Weddings featuring Justin Bieber's "Baby" may have become the wedding video hit of 2012, but long before Bieber Fever there was Elvis -- and The King is still dominating weddings.
Every year at GigMasters we ask brides and grooms about the songs they chose for their wedding. "Can't Help Falling in Love with You" is always in the top five. But it isn't just Elvis's songs that are popular at weddings. Elvis himself is the most frequently requested celebrity impersonator for weddings (Frank Sinatra is a way distant second followed by Beatles' tribute bands and in fourth place ... wait for it ... Billy Joel!)
Part of the reason for Elvis's popularity is Las Vegas. Once a place for quickie and questionable nuptials, Vegas's wedding business for all types of weddings is growing. According to The Wedding Report, spending on, and numbers of, weddings is up in Vegas and projected to continue to grow over the next few years. Thanks to movies and music, Elvis and Vegas are intimately linked in people's minds. Throw in the fun idea of getting married in Vegas by Elvis, and voila, you have an irresistible, quirky idea for those who want their wedding to be light-hearted and unique.
This was certainly GigMasters clients Derrick and JoeDee's idea. Although Elvis died long before the 27-year-old couple was born, Derrick and the King share a birthday. The original plan was for Vegas's Counterfeit Elvis to show up at their wedding and be in the crowd, but Elvis wound up riding on a bus with the wedding guests and singing the entire way to the wedding. Two years later, Derrick's relatives still mention Elvis as their favorite memory from the wedding.
It isn't just Vegas where Elvis gets weddings "all shook up." In 2011, over half of the couples requesting an Elvis from GigMasters were getting married outside of Las Vegas. At 62 and 57, San Franciscans Michael and his wife were both around for the original Elvis. They wanted to do something "a little weird and a lot of fun" for their casual weekday wedding. Their plan was for Elvis to officiate their wedding as though that were a totally normal thing to do. But like Derrick and JoDee, once Elvis was there they couldn't resist and Elvis sang as well.
Rick Torres of King Creole Entertainment is both a licensed minister and one of the top-ranked Elvis impersonators nationwide. Rick lives in California but has traveled around the country performing weddings for Elvis fans. In September 2011, Rick went on tour with Rascal Flatts to perform weddings at a "Why Wait Chapel" in honor of the Rascal Flatts' song of the same name about an eloping couple.
For couples that aren't getting married as part of a country-western band tour, Rick arrives at the wedding in his pink Cadillac and can perform the ceremony as Elvis with songs and Elvis's sense of humor thrown in. After the ceremony Rick poses for pictures with the bride and groom and guests (and the Caddy of course).
Although prices can vary depending on the location and timing of the wedding the average cost of having Elvis at your wedding from January 2011 to May 2012 was $320. So if you're looking for a fun addition to your wedding, put on your blue suede shoes and think Elvis!
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