Today, we woke up to the news that Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner tied the knot in Vegas. How did we find out? Diplo’s Instagram story, of course. Turner and Jonas stood before an Elvis impersonator and a chapel full of witnesses, said their “I do’s” and exchanged Ring Pops. They sat on a pink car parked outside Las Vegas’s Little White Wedding Chapel, posing for pictures in flashy sunglasses, with Turner licking at her ring.
As far as celebrity weddings go, Turner and Jonas chose the crème de la crème of Vegas wedding chapels. The Little White Wedding Chapel has been the epicenter of celebrity Vegas weddings, from Judy Garland to Britney Spears.
The Little White Wedding Chapel opened its doors to spontaneous lovers in the early 1950’s. With rooms full of red velvet, fake columns, and charmingly cheesy frescoes, this is the Vegas chapel you’ve seen in movies like The Hangover and TV shows like The Bachelorette.
The chapel’s roster of celebrity nuptials goes as far back as its early days of being a one-room wedding station. Theatre-kid icon Judy Garland married her fourth husband in the Vegas landmark. Old Hollywood heartthrob Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward there in 1958, and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow followed in 1960. They secretly tied the knot with Farrow sporting her now-signature boyish haircut.
And the stream of celebrity love birds looking for a quick and glamorous ceremony never really stopped: In 1989, basketball star Michael Jordan rolled up in his car with his soon-to-be-wife Juanita Vanoy and four guests at 2:30 on a Saturday morning.
But perhaps most infamous was Britney Spears’s 55-hour marriage to her childhood friend, Jason Alexander. On January 3rd, 2004 the two pulled up to the Little White Wedding Chapel in a lime-green stretch limo.
Sure, we might raise a brow in skepticism when it comes to these crazy spontaneous Vegas weddings. But in 2002, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. said their vows in the Little White Chapel and have been happily married since.
This past April, the original owner, Charlotte Richards, posted the landmark for sale and was listed for $12 million. Thanks to Richards, the Little White Wedding Chapel was home to the first drive-through chapel, known as the “Tunnel of Love.”
So forget the big white wedding and have yourself an all-American Vegas wedding at the little chapel on the strip that’s witnessed the wildest and most spontaneous nuptials of pop culture history. With a camp-themed Met Gala just days away, it’s only right we celebrate and commemorate this beacon of gaudy lace, neon signs, and shotgun weddings.