It’s no big secret that I love Las Vegas and it’s weddings! I’ve been four times now and I’m always desperate for an excuse to go back. On my last trip we visited and fell in love with Red Rock Canyon, which is just a 25 minute car journey away from the Strip. It has to be one of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes I’ve ever seen with my own eyes so you can imagine how much I love that Jen and Mike shot their wedding day portraits there!
Jen told me all about their celebrations, “All we knew is we wanted to get married and that we wanted it to be an elopement. We bought my dress and his tux and planned on having one hell of a time in Vegas to kiss 2016 goodbye. Our goals were to just have some damn good meals (which we did) and play a bunch of slots and arcade games (definitely did as well). Oh, and we had to visit Red Rock Canyon.”
“Our inspiration was literally just Vegas. It has everything we wanted – amazing food, varying degrees of frivolity, art and natural beauty (with the canyon). We actually planned on eloping completely on our own, but ended up including four others – two good friends, Mike’s brother Chris and his – as witnesses.”
“As someone who typically hates the spotlight, we knew we wanted to be free of any stringent planning. I wasn’t about to be bothered with the details of a massive event. We loved the idea of the sort of vintage and trashy-glam vibe that Vegas has – James Bond-meets-a-Tarantino-film, I guess?”
Their ceremony as held in the Neon Museum. “I still call it an elopement (we initially had no plans of telling anyone) but really, it was just a private and brief ceremony”, she explained. “Afterwards just the two of us drove with our photographer to Red Rock Canyon for photos. It was perfect timing, we got there just as the sun was starting to set. There were little wild rabbits running around everywhere and it was just so perfectly beautiful and blissful. I wish I could relive it a thousand times over.”
Having such a small wedding meant they cut out a lot of costs. Including their flights and accommodation they spent $6000, with their biggest expense being their photographer. “Our reception was at a restaurant and we served doughnuts instead of a massive wedding cake. Our friends were generous enough to pay for the reception dinner, which saved us money. We planned on paying for it ourselves, but they were too quick with the bill! We also decided to get a regular room at the Cosmopolitan, not a bridal suite. There were two queen-sized beds, which ended up being cheaper than a room with a king-sized bed anyway!”
“Also, rather than getting hair and make up done at the hotel, I opted to go for Sephora and the hair salon at the mall across the street. Both services combined were half the price of a bridal ‘do at the hotel.”
“The best thing about planning the wedding was, honestly, not having to plan much of anything!” she laughed. “We treated it like a mini-vacation and had our bachelor/ bachelorette party, wedding, and honeymoon all in one! With the initial intention of eloping, we avoided the stress of trying to gather a huge group of people in one spot (and paying for it).”