When I featured Ainsley and Sebastien’s engagement shoot in September I dubbed it “the coolest engagement shoot to date”. I was pretty sure that their wedding would be suitably kick ass too but nothing (and I mean nothing!) could have prepared me for this.
While I was hanging out with their wedding photographer Janneke Storm in Queensland, she started to tell me more about their upcoming elopement in Las Vegas. I made her promise then and there to send me the photos to blog afterwards. Luckily for me (and you!) she did.
Today my mind has been blown. What a way to start the year!
“Sebastien started making coffee at a local organic cafe that I go to a lot and it was love at first sight,” began Ainsley. “Then when he opened his mouth and I realised he was Canadian my love grew even stronger. Here was a guy on the Sunshine Coast that didn’t know anything about me. We live in a small place, or at least it was back then, and it was so refreshing to date someone I didn’t go to school with! We used the L word by the third date, moved in together after three weeks and five years later we got hitched.”
Are you ready for something really different and pretty flipping spectacular today? Well, my dear, you are in the right place because Gregg and Lisa’s desert wedding is guaranteed to blow your socks off. They were married outdoors, on public land, and set up a little ‘camp’ where they they celebrated with their friends and family. The entire wedding cost them less than $5000.
“Our wedding was a desert party wedding with Burning Man and Asian influences”, Lisa explained, “We served sake at the bar and let off lanterns. Gregg also really wanted us to get married on a platform, I didn’t understand how tall he wanted it until he stood on our landing in our townhouse…about 8 feet off the ground! I knew it was going to be epic. He wanted to put our love on a pedestal! So we obtained permits with the BLM in the Dixie National Forest in Utah, a chainsaw, and drove 3 different times to cut (already down) cedar wood to build it. Gregg and our unofficial best man Edwin built the alter on site with no screws or nails, just parachute chord.”
Mike and Manda got engaged in Vegas, so it was only natural that they go back to actually get married too. They wanted a fun and laid back day with no stress at all. They kept things pretty simple and just had fun with it!
“Because we had been to Vegas previously we knew how crazy, carefree and fun it was”, Manda explained. “We wanted the same ideologies for our wedding so this was the perfect place for us to tie the knot. The whole day exceeded our expectations. We had time to reflect later on in the evening, whilst sitting back in our hotel room looking over the dancing neons on the strip drinking vodka. I think we suddenly realised we had just got married in Vegas – that was quite a defining moment. It was such a significant, romantic and awesome feeling in which everything just connected.”
The ceremony was at a drive thru chapel, The Special Memory Chapel, I mean what could be more quintessentially Las Vegas than that?! “We are both non-religious so a church was out of the question (in any country) and we both wanted something fun and non-stressful”, she continued. “I found the drive thru on the internet and the deal was sealed. We both loved the idea as it was a little quirky and different to the norm. It was quick, simple, fun and everything we wanted – we even got a novelty ‘Just Wed’ license plate!”
Chelsea & Mike wanted to marry in Las Vegas but without doing the typical cheesy Vegas wedding thing. So instead of being married by Elvis, they opted for a simple ceremony (not photographed) at Little Church of the West, followed by a photo session around downtown Vegas with photographer Gaby J. ”Our wedding them was ‘a touch of Vegas’, explained the bride. “We didn’t want to go all out with an over the top Vegas style wedding equipped with an Elvis pastor. So we opted for something more subtle. I had my blue suede shoes and my bridesmaids wore gold sequin dresses.”
“The most important thing for me was the photos”, she continued. “So we picked our location based on how they would look in the pictures and Gaby J was the perfect fit. I wanted unique wedding photos and we’d originally picked the neon boneyard and the desert as locations but with Gaby’s help we found even more unique places to shoot like The Pink Motel and Fremont St.”
Erik & Brooke travelled from California to get married by Elvis at a wedding chapel in downtown Las Vegas (not photographed). After they sealed the deal, wedding photographer Laura of Top Banana Photography arrived to document a post-ceremony photo adventure. They firstly had shots taken around the downtown area, followed by Boulder City and finally the Hoover Dam.
“The type of couple that decides to get married in a wedding chapel is generally carefree and fun-loving; Brooke & Erik fit the bill perfectly”. wrote Laura. “I almost shrieked with excitement when I found out they had brought along Harold, the garden gnome from their yard. They also incorporated colorful sunglasses and bubbles to blow as additional props. We had decided on a few locations beforehand, but ultimately, we let serendipity be our guide.”
Australian John & Marnie spent six weeks travelling around the US for their honeymoon after their wedding in Las Vegas. They were in town for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Festival and they loved the idea of getting married there. The ceremony was held at Little Church of the West, a quaint little ‘mini church’ looking chapel, right at the south end of the strip and the after party was at Level 107 Cocktail lounge in the Stratosphere hotel – right at the north end!
“After a year of travelling Australia following the rockabilly dance and culture scene, John proposed to me with a beautiful sapphire and diamond engagement ring”, Marnie told me. “It was my Grandma’s favourite stone and we decided to marry 70 years and 1 day after my Grandma and Grandpa did! Where possible, we incorporated elements that honoured our families (both alive and departed) into our wedding.”
“I used my creativity to create bespoke elements infusing our vintage rockabilly style into our wedding. DIY was a great way of infusing our style into our event, which, when you’re like us and love all things non mainstream, can be very difficult to source.” The bride even handmade her own dress and headpiece.