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August 1, 2014

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True love blooms under the stars at the Electric Daisy Carnival

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Charles Mendoza kisses his bride Shacura Mendoza after exchanging wedding vows during the first night of the Electric Daisy Carnival Friday, June 21, 2013 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Electric Daisy Carnival Wedding

Brian Mills officiates as Shacura and Charles Mendoza exchange wedding vows during the first night of the Electric Daisy Carnival Friday, June 21, 2013 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Launch slideshow »

On a raised walkway above the neon garden of the Electric Daisy Carnival, 21-year-old Cherry marches down a velvet carpet in a white tutu and matching veil, her gaze meeting the eyes of Sergio Valenzuela as a techno remix of Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” plays on the speakers.

“Do you promise to rave all night, to take care of each other when you’ve had too much to drink, and to party together for the rest of your lives?” asks Electric Elvis, the evening’s officiant, dressed in a white suit with dozens of tiny flashing bulbs.

“I do,” the couple says in unison, and within moments the Valenzuelas have become one of the couples married Friday night at Electric Daisy Carnival’s inaugural wedding chapel, part of a partnership between event producer Insomniac and the Viva Las Vegas Chapel.

The “Electric Daisy Chapel,” as fans unofficially dubbed it, was a bustling scene as close to a dozen couples wed during the festival’s first night. The chapel was booked with back-to-back appointments every 15 minutes beginning at 9 p.m.

The setup was part Marie Antoinette, part Lewis Carroll, with candy-colored vines, oversized daisies, chandeliers and mirrors adorning the walls and flanking a filigreed wedding arbor, set before a backdrop of the festival’s iconic central Ferris wheel.

High school sweethearts who bonded over their love of DJs and dance music, the Valenzuelas traveled from Rialto, Calif. to elope, accompanied by their best friends.

“We come from musical families. My dad was a DJ and my brother taught Sergio how to DJ, so even though they don’t want us to get married, (EDC) is kind of a way to have them here with us,” Cherry says.

Others, like Maria and Matthew Onohan, had been planning a traditional church wedding in their hometown of Chicago but instead hopped on a plane to Vegas when Electric Daisy Carnival announced the new wedding chapel last week.

“We were at EDC Chicago last month and we kept saying how we wish we could get married there,” says Maria, a longtime EDM fan who pieced together her daisy-spangled wedding tutu and furry boots moments before they headed to the airport. “So when we heard they were doing weddings here, we were like ‘It’s fate!’”

When asked what they’ll one day tell their kids about their unconventional nuptials, Matthew didn’t hesitate: “We’ll tell them to go do the same thing!”

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