Charolette Richards, the founder of A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, has passed away at the age of 89. The news of her passing was announced by the chapel, which she founded in 1951 with the goal of providing couples with an affordable and beautiful wedding venue. Over the years, the chapel became incredibly popular and has hosted over 800,000 weddings. It has also been the site of numerous celebrity weddings, including those of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Britney Spears and Jason Alexander, Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon, and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow.
In addition to its traditional wedding ceremonies, the chapel also introduced a drive-thru option called the Tunnel of Love, which was created by Richards after a client was unable to fit a wheelchair through the front door of the chapel. Following Richards’ retirement, the drive-thru was renamed Charolette’s Way in her honor.
Richards’ passing on December 13 has left a void in the wedding industry in Las Vegas. She arrived in the city in the 1950s and began working at the chapel, turning it into a beloved wedding venue. Last year, after decades of hard work, Richards sold the chapel to Cliff Evarts, another wedding specialist who runs downtown wedding chapels Viva Las Vegas and Vegas Weddings.
Following the news of her passing, Brian Mills, president of the Vegas Wedding Chamber of Commerce, praised Richards for her innovation in the wedding sector and for bringing happiness to countless couples. He described her as the “Wedding Queen of the West” and acknowledged the legacy she leaves behind.
Mills noted that Richards’ impact extended beyond innovation and said that she created unforgettable experiences for countless couples. He emphasized her commitment to love and joy in the wedding industry and expressed that her legacy would continue to inspire the entire sector for years to come.
Overall, the passing of Charolette Richards marks the end of an era for the Las Vegas wedding industry, but her legacy will undoubtedly live on through the countless couples whose lives she touched.