Priscilla Presley admits ‘confusion’ over wedding chapel fees

Posted on: June 5, 2022, 8:46 a.m.

Last update: June 5, 2022, 8:46 a.m.

Elvis Presley’s widow, Priscilla Presley, has made various statements about the Authentic Brands Group (ABG) initiative to have Las Vegas wedding chapels pay partnership fees for the use of her character. She admits there was ‘confusion’ over the move. She also said it “has nothing to do with me”, TMZ reported.

Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley at their 1967 wedding ceremony in Las Vegas
Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley at their 1967 wedding ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, pictured above. Priscilla has made statements about a licensing fee initiative on wedding chapels in Las Vegas that hold Elvis-themed ceremonies. (Image: WeHeartIt)

“It’s a good thing,” Priscilla Presley said in a Saturday text message quoted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. This may be his last comment.

ABG is the guardian of the legacy of Elvis Presley, just like the family,” Priscilla Presley explained. “They and the family are committed to protecting it for generations to come.”

ABG is a licensing company representing the estate of Presley and the estates of many other celebrities.

“ABG is sorry that recent communication with a small number of Las Vegas-based chapels has caused confusion and concern. This was never ABG’s intention,” she added.

In 2013, ABG acquired the majority stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises. His daughter Lisa Marie Presley owns 15% of the company. She is a “consultant” on decisions related to Elvis, the Review-Journal said.

It was May 19, ABG sent Cease and Desist (C&D) letters to many of the more than 50 wedding chapels in Las Vegas. In the letters, ABG directs Chapels to stop using Elvis Presley’s “name, likeness, voice, likeness and other elements of Elvis Presley’s personality in Presley’s advertisements, merchandise and the like.” Review-Journal reported, citing the C&D letter.

Legal action could follow if the chapels do not comply with the order. Last week, the company backtracked on clarifying its demands. Now they say they are ready to enter into licensing partnerships. But wedding chapel owners say they can’t afford the high fees because many are small, independent businesses.

Range of reported costs

There have been conflicting reports about how much the company expects from chapels for licensing deals. A company said last week that ABG wanted $20,000 a year. The Review-Journal reported that it could be less than $1,000.

Casino.org contacted ABG for comment. No statement was provided.

In a press release issued by The GuardianABG said there was “no intention of closing chapels that offer Elvis packages in Las Vegas.”

We seek to partner with each of these small businesses to ensure that their use of Elvis’s name, image and likeness is officially authorized and authorized by the estate, so that they can continue in business,” says the press release.

Las Vegas, county officials concerned

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is among those who have criticized ABG for cracking down on wedding chapels that hold Elvis Presley-themed ceremonies.

I was very upset about what this could mean for our wedding business in Las Vegas,” Goodman told the Review-Journal. “I don’t think this company cares about the impact it can have on our city.”

Goodman and ABG officials are expected to discuss the matter in a phone meeting on Monday, the newspaper reported.

Wedding chapel owners point out that many of those who travel to Las Vegas for a Presley-themed wedding will stay at local hotels, be able to visit casinos and attend live performances. They generate money for the local economy.

Overall, destination wedding ceremonies in Las Vegas make up a significant portion of the state’s tourism industry. The entire wedding industry produces $2 billion a year. Clark County issued its five millionth marriage license in February.

Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya warned the new crackdown could destroy part of the wedding industry. It could also lead to job losses.