Founder of Vegas’ Famous Little White Chapel, Charolette Richards, Passes Away

Posted on: January 4, 2024, 09:22h. 

Last updated on: January 4, 2024, 09:22h.

Breaking News: Charolette Richards, Founder of Little White Wedding Chapel Dies at 89

Charolette Richards was known as the Wedding Queen of the West. (Image: A Little White Wedding Chapel)

Focused on love, she wanted couples to be able to enjoy an affordable wedding in a beautiful location and as simple as easy as possible, read a statement from the chapel.

Did you know? Richards officiated the nuptials of Britney Spears, Joan Collins, and Bruce Willis to Demi Moore. She also conceived the drive-thru wedding chapel.

Altar-ed Plans

Richards arrived in Las Vegas in the late ’50s as an abandoned bride. She had driven with her three small children from Kentucky to meet the man she married at age 17. He had told her he was newly employed at the Stardust. He wasn’t. But a gentleman who owned a flower shop nearby noticed Richards walking every day from the Stardust, where she repeatedly inquired about her husband, back to the motel she had rented across the street. The concerned stranger struck up a conversation. Richards was down to her last $4. He offered her a job.

Since opening her own chapel, Richards guesses she has overseen close to a million weddings. They include some very familiar names: Joan Collins and Peter Holm (Nov. 3, 1985), Bruce Willis and Demi Moore (Nov. 21, 1987), Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy (Sept. 2, 1989), Britney Spears and Jason Alexander (Jan. 3, 2004), Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon (Oct. 6, 2007)

Never-lasting Love

Although most of the chapel’s celebrity clients have untied their knots, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck joined the list on July 16, 2022 and are still going strong more than a year later.

According to TMZ, “Bennifer” wanted an Elvis impersonator to perform the deed. But they had arrived at the chapel too late and there wasn’t one available. (The couple had intended to marry in Sept. 2003, but ended up breaking up instead.)

Richards sold the chapel to Cliff Evarts, owner of competing downtown wedding chapels Viva Las Vegas and Vegas Weddings, in late 2022.

The chapel’s drive-thru chapel had already been renamed Charolette’s Way upon her retirement.

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