post! I've been to the "Strip" a couple of times and am upset that I missed the little chapel--its one I know I would have enjoyed visiting.

    I think the first shotgun wedding you described would interest my brother-in-law--if his 5th marriage doesn't last. ROFL

    Congratulations on your anniversary.

  6. Happy Anniversary, Marin! Fun post!


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