Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, 20 years ago!

Today we’re celebrating the birthday of Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel owner, Ron Decar! In honor of the occasion, here’s a little Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel history, for those who don’t know about Ron’s perseverance and creative genius! That’s Ron in the above photo, 20 years ago. That’s before the famous marquee was added, where couple’s names now appear in lights after each wedding.

You might not recognize Ron in some of his many roles as Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel owner, but if you’re getting married here in Vegas, there’s an excellent chance you’ll spot him disguised as Elvis, Merlin the Magician, The Godfather, or even James Bond.

With all the hats he wears, we’re pretty sure Ron Decar has hardly slept since opening the chapel nearly 21 years ago. Before that time, he spent almost two decades performing as a lead singer in shows on the Las Vegas Strip, including 12 years as principal singer and host of the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel.

How did Ron get the idea to open his own chapel? Well, early in his Vegas singing career, Decar realized that there was a niche for Elvis impersonators at Strip wedding chapels— vocalists who could sing iconic Elvis songs while performing wedding ceremonies for couples who were up for fun and exciting Vegas- style weddings. Ron looked the part, and, man, did he have the voice! So, he ordered a custom glitzy jumpsuit and portable sound equipment. Moonlighting as Elvis by day (driving to chapels in his vintage pink Cadillac convertible), Decar continued to work as a Las Vegas show emcee by night for several years.

Elvis and Priscilla impersonators, Viva Las Vegas Wedding chapel in he late 1990s.

When the opportunity came to invest in his very own chapel right on The Strip, it was really a no-brainer. Says Ron, “I wanted to be able to give couples the full theatrical experience. And a choice. Not just Elvis weddings, but fantastic themes, with theatrical lights, fog, sets, the works. And I wanted every couple to feel special and to have exactly what they imagined for their ceremony. After all, it’s their wedding day!”

Here’s a short video clip of Ron, proudly giving a mini-tour of his Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel:

Ron’s latest addition to the chapel is the adjacent Ron Decar’s Event Center. Here, couples can book large and lavish wedding receptions with “the works” as far as entertainment, dining and dancing goes. And, in keeping with Ron’s wealth of experience in the entertainment field, the Event Center is also becoming a hot new venue for lounge and cabaret shows, Big Band dance nights with live musicians, dinner theater productions and everything imaginable. As if Ron didn’t already have enough to do…

There are almost unlimited options for brides and grooms at Viva Las Vegas Weddings, thanks to Ron’s inventiveness, drive and incredible work ethic. Despite all the fun and craziness, “Viva” still focuses heavily on exquisite traditional ceremonies in the Main Chapel and outdoor Garden and Gazebo Chapels. But, it’s nice to know you can still have Elvis, Austin Powers, or even James Bond make an appearance on your wedding day. See all of our fantastic traditional, Elvis and Themed wedding packages at www.vivalasvegasweddings.com

Michael Grimm Las Vegas
Ron with America’s Got Talent’s Michael Grimm after a concert at Ron Decar’s Event Center

So, if you’re booking a wedding with us at Viva Las Vegas, keep your eyes peeled for Ron. He’ll probably be rushing by on his way to a costume change. But, if you greet him with a “Hi, Ron,” he’ll almost always flash you the biggest smile ever. The man is living the dream. 🙂

Happiest of Birthdays, Ron Decar!

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