Be an Elvis Minister
By Eric Hammer
Thank you -thank you very much - now just perform that in
a mock version of the "King" and you too can become
an Elvis Minister. No, we're not kidding. Many, many people come
to Las Vegas to get married and many of them tend to gravitate
to the cheesy wedding chapels that dot the Las Vegas strip.
Among the most popular of such chapels are the ones presided
over by an Elvis impersonator. It doesn't really matter much
if your impersonation of the "King" is any good. You
simply need to wear the sequined and rhinestone studded costume,
wear your hair slicked or have a wig and do an Elvis impersonation.
The fact is that half your clients will be drunk and getting
married on a lark anyway so it's perfectly reasonable for you
to be as corny as you want.
Of course, in order for your weddings to be legal, you need
to be an ordained minister. As Joey Tribiani from "Friends"
pointed out when he married Monica and Chandler, it is possible
to get your ordination online; though it's not truly instant.
The Universal Life Church, which is a real church (whose basic
tenet of life is "do the right thing" --- they require
no other beliefs and you can interpret that any way you see fit)
will ordain anyone who asks 100% for free. You simply fill out
a form online and your ordination certificate will arrive in
the mail a few days later.
Then, once you have registered with the State of Nevada, you
can legally perform weddings as an Elvis Minister.
How Much Can You Make?
Most wedding chapels in Las Vegas charge between $300-$500
for a basic wedding package. According to Career Search, the
minister typically receives an hourly salary, though no specific
data is given. It is reasonable to assume however that the hourly
salary would be in the range of $20 per hour. In addition to
that, chapels encourage couples to provide a tip to the minister,
which is often around $40-$60 or so.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Once you are working as an Elvis Minister, it's equally possible
to work as an Elvis impersonator for other events that don't
call for performing marriages. In addition, it is also possible,
once you have your ordination to get a job as a minister in another
Las Vegas chapel which is not necessarily themed as an Elvis
chapel. This way, you could potentially increase your salary
while still working when you can as an Elvis Minister.
Keep in mind that people are paying for the experience of
being married by an Elvis impersonator and they expect it to
be corny. You'll need to sing several Elvis songs and really
ham it up for the happy couple.
Qualifications / Requirements
You'll need to become an ordained minister (though if you
are not one, you can get your ordination from the Universal Life
Church - see below). Beyond that, you need to have some singing
ability so that you can belt out the songs of the "King"
when you perform weddings.
Start by getting ordained. Either speak to your own local
church or contact the Universal Life Church for ordination. Then,
practice your act. Get yourself ready to be the "King."
Finally, go to Las Vegas, register with the county clerk to perform
weddings and drop in at various wedding chapels in the city.
Ask if they would be interested in hiring you as an Elvis Minister.
You could also start your own chapel of course, though you'll
need some money to do that.
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about becoming
an Elvis Minister:
Search: Elvis Minister - A good basic introduction to becoming
an Elvis Minister.
Chapel - An example of a chapel where an Elvis Minister presides