The Silver Bells Wedding Chapel was owned and operated by pastors of a local church who were in the wedding business for more than 40 years. Once the first Reno wedding chapel opened in 1956, other chapels sprang up along major thoroughfares such as Fourth Street, the interstate highway, and downtown Reno, where they were close to the courthouse and the casinos.
Silver Bells was housed in a small 1930s bungalow duplex in what was at the time a residential section of town. Its quaint architectural style epitomized the nature of Reno’s wedding chapels. At the height of their popularity, Reno had around 20 wedding chapels. Some were stand-alone businesses such as Silver Bells, while others were located inside casinos. The wedding chapels were big business for Reno between 1956 through the 1980s. Since then, however, business has fallen off and only a handful of wedding chapels remain. The cachet of a Reno wedding retains a place in our popular culture, as Valentine’s Day and New Year’s continue to draw larger numbers of brides and grooms for an authentic Reno wedding.
The Silver Bells Wedding Chapel was demolished in 2018 or 2019 to make way for construction of the Canyon Flats Apartments, a private complex catering to UNR students.