More than 100,000 get married in Vegas every single year. There is something quite magical about getting away from it all and eloping on your own terms! That’s exactly what photographer Bethan wanted when she and her husband John decided to renew their vows. They wanted to have the day just for them and the only person they brought with them was their wedding photographer, Lisa Jane.
The couple met at 18, when they were both at the same university and have been together ever since. “That first year of university, and every year that has passed since, has been pretty damn awesome”, Bethan told me. “In fact 16 years of adventures and good times have passed and John and I live one of those sickly true love story things but neither of us are embarrassed to shout about it.”
“Our 16th anniversary might seem like an odd year to celebrate in style but the truth be told the year before that been just a little crazy. Renovating our house, putting our heart and souls into our business and just about managing to remind our friends and family that we existed, so we didn’t get a chance to do much at all that year. We had a wonderful wedding six years ago, a brilliant day filled with loved ones and partying, but it passed so quickly. I wouldn’t change a thing about our actual wedding day, and I am from a very close family, but when we decided to renew our vows, we thought it would be fitting for it to just be us. No distractions, no worrying of people were having a good time, just all about me and my boy and our love for each other. It felt a little self indulgent at first but sometimes there is nothing wrong with a little selfishness and celebrating how much you blooming love each other.”
You might not think of Israel when it comes to uncovering the latest creative talent in wedding dress design, but you’d be wrong! Based in the heart of Haifa in Northern Israel, Floral Bridal have just released their 2015 wedding dress collection and it’s spectacular.
Ioana and Nick, from Romania, had two wedding days. They did their legal ceremony in May, on the groom’s birthday, and had a big celebration for all their friends and family in July, on the bride’s birthday!
“We did most of the planning ourselves”, explained the bride. ” We had tons of pictures and ideas, and we changed our mind a million times! There wasn’t really a theme, we blended the ingredients as we felt it would represent us. We added things on the way and gave up others.”
The party was held at Sun Garden Resort in Cluj-Napoca and their biggest expenses, because they were most important to them, we’re the flowers, the band and the DJ. “We spent around €2000 on the entertainment and €3000 on flowers”, said the bride. “One of the reasons why we chose the band we did was because their concert was our first gig together.”
I first visited Vegas in February 2012 for a wedding photography conference. I kinda knew I’d love it before I even got there. It’s basically like a giant theme park for adults after all! Also, living vicariously through all the hundreds of epic Vegas weddings I’ve featured over the years meant I was SO READY to experience it for myself.
What I didn’t expect was that I’d leave that trip with not only a new favourite place, but with two new best friends and a brand new business venture! It was on that holiday that I first met Gala and Shauna in-person and we came up with the idea for a little blogging workshop called The Blogcademy!
Needless to say, ever since I’ve been GAGGING to go back, and once we’d decided to do a workshop in Los Angeles, which is only a one hour flight away, I begged and pleaded with them to do a quick detour on the way home. They didn’t take much convincing, mind..!
Now I know plenty of you reading this will be hopping over to LV for either your wedding or the honeymoon of a lifetime in the near future so I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my top recommendations. This is just the tip of the iceberg of course (we didn’t even get the chance to explore off the main strip) so even if you’re not particularly into drinking or gambling there is so much to keep you occupied.
Pick your hotel wisely
There are so many hotels in Vegas it can be quite intimidating knowing which is the best choice. One of the most important things you need to consider is location. While the main strip itself is only around four miles long, it takes forever to walk from one place to another thanks to the clever maze of bridges, roadblocks and diversions designed to get you inside as many casinos as possible!
Crossing the street is no simple matter. You often need to walk half a mile down to the next bridge (because only someone with a death wish would attempt to run across Las Vegas Boulevard and it’s 12 lanes of traffic!) which leads directly into a casino and then weave your way back into the daylight! It’s a mission and a half, believe me, and comfortable shoes are a must!
Nicole and Caio’s Brazilian wedding was a huge explosion of colour and fun. They planned the entire thing themselves, inspired by 1950s Rock n Roll and rainbows!
“Our wedding theme was vintage rock”, began the bride. “All the decorations and stationery were handmade by the groom. Our main colours were lilac, blue, green, orange and pink and our bridesmaids and groomsmen all had outfits based on one of the five colours. On the tables we had bottles and homemade lampshades as decorations, we had a wall with photos of us growing up on, and we had a Gibson guitar with our wedding logo on it.”
Wedding photographers Brooke and Tavis wanted to do their own wedding differently. So they took eight of their closest friends to Iceland where they eloped overlooking the ocean. Their friend Ryan officiated the ceremony, Samm Blake capture the magic and Luke Lindgren filmed the day.
“Like all good modern day love stories, Facebook played its role in how we met”, Brooke told me. “We are both photographers and ran in the same circles. I have to admit, I lied and said I was in desperate need of new headshots… all so I could get to know him better. We became best friends first and then lovers. I have never felt luckier to have both a lover and best friend as my husband.”
“We chose Iceland because in 2007 I saw a documentary by Sigur Ros called Heima, which is Icelandic for ‘home’,” she continued. “I always said if I was ever to marry again… we would go get lost in that magical place and start our journey as husband and wife there. We had just a handful of our closest friends with us and spent a amazing week together exploring the countryside. We didn’t have a theme at all. There was a lot of personal symbolism for us though – the contrast of fire and ice and extremes in nature.”