A Guide for Planning Your Intimate Las Vegas Elopement

Couples choose to elope for lots of reasons! Some choose to elope because they want their wedding day to be just about them.  They want a stress-free day to focus on each other and maybe a handful of guests or just their immediate family members.  Some choose to elope because they're looking to save money and maybe splurge on the honeymoon instead! Some choose to have the adventure of a lifetime and eloping is part of the big trip! Whatever the reasons, eloping in Las Vegas is a great idea and it doesn't have to be cheezy or tacky! And it definitely doesn't have to be in a chapel either.  Las Vegas offers lots of options on how to personalize your elopement and have it be the best day ever! We absolutely love photographing elopements.  They're always so fun and relaxed, and are so full of emotion and intimacy.  After the ceremony, when it's just the 4 of us, there's no pressure of getting done in time for the reception.  It's just us capturing their love and documenting their first moments together as Mr. & Mrs.  

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Bouquet:  Layers of Lovely  | Makeup:  Amelia C. & Co.

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Bouquet: Layers of Lovely | Makeup: Amelia C. & Co.

Venue:  Neon Museum  | Florals:  Miss Daisy  | Hair & Makeup:  Amelia C. & Co.

Venue: Neon Museum | Florals: Miss Daisy | Hair & Makeup: Amelia C. & Co.

Location: Red Rock Canyon

Location: Red Rock Canyon

Here are a few tips that will help guide you in planning your own amazing & unique elopement in Las Vegas:

1. Location.  The first thing to consider is where to have your ceremony.  Sure there are tons of chapels out there and they're pretty low-hassle.  However, most of the chapels are windowless and the decor is not the most modern.  The ceremonies are also quick and generic, even Elvis has a script and his go-to songs ;) If you prefer a more modern + intimate approach to your ceremony, you have plenty of other choices, such as the dry lake bed, the gorgeous desert, a quirky spot in downtown Vegas, the Neon Museum, or even a traditional venue such as a country club can host a small, intimate ceremony.  Each of these locations offer a gorgeous backdrop for your ceremony and require little to no need for additional decor or enhancements.  

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Officiant:  Peachy Keen Unions

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions

Venue:  Red Rock Country Club  | Hair + Makeup: Ruby Finch

Venue: Red Rock Country Club | Hair + Makeup: Ruby Finch

Venue:  Neon Museum  | Hair & Makeup:  Las Vegas Hair and Makeup

Venue: Neon Museum | Hair & Makeup: Las Vegas Hair and Makeup

Location: Dry Lake Bed | Officiant:  Peachy Keen Unions

Location: Dry Lake Bed | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions

2. Officiant.  Once you find a location that is perfect for you and your love, you'll need an equally perfect officiant; someone who will take a personal interest in you and your fiancé's love story and incorporate that into a meaningful ceremony.  We highly recommend Peachy Keen Unions!  They are modern marriage officiants who's mission is to "collaborate with couples, creating and performing personalized ceremonies", including elopements!  Another favorite is Pastor Doug Loman.  He is very personable and also works with his couples to help create a personal and meaningful ceremony.  


3. Details.  Once you know where you'll be married and who's going to officiate your ceremony, the rest is up to you! There's the obvious things to consider such as your dress, shoes, hair & makeup, oh and his suit too.  Then there's also the logistical things to consider, such as transportation and picking up your marriage license. But then there are the little details you add to make your elopement beautiful and most importantly, personal and all your own! From special touches incorporated within your own wardrobe to bringing special trinkets or mementos.  Writing your own vows is super special and because you're eloping, you won't have to be nervous about saying them in front of a lot of people.  A pretty bouquet goes a long way! Think of it as a gorgeous accessory.  And, since you aren't spending tons on decorating a reception venue, you won't feel guilty about splurging a little on some florals! Lastly, don't forget the bubbly! Whether you're toasting with a few friends or family who came along or it's just the two of you,  after saying, "I DO!" is the perfect time for popping open a bottle of champagne to celebrate your love! 

Left Bouquet: Bride brought over from England Right:  Layers of Lovely

Left Bouquet: Bride brought over from England Right: Layers of Lovely

Bouquets:  Miss Daisy Floral
Location: Valley of Fire State Park | Officiant:  Peachy Keen Unions  | Cake:  Freeds Bakery

Location: Valley of Fire State Park | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions | Cake: Freeds Bakery

Left:  Red Rock Country Club  | Right: Caesars Palace

Left: Red Rock Country Club | Right: Caesars Palace

I hope these few tips and ideas will help guide you while planning your Las Vegas elopement! May it be modern, intimate, and most importantly totally special to you and your love! Can't wait to hear all about your plans! XO 

Creating the Perfect Timeline for Your Destination Wedding

Every wedding is unique and this is especially so with destination weddings! There may be a few additional factors to consider when tying the knot in Las Vegas, that you maybe wouldn't have to consider locally.  Things such as: booking hotel rooms, flights, transportation to your venue for your guests, hotel room blocks for guests, and more. But, don't let that stop you from having the wedding of your dreams in fabulous Las Vegas!  We've been photographing weddings in Vegas for almost 9 years, including countless destination weddings from intimate elopements to weddings with 100 + guests. Couples travel a few hours from Southern California, as far away as Melbourne, Australia, and all places in between.

It's such a treat for us to get to meet and create relationships with so many amazing couples! As we've gotten to know our couples in the months before the wedding day, one of the main things we want to communicate with them is the importance of a timeline.  Whether it's a quick 2 hour elopement or a traditional wedding with a reception, all wedding days can benefit from a timeline. They will keep the day running smoothly and having a timeline helps give everyone involved piece of mind.  

Today, I'll be sharing a timeline for a destination wedding day where the couples chooses a first look + ceremony + reception, averaging 7-8 hours of coverage.  This tends to work well for the majority of our couples, however, we always work closely with each individual bride and their wedding planner to ensure everything runs smoothly! 

Destination Wedding Day Timeline

2-3pm (1hr) Photographers Arrive to Hotel for Getting Ready images.  I usually arrive to the bridal suite as the hair and makeup artist is finishing up to grab some of those action shots.  Then, it's time to capture all the pretty details in the room such as your dress, shoes, jewelry, invitation, perfume, etc. This is a great time to relax and enjoy some champagne with your bridesmaids before it's time to get dressed and go see your groom! Meanwhile, Jason is off with the groom and his groomsmen, capturing their details. 

You may also need to account for travel time if you're getting ready in your hotel room and your ceremony and reception are in another location.  If your venue is 15 minutes away, factor in 30 minutes of travel time. It's always best to add at least 15 minutes to add "cushion" to the timeline. 

Hotel:  Bellagio  | Hair+Makeup:  Makeup in the 702

Hotel: Bellagio | Hair+Makeup: Makeup in the 702

Hotel:  Wynn  | Hair+Makeup:  Makeup in the 702  | Planner:  Archel Rolwing Wedding + Events

Hotel: Wynn | Hair+Makeup: Makeup in the 702 | Planner: Archel Rolwing Wedding + Events

3-5pm (2hrs) First Look + Bridal Party + Bride & Groom.  Jason and I will find the perfect spot where you will be able to share a private and special moment together.  This is one of our favorite moments, as the bride and groom really get to enjoy a nice quiet moment before the ceremony. Plus, a first look allows you to be together throughout your entire wedding day and it totally helps calm your nerves!  After the first look, we meet up with the bridal party for some group photos, before taking you away again for some portraits of just the two of you.  We always give you at least 30 minutes to break from photos and freshen up before the ceremony.  We use this time to capture all the pretty details of your ceremony and reception spaces.  

Venue:  KMA Event Center  | Florals:  Flora Couture

5-7pm (2hrs) Ceremony + Family Photos + Cocktail Hour.  We understand how significant this moment is and our style is to photograph your ceremony as it unfolds, in the most unobtrusive way possible.  Immediately following your I do's, we'll move right into the family photo groups. This works great, as everyone is together in one spot.  Having done a first look and most of the formal portraits before the ceremony, most couples get to enjoy mingling with their guests during cocktail hour after the family photos.  

7-10pm (3hrs+) Reception Coverage.  Let's get this party started! Now that all the nerves of the ceremony have passed, it's time to pour some more bubbly and toast to the happy couple! We'll be there to document your first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, toasts, and any other special traditions you may have during the reception.  Oh, and of course we can't forget the fun sparkler send off! 

Of course, this is a template and guide to help you plan your timeline. It works for most of our couples but your timeline may look similar or completely different from this and it's totally ok! As your wedding photographers, our goal is to capture your day as it happens and make beautiful memorable images for you.  Having a complete timeline done before the wedding day, ensures that we'll be able to better serve you and you will be able to enjoy your day knowing that your day will flow nicely.  

3 Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Las Vegas Destination Wedding

Las Vegas is considered the "Wedding Capital of the World" and it's definitely a top tourist destination for people all over the world! You can host any kind of wedding here, from a quirky elopement with just the two of you, a small and intimate pretty garden wedding, to a grand ballroom gala wedding.  Add the endless entertainment options for traveling guests and it's no wonder so many couples choose Las Vegas as the place for their destination wedding.

Most of our destination wedding couples choose Las Vegas because they want something a little different for their wedding day, but at the same time they want to be able to keep up with some traditions and offer their guests a great time.  They tend to have anywhere from 10 to 100 guests all traveling from various parts of the country or even from across the globe! 

Venue:  Neon Museum

And while planning any kind of wedding can be stressful, a destination wedding can also be overwhelming when it comes to the planning details.  Questions such as transportation logistics and accommodations come up, along with how to choose reputable and knowledgeable vendors when you often times can't meet with them in person.  

We've been photographing Las Vegas destination weddings, big and small, since 2009 and our goal has not changed.  We want our couples to have an amazingly fun day and leave all the stress and worries behind.  After all, most couples who have a destination wedding do so because they want to have fun too! Our destination wedding couples want to not only marry the love of their life here, they also want to have the time of their life here!

Because so many of the weddings we photograph each year are destination weddings here in Vegas, we thought we would share a few tips that will help you have the best Las Vegas destination wedding without going crazy!

3 Tips to Help You Plan a Stress-Free Las Vegas Destination Wedding

1. Hire a wedding planner. As a bride-to-be, you have lots of fun things to be focusing on, oh let's say like your honeymoon ;) Having a wedding planner who will handle some of the not-so-fun details of wedding planning and will guide you to making good decisions ensures your day runs smoothly and allows you to have the stress-free dream wedding you deserve!

2. Ask for recommended vendors. Most wedding venue, planner, or other vendors, will have vendors they recommend. In our case, we give our couples a list of preferred vendors and these are always vendors we know personally, who's work we love, and we've worked with extensively. Having vendors who trust and respect each other means we'll work together smoothly and efficiently. Plus we'll have your best interest at heart.

Bridal bouquet by:  Layers of Lovely

Bridal bouquet by: Layers of Lovely

Hair & Makeup Artist:  Amelia C. and Co.

Hair & Makeup Artist: Amelia C. and Co.

Venue:  Red Rock Country Club  | Centerpieces:  Enchanted Florist

3. Have a timeline. We are super picky about ensuring our couples have a timeline. As wedding photographers, our entire day is driven by the timeline. We'll work together with you and your wedding planners on the best timeline for your day. We've photographed so many different weddings that we are pretty good about knowing how much time you'll need for each aspect of your day. We send all our couples 2 questionnaires that include everything from the family group combinations to your final wedding count and everything else in between! With a timeline in place, you won't have to worry about where to be when or what photos still need to be taken, because we'll have it all taken care of.

We hope these 3 simple tips were helpful to you.  As your wedding photographers, we'll be with you every step of the way and come your wedding day, we'll be ready to capture your day beautifully and most importantly, without stress! Be sure to contact us to see if we're available for your date and then let's start planning together!