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This weekend, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck joined a grand Hollywood tradition when they flew to Las Vegas to get married. From silent film stars to legendary Hollywood actresses to Elvis Presley himself, numerous celebrities have chosen Sin City as a marriage destination over the decades.
Here, a look back at some of the most memorable vintage Vegas weddings—plus a few recent celebrity nuptials.
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Elvis Presley & Priscilla Beaulieu (May 1, 1967)
Perhaps the most famous celebrity wedding to take place in Vegas was between Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu. “My wedding was very unusual,” Priscilla later recounted. “It was the people closest to us, and private, and that’s how we wanted it. We didn’t want a fan club. We didn’t want a circus.” The Presleys married at the Aladdin Hotel-Casino, and now innumerable Vegas weddings are presided over by Elvis impersonators.
Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman (February 2, 1958)
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman met on the set of Picnic in the early 1950s, but he was married to Jackie Witte at the time. In 1957, Newman divorced Witte and went on to marry Woodward the next year. They wed at the El Rancho Vegas and had a long and loving marriage until Newman’s death in 2008.
Betty Grable & Harry James (July 14, 1943)
Actress Betty Grable married trumpeter Harry James in Vegas. The two stayed married for 22 years, but divorced due to James’s alcoholism. Their marriage inspired a song sung by American soldiers, as Grable was a popular pinup girl during World War II. I want a girl / just like the girl that married Harry James…
Elizabeth Taylor & Eddie Fisher (May 12, 1959)
Ina Claire & John Gilbert (May 9, 1929)
Silent film star John Gilbert eloped with Broadway actress Ina Claire at the Clark County Courthouse in Vegas. “Las Vegas was chosen for the wedding, the couple said, to avoid the three-day wait imposed by California law in obtaining a marriage license,” the Associated Press reported. They later separated in February 1931 and divorced six months later.
Joan Crawford & Alfred N. Steele (May 16, 1955)
Joan Crawford’s fourth and final husband was Alfred Steele, the CEO of Pepsi-Cola. The two wed at the Flamingo Las Vegas, and were married until Steele’s death of a heart attack in 1959.
Betty White & Allen Ludden (June 14, 1963)
Actress Betty White married her third husband, Allen Ludden, at the Sands Hotel in Vegas. “He was the most genuine man I’ve ever known,” White told People. “I first fell in love with his enthusiasm. He was interested in everything.” They were married until Ludden’s death in 1981, and White never remarried. “I had the love of my life. If you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” she told Anderson Cooper in 2011.
Judy Garland & Mark Herron (November 30, 1965)
After Judy Garland’s divorce from her third husband, Sid Luft, was finalized, she quickly married tour manager Mark Herron at the Sahara Hotel in Vegas. However, the marriage didn’t last long; Garland and Herron separated within five months.
Here, the two walk down the aisle of a Las Vegas wedding chapel at 1:30 a.m.; their marriage was witnessed by a small group of Garland’s close friends.
Read more: Who Were Judy Garland’s Five Husbands?
Rita Hayworth & Dick Haymes (September 24, 1953)
Like many of the other nuptials on this list, glamorous Rita Hayworth’s fourth wedding took place at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. It was a fourth marriage for Haymes, too—and took place less than 24 hours after Haymes got his divorce from Nora Eddington Haymes. But this partnership also wasn’t meant to last; they went on to divorce two years later.
Edith Mack Hirsch & Desi Arnaz (March 2, 1963)
Loray White & Sammy Davis Jr. (January 10, 1958)
When Sammy Davis Jr. started seeing famous Hollywood starlet Kim Novak, Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures, was so upset by their interracial relationship, he turned to the mob to help him. To protect himself from mob violence, Davis had to marry a Black woman—and chose dancer Loray White.
As Arthur Silber recalls, Davis told him, “I’m looking for someone to marry. I got the call this morning. I have to marry a black chick, and I’m looking for someone to marry.” Davis reportedly offered her a “certain sum of money” to marry, and promised the marriage would be dissolved by the end of the year. The ceremony took place at the Sands Hotel.
Pictured, left to right: comic Joe E. Lewis, singer Harry Belafonte, bride Loray White, groom Sammy Davis Jr., Davis’s 4-year-old sister Suzzette Gina, and actor Donald O’Connor.
Joan Collins & Peter Holm (November 6, 1985)
Actress Joan Collins married former Swedish rock star Peter Holm in at the Little White Wedding Chapel. She quickly sought an annulment a little over a year later, and their divorce proceedings became a media circus.
Shakira Baksh & Michael Caine (January 8, 1973)
British actor Michael Caine married the former Miss Guyana, Shakira Baksh, in Vegas at the Riviera Hotel in a civil ceremony. The two remain married to this day.
Dorothea Hurley & Jon Bon Jovi (April 29, 1989)
High school sweethearts Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel during the peak of his career. Here, Dorothea is pictured arriving for the ceremony—during a one-day break of Bon Jovi’s New Jersey Syndicate Tour.
“We did it for us and didn’t give a damn,” Bon Jovi told VH1 of their wedding. “I got a lot of heat from it, between the band, my parents, Doc [McGhee, Bon Jovi’s manager]. Everybody was pissed off. It took me a couple of days before I realized that I don’t give a shit what anybody thinks.”
Richard Gere & Cindy Crawford (December 12, 1991)
Cindy Crawford was 26 when she married 42-year-old Richard Gere in Vegas in 1991. Gere had a night off from filming Mr. Jones, and they decided to tie the knot at The Church of the West. They split four years later, in 1995.
“I think part of the problem in our relationship was that we were a lot of other things, but I don’t know if we were ever friends – like peers, because I was young, and he was Richard Gere,” Crawford said. “And then, as I started kind of growing up and growing into myself – it’s hard to change the nature of a relationship once you’re already in it.”
Pictured here at the 1993 Oscars.
Dayanara Torres & Marc Anthony (May 9, 2000)
Singer Marc Anthony and Miss Universe Dayanara Torres attended the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in Los Angeles, then flew to Las Vegas for a midnight wedding ceremony at the Desert Inn hotel-casino. They separated in 2002, then renewed their vows, the finally separated in October 2003. Anthony would go on to marry Jennifer Lopez in 2004.
Sophie Turner & Joe Jonas (May 1, 2019)
After the Billboard Music Awards, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner spontaneously decided to get married in Las Vegas, in a ceremony officiated by an Elvis impersonator at Chapel L’Amour inside A Little White Wedding Chapel. They later had a destination wedding in Le Château de Tourreau in the French countryside. They’re still going strong; Sophie and Joe just welcomed their second child.
Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck
The latest celebrity couple to join the Vegas wedding trend is none other than Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. The two tied the knot at the Little White Wedding Chapel, and Lopez shared the news in her “On the JLo” newsletter.
“We did it. Love is beautiful. Love is kind. And it turns out love is patient. Twenty years patient,” Lopez wrote. “Exactly what we wanted. Last night we flew to Vegas, stood in line for a license with four other couples, all making the same journey to the wedding capital of the world.”
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