Destination Wedding in Las Vegas
Micheal & Alex’s wedding at The Little Church of the West, Las Vegas
We feel humbled that Micheal and Alex had narrowed down a huge list of very good photographers, and after two meetings with us, they could feel so comfortable and relaxed enough to trust us with their wedding photos in Las Vegas. We take pride in the fact that we can get along with anyone, and we think this wedding adventure went so well because of this. They had placed a lot of trust in us, and now the job was to repay that trust with results.
With re-searching and booking accommodation for 19 of their family and friends and the organization of nine days of full on partying, Alex and Micheal had enough on their plate, so leaving to photos to us was a relief for them. It was something we reassured of during our pre-wedding chats.
The nine day trip started with everyone meeting at 6am for the bus trip (coffee and breakfast on route as well) down to Manchester for our Virgin flight’s to Las Vegas, and this is where we saw Alex’s organizational skills for the first time, 19 people through check-in, 20 mins, impressive. It was a good flight.
We were all staying in the MGM Grand, and Micheal & Alex had booked us a fab room, NO COMPLAINTS what so ever.
Micheal & Alex had planned to tour the strip for the best images on the day, we had to plan it out. We explored the strip on foot, and built a timeline for the wedding day, based on what we discovered during the two days recce. We had thought about various shots to take, and went about finding those spots that we had planned to use.
This was our first time in Las Vegas, and it did take our breath away. It was Labour Day weekend, and the place was packed.
A visit to the Little Church of the West gave me concerns about the power of the direct sunlight on the entrance (it’s a photographer thing), but even more so was the heat on the day, should I have bought a white suit to wear? hmm No! Everything would work out fine on the day. This is a wonderful place to get married, as it is a really pretty church with a long history attached to it.
We needed to visit the Venetian Hotel. Part of the plan for the day, which was kept secret from all the family, was a gondola ride. We found the most amazing spot for a picture, I was getting excited now.
Then the reception was going to be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which was our next stop for a look see. Wow, what a relaxing place, stunning. The lobby had me excited, and the rest of the hotel was better again. We were going to have a lot of play time here.
The day before the wedding had me (yes, they payed for me to go with them by helicopter) at the floor of the Grand Canyon for a champagne lunch. We got some funky portraits and also took a set of pictures that I stitched together as a group panoramic. A trip to remember, as we flew down the strip on our return.
The Wedding Day
The weather had changed, with a little bit of cloud. This suited us down to the ground, as it calmed the temperature down and the light was soft and bright.
Micheal had a wonderful suprise waiting for him when he opened a letter from his future wife. An AC Cobra (his all time favourite sports car) was waiting for him at the front of the hotel, and he would be driving it to the church. He was beside himself, and we were there to capture it. He did say that he enjoyed the spin around the block.
Meanwhile, Alex and her Mum Susan where at the Christoph Salon, having her hair prepared, and we were there to capture it.
Alex’s Ian Stuart Dress was waiting for her at the apartment and it looked fantastic. All the girls looked fantastic, but Alex’s mum Susan looked fab in the black dress and hat.
We moved between the rooms, to capture the whole party as they got themselves dressed. Susan left with the wedding party in the limo for the trip to the church, capturing those candid’s that see’s so well, while I remained with the girls for their journey to the church.
It was a bit tight in the church, but we did manage to remain out of sight and got some delicate moments while staying silent. We had to make every shot count as the ceremony only lasts 15 mins, so no time to wait for second chances.
The sun stayed behind the thin cloud as we all came out for the celebrations, and candid’s were mixed in with the formal photo’s at the alter and at the front of the church. Wonderful.
Then our tour of the strip started after the first stop off at the original “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. It was busy there, as everyone wants the same picture. With Alex in her stunning dress, everyone almost stood back and thought wow.
The sun came out at the end of the day, to give me the chance to get my signature shot of the “sun in the photo” while we were outside The Bellagio.
The reception was waiting for us, and it was something special. While still working and taking picture throughout the day, we were touched to be included at the long table that waited for us. We were not treated like the hired help, we were friends of the family. But I still had a job to do, and while we enjoyed the fabulous food, I had shots that just had to be taken. There was no way on earth that I was going to pass up the opportunity to get some amazing images for Micheal and Alex. This is what we were there for after all.
The black marble corridor, the gold wall, the vista of the strip at night from reception, the balcony group shot ( I was glad to have my fisheye lens with me), the entrance lobby, phew. This was at 11pm and we were drawing on reserves by then. What a special day, now to bed.
The day after!
We had planned a half day with Micheal & Alex, to visit a ghost town, and The Valley of Fire, for some once in a lifetime photos with Alex back in her dress and Micheal suited up, with that Icon of a car, the AC Cobra. The plans did not work out as the Cobra did not make itself available (it broke down), which was a huge disappointment for us. This turned out to be OK with Micheal & Alex, as it meant that they could spend some time together by themselves, and who could deny them that. They had just got married, and wanted to be by themselves for a few precious hours in Las Vegas.
The last night of the trip was spent all together, starting with a meal at The Hard Rock Cafe then a trip to The Fremont street Experience, which was a great chill out night for everyone.
Micheal and Alex know how to throw a party, the whole 9 days was one long party.
One more party at Wynyard Hall
For the family and friends who could not make it to Las Vegas, Micheal & Alex needed to have another party, and why not pick one of the most impressive venues in the north east.
We were to cover this event as well, so out came that stunning dress again so that the formals and group shots could be taken before any of the guests arrived.
Then party party.
We had a slideshow ready for them, an early edit from all the shots taken on all the trips. It was projected in the corner of the room, and it had everyone’s attention. What I had not told Micheal & Alex was that I had shot a bit of video during the trip to the Grand Canyon, and then placed it into the middle of the slideshow, it blew them away (I think)
A memorable wedding, made even more memorable by the hospitality and friendliness of Micheal & Alex’s family and friends. It could not have worked so well without them.