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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Gambling and weddings: two dominant reasons to visit Las Vegas. While we’ve heard plenty about the gambling casinos and the stories that surround them, not much has been written about the wedding chapels that dot the area, inviting couples of all shapes, sizes, ages, and racial combinations to seek that once-in-a-lifetime special moment. With unique opportunities to have an Elvis Presley impersonator participate, and all the other add-ons one might request from a wedding anywhere else, the moment of love united is well capsulated in these tiny, unique chapels. The Silver Bell Wedding Chapel opened its doors in 1957 after Jim Duszynski, a young boy from Toledo, Ohio, purchased the building for a mere $5.
The plight of a young man learning the ropes of good business acumen and building up the reputation and uniqueness of what would become a world-famous wedding chapel became legendary, a story waiting to be told. And author Jacki Gluck has done just that in her book, 24 Hours of Love at the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel. Some of the material she used in this book are memoirs written by Jim himself before his death due to cancer. Other stories and photos she collected during her research into the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel as well as some of the other wedding chapels in Las Vegas. There are also stories from people who worked at the chapel, as well as people who were married there. Some of the people highlighted were ordinary people, but there were also celebrities who chose to be married at the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel, including Diana Ross. And, the chapel was featured in several movies and television shows. There is a rich history behind the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel and this treasure of a book shares many of the stories that have made it so legendary. A fascinating collection of stories and photos.