In the glittering, glamorous world that is Las Vegas, many myths abound - and one of the most enduring myths of them all is the Vegas wedding. Think about it: do you really know a couple who were fortunate enough to tie the knot in Sin City? If you actually do, were they drunk or sober? This is the bigger question, it seems like! Let’s delve into this classic Las Vegas tale of drunken love conquers all and sift through the truth and the illusion once and for all.

There's some truth to the rumor, after all: reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian recently revealed she was "hot slob kabob" drunk (i.e., 'drunk as a skunk' in common parlance) when she wedded her fiance, drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182, at Las Vegas' One Love Wedding Chapel on April 3rd. Kardashian admitted she had little recollection of the day, including a tequila-fueled episode where she fell to the floor in hysterics after their Elvis-impersonating minister mistakenly called her Khloe.

Wedding day blues, Vegas edition

This incident made us recall a popular Vegas myth: the notion that waking up married after a drunken evening on the Vegas Strip is an all-too-common occurrence. However, this myth may not hold much water for fans of movies like "The Hangover," where such scenarios are often depicted.

According to Rachel Tygret, a family law attorney in Las Vegas' Michaelson Law firm, Las Vegas has been touted for decades as the "marriage capital of the world" for the simple reason that many people think that it is so easy and quick to get a marriage license. She further explains that in Nevada, there's no need for a blood test, and there's no waiting period before using the marriage license to get married. But not many know that marriage licenses are not issued at wedding chapels, so would-be married couples must first visit a branch of the Clark County Marriage License Bureau.

The downtown branch, which is open daily from 8 am to midnight, is the most convenient for couples heading to the chapels. But here, celebrants must present proper identification and pay $102, often waiting in lines long enough to sober up, which takes some of the spontaneity out of the so-called "quickie wedding" stereotype.

The truth about Vegas weddings revealed

In legal terms, the marriage license, not the ceremony, constitutes the marriage contract. Therefore, being sober enough to enter into a contract at the time of obtaining the license is crucial. Tygret explains that if you are facing the clerk and one of you appears too intoxicated to provide the basic information needed for the marriage license, the clerk can (and must, by policy of the bureau) refuse to issue the marriage license.

This means that "accidental drunken Vegas weddings" are less common than pop culture might suggest. The reality is far from what movies and TV shows like The Hangover, That '70s Show, Friends, and What Happens in Vegas portray.

Moreover, Nevada law permits either of the couple to annul their marriage in Las Vegas if one of them lacked sobriety during the ceremony. Tygret notes further that while she has annulled numerous marriages in Las Vegas, none were due to intoxication. She stressed that she even did one because one of the parties was still married to two other people.

The accidental wedding can still happen - it is Vegas, after all

But despite this, drunken Las Vegas weddings do still happen, and more often than you would believe, as alcohol is abundant and almost free-flowing in the city. However, they rarely involve visitors who stumble upon a chapel and decide to get married on a whim. In fact, many Las Vegas wedding chapels will not perform a ceremony if one of the parties is deemed too drunk, according to Tygret.

In the case of Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, their Vegas wedding was a "pretend" formality - a popular option offered by many chapels that allow couples to experience the feel of a wedding without the legal trappings associated with a marriage. No marriage license from Clark County was obtained (or required) for their ceremony. The couple went on to have two more weddings afterward, one of which must have involved a marriage license signed while both were fully sober.

Kardashian and Barker's story, while entertaining, highlights that the myth of the accidental "drunken Vegas wedding" is more fiction than fact. Legal safeguards and the reality of obtaining a marriage license ensure that such incidents are rare, preserving the spontaneity and allure of a Las Vegas wedding while maintaining a level of responsibility and order. So, next time you’re in Vegas as part of a couple, before you say, "I do," know the law first - and do it while you're completely sober!