Valentine's Day Seranade
PLASKON: Some choose to woo their lovers with a quartet. Others with a massages or candle light dinner and roses. And thousands of Americans make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas to get married like Robert Barmore and Lisa Wilson from Kentucky.
WILSON: Party gamble drink, have sex, ha have sex.
PLASKON: They also like the 500-dollar price tag, limo and ceremony included. Las Vegas singles columnist known as Sonja, went through it once at the Grace land wedding chapel with big hair and Elvis.
SONJA: And it was such a kick in the pants but while I was in that wedding chapel I was wondering how many people actually do this to hook up for the rest of their lives?
PLASKON: And it's been pretty popular. On Valentines Day about 80- percent of love-birds who get married are from out of town. Cheryl Vernon, Marriage Services Supervisor says that thousands would line up around the courthouse and wait for up to 5 hours for a marriage certificate.
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VERNON: In the past we used to have people totally unprepared. They would be unprepared in full dress and ready for their ceremony and crying because their ceremony is in a half an hour and it is just not going to happen.
PLASKON: These days lines don't even run out the door of the courthouse and wait times are an hour at most because she says cupid targets are opting to marry on other days during the year. About 300 less marriage licenses were issued this Valentines Day weekend than last year. Melinda Alonzo of Chapel of Dreams in Downtown Las Vegas says they are feeling the effects.
VERNON: One of the oldest one, Candle light right by Circus Circus, closed down. They got bought out and had to join with another chapel and so I would imagine that a lot of people have been hurt financially.
PLASKON: Typically these houses of worship solicit customers in front of the courthouse. But she says the lack of customers they are at each other's throats.
ALONZO: Chapels competing with other chapels slandering each other, that's not nice.
PLASKON: Alonzo attributes the trouble to more happy couples booking weddings on the Internet instead of wandering around the streets bargain shopping for an exchange of vows.
Ky Plaskon, News 88-9 KNPR
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