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September 1, 2014

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Rolling the dice: A look at some of the most famous — and infamous — weddings in Las Vegas history

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Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas Sun founder Hank Greenspun with Priscilla and Elvis Presley at their wedding.

After their May 1967 wedding at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent only six years as a married couple before divorcing in 1973.

Compared with a lot of celebrities who married in Las Vegas, that's practically a lifetime.

Remember basketball star Dennis Rodman and actress Carmen Electra? They were married at the Little Chapel of the Flowers in November 1998. Rodman filed for an annulment nine days later, although the marriage wasn't officially over; Electra filed for divorce five months after that.

The marriage between actor Dennis Hopper and singer Michelle Phillips lasted eight days after their October 1970 wedding.

Granted, not all celebrity marriages that started in Las Vegas had such short legs. Notably, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were wed in 1958 at the El Rancho, and they were still married when Newman died 50 years later. But Newman and Woodward are definitely the celebrity exception to the rule.

Here’s a look back at some of the most notable weddings in Vegas history:

    • 2004 — Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander

      Childhood friends Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander tied the knot at the Little White Wedding Chapel early on Jan. 3, 2004. The pop princess, who was staying at the Palms, leaned on gaming mogul and family friend George Maloof for legal advice. The couple’s marriage was annulled 55 hours later.

    • Actress Angelina Jolie, one of the stars of the new action film "Gone in 60 Seconds," nuzzles with her husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton, as her co-star Nicolas Cage, at right, speaks to reporters at the premiere of the film, Monday, June 5, 2000, in the Westwood section of Los Angeles.

      2000 — Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton

      Actress Angelina Jolie tied the knot to screenwriter/actor Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000, at the Little Church of the West following a whirlwind romance. The couple was known for eccentric behavior, such as wearing vials of each other’s blood around their necks. Jolie filed for divorce on July 17, 2002, citing irreconcilable differences.

    • Michael and Juanita Jordan during a press conference when Jordan announced his retirement from the Chicago Bulls basketball team.

      1989 — Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy

      Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy got married on Sept. 2, 1989, at the Little White Wedding Chapel. She filed for divorce from the basketball star in January 2002 only to withdraw the petition a few months later. On Dec. 29, 2006, the couple filed a joint divorce petition, citing irreconcilable differences.

    • Actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore on December 11, 1990. The couple was married in 1987.

      1987 — Bruce Willis and Demi Moore

      Actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were married in November 1987 in a private ceremony in Las Vegas. The couple separated in 1998 and then permanently called it quits in October 2002 when they filed for divorce at the Blaine County Court in Idaho, where they owned property and had raised their family.

    • Don Johnson and wife Melanie Griffith at premier of their movie Paradise on September 15, 1991.  The pair were a couple for more than 20 years.

      1976 — Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith

      Actor Don Johnson and actress Melanie Griffith had a quickie Las Vegas wedding in 1976. At the time, Griffith had just turned 18 and the marriage lasted only six months. The two remarried in June 1989 only to divorce again in May 1995.

    • Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford in March 1991. The couple were married on December 12, 1991 and divorced in 1994.

      1991 — Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford

      Richard Gere married supermodel Cindy Crawford on Dec. 12, 1991, in an intimate ceremony at the Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel. The first marriage for both ended 11 days before their third anniversary.

    • Nicky Hilton at Wasted Space inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Dec. 30, 2009.

      2004 — Nicky Hilton and Todd Meister

      Socialite and hotel heiress Nicky Hilton and New York financial manager Todd Meister married on Aug. 15, 2004. Less than three months later, a Las Vegas judge granted the couple an annulment.

    • 1973 — Michael Caine and Shakira Baksh

      Actor Michael Caine and his model wife Shakira Baksh married in Las Vegas on Jan. 8, 1973. Caine had seen Baksh on a British coffee commercial, became smitten and managed to meet her. The pair has remained married.

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