Married in New York?

New York City is making a big play to challenge Las Vegas to become a marriage destination.

As reported on

Next week the city opens its new, 24,000-square-foot Manhattan Marriage Bureau following $12 million in renovations to the building. (The mayor tapped his personal interior designer, Jamie Drake, to do the job.) . . . It's all part of Michael Bloomberg's plan to unseat Las Vegas as the nation's "wedding capital" and turn New York into a marriage destination!

When I went to get my marriage license ten years ago, I thought that that the marriage bureau in New York’s municipal building was a run down and really depressing place. (It was also odd that New York City  would not accept cash as payment for the marriage license.   Isn't cash still good legal tender?.)

The new wedding palace features "lavish" extras like iPod docking stations and an oversized photo of City Hall to use as a backdrop for pictures. And there's plenty of overpriced crap on sale to help pay for it all, like flowers ($4 to $7 for a single stem), hairspray ($4), disposable digital cameras ($16.25), and tissues ($1.75 a pack).

Hopefully, the new and improved marriage bureau will be the first of many happy memories for the newlyweds and provide a shot in the arm for the New York economy.

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