Sin City, America’s playground, and the world capital of elopements

The amazing thing about Las Vegas isn’t the fields of slot machines, the 3am burgers or the 10am daiquiris. It’s the indescribable energy of being one of a million strangers in the middle of the Nevada desert. All in it together on a crazy, wild, ridiculous ride and never wanting to get off. Vegas is a frickin’ mindset. So when it came to capturing Helena and Mark’s Las Vegas elopement photography, I knew I had to catch that insane, romantic attitude in every frame.

Because eloping to Vegas isn’t just a quick way to get married, it’s the rock & roll side of the marriage coin. It’s trading the vintage wedding car, a vicar and a three course sit-down meal for a stripper-pole party bus, Elvis singing you down the aisle and burgers at In-N-Out. It’s giving tradition the middle finger. And trading everything you’re expected to do, for everything you want to do. If the big white wedding is Hannah Montana, a Las Vegas elopement is Miley Cyrus straddling a wrecking ball. 

You pumped for this? You bloody should be. Helena and Mark’s Las Vegas elopement was insane!

Lemme set the scene with a love story!

Helena and Mark’s love story is a Rachel and Ross style ‘will-they-won’t-they?’ spanning across decades. From being in school shows together when they were kids. To years later, Mark trying to be casual while asking mutual friends about Helena. To performing together as adults. And Helena having zero chill asking where Mark was going to be on stage. Just so she could make sure she was near him.

They haven’t been official for that long, but they’ve been into each other for years. Eventually destiny dealt them a hand and they found themselves single at the same time. They fell hard and fast, and they just knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Some couples just click, and these guys are so obviously soulmates. So when their friends decided to go to Vegas for a birthday trip, they didn’t want to waste another day. 

Las Vegas elopement photography at the Venetian

If you’re planning a Las Vegas elopement, The Venetian is where it’s at. Every room is a suite, so you’ve got loads of space to get ready in. It’s super bougie, so the rooms look great in photos. And you’ve got a little mini-Venice with actual canals and gondolas downstairs (yeah, Vegas is just ridiculous!)

Helena opted for a super cool vintage style, tea-length dress by WED2B. Her ‘something blue’ was her Charlotte Mills shoes. Her ‘something old’ was her grandmother’s pearls. And her ‘something new’ was her custom-made lipstick she’d designed herself at Lip Lab the day before. The rest of her hair and makeup was done by local artists and completed the retro, stylish, rock & roll bride look.

Mark went for a powder blue suit from Paul smith, with a T-shirt and a pair of insanely cool snakeskin cowboy boots. Just because he’s an absolute legend and that’s his vibe.

The Strip, a stripper pole and a ‘stripper rock’ playlist

Helena and Mark had an emotional first look outside the front of the Venetian. Backdropped by gondolas bobbing gently on the canal beneath a clear blue sky. It was just them sharing the moment as a sea of tourists surged around them. And after so many years of wanting to be together, seeing each other dressed up and ready to be married was such a special thing to be a part of.

And then their totally wild guests turned up in a party bus (complete with stripper pole!) to take them to the chapel. And the day immediately kicked up a gear!  We did a lap of The Strip, jammed away to a ‘stripper rock’ playlist and took it in turns to do some questionable moves on the stripper pole! 

One of the must-have shots of Las Vegas elopement photography is the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign. It’s beyond iconic, and oozing with that retro-seedy-chic that epitomises Old Vegas. So we made a detour up to the sign in the party bus and got the obligatory Las Vegas elopement shot. And you know this is one shot Helena and Mark will have framed on their wall!

Nothing says ‘Las Vegas elopement’ like Elvis and a pink Cadillac

There are over 50 wedding chapels in Las Vegas, but by far the most famous is A Little White Chapel. Britney, Bruce Willis, Sinatra, Judy Garland, Styllone and Slash have said their vows there. And if that weren’t enough, my husband and I renewed our vows there a few years ago as well! If you’re getting married in Vegas, this is the place to do it.

Mark made a spur of the moment decision the day before to book Elvis to do the ceremony. If in doubt, always get Elvis! And I was so glad they did, because Elvis nailed it! There’s a reason they call him The King! He sang Helena down the aisle to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. And he had loads of Elvis song titles woven into his ceremony. (“I promise to never take you to heartbreak hotel”, that kinda thing.) 

They said their vows on the backseat of a vintage pink Cadillac convertible beneath the beautifully painted domed ceiling of the chapel. And danced their way into marriage as Elvis sang ‘A Little Less Conversation’ and their families watched from back home over Zoom. It was so romantic, the very best kind of cheesy and insane amounts of fun! 

The chapel has a really pretty secluded garden with a pergola where you can get away from all the excitement. So after the ceremony, I disappeared with Helena and Mark into the garden, and they said their personal vows to each other away from the crowds. And honestly, these guys are the cutest. There were tears.

Retro diner Las Vegas elopement photography at In-N-Out

They had their reception dinner at In-N-Out Burger. The retro-diner decor in In-N-Out is such a vibe. And the food is amazing. It’s a genuine American institution and they’re totally cool with spontaneous photoshoots in their booths! 

We all sat outside under the blazing desert sun. We yammed down our burgers, sipped away on our sodas and listened to the guys give their speeches. It was so relaxed, loads of laughs, and just as tasty as any fancy three course meal. And if that’s not enough, they fed their whole wedding party for $120! Yep, £100 for the wedding breakfast and it was tasty as!

With bellies full of burgers, we all headed back to The Strip to watch the fountains at the Bellagio. The boys cracked some Buds, The Beatles played. And the famous fountains shot shimmering columns of water high into the Las Vegas sky. 

Vintage photo booths in Las Vegas

I bloody love an old-school photo booth. There’s something so wonderfully nostalgic about them. I had an idea to take Mark and Helena to one as a fun little experience after their wedding. So I ran the idea by them to see if they were game. And it turned out they’d been to a photo booth on one of their first dates! It was meant to be!

Vegas has a few vintage analogue photo booths. So I did some digging and found one at some random Cornish Pasty bar a little way outside The Strip. The first attempt was hilarious because the photo timer seemed to be set on random and they were both laughing so much! But the second attempt was spot on. They looked like loved-up rock stars in every shot. And it was the perfect way to end the most amazing day.

Looking for a Las Vegas elopement photographer?

This was my first time shooting a Las Vegas elopement. And I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect couple. Their chemistry as a couple, the laughter, the constant bants, and the fact they were so obviously besotted with each other made every minute a real joy. 

They were both totally in it for the photos, they embraced the spontaneity and the adventure of it all. And they fully drained every last drop of fun out of the whole experience. If they look like they’re living their absolute best life in every shot, it’s because they were.

If you’re dreaming of a Las Vegas elopement, I’d love to be by your side to capture your crazy, romantic, ridiculous adventure! Get in touch today and let’s chat!