Ollie and Emma ran away to Vegas to be married. The British couple wanted to do things completely on their own terms so that meant no guests and no fancy formality. They had a party for their friends and family back in the UK when they returned.
“We really wanted to escape and let off some steam after originally planning a very sensible wedding!”, the couple told me. “Vegas seemed the perfect playground and being free of guests meant we were able to do things exactly as we wanted. There was no pressure to please anyone other than ourselves.”
Brazil-based Marcela and Pedro got married in Vegas and they had the most amazing wedding ever! Their ceremony was at the Graceland Chapel and their ‘reception’ was lunch at Billy’s BBQ. After that they all went to Omnia Nightclub – from the early afternoon until 5am!
“Our wedding vibe and inspiration for the dress code was American Hustle, the movie based in the 1970s”, said the bride. “After the ceremony we rented out Billy’s BBQ place for lunch. Its a very simple but cool BBQ joint off the strip with plastic plates and all delicious food. On the way there after the ceremony we stopped at a huge liquor store and got pink champagne, beer, bourbon and gin. Since Billy’ doesn’t serve alcohol, we drank our own in plastic cups. We all had so much fun!”
Patrick and Chris were planning to get married in October 2015. In fact they still are having a wedding then, but when the opportunity came to adopt their foster son, they didn’t want to wait a moment longer. So they flew to Vegas and eloped!
“Our wedding was very spur of the moment”, Chris told me. “We have a more traditional wedding planned for October (although we’re still only going to have 15 guests!) but Patrick LOVES Elvis and always wanted a Vegas wedding so when the opportunity came up we moved our wedding date and eloped!”
Joe and Madison had $2000 to spend on their wedding, so they decided there was only one thing for it – VEGAS! They were married by Elvis at The Little Vegas Wedding Chapel and followed the ceremony with a fantastic photo shoot in the desert with their photographer Roderick Harrison.
“Joe and I met on a dating site a year and a half ago”, Madison told me. “We moved in together after six months, and over this past winter his parents told us they were moving away from where we all live in Arizona to the Isle of Man and they wanted us to join them! Being of the wanderlusting, nomadic variety we immediately said yes and began preparing to move!”
“We decided to get married before we left, and had the conversation about what kind of wedding we wanted. Since I wanted to hit Las Vegas one last time before we moved, we opted to save our cash and have a shotgun style elopement party instead of splurging on a traditional wedding. Since my better half is an outdoorsman and a big rock climber, we opted to spend the first two days of our trip camping, hiking, and climbing in the gorgeous Las Vegas Red Rock Desert.”
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.”
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!