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October 21, 2017

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‘Rave on together forever’: EDC weddings make tying the knot a party

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L.E. Baskow

A couple looks at images as weddings are being conducted during the second night of the Electric Daisy Carnival on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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Maria Sisneros of San Jose, Calif., prepares to wed Evangelina Alcantar, her girlfriend of 10 years, at the “Chapel of Nature” during Night 3 of the Electric Daisy Carnival early Monday, June 20, 2016, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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EDC minister Jessie Tryon, 22, presides over a wedding with Maria Sisneros and Evangelina Alcantar of San Jose, Calif., at the “Chapel of Nature” during Night 3 of the Electric Daisy Carnival early Monday, June 20, 2016, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

2016 EDC: Night 2

Thousands of festival goers crowd around the Cosmic Meadow stage during the second night of the Electric Daisy Carnival on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Launch slideshow »

Maria Sisneros, 29, and Evangelina Alcantar, 30, of San Jose, Calif., have spent the last decade dating, waiting patiently for their chance to get married.

When their home state of California legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, the pair considered tying the knot. But they wanted a unique ceremony, something different.

“We were best friends before anything, so there was no real rush,” Alcantar said. “But we’re adventurous, and we wanted something new.”

The lesbian couple’s options expanded nearly a year ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. They finally found their adventure and decided on tying the knot at the Electric Daisy Carnival.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever been to one of these things,” Alcantar said. “At first, the idea of getting married here was kind of a joke, but then we thought it’d be a cool chapter in our lives.”

In a 15-minute ceremony, which featured electronic dance music from DJ R.L. Grime blaring from the nearby Cosmic Meadow stage, presiding minister Jessie Tryon, 22, shouted improvised, EDC-style vows over a microphone to the couple and six family members on hand in a 400-square-foot chapel known as the “Chapel of Nature.”

“Even when the sun comes up, do you promise to rave on together forever?” Tryon asked, as Sisneros and Alcantar smiled broadly, laughed in appreciation and said, “I do.”

One hundred feet away, Tryon’s husband Brian Mills, 41, married another couple at a second chapel decked out with purple lights and faux crystal chandeliers known as the “Chapel of Technology.”

“This is just the culture of who these people are and what they want to be around,” said Mills, who works full time as a restaurant manager in Las Vegas.

Sisneros and Alcantar, who took their vows early Monday morning, were one of a record 150 couples to marry in legally recognized weddings at this year’s three-day carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That’s up from about 80 last year and 22 in 2013, when Mills started presiding over EDC weddings.

More than 200 participants entered in a lottery-style system as early as March for the chance to tie the knot at EDC this weekend, Mills said. Alcantar said that Sisneros and she waited online for applications to open and submitted their names “as soon as we could.”

Their initiative paid off, as $300 later, they had their time slot booked on the first anniversary of their engagement.

After the EDC-style vows were completed Monday, Sisneros and Alcantar’s ceremony ended with a rousing “hell yeah!” as Tryon threw her head back and invited the newlyweds and friends and family to repeat after her.

Like many couples at EDC over the weekend, Sisneros and Alcantar held hands, walked back down the aisle and posed briefly for photographs before continuing their three-night rave.

“That’s the best part — there’s a built-in reception that lasts until 6 a.m.,” Tryon said.