LAS VEGAS WEDDINGS: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide

Susan Marg, Author . Perennial Currents $13.95 (289p) ISBN 978-0-06-072619-5

Although Las Vegas is in a county that boasts less than .5% of America's population, it's host to about 5% of the country's weddings. With everyone from Britney to the couple next door getting hitched there, the city's matrimony industry is indeed fascinating and rife with quirky detail. First-time author Marg captures some of the phenomenon, but the book's lack of a cohesive organization often makes it feel as rushed as a quickie wedding. After giving a history of the city and its wedding establishments, Marg presents lengthy stories of celebrities who've married there, complete with observations on their relationships. This kind of chatty commentary wears thin quickly; it's followed by an extensive section on Elvis that seems far too detailed, even for the king of Vegas. Another shift occurs when Marg writes about Ron DeCar, who owns one local chapel. Although DeCar is charming, Marg's abrupt change in writing style from essayistic prose to article format is jarring. Marg does excel in describing the city's wedding history, juxtaposing Vegas's rise as gambling capital with its pursuit of bridal traffic, and the result is compelling. In general, though, readers looking to tie the knot in Sin City will gain more by cruising down the Strip in person. (On sale Nov. 9)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
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