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Vegas axes instant night weddings


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_42014838_vegas_bbc250body.jpg Las Vegas is famous for its "quickie" marriages


Couples hoping to tie the knot at Las Vegas' late-night wedding venues on the spur of the moment face disappointment. The Las Vegas marriage bureau, which issues licences, said that as of Monday it would no longer be open between midnight and 0800, to save money.

Staff at the city's famous Little White Wedding Chapel - venue for many celebrity unions - expressed sadness.

Love-struck couples will still be able to marry after midnight, but must get a marriage licence during daylight hours.

"They can't just run down to the bureau at 3.05am and be married by 3.10am," said county clerk Shirley Parraguirre.

"They have to give just a little thought to the process."

Officials said the closure would affect less than 4% of marriage licences issues in the city, where more than 122,000 people got hitched last year.

And it will save the city $200,000 (£106,000) a year, they say.

But the owner of the Little White Wedding Chapel, where pop star Britney Spears and her childhood friend Jason Alexander wed in January 2004 - the marriage was annulled 55 hours later - expressed dismay.

"All the stars come out at night," said Charlotte Richards.

"People that are high profile, when they come down to Las Vegas to get married, they don't want to come in the middle of the day when people are around. They like the privacy."

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