Legendary Las Vegas Wedding Icon, the Queen of the West, Dies at 89

The founder of A Little White Wedding Chapel, a popular wedding venue in Las Vegas, has passed away at the age of 89. Charlotte Richards, who established the chapel in 1951, aimed to provide couples with an affordable and beautiful wedding venue. It quickly became popular and has since wedded over 800,000 couples, including a number of celebrities such as Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Britney Spears and Jason Alexander, Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon, and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow.

In addition to traditional wedding services, the chapel also offered a drive-thru called the Tunnel of Love, which was created by Richards to accommodate a client in a wheelchair. Following Richards’ retirement, the drive-thru was renamed Charolette’s Way in her honor. The passing of Richards was announced by the chapel on December 13.

Richards arrived in Vegas in the 50s and began working at the chapel after being offered a job by a concerned stranger who had seen her looking for her husband every day. This turned her into the famed Wedding Queen of the West. Last year, Richards sold the chapel to Cliff Evarts, another wedding specialist in the industry who runs downtown wedding chapels Viva Las Vegas and Vegas Weddings.

President of the Vegas Wedding Chamber of Commerce, Brian Mills, praised Richards for her innovation in the Las Vegas wedding sector and for bringing happiness to almost a million couples. He stated that Richards’ legacy extends beyond innovation, as she created unforgettable experiences for countless couples. He concluded that her legacy will serve as an inspiration to the entire wedding sector for years to come.