Priscilla Presley is instituting an Elvis ban at the new Las Vegas chapel bearing his name, saying she doesn’t want impersonators to cheapen the experience.
The wife of the late King of Rock and Roll recently unveiled plans for Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel, a Las Vegas wedding spot that will feature the first permanent exhibit of Elvis artifacts outside of Graceland, his home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Priscilla has been involved in putting the chapel together, making sure it has an authentic look and feel. As part of keeping it authentic, Priscilla Presley has instituted an Elvis ban, meaning wedding parties won’t be presided over by impersonators in sequined white jumpsuits.
“This is all first-class,” she told the Associated Press recently. “This is not a joke. The wedding chapel is not a joke.”
Priscilla Presley hopes the Elvis ban can go further, saying that impersonators only cheapen his memory.
“Elvis had a lot of dignity. Elvis had a lot of class,” she said. “He was a beautiful specimen of a man.”
Priscilla may only have to wait it out for that to happen. As more and more time passes since Elvis Presley’s death, the audience for his music has grown somewhat smaller and impersonators are starting to disappear.
In 2013, the Las Vegas Review-Journal found that Elvis impersonators had seen a big drop in bookings.
“GigMasters.com, a site that helps people book party and event vendors, features 198 Las Vegas-area Elvis impersonators. About 800 bookings have been made for them collectively in the past year.”
“That number is down significantly — about 21 percent — from 2011, but 2013 is tracking similar to 2012. Just a few years back, demand for Elvi was higher, like the sweet song of a choir; GigMaster’s requests for Elvis impersonators in the Las Vegas Valley doubled between 2008 and 2011.”
Many wedding parties seemed to agree with Priscilla Presley on the Elvis ban, saying they don’t want a tacky impersonator as part of their wedding day.
“The whole Elvisy Vegas red carpet thing is, in my opinion, going out the door,” said Carrie Gaudioso, wedding coordinator for the Mon Bel Ami chapel. “That whole era is getting older. Almost all of our older renewals want an Elvis wedding. Our younger brides do not want cheesy, flashy, Elvis Vegas. They want something nice in their budget.”
While Priscilla Presley is instituting an Elvis ban at the new Las Vegas chapel, she is honoring her late husband in other ways. She is set to appear at opening night for the chapel and will be part of a new exhibit at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino called “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience,” which opens April 23.
[Image via Getty Images/ Christopher Furlong ]