Reno for Romance
by Eleanor S. Morris

Reno, Nevada, once the home of quickie divorces, has done a complete turnabout. Reno's now a romantic place to tie the knot, with wedding chapels around almost every corner. The banks of the Truckee River (photo, below) where divorcees used to toss their wedding rings now form a lovely landscaped park with gazebos and ornamental flower urns. Below, white foaming water tempts kayakers to run the rapids of the Truckee River Whitewater Park.

Wedding Requirements

No blood test is required here, and there is no waiting period. Any person 18 or older does not need consent. Marriage licenses are valid for one year from date of issue, and can be obtained at the Washoe County Courthouse at 75 Court Street. You can plan a genuine Old West wedding, orchestrate an extravaganza, or conduct a simple indoor affair, and with hundreds of faiths and denominations, a clergyman of your choice will be available.

Couples need to appear before the County Clerk Marriage Bureau in the Reno courthouse to obtain a marriage license in Washoe County. The license fee is $50 and can be paid in cash, or with Visa or MasterCard. Legal identification with proof of birth date is required in the form of a valid driver's license, DMV identification, certified copy of a birth certificate, or a passport.

Wedding Chapels & Wedding Packages

If you elect a wedding chapel, what does it take to make your vows at one of the chapels in this lovely clean and modern town surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains? Chapels provide everything but first, what else?--a bride and groom. Then it's a ride to the courthouse for the license. Next, flowers, photographs, videos, candles, even gowns, up to the ring itself.

If you want your wedding site to include accommodations (although the accommodation reservations must be made separately) the Reno Hilton Hotel offers four wedding packages: the Diamond Package, the Platinum Package, the Gold Package and the Silver Package. This includes Chapel reservation for one half-hour, personal wedding coordinator, keepsake photography session, organist, custom designed bridal bouquet and one boutonniere.

After the ceremony, the Silver Legacy Resort Casino offers as a honeymoon package the Deluxe Spa Suite, which includes one Continental Breakfast for two and a bottle of Legacy champagne as well as strawberries and cream.

Touring Reno's Romantic Sights

Before and after the ceremony, what to do and see in this exciting town? At the casinos, test your luck at nickel payback or multi-million dollar progressive jackpots. Play blackjack, poker, keno games, roulette, craps, baccarat, even pai gow, at Silver Legacy, Circus Circus, Eldorado, Harrahs.

And, while the casino's are a great attraction, enjoy a diversity of art experience in the city's Arts District along the Truckee River. There you'll find an eclectic array of galleries, shops, restaurants and coffee houses.

Tour the new Nevada Museum of Art. The permanent collection consists of more than 1,900 works of art organized around the themes of land and environment, mirroring the community's growing interest in protection of the land. Go with Artouring for a behind-the-scenes look at the studios of local artists and their work, maybe talk with them. Visit rock sites that are older than the pyramids at the Nevada Historical Society. Walk the traces of pioneer wagons or wander through Reno's Little Italy with a Historic Reno Preservation Society walking tour.

For wild excitement, try kayaking at the Truckee River Whitewater Park, on the Truckee River running right in the middle of town. And if you feel like more adventure, head west on Highway 80 to historic Truckee, 35 miles west. There you might see a "shoot-out" at the historic depot, built in 1896. With the discovery of gold in nearby Coloma in 1848 and silver in Virginia City in 1859, a railroad connecting the towns became imperative and the line reached Truckee in 1868.

While there, be entertained by a sidewalk band strumming out music, not to mention a main street, Donner Pass Road, lined with shops and cafes.

Back in Reno, begin your new life with some new recipes and expertise at Jennifer Bushman's "Nothing To It!" cooking school. She offers the Reader's Digest version of the top ten culinary techniques that you can easily transfer into your everyday wedded cooking, with special Southwest dishes like her Santa Fe Quiche, a surprise with tortillas.

Reno offers a wedding and honeymoon to remember forever after.

For a complete list of wedding chapels:

Reno & Lake Tahoe Wedding Chapels

Additional Information:

Silver Legacy Resort Casino:
Nothing To It Cooking School:

Related pages: Nevada Honeymoons & Romantic Getaways


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