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If you have just become engaged, you will surely want to share the happy news with the world.You should start, of course, by telling your families. If the bride's parents live nearby and know her fiance, it is best for the couple to tell them in person. If they do not live nearby, then they should be told by phone and arrangements should be made for them to meet him as soon as possible. The groom may have already discussed his marriage plans with his parents. In any event, they should be formally told after the fact. It also would be best to tell them in person, but if distance is a problem, a phone call will do. You might then tell your friends and relatives personally, or by having an engagement party to announce your engagement. Also, it is customary to announce your engagement to the rest of your community by means of a newspaper announcement.


Neither blood tests nor waiting periods are required of couples wanting to get married in Las Vegas. The legal age is 18 for men and women (proof of age is required), and licensing fees are $35. A civil ceremony can be performed in the courthouse for an additional $35. Chapel fees vary from $40 to $70.

For marriage license information you can call the Clark County Marriage License Bureau at (702) 455-4415 (located in the Clark County Courthouse, 200 S. Third St.). Marriage License Bureau hours are 8 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday. On weekends it is open around the clock from 8 a.m. Friday to midnight Sunday. On legal holidays, the bureau is open 24 hours.

If you are planning on changing your name, you may want to take care of some changes before the wedding. Some may require a copy of your marriage license with notification, so check ahead of time. Don't forget to notify:

Social Security card -- local office of the Federal Social Security Administration.

Driver's license

Car registration

Voter's registration


Employer or school records

Bank accounts-- changing or opening joint accounts

Stocks or bonds

Wills-- drawing up a will or changing the beneficiary

Insurance policies-- automobiles, home, health

Pension plans

Property titles or leases

Charge accounts


Club memberships

Post Office-- new name and new address

More and more women today are choosing to keep or incorporate their own last name. But many are sticking with tradition and taking their husband's names. Decisions are based on a variety of reasons, among them: professional status, ease of spelling and pronunciation, desire to keep a family name, feeling of commitment and tradition, for children's sake, or for social ease.